To Boldly Go – Part I

Star Trek ContinuesThis is an episode of a fan-made series whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Stardate 6988.4: The Enterprise is en route back to Earth. Her mission is complete, and the venerable decades-old starship is due for a major refit. But a communication from Starfleet changes the Enterprise‘s orders one last time: a distress call from a far-flung Federation colony has been received, and naturally the Enterprise is the only ship even remotely close enough to render aid. Arriving at the colony, Kirk and Spock have to defeat an automated defense system before they even set eyes on any living people. A human woman named Lana and her Vulcan husband, Sentek, claim to be the sole survivors of a disaster, but their story doesn’t quite add up. They are revealed to be uplifted Espers – humanoids with powerful psionic potential elevated by exposure to an energy barrier that surrounds the galaxy. They need a ship to rejoin their fellow Espers in a plan to conquer the entire Federation…and they have decided the Enterprise meets their needs nicely.

Watch Itteleplay by Robert J. Sawyer
story by Vic Mignogna & James Kerwin and Robert J. Sawyer
directed by James Kerwin
additional music by Vic Mignogna and Andy Farber

Cast: Vic Mignogna (Captain Kirk), Todd Haberkorn (Mr. Spock), Chuck Huber (Dr. McCoy), Chris Doohan (Mr. Scott), Nicola Bryant (Lana), Cas Anvar (Sentek), Amy Rydell (Romulan Commander), Mark Meer (Tal), April Hebert (Rear Admiral Thesp), Marina Sirtis (Computer Voice), Grant Imahara (Sulu), Kim Stinger (Uhura), Wyatt Lenhart Star Trek Continues(Chekov), Michele Specht (McKennah), Steven Dengler (Drake), Martin Bradford (Dr. M’Benga), Kipleigh Brown (Smith), Reuben Langdon (Dickerson), Cat Roberts (Palmer), Liz Wagner (Nurse Burke), Adam Dykstra (Relief Helmsman), Emie Morissette (Relief Navigator), Michael Parker (Romulan Lieutenant), Jessie Rusu (Transporter Chief), E. Patrick Hanavan III (Esper), Ed Obarowski (Esper), John Cerabino (Enterprise Crew), Sean Davis (Enterprise Crew), Amanda Denkler (Enterprise Crew), Savannah DePew (Enterprise Crew), Ashley Despot (Enterprise Crew), Natalie George (Enterprise Crew), Scott Grainger (Enterprise Crew), Ginger Holley (Enterprise Crew), Peter Lickteig (Enterprise Crew), B.J. Savage (Enterprise Crew), Thomas E. Surprenant (Enterprise Crew), Cassandra Tuten (Enterprise Crew), Kyle Warner (Enterprise Crew)

Star Trek ContinuesNotes: The Espers were first encountered in the second Star Trek pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, when the Enterprise‘s original first officer, Gary Mitchell, and ship’s psychologist Elizabeth Dehner were uplifted during a brief encounter with the galactic barrier (which, for the record, is a fictional construct existing only in Star Trek mythology). The Romulan Commander was first encountered in The Enterprise Incident in the original series’ third season, and is here played by the daughter of the original actress, Joanna Linville. Nicola Bryant has decades of genre cred, stemming mostly from a single character, Perugilliam “Peri” Brown, companion of Doctor Who‘s sixth incarnation, a role she originated in 1984 and continues to play in Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio plays. Canadian actor Cas Anvar has appeared in everything from Are You Afraid Of The Dark? to a 2002 adaptation of Ursula K. LeGuin’s Lathe Of Star Trek ContinuesHeaven, to appearances in Lost, Argo, voice roles in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the regular role of Alex Kamal in The Expanse. Nebula Award-winning novelist Robert J. Sawyer is a lifelong Star Trek fan whose past TV credits include the series based on his novel, Flashforward. He also wrote for, and co-edited, the essay anthology Boarding The Enterprise with David Gerrold, a book which also counts head writer Earl Green as one of its fact checkers and copy editors.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: With a deceptively quiet opening scene emphasizing a growing bond between Spock and McKennah, Star Trek Continues eases into its final outing with little hint of just how serious things will get; in that regard, this reminds me more of a Babylon 5 season ender than anything Star Trek ever attempted. Even when the action does start happening (on a great “planet” set that’s almost painfully reminiscent of the styrofoam-rock-strewn “exteriors” of the classic series), it’s very much in a classic Trek vein.

Star Trek ContinuesThat’s when we meet Lana, played with considerable menace by Nicola Bryant. Lana’s prowess with her esper powers make it very clear that Kirk and company got off easy with Gary Mitchell, a newly-uplifted Esper who didn’t know how to use his powers very well just yet. Lana and Sentek have been uplifted Espers for some time, and have full command of their abilities, as do their cohorts, who have their own ship. In a career of facing a huge number of unknown hazards in just a few years, these are obviously among the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous, the Enterprise crew has faced.

Star Trek ContinuesOnce Lana telekinetically compels security chief Drake to phaser himself out of existence – an end he sees coming and can do nothing about, since she’s controlling his muscles but not his mind – it becomes apparent that nobody is safe, because Drake is family – he’s one of the recurring players who has become an everyday background fixture throughout Star Trek Continues’ 10 episodes so far. He’s hardly indisposable as a character, but it’s not like this show to arbitrarily rid itself of its recurring backgrounders.

Star Trek ContinuesWith one more episode to go before the Enterprise runs aground (again), Star Trek Continues spends its screen time reminding us why it’s been the best Trek in town for many years. We all know that the show’s conclusion is the inevitable result of another fan film group’s unfathomable arrogance poisoning the well for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that Star Trek Continues isn’t going out on a high in completing the five-year mission.