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

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

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    I mostly agree with Doubleohfive's review. A few points that occurred to me since I first reviewed this:

    The drama should have been on the ship, not coming from Starfleet. As in many classic Trek segments, Spock should have served as a reminder of what their regulations state, with Bones making the humanitarian case, and Kirk caught in the middle.

    A simple line to the effect that the Tellarites on the ship were not Federation citizens would have effectively tied Kirk's hands because it would make the problem outside of his jurisdiction. Then it'd really be about "doing what's right vs. doing what's required."

    The easy way around the McKennah insubordination problem is to play it OFF the bridge and have her say, "permission to speak freely, sir" and there you go. Gloves come off.

    I actually suspected Kirk to force Zaminhon's hand by goading him into attacking Kirk, which would suddenly give Kirk some authority over the situation (violating ship regulations or whatnot).

    I was really irritated that it took them so damned long to give Lolani something other than her slave clothes to wear. McKennah should have put a blanket or something over her in sickbay almost right away.

    I actually have a minor quibble with Kirk's argument comparing McKennah with Lolani to Zaminhon: he makes the case that Lolani is just as smart and able...but the issueis not brains and potential here. Lolani could be dumb as a stump and STILL deserve to be treated like any other person. I take his point, but I think it could have been made better.
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    There was a goof made story wise. When McKennah says she has something Lolani should like (referring to clothes) the next time we see Lolani she should be wearing somehing other than her slave attire. But we don't see that till later so that's a goof.


    aridas shared his review on his own Federation Reference Series site and I feel it's worth being shared.

     
  3. RCAM

    RCAM Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    He actually addresses that. The line is:

    "And what about Lolani? She's as learned and capable as any Starfleet officer. Animals do not thirst for knowledge and strive to better themselves. She's consumed a wealth of learning as you've consumed your food, Zaminhon. She's not a slave -- she's a woman. And even without the knowledge, education, beauty, talent -- she is still a woman... with a fundamental right to be free."

    At the beginning of the dialogue, he sets up all the qualities she possesses that Zaminhon claims she doesn't, then ends with: "even if she didn't have those things, she's a woman with a right to be free."

    At least, that's the only way the line makes sense to me. He's just said she has knowledge, and he obviously thinks she's beautiful, so he isn't asserting that Lolani lacks those things. He's laying out a hypothetical scenario where she's "dumb as a stump" and ugly -- and making the point that she'd still be entitled to freedom.
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    Ah, you're right. Somehow that latter line didn't stick with me for some reason.
     
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    I speak honestly when I say that this is the first episode of any fan film series that has held my attention for 100% of the running time.

    I enjoyed it so much that I don't even feel right mentioning any minor quibbles I had. I'm sure it's nothing the team themselves aren't already aware of. (They're the ones trying to stretch that money as faaaaaar as they possibly can, so they know the limitations better than any of us.)

    Just a great, great job by everyone. Highly enjoyable, and I cannot wait for the next one.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    A couple of things to note, some of them apparent in the two episodes STC has done so far and some revealed in their Q&A session after the premiere of "Lolani."

    The STC folks are apparently aware of the fan feedback online, both here on the TBBS and on their Facebook page. I can't comment on how much feedback they get directly through their website, but I imagine it, too, could be significant. I know I forwarded some feedback to them that way.

    On their FB page they are getting some intelligent feedback mixed in with the gushing praise and occasional negative remark. The inclusion of a female Starfleet Commodore might have come about because of fan suggestions to the issue. Larry Nemecek (who plays McCoy) has clearly stated his view that he thinks Janice Lester is an embittered loon and her remarks shouldn't be interpreted as Starfleet literally barring women from command positions. So the character of Commodore Gray might be a refutation of Janice Lester's remarks to some extent.

    They do seem intent on minimizing influences from other versions of Trek. They were pointedly asked about possible JJtrek influences and Vic Mignogna nipped that one in the bud right there. He didn't say anything derogatory about JJtrek, but he made it clear he wants to emulate TOS and the things that made so many love the series.

    That leads to the kind of stories the STC folks seem inclined to lean toward. "Lolani" was a first attempt to tell a story in the Roddenberry sensibility in terms of allegory. If that is indeed the direction they're leaning to then I say hurrah for them. That said while they appreciate the many suggestions fans are throwing at them (including a lot of fannish sequel and followup ideas) they seem more concerned with story first. They were asked about Klingons and the response was if a worthy story came along or could be conceived that worked having Klingons in it then they'd try to make it happen. But the sense was they wouldn't include Klingons (or whatever) just for the hell of it. My sense was they'd like to try exploring the different kinds of stories that TOS was known to do, but ultimately the story is what matters above all: is it a worthwhile story to tell?

    In terms of funding they obviously paid for their first episode out of their own pocket (however they did it). The first episode was intended as a pilot of sorts, a proof of concept of what they could do and how they intended to do it. Their Kickstarter campaign had a target that they eventually exceeded in funds raised, enough to finance three episodes of which "Lolani" is the first of the three. They begin filming Episode 3 in March. So we will get Episode 3 this year and maybe Episode 4 as well. Their target, coordinated schedules allowing, is to do two episodes a year. After Episode 4 I believe they will have another Kickstarter campaign and the proceeds of that will again determine how many more episodes they can do next. Their first Kickstarter campaign raised about twenty percent more than they targeted so it could be interpreted as their first episode successfully impressing the target audience.

    Essentially I was certainly hearing all the right things I would hope to hear. Now it remains to be seen if they follow through.
     
  7. YJAGG

    YJAGG Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    It was ok, but it was not great,(it was better than what i could oif pulled off) I find it is all little things that detract from the whole. Dr. McKenna is an original character the actor might not have a frame of reference but she seems too modern and her performance/ character seems out of whack -
    like the banter on the bridge and the dinner table.

    Spock seem snippy on the bridge but he is getting into the role High marks to Sulu and Scotty

    Personally I would like to of seen
    Spock on the other ship and do the mind meld w/out the POV shots

    Mccoy or Uhura champion the girl

    Lou was great and Vroom was good,

    Also they need more extras in the corridors, the Enterprise looks like a house without her children like they would have any trouble getting extras to walk around the set
     
  8. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Germany
    Quite entertaining and the end was a great return to what made TOS such a great show for its time.

    Always kinda interesting to see how we have so many TOS fan productions and yet every series has its different strengths and weaknesses.
     
  9. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
    I suspect that the episode might be an answer to Cogenitor, in which Charles' discovery of his/her/its intelligence become a central issue to whether asylum would be granted.

    As per the issue we previously discussed: after a second viewing, I am more troubled than before. The episode goes out of its way to highlight the alienness of those who abuse Lolani, particularly in rape scene. Indeed, there is a long history in film of using rape scenes to stoke xenophobia. I believe that this plays into the central theme of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, wherein the moral decay of the empire (to which Mignogna's Kirk refers) is caused by opening up and conceding to foreign influences. (If Lolani had really read the book, she really ought to have been insulted. Roman slavery was a complex institution, and some were able to become professionals and property owners in spite of their enslavement, and once freed, could have significant lives. Gibbon claims that slavery was only really a problem because slaves introduced foreign influence, particularly after manumission.) I don't find the looseness with which citizenship and sovereignty issues to point to simple errors. It seems to me that the narrative was shoehorned in a particular direction.
     
  10. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    Well, I guess it's my turn at bat. I saw ''Lolani'' on sunday but wanted to give it a repeat viewing before really going over it...

    I was surprised to see that it was actually a lot better than their initial episode, and that this time they kept the TNG lovefest to a minimum.

    Kudos to the writing team for, as other members have already mentioned, making this episode's story actually ABOUT something, instead of the usual expected spaceship fights. I think this is a new record, Lolani may actually have less than 20 FX shots in the whole episode, including transporter sparkles...

    Matt Bucy as DP should be praised, as the lighting, colour and composition were all outstanding. Extra points for giving a non-intrusive modern touch to the never-before seen Spock mind-meld images, this effect is actually something I'd enjoy revisiting on a semi-regular basis...

    The directing this time around was crisper, better-composed, and less-riddled with continuity glitches...

    Acting-Wise, Lou Ferrigno stole the show, followed closely by Matthew Ewald, Mignona and Fiona Vroom.

    Best FX, for me, was the wide shot as Kenway and Lolani run towards an unattended Galileo shuttlecraft (I've always wondered where all the other 6 shuttles are kept in that big hangar?)

    About the story, it's a lot less cringe-inducing than PILGRIM was, but there were still too many instances where the characters need to act stupidly in order for the plot to advance as it will to get to the conclusion. there are so many that I feel I have to enumerate them (bear with me):

    (1) When Kirk orders the transporter to beam Lolani aboard, he is explicitly told by Spock her life signs are erratic and life support was failing on her ship. Kirk feels no obligation to send a medical team to treat this person, and casually strolls to the transporter along with Spock. Nice concern there, Jim! Why does he do that? well, that would be ...

    (2)...so Kirk and Spock can have a pointless ''jinx'' gag. At least in Where no man has gone before, Spock was startled at Kirk beating him at chess, but this was to establish that Kirk could outthink a supposedly ''superior'' foe...Here the jinx is wasted as Spock is quickly brushed aside in this episode in favour of McKennah...

    (3)The near-sighted call ''back''... as Maurice said, please stop these cutesy bits. Besides, are we asked to swallow that Kirk here starts to lose his eyesight, and it won't be until he is in his mid-50s before McCoy finally gives him reading glasses, a whole 20 years or so? It took me 6 months for my eyesight to so deteriorate...

    (4) In TOS we would have new bridge personnel without any introduction so, fine, the bit with Tongaroa was a bit much but he's appealing. But twice in one episode with Kirk for no reason introducing the security chief to the audience?

    (5) In sickbay why is a psychologist called in instead of the ship’s xenobiologist?

    (6) If all Orion women are slaves on her planet, how is it that Lolani mentions having a mother and father? And why is this not followed up on?

    (7) When Kirk obviously shows a change from Lolani’s touch, Spock clearly notices the pheromones' effects yet does nothing! And he’s the SCIENCE officer?!?

    (8) In the Cage, Christopher Pike finally falls for Vina the pretend Orion slave girl after multiple illusions and spiked food, however he manages to fight off the seducing effects of her dancing only to run out of the room until Vina catches up to him...Here Kirk is completely overwhelmed after 15 seconds of dancing?!? He managed to resist many other women and their wiley ways, Marta the other Orion girl included, but here he is a world-class wimp!

    (9) Kirk, Spock and McCoy, the men who’ve tackled genocides on Eminiar, Organia and countless other planets, often have had to go against regulations in order to stop any number of extreme injustices. And now here they are portrayed as indecisive and terribly out of character so a shoehorned-in neophyte low-ranked, insubordinate intruder can give them a dressing down?

    (10) The dinner scene itself had some humourous moments (Scotty, in particular), and a few well-played dramatic ones (Kirk confronting Ferrigno). So when Zaminhom is beamed onboard Kirk acts smartly and gets Spock to escort him to the dinner, seeing as Lolani has painted him as potentially violent. But when later Kirk sees for himself the Orion IS capable of violence, he bizarrely allows him to roam unescorted among the Enterprise’s decks (bad move, James T.)...Why would Kirk do that if that is tactically moronic? Well, because it's...

    (11) Punch-out time! Ferrigno manages to easily find (?) Lolani’s quarters and gains entrance, taking advantage of a not-so-bright redshirt who needs to check in with his Captain at a comm. unit too far away (I don’t get it, security carry phasers while on duty, but don’t have a handy communicator, or even earpiece to quickly check in?). Cut to Ferrigno slapping Lolani around, allowing the so-conveniently arriving Kirk (what reason did he have to suddenly show up alone? A last smooch party with the sexy green stowaway?) a quick back-and-forth and the Hulk is on the ground, and Lolani puts her where-the-hell-did-that-come from-knife-she-somehow-reclaimed-from-security (?) is up against his throat. After all that, the redshirt who was closer we assume from Lolani’s quarters finally shows up.
    (Did somebody even proofread this sequence? What a mess!)

    (12) So after being chastised by the brass, Kirk sends off the two Orions, forgetting the boy who helped her escape in the first place is there operating the transporter...Kirk obviously never heard of ‘’conflict of interest’’, or ‘’potential diplomatic disaster’’!!

    2 final thoughts: while entertaining, the whole dinner scenario is a Picard tactic, not a Kirk one. Kirk would have confronted Ferrigno during his ship’s arrival and denied him any contact whatsoever with Lolani, and brought her to a starbase ASAP to let the diplomats resolve the potential minefields (as another mentioned, akin to Lokai and Bele, another story involving slavery!!)...

    And Dr McKennah: sorry, but can a situation be any more telegraphed than this one? It’s so obvious STC is trying to reproduce Maddie and David from Moonlighting with Kirk and McKennah, aiming to get the two characters involved at some point that they are willing to completely forget the one basic truth about Kirk: that despite Janice Rand, despite Helen Noel and possibly many others,Kirk just does NOT involve himself with the women under his command...

    STC seems to be going ahead with morphing itself into the Kirk and McKennah show, at the serious expense of featuring Spock and McCoy in THEIR rightful roles. I don’t know about Haberkorn, but Leonard Nimoy would never have stood for this kind of thing in his day...

    Still an entertainig episode...let's keep on exploring!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    One thing that occurs to me is that the temptation to add too much can be very strong. For example in my opinion they gussied up the Orion slaver ship and the Tellarite ship a bit too much, The Tellarites (seen in the mind meld sequence) don't look quite like TOS Tellarites. Mind you in some cases it's not a bad thing. In some ways STC can show things TOS could only do if they'd had feature film resources, such as showing people on the hangar deck. If STC were to do a Gorn I'd like to think that maybe, just maybe, the Gorn costume could be somewhat upgraded from the original. But that said I have no interest in seeing the ENT bastardized version of the Gorn. Ditto any overly greebled Tholian ships. In the first episode "Pilgrim Of Eternity" I didn't think the realm artifact belonging to Apollo's people looked quite right in looking very cgi. Essentially I hope they don't go down the road CBS did with overdoing a lot of the enhanced f/x and change for change's sake.

    We have to keep in mind that in some ways STC is able to do enhanced f/x and post-production that constraints prevented TOS from doing. That's why we have a gorgeous Doug Drexler cgi model of the Enterprise that can be viewed from any angle whereas the original 11 footer couldn't really allow that. I really like how Drexler did the infamous gridlines in keeping them so very subtle. Here we have an enhanced viewing experience and yet the gridlines are not that visible. It also has to be said that after the episode is complete apparently they add a slight measure of film grain to all the footage similar as was done with the new f/x sequences in the TMP DE. So on viewing the footage looks really clean yet in enlarged stills and screencaps you can see the film grain. A very nice subtle touch to get the desired look.

    Seeing what Drexler did with the Enterprise I can only salivate on what he could give us if STC ever shows us a TOS Klingon Battle Cruiser. SWEET!!! (-:
     
  12. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Location:
    In your Mind!
    The mind meld flashback scenes were actually filmed at Laural Canyon stages (in LA) on the ship set used in Renegades with Kevin Bowers and Ryan Husk as Tellarites who are also in Renegades. ;)

    Anyways, great episode guys!! Keep up the good work!
     
  13. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    The Sunshine State

    To address a couple of things you mentioned:

    Item #6 - Lolani was raised "off-world" by her parents. It was only after her parents got killed that she was returned to Orion and thus forced into slavery. That is why all the drama with her. She was not use to being a slave but was forced into the trade after a life of freedom. She was not the normal Orion slave girl raised in that life

    Item #11 - The knife was from the Slave trader; not the knife that Lolani beamed about with. The knife is in the slave traders belt the entire time he is on board the ship and Lolani grabbed it from his belt when he was on the ground. As far as Kirk coming; it was because the security guard called him so I'm assuming he come down personally to deal with the "guest"
     
  14. Stompy

    Stompy Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    I really liked the episode. I got to watch it at Sci Fi Expo in Dallas with about 1000 other folks and the audience really got into it. I had the chance to talk to Vic and Todd over the weekend and am more of a fan than ever before

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Basill

    Basill Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    I enjoyed it immensely, but I have to admit I was having major Katy Perry flashbacks every time I laid eyes on Lolani.
    The whole episode really had some of that TOS feel though. A most welcome sensation. :)
     
  16. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Location:
    Rebuilding Cardassia after the Revolution
    I liked this one even more than Pilgrim of Eternity, and that's saying something, and I'm certainly hoping for more episodes. McKenna is IMO a great addition to the crew. The younger Doohan is so like his father at times that it's almost spooky and Mignogna's very convincing as Kirk. Some of his mannerisms are very reminiscent of Shatner.
     
  17. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    It says in the episode the Orion women were all enslaved by the males about 70 years before. Does that mean her father ''married'' a slave? I'd missed the part where her parents were dead, but it might have been interesting to examine this...

    As for the knife, before you mentioned it I hadn't even noticed it was part of Ferrigno's costume. I looked at the scene again and there was no indication that particular knife was seized by Lolani. Fair enough...

    Well, if Kirk came because the guard called him, what took the guard so long to come back to the room and notice the Orion wasn't there anymore? He should have been first inside, yet he only showed up long after Kirk did...
     
  18. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Location:
    On the destruct button until the last minute!
    Kirk was headed to see Lolani at the end of the previous scene.
     
  19. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    The Sunshine State
     
  20. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    From Kirk's reaction afterwards, it's clear he expected everything to run smoothly now that the crew had been immunized. It never occured to him that the officer was helping her without need of her "influence."