Doctor Who

Review: Star Trek Continues, Episode 3: Fairest of them All

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The crew of Star Trek Continues has released their latest episode and this time they boldly take on Mirror Mirror, one of the favorite TOS episodes. Spock with a beard and Uhura (and the other female crewmembers with bare midriffs) in a galaxy ruled not by Starfleet, but by the evil Terran Empire.

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Picking up with the closing scene from the original episode, Fairest of them All continues onward to explore what happens after both versions of the away team of Kirk, Scotty, Uhura, and McCoy returns to their proper universe. In the original episode the “good” Kirk had begun to open Spock’s eyes to the illogical direction of the Empire.

Now that the “evil” versions of the command staff have returned, Kirk begins to tighten his iron grip on the crew, and prepares to exact vengeance for the Halkan’s refusal to surrender their supply of dilithium crystals.

Continues, along with Phase II, remain solidly the “big two” Star Trek fan productions do date.  The sets, effects, and costumes remain top notch and have every bit of the feel of an episode from TOS.  The writing and stories also continue to ring true to the original. The only challenge for me at some points is that they’ve taken on the challenge of portraying existing characters and their mannerisms.

For the most part it works, and I have to give kudos this episode to Todd Haberkorn for his portrayal of Mr. Spock. While Kirk is a major character, this episode centers on Spock and it’s his efforts that make this another enjoyable episode.

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Vic Mignogna as Captain Kirk is in the most challenging of situations as an actor. He does a really admirable job at his portrayal of Kirk/Shatner with all his quirks, the downside is that sometimes it’s so well done that you’re in the groove of it, then a missed note is all the more striking because you’re suddenly reminded that it’s not in fact Shatner.

Star Trek Continues does deserve the “Continues” in its title as they do a really strong job at capturing (and yes, “continuing”) the atmosphere of TOS. Expanding on storylines (as in their first episode Pilgrim of Eternity) and episodes (like this one). As the field of Star Trek fan episodic and film productions continue to get more crowded, look for Continues to remain in the top of the pack.

You can watch the episode below:

Star Trek Continues E03 “Fairest of Them All” from Star Trek Continues on Vimeo.

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Trek fan 1966
June 18, 2014 10:47 pm

Loved this episode! Star Trek Continues just keeps getting better.
Thanks for continuing the magic.

grayzip
June 18, 2014 10:50 pm

Fan Trek is a gift to camp lovers everywhere

Quinn
June 18, 2014 11:26 pm

STC has fantastic production values and, I have to say, they do capture the feel of TOS. I clicked in to check out a few minutes of this episode. Suddenly, it was 40 minutes later and credits were rolling. What an impressive accomplishment to all involved in this production.

June 18, 2014 11:48 pm

Exceptional from a production and tonal standpoint. This series deserves its name and absolute love for the original abounds everywhere in the episode.

You noted how challenging it is to portray existing characters and their mannerisms and you felt it when a beat was missed sometimes. Well, the episode has heart, the actors act – not always the case in that type of productions – and the audience is kept fully engaged in the story.

My warmest congratulations to Vic Mignogna and his crew!

Hat Rick
June 19, 2014 12:03 am

Thanks for the insightful review, Bill. Nicely done, and I agree with your evaluation of this episode and production. All it takes is enough love for the series and the dedication and efforts that show in abundance in STC, and, as you can see from various comments regarding the production as a whole in other threads, much of the fractious fandom that is aware of it is satisfied and happy. We should bask in that happiness; after all, why not? It’s so rare!

Fan productions seem to improve with every passing year. As a certain stockbroker-turned-homemaking-maven would have said: “It’s a good thing.”

Nemesis4909
June 19, 2014 12:05 am

In short, I loved it. Based on the three episodes seen so far I’d say this is a little better than Phase 2 (not that I dislike Phase 2 but this is better)

I write a blog and have written a review of this episode, please check it out and tell all your friends, I need the readers

http://nemesis-4909.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/on-web-star-trek-continues-episode-3.html

Hope you all enjoy :)

Skippy2k
June 19, 2014 12:09 am

To say it again here, I loved this episode and am loving Continues as a whole. All have been good but I think episodes two and three were great. Think I had a big grin across my face thru a lot of “Fairest of them all” and can’t wait to see more! I always appreciated the work and attention to details that phase 2/NV did as far a sets/costumes and the like but STC really feels like a continuation of TOS that I never fully bought into with the other. Not that it’s meant as an insult as the love for trek shows thru and I appreciate the work that goes into any of these fan films even though I have criticisms with some. Plus though they didn’t close Shatner in a vat I really like the Kirk in this series, first one that I really find believable.

Anyway, Star Trek Continues is awesome! Nice to have new “Star Trek”!

Skippy2k
June 19, 2014 12:43 am

One more thing I was thinking too is that STC feels more like if TOS had come back for a fourth season back in the day where as NV/P2 seems more like continuing the forth season if it were done on tv today. Same sets but the tech in the show and filming and so forth. Plus a big thing to sell me in STC is Vic Mignogna’s Kirk, I think he does a great job and though I like Cawley and his passion for trek I never bought him as Kirk. I even went back to an ep and it just wasn’t doing it for me the way STC is.

Cygnus-X1
June 19, 2014 12:45 am

I see the main cast’s performances as faithful variations on the TOS actors’ performances and enjoy them as such. There’s a certain uniqueness that the STC actors bring to their roles, and it’s fairly consistent. The actors portraying McCoy have been the exception—they’ve played Bones fairly differently from De Kelley.

northstar
June 19, 2014 3:44 am

Another nice episode, unfortunately – as I feared – another bottle show and very short as well. Which is no surprise, as you could predict the ending very early on. A few more minutes could have been beneficial to flesh out the other character a little more – they remain rarther flat. There was not one surprise in the story, where you might think an alternate universe is the perfect ground for that.

All pretty much “been there, done that”. The technical aspects are mostly very good, the sets (except Kirks wobbly desk), the lighting. The editing had some continuity problems (camera angles, vfx continuity, performance differences) that could have been avoided, but nothing major.

Actingwise – Chris Doohan beats them all, and the lady that play the Captains wife was superb. Vignonas overacting was sometime unbearable (in part probably because the role needs that overacting, but it was too much) – and while Todd Haberkorn puts out a very solid performance, I can´t get over him not looking the part. Luckily, McCoy and McCenna were almost not in the episode. Although Larry Nemeczek is far from being a good actor, he had more charisma then the new old guy.

I especially enjoyed the Shuttle sequence – congratulations on using the original shuttle, I hope other productions will do so, too.

So, another solid episode, but I really hope they take off now with some fresh stories and do not rehash old elements.

James D. Fine
June 19, 2014 4:07 am

I absolutely love Star Trek Continues. May it go on to complete the five year mission! I look forward to each episode of this more than I do to the J.J. Universe Stark Trek Movies. This is MY Trek. The one I watched when I was a child in the 60’s. I love it! Keep it up Vic and crew. Live long and prosper!

P.S. if you like it want more, contribute a few bucks to make the next one.

drew
June 19, 2014 5:09 am

well done.

Ashley
June 19, 2014 5:30 am

I really liked this. And in my opinion, the thing that really sets it apart from Phase 2 is the acting. I can watch this and actually get into it and pay attention to the story, but with Phase 2 I’m automatically scrutinizing the performances and it brings me out of it enough that I’m not paying attention to what’s going on. :/

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire
June 19, 2014 6:12 am

I love this Episode. Back in the 60s this would have been a great TOS. The Acting was top nothch the Sound and feel was fantastic. I loved how they picked up the Ep with the Soft. I mean good Kirk talking to Spock. Then as we see the Landing Party beam out and see the Empire Kirk Beam in. The Expressions of Spock and Marlena change. All in All. This is a Top notch Episode.
But in the End. I know this. Kirk will be back and he will have his Vengence on the Traitor Spock. Long Live the Terran Empire.

NCC-73515
June 19, 2014 6:16 am

The two most amazing things were:
Marlena looking like Marlena!
The very special cameo at the end! After decades of decay, and eventual restoration, the original Galileo model is used again in a Star Trek production… brought a tear to my eye :’D

TrekMadeMeWonder
June 19, 2014 6:21 am

Give these guys a million CBS/Paramount!

Then air the show!

Hat Rick
June 19, 2014 7:01 am

@NCC-73515, 10,

Yes, the resemblance between Asia DeMarcos, the actress who plays Lt. Marlena Moreau in STC, and Barbara Luna, is remarkable. In addition, Ms. DeMarcos’ acting is very creditable.

JR
June 19, 2014 8:53 am

Great production values. It really felt like a continuation of the episode. Looking forward to more. Better that the JJ reboot. All I ask is: “pick a universe and tell a few stories”. It can be alternate universe (Mirror, Mirror), JJ-verse, or Prime-verse. Stop the delay in months or years between films or episodes.

Clearly, no one is at the helm of any Star Trek creation. It’s time to bring it back to TV, Web, or Theater on a very regular basis. And, you can do more than one universe at a time (remember TNG, DS9, and Voyager).

Star Trek Continues deserves to continue! Crank out those episodes!

Bart
June 19, 2014 9:31 am

Really enjoyed this episode; all three have been excellent.

I’m a bit sorry to see that the actor that played Peter Kirk bailed on the Phase II production (assuming that he’s no longer involved). I liked the character of Peter Kirk and if this guy is no longer involved, I hope that they recast the part.

Richard Greene
June 19, 2014 9:33 am
Star Trek Continues really hits it out of the part with Fairest Of Them All. This is the Trek I grew up with and I’m glad to see a fan production finally give the attention to detail that is evident in this episode. I only wish it could have been a bit longer, just because I was enjoying it so much. Early on I championed Starship Exeter for capturing the look and feel of TOS (so glad they finally delivered an ending to The Tressaurian Intersection.) Phase II/New Voyages grew progressively better in all aspects, and I continue to watch and enjoy it, but even at its best, it always feels like a re-invention of TOS. Farragut has been the hardest to enjoy, it feels as though they’re rushing too much and need better story development, acting and production value. All fan series demand that those involved have a passion for Trek, and in these cases TOS. What makes Star Trek Continues the best of these? The passion of Vic Mignogna. His portrayal of Shatner’s Capt. Kirk (and that’s the Kirk we all love and want) is meticulous, from the vocal inflections and cadence to his posture and body movements. In this episode, they even perfectly matched the hair style from Mirror, Mirror. But beyond that, Mignogna has proven himself a great student of TOS. Unlike other fan series, the writing is crisp and character driven, without resorting to excessive exposition. He and Director James Kerwin have crafted dialogue that… Read more »
USS Lexington
June 19, 2014 9:45 am

Best STC yet!

pros: Vic Mignogna carries so much of Shatner’s Kirk that we can believe he is Kirk. His portrayal of Kirk is what is making STC so enjoyable. It’s impossible to be 100% spot on, but he’s close enough to carry STC.

Asia DeMarcos was so good as Lt. Marlena Moreau in STC, that if I didn’t know better, I would have thought it WAS Barbara Luna.

In his very brief role, I thought the new McCoy (Larry Nemeczek?) was excellent. His giddiness when he gets to administer more shots is just how I would imagine a dark McCoy reacting.

Doohan feeling more like Doohan.

Haberkorn was solid as Spock and seemed to be right in character.

Chekov was good.

Cons: Uhura was needlessly whiny.

Keep it up!

Bird of Prey
June 19, 2014 9:49 am

Loved it!
Mignogna as the evil Mirror Kirk was superb! I also liked Chekov and of course Haberkorn’s Spock. (And with that hair style, Chris Doohan is looking uncannily like his father…)
Furthermore, being a “Star Trek: Enterprise” fan, I also enjoyed the short glimpse at TOS-ified Andorian ships. :-D

June 19, 2014 10:04 am

@15, Richard – I couldn’t have said it better myself. A lot of people try and tear down those who are passionate about a certain thing, and it’s because they focus on that person’s attitude or persona, not the fact that they deliver results. Maybe there’s a small slice of jealousy involved, because a passionate person is also many times a successful person. Kudos to Vic, Todd, Chris, Chuck, Larry, Grant, Kim, Wyatt, Michelle, and all of the people behind the scenes. STC truly is Star Trek for many of us.

Mike Barnett
June 19, 2014 10:07 am

Outstanding!!! Bravo to the cast and crew! I’d love to see CBS hire this group and have them churn out 12 or so episodes a year. Put them on Netflix!

Bob
June 19, 2014 11:33 am

LOVED seeing that the original Galileo Shuttlecraft has finally been restored and is once again in pristine condition! WELL done!! Definitely a moving moment to see. Was hoping that it wasn’t a CGI shuttle shot, and VERY happy to see that it wasn’t. It was the real deal. GOOD JOB!!!

Doug
June 19, 2014 11:34 am

Kudos to all of the cast and crew of STC!!! Like Richard Greene I have no knowledge of whatever Vic Mignogna may have said/not said or done/not done in the past.

I can say that he does a very fine job as Kirk/Shatner and I think he, the cast & the crew capture the feel of TOS.

Like TOS, the episodes get better and better. I liked Pilgrim very much. I thought the writing of Lolani was a bit flat and some scenes seemed a bit “forced” to me, but Fairest is the best yet. The writing was crisp and clean and the dialogue was believable for each character.

I look forward to more good work from Mignogna and friends in the future!!!

Well done folks!!! Live long and prosper!

DJT
June 19, 2014 12:03 pm

Excellent.

CBS Employee
June 19, 2014 12:22 pm

No one has mentioned the fact that these people turn out episodes quickly as well. They film it, keep us updated, and then release. Six months between is great.

I used to love Phase II (New Voyages) but they seem to be so mirrored down in delays and politics and misrepresentations (delay due to power outage) I have to give kudos to Continues as the best of the bunch.

Chain of Command
June 19, 2014 12:57 pm

This is really good. It’s fun, it has an interesting and coherent story, and is directly in-line with the intent and feel of the original series.

Thoroughly enjoyed this effort!

Chain of Command
June 19, 2014 1:09 pm

And, I have to add:

Chris Doohan’s portrayal of Scotty is just uncanny. It’s literally an instance of “the son becoming the father”.

ST:EXP
June 19, 2014 1:13 pm

Nothing short of spectacular.

A perfect recreation of TOS. Amazing.

Great audio. That’s been the vital element missing previously.

I wonder if 30 years from now a recreation of TNG will be possible like this in fan films that replicates the exact feel of the 7 seasons.

Calastir
June 19, 2014 2:39 pm

What else can I say but LOVED IT!?!

It’s like a restored lost episode from the sixties, absolutely authentic and genuine. These should be released on blu-ray combined with TOS. I saw no flaws, from the casting to the sets. I even liked the little references to new trek like the “Spooock” and the Kirk/Spock strangulation scene. It’s absolutely amazing.

Toonloon
June 19, 2014 3:41 pm

Outstanding across all areas. The director deserves a special note. And vic migogna as Shatner playing Kirk is sublime.

Northener
June 19, 2014 4:32 pm

Enjoyed this episode quite much. Hate to be negative but also liked that Michele Specht’s character didn’t have much airtime on this one.

I have absolutely nothing against the actor but the character she portrays… yes. In my mind McKenna “steals” moments from the original cast of characters. Well, she’ll no doubt be back in the next one. And maybe (one can hope) she will over time become integral to Continues. Maybe I’ll even learn to like her.

Anyway, kudos to Mignogna and his team for invoking the feeling of TOS. Keep ’em coming!

John BigBootee
June 19, 2014 4:39 pm

Well done, lads and laddies of STC!

Here’s their link, a way which the rest of us may contribute some quatloos in support:

http://www.startrekcontinues.com/star-trek-continues-donations/#.U6N0YLGorfM

Keep up the good work!

Cygnus-X1
June 19, 2014 5:13 pm

32. Calastir – June 19, 2014

Another was Kirk’s, You have a hearing problem, Mister?, a nod to Captain Sulu’s line to Christian Slater in STVI.

I’ve actually never quite been able to discern whether George Takei says, “You having hearing problems, Mister?” or, “You have a hearing problem, Mister? To my ears and reading Takei’s lips, it sounds most like the grammatically incorrect, “You have a hearing problems, Mister?” Maybe he flubbed the line, but they used it anyway?

Allen Williams
June 19, 2014 5:18 pm

My only complaint is I wish that Grant wouldn’t try so hard to sound like George Takei. It comes off as fake. I think he should just sound like himself.

CmdrR
June 19, 2014 5:41 pm

Wouldn’t it just make sense of some cable channel to pick up the best of the fan productions. Lord knows, the least of them beats “Greg Brady vs. Giant Snake III.” (Am I kidding about that movie, SyFy fans?)

Yes, Continues has flaws, but they are tolerable.

My main knock is that I’m not a kid anymore. What awed me then looks quaint now. What I really want is a Trek that jumps ahead of current TV and makes other envious enough to immitate it.

Meanwhile, I really think the cast and crew are chugging smoothly, and hope they have more good scripts in the pipeline.

bjdcharlie
June 19, 2014 5:46 pm

Paramount? CBS? Are you getting this?
This is Star Trek.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire
June 19, 2014 6:02 pm

From the Terran Empire news service this is a special report

The Enterprise has been hijacked by a renegade Vulcon named Spock.
The starship Lexington responded to a shuttle craft and found Captian James T Kirk and some of his crew. The Emperor of the Empire had ordered several Terran Starahips to pursue the traitors who hijacked the Enterprise. The fugitive Spock will be put to Death once he is captured along with the crew who follow him. We will have more on this as this story developes.

Hat Rick
June 19, 2014 6:19 pm

I like Michelle Specht and her character, McKenna. She injects a bit of vim in to the production and makes it just that more colorful. McKenna is fun and I’d like to get to know her better over a drink at Ten Forward (or — sorry, wrong era — the Rec Room).

Come to think of it, it’s nice to be reminded that the Enterprise crew has a life outside their duties. This reminds me of one reason “Fairest” is so genuine — the 3-D chess game, a tribute to the friendship of Kirk and Spock across the universes, is also a nod to the fact that our fearless (and, in this universe, ruthless) crew also have time to themselves, which was always an element of the Star Trek ethos.

I am Roger Corby!
June 19, 2014 6:45 pm

“Away team”?

It’s LANDING PARTY.

Steve Fratt
June 19, 2014 6:46 pm

Kudos to my friends for this 3rd effort!! And espeically Todd (wow – with or without the Go-T, you nail the Spock character!) and Vic as the mirror Kirk. Did I sense a little Janice Lester inside Jim Kirk in this episode? :)
Hope Austrailia was fab…Hope to see you guys again soon.

Skippy2k
June 19, 2014 9:52 pm

#37 I do agree with this. I kinda let it go but I do think he overdoes it a little.

paustin
June 19, 2014 11:45 pm

It’s amazing at some points in this episode from behind Mignogna,, really looked like Shatner. And it’s so very wonderful to see the Galileo.

Jeffrey S. Nelson
June 20, 2014 2:00 am

Yes, much improved sound added to the overall experience. I would say this is the best of the three episodes produced so far. the only thing lacking is a fully realize engineering set…or at least a virtual one.

The Keeper
June 20, 2014 3:23 am

As honorary and visually accurate these fan made films are…it pains me to even watch the trailers and clips they are so bad.
The goon playing Kirk has a squeaky child voice that makes me just want to slap the crap out of him.
And when did Spock become oriental? I went as far as I can with this. Sorry in advance if you actually enjoy this rubbish.

I know why Paramount is allowing Roberto Orci to continue to write and now direct.

The Keeper
June 20, 2014 3:23 am

As honorary and visually accurate these fan made films are…it pains me to even watch the trailers and clips they are so bad.
The goon playing Kirk has a squeaky child voice that makes me just want to slap the crap out of him.
And when did Spock become oriental? I went as far as I can with this. Sorry in advance if you actually enjoy this rubbish.

I know why Paramount is allowing Roberto Orci to continue to write and now direct.

cardassiana
June 20, 2014 3:44 am

can’t wait to see the new episode , are they already filming a new one ?

marvin
June 20, 2014 4:30 am

47 and 48

If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Yep your attitude is rubbish.

-you can pull my finger anytime-

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