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Star Trek Continues: To Boldly Go

Star Trek Continues has come to an end. This webseries was a true labor of love from all involved, especially Vic Mignogna, who created and starred in this wonderful tribute series. If this blog was on paper, you would notice blotch marks- from my tears, now that it is over!!

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Vic Mignogna who payed homage to Captain Kirk, but never fell into a cheesy William Shatner impersonation.

Episodes 10 and 11 were a two parter, which really was essential to give them enough time to adequately wrap up the series. As the episode begins, Captain Kirk is reflective as the five year mission is coming to an end, and he mourns the crew members that have died under his command. He hopes for a smooth end to the journey, but is directed to enter Romulan space by Star Fleet Command. He, Spock and a red shirt beam down to a planet to investigate a scientific outpost.  They beam aboard the lone scientist still there, not knowing her secret abilities, plus the Vulcan that attacked them there. Spock then takes this opportunity to secretly send a message to a Romulan commander that he had a connection to from The Enterprise Incident. The commander is played by Amy Rydell, the daughter of TOS original actress Joanne Linville, and it is amazing how Rydell looks likes her mother.

The scientist Lana proves to be hiding her motives, and her connection to the Vulcan is revealed. Turns out that that the scientists are now ESPers, who have developed the ability to read minds and have powerful new telekinetic powers. Drunk on her newfound power, Lana plans to rendezvous with the others ESPers on the USS Congo, a ship that they took over near the galactic barrier. The Enterprise crew take action to thwart the renegades who plan on conquering mere humans with their more evolved powers. Some crew members make the ultimate sacrifice, and their losses are heartfelt, as they were integral characters on the show.

The Enterprise crew ultimately limp into space dock, victorious, but at a high cost. I was glad for the lengthy finale, which tied up plot lines and gave it a poignant conclusion. I loved the touches of continuity that they established to build a bridge from this supposed end of the five year mission and the first movie. There was a reference that the doctor had a daughter that he hadn’t seen in years, there was a joke about how the uniforms would be changing soon and about the pilot program of having a counselor on board which is a connection to TNG crew.

I do have a significant complaint though- if you have read any of my previous posts about this series (Episodes 1-6, Episodes 7-8, Episode 9) you know that I really liked the actress Kim Springer who beautifully portrayed Lt. Nyota Uhura. I complained that she (plus Sulu, Chekov & Scotty) was not given enough character development due to the series giving more screen time to the big three and actress Michele Specht who played Counselor Elise McKennah. Unfortunately, that happened again. I truly feel bad harping on that, because Specht is a fine actress, but as a true fan of TOS, I wanted the core seven to be featured, not a newcomer.  While Uhura had two significant moments of helping in the last mission, it wasn’t enough.  Obviously, I love this webseries, but this issue was a constant thorn in my side.

This isn’t even from this episode, but Kim Springer/Uhura is in it!

This was a fantastic webseries that truly felt like canon to TOS. The replication of the sets and uniforms were outstanding, and the guest stars that often had a Star Trek or other sci-fi connection helped elevate the episodes. When ever I find a new Trekkie fan I always share this series with them, as it was a perfect continuation of the original television show and felt incredibly authentic. I am sad the series is over, but can enjoy watching reruns of it, as I have enjoyed watching and then rewatching other Trek episodes. I certainly hope to see these fine actors and actresses involved in other projects.

Until then…live long and prosper, my friends!

-Nancy

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The Autobiography of James T Kirk

I am a big fan of the Star Trek universe, so when I saw this book come highly recommended by a Goodreads friend, with whom I have many similar reading tastes, I snapped it up.  A description from Amazon says it is the “first officially produced in-universe biography of the legendary and iconic Star Trek character, Captain Kirk“. Written as if it were the memoirs of Captain Kirk, I was prepared to love it.

Sometimes we read a book at just the right time in our lives, so the book speaks to us, as if it were written for you alone. Other times due to timing, a book is read at the absolute wrong time, so you end up hating the book. Unfortunately, this book falls into the later category for me.  Let’s find out why!

The book starts out promisingly, with Kirk recounting his childhood in Iowa with his parents and older brother Sam, to the book’s “editor” David A Goodman. It proceeds through his first time off planet with his mother, then through his early years of Starfleet Academy. We meet many of the people who will play a part in his later missions, for several of them tie in with school and his first two ship assignments. Thus, the narrative takes official Star Trek canon and builds around it.

Once we hit the Enterprise years, the book came to a screeching halt. Kirk’s recollections lurched from one episode to another, recapping what we know happened in the tv show and later in the movies. Spock and McCoy were barely mentioned, and their friendship did not ring true, even with their foreword and afterwards bookends.  Then the other important quartet of Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekhov were also all but ignored in this supposed memoir. There was so sense of unity or teamwork among the Enterprise staff, much less the family he left behind. Even the Khan stories lacked power.

Now let’s talk about the ladies. Kirk is known as a swashbuckling ladies man, but in this story he is a petulant man child. He is callous to his first love at the academy and is a complete ass and a deadbeat dad to Carol and their son David. There is no mention of his marriage to Miramanee, whom I felt was one of his true loves, and doesn’t mention the kiss with Uhura. The largest story goes his romance with Edith during a mission he went to the Earth’s past. He moons over her death, and then slights other women. Even with Carol and David come back into his life years later he doesn’t muster much excitement or love for them. When David dies, he isn’t heartbroken and dismisses Carol, never to see her again.

I believe there are three glaring reasons why I didn’t like the book. One- my eldest just started college, and I miss him terribly. I was angry at Starfleet for making family life basically impossible. Family relationships were torn asunder by the long absences, and the choices people made if they wanted to accept a promotion. Second- I recently had a negative experience when someone else’s bad decision affected me. So Kirk’s many decisions through out his career, where others were collateral damage to his ego, infuriated me. Thirdly- the filling in around canon didn’t seem authentic to me. While it was approved (so I assume the new info is canon too now), it all seemed fake and wooden. I recently read Superman: American Alien which did the same thing, but that story filled in the gaps of Clark Kent’s growing up years in a very believable way.

So while I hated this version of Kirk, I am going to do what many fans do when faced with problematic story lines or conflicting data- I’m going to pretend it doesn’t exist. If I can forget about Spock’s brother or how Klingon’s first looked when we met them in TOS, I can forget about Goodman’s Kirk. Instead I shall remember the blustery but fun William Shatner version that started this whole Trek phenomenon.  Live long and prosper, my friends.

-Nancy

Star Trek Continues: Episodes 7 & 8

Star Trek Continues is an outstanding webseries that continues directly from the original Star Trek series, picking up where TOS left off, since it had a stated five year mission and only about three years was shown.  I gave a long introduction to the characters and actors with a quick recap of the first six episodes on a previous post, so please check it out if you are unfamiliar with this series, or just like to read my older posts!

This fan-created non canon series will be concluding this year, with a total production of eleven episodes. They had hoped to keep on producing episodes (at least thirteen) but a huge court debacle occurred between CBS and another fan-fiction movie, Axanar. CBS felt Axanar was infringing on their Star Trek franchise, and their court case affected other fan series/movies in the Star Trek fan universe. For more information on this long and complicated history check out these blogs: Fan Film Factor and Trek Fan Productions. Both sites are very well written and give much more detail on the ongoing situation than I can, and give a fairly balanced view on the mess.

Episode 7- Embracing the Winds

When TOS originally  ran in the 1960’s gender bias was definitely an issue, and this episode addresses that thorny matter. Diana Garrett is appealing to Starfleet that she has been passed over for a promotion to captain a ship. She is brought before a committee to present her case but her angry, don’t question me persona isn’t doing her any favors. To further muddy the issue, allegiances and the patriarchal society of the neighboring aliens Tellarites plays a part in Starfleet’s decision. At first I was upset that Garrett was passed over, but the plot became more nuanced, and you could see she wasn’t the right fit for the position. Her parting statement was a shout out to the TNG episode, Yesterday’s Enterprise, and her supposed granddaughter Rachel Garret, who would captain the Enterprise-C. I did a little bit of nerd math after the episode, and if this episode takes place approximately in the year 2270, and Rachel Garret’s last stand takes place in 2344, it is definitely possible for the two to be family- which I love.

Episode 8- Still Treads The Shadow

A sequel to TOS episode The Tholian Web, the Enterprise crew find the USS Defiant in a new region of space near a worm hole. Expecting the ship to be empty, as the knew the previous crew had killed one another, they are surprised to sense a heartbeat. Beaming on board, they are shocked to find an aged Kirk laying in stasis. How can this be- when their captain is standing next to them?! Once old Kirk is awoken, they discover a temporal rift occurred last time they were on board, leaving one Kirk on board the Defiant, while the other one went back to the Enterprise, not knowing about the duplication. 200 years have passed since this rift, and the computer on the Defiant has become sentient to keep old Kirk company. A visiting old flame of the captain, engineer Rekha Sharma, helps young and old Kirk make programming changes to correct the jealous computer and get the Enterprise to safety as the worm hole  is destabilizing.

These last two episodes have been excellent and thought provoking, with complex moral issues and good production values. I dearly hope that last three episodes will be shown to the public, and that the Axanar situation doesn’t affect how CBS looks upon this webseries. While it might be too late for changes in the remaining episodes, one last wish I have for the series would be for them to give more character development to Uhura, Sulu, Scotty and Chekov; they seem to be repeating an issue I had with TOS- they give a lions share of the attention to Kirk, Spock and Bones.

May we enjoy the concluding years of this five year mission! Live long and proper.

-Nancy

*Episode Nine review

 

My Perfect Star Trek Crew

I was inspired to do this post after reading the post that Hailing Frequencies Open had on what made their own Super Crew.

I love the rebooted Kelvin timeline movie series, but I decided to stick to the tv series for this list. That there is no representation from the Enterprise series, is no mistake. God, that crew sucked. I am very much looking forward to the start of the Discovery series, and wonder if any of their crew will alter this list.

 

Captain:  Admiral Kathryn Janeway

The perfect captain- Janeway was in ultimate control, yet was relatable. Faced with extraordinary pressures, she united two warring factions and built a unified crew out of former enemies. She survived a year of hell, coming out stronger than ever. I wish Star Trek showcased more female captains- while I like the captain they picked for Discovery, they missed an opportunity to add another female to the line up of leads for the franchise.

 

First Officer: Commander William T. Riker

He’s my Number One, especially once he grew his beard. Walk on over and sit in this chair please. Let me see the Riker maneuver.

 

 Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Beverly Crusher

Dr. Crusher is grace under pressure. Man was I pissed when the powers that be had her off the ship for season two. Her coming back elevated the series. Smart and capable, she could handle any medical emergency that occurred.

 

 

Chief Engineer: Lieutenant Commander Georgi La Forge 

This was a gimmie, for I love LeVar Burton. He is the celebrity I most want to meet- from his portrayal of Kunte Kinte in Roots, to his love of literacy in Reading Rainbow, and then his Star Trek TNG role. But you don’t need to take my word for it!

 

Ship’s Counselor: Commander Deanna Troi

She is the queen of empathy- and Riker’s gal. It made sense that ships in stressful combat zones would need a mental health expert. I was glad Star Trek addressed that issue. I’d be friends with her in real life.

 

 

Operations Officer: Ensign Harry Kim

This guy helped Voyager out of so many jams, and was still an ensign! This infuriated me. It’s called a field promotion people! I am promoting him up a few ranks immediately.

 

Science Officer: Commander Spock

Leonard Nimoy more than any other actor in the franchise personifies Star Trek. His Vulcan personality was the perfect foil to Captain Kirk, and made the combining of different nationality and alien species on a ship complete. Love the quote “I have been and always shall be your friend”.

 

Chief of Security: Lieutenant Commander Worf

Worf is the best. He needs no explanation as to his presence on this list.

 

 

Tactical Officer: Lieutenant Natasha Yar

The actress Denise Crosby must still be kicking herself than she left the Star Trek series. I liked her character in the first season of TNG, and loved her redemption in Yesterday’s Enterprise, so now I am giving her a chance to live on…

 

Conn Officer: Commander Nyota Uhura

No one compares to Uhura. Beautiful, smart, ambitious, an equal to the men- she is the original Star Trek role model. All strong female Star Trek characters owe a debt to her.

 

 

Rookie/Kid: Wesley Crusher

While I am a fan of the actor Wil Wheaton, his Wesley portrayal was not a favorite of mine, but I like keeping families together, so he remains on the ship with his mother. Given time, he will mature. And let’s just forget about that Traveler crap.  Had I chosen Captain Benjamin Sisco for another position, his son Jake would have gotten this spot.

 

 

 

Wild Card:  Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax

She is another character I am bringing back from the dead. She will be reunited with Worf, and they will have a happy ending!

 

Ship: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D

The ship from my favorite of all the series- The Next Generation. It had a bar with Guinan in it, plus a cool holodeck.

So this supposed quick and easy post took much longer than I anticipated, as I read Memory Alpha articles on many of these characters, which then branched to other characters and episodes. Time suck alert! Still this was a fun way to imagine a perfect crew.  So many worthy actors and actresses have kept this series as strong as it is. Live Long and Prosper, my friends.

-Nancy

Star Trek Beyond

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This movie was released to coincide with the Star Trek franchise’s 50th anniversary, and I felt that it was a just a place holder and not a block buster. While I definitely enjoyed it, especially the ending, I’m not sure I will remember the villains or the plot years from now which had become a problem with the TNG movies.

The Good:

A funny opening scene with Kirk trying to flex his diplomatic skills, and basically failing.

The interactions between Kirk, Spock & Bones and the different parings of characters on the planet Altamid.

Sulu’s husband and daughter are shown, which is supposed to be a shout out to George Takei and an acknowledgement there should be more LGBTQ representation in the Trek universe.

Star Base Yorktown was beautifully rendered. I always like seeing crowd scenes in Trek movies and how they represent humans and aliens from all over the universe. Love the costumes!

I liked the stranded Jaylah. She had spunk.

The soundtrack of Beastie Boys and Public Enemy! I liked the line that it was “old fashioned” music.

Great special effects showing the battling ships with the massive  swarm of small ships attacking Enterprise.

I liked the picture that Spock looks at of the crew of TOS when going through old Spock’s belongings. Nice tribute to the cast that started this phenomenon! ♥

The Meh:

The villain Krall (even though I just saw this movie this weekend I had to Google the villain’s name). I liked the explanation of who he was originally and his thought process, but that plot didn’t hold up completely. The way he acquired energy from others to extend his life was murky, and how it altered his appearance, I can only guess at.

There was a whole “suspension of disbelief” that a whole star ship would risk all the ship’s crew to do a rescue mission in a nebula that would make them out of touch with the Federation. Realistically, they should have sent a smaller ship and crew.

The Bad:

Knowing this would be the last time we’d see Anton’s portrayal of Chekov. I heard they will not recast him in the next movie, so I wonder what the explanation will be for his absence from future Star Trek films. At least Anton/Chekov’s last portrayal showed him being an integral part of the action and saving the crew.

Uhura’s lack of storyline and that the romance between her and Spock was reduced. They had no chemistry in this outing, despite having great sparks in the first movie. I totally was shipping them, now not so much. I still have hope…

They could have done so much more with Sulu’s supposed same sex marriage. The relationship is merely implied, the poor guy portraying his “husband” had no lines and there should have been a kiss between the two to confirm the relationship.

The motorcycle?? Come on.

While I really liked Jaylah, her backstory took away from potential character development of characters such as Uhura, Chevok, Sulu and Scotty.

 

But all in all, a very solid Star Trek movie that will guarantee the movie’s future production in the years to come and beyond!

Live long and prosper.

-Nancy

TrekCastBar

 

Star Trek Continues: Episodes 1-6

Star Trek Continues is a brilliant webseries that continues directly from the original Star Trek series, picking up where TOS left off, since it had a stated five year mission and only about three years was shown. The series has eerily recreated the look of the original set, along with the costuming and props. This webseries got off the ground in 2013 after fundraising through Kickstarter, which they also nicknamed Kirkstarter. Due to funding there are usually only two episodes a year, with six completed, and a seventh due out in early September.

The series has earned several well deserved awards over the years, including winning categories in The Geekie Awards, the Telly Awards, the Webby Awards along with awards from film festivals. The actors also attend Star Trek conventions and are active in social media to build the series up.

Captain James T Kirk is played by Vic Mignogna who also is the creator, writer and sometimes director of the series. He acts like William Shatner acting like Kirk. He get’s Shatner’s mannerisms just right, but has also shows some of himself in the Kirk portrayal so it comes off better than a mere impersonation.  He does a great job as the captain.

Commander Spock is played by Todd Haberkorn. His portrayal took awhile for me to warm up to, but now I’m a fan.

Doctor “Bones” McCoy was first played by Larry Nemecek in the first two episodes, and now is played by Chuck Huber. Nemecek did a nice job, but Huber’s portrayal is spot on.

Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott is played by Chris Doohan, the son of TOS James Doohan. It is a nice touch on continuity, and he fill’s his father’s shoes well, including the Scottish brogue.

Helmsman Hikara Sulu is played by  Grant Imahara, also known for his role on Discovery’s Mythbusters. He gives Sulu a sly attitude- oh myyy….

Communications Officer Nyota Uhura is played by the beautiful Kim Stringer. She is my favorite of the actors, and gives an elegance to the role, but also can be kick ass when needed.

Navigator Pavel Chekov is played by Wyatt Lenhart. He endearingly shows the young ensign who wants to stand out.

Counselor Elise McKennah is played by Michelle Specht and is modeled after TNG’s Deanna Troi. This is a brand new character, and in my opinion is given too much screen time to the deterrent of the “original seven”.

All pictures from Star Trek Continues website

The six episodes thus far have been campy awesomeness, just like the series it was based on. I saw that with love, because while well done and professional, they are obviously mimicking the 60’s TV show.

Pilgrim of Eternity– Unofficial sequel to  the original TOS episode Who Mourns for Adonais? The original actor, Michael Forest,  who played Apollo in the original episode is now an old man due to an energy drain and needs to learn how to deal with humanity again.

Lolani– Deals with the Orian slave trade and sexual objectification. Kirk has to weigh the moral issues between different culture’s traditions and the Prime Directive. Lou Ferrigno, from The Incredible Hulk series, plays a slave trader.

Fairest of Them All–  Direct continuation of the original Star Trek episode Mirror Mirror. Crew members go bad!

The White Iris– Due to a head injury Kirk begins to hallucinate and see his past dead lovers such as Edith Keeler and his Native American wife Miramanee. His guilt, and habit of closing off painful memories, floods over him and he has to deal with these experiences before he can heal. My favorite of the episodes.

Divided We Stand– Owing to a situation with new aliens and a temporal rift, Kirk and Bones are sucked back into the American Civil War. Of course they influence history for the better before being rescued.

Come Not Between The Dragons– An alien that looks like a pile of rocks infiltrates the ship and a crew member bonds with it before discovering the parent alien wants their child back. The alien looks deliberately bad, as they are recreating 60’s special effects. This was my least favorite of the episodes, for I feel they are using recurring actors too much, when one of the main characters (such as Uhura) could have received more development instead.

While not perfect, I highly recommended this series. When ever I find out someone I meet is a Star Trek fan, I immediately tell them about this webseries. Spread the word people- the five year mission is still underway!!

-Nancy

stc

 

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