Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to praise a Star Trek show done by fans that is good enough to be picked up by Paramount and introduced as a new Trek show for the franchise:
A fan series to pick up TOS original 5 year mission of the USS Enterprise if NBC hadnâ€™t cancelled it after 3 seasons, This series is so authentic and well done, itâ€™s scary. If it werenâ€™t for the fact that the actors donâ€™t completely resemble the original cast, youâ€™d swear you were watching a new episode of Star Trek TOS. When I found this one, Iâ€™d thought Iâ€™d discovered the Star Trek Holy Grailâ€¦itâ€™s that good! Every conceivable detail is meticulous, from the complete Enterprise sets built from the original blueprints, the costumes and props and effects to the incidental music and identical sound effects from the original show really set this one apart from all the other fan attempts. The way the sets are lit, for instance, totally matches what was done in the â€˜60s.
The scripts are smartly written with social issues addressed and character development. The main characters are extremely well executed with lines worthy of the parts. Rob Roddenberry, the son of the late Gene Roddenberry(creator of Star Trek) has praised this show as good enough to be considered canon and went on to say his Father wouldâ€™ve approved of it. As a Trekker of over 40 years, I completely agree.
Why is it so great? Iâ€™ll tell you as I list the top 12 things I love about it. Â These are not in order, they’re all significant and exceptional.
Warning: Small spoilers and fanboy awe aheadâ€¦
#12. Â The Professional Job Done
Unlike most fan productions, these episodes are done by industry professionals. The people in front of the cameras are great actors. The production team behind the cameras are industry workers with established credentials(HELL, they got Ben Burtt to do sound effects for the last episode!(Ben Burtt is the man who revolutionized film sound design working on the original Star Wars film)). This is not a show with fanboys and fangirls getting in front of a camera reading lines and pretending to be Kirk, Spock and McCoy. These are really good actors who sell their roles with performances worthy of their characters.
#11. Â Vic Mignogna
The man who would be Kirk. It didnâ€™t take him long to convince me he was Captain Kirk. He is a magnificent actor who really channels the soul of James T. Kirk, without it looking like a cheap impression of William Shatner. This is an important distinction. A lot of people can do an impression of William Shatner doing Kirk(Kevin Pollackâ€™s is spot-on and funny as hell, for instanceâ€¦), but most people canâ€™t act as Captain Kirk(and Iâ€™m still not quite sold on Chris Pineâ€™s version, but I digressâ€¦). Vic Mignogna, on the other hand, gives an emotionally touching and powerful performance as the Captain without it ever feeling false or corny. His eyes show all the triumph, tragedy and passion-when his Kirk is in pain, you believe it. In episode 4, â€œThe White Iris,â€ he had a scene with a little girl that brought me to utter tears, it was so beautiful.
#10. Â The Celebrity Cameos
This show attracts not only Star Trek TOS and TNG alums, but stars from other significant science fiction shows and they are used brilliantly. In episode #1, â€œPilgrim of Eternity,â€ they bring back the character of Apollo from TOS episode â€œWho Mourns for Adonais?â€ Who played him? The same actor who did in the original show, Michael Forrest! When they needed an Orion Slave Trader for episode #2, â€œLolani,â€ whoâ€™d they get? Lou â€œThe Incredible Hulkâ€ Ferrigno! Remember how Majel Barrett Roddenberry used to supply the voice for the computer in all the modern Star Trek Shows? They use actress Marina Sirtis(Who played Councilor Deanna Troi in TNG, who was the daughter of Lwaxana Troi-played by Majel Barret Roddenberry). In episode #3, â€œFairest of them All,â€ they continue the story of â€œMirror Mirrorâ€(the TOS episode where Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura wound up in a parallel universe where the federation was a ruthless empire) from the perspective of what happened right after that episode ended in the parallel universe. Who was the computer voice in that universe?-Actor Michael Dorn(Mr. Worf in TNG and DS9). Itâ€™s always fun to see the end credits to see who played whoâ€¦.ex-6th Doctor Colin Baker from â€œDoctor Whoâ€ was in the last episode, for instance.
#9. Â The way they show progress towards The Next Generation
Little things, but they are significant. Mr. Scott builds and programs the first generation holo-simulator room that is the clear first step towards the Holodeck seen in TNG. They also introduce a new regular cast member, Doctor Elise McKennah(Michelle Specht), the first shipâ€™s councilor in Starfleet. Both are used to further the stories and show why theyâ€™re needed on Starships in ways that justify their place on the USS Enterprise.
#8. Â Todd Haberkorn
Mr. Spock is another character that is difficult to do without looking like youâ€™re doing an impression of the late Leonard Nimoy. It took me a little longer to accept Mr. Haberkorn like I had Vic Mignogna, but by the third episode, he won me over. He plays Mr. Spock as the first Vulcan in Starfleet and the best first officer in the fleet. His voice is also very good the way he uses it to convey the intelligence and controlled emotion of Spock.
#7. Â Chris Doohan
Now this casting choice was a slam-dunk. The son of the late James Doohan takes on the role that made his Father famous. Heâ€™s got the look and, more importantly, the voice of Mr. Scott down even better than Simon Pegg(and I LOVE Simonâ€™s portrayal of Scotty). He also really has the mannerisms and delivery down to a â€œT.â€
#6. Â The outstanding casting for supporting characters from TOS
Whenever they have to match a character seen in TOS, theyâ€™ve unfailingly found an actor/actress that not only looked identical, but sounded and acted identical. In episode 4, â€œThe White Iris,â€ for instance, they had to produce 3 women from Kirkâ€™s past: Reyna(Requiem for Methuselah), Miramane(The Paradise Syndrome) and Edith Keeler(The Guardian of Forever). They were instantly recognizable and acted precisely as the original actresses had.
#5. Â The Music Cues
(no clip…just watch the show, and you’ll see what I mean…)
Using the incidental music from the original series really makes this show more authentic. Whoever is choosing the music clips really understands, not only how to edit them into the scenes, but just why each cue matches whatâ€™s going on in the story.
#4. Â The Special Effects match TOS, but cleaner
The look and movements of the USS Enterprise are a perfect match to TOS, but the planets and other space features have a cleaner look, much like the re-done effects on the Special Editions of TOS. The show looks magnificent.
#3. Â The hairstyles
Every character has a hairstyle from the â€˜60s-particularly the women. Wonderful big poufy hairdos that set TOS apart from later shows fill the crew of the USS Enterprise. Kirkâ€™s hairstyle really matches what he looked like in TOS, as does Spockâ€™s.
#2. Â The Costumes
The Starfleet uniforms from TOS are perfect, and outfits for aliens are stylized after the outfits seen in TOS. The fabrics used, to the patterns and the wayâ€™s they were used to sensualize the women are strikingly authentic to TOS
#1. Â The little details arenâ€™t overlooked
No Trekkie watching this show will be able to find fault in any detail done for a costume, prop, computer sound, control mechanism, set designâ€¦.itâ€™s amazing. The Sickbay beds make the same thump thump heartbeat sounds, the Phasers make the same whirring sound and are a perfect match to the Phasers from the original show. The ship chronometer is an analog dial winding numbers up. The transporter effect is identical to TOS transporter effects. The turbo lift in motion sounds the same and the white lines move across the glass just like they did in TOS. Bottom line, when you watch Star Trek Continuesâ€¦.YOUâ€™RE WATCHING STAR TREK TOS CONTINUED.
Have you seen this show, my friends? I cannot recommend it highly enough. If I had more money right now, Iâ€™d be sending it to their fundraising section to help support the production of the show, since itâ€™s a non-profit operation. They seem to average about 2 new shows a year, and I canâ€™t wait for episode #5. I hope you like the show too. Peace.