Monday, February 10, 2014

Star Trek Continues: “Pilgrim of Eternity” (2014) Review:

Star Trek Continues: “Pilgrim of Eternity” (2014) Review:

“Humanity never loved you…! Humanity feared you!”

- Captain Kirk to Apollo 

I love Star Trek: The Original Series. Even though the special effects are somewhat primitive, the stories and the crew are great. That’s why I’m excited about Star Trek Continues. An effort by producer/actor Vic Mignogna (Voice of Edward Elric on Full Metal Alchemist!) to complete the original five-year mission. Mignogna himself plays Captain Kirk, and looks just like a young William Shatner. Also, Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame plays Sulu. Chris Doohan takes over his father’s role (James Doohan) and plays Scotty. And the first story we have from the series is the expertly told “Pilgrim of Eternity”, which stars Michael Forest returning as Apollo almost 50 years after “Who Mourns For Adonis?” in 1968!

The show starts off with Captain Kirk in the Wild West, but then Scotty says, “Computer, freeze program!” suggesting of course that Scotty helped create another Star Trek staple: The Holodeck. After this, the crew encounters a strange meteorite which houses the last of the Old Greek Gods. Apollo is beamed abroad, but he is old. He asks for asylum.

Despite this, his “god organ” discovered last time they met, that converts worship into power, seems to be reeking havoc on the ship and crew. Scotty is extremely distrustful of Apollo in particular, due to Apollo courting his old flame Caroline years ago. It takes no time at all for Apollo to have people entranced in the rec room, and demanding worship from the crew. He hurls Captain Kirk across the hall, and knocks out Uhura at her computer. Vic twists and contorts dramatically while levitating, and in Captain Kirk style…(above!) he denounces Apollo’s worship!

Eventually, Apollo apologizes and Captain Kirk takes his word as sincere. Apollo elects (With McCoy’s help!) to have surgery where he can have the organ safely removed. He still has his powers, but he’ll no longer need worship. In a final act of self-sacrifice he revives Uhura. Having thus demonstrated that he is beyond the need for worship, Kirk drops him off on a planet with equivalent 14th century technology, where he can help.

Along with this superbly acted story, there is one unique addition to the crew. Lt. McKenna comes abroad as the ship’s psychologist, who is instrumental in ascertaining that Apollo is telling the truth. Also, a funny scene occurs when she walks in the Captain’s quarters and is greeted by a shirtless Captain Kirk. Vic Mignogna also has nearly the exact same physique as the young Shatner…ladies.

Typically, I’m not a fan of fanmade Star Trek…except in books! Because it all looks so cheesy. And I count TAS as canon, so if each season was a year…the five-year mission was complete! But, these guys do a wonderful job! It’s so good, it doesn’t look fanmade. I can’t ignore a new series as good as this! Plus, it means the same guy who plays Captain Kirk also voiced another hero of mine…Ed Elric! So, he’s not only my favorite Alchemist, but also now, my favorite Captain! (With all due respect to Captain Picard.)

I’m really looking forward to the next episode of Star Trek Continues. It really shows what Star Trek: TOS could’ve been, if it had big studio support (In fact, we almost never got a 3rd season of Star Trek.) and more money for effects. And it tells great stories. The message of “Pilgrim of Eternity” is quite clear, and in line with Roddenberry’s vision: Self-sacrifice is better than worship. Spock (Todd Haberkorn) is sort of underplayed in this episode, but true to the show, he exchanges conclusive banter with Kirk and McCoy on the bridge. You can watch Star Trek Continues (and it’s second episode: “Lolani”!) for free online now!

Episodes link:

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