STAR TREK CONTINUES releases their NINTH EPISODE: “What Ships Are For”!

Many are calling it one of STAR TREK CONTINUES’ best episodes yet!  I’m sure some will complain, as someone always does, it seems.  And admittedly, the first half of the episode does move more slowly than the second half…but oh, what a second half it is!

Without stepping into spoiler territory, this episode heartens back to the golden age of TOS when many of the episodes provided viewers with a mirror from which they could see and examine one or more of the complex issues of the day: the war in Vietnam, racism, the hippie movement, the ever-growing spectacle of television itself.

“What Ships Are For” does just that with one of the most controversial and divisive political dilemmas of today…told in a creative and ultimately poignant way.  Unlike many fan films, this episode of STC doesn’t rely on space battles or some threat to the ship but rather focuses on a society facing a crisis of change—a change that could quite literally tear them apart.  And right in the middle of it all are Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise.  Sound familiar?  If you named just about any of the original series episodes, you’d probably be right!  And for me, that’s the reason “What Ships Are For” worked so well.

The episode also worked well because of the amazingly strong performances of their guest cast for this episode.  Anne Lockhart will be familiar to sci-fi fans as the actress who played Lt. Sheba in the original Battlestar Galactica.  (She is also the daughter of Lost in Space star June Lockhart).  Elizabeth Maxwell is an accomplished voice-over actress.  But most impressive was a tour de force performance by actor John de Lancie, best known to fans for his portrayal of omnipotent intergalactic troublemaker “Q” on TNG, DS9, and Voyager.

Despite this being “only” a fan film (HA!), de Lancie gives his all to this role, delivering his lines with a poignancy that makes the plight of this alien society feel real and tangible to the viewer rather than simply being some plot contrivance intended to comment on a currently charged political issue.  De Lancie’s performance, I believe, elevated other performances in the episode, especially that of star Vic Mignogna, who delivered a magnificently powerful Kirk speech at the end.  The two performances together actually bought a tear to my eye.

See for yourself how good the episode was, and then feel free to post comments with spoilers below.  And if you don’t want spoilers, please watch first before reading the comments on this page…

30 thoughts on “STAR TREK CONTINUES releases their NINTH EPISODE: “What Ships Are For”!”

  1. Episode was great,
    only disappointment was from the title I was hoping for an Episode that pushed the Enterprise to the limit.

  2. I’ll definitely check this episode out tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest, for sure… P 🙂

      1. Just got through watching “What Ships Are For” – Very well done episode with a very strong message behind it – This is what Star Trek is supposed to be, and frankly, if nothing else CBS should be taking notes from productions like Axanar, Star Trek Continues, and all other Star Trek fan pieces that no how to do it right – DEFINITELY looking forward to the last two episodes, no question!!!!… P 🙂

  3. I just finished watching the new episode on YouTube, it was fantastic.

    This is what star trek is supposed to be. A show that makes you think, not turn your brain off and just stare at action and special effects.

    1. God, how right you are 🙂 What a shame that CBS will never understand that and that ‘real’ Star Trek will always be cut down to a mere 30 minutes from now on… :/

  4. Bravo! Too bad comments are disabled for the video, so we can’t say how much we liked it.

    1. Yeah, not sure what’s up with that. I suspect it might have something to do with their “no spoilers for the first week” rule. We’ll see.

  5. Even though it was cool to see Anne Lockhart and John De Lancie – as well as the social commentary – I was not impressed with the rest of it.

    I won’t miss STC when it is over.

  6. I loved this episode it actually made you feel something. This is how Star Trek should be. Can’t wait to see what the other episodes will be like.

    1. My only complaint was the admiral’s uniform at the beginning: too baggy, no shoulder pads, and the stitching on the collar was off…not just the location of the stitches but also the fact that there was no “fluffiness” in the admiral’s collar. STC usually does such an amazing job with the costumes. This was just plain sloppy.

      And hey, if that’s my ONLY complaint, then the episode scores big time. 🙂

  7. My spouse and I enjoyed this episode, although it seemed to be an obvious commentary on U.S. immigration policy in particular and the plight of refugees worldwide in particular. Of course, the crisis as portrayed in the episode is simplified and prettified from the real-world situation (but that’s typical for social commentary in canonical Star Trek, too).

    1. Very true. The Vietnam War was much too complex to properly portray in an hour-long episode of a weekly sci-fi series, but they still made “A Private Little War.” 🙂

  8. Probably the most relevant Star Trek story in years, I think. Being European, I first wondered why STC should tell a story about current European problems, until I realised that, sadly, this works just as well from an American viewpoint. Still stunned.

  9. The story could of course have been set in any Trek or not even in Trek but it worked very well as a TOS-era story. The writing was professional grade and the acting not bad (from the non-professional actors).

    In fact, the story was so good that it would have ranked as one of my favorites if it had been an actual TOS story.

  10. This one was more like TOS that TOS! I felt like I was watching this on KTVU Channel 2 back in 1975!!! I almost reached in back of the TV to fiddle with rabbit ears! I wanted to barf when Captain Kirk started smooching [I can’t remember her name] just like I did back in the day.
    I enjoyed this episode very much.
    I am going to miss STC when they are finished releasing new episodes.

    1. My son and I watch TOS while I exercise each tonight (tonight was “Cloud Minders”). He thinks one of the captain’s jobs is to kiss all the women they meet!

  11. I LOVED this episode.I enjoyed the first four episodes of this series but I didn’t enjoy the next four as much.I thought this one was one of the best,if not the best.I will miss this show greatly.They put a lot of love and effort into it.

  12. God, how right you are What a shame that CBS will never understand that and that ‘real’ Star Trek will always be cut down to a mere 30 minutes from now on… :/

  13. They did this right. An engaging storyline truly worthy of Star Trek that still keeps you thinking after the closing credits. Instead of making new TV series and movies they should just pay the Star Trek Continues team to keep on doing amazing work like this because it doesn’t get any better.!

  14. This is what Star Trek was. Had it been filmed 50 years ago it would have fit neatly with the other episodes of The Original Series. Anne Lockhart and John deLancie, two of my favorite actors, were wonderful.

    However, like a number of The Original Series episodes that attempted to address complex social/moral issues this episode tries to make its point using a sledgehammer. In that respect it was as cringe-worthy as “Let That be Your Last Battlefield” and “A Private Little War”.

    Still, it is an enjoyable, if somewhat heavy handed, episode and a must see for any fan of Trek.

  15. I loved it. The story had a lame start, with mindless bickering and bad jokes. But then it kept surprising me. Very intelligently written, suspenseful and full of fascinating allegories. The best of the series besides “Fairest of Them All”.

    1. Hmm, I didn’t really mind the slow start all that much, since many of the best professional Star Trek episodes did have similar beginnings to their stories – Beyond that point, I do agree with you though, full-heartedly… LLP / P 🙂

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