Cajun Samurai Eats Crow—“Star Trek Continues” Actually Pretty Dang Good!

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as Kirk and SpockGreetings everyone! Samurai here. You know, down here in Louisiana, we eat many things; crawfish, catfish [the actual fish, not the TV show…those people are stupid anyway…], alligator, nutria rat…you name it. [And yes, I said “Nutria Rat”. And yes, we do eat it in Louisiana. And no, I’m not kidding. And no, I, personally, have ever had it and I doubt I ever will…thankfully…] Well, I’m here to say that as of recent, I’ve come accustomed to the taste of crow. Why, you may ask? Well, the reason being is that I just finished watching “Star Trek Continues”, the infamous “Star Trek” webseries that takes Vic Mignogna and Todd Habberkorn from behind the mic of an anime recording studio and into the roles of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock respectively. And I must say, my January 7th review of the “Star Trek Continues” ABSOLUTELY does not apply to this full-length episode! Plain and simple; it’s all kinds of awesome.

Vic Mignogna and Todd Habberkorn as Kirk and SpockIf you recall, back in January, I panned the three vignettes released prior to this full-length episode. I said that I was less than impressed with Vic’s portrayal of Captain Kirk and I complained that I heard more Edward Elric in his voice than the historic Captain he was supposed to portray. Well…this time was WAY different. About 5 minutes into watching the episode, I found myself saying out loud to an empty room “Now THAT’S more like it!” This is the performance I’ve been wanting to see—a performance I KNEW he was capable of. He captured all of Kirk’s nuances perfectly—the swagger, the subtle nuances, the tone of gentle yet firm authority…everything is well done. He actually ACTED this time around instead of just stumbling about mumbling his lines, like I complained in the first reivew. Todd as the logical Mr. Spock is very well played. It was great to see him in an expanded role outside the Vignettes with more for him to do. Leonard Nimoy would be proud of him, if he isn’t already.  My praise for all the other bridge officers, Grant Imahara as Sulu, Kim Stinger as Uhura [I LOVE the fact that they wrote a scene where she sings; a call back to her singing talents in the Original Series…], Wyatt Lenhart as Chekov [They finally got the accent worked out…], and Chris Doohan as Scotty remains the same–they are all well played and are the spiritual echos of their TOS counterparts.

Eating Crow...

One small change I should comment on is the fact that Chuck Huber did not return to the role of Dr. McCoy. I was disappointed as I thought he did an EXCELLENT job in the role, and I really wanted to see what he could do in a longer format. Larry Nemeck picks up the role for this episode and, I have to say, he did a great job!  He’s doesn’t QUITE have the ol’ country doctor feel that Huber did, but he makes a great showing all the same and I’m sure he’ll get it down with time.

In conclusion; this is one serving of crow that I am happy to consume. “Star Trek Continues” has earned it’s spot with me, and I look forward to more upcoming episodes.

And while we’re on the subject of the blond haired one, our good friend TWWK over at “Beneath the Tangles” got an exclusive interview with Vic earlier this June at A-Kon 24. It’s an excellent read and worth giving a good once over. So please go check it out!

Oh, and one more thing…for reasons I’m still scratching my head over, the “Nadia” reviews are out of order. When I posted Part Three the other day, part two seemed to jump ahead in the line. I have no clue how this happened, and I’m sorry for any spoilers!

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2 thoughts on “Cajun Samurai Eats Crow—“Star Trek Continues” Actually Pretty Dang Good!

  1. Yep, overall it was very well done …. I agree that MaCoy was not as strong as he should have been but I guess give it a little time ….. I would like to see many more episodes and maybe ones that make reference to a story line from “Enterprise” ……. Vic is spot on as Kirk ….. keep it up ….. this thing is a Winner !!

  2. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Here is my review…

    Apollo has returned to the Star Trek realm. But the sadly in an episode produced by a group of people who have a very bad reputation. One of which, who gives a very unconvincing performance as Captain
    James Tiberius Kirk, himself.

    It’s a shame this episode was rejected by the Phase 2 production team. It had the potential to be something good and wonderful. Personally, I would have liked to have seen ‘Pilgrim Of Eternity’(after being heavily re-written)produced as a Phase 2 adventure instead of as the premiere episode of this steaming pile of cow droppings. I can understand why this episode was rejected and sent to the slush pile(the place of rejected script ideas that has become the only source of filmed episodes, since no writer wants to work with Mignogna and the Farragut Films staff).

    It really boggles the mind as to why John and Tonya Broughton, Michael Bednar, Matt Bucy, Kasey Shaefsky, Dennis Bailey, and the Farragut Films staff would partner themselves with someone who has utterly tarnished, ruined, and decimated whatever credibility and reputation Farragut Films has. Especially after Mignogna’s unauthorized release of the Phase 2 episode ‘Kitumba’. An incident that made fan headlines last year and certainly did not help matters much for the Washington D.C. based film company. In fact, it pretty much was the final nail in their proverbial photon burial tube.

    In the premiere of Star Trek – Continues, we are witness to what could have been a decent sequel to ‘Who Mourns For Adonais?’(an episode I once considered a personal favorite). Apollo returns to wreak havoc on
    Kirk and the Enterprise in the first episode of this new series. Michael Forest(who originally played the Greek god of light and purity)reprises his role from the 1967 episode.

    While there are some interesting moments in this episode(i.e. Kirk getting struck down(again)by Apollo, Uhura being fatally electrocuted by an energy discharge, Apollo’s speech in the recreation center, and Scotty’s resentment toward Apollo after the events from ‘Who Mourns For Adonais?’, and the exchange between Dr. Elise McKenna and Apollo about Carolyn Palamas’ fate), the rest of the episode seems more like a recycling and re-booling of a NG episode that involved another god-like entity losing his powers. While it was wonderful to see Apollo and the Enterprise crew(especially Scotty)make their peace, and watch the Greco-Roman deity start a new life(after learning something that the Olympian gods did not know before), it was not an impressive
    episode.

    If anything, it was a reminder of the dark side of Star Trek fandom taking physical form.

    Like I said before about Vic Mignogna. Not only has he been branded as a toxic narcicisst, liar(a trait that he and Michael Bednar obviously share), thief, crook, manipulator, and other rotten things by many, his performance as the heroic Jim Kirk is nothing more than a belch from a bad onion. Or in this case the foul stench of someone passing
    methane gas after eating spicy Italian food. Seriously, he doesn’t even have the voice for such a strong, heroic lead.

    William Shatner, James Cawley, Christopher Pine, and Brian J. Gross certainly give better performances as James Kirk than this slab of rotten Fisher’s Ham(i.e. Mignogna).

    It’s no secret within Star Trek fan film circles that Mignogna has a very controversial and very bad reputation. It is also no secret that he had tried and thankfully failed in his attempt to take over the entire Star Trek – New Voyages/Phase II production. The aftermath of that attempt led to
    Mignogna and the Farragut Films staff(the Starship Farragut team)stealing newly constructed sets for the Starship Ajax production and going back on their promise to help the Ajax team with their film
    (mostly because Mignogna and the Farragut Films staff lost out on obtaining the bridge set from the now defunct Starship Exeter production).

    What it boils down to is this. Star Trek Continues is nothing more than Vic Mignogna’s attempt at petty revenge and personal spite against the hardworking, professional staff on the Star Trek – Phase 2
    production and his constant pulling of new antics pulling over and over in his single minded obsession to destroy “friends” and the project he could not take over.

    And that is only scratching the surface and putting a gloss on this situation.

    It’s no secret that the glamour of filmmaking can have its elevations and pitfulls. However, when it comes to a fan film organization going into a partnership with a washed up Anime voiceover artist who has a very bad reputation….well, all I can say is this. The Devil and Daniel Webster have been given a new meaning. And a very toxic one at that!

    Todd Haberkorn’s performance as Spock was certainly dull, dry, and regretfully one-dimensional. If anything, he could have learned a few things or more from Leonard Nimoy, Zachary Quinto, and Brandon Stacey. Those aforementioned three gave better performances as our favorite and beloved Vulcan. Haberkorn would have been better off in a different role. Maybe he could play Hikaru Sulu, again. Who knows?

    Wyatt Lenart’s performance as every Star Trek fans favorite nationalistic Russian navigator, Pavel Chekov, was not all that great, either. For starters, his eye color was all wrong(Chekov was brown-eyed, NOT blue-eyed). Second, his Russian accent just was not convincing enough. Lenart, for all intenets and purposes, was seriously miscast. Better luck next time, Wyatt. Walter Koenig, Anton Yelchin, and Jonathan Zungre are the better versions of Pavel Andreivich Chekov.

    Larry Nemecek did the best that he could as Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy. Unfortunately, his weakness in his performance was the lack of a mild Southern accent(which the late DeForest Kelley wonderfully displayed)and the strong one-liners that were brilliantly conveyed by Karl Urban in the two Star Trek prequel/reboots. Larry’s greatest strengths are that of being a writer and a columnist concerning Star Trek. Sadly, acting is not one of them.

    Kim Stinger’s performance as Nyota Uhura was better suited when she played the same role on Star Trek – New Voyages/Phase II. Especially when it comes to her singing voice. One wonders how much she was paid in silver to jump ship over to a production that she knew that would bring her some serious controversy. Judas would have obviously approved.

    As for Grant Imahara’s performance as Hikaru Sulu…well, he worked for Lucasfilm during the making of the less than popular Star Wars prequel trilogy. He should keep his day job with Mythbusters or something better.

    Christopher Doohan is probably the only shining light in this production. Sadly, it is a shining light that has severly faded by being part of this demented ‘French Farce’ of a Star Trek fan film. While he certainly recaptures the qualities of Montgomery Scott(who was played brilliantly by his late father and honored World War II veteran, James Doohan), it doesn’t help matters much that he is associated with a group of people who have a bad reputation in many fan circles. His talents are regretfully wasted in this less than productive endeavor. Frankly, his talents would be put to much better usage in either Star Trek – Phase 2 or the
    J.J. Abrams films(for which he has clearly demonstrated).

    Michelle Specht’s performance as Dr. Elise McKenna is clear statement as to why she is even in the film. While she is a very lovely
    woman and an actress who seems to display some talent, her only reason for being there is just to be a symbol of nepotism. Being
    Vic Mignogna’s soon to be wife, her role as a ship’s counselor(a rank and position that did not start until the NG era some twenty-
    five years past)is merely window dressing. The only time we see something dimensional out of her is during her interactions with
    Apollo, Jim Kirk(in a scene that was less than watchable – Kirk had his shirt off), and becoming overly emotional when she tried to
    use a phaser on Apollo. I can see why Michelle is with someone like Mignogna. Similar mentalities and personalities think and act
    alike. If not relate well.

    I seem to recall that the name Elise McKenna was the name of the 19th Century stage actress played by British thespian Jane Seymour in
    the 1980 time travel fantasy ‘Somewhere In Time’. Not only do we know where the entire sets from Star Trek Continues was taken from, we
    now know where Mignogna hijacked the name for Michelle’s character from. Unoriginality indeed!

    The bottom line is this. Pilgrim Of Eternity could have had potential had it been in the right professional hands. Sadly, it was not meant to happen. As a result, this piece of burnt celluloid refuse has become an eyesore that makes the bad points of Star Trek Into Darkness look pale in comparison.

    Not even Jamie Bamber’s cameo(Apollo from the useless Battlestar Galactica remake – interesting Apollo connection, there)as the ill-fated
    Crewman Simone helps the episode, either. It was probably for the better that his role was only a cameo and left at that.

    I’m still amazed that fellow Louisvillian Stephanie Zoeller Hall(a renowned psychologist)was a part of this as well. Mental health certainly has been given a new meaning.

    And what is with the ‘Spectre Of The Gun’ or Paladin homage at the beginning of the episode, anyway? Doug Drexler wastes his very productive artistic talents in that beginning segment.

    The real downer of all, is Michael Forest’s participation in this piece of dreck. While it was cool to see Michael return in the role as a much older and wiser Apollo, costume, laurel leaves, and all,(especially his wife Diana Hale as the Greek Goddess Athena), and his explanation
    of the relation between the Olympian gods and the phenomenon called the Realm, his stage talents are not entirely put to full use. Sadly,
    Michael Forest has not aged well in the forty five some odd years since he appeared on Star Trek. At times, he looks like(at some points)an older Charlton Heston or Yul Brynner, physically. It would have been preferable if he had appeared on Phase 2.

    Those who have worked on this madman’s production have certainly fallen under the category of ‘Guilty By Association’. Or to quote Star Trek fan’s post from a year past. “The folks at Farragut Films are in bed with a skunk. And the stink is going to stick with them.”

    Spare yourself this menace to the Star Trek fan society and stick with Star Trek-New Voyages/Phase 2. The ONLY Star Trek fan film with professional experience in cinema/television production, acting, SFX, and quality artistic craftmanship and integrity. Or even the original series and the first six movies.

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