Just when you thought it was safe to watch fan films again come another three comedy vignettes of Voyage Trekkers featuring the charismatic but impulsive Captain Sunstrike (Adam Rini), the unfazed first officer, Commander Powell (Logan Blackwell), and the exasperated Doctor Rena (Gabrielle Van Buren).
Entitled “Oh Great Space Crystal,” the first new episode finds Rena, Sunstrike and Powell investigating unusual readings on an unexplored planet. With eerie music playing in the background, they find the source of the power, a large purple crystal.
“The energy signature is like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” the doctor states as she looks at readings on her scanner. “It may be a form of undocumented intelligence.”
The captain says they need to find a way to communicate with it, so Rena calls out: “Oh great space crystal! We are representatives of the Galactic Union. We seek peaceful communication with life forms such as yourself.”
When the crystal begins emanating a bit more energy, the trio considers the effort to communicate a success. Sunstrike then tells the doctor to determine its intentions, and if it’s hostile, they’d have to destroy it immediately so it wouldn’t fall into enemy hands.
“Oh Great Space Crystal,” Rena says. “Please communicate with us. We seek your wisdom.”
When there’s no response, the captain tells the doctor to offer a human host for it to inhabit and offers Powell as “a willing volunteer.”
Suddenly, the crystal begins emanating far more power than before, and Powell states that it now appears to be angry. Sunstrike calls to his ship to prepare for an orbital strike to destroy the energy source.
With that, the entity sends out an even more powerful energy surge, and the trio begs for mercy and offers to surrender.
Spoiler Alert #1: If you’d rather watch the fan film’s ending yourself, skip down to the link at the end of this article. If not, just continue reading.
Just then, the doctor states that her device was in diagnostic mode when it detected the entity. Now operating at full efficiency, her scanner is reading that the purple crystal is actually a receptacle unit for radioactive and biological waste that was ejected from an alien space ship.
“So what you’re telling me is that we were cowering in fear of a glowing container of crap,” Sunstrike says before he and Powell angrily walk away. Rena then throws her scanner to the ground and also stomps off. End of Spoiler Alert #1.
The next vignette finds the doctor in trouble with the captain, who files “Formal Charges” against her.
“One of the most difficult parts of a captain’s duty is when he must officially reprimand an officer under his command,” Sunstrike says, “especially in circumstances as grave as these.”
When he accuses Rena of mutiny, she replies that the captain actually asked her to help in a sporting event.
“I ordered you to defend the honor of the ship,” Sunstrike replies. “These Caldermians respect only strength, and to have a Galactic Union Skeeball team out there losing at their own official sport, well, that’s a sign of weakness.
“Let the record show that our team’s intermural defeat is the primary reason why the Caldermians suspended their trade talks,” he notes.
“Please let the record also show that the captain throwing up on their holy shrine after the game might have contributed as well,” Rena adds.
“The captain ordered me to sneak into the locker room and drug the other players before the game,” she continues. “And if I were to get caught, to use my ‘feminine abilities’ on the players to create an escape.”
Spoiler Alert #2: After several minutes of forth-and-back banter, Sunstrike states that he’s willing to make a deal. In exchange for dropping the charges, Rena would act as the captain’s “female wingman” when they arrive at the pleasure planet of Amore Prime.
In that role, the doctor would accompany Sunstrike to the planet and “talk him up” by telling the women there anything that would impress them about the captain, such as “He’s so charming. He saved a bunch of babies from a burning planet. Anything that would impress them and ensure that the captain has a successful away mission.”
Even though Rena agrees and the captain clears all charges, he orders that a disciplinary notification be attached to the doctor’s permanent record “for now and ever.”
With that, Sunstrike leaves the room while using his communicator to order Powell to “set a course for Amore Prime at maximum speed. In fact, double maximum speed. I want you to get me some of those time-traveling whales, and we’ll make a day of it.” End of Spoiler Alert #2.
The next episode finds Sunstrike in “The Clutches of General Kang” when he’s in chains in a cavern. When the villain’s image (and no, he doesn’t look like a Klingon but appears to be more of a 1950s bad guy) appears on the viewscreen in front of him, the shirtless captain shouts “KAAAAAANG!”
Kang then says he’ll use the captain’s “best friend” to do his bidding, and Commander Powell emerges with a device attached to his forehead. To prove his control, the villain orders Powell to dance and then slap himself in the face, which he does.
At that point, Kang orders the first officer to whip his captain until he’s told to stop, who calls on Powell to fight the villain’s control.
Spoiler Alert #3: Calling on an old sci-fi cliché, the captain deduces that the only way to free his first officer from Kang’s domination is to make Powell feel “extreme emotion.” While attempting to get the commander to become angry, Sunstrike begins hurling insults at Powell, calling him “a disgrace to his uniform” and “the worst officer I’ve ever seen.”
“You don’t wash frequently enough,” the captain continues, “and I don’t think you wash properly.”
But Sunstrike’s strategy backfires, and Powell begins whipping the captain again. Kang asks why he’s doing that, but even though the villain didn’t order it, the whipping goes on and on and … .End of Spoiler Alert #3.
Now where did I leave my Clint Eastwood hat? Ah, here it is. Let’s get reviewing!
The Good: I really liked the fact that these episodes focused on different members of the cast. Rena got some serious screen time while trying to chat with the “Great Space Crystal,” Sunstrike got the lion’s share of the story with Rena in “Formal Charges,” and Powell whipped it good while in “The Clutches of General Kang.”
And as always, there’s good comedy, good props and costumes, and theme music I still enjoy hearing time after time.
The Bad: My only concern is that the use of malfunctioning equipment could be done too often, but with seven out of 10 episodes in the can, the group has done a nice job of maintaining variety in plots and characters.
The Ugly: I’d intended to review these VT episodes last week, but some unexpected new independent productions came along, and I knew I’d have another chance to get my two quatloos in during the following week. We’ll be back to take a look at the final episodes of the “season” in the next few weeks.
If you’d like to see “Oh Great Space Crystal,” point your Web browser here. You can watch “Formal Charges” by going to this Website. “The Clutches of General Kang” is available for viewing here. If you’d like to learn more about Squishy Studios, which produces Voyage Trekkers, go here.