On Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary, Watch New Episodes of Star Trek Continues, the Acclaimed Fan-Made Sequel to the Original TV Show

Today marks the 50th anniver­sary of the pre­miere of Star Trek, and the start of a love affair between fans and the show’s utopi­an promise. With only 79 episodes over three sea­sons in the orig­i­nal 1966–1969 series, it might have dis­ap­peared into pop cul­ture his­to­ry. Instead, it has lived long and pros­pered, with movies and sequels and New Gen­er­a­tions, and reboots and more sequels. And that’s not count­ing the labor-of-love fan films that have spawned around the fringes.

Now, fan-cre­at­ed films usu­al­ly fall down in the act­ing and effects depart­ment, or they try too hard. But even if you’re not a ded­i­cat­ed Trekkie, the inde­pen­dent­ly-pro­duced Star Trek Con­tin­ues holds up as some great sci-fi that recre­ates the orig­i­nal series’ look to per­fec­tion, while skirt­ing par­o­dy. (Plus it got the bless­ing of series cre­ator Gene Roddenberry’s son, who said his father “would con­sid­er this canon.”)

When we first told you about Star Trek Con­tin­ues in Feb­ru­ary, five hour-long episodes were view­able on YouTube or the show’s offi­cial web­site, fund­ed through two Kick­starter cam­paigns and per­son­al mon­eys from exec­u­tive pro­duc­er Vic Mignogna ($150,000) and co-exec­u­tive pro­duc­er Steven Den­gler ($100,000). Above, you can check out the two new episodes, “Come Not Between the Drag­ons” (Episode 6) and “Embrac­ing the Winds” (Episode 7). Or watch the entire series, from start to fin­ish, below.

Despite Star Trek Con­tin­ues’ not-for-prof­it sta­tus, oth­er Star Trek fan films have raised the ire of CBS and Paramount’s legal divi­sions, and may end up harm­ing the future of such endeav­ors. But remem­ber, CBS had no faith in the orig­i­nal series back in the day, plac­ing it in lat­er and lat­er time slots. It was syn­di­ca­tion that made the show a cult hit, and it was those orig­i­nal fans that lov­ing­ly fanned the embers until the show reignit­ed. For them on this half-cen­tu­ry mark, they deserve as much a thank you as the orig­i­nal crew of the Star­ship Enter­prise.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Nichelle Nichols Explains How Mar­tin Luther King Con­vinced Her to Stay on Star Trek

Watch Star Trek: New Voy­ages: The Orig­i­nal Fan-Made Sequel to the 1960s TV Series

How Isaac Asi­mov Went from Star Trek Crit­ic to Star Trek Fan & Advi­sor

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the artist inter­view-based FunkZone Pod­cast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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