My Thoughts on “Star Trek: Continues” Project

The Cast of "Star Trek: Continues"Hey guys, Samurai here! While I was cleaning out my old inbox, I found a link to the Risembool Rangers message boards which I subscribed to years ago and forgot all about. If you recall, the Risembool Rangers are the members of the Vic Mignogna fanclub, named after the fictional town of Risembool in the “Fullmetal Alchemist” series. The link was for a video regarding the “Star Trek: Continues” project that I talked about last year. Well, it seems as though there are a few clips available for viewing, and…well…I thought I would offer my thoughts on the project, since it is anime-related. More after the break.

Excuse me, But I happen to be an expert on this Subject!Okay. Before I get started, lemme give you guys a brief history of my experience with “Star Trek”. I’ve been a fan of the series for the last couple years now. My late sister started me off on it, giving me a VHS copy of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan“. Since then, I’ve watched just about every episode, from TOS [The Original Series], TNG [Star Trek: The Next Generation], DS9 [Star Trek: Deep Space 9] and VOY [Star Trek: Voyager].  And of course, I’ve seen all the movies, even the bad ones. I consider myself, for all intents and purposes, a pretty well-versed Trekkie. When I heard about the “Star Trek: Continues” project, I admittedly was concerned. As I said last year:

…after all, this isn’t just another big anime project we’re talking about here; this is STAR TREK; a show with a long and distinguished history. You can’t just get any old person off the street and expect them to live up to said history. Granted, they LOOK the part, but so do some really good cosplayers. If it’s not treated with the respect and attention to detail that is due, then it will be a catastrophe; thankfully limited to the annals of “Failed Internet Ideas” and never to be spoken of again.

However, after having both OtakuAndrain and actor Todd Habberkorn ease my worries, I decided to give it the ol’ college try to watch the few videos that were posted. As of this writing, there are three clips up on Vimeo. One based off a scene from TOS, the other two completely original material.  As a reminder, here is the cast list:

  • Vic Mignogna as Captain Kirk
  • Todd Habberkorn as Mr. Spock
  • Chuck Huber as Dr. McCoy
  • Chris Doohan as Mr Scott “Scotty”
  • Grant Imahara as Hikeru Sulu
  • Kim Stinger as Lt. Uhura
  • Wyatt Lenhart as Ensign Checkov

Cast List for "Star Trek Continues"1. “Turnabout Intruder” Vignette – This little clip, a little less than 5 minutes in length, recreates the last 5 minutes of TOS episode “Turnabout Intruder”, the last aired episode of classic “Trek” while adding a few scenes in the Turbolift. The story pretty much involves Captain Kirk and his former fling, Janice Lester, switching bodies, as she desperately wants to be the captain of a starship, but as this series is written in the 1960’s, the idea of a woman commanding a starship is unthinkable. Of course, the switch doesn’t last long, and Kirk and Lester return to their appropriate bodies. Not a BAD episode, mind. After all, William Shatner puts on a great performance as power hungry Lester in Kirk’s body. However, it’s not a particularly GOOD episode. Which makes me wonder why in the world Faragut Films [The company in charge of “Star Trek: Continues”] would pick THAT episode when they had many others to chose from. In addition, they pick the last five minutes of that scene which has no consequence or requires the actors to really show what they’re made of. In my opinion, if you’re going to try and impress the viewers and show them that you have the chops to play these characters on screen, then give them something that allows them to act. There’s NO excuse for us not to see Mignogna play Kirk as inhabited by Lester: we KNOW he has the acting chops, we KNOW he knows the original source material. But all we get is him stumbling forward after having his mind reintroduced to his body staring blankly at…well…something. Some of the stuff in the extra scenes in the turbolift and on the bridge is good, but it’s not impressive. I didn’t come away thinking “Wow, this IS Kirk!” I just came away thinking “Wow, that’s a fairly decent IMITATION of Kirk.”  The actress who plays Lester does a decent job, as does her companion; in fact, I would go so far as to say they do a much better acting job than any of the stars. Chuck Huber as Leonard “Bones” McCoy is okay…but he’s missing that “Country Doctor” feel that makes McCoy who he is. I did, however, like the little Spock/McCoy banter before the end credits. Chris Doohan as Scotty is spot-on. I was very impressed with his accent; not over the top, but not subtile either. Todd Habberkorn as Spock is actually really good. I was impressed with how he played the half-human/half-vulcan first officer, though I really wanted MORE during the banter with McCoy. Even an arched eyebrow would’ve made my day. Grant Imahara as Sulu is very well done. He does a good impersonation of George Takei without taking it too far. As for Kim Stinger as Uhura…well…It’s okay, but I guess I can’t form a full opinion of her just yet because she only said one line. To her credit though, she looks the role and sounds PERFECT. Overall, while I can say that sets and the costumes were done flawlessly, and that some of the actors tried to give their best, I can’t say that I was floored or excited over the material given.

Vic Mignogna and Todd Habberkorn as Kirk and Spock2. “You’ve Got the Conn” Vignette – This is a completely original production, which features Sulu, Checkov, and Uhura taking turns sitting in the Command Chair pretending to be in command. This was a very cute vignette and for the first time, I really believed that the actors were who they said they were playing. Grant Imahara is excellent as Sulu and I honestly found myself enjoying it. Kim Stinger as Uhura this time around is FLAWLESS. ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS! She embodies the role perfectly. Checkov gave me…some pause, however. Honestly I wanted a bit more of a Russian accent in his voice, as Checkov in TOS has a thick accent. Granted the original actor, Walter Koenig was indeed Russian, I can’t excuse the fact that they didn’t get the accent down pat. Vic this time around was very convincing as Kirk…still rusty, mind you, but you can tell he’s honestly trying this time around. And it’s good.

3. “Happy Birthday Scotty” Vignette – Another completely original production, featuring McCoy, Scotty and Kirk beaming aboard several containers of phasers, much to Scotty’s delight. This one I enjoyed…it was short, but very well acted and written. My earlier complaints about McCoy still linger a little, but Chuck Huber really improved since the first video, finding the “Country Doctor” tone that all legitimate Trek fans love and appreciate. He even does the whole “I’m a doctor not a…” line very well. Chris Doohan, once again, stole the show as Scotty; he is his father’s son through and through. Vic this time around was…well…acting wise it was okay, but…he has GOT to learn to control his voice a bit more. There were times when his voice slips into Edward Elric mode and that takes me out of the scene all together. He didn’t have this problem at all in the first two videos, but only in this third one does our red-jacketed pip-squeak make an appearance, voice wise. Other than that, this little clip was very well done.

The Sisko Facepalms at Your Fail...So where does that leave me? Well…as an anime fan, I’m amazed to see the actors I frequently mention and review on this blog do something other than voice acting. It proves that these individuals are indeed talented and serious about their craft. As a Trekkie on the other hand, I was not impressed. While yes, the sets and costumes were done perfectly, and some of the actors gave very good performances, when it comes to “Star Trek”, an institution that’s been around for decades with a die-hard fanbase, you have to be PERFECT if you’re going to slap the “Star Trek” name on it; ESPECIALLY if you’re going to play such the iconic Captain Kirk. In addition, while I am aware of the issues that went on behind the scenes, thanks to an anonymous reader last year, I was determined not to let those reports influence my opinion of this project. After all, the original “Trek” had it’s share of issues far greater than those of this little web-based production–heck, Gene Roddenberry was “fooling around” with Nichelle Nichols. Don’t believe me? Read the book “Star Trek Memories”. There’s stuff in there that will make your hair stand on end! In any case, I’m going back to the Bebop. “Live Long and Prosper!”

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10 thoughts on “My Thoughts on “Star Trek: Continues” Project

  1. Geee …. I thought all of the 3 shorts were pretty good …….. if you were kinda “not impressed” with these 3 shorts due to the fact that they were not “perfect” as far a the original actors and such … you must have hated the “New Start Trek” …. with Pine and all the other new actors playing the the old characters ………. I for one would rather watch a series like “Star Trek Continues” than any pile or junk like the last Star Trek Movie or the one coming out next … which I will boycott and will encourage others to do the same ….. like you said “if its going to carry the name Star Trek it should be true to the original” …. Star Trek Continues comes much much closer to that the the last Star Trek Movie or most likely the one that will be coming out shortly ……. Give me classic trek in its original form any day (or something that comes close to it) !!

    Ted

    1. I have no problem with Chris Pine et al playing the old characters because they were playing younger versions of these characters. Not only were these characters younger, but they are alternate versions of the characters we were acquainted with in TOS. Because of the altered timeline, it stands to reason that some aspects of their personality would be different than in the original. These rebooted characters lived somewhat different lives than in TOS, and so their personalities would reflect such. Pine did an excellent job at portraying this; a version of James Kirk who lived a different life under different circumstances, driven by fate to his first, real destiny. Where my issue came in with regards to “Star Trek Continues” was that they were trying to play the TOS characters as they are in TOS and I felt that, especially in the first “Continues” film I posted, they did not accomplish their goal 100%. My issue with the actors, especially Vic as Kirk in the first vignette, was that I expected more from him acting wise than just the stumbling about in the uniform trying to mimic Kirk. There was no excuse for how poor he was in that film; he’s a good actor, he had the original source material, he was in charge of the vignette script and he was one of the Executive Producers. He could have and should have done a better job. If you’re going to make me believe that this man can play James Kirk at the same level if not better than William Shatner, than he needs to go all out. Show the viewing audience that you can play Kirk at his “Larger than Life” moments. In the two later vignettes, which was all original material, he did a much better job; heck, everyone did, except for a few things which I mentioned above in the blog post. But the fact remains that he was lackluster at playing TOS Kirk.

      1. sorry … just cant agree with you (which is all good … I guess) …. so are you saying you felt the “New Re-Boot trek” was good ? ….. given all the Bull … I mean come on … Jim Kirk was a young kid right out of the academy and they just give him his own command and his own ship ??? Riiiighhhht !! … no one would follow such an unproven inexperienced person ….. heck they blew up Vulcan ??? …. Oh and now Spok ad Uhura are lovers ? …. geeez …. I guess the “New Star Trek” might be o.k. as a stand alone movie …… but when you give it the name “Star Trek” …. you need to be more careful with what you are doing ….. I mean even if they were to call it “Star Trek -> Re-imagined ” or “Star Trek Re-boot” or “Star Trek – New Deal” or “Trek Star” ….(since they did things backwards) ……

  2. I heard that actor Chuck Huber is no longer playing Dr. McCoy in the Star Trek Continues production. Apparently he has either been fired or he has resigned from the role. Larry Nemecek is replacing him.

    First Vic Mignogna’s make-up staff, then producer Jack Marshall, and how Chuck Huber.

    It looks as if STC is coming apart.

    1. The mystery man returns. Crying shame to hear about Chuck Huber, I have to admit. He did a somewhat decent job as McCoy, especially in the last one.

      As for the future of “Star Trek Continues”, Chris Doohan tweeted the other day that he was either filming or finishing up “STC” which I can only assume is “Star Trek Continues”. So, at least for the time being, we can expect one more vignette.

  3. From what I can tell, Chris Doohan is referring to Star Trek Continues. Supposedly, they have a full length episode in the pipeline. A sequel to the second season classic episode ‘Who Mourns For Adonais?’, entitled ‘Pilgrim Of Eternity’. Michael Forest who played Apollo in that 1967 episode is supposed to return as that character.

    Whether or not this information is factual, it remains to be seen.

    1. freak-n great idea … sad to see McCoy go ….. but i think the new Dr. is a great fit …. its not the first time a character had the be written out …… im interrsted to see how she is written into the series …………. Well Done so far !!!

  4. RE: Turnabout Intruder vignette. There was a very deliberate choice in re-doing a clip from this episode. This vignette is supposed to show that “Star Trek Continues” is, indeed, continuing from where the original series left off and moving on from there. Therefore, they re-filmed the very last scene from the very last Star Trek episode and then…continued from there. See? Get it? They added a couple scenes, and then they will continue to add and, well, continue the series. I thought it was a very clever choice myself.

    1. Yeah, that was indeed a creative idea to “Continue” with the “Turnabout Intruder” episode. However, I still wanted something MORE performance wise. Perhaps if they had started about 5 minutes later in the episode, when Janice Lester in Kirk’s body does her “You will obey my orders!” tantrum on the bridge, that would’ve given Mignogna a chance to actually act a bit more…but all he did was just the little stumble forward and a few lines of dialogue…I was NOT impressed.

  5. Here’s some new information that was provided by one of the Starship Ajax producers, concerning Vic’s involvement with the Starship Ajax fiasco a couple of years past. It looks as if the real purpose behind his ‘theft’ of that property was to fulfill his vengeance against the hardworking Phase 2 production staff.

    “Ok…here’s the whole STARSHIP AJAX story….We had just aquired the bridge set from another production; “Starship Exeter”, and had moved it to an airplane hangar to begin restoration. It had sat in a polebarn for several years, exposed to the weather, so it was in pretty rough shape. Vic had attempted to get his hands on it, but showed up 2 weeks late, so the owner, Jimm Johnson gave it to us.. When Vic heard that it was about to slip through his fingers, he hustled to Texas to get it. (You see, he wanted it to make his production, “Star Trek Continues”) Jimm told him, “Sorry pal, you never showed up. You snooze, you lose!” Vic was furious and threw a hissy fit…offered thousands of dollars for it…but Jimm’s mind was made up; the bridge was ours to keep. Vic then set about badgering us to get it…rent it…borrow it…He waved around his checkbook and that got the attention of the AJAX team. I wasn’t there for any of this, but I was getting constant calls from the guys to keep me in the loop. I’ve worked with types like Vic before, so I tried to warn the guys…told them to steer clear of this guy…he was just a bad news Hollywood type who will tell you what you want to hear, but screw you in the end. Finally, a deal was worked out that Vic would rent the hangar next to ours, help with our rent and send a crew to help us build all the other sets (Conference room, captain’s quarters, curved corridor, transporter room, sickbay) and an exchange would be made…Vic would get to shoot on our bridge, and we would get to shoot on the new sets. Now, keep in mind, restoration stopped on our bridge to do this and rent was still being paid for the space while our bridge just sat there. For a month or so, the work on the sets progressed and things were looking great. We were so stoked that we would actually have all the original Star Trek sets at our disposal…and THAT was when Vic yanked the rug right out from under us. He showed up late one night with a crew, packed up all his sets and left. He probably would have taken the bridge too if he’d had a key to our hangar. At this point, we had used up all of our building materials, our budget was shot, and to make matters worse, he stuck us for the rent. His final words? “Payback is a bitch.” His B.S. set us back over a year as we crawled out of the hole that Vic dug for us. He brought the whole mess to the folks who make “Starship Farragut”, making the same promise to them. You see, he got free labor and materials out of us and basically ruined us…all because we beat him to the bridge that he wanted.”

    The information stated below is also from Vic’s former partner and confirmed from a friend of the seller. I should point out that some of these “pre Ajax” details could be either missing, or they are slightly wrong. I don’t know for certain. I’m only going by what I was informed.

    “Vic and his “partners” did show up to pay for and obtain the Exeter sets, as arranged. Problem is, they showed up with no money but a lot of “let’s work this out another way”…the guy was so pissed he then called Ajax and offered them the sets. The folks at Farragut Films have stated publicly that they had nothing to do with the “theft” of the sets and knew nothing about it. The sets were moved by members of their crew and moved to the Farragut Studio building. Vic also did take rent money from his partner to pay the studio rent, and then stop payment on the check, thus stealing the money.”

    I believe the information about the money is correct, I should point out that I got some of this information second(and sometimes third)hand. I was told that they did show up over two weeks late…and the Ajax team was already en route. That’s when Jimm told them, “Sorry guys, you never showed up so I’ve given it to someone else.”

    Anyway, I hope this information helps. Given what I heard about this, it seems that the real reason why the Ajax sets were ‘hijacked’ is becoming a bit clear. Obviously, it is because of Vic’s and to some extent Farragut Films’ attempt at some twisted form of petty and personal vengeance against the staff at Star Trek-Phase 2.

    Something that I find very disgusting.

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