If this were a big budgeted, studio supported franchise I would probably be a lot more critical in my following review. But, as a fan, I really enjoy these productions very much. Considering these down-loadable episodes are TOTALLY self-supported and produced (with NO Paramount/CBS muscle), they have a raw passion that I haven't felt since...the original series! The set recreations are lovingly done; lighting, costumes, sound are all very nice(EVEN for a studio show!). The smallest set details are there. You can easily forget you're NOT looking at the actual sets from 1968! The stories are a mixed bag. Following the odd/even numbered "curse" of the features, the pilot was shaky(but still not bad for a pioneering effort). The second episode, IN HARM'S WAY was terrific. A great sequel to several classic episodes. The 3rd one, TO SERVE ALL MY DAYS was an hour of Walter Koenig STILL doing his annoying Chekov "shtick" after all these years (Chekov was NEVER a favorite of mine). The 4th and (thus far) best one WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME was simply incredible. The acting (especially the talented actress playing Jana Sulu) was a cut above the previous three. And, as with all the episodes, the effects are exactly what I'd imagine a modern, retro-take on classic Trek to look like! Old style ships, rendered with breathtaking CGI clarity! A match made in geek heaven! George Takei (playing an older Sulu gone somewhat wild) delivered his finest performance as that character. And no annoying VOYAGEResque "reset button" (the cheesy plot device that retains the show's status quo, no matter what happens). Through a mind-meld with Spock, Sulu was allowed to retain his loving memory of his lost "first" daughter. As for the regular cast, James Cawley's Kirk is coming along nicely (thanks to the actor for trimming his pompadour; it was a little distracting!). Jeffrey Quinn does a decent Spock and the real doctor playing McCoy is not bad (NO one can capture DeForest Kelley's charm; a daunting task! Good luck, JJ Abrams!!). "Scotty" needs a little work; the accent is a little dicey. A friend of mine pointed out that he sounds like he's doing an impression of Dan Akroyd as Scotty! But essentially, the acting is no worse than a good Trek audio book; where other actors read the roles and your imagination fills in the blanks. On the whole, however, I can feel the PASSION of the people involved virtually flowing off my laptop screen! As far as I'm concerned, STAR TREK is having its long overdue 4th season; one download at a time. Word to Paramount; sanction these!! So I can own the DVDs!! In the meantime, to Mr. Cawley and Co., very nicely done! To anyone that complains that these episodes aren't "canon"(I hate the abuse of that word--it's a TV show! Star Trek broke with "canon" quite a bit; it's not fatal!), or that they're not as slick or well produced as studio Trek; well, if you can do it better....give it a try! Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the "New Voyages" of the old Enterprise!
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