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Star Trek Lives! Josh Reviews “The Holiest Thing”

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For over a decade, Star Trek: New Voyages has been a fan-produced effort to create new full-length episodes of the Original Series, a never-made fourth season of the classic show. (The series began under the name Star Trek: New Voyages, then switched to be called Star Trek: Phase II for several years, and now they seem to be back to using the New Voyages title.)  I have been a fan and supporter of this fan-made group since I saw their second official episode, released in 2006, in which Walter Koenig reprised his role of Pavel Chekov, an enormous coup did this fan-made series.

Last month New Voyages released their tenth episode, “The Holiest Thing.”  I have been reading about this episode for years now.  (I actually reviewed a rough cut of this episode that was released to the project’s Kickstarter backers, about a year and a half ago.)  “The Holiest Thing” was supposed to have been released back in February, 2014, but was cancelled at the last minute so the production team could continue polishing the episode.  It’s been a long two-years wait.  I am pleased that the final, completed version has at last seen the light of day.  To my relief it is an improvement on the rough cut in almost every way.

This episode tells the never-before-seen story of how Captain Kirk and Dr. Carol Marcus first met and fell in love.  (Dr. Marcus’ one-and-only canonical main-timeline on-screen appearance was, of course, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.)  The Enterprise arrives at the planet Lapus III, to check in with the terraforming project overseen by Dr. Marcus.  As she and Scotty tour the facility in a shuttlecraft, an enormous explosion destroys the research facility, killing everyone present except for Scotty and Dr. Marcus.  Is young Dr. Marcus responsible for the deaths of her entire team?

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“The Holiest Thing” is a leisurely paced tale.  There is a mystery component as Kirk, Spock and Dr. Marcus work to uncover the truth about what went wrong with her terraforming project.  But the focus of the episode is on the love story between Kirk and Dr. Marcus.  Both Brian Gross (as Captain Kirk) and Jacy King (as Carol Marcus) do strong work.  Ms. King is especially good, a pleasant surprise since so much of the episode rests on her shoulders.  I like this version of a young Carol Marcus.  She is smart, persistent, and take-charge, but she’s also clearly young and perhaps in a little over her head.  (This is a far stronger depiction of Carol than the one we got in the terrible Star Trek Into Darkness.)

The rough cut of this episode suffered from terrible sound problems … [continued]