Review: 'Star Trek Continues' Fan Series Debuts Its Newest Episode at Silicon Valley Comic-Con

Saturday, 22 April 2017 - 11:54PM
Star Trek
Saturday, 22 April 2017 - 11:54PM
Review: 'Star Trek Continues' Fan Series Debuts Its Newest Episode at Silicon Valley Comic-Con
Image credit: Star Trek Continues
Before tonight, we'd never seen an episode of Star Trek Continues, but now all we can think is how amazingly close it comes to capturing the magic of the original series. The casting of Vic Mignogna as Captain Kirk and Grant Imahara as Sulu in particular works amazingly well. Though it's a fan production (albeit it an incredibly organized one), it doesn't feel like people cosplaying as these iconic characters—it feels like something genuinely exciting in its own right. The music, camera work, set design, and uniforms all blended in seamlessly with what you would expect from an old episode of Star Trek, down to the delivery of the dialogue. Here's the teaser reel for the series: 


The screening we saw tonight, for Episode 8: Still Treads the Shadow, is a kind of Twilight Zone episode, written by one of the original writers for the show. It follows the Enterprise as they go on an investigation into singularity anomalies, i.e. black holes. While exploring around a black hole, they find the Defiant, a kind of Starfleet ghost ship that they've encountered once before, and apparently last saw entering a black hole. Aboard, they find no one but a cryogenically frozen Kirk, aged into what looks like his eighties.

But what starts off as a campy space mystery with parallel dimensions, alternate timelines, and a questionable understanding of how black holes work quickly veers into darker territory: the older Kirk has been trapped aboard the Defiant for 217 years, drifting through a timeless void since the Enterprise's first encounter with it, where the timelines split. While our Kirk returned to the crew of the Enterprise, the alternate Kirk remained trapped on the Defiant and began to devolve into a spiral of madness from isolation and a sense of betrayal, since from his perspective, the Enterprise abandoned him.



As the episode progresses, it becomes clear that this is not a story about revenge—it's about Kirk coming to terms with what defines him, and what would happen if it was all taken away. One of the most poignant scenes is where old Kirk reflects on the fact that once he was no longer a captain or a leader, he lost all sense of who he was. It's fascinating to see Kirk, who is usually portrayed as an inviolable hero, driven to his absolute breaking point.

Walking out of the screening of Still Treads the Shadow, I was surprised to find that it made me feel things I hadn't felt in a long time—wonder, a sense of adventure, and even melancholy. Though there was plenty of banter and popcorn moments where I could sit back and enjoy the spectacle, all that was put aside to explore something deeper—in this case, the tragedy of a man left utterly alone. I highly recommend the episode, and I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of the series.

You can watch all eight of the current episodes of Star Trek Continues here, starting with Episode 1: Pilgrim of Eternity. The show is planned to culminate in eleven episodes total, ending where the original Star Trek series began.
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