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

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

  1. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "We" do? Could you fill in this member of the We collective, because I seem to have missed the staff memo.
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I believe Michelle Specht is Vic Mignogna's fiancé.

    Wow, talk about history repeating itself. :lol:
     
  3. Duane

    Duane Captain Captain

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    I welcome her in STC. She can act, and she does it well.
     
  4. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree. Michelle Specht is the best actor on the show, after Vic. And unlike the others, her character has chemistry with Captain Kirk.

    I like that they've essentially filled the vacant Janice Rand role with a recurring Helen Noelle- giving her something more to do than get Kirk coffee and scream.
     
  5. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Specht is a fine actress and I think it's somewhat denigrating to her and the performances she's given to assume that the only reason she's there is because she's Vic's partner. Who cares? She's playing a dynamic, new character. It's hardly the end of the world.
     
  6. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    I have no problem with the addition of a ship's counselor, and Michelle Specht is certainly capable in the role.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    As I've said before I don't have a problem with the character of Dr. Elise McKennah per se. I certainly don't have a problem with Michelle Specht's performance. What I question is how the character is utilized in the TOS setting.

    TOS was primarily Kirk, Spock and McCoy with the supporting cast filling in as needed, Now STC has dropped the Nurse Chapel character, one not all that integral to the TOS series, and plugged in a character that is getting more screen time than the original supporting TOS characters. She is also being used in places where Spock and McCoy would previously have been used. In some measure her presence is cutting into the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic. Doing that occasionally is one thing, but doing it always (if they indeed do that) will be a problem in my view.

    In all honesty Uhura could have easily fulfilled most of what McKennah did in both "Pilgrim Of Eternity" and particularly in "Lolani."

    I admit I'm not impressed with most of what I've seen in fan productions which makes it very easy to focus on so many things I don't like and feel they get wrong in terms of what I'd rather see. But in STC's case they have gotten so much right that I'm inclined to be more forgiving and allow for some things I normally wouldn't care for as long as everything else stays on track overall.

    So far I find Elise McKennah a lot easier to like than Deanna Troi, a character I absolutely never could stand from the get-go. In my view Troi was rarely utilized properly and I never cared for the actress either. All that could have changed, or at least benn tempered, with a better actress and if the character had been better utilized. But overall I found Troi to be largely redundant and useless on TNG as she was utilized. Too bad Denise Crosby was a bad actress because I thought Tasha Yar was a much more interesting character than Deanna Troi.

    So in the long run it will depend on how Elise McKennah is utilized and how much they allow her character to change the dynamic of the TOS characters as well as the TOS vibe in storytelling.
     
  8. DCR

    DCR Commander Red Shirt

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    My only issue with Michelle Specht's role is that I would have rather had the part she plays in the story spread out amongst the existing ST characters like Spock, Bones, and Uhura. She's a perfectly good actress, and I have no problem with the character, I just like more of a focus on the characters I came to watch.

    I do find there's more of a TNG sensibility to the scripts, and Vic's Kirk seems to have a command style that's closer to Picard's than Shatner's Kirk. It was more prominent in the first episode, but I can still see traces in this one.

    I liked that the main characters had a moral quandary, but I think they missed something by having Kirk's final decision come too late to affect the outcome. I would like to see Kirk's decision-making drive the final outcome of the next episode.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The thing that I find baffling here and with Phase 2 is the diminution of Spock, who was THE breakout character of the original show and one of the most "fascinating" characters of the series. Maybe you need Nimoy-like talent to pull that character off, but no one ever even seems to try to write Spock an interesting role.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  10. RCAM

    RCAM Commander Red Shirt

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    The only time I ever found Spock interesting in a fan film was in "World Enough in Time." I remember him having a very nice and well-acted conversation about identity.
     
  11. DCR

    DCR Commander Red Shirt

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    To be honest, I often find Spock to be one of the weaker links in fan-film casting, as it's a role that I don't think any of the fan groups has done particularly well.

    It may be a minor thing, but I can't help but wonder if the general use of actors with higher voices in fan films might be partially to blame as I find it robs the role of some of its dignity.
     
  12. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    You know, I hadn't thought of this at all. You're right, it's entirely minor, but it does seem rather prevalent in the fan film casts -- The only Spock that really has resonated with me was Ben Tolpin in "Blood and Fire," and looking back on it, even that is memorable largely because of the timbre of his voice.

    Then again, there are a ton of minor nitpicks that we could level at the various fan films. One that constantly takes me "out" of the story, no matter the rationalization of the fan film production team, is simply the TOS look/approach to facial hair. Exeter and Continues are about the only productions who have chosen to maintain that particular aesthetic from TOS. From a real world perspective, I suppose I understand why fan film actors might not want to shave their beards or cut their hair, but it does serve to pop me out of the bubble they are attempting to create in their efforts to get us to think we're watching TOS all over again.

    As for McKennah, again, I think she's a fine character and I don't have any problem with her supposedly taking lines that could have been given to the other characters. Maybe it'd be different if Specht wasn't as good an actress or didn't have the chemistry with Vic that she does (again, something that is really hard to capture on film whether its there in real life or not), but she does have that chemistry and she is a perfectly competent actress.

    I'm not seeing the problem.
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I never got the resistance to shaving for a role. It grows back, after all.

    For one of my short films the lead not only was willing to take his beard off, but sport a pencil mustache AND get a 1940 style haircut...this for a single day shoot.
     
  14. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    In our case at Phase II, our actors have bern perfectly willing to grow facial hair or grow their hair longer in keeping with the late-70s style of the aborted Phase II series and in keeping with the long hair and facial hair that was being allowed in the U.S. Navy at that time. The 70's style we maintain is an artistic production decision, not an individual cast member decision.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I recall the fashion for beards and mustaches (I hate the term "facial hair"....it sounds like it's from a beauty ad: "eliminate unwanted facial hair") was very stache and sideburn-centric, and where guys had beards, they weren't the close-cropped modern beard. You certainly didn't see guys with the DeSalle length buzz beards. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  16. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I like her although if they had simply re-cast her as Noel I'd have been just as happy - except I suppose Noel was also a doctor.

    I agree that slotting her in as counselor is painting her into a corner in terms of contribution beyond flirting and a female perspective that competes with Bones' emotional perspective. Although I think the character was poorly handled, Rand actually had a lot more potential than Uhura or Chapel because her role was nebulous, mobile, and versatile enough that they needed very little excuse to use her. Giver her a phaser and show her as having security training and you have a perfectly serviceable modern heroine who ALSO makes the coffee.

    TOS probably feels better if you use the troika for most of your story but give the supporting cast a defining trait/job that gives them some generic contribution, and then rotate one or two of them to contribute more heavily periodically alongside guest characters. I think if you try to give the supporting cast too much to do everybody gets spread too thinly.

    the key, which is where I think TOS fell down, was not using the supporting cast, apart from Scotty, anywhere near enough throughout the run overall, and nowhere near evenly.
     
  17. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    Um, no. I didn't comment on her acting abilities. What I did insinuate was that she, compared to the rest of the ensemble, get's more screen time, even more than McCoy and Spock. To the detriment of the other characters. Don't sit there and tell me it's TOS continued and then develop a character for your finance that has nothing to do with TOS..and still call it Star Trek Continues..

    Gimme a break.
     
  18. Duane

    Duane Captain Captain

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    Shows introduce new characters all the time. It's entirely conceivable that TOS might have done this if it had lasted a few more years. The Spock character, as much as I love him, wasn't utilized well in season 3, even Nimoy has stated as such. The 'fresh air" of a new character might have helped if the show had continued.
     
  19. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    I don't agree, Halliwell. I think Helen Noel got a whole lot more screen time than McCoy or Spock in DAGGER OF THE MIND. Of course, she's a guest star and not a series regular like Specht.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  20. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    The thing you are forgetting is that this is their show to produce as they see fit. Certainly, I've made no bones about my criticisms of Phase II and how they choose to do things. Likewise, you are more than welcome to criticize Continues for how they do things there. But I disagree wholeheartedly that McKennah's presence is such that it is at the detriment of the other characters. She's a part of Star Trek Continues whether you like it or not. It's also not the end of the world. It's no more or less valid than Phase II's everything-and-the-kitchen-sink-retcon-continuity-porn approach.

    As has been pointed out, plenty of other characters have been given larger roles than Spock or McCoy in other stories. It'd be great if there were more than two full episodes to compare, but for now that's all we have. Helen Noel, Khan, Lazarus, Edith Keeler, there are plenty of other characters we could cite.

    Neither web series will ever truly "be" TOS; but they both achieve the nearness of it in their own way. Whether McKennah's presence is a concession toward that end or not, I'm fine with it.