Sep 18 2022
Star Trek Continues ”Pilgrim of Eternity” - Detailed Analysis& Review
Star Trek Continues is a fan-made Star Trek series of professional quality. We begin a new series talking about this incredible show with the pilot episode "Pilgrim of Eternity" Star Trek Continues does exactly what the name suggests, it continues TOS giving us a mythical 4th season, filling in the gap between Star Trek and Star Trek The Motion Picture. In "Pilgrim of Eternity" Michael Forest returns in the role of Apollo, the god-like alien that first appeared in the TOS episode "Who Mourns for Adonais".
Watch the episode I'm discussing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G-ziTBAkbQ&t=423s
Welcome to Nerd Heaven.
I'm Adam David Collings, the author of Jewel of The Stars.
And I am a nerd.
This is episode 95 of the podcast.
Today, we begin a new series, looking at the first episode of Star Trek Continues. “Pilgrim of Eternity.”
And if you’d like to check out my original science fiction, head over to AdamDavidCollings.com/books
The description on StartrekContinues.com reads
Apollo returns to wreak havoc on Kirk and the Enterprise in the first episode of the new series.
The teleplay was written by Steve Frett and Jack Travino
With story by Vic Mignogna and Jack Marshall
It was directed by Vic Mignogna
And it first aired on the 26th of May 2013.
So with so much new Star Trek, with so much other classic sci-fi on TV, why cover a fan-made series?
The first answer to that is that right now, every bloke and his dog is talking about Discovery, Picard, Strange New Worlds. I’ve found it very difficult to stand out amongst so many podcasters and youTubers who are so much better than I am? I can’t break into that.
But there aren’t so many who have done an in-depth series of podcasts on Star Trek continues, in the way that I do. It’s a beloved show, but I feel like there’s more room to place myself in that niche.
The second, and more important answer, is that I love the show and want to watch it again and share my thoughts.
If you haven’t seen Star Trek Continues before, you can watch all 11 episodes for free. They’re all on youTube, and you can also download them to play locally from StarTrekContinues.com
There are a number of fan-made Star Trek shows. They all seemed to emerge after the cancellation of Enterprise. After 18 years of non-stop new Star Trek on TV, we were suddenly in this void where there wasn’t any Star Trek. It was weird.
So the fans stepped up and made their own Star Trek. It was a time of great creativity and expression. So many people worked hard to share their love of the franchise. And keep it alive.
There was a lot of good stuff, but I think Star Trek Continues stands out as one of the best, if not the best. It’s won a ton of awards, and has been praised by Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. He considers the show canon and says his father would probably agree.
It all got started when Vic Mignogna directed an episode of Star Trek Farragut. He went into partnership and took part ownership of their sets, and set up some studio space where it could all live. Then he went about making his own show, assembling some very talented people around him.
So let’s talk about this first episode, which of course, is a sequel to the original series episode Who Mourns for Adonais.
Quite a few of Star Trek Continues stories were follow-ups to TOS episodes.
We begin in an unexpected place. A cowboy is holding Kirk at gunpoint. An old-fashioned revolver. He threatens to shoot Kirk.
And for a brief moment, I’m wondering, am I watching the right episode? Star Trek has certainly done wild west planets before. But this is the one with Apollo, right?
It’s a common story-telling technique to start right in the middle of a tense moment like this. They call it in media res. And it’s effective.
Things are cleared up quickly when we hear Scotty’s voice say “Freeze program.”
Turns out, this is a holodeck. A very early experimental prototype of a holodeck.
But wasn’t the holodeck first invented just before Encounter at Farpoint, you may ask?
Certainly the crew of the Enterprise seemed amazed by its newness.
Well, I think this works.
Voyager made it clear that as a child, Janeway played the holoprogram, Flotter. That was clearly before Farpoint.
And Star Trek The Animated Series featured something very much like a holodeck.
Most people dismissed the animated series as not canon back in the old days. I’ve even heard somewhere that Gene Roddenberry did not consider it canon.
But people seem to be much more accepting of it these days. And it has been referenced multiple times in TNG, Picard, Lower Decks, maybe Discovery too.
On top of all that, this is not a proven technology. It’s certainly not something that is in everyone’s homes.
So I think we can accept that holographic entertainment has been around for some time, but in more primitive forms. The holodeck on the Enterprise D took things to a whole new level, and was soon enhanced even more by the Bynars.
In any case, I think it’s pretty cool to think that Scotty may have been one of the early minds responsible for what would eventually become the holodeck.
It’s also nice to see Kirk enjoying some play time off duty.
The over-working hero is a bit of a tired trope at this point. And it’s certainly not a healthy thing to emulate in real life.
The Enterprise is investigating a series of space-based power stations that have been drained of power and gone offline. Kirk heads to the bridge.
The casting of this show was phenomenal.
The first two characters we see are Kirk played by series creator Vic Mignogna and Scotty played by Chris Doohan, the son of James Doohan, who played Scotty in the original series.
Having Chris Doohan resume his father’s role is a big asset to this show. And it’s not just about name recognition. He does a great job of it, and that voice is eerily familiar.
Vic also does a fantastic job of Kirk. Of all the actors, other than Shatner, who have played Kirk, I think Vic is the one that convinces me the most, that he’s the same guy. I’m very curious to see how Paul Wesley goes playing the role in season 2 of Strange New Worlds.
While many fan productions used a lot of ameteur actors, Star Trek Continues fills its sets with professional, or at least, experienced, actors. And it shows. That’s no slight against any of the other fan-produced shows. But this one has some very good performers.
So we pick up with Kirk as he enters the bridge. And you have to admire this set. You’d swear you were back on the set of the original series. It looks phenomenal.
Spock is in the captain’s chair, played by Todd Haberkorn. Now I have to admit, I have a bit of a harder time accepting this guy as Spock. And it’s nothing to do with the actor’s performance. He does a great job. He does everything right. But Spock is a particularly hard character to pull off, just because Leonard Nimoy had such a unique presence to him. The look.The voice. Nobody else can truly be Spock in the way that Nimoy did. Todd Haberkorn, Zachery Quinto and Ethan Peck have all done remarkable jobs at it, but none of them have managed to make me fully believe they are truly the same person as was portrayed by Nimoy. But at some point, you just have to suspect your disbelief and accept this is the same person.
While the characters speculate on what has happened to the power station, a strange object appears. Like a big spikey rock surrounded by green glowing energy. Is it a ship? A probe?
While on the bridge, we see Sulu, portrayed by Grant Imahara, of Mythbusters fame, who has sadly passed away since the conclusion of this show, Checkov, portrayed by Wyatt Lenhard, and Uhura, portrayed by Kim Stinger. They all do a good job of portraying these characters in a realistic way, based on roles’ previous occupants.
And then McCoy walks in, portrayed by Larry Nemecek. He’ll be replaced later by another actor. But Larry Nemecek is a big name in Star Trek fandom. He’s written a lot of Star Trek reference books. He’s appeared in a number of fan productions, and a small role in the final episode of Enterprise. And he was a creative consultant on Star Trek Continues through it’s run. McCoy is another character that’s really hard to recast. I think the only actor who’s ever come close to truly convincing me is Karl Urban. Again, nothing against Larry’s performance here, but DeForest Kelly had such a presence, with his face and his voice. It’s hard to replicate.
The object starts draining the Enterprise’s power. Kirk has no choice but to destroy it with a photon torpedo. There are two lifeforms in the centre of thing. Kirk doesn’t want o kill them, but in the end, it’s a case of self-preservation.
The torpedo has done the job, but sadly,there are no lifeforms. McCoy expresses what we’re all feeling in this moment. He knows it had to be done, but it’s hard to see the taking of any life, even if it’s to save our own.
That’s when a appears in a flash of bright light. Apollo, with a woman in his arms. And he’s a lot older than when we saw him last, but played by Michael Forest, the same actor that played the role all the way back in the 60s.
And that’s when we cut to credits.
The opening credits for Star Trek Continues are very reminiscent of the TOS credits. But featuring some much more impressive visuals of space phenomenon, thanks to around 50 years of advancement in visual effects technology.
And this is probably a good time to talk about music.
One of the big things that strikes you immediately with this show, other than the sets and costuming, is the music. How faithful to the original series it sounds. That really over the top bombastic kind of music that had in the 60s. It sounds very Star Trek.
And a lot of it is.
They used a lot of original music recorded for TOS in this show. But they did some very clever editing. To make the music effectively fit the scenes, Vic would chop it up, move bits around, extend or contract it. And even compose and play his own original music to edit in seamlessly. All in all giving a very authentic TOS sound to the show, but still unique and custom made for Star Trek Continues. The music feels like it belongs. It’s really clever what they did.
In some later episodes, they move up to a whole other level in terms of music, but we’ll get to that.
So it turns out, the old woman with Apollo is Athena. Another of the Greek gods. We didn’t see her on Pollux, back in the original story, but I guess he’d re-connected with her since then.
She’s dying. It’s a very heartfelt scene as they bid a final farewell to each other.
She vanishes, leaving nothing behind but a brooch, which Uhurua picks up. Even Apollo doesn't know where she’s gone. She’s just … gone.
McCoy and Scotty’s reactions to Apollo are quite telling. The ever compassionate doctor, McCoy wants to get him to sickbay, not that he knows what he can do for an ageing Greek god.
Scotty is hesitant about Kirk allowing this creature on the ship. Scotty’s met him before. Scotty has seen what Apollo was capable of. McCoy was there too, but Scotty was very close to the young woman that Apollo had under his thumb.
A quick external shot shows that something has gotten itself onto the hull of the Enterprise. Something from that artefact they destroyed, which presumably, is where Apollo and Athena came from.
That stuff is gonna cause a lot of problems. They’re not going anywhere until it’s removed. Sulu thinks they can go out and dissolve it with hand phasers.
Kirk feels somewhat responsible for whatever has happened to Apollo. It was Kirk who rendered him powerless two years ago. He and Spock can’t speculate on how he has aged so much in this short amount of time.
And this is when we hear the computer voice for the first time, played by none other than Marina Sirtis of Deanna Troi fame. She doesn’t try to mimic MAjel Barett’s voice, which I think would have been a mistake. Her voice is a welcome familiar one to any Star Trek fan and I think it works nicely for the computer voice. It’s also fitting given that Sirtis played Barett’s on-screen daughter on The Next Generation.
They’ll continue to make improvements and tweaks to the digital model of the Enterprise, but it already looks really good. Very recognisable as the ship from the original series.
The sickbay set looks good. Just as you’d expect it.
All the sets on this show are absolutely spot on.
In addition to recasting all the old favourites, Star Trek continues introduced a number of new characters. We meet one in this scene. Doctor Ellse McKennah, the newly assigned ship’s counsellor, played by Michele Specht, who was in a relationship with Vic at the time, but they are no longer together.
I really like McKennah. The character is a fantastic addition to the TOS cast, and she’s played wonderfully by Specht.
The thing about bringing in a new character like this is that the show can give her a complete character arc, from beginning to end. And she definitely has that.
Back in the days of the original series, an episode like this might very well introduce a character like McKennah. She’s be a part of the plot of that episode, but you’d likely never see her again after that. It was the nature of episodic TV back in the 60s. But Star Trek continues does the exact opposite, making her a regular and giving her arguably more character development than any of the characters had in TOS.
McCoy has found something interesting. The extra organ he had, which humans don’t, it’s barely detectable. That could explain a lot.
Apollo gives us a little exposition. His people created a place called The Realm which would give them the energy to live out their retirement for eternity. An alternative to the energy they previous received from being worshipped. But it didn’t work. Instead of giving them energy, it sapped them of it. Their sanctuary became a prison.
It seems that’s where he disappeared off to when he left Pollux IV. Perhaps the artefact was the physical manifestation of the realm in our universe. When they sensed the Enterprise approaching, Athena sacrificed the last of her energy to help them both escape the realm. That’s why she died on arrival.
So this explains the power station and the rapid ageing.
Kirk is concerted that Apollo will once again desire their worship, to keep himself alive. But that is something they cannot give.
But he no longer seeks it.
He just wants them to take him to a planet where he can live among the locals, as one of them, and die with the sun on his face.
But Kirk sees a big risk in this. He may trick the local population into worshipping him, like he did in ancient Greece. This is something Kirk isn’t willing to risk. Even though Apollo swears he will won’t do it, Kirk says no to his request.
Of course, if he were to seek worship, it would only be to keep himself from dying. But then, that’s no different to what he did in the past. It’s an interesting situation.
Kirk wants McCoy to make sure Apollo is as powerless as he claims.
He has little time for welcoming McKennah aboard, and wants her to help McCoy.
Next we see Sulu and Simone phasering the stuff off the hull, live action performance integrated with an exterior view of the ship. While more modern shows like Enterprise had previous done similar shots, this is a first for TOS. We never would have seen anything like this back in the day. Shooting in front of a blue screen was quite doable, but the shooting model of the Enterprise just wasn’t detailed enough to provide a backdrop.
The interesting thing here is that Simone is played by Jamie Bamber, who was Lee Adama on Ronald D Moore’s rebooted Battlestar Galactica, which I love. The amusing thing is that Lee’s callsign was, of course, Apollo. So that’s quite fitting.
The original series EVA suits look totally authentic. Just as ridiculous as they looked in TOS, but very faithful, which is a good thing. But it’s a shame that for all of his brief appearance, Bamber is behind the grate of that helmet, so you can barely tell it’s him. Something goes screwy with the phasers and YY is plunged out into space.
Sulu’s report to the Enterprise is not very effective. He says “emergency” and then lets it hang for several seconds. No explanation of what the emergency is. No indication of what he needs from then. Finally after what feels like an eternity, he requests an emergency beam out.”
This kind of thing has been common in Star Trek for a long time. It used to drive me crazy in TNG. The crew were so slow to react to things it was painful. They should all have died well before the show ended.
Anyway, this is our first look at Star Trek Continues’ transporter effect. It looks pretty authentic to what we saw in TOS.
McKennah goes to talk with Apollo. If anyone could use some counselling, it’s somebody with a terminal condition.
She mentions that Lieutenant Carolyn Palomys. The only mortal woman to ever spurn his love. Sadly, she’s no longer alive. After her experience with Apollo she left the Enterprise. She died helping colonists affected by a plague. So that’s a nice nod to her character. A noble sacrificial wasa a fitting way for her to go out.
Apollo explains that they never sought out another planet where they might find worshippers, because they were so heartbroken when humanity, who they loved deeply, rejected them. And this adds a lot more texture and depth to the relationship. Far from just being evil overlords, they had deep feelings. A real connection to the humans that worshipped them. And they felt a great sense of loss and grief when that relationship ended.
The problem that Sulu and Simone experienced seems to be related to the power drain. Scotty is quick to blame Apollo. I can understand why, given his past experience, but he’s being a little blinded by his emotions. His prejudice against Apollo. A likely cause is probably the very stuff they were cleaning off the hull. It was part of the realm artefact.
The next set we see is the briefing lounge. I’d tell you good it looks, how accurate to the original, but you’re probably getting bored of me saying that.
A lot of the conflict in this episode comes from Scotty blaming Apollo for everything that’s going on, and the others disagreeing. Even McCoy agrees with Spock, which evokes a few comical raised eyebrows.
I have to say, I think Scotty is being led a little too much by emotion and assumption right now. If he’d stop and think things through a bit more, he’d see that there are other possibilities. Others, that are more likely given the current evidence. But then, we’ve all been Scotty. Haven’t we?
I think a lot of Scotty’s perspective comes from the feelings he had for Carolyn. And while Apollo had nothing directly to do with her eventual death, he probably played a part in her leaving Starfleet. So in some way, Scotty may blame him.
Kirk wants the opinion of his senior officers, Spock, McCoy and Scotty.
Spock suiggests letting Apollo go, giving him “just enough rope” to hang himself.
Now, Scotty is providing a valuable and necessary alternative opinion to Spock and McCoy. Kirk doesn’t blame him for distrusting Apollo. But his outburst before he leaves the briefing room does cross a line, and certainly isn’t in character with who he usually is. Just further evidence that this is personal and emotional to him.
Kirk as ever, sits in the middle, trying to take the advice of both sides. Ultimately agreeing with Spock, but tempering his actions with some of Scotty’s caution.
It seems that everyone agrees that it is the realm itself that took the energy from Simone and Sulu’s suits. The real question is whether Apollo is controlling it or not.
The prime directive will not allow Kirk to put a creature like Apollo on an unsuspecting world, whether he truly intends to set up church or not.
Apollo accuses the Federation of lacking the compassion they pride themselves on.
And this can sometimes be a valid criticism. Certainly in The Next Generation, the way the Enterprise D crew implemented the prime directive definitely lacked compassion, and was sometimes downright immoral, in my opinion.
Apollo is glad to know that he was remembered, showing footage of the Apollo mission. But as a mythological figure, not a deity.
The episode picks up on an important element of Uhura’s character. Her love of singing in the mess hall for her crewmates, and in a rather flirty seductive kind of way if I may say so. Kim Stinger can sing.
And again, the set looks perfectly authentic to me.
She has kept the brooch safe, knowing it was important to Apollo. When she tries to give it back, he tells her to keep it.
And then he praises her voice. At that moment, Uhura realises that Apollo was the greek god of music. How must that feel, to be complimented on someone who has a high level of ability or authority themselves in that field?
And while Apollo may not be a god in a true sense, he is an extremely long-lived being of immense knowledge and experience.
There are likely many things you could learn from sitting down with him. Imagine what you could learn about ancient earth history from somebody who was there!
And then he unexpectedly bursts into song. Moments like this rarely work for me.
Question - are the characters in the show able to hear the stringed instrument that is accompanying him, or is that just for the audience’s benefit?
When watching a music, my father-in-law will often joke, “where’s that music coming from?”
Watching a musical definitely requires an extra level of suspension of disbelief, but it works because of the genre. But having a moment like that in a show like this, that’s a whole other thing.
The crewmembers in the mess hall are quite taken by Apollo, for the reasons I just mentioned.
Unfortunately, Scotty has found that the corrosive debris from the realm has gotten into more of the Enterprise’s systems than just the hull. Not good news.
So McKenna comes to Kirk’s quarters to see if they can finally have that chat, but is shocked and taken aback to find he’s not wearing a shirt. This kind of moment is taken directly from the original series. I found it juvenile then, and I find it juvenile now. McKenna actually seems a little flustered throughout the entire scene after this awkward beginning.
McKenna and Kirk have something in common. A need to prove themselves. Kirk, as he was the youngest Starfleet officer to make captain at the age of 32, and McKenna, as Starfleet’s first on-board counsellor. It may seen kind of ludicrous that up until this point Starfleet haven’t had anyone on board to look after the mental health of the crew, but this show is based on the original series, and in the 1960s, menstrual health was thought of very differently than it is today.
Of course, there was Doctor Denher, in Where No one has Gone before, but perhaps she was just on board conducting scientific research, rather than taking patients from amongst the crew.
McKernna has a specific recommendation regarding Apollo. She believes in his sincerity. She believes he has changed, from what he once was. The recommendations that Kirk grant Apollo’s request is implicit but unspoken.
And Kirk takes that onboard. He always takes the opinions of his crew on board, but he needs more if he’s to risk Apollo become what he was in the past.
McKenna makes a decent point that within all of us, there is the potential to do good or bad. Apollo is no different in that regard.
And Apollo doesn’t really have the powers he once had. So is he any more dangerous than a human begin? Well, we’ve seen in the original series the damage a single human being can do on a primitive world. Apollo has been worshipped as a god, and that desire to be so again was still very strong in him recently.
But being weakened, and seeing his friends die, that’s the kind of thing that does change a person. He’s facing death himself.
McKenna seems to be quite emotionally involved in this situation. Perhaps more so than is professional.
When Spock calls Kirk to come to the rec room, he follows a trope you often see on TV, especially in Star Trek. He won’t explain what’s going on, he simply says “you should see for yourself.”
Now I understand why a line like that works for a script. You don’t want to bog things down in exposition. You want the audience to see if for themselves.
But from an in-character point of view, I can see no reason why Spock should refuse to explain himself here. Is it that hard to say “Apollo is telling stories and the crew are entranced?” It seems a little insubordinate.
Could they not have Spock’s line “You need to come to the rec room, and then cut to the next scene? Maybe that would be an awkward transition.
Now I get that Kirk is concerned that the crew are enthralled by Apollo. He’s worried that Apollo is up to his old tricks, wanting to be admired by lowly humans, but in the end, all he’s doing is telling a story. He’s doing it dramatically, but how is that any different than Uhura singing and rubbing foreheads with the males in the audience? It’s a performance.
He’s not actually doing anything wrong.
But the way Kirk yells “Apollo!” and then “we need to have a word.”
It seems overkill for the situation. Not that Kirk shouldn’t have a word with him, but it’s a little overdramatic.
But it’s very Shatner.
It’s interesting. I’m finding that I’m not entirely sure how to judge this show. By 60s standards, or by today’s standards?
This is a modern show, but it’s being made with deliberate 60s aesthetic and sensibilities. The scene with MacKenna walking in on shirtless Kirk is another example of that.
I feel that as the show goes on, it will find a balance between modern writing and acting, but still maintain its place in the 60s inspired 23rd Century. I think it’s possible, that the makers of the show, on this first episode, are still finding their way themselves.
And that’s perfectly understandable.
The trouble is they do such a good job of it. Everything about this, the sets, the hairstyles, the music. Honestly, if I didn't know better, I’d easily be convinced that this was made around 50 years ago.
The professionalism behind this fan-made production is seen on every level. That’s why I’m podcasting about it, basically treating it no different than any other professional TV show.
Anyway, despite what I said earlier, Kirk is proven correct. They’re barely into their conversation before Apollo declares Kirk unworthy and sweeps him away with telekinetic powers. So … not so powerless after all.
It seems Apollo is unchanged. He still craves humanity’s worship. I’ll be honest. He had me fooled along with McKenna.
He says he wants what he’s always wanted. Humanity’s love.
Kirk counters that humanity never loved him. They feared him. No god should survive on fear.
The word worship means to give worth to something. To ascribe to another, that which it is worth. What it is rightly due.
On that level, in my opinion, Apollo fails to meet the standard of a god. He had demonstrated time and again that he is not worthy of what he craves.
It’s McKenna who shorts him with a phaser, to rescue Kirk. But she’s clearly torn up about it. Personally, I don’t think she’s spent enough time with Apollo to become near as emotionally caught up with him as she has. I think that’s a flaw in this episode. McKenna is being portrayed as extremely over-emotional. Again, this is how a 60s TV show might portray a female character. So... I’m not sure if the episode should be criticised or praised for this. It’s so confusing.
This is actually the last we’ll see of McKenna in this episode, as she’s led away, in her grief, by Uhura.
Spock has an interesting perspective on all this. He feels on some level, Apollo cannot control his actions. That lifeforms generally find it very difficult to change their ways, to change deeply embedded behaviours. And he’s right about that. Changing your ways is not easy. Even if you’re determined. You try, you fail. Hopefully, you try again.
It is often tragedies that make the difference.
But the, Apollo has been through a lot of tragedy in recent time.
Kirk is determined that Apollo’s therapy will not be at the expense of the crew of the Enterprise.
Apollo is voluntarily restrained.
He believed he could control the deepest ancient drives within himself by sheer force of his will. But he lost control. As Spock said.
And this all makes a lot of sense.
Often we can’t change the things about ourselves that we want to change just by force of will. We need to look outside of ourselves, to the support of friends, professional help, and yes, maybe even God.
Despite all of this, Kirk and Apollo now agree that Kirk can’t, and shouldn’t trust Apollo.
Kirk sees no alternative than to just leave Apollo restrained until he dies.
But Apollo has another idea.
That extra organ in his body, that humans don’t have. It allows him to channel the power, but it apparently serves another purpose. It’s what converts mortal worship into energy.
This whole idea of converting something as intangible as worship into energy is a pretty high-concept idea, but it’s been done before. This is how the Ori in Stargate SG-1 get their power.
Apollo now knows he can’t control this organ. But he doesn’t want to let it control him.
And then McCoy quotes Matthew 5:29. The idea is that if there is something in your body, or your life, that causes you to sin, get rid of it. This is exactly the wisdom Apollo is coming to. Better to not have that organ than to fight a losing battle against it. Sometimes, the battle is best avoided.
He wants McCoy to surgically remove the organ.
McCoy is hesitant. He can remove an organ easy enough, but this is an alien. He doesn’t understand Apollo’s physiology. The risks are impossible to predict.
But Apollo is willing to accept those risks.
So, they go for it. And Scotty is having success getting rid of the gunk in the ship.
It’s looking like all their problems might just be solved.
Now that Apollo likely no longer has the will to seek worship, he wants to revisit the idea of re-settling him on a planet somewhere. And being Kirk, he wants input from his most trusted advisors.
McCoy and Spock are both convinced. But Scotty still warns caution. They only have Apollo’s word that removing the organ will make a difference. And that’s true. There’s still some emotion bubbling below the surface, but Scotty has got it more under control now. He’s a little more reasonable. And he admits, he’s not sure what the alternative is.
They still have no consensus. Kirk doesn’t need consensus, of course, but with a decision as important as this, he’d like it.
Scotty’s words have really made Kirk think.
If they don’t make a decision soon, Apollo will die on board the ship anyway. It seems his end is pretty close. Even if they take him to a planet now, he probably won’t have enough time to cause much trouble.
I’m pretty sure Star Trek Continues is the first fan-made show to reconstruct the Jefferies tube set. It’s pretty awesome, with the shot looking down the tube at him working. I love it.
Uhura gets zapped by her console. Apparently, she didn’t move away from the console quick enough after Scotty’s warning.
I can’t help but feel Scotty should have given the warning earlier.
And if the bio-bed readings are to be believed, Uhura is dead.
We know the show won’t leave her dead, but despite that, Larry and Vic sell the drama of the moment with their performances.
Apollo sees Uhura drop the brooch. He uses what energy he has left to bring Uhura back to life.
Does that mean he lied about the organ? More likely, without the organ, he couldn’t convert any more worship to power, but he still had a little energy left in him. Energy he needed to recover from his surgery.
Turns out it’s not that simple. He has more energy now than before the surgery. McCoy can’t explain it.
They have an interesting theory. Apollo’s species can draw energy from sacrifice. They may have assumed that because worship empowered them, it was the only thing that did so. But without the organ that converts worship, his body now must pull energy from other sources.
Apollo has found another way. A better way.
The energy he draws from sacrifice is less than what he once enjoyed, so no more thunderbolts, as McCoy puts it, but if he restrains himself from all that, he should be able to prolong his life indefinitely.
A God sacrificing himself for humanity. That sounds familiar.
And even Scotty is convinced. It’s a nice emotional moment he he finally nods.
The episode wraps in a very TOS way, with Kirk summing up the moral and theme of the story, and then he and McCoy sharing a silly joke at Spock’s expense. I wasn’t a bit fan of those kinds of endings, but it’s very authentically TOS.
But then, when you’d expect the credits to roll, the camera lingers on the planet.
One Year Later.
We get a nice little epilogue scene as Apollo helps a local family, and we see his face is now younger.
This scene wasn’t necessary, but it was welcome. I really enjoyed it.
Another little tidbithere, Doug Drexler appeared in this episode as Paladin. I’m honestly not sure who that character was, but … he was in there. Drexler is a visual effects artist who was instrumental in the Berman era of Trek. He also did that beautiful opening credits footage for this show.
Also, I have to saw that Bones and Spock grew on me through this episode.
Tod Haberkorn has a very different face and voice to Nimoy, but it’s the performances of both of these guys that ultimately sold me that they were these characters.
As a modern production, mimicking something of an older style, this is nothing short of fine art. The detail, the artistry, it’s all so well done.
But what would I think if I were to judge this episode as if it were the beginning of TOS season 4?
It’s not one of the great episodes of Star Trek. It probably wouldn’t be one of the classics, but it’s a better than average TOS story. It had some nice drama, some difficult decisions for the characters to wrestle with, and it gave a fitting ending to a guest character from a previous story.
All in all, I think Pilgrim of Eternity was something of a triumph, worthy of much praise, but it’s not the best of what Star Trek Continues has to offer. This show is only going to get better, according to my memory.
So let’s see what the show has in store for us in episode 2 - Lolani.
I’ll see you then.
In the meantime, have a great 2 weeks, live long and prosper.
Make it so.