Tagged: Voyager

Mindy Newell: The Adventure Will Continue

I don’t know about you, but I keep forgetting to watch Star Trek: Discovery.

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wait for each episode of Star Trek Continues.

As I’m sure you know, CBS, through the complicated Hollywood system of it’s mine, it’s mine!, owns the television rights to Trek and in its infinite wisdom stupidity decided to launch Discovery on their streaming network. Which you have to pay for.

Star Trek Continues, a continuation of the five-year mission of the Constellation class starship USS Enterprise NCC-1701, captained by James Tiberius Kirk, is a love-fast to the original series. It is available for free on YouTube and its own website.

STC was co-produced by the non-profit charity Trek Continues, Inc., Dracogen, Far From Home LLC and Farragut Films, and was partially funded by Kickstarter, in an incredibly successful campaign of crowd sourcing. Nobody got a salary, and all the money went into the production itself. And it showed; everything, down to the buttons on the bridge consoles, was exactly the same as we remembered –

It was, im-not-so-ho, a spectacular and amazing series, with great acting by show runner Vic Mignogna as Kirk (totally separated at birth from William Shatner), Todd Haberkorn as Spock, Chuck Huber and Larry Nemecek as Dr. McCoy, Grant Imahara as Sulu, Kim Stinger as Uhura, Wyatt Lenhart as Chekov, and Chris Doohan (yes, James Doohan’s son) as Scotty. It also introduced Lt. Elise McKennah, PhD. (Michelle Specht) as the first ship’s counselor in Star Fleet, and Lt. William C. Drake (Steven Dengler), Chief of Security, and Kipleigh Brown as Lt. j.g. Barbara Smith.

Star Trek Continues also featured many alumni of the original series, notably Michael Forest reprising his role as Apollo in the very first episode. Bobby Clark, who played the Gorn in TOS’s “Arena” appeared in the third episode. Marina Sirtis was the voice of the Enterprise computer, while over in the Mirror Universe the computer was voiced by Michael Dorn. John de Lancie, the irrepressible “Q” on The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, and Voyager, guest-starred in episode nine. And in a “timey-winey wibbly-wobbly” twist, Rekha Sharma, the court-martialed Commander Landry in Star Trek: Discovery, acted in episode eight. Many more veterans of Star Trek, both in front of and behind the camera, and of the movies and web games, also appeared in the series.

The stories encapsulated the heart of Star Trek, that magic something that has kept the series flourishing, in all its many forms, over the decades.

Until, that is, Discovery. Though I’m positive that everyone working on that series is in it with all their heart, soul, and mind, I just keep thinking that, for CBS, it’s a nothing more than a cash-grab.

And so, CBS, in its infinite wisdom stupidity, forced Star Trek Continues to shut down. Jealous, much?

Star Trek Continues crossed the “galactic barrier” between the television series’ horrifying and insulting season three conclusion, “Turnabout Intruder” and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. And show runner Vic Mignogna somehow was able to negotiate a fitting, heart-warming, and tear-inducing finale to the five-year mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 that encompasses everything that made us love Star Trek.

And I know, one way or another, the adventure will continue.

For you…

And for me.

Molly Jackson: Still Voyaging After 20 Years

(Ye Ed babbles: This afternoon we enthusiastically welcome Molly Jackson, our newest ComicMix columnist. As is our habit, Molly’s bio lurks below. She will be occupying this space revealing her cultural soul to us all each and every week! And now…)

This past week we marked the 20th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager. I was 12 at the premiere of this show, and excited to see Captain Kathryn Janeway, a woman running a ship just like Captain Picard. Star Trek helped reinforce ideals taught to me by my parents, my religion and by scouting. Now at age 32 I still hold this show in such high regard, despite its flaws.

With the events happening today, the lessons of Star Trek, throughout all the series, become more and more important. The goal of exploration and discovery should be more important that the goal of power and conquest. Understanding cultures rather than controlling them. These humans came from a world that moved to where we want to be.

Voyager, in particular, resonated these ideals. A ship, lost in unknown space, rose above base desires to learn about other species. To explore new worlds and cultures. This show, like the other Star Trek series before it, studied racism and sexism in their own ways, using different species to fill in the roles of the subjugated in our own society. A captain ignored by another race for her gender shows her strength. A holographic doctor fights for his rights of personal ownership. These are just a few examples taken from real life into the mirror that science fiction always is.

Most important, Voyager taught that even at the heights that humanity had reached, they could still falter. Humans are fallible in the Star Trek universe. But rather than let them accept their failings, they did their best to rise above and grow as people. And who doesn’t want to live in their world? As Janeway remarked in episode “The 37’s” how humans built a world they could be proud of, where war and poverty don’t exist. Isn’t that what we are striving for today?

Yes, it has its cheesy moments. And yes, there are some episodes I would rather forget than watch again. But on the whole, who didn’t cheer for the little ship finding its way home. Voyager championed ingenuity and creativity in its crew. They had their moments of weakness. They had space battles and were willing to fight when they needed to. The show held to its morals, even when it suited them to cheat.

Go ahead and give Star Trek: Voyager a second or even a first watch. It’s available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. This time, look beyond the sets and the cheese and listen to the message of exploration and understanding. It may have been 20 years, but the message still holds true.