I am amazed. This is outstanding stuff. It succeeds thoroughly in its attempt to recreate the style and the substance of the original series from the 1960s. The love and respect for the original is obvious.
If you read the other reviews, you'll notice there seems to be a consensus: Star Trek Continues has outstanding production values. Productionwise, it is an absolutely wonderful, faithful recreation of the original series. It looks the same, it sounds the same, it feels the same. If you casually look at it without paying attention, you won't notice the difference: there is virtually none, apart from the main cast, obviously. A truly impressive achievement.
The general consensus also seems to be that the acting is slightly lacking. I tend to agree. But then again, the acting in the original series was also, quite frequently, rather lacking. And the other reviews here will tell you that while some are happy with say, the new Kirk and Spock, but dislike the new Scotty and Sulu, others feel just the opposite. So maybe it isn't all that bad, after all.
Like everyone else used to the original cast, I naturally felt the casting difference at first. But as everything else is so faithful to the model, it actually didn't take more than 15-20 minutes to accept this cast for what they are. Also, this is a first effort. As others have pointed out, none of the series quite hit the mark in the very first episode.
I especially liked Kirk, once I got used to him. Of course Mignogna isn't Shatner, but nobody is. Likewise, there is only one Nimoy. But if you want your actors to be exactly like the original ones, you can only be disappointed. Considering how excellent everything else is, I could certainly get used to this cast. And unlike a few others, I don't mind the addition of the new crew member at all.
What I feel should be emphasized, though, is the great script. It's a triumph of substance. The story is incredibly true to the original series. The theme, the pace, the dialogue, all of it rings true. This, combined with the amazing production values, means that if only we had the original cast here instead of the new actors, you wouldn't suspect that this was not an episode of the original series. That's how faithfully they've recreated Star Trek. Only in the very first scene ― an homage to future Star Trek series ― and in a particular exterior scene later do we sense that this is, after all, a 21st century production. And both cases, in my opinion, work rather well.
The negative reviews here so far seem to fall into two categories. A few criticize the fact that these actors don't look and act exactly like the original cast. If you're that demanding, of course, nothing will ever be good enough.
Other critics point out that this is just lame and old-fashioned: it looks and feels like something from the 1960s! Where is all the kewl stuff from the two latest films that modern technology makes possible? Well, I guess that is the point, isn't it?
So if you think the new films are great and the original series sucks, you probably won't like this. And if you think that the new films suck and the original series is nothing less than the Holy of Holies, you will possibly find this recreation blasphemous and sacrilegious. How dare they! Nimoy was 1½ in. taller than this guy!
But if you liked the original series for what it was, for better and for worse, and would like to see it recreated and continued in a thoroughly authentic and clearly respectful and loving fashion, chances are that you'll enjoy Star Trek Continues. Because I feel that it does just that: what its title says. In a time when precious little sci-fi deals with philosophical and ethical themes, and seems to be more concerned with fast pacing, constant action, and CGI effects, it's wonderful to see some refreshingly old-style focus on story, dialogue and characters, just like the original.
The bottom line is that overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this impressive first effort, and hope much more is to come in the future. If they keep up the good work, I wouldn't actually mind calling this Season 4. It's that close to the original ― not just in style, but also, and more importantly, in substance.
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