Julien Neaves – Editor
Award-winning fan series Star Trek Continues aired its last episode back in 2017, but it seems like every day new Trekkies are discovering this wonderful show. Now I already did an article breaking down why this unofficial continuation of The Original Series is the best fan-made Trek production ever (I’ll link that one for you guys below) so for today I thought I would do a ranking of all ten episodes. And yes, I know there are 11 but I’m counting the two-part series finale as one episode. Is that alright? Thank you. I was going to do it any way.
If you haven’t seen the series yet the episodes are available for free on the Star Trek Continues website here (it’s on YouTube as well, but I recommend showing the creators some love). But if you’re all caught up let’s set phasers to SPOILERS and get this list started:
#10 – Divided We Stand
In this episode Kirk and McCoy get trapped in a simulation of the US Civil War by some pesky nanobots. This one was just okay for me. The historical setting was an interesting change but the story itself was just not that captivating. The duo just play through the scenario and don’t have anything to figure out and no mystery to solve. And I really didn’t give two hoots about the redemption story for the young, scared soldier.
The B story of the crew getting the nanobots out of them was actually more interesting than their adventure. Did anybody else think of a Borg appendage when they mentioned needing something organic and mechanical? This one is a decent enough filler episode but not much more.
#9 Embracing the Winds
FEMINISM…IN…SPACE. They kinda threw subtlety out of the airlock with this seventh episode. A meeting to decide whether Spock or a female commander will become the captain of the damaged starship Hood becomes a discussion about gender politics and discrimination, perceived or real.
It was pleasant seeing Commodore Laura Gray (played by the lovely Erin Gray of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century fame) get bumped up from a cameo in the second episode to a major character in this one. But the female commander was abrasive and the whole experience felt a bit preachy. Like the previous entry, this one is more interesting for the B story about the Hood’s attempted salvage and mysterious destruction, which becomes a through thread all the way to the finale.
#8 Come Not Between the Dragons
This episode tackled domestic violence and addressed its central issue with a bit more subtlety than the last entry. A mysterious alien takes refuge on the Enterprise and is pursued by his father who projects his anger onto the crew.
I loved seeing my girl Gigi Edgley from Farscape front and centre in this episode and she did very well with the empathetic character. The out-of-control crew made for some decent action scenes which is always fun. The small creature design did look a bit silly (the daddy creature was a lot better) but it did fit with some of the campy designs we got in TOS. Mugato anyone? So while it did go a little afternoon special in the end, Come Not Between the Dragons was still a very touching episode about a very difficult topic.
#7 Still Treads the Shadow
The Enterprise rediscover the dimensionally-displaced starship Defiant and encounter a double of Kirk who had been trapped on the ship for decades and sustained by the powerful AI Tiberius. This was a cool episode. Vic Mignogna does well as Kirk, who struggles with seeing this decrepit version of himself, Old Kirk, who struggles with his feelings of abandonment, and the voice of the malevolent Tiberius, who struggles to get back his “friend”. Mignona had some decent chemistry with Rekha Sharma (Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Discovery) and his scenes as Old Kirk with Counselor McKennah were sweet.
It would have been nice to have had some kind of tie-in with the Star Trek: Enterprise two-parter In A Mirror Darkly, where a Mirror Universe crew encounter the Defiant, but hey, you can’t have everything.
#6 The White Iris
Is there a doctor in the house? There is, and it’s Sixth Doctor actor Colin Baker as the Chalcis leader. Good to see you. In this episode Mignogna gets to flex his acting muscles again as Kirk has to deal with regret, loss and four female ghosts from his past, including Edith Keeler from arguably the best TOS episode The City on the Edge of Forever, and his tragic wife Miramanee from the so-so episode The Paradise Syndrome.
One of the best aspect of Continues is that it took some things from TOS and delved a little deeper. In TOS Kirk had the reputation of being an intergalactic ladies’ man, though if you rewatch the episodes you will realise most of his romancing and seductions were to gain a tactical advantage. But there were a few occasions where he genuinely fell in love, lost the person and then moved on the next adventure.
The White Iris has Kirk come face to face with three women he loved and lost, and has that loss literally haunt him. I think we could have a gotten some type of scientific explanation as to why it was happening, but it was not a deal breaker plot-wise. And oh my goodness the scene where he embraces his almost-daughter brought on my waterworks. “You never gave me (a name).”
#5 Pilgrim of Eternity
The pilot episode is one of a few a handful of direct TOS sequel episodes. Michael Forest, who played the god-like alien Apollo in the TOS story Who Mourns for Adonais?, returns as a much older, much humbled and more world-weary version of the character. This is Forest’s episode and he acts the hell out of the character, whether he is mourning his lost people, charming the female crew members, telling tales of long ago, or firing bolts of lightning. Really good stuff. The episode also features Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber who had a most unfortunate accident.
Outside of the guest stars Mignogna has some interesting scenes as he struggles with trusting his former enemy and Scotty (played very well by James Doohan’s son Chris) gets some welcome focus as being the least trusting of the crew. Larry Nemecek plays McCoy here (and in the next episode) but he is way too friendly and cheerful. Thankfully by episode three he is replaced by Chuck Huber who delivers on the irascible Bones we all know and love.
#4 What Ships Are For
All the episodes have that TOS feel to them but What Ships Are For is one of the most reminiscent of that era. When the Enterprise is sent to assist a planet devoid of colour their help uncovers hidden prejudices and xenophobia.
Firstly it was so great seeing Q actor John de Lancie guest starring in this episode, and in my head canon it is the mischievous, omnipotent being in disguise doing an earlier test of humanity. De Lancie knocks it out of the park with this one and when he throws the double standard of the Prime Directive back into Kirk’s face it brought a smile to mine. I thought the Kirk/green girl romance was sweet and the prejudice issue was handled very well. And I love that the captain’s solution was either that the two peoples work together or die separately. Put that in your smoke and pipe it. And yea, you read that last line correctly.
When the crew rescues the titular Orion slave girl the captain must decide between following Starfleet orders and saving her from cruel bondage. We have reached the top three stories so you know things are getting really good. And this episode is fantastic.
The plot is well done. The acting is stellar, including a fun turn by Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno as amoral slave master Zaminhon. The themes come out loud and clear. It’s sexy and exciting and has got mystery, action and a meaningful message. Now that is a good Trek formula. And that ending was tragically beautiful. Top points.
#2 Fairest of Them All
If anyone is on the fence about watching Star Trek Continues (“but it’s not real Trek,” I hear them griping) but they like TOS then show them this episode. If that does not make them change their mind then they are a lost cause. Fairest of Them All picks up immediately after the events of iconic TOS episode Mirror, Mirror and follows what happens when the Terran Empire crew members return to their Enterprise in the Mirror Universe and the attempts by Mirror Spock to change his evil society.
This was the sole episode to put a focus on Spock and Todd Haberkorn delivers as the conflicted half-Vulcan. Mignogna is also fun as the over-the-top Mirror Kirk but he plays second fiddle in this one. This episode is filled with intrigue, tension, suspense and action from start to finish. I know Continues isn’t canon but this is one of the episodes that really should be. It is that good.
#1 To Boldly Go Part I and II
Is it fair to compare a two-part episode to nine single episodes? Probably not, but I don’t care; To Boldy Go is 12 flavours of awesome sauce! Where do I even begin? Firstly the story is a direct sequel to the second pilot episode Where No Man Has Gone Before (The Cage was the first) and sees the Enterprise crew battling a new group of evil super-powered Espers who they learn were responsible for the destruction of the USS Hood.
The Espers are led by Nicola Bryant, who Classic Doctor Who fans will recognise as companion Peri Brown, and she plays one helluva of a megalomaniacal villain. She is scary good. But that’s not all! We have Amy Rydell reprising the role of the sexy Romulan Commander which her mother Joanne Linville played in the TOS episode The Enterprise Incident, almost 50 years prior. And she looks so much like her it is uncanny!
This adventure is just monumental. Phasers are blasting, Esper powers are electrifying, Lieutenant JG Smith gets powers, the ship separates, they team up with the Romulans, the Romulans betray them, ships are exploding…and whew. Gotta catch my breath there. And I loved that they used the original Romulan ship design as it was great seeing the old bird in action again. This adventure had huge stakes and the crew loses three main crew members: security chief Drake, Smith, and McKennah, the last one quite heart wrenching. You made us love McKennah and then you took her away! How could you Vic? How could you!
The end of the story ties in directly to the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in a manner that feels organic and justified. When Kirk says goodbye to his crew it feels like he is also saying goodbye to the show’s cast and crew, and of course the fans. And there is a feeling of sadness that there will be no more Star Trek Continues adventures. But we still had 11 pretty great episodes, with the finale being the delicious icing on the cake. May more and more people discover this stellar show.
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”.
I can also be found posting on Instagram as redmanwriter and talking about TV and movie stuff on Facebook at Movieville.