I’ve been a fan of the Star Trek: The Original Series practically all my life. At the age of 6 through the age of 8, I was enthralled every week as the crew of the Starship “Enterprise” explored bold new worlds, rising to new challenges posed by strange, alien life-forms. Challenges met by combining intelligence and skill with futuristic technology.
As I grew older, I enjoyed the spin-off series and movies, but none of them quite measured up to to the original. ”Voyager” came closest, as it seemed to me that Janeway was the only captain with Cajones almost as big as those of Kirk.
Recently, I’d begun hearing about a number of fan-produced videos continuing and extending Star Trek story from the time-frame of the original series. I imagined guys like Leonard, Sheldon, Rajesh, and Howard using consumer vid-cams with sets made in someone’s garage or basement. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Thanks to a recommendation someone sent me on G+, I was fortunate enough to watch the first episode of ‘Star Trek Continues.’ In a nutshell, I was astonished at the production quality and dedication to authenticity. After a little research, I discovered the Star Trek Continues (STC) was the newcomer, and that Star Trek: Phase II (previously known as Star Trek: New Voyages) is an award-winning fan-produced series that was started over 10 years ago. While STC only has one episode, ST:PII has 7 episodes currently available.
I wondered why the folks behind STC wanted to start their own project, rather than joining forces with the ST:PII folks, but my inquiries were not met with forthcoming explanations. I garnered what information I could find on-line, and watched several episodes and vignettes from both camps, and created an article comparing and contrasting the two (see Star Trek Continues vs. Star Trek Phase II). One can watch an episode from each production embedded in the article, but all the existing episodes are available on Youtube.
True fans of the original series will find a great deal of material to enjoy from both of these amazing projects.