Star Trek Continues: Episode 2 "Lolani"...

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Warped9, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While not a massive 'refit' military aircraft and ships are upgraded all the time, as are commercial aircraft. This would be difficult to do in small bits and pieces with a ship traveling for years many lightyears from home, so perhaps doing all the upgrades every few years would make sense. How much is this done today? It's the main reason that military contracts are all cost-plus. Often the military changes what it wants several times while the aircraft/ship/hoodiggie is being developed and built. Specs change many times often before the first craft is built. When a bomber that was used in Viet Nam is being flow today, it has modern computer guidance installed, it's not running on the system it used in 1964. However, it often looks much the same from the outside. (I am a military-industrial complex brat. My father spent most of his life designing and upgrading military equipment, including, the last thing he did... the first system that shot down incoming missiles, which was done for the Navy. Reagan based his idea for 'Star Wars' on that system.)

    Concerning the ship's counselor, I suspect this has much to do with the actress being Vic's wife. Also, TOS has a very sexist feel that I suspect many people today aren't comfortable with. (I was not comfortable with it as a 'tween.' at that time.) That is not Roddenbury's fault, he wanted a female No. 1, but there was a lack of vision in the suits, and its one of the things that dates TOS to the 1960s. The introduction of this character allows the production to counter that problem without entirely reworking the rest of the characters. They are also giving Scotty a bigger role than in TOS.

    Background recurring characters work for some things and not for others. It would have made sense that Kirk would have been reporting to a particular admiral, rather than hearing from a different one with each order. Would it be wrong for fan films to correct this?

    I don't know that I had any desire to see what happened to Apollo, but I liked the story. The Orion Slave Girls did seem to beg for some updated twist. That is clearly our ideas intruding on those of the 1960s. It was a revisit, but it took something that was just a passing matter in the background and made it into a central story.

    Most dramas today have a story or two each year on the supporting cast. Usually, Castle focuses on Richard Castle and Dect. Beckett, but we get shows that focus on the other police officers once or twice a year. Those types of shows did not exist in TOS. I don't think the greater use of the character of Scotty in STC is wrong or out of place, it's probably a more realistic take on how the crew would work. There was no Chekov show, no Sulu show. Filling those in is also a modern update, but its one I have enjoyed from Phase II.

    Part of this I suspect is just how much you like fan efforts. I happen to enjoy them a lot.
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Actually a lot of it is Roddenberry's fault. NBC didn't reject Number One as a character and because she was second-in-command. They had no problem with the idea. No, they rejected GR's obvious nepotism in casting his widely known extramarital girlfriend, and they didn't think she was strong enough to as an actress to carry the role as a regular in the series. GR fabricated the story of NBC rejecting the character of Number One to spare Majel Barrett's feelings. Problem is by fabricating that story it gave the impression NBC didn't want to see any commanding female roles which was not at all the case.

    No, you can't blame NBC for that one.
     
  3. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Exactly.

    Good post. Although, I just want to add an observation: It's easy to say 'I don't see color, I just see [insert non-white character from whatever movie or television series] as just a character.' From my online experience, that usually comes from white individuals who usually don't have to nitpick as much as non-white viewers concerning media representations.

    (Note: I'm not saying that you in particular have a malicious intent with your comment, urbandefault. Just using your comment as a jumping point. Even though media, particularly American media, has made some strides, there still is a looooong way to go).

    For example, the reason I went to see Independence Day in 1996 was because a black man (Will Smith as Capt. Steve Hiller) saved the world in a summer blockbuster, and wasn't killed off. (I recall seeing media coverage, where a young black male moviegoer said to the effect in regards to Smith, 'A black man saved the world!') Interestingly, in the recent Pacific Rim, the black lead - portrayed by the awesome Idris Elba who has more gravitas than the actor playing the 'white lead' - gets killed off, said white lead gets the love interest, an Asian girl who had immediately fell for him in the early parts of the film. With PR, there are some who claim they only saw the film's action or claimed to not see 'color' - yet, with the addition of the poor story execution, the film hits all the negative tropes we've seen in films for years (i.e. black lead dying to save white lead, Asian male characters poorly executed (pun not intended), Asian girl falling for white lead for no other reason than because he is white).

    Now, I'm rambling...;)

    Note: I now find ID4 really, really cheesy. And, as you can tell, I really hate Pacific Rim.

    Kim Stinger, I think, has a cute/hotness about her, but that's it in regards to what she brings to her character. I would like to see Stinger/Uhura doing more than just working the communications board. (Shades of what Nichelle Nichols was saying about her own version of Uhura!)

    On the other hand, Saldana/Uhura is more fiery, but comes off as the hot girl dating the popular guy. Zoe Saldana, right now, is just portraying Spock's girlfriend. And, her role in the films becomes only relevant when it involves Spock. I hope the tentative 3rd film rectifies that.

    I like both actresses, but I would like the material to give them both something to work with.
     
  4. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Interesting. I thought she had become his girlfriend later. But, I'm not half the Trekkie most of the posters here are. I am ready to bow to the expertize of others.
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Roddenberry was with Majel long before NBC got a look at "The Cage." GR had also already been pissing off NBC when he was producing his series The Lieutenant before Star Trek.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No to April. No to extended scenes in made up languages.
     
  7. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Indeed.

    Too, I'll say for the record that McKennah is perfectly at home in Star Trek Continues. Frankly, the hullabaloo being made about her presence, her role, and her inclusion is rather silly.
     
  8. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    I like her. I think she's fun!
     
  9. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    True, Scotty has had a few good one-liners in the two episodes, Barb, but a BIGGER role? If you mean more than the part Scotty had in the pilot episode ''Where No Man Has Gone Before'', granted, but the 3 seasons overall? that`s just silly....


    I don`t find it silly that they are twisting James T. Kirk`s personality like a pretzel to fit into this planned-out ridiculous 1940s screwball comedy template with the doctor. I don`t find it silly that they make the most interesting overall character, Spock into a non-factor so that she can shine brighter than him in the storylines. I don`t find it silly that Doctor McCoy is relegated to comedy relief so that McKennah can act as substitute in scènes that once were perfect for the Kirk/McCoy dynamic.

    But all that aside, McKennah is just like Capt. Picard, getting by on the basis of a good (McKennah)/great (Picard) acting performance, but at the end of the day their character is as thin as a piece of paper.

    Basically she`s a sitcom character. She`s earnest and straightforward, and is there to challenge Kirk. that`s it. They want to hand her Bones' schtick where he grates against military protocol but you always knew that McCoy knew his place in Starfleet when push came to shove (for example the scènes between the doctor and Commodore Decker in Doomsday Machine). But McKennae ignores all of that like a bull in a China shop, which is ridiculous because one does not assign someone like that on a flagship. She would have been drummed out of the service long ago...

    But a sitcom character can get away with unrealistic circumstances...
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ I don't think it's quite that extreme, but she does feel rather shoehorned in. They would do better to go back to her Episode 1 hairstyle and replace the spike heeled boots. As is she's straying into Troi territory.

    It could be worth seeing some scenes where she does overstep boundaries. The "real" McCoy would have no problem reigning her in particularly since as a psychologist she falls under his authority. Neither would the "real" Spock.

    Another factor could be not quite having a handle on how to write Spock and McCoy, the dynamic between the two of them and their relationship to Kirk. Also fan fiction has long been known to focus on one or two favoured characters sometimes at the expense of the others---and fan productions are essential fanfic fully realized.

    It remains to be seen what they'll do with McKennah. If the STC folks are indeed aware of this discussion as well as others in other forums as well as their Facebook page and feedback through their own website then they should see the general reaction to the McKennah character. Then it's a matter of whether they adjust or temper how they utilize her character.

    Small note: in TOS the Enterprise was not a flagship. That notion started with TNG.
     
  11. JJohnson

    JJohnson Captain Captain

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    Warped9, I would hope STC checks out "Conscience of the King" as at least 1 example of the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic - Spock suspects Kirk is acting oddly, goes to McCoy with this, then McCoy says that he trusts him to make the right choice. Then the two of them go to Kirk with this, and they hash it out. McCoy isn't over the top, and asks the human question of what he's going to do if it is Kodos, and Spock presents his logical facts, that it is Kodos. I was watching it last night, and it struck me how that episode, one amongst many, showed just how the three worked together and I really enjoyed the three playing off each other. I hope the fan productions can remember this when writing for these three characters, and even when introducing new characters, remember that dynamic. I enjoy the idea of this new character for sure, and she's an obviously intelligent character. I would like to see more of the entire crew, however, and possibly in a "Naked Time" or "Shore Leave" scenario so we can get an idea for what makes her tick, as we have for the other crew.
     
  12. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's worth remembering just how difficult it is and how long it can take to turn out a fan film. TOS has 26 episodes per season and it seems only natural that at some point some of the secondary characters would get some extra screen time. However, when we're talking about 2 or 3 episodes out of 26 that's not really very many. If a fan produced series does say 2 per year and one of them moves away from a concentration on the big 3 then the ratio definitely seems to shift.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Two out of twenty or so episodes is a small sample and might not be truly representative of what's to come. Then again the early efforts are conveying a sort of identity of what they're doing with the production. I'm very eager to see Episode 3. I think that's where we'll see a stronger indication of their overall mindset as the series evolves.
     
  14. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Still, I think one of the central problems with the fan films has been that they really are trying to be like TV shows but they must also compete online in a more feature film mentality.

    The old, original TOS films were produced by and large with the expectation that each film would be the last one. Necessarily, they were usually about Kirk, Spock and McCoy.

    As we saw though on the future series, focusing on other characters could yield impressive results. Look at Worf, and what a tragic character he turns out to be, thanks to all his Klingon arc episodes. Or Data and his quest to be human. Look at Odo and his searc for where he came from/who he "is." Or Kira's entire arc as the survivor of the holocaust on Bajor.

    The point is, fan films could stand to shake things up a bit. The heavy hitters have all dipped their toes in the water with this with the vignettes/shorts they've released (the curious variations of "Night Shift" that Exeter, Phase II, and Continues have each produced, etc.). That's why I like Continues, because not only has it produced two superb episodes, it's also lit a fire, I think, under the Phase II production. Any semblence of complacency as the heir apparent is clearly gone and there's a definite creative rivalry at play, not just behind the scenes (as we know from previous discussions here) but also now a genuine quest to make the best TOS fan film possible. That's not, in my opinion, a bad thing. (All the douchebaggery on both sides, however, very much is.)

    So if a good story comes along that might better feature Uhura or McCoy, great! As it is, "Lolani" was a fantastic endeavor, and while if it had been produced in the '60s, yes, it may well have featured Uhura in the McKennah role, it also likely may well have not done so.

    Lastly, going back to McKennah: The bottom line is you guys can complain about her all you want. She's not going anywhere; she's going to be a part of Continues whether you like it or not. I said it above: None of these fan films will ever be TOS. It's why we had a Kirk with Elvis hair for 10 years and have had more people play Spock that James Bond or Doctor Who. (Ok, I'm exaggerating but you get my point.) Yes. Let's put aside the fact that Specht is Vic Mignogna's partner/girlfriend/fiancee/whatever. Clearly the production team wanted to have some ties to The Next Generation era and that's one of the functions McKennah fills on the show

    Star Trek fans are just about the most insufferable people when it comes to finding things not to like. Let it go. Like it or love it. There's still a great fan film there to enjoy. Is it perfect? No. But is it good enough?

    As Warped9 has mentioned ad nauseum, the production crew at Star Trek Continues has been made aware of the concerns. The other thing to consider (and I know this is tough for some of you old-timers out there) is that her presence is unavoidably the marriage of a semi-professional production produced in 2014 trying to recapture the look, feel and atmosphere of a professional network TV series from 1966-1969. There is just no way modern considerations would not factor in to this.

    One last bit: Warped9: We get it. You like Star Trek Continues. But could you maybe lay off the backhanded stealth digs at TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and the Abrams films in every single post you make? I much prefer reading your critiques and praise for the fan film that finally won your praise for meeting your stratospheric expectations in terms of content and quality... but the same old song and dance about how much you hate the rest of the franchise is getting tiresome to read and I just don't have the time, energy or inclination to sift through your screeds to find the stuff I'm actually interested in reading. Thanks!
     
  15. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The above is your opinion, which you have a right to express; but please don't go and essentially piss all over or dig at other's opinions because you don't feel they are valid, or you don't care to read them. Which id how al lot of the above comes off.

    Post your opinions, and allow others to post theirs in the manner they wish.
     
  16. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    EDIT: Never mind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  17. Mr_Homn

    Mr_Homn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh cool a petty argument is about to begin. Well, see you in a page or two when this thread gets back on topic! :techman:
     
  18. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Nope. No fighting. Let's go back to the discussion, shall we?
     
  19. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Let us here pause to remember the words of Chief Joseph: "I will fight no more, forever!"
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am guessing (since you quoted the entire post instead of singling out what bothered you) that this may be in reference to what he wrote about Warped9.

    Other than that, his pointing out the tendency of fans to tear down what they love is Absolutely Right™. There's no pissing on or digging at other people's opinions, just disagreement with some.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014