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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

FROM THE BRIDGE June 2017


The cast and crew of STAR TREK CONTINUES finished principal photography on our series a few months ago, and we are working at warp speed to put all of the finishing touches on Episodes 9, 10, and 11 – which will complete our salute to The Original Series.

And while we are all sad to see STAR TREK CONTINUES come to a close, we have committed to our supporters that these last three chapters in our story will be finished and released this year.  That means three more upcoming premieres of the continuing voyages of the Starship Enterprise.

Episode Nine is in sound design and will have a debut screening at the end of July at Florida Supercon in Ft Lauderdale.  We’re so honored to announce some very familiar names in guest starring roles for Episode 9, including John de Lancie and Anne Lockhart.

Of course, John needs no introduction.  His character will be among the first to appear on our Planet Set (constructed with support from our crowdfunding campaign).

Anne Lockhart may be best known to science fiction fans for her role as “Sheba” on the original Battlestar Galactica, but she has also been in hundreds of other productions and commercials – including a recurring role in Chicago Fire on NBC.  (And, of course, her Mom was June Lockhart, the matriarch of Lost in Space!)

John de Lancie, Chuck Huber (McCoy) and I will each be guests at Florida Supercon.  So we hope you might plan a trip to Fort Lauderdale to enjoy the world premiere screening of “What Ships Are For,” at the end of July.  Details about the screening will be on the Supercon website.

Keep this comm channel open for more info about our final installments. And again, thank you to all of you for your enthusiasm and support for this "love letter to Star Trek".

Vic Mignogna
Captain of STAR TREK CONTINUES

John De Lancie Beaming In To STAR TREK CONTINUES


With Episode 9, STAR TREK CONTINUES adds another feather to its cap -- versatile actor, comedian, singer, director, and producer John de Lancie.  Well-known to fans for his strong Trek background, de Lancie met STAR TREK CONTINUES founder Vic Mignogna on the convention circuit, and Mignogna offered him a role in the production.

“Vic asked me if I’d be interested in appearing in STAR TREK CONTINUES, and he told me a little bit about the show.  I asked him to let me read the script, and I was immediately impressed with it.  It’s definitely classic STAR TREK, because it’s a secular moral story and one that I think is particularly poignant in our current times.  I believe the material is the most important thing, and this is really good material.”  Episode 9 is penned by Kipleigh Brown, who appears as Lt. Smith in the series.

De Lancie says he’s “also very sympathetic to people who put together their own projects.  I know how much work it is.  And in this case, Vic has his hands in every element of the production.  It was an easy choice to say yes because I knew I could be somewhat helpful in a modest sort of way.  And I knew I would be acting in an interesting story.”

Strange New Worlds

De Lancie said he didn’t really have any preconceptions about STAR TREK CONTINUES, since he had not seen any of the series’ episodes.

“I have to say legitimately that I was really impressed,” once he joined the production crew on set in southern Georgia.  “There is a lot of attention to detail, and a lot of love went in to all of this.”

He said that he was surprised and “got chills” as he walked the halls of the Enterprise.

“I had the feeling that I was on a historic set, even if it is a facsimile of the original.  These were the identical colors to what was used in the 1960’s, when they were trying to sell color TVs.  And the other thing that struck me is that these sets have a certain 1960’s look, from the gadgets to the crew quarters.  This had the same look of all the shows that I used to watch as a kid.”

Growing up in the 1950’s, de Lancie said that he didn’t watch that much television, and in fact his parents had taken the TV away.    “I had a real problem with reading, so my parents just took the TV out of the house.”  De Lancie’s escape was Saturday afternoon science fiction movies at the theater.

For Episode 9, de Lancie is careful not to reveal any plot details when describing his character, except to say that there are elements of the character that are revealed as the story unfolds.

“He is a character not unlike many of us.  He has recognizable human traits and deep-seated prejudices.”

De Lancie came prepared for his role, just as he is for any acting assignment, and spoke his first lines on the Planet Set that had just been dressed into a lush forest environment.


Convention Capers

A frequent guest at conventions throughout the world, de Lancie had just returned from FedCon in Germany when he spoke to STAR TREK CONTINUES.

“I really do enjoy meeting the fans at the conventions.  I enjoy being up on stage and answering the questions.  And I enjoy having drinks later with the actors.  But what is becoming wearisome is the travel – especially if you go overseas.  It takes your body about three days to adjust to a new time zone, and then the event is over and you’re heading back the other way.”

Travel has certainly been on his agenda of late for another reason, since the entire de Lancie family recently returned from a big journey.

“My wife was in Burma, teaching.  So I went with her.  Then we went to Vietnam, and then our kids joined us in Japan and the whole family took a boat trip.  I was back for a couple of days, did a convention in Phoenix, and then it was off to Bonn, Germany,” for FedCon.

Ponies, Dragons, and Video Games
The busy actor has another fan base, far different from those who appreciate his Trek credentials.  For the past six years, de Lancie has been the voice of a dragon named Discord on the cartoon series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

“Yes, there are conventions for My Little Pony.  But it’s a very different fan base.  I like particularly talking with the little kids.  They have a hard time imagining that they’re looking at someone their grandfather’s age who plays a mischievous dragon.  It’s also an unusual fan base, in the adult world.  I did a documentary about that.  I like the show very much, because it also has a sort of secular morality attached to it.  You don’t need to have a religious text to be the source of a moral lesson.  There are a lot of unusual people involved with My Little Pony.  I talk to a lot of people in the military who just like looking at something bright, happy, and upbeat,” de Lancie says.

In addition to the My Little Pony TV series, de Lancie has also voiced his character for a Pony video game.  And he’s worked as a voice actor for games like World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, and others.

“While I don’t play video games, I was asked a few years ago to do voices for one.  I’ve watched my kids over the years play a lot of games.  I’m a big history buff, so one thing I really liked about the game Assassin’s Creed was the fun way they went back in time with very detailed representations of Florence and Constantinople.

“I like the fact that doing video games keeps me current in the minds of people who are 20 years old,” he adds.

Guest Star Anne Lockhart Comes Full Circle with STAR TREK CONTINUES


An actress and voiceover artist with literally hundreds of credits to her name, veteran performer Anne Lockhart will be a guest star in Episode 9, which will have a debut screening in late July.

Lockhart is best known to science fiction fans for her groundbreaking role as Sheba in the original Battlestar Galactica in 1978.  Now her travels take her to another science fiction universe.  An invitation to join the cast came from STAR TREK CONTINUES creator Vic Mignogna.

“I’ve known Vic for a couple of years.  He called me one day and said that he had an idea to talk about regarding STAR TREK CONTINUES, which was a guest starring role in an upcoming episode.  And I asked him what took him so long!  It’s such an honor to be in an episode, because I’m a fan.  I love the whole look and the concept of it.  And the fact that I got asked to be part of that universe is amazing,” Lockhart says.  “I was there before I’d even read the script!”

Lockhart loved working with fellow guest star John de Lancie on the episode, and it was actually the second time that both had worked together.

“We did the first two-hour episode of EMERGENCY, a long time ago.  I don’t think he remembered being in that one with me.  He played a doctor, and I was his patient – rescued from a burning building.  I remembered him because he was so dear.  Working with John is joyful.  There are so many actors who just show up and do it in their sleep.  But not him.”

Lockhart has built an impressive resume over several decades of TV, film, and commercial work.  Her first series was Lassie in the late 1950’s, as a child actress.  Years later, Glen Larson, the creator of Battlestar Galactica approached Lockhart about a role in proposed series.

“The role of Sheba was written for me.  I knew Glen Larson because I had done episodes of the The Hardy Boys for him.  He sent me the barebones pilot script for Battlestar Galactica.  And basically it was about a bunch of guys and a girl who came in every few pages and said ‘don’t forget your laser gun.’  I turned it down,” Lockhart explains.  She was recovering from a fire that had burned down her house and was living with her mom (TV actress June Lockhart) at the time.

“Glen said he could always rewrite the character, and the script went through several re-writes.”  Lockhart loved the revised script and came aboard the Battlestar.

“Jane Seymour didn’t want to do a series.  So they killed her character.  The character of Sheba was so strong and so wonderful to play – and it was nothing like the original script.  I ended up with a better character.”

Being in space was nothing new to the Lockhart family.  Lockhart’s real mom played Maureen Robinson on Lost in Space, the mother to a family traveling the stars.  Some days, Anne and her sister were dropped off at the 20th Century Fox lot to wait for their mom to finish her work and do homework in her dressing room.

“I remember one day there was a chunk of time when Billy Mumy (who played Will Robinson) had nothing to do.  We just took off and wandered the Fox lot for two hours, exploring the sets of shows like Peyton Place.  And then we finally wandered back.  My mom was panicked.  And so was Billy’s mom,” Lockhart laughs as she recalls the memory.

Currently, Lockhart stays busy with the recurring role of a dispatcher on Chicago Fire, a role that she has to reprise at the drop of a hat.  “There are some times when they’ll call me over the weekend and say that I have to be in Los Angeles on Tuesday.”

She worked out the schedule to come to southern Georgia and the new planet set of STAR TREK CONTINUES for her role in Episode 9.

“We worked our tails off.  Vic shot over twenty pages in three days.  That’s just insane.  But that shows how good he is.  It shows how good the crew is.  I was just so overwhelmed with the commitment and the people who were there volunteering their time, just out of love.  It was really a wonderful experience.”

Like William Shatner, Anne Lockhart has a fancy for horses and has raised thousands of dollars of the years with rodeos benefitting autistic children.  And she serves on the board of directors for the Thousand Oaks, California Kingsmen Shakespeare Company.

“It’s been several years since I’ve appeared on stage with Kingsmen.  It was started by my friend Lane Davies, and literally it started with a dirt stage and two lights.  Now it’s one of the premiere Shakespeare companies in the country.  My children have grown up performing with me.  It was so cool to go there, thrown down your blanket, and see Shakespeare presented in a very contemporary way.  We did Julius Caesar, but set in a city like New York.  It was like The Godfather.  We did The Merry Wives of Windsor as if it was the swinging London scene of the 1960’s.  It’s not just a bunch of people in togas,” says Lockhart.

While she has seen some rough cuts of the episode, Lockhart says she’s looking forward to the public release of Episode 9.

“This was kind of like a dream come true for me.  Being part of the STAR TREK universe is something I’ve looked forward to doing.  I adored STAR TREK.  And Lost in Space, to be honest, kind of became a comic book.  STAR TREK was always just my favorite.”

Friday, March 3, 2017

Guest Star Rekha Sharma Delighted by Role That Fulfills Childhood Dream



When the next episode of STAR TREK CONTINUES is revealed, science fiction fans will see a familiar face in a guest star role.  The new episode, titled Still Treads the Shadow, features guest star Rekha Sharma, perhaps best known to science fiction fans for her role in more than 30 episodes of Battlestar Galactica.

While details of Sharma's character in STAR TREK CONTINUES are being kept under wraps until April, she says the offer for a role came after meeting Vic "Kirk" Mignogna at FedCon Germany last year during the 50th Anniversary of STAR TREK event.

“Vic and I kept in touch after FedCon, and then he asked if I’d be interested in coming aboard STAR TREK CONTINUES.  He told me about a script that was in development and the character he had in mind.  I’m so delighted that it worked with my schedule,” Sharma says.

Sharma’s first introduction to the original STAR TREK series came from her big brother.

“All my friends were watching Full House or something.  I’m not sure! And there I was, coming home after school and watching the original STAR TREK and old Perry Mason reruns!  I remember my brother told me that there were people opening and closing the doors, which I thought it was so cool and cheesy. And it very much appealed to my dreams of utopia -- especially as a young colored girl growing up in very white neighborhoods,” says Sharma.

Rekha’s character of Tory Foster in the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, which began in 2004, developed after several auditions.

“From the very first audition, I was immediately struck by the intelligence, artistry and kind-heartedness of the directors and producers. I thought, I’d really like to work with these people! First I went in for the role of a Viper pilot, then a captain, and then the role of Tory came along.  Oh yeah, I thought, this is a perfect part for me.” Galactica’s producers apparently agreed.

“Working on Battlestar Galactica was a dream come true.  From my previous experience, I honestly didn’t think I could be creatively satisfied working in TV. But Battlestar Galactica changed that. Not only was it creatively satisfying, but we also had such a great team of people.  We are all like family to this day,” Sharma explains.


What does it mean to be a STAR TREK CONTINUES guest star?

“It means I have fulfilled a dream, in a way, and that I’ve come full circle. I loved those stories. They had a wonderful morality and vision for humanity that made my heart sing. And then I got to step onto those sets and step into my childhood and be a part of telling that kind of story.   Not only that, but that world was so fun! I loved those neat-o futuristic gadgets when I was a kid. And now, as an adult, I got to play with them. I got to sit on the bridge.  There weren’t any trailers, so when I needed to rest between scenes, I took naps in sickbay on board the Enterprise.   And I got beamed in the transporter!  I can’t wait to see that,” she says enthusiastically.

The experience of working on the STAR TREK CONTINUES set “was so refreshing,” Sharma says.  “Everyone is there for love, not money. It felt like Battlestar Galactica that way. Although it’s a fan run project, the STAR TREK CONTINUES sets were surprisingly professional and very impressive. It was a mix of TV veterans and total newbies, and that made for an awesome atmosphere to work in. It was the best of both worlds, really.”

Sharma likes to compare the character she’s playing in Episode 8 to be much like aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.  “She is smart as a whip, very technically inclined, and brave. I thought of her as a bright light of goodness and intelligence with a big heart.”

She admits to being very surprised at what the cast and crew have created with STAR TREK CONTINUES.

“You know, Vic told me that I’d become part of the family, but I had no idea what he meant. They have chosen a team who are all friendly, diligent, thoughtful and good-hearted people. I felt so welcomed and incredibly lucky. It makes sense that they’re shooting in the south – they’re so hospitable!  And those sets! Again, Vic told me what they built, but until you’re there you just can’t conceive of it. It’s really impressive. I know I’m not the only one who was moved to tears,” Sharma says.

Fans will be able to see Rekha Sharma at future conventions and events.

“It’s funny. At first it felt so strange to do conventions, but as time has gone on I’ve really come to appreciate them.  It’s special to have the opportunity to meet the fans and discuss the themes of these shows. You get to connect with people that you’d never get to meet otherwise. And sci-fi fans are awesome because, generally speaking, they still have dreams. They’re not jaded. They believe in possibility. And without that, nothing would ever change for the better. We’ve got to hold on to our dreams and keep being warriors in this world – to truly go where no man has gone before.”

“Still Treads the Shadow” will premiere at Fan Expo Dallas on April 1 at the Dallas Convention Center.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about remaining episodes of STAR TREK CONTINUES





How are you getting around the guidelines for fan films?

As CBS/Paramount has made clear, the guidelines are not laws; they are general parameters applied on a case-by-case basis. Since the implementation of the guidelines, we have stopped all crowdfunding activities and have focused strictly on completing the four episodes which had already been funded as of that time by fans' donations to our 501(c)(3) non-profit. STAR TREK CONTINUES has always followed any and all instructions given to us by CBS regarding our production, and will continue to do so.

Does STAR TREK CONTINUES have any type of special and/or official arrangement with CBS/Paramount?

No.


How long are the episodes?

They will be exactly the same format as our previous episodes

Why are you ending the series?

Recent developments necessitate our finishing up sooner than we intended, but it was always our goal to bring The Original Series to a conclusion.  With our final four episodes, we will have done that.  It's been an amazing five years creating this series, and we will miss making it.  But all good things...



Weren't you going to make 13 episodes? Did CBS make you stop?

CBS is not responsible for the decision to end the series. We are doing 11 episodes instead of 13 because another fan group took advantage of the good graces of the copyright holders forcing them to protect their property and the interests of their license holders. In deference and gratitude to CBS, we are wrapping up earlier than planned. We always have stood, and continue to stand, with CBS. 

Can we get DVDs/Blu-ray discs of the final episodes?

As we do not own STAR TREK, we cannot sell DVDs or Blu-ray discs. In the past, we've made a limited number of discs available as crowdfunding perks. However, since we are no longer crowdfunding, providing episodes to the public on DVD and/or Blu-ray discs is not currently feasible for us.

What will happen to the studio/sets? Will set visits/tours be available?

We don't have a definitive answer on this right now, but we're considering all our options.

Friday, February 24, 2017

News from STAR TREK CONTINUES



The announcement you've all been waiting for!

At the beginning of 2016, STAR TREK CONTINUES ran a successful fundraising campaign to produce the final episodes of our fan series. As promised, we've spent your hard-earned donations to our non-profit production company exactly as we said we would and have been working around-the-clock to finish our final four episodes as quickly as possible.

Episodes 9, 10, and 11 are still in post-production and will be released throughout the year as they are completed. Episode 8 -- "Still Treads the Shadow" -- guest-stars Rekha Sharma ("Battlestar Galactica") and will premiere at Fan Expo Dallas on Saturday, April 1.

We have even more amazing guest stars in these last episodes, culminating in a thrilling series finale by acclaimed science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer.

We want to thank each of you for your patience while we've been busy, and also for your support and encouragement throughout our run. It is our sincere pleasure to be bringing a conclusion to our beloved original series of STAR TREK at long last.

Live Long and Prosper.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Our Love Letter to STAR TREK



In a matter of hours, thousands of STAR TREK fans will converge on Las Vegas for the 50th Anniversary convention.  Our favorite show premiered on NBC on a Thursday night in 1966, and September 8th will again fall on a Thursday in this anniversary year.  If you’re coming to the Las Vegas event, please do say hello if you see our cast members like Chris Doohan, Kipleigh Brown, Michael Forest, Michele Specht, and me.  Several of our dedicated crew people will be coming to Vegas, too – including talented makeup artists Lisa Hansell and Tim Vittetoe, who will be demonstrating alien prosthetic makeup application and answering audience questions at the Roddenberry Interactive Stage on Friday afternoon at the Rio.

Fans have been celebrating this anniversary year with special events and conventions, new merchandise to enjoy, a new movie, and with a healthy dose of reflection about what STAR TREK means in their lives.

We’ve been very humbled by the amazing reaction to Episode Six, “Come Not Between the Dragons.”  The amazing talent of Gigi Edgley really brought a powerful touch to this episode, and it was wonderful to have a native Australian aboard the Enterprise.  I hope all of you enjoyed Episode Six, and we’ve got some insight into that beautiful story in this issue.

At STAR TREK CONTINUES, we are excited about the premiere of our seventh episode – “Embracing the Winds” – that will have a convention screening on Friday, September 2 at the Salt Lake City Comic Con.  A day later, our new episode screens at Toronto’s Fan Expo.  It’s our personal tribute to a half-century of STAR TREK.

I want to assuage any concerns that our fans may have about the current climate. We fully intend that the kind donations from our supporters will be used for the exact purpose for which they were donated. 

STAR TREK CONTINUES is the only official 501(c)3 non-profit Trek fan production company out there dedicated solely to TREK.  We are awaiting further clarification, but I am optimistic about completing our planned series and I would like to ask all of our fans to remain optimistic with us.  We have a plan to bring STAR TREK CONTINUES to a close with an outstanding final episode arc.

We are working at warp speed to complete STAR TREK CONTINUES.  Below is a photo of the bottom of the last page of the script for the final episode in our series.

We have been humbled and honored beyond words by the kindness, enthusiasm and support of our series, and we will continue to demonstrate the integrity and quality that have defined STAR TREK CONTINUES from the beginning.

STAR TREK CONTINUES is our love letter to the series, a true effort of joy that we do just because we love the vision of Gene Roddenberry and the world he and others created.


-- Vic Mignogna