Many animé fans know Vic Mignogna for his different roles in hit series, like "D.N. Angel" and "Fullmetal Alchemist." However, the popular voice actor and musician will "boldly go where no man has gone before," as he produces and stars in "Star Trek Continues," a web series that continues the adventures of the original "Star Trek" series that aired for three seasons on NBC in the late '60s. Dennis recently got to sit down with Vic to talk about the new adventures of the Enterprise crew, which he commands in the series as the main protagonist, Captain James T. Kirk.
Dennis: Tell us a little bit about your experience with "Star Trek" growing up as a fan.
Vic: When I was little, I was a big "Star Trek" fan, and I would take a cassette recorder, and record the episodes as they aired. I would then put the cassette player under my pillow at night, listen to the episodes, and just memorize them. I would gather my friends together and we would make our own "Star Trek" movies, and I even got my mom to teach me how to sew, so I could make my own uniforms.
I also attended a lot of "Star Trek" conventions, and I got to meet the entire original cast when I was little. Imagine how cool it is now to go to these conventions not as a fan, but as a signing guest, and get to sit and chat with the original crew, like George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and William Shatner. It's quite euphoric, to be honest.
Dennis: What got you interested in producing your own "Star Trek" series?
Vic: In 2011, I was asked to direct an episode of another fan made series called "Starship Farragut," and they knew I was a big fan and that I had a lot of directing and production experience. So I went down and directed, and we just hit it off. That's when this idea started forming. I started thinking, "What if we were to take the stuff that "Farragut" built from the original series, move it into a bigger facility, pool our resources, and just build everything else?" That's what we did, and that's how the idea for "Star Trek Continues" came to light.
Dennis: Your series will be a continuation where the original "Star Trek" ended in 1969. What goes into keeping the look and feel of the original series?
Vic: We have a 9600 sq. ft. facility in Kingsland, GA, where we have completely rebuilt all of the soundstage of the original "Star Trek." You can walk into the studio, go through the turbo lift doors, walk down the long, bending corridor and see the Sick Bay, the Briefing Room, the Captain's Quarters, and the Bridge. It's built exactly the way they did in the original series. The diagrams are available online, so you can see how the sets were laid out and interconnected when they shot it in the late '60s. We replicated it within inches and it's absolutely breathtaking.
Dennis: What went into casting for the series and who will be joining you as your fellow Enterprise crew members?
Vic: I always wanted to cast friends of mine who were actors because if you've ever seen a lot of fan productions, one of the biggest weaknesses is that the people in a lot of series don't have any acting or production background. So I got some of my acting friends, who my fans may recognize from a few other shows. For those who are "MythBusters" fans, Grant Imahara will be playing Sulu in the series. My dear friend and fellow voice actor, Todd Haberkorn, is Spock, and even though he portrays a younger Spock than the one in the original series, I think he does a very good job with the character. We've even gotten Chris Doohan to play the role of Scotty, the same role his father, James Doohan, made famous in the original series.
Dennis: It obviously costs a lot to reproduce the look and feel of the original "Star Trek." Why invest so much of your own time and money into a project like this?
Vic: You make money for two reasons; to pay your bills and to do things you love. This has been something that I always wanted to do because of my love for the original series. "Star Trek" inspired me to try all these creative things when I was a little boy, and now I get to do all these creative things professionally.
Dennis: When can we expect the first episode to premiere?
Vic: Our first episode, "Pilgrim of Eternity," is now available on Vimeo and the "Star Trek Continues" website, and if you are a true fan like I am, you will recognize one of the characters in this episode from one of the episodes of the original "Star Trek." We actually got him to reprise his role in the first episode. I won't tell you who it is, so you'll just have to watch it on Vimeo or on our website to find out.
Our second episode, "Lolani," premiered on Feb. 8 at the Dallas Comic-Con’s Sci-Fi Expo, and is now available on Vimeo and our website as well. I am so excited because in this episode, Lou Ferrigno, who many know from "The Incredible Hulk," will be guest staring in this episode, and it's sure to be very memorable.
You can watch the continued adventures of Captain Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew at StarTrekContinues.com