Wow! This first full episode of Star Trek Continues is really awesome!
Sure, it still looks like a fan production in spots, but overall, STC-E01 "Pilgrim of Eternity" is the most fun I've yet had watching a fan produced Star Trek episode. Prior to this, only James Cawley's wonderful web series, Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II came even remotely close to the luxurious feel and high level of quality of watching an authentic vintage episode
of the original 1966-69 Star Trek series.
The cast of Star
Trek Continues is pretty darn good in this stellar premiere, but I'd be lying if I said every actor's performance
is flawless. Although all of the actors more or less fit their respective parts, some cast members definitely shine
far brighter than others in the episode. For starters, Vic Mignogna is hands down, the absolute best stand in Captain James T. Kirk in any web series prior to this. And that's no lie, folks!
Though his face isn't an exact
duplicate of veteran actor extraordinaire, William Shatner, Mignogna really has almost every aspect of the role down to a nearly perfect James T.; from Kirk's trademark
swagger, to his middle aged stature and hunky physique, to just the right facial expressions and vocal nuisances. Make
no mistake about it, Vic Mignogna IS Jim Kirk.
Star Trek Continues both looks and feels vintage & authentic in most respects
Vic Mignogna is batting a thousand in the role of the legendary Captain Kirk
Todd Haberkorn as Spock, however.... Well, let's just say that I do believe that Haberkorn is a good actor. He delivers
his lines quite well, in proper Vulcancharacter and certainly seems to have been directed well, but... THAT HAIRCUT! The
actor's makeup is certainly quite well done otherwise, but why, pray tell, is the characteristic Mr. Spock bowl cut rounded at the temples and not cut straight across the forehead AND sides, the way Leonard Nimoy and just about every other actor to EVER play the part has had it cut? Though certainly "fascinating,"
this one's a stellar mystery to me, folks. If, you'll pardon the space opera pun, that is.
Haberkorn: 10, Makeup: 10, Haircut: 0
Great actor, bad bowl cut
rest of the cast is actually not too bad either. Star Trek afficionado Larry Nemecek (replacing early Star Trek Continues cast member Chuck Huber) actually does a much better job as Dr. Leonard Bones McCoy than one might expect (despite not being a professional actor, that is). He doesn't quite look the part the way
Karl Urban does for the mega budget J.J. Abrams Star Trek feature films, but his performance is more than adequate just the same. Likewise, James Doohan's son Chris really performs brilliantly, despite the fact that his Scottish accent could use a great deal of improvement.
Hopefully, we see (and hear) better in future webisodes.
Chuck Huber's Dr. McCoy is replaced by Larry Nemecek for "Pilgrim of Eternity"
Larry Nemecek doesn't quite look the part, but his performance is GREAT and... IT'S LARRY NEMECEK!
James Doohan's son Chris is FANTASTIC as the begrudging but loveable Mr. Scott
Kim Stinger, a veteran of that other famous Star Trek web series, has never looked more lovely or appeared more viable in the
part of Lt. Uhura. Her hair doesn't quite flatter her in a couple of initial scenes, but pesky little details
like that is what you tend to get from fan productions. Aside from being impossibly lovely, Stinger seems to be becoming
a better and better actress all the time.
GrantImahara however, despite actually having a Japanese name (unlike other Asians who've inhabited the role since
the always pioneering and very Japanese American George Takei), he doesn't quite come off as well in the role as he hopefully will in future episodes. Again, Imahara looks
great, but he smirks when delivering lines an awful lot, and his over the top imitation of the trademark, deep,
soothing voice of Takei seems more than a bit forced.
Kim Stinger's Lt. Nyota Uhura is one of the best, since lovely Nichelle Nichols originated the role
Grant Imahara looks great, but his performance comes off as a bit silly in many scenes
Wyatt Lenhart's Ensign Chekov could use a great deal more polish, but he's pretty good otherwise
In fact, a critical scene featuring Imahara and Battlestar Galactica veteran actor Jamie Bamber(in a cameo that really should come off better, given that he is a practiced professional) plays so poorly
as to be laughable. Given that the scene involves the tragic death of a crew member, the Sulu character's response
to all this really shouldn't appear so painfully contrived and just plain silly.
I still believe that
Grant Imahara was an excellent casting choice, however. He's no John Cho, but he looks a great deal more like Takei than Cho or any of the other token Asians who've appeared in Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II ever have. 'Cause... not all Asians look alike, you know....
Jamie Bamber, that other sci-fi Apollo, is Mr. Simone in the Star Trek Universe
Grant Imahara is good in most scenes, but in this one, he almost appears drunk
Star Trek actor Michael Forest pulls off a great performance as the ancient Greek god Apollo, reprising his role from the original series second season episode, Who Mourns for Adonais? Forrest is much better in some scenes than others, but I'd say that an actor of his considerable range
and extensive years of experience can't be blamed for the fact that he seems to lose his Greco-Roman god-esque wig in
some scenes, and then suddenly somehow gets it back in others. His outfit seems to change an awful lot between
scenes too, but I guess, when you're a god, sudden wardrobe changes are presumably a simple matter of snapping one's
Micheal Forest as Greek god Apollo from the original series episode, Who Mourns for Adonais?
The elder Greek god Apollo of Pilgrim of Eternity, now looking for a new lease on life
Micheal Forest as Greek god Apollo changes clothes, loses & re-grows hair with the greatest of ease.
Last, but certainly
not least, the actress that probably deserves the highest praise for her performance in this first valiant effort from Mignogna
and crew, is Michele Specht as Dr. Elise McKennah. She's as lovely as any of the original
series babes, and really adds a great deal of class to what might otherwise appear to be the usual lineup of fan
boy regulars playing their childhood TV heroes.
Michele Specht makes a great Star Trek babe - without the fuzzy closeups seen in the classic series!
Classic Star Trek original series sexual tension (without graphic expression of it) works well here.
in all, I found Star Trek Continues: Episode 01 - Pilgrim of Eternity, to be an extremely satisfying web viewing experience.
Despite some minor flaws that I suspect will be addressed in future installments, this effort, in my humble opinion,
is the best fan produced Star Trek web series production to date. Kudos to Vic Mignogna and company. Keep it coming,
And do keep Todd Haberkorn and Grant Imahara and the rest of the fine cast and crew, if at all possible.
Invite actors the fine caliber of Jamie Bamber and Michael Forest to again participate, too. Surely, good Larry Nemecek
and other, perhaps lesser known Star Trek enthusiasts, will help to keep this production running smoothly, at full warp speed,
for a long, long time to come. Live long and prosper, Star Trek Continues.
Now, if I could just get a Vic Mignogna as Cpt. Kirk action figure in MEGO or Art Asylum scale!