Star Trek Continues: Episode 3...

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Warped9, May 26, 2014.

  1. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    Part of Exeter's first episode took place inside an underground city of Andoria... But if what you mean is more like TOS' Planet Hell soundstage which got redressed many times, but notable for The Cage's planet Talos 4, well...all of the Fan productions would probably create something like that if they had a 6 figure budget handy...
     
  2. aalenfae

    aalenfae Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I was imagining the Planet Hell kinds of planets when I made my remark.
    Though I'm sure even a small partial set with glittery styrofoam rocks could be properly augmented with some good greenscreen work to look like a TOS planet, but with maybe some more realism than the original show permitted (more expansive, some clouds, etc).
     
  3. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not normally into fan productions, but I have to admit this one is pretty good so far.

    As far as 'nailing the look' goes, I really noticed that when I had to go across the house for some reason, and on the way back, seeing the show on screen from a distance, it actually looks like the real thing!
     
  4. Danlav05

    Danlav05 Captain Captain

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  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If they're based in LA, that will be pretty easy. ;)
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I believe their main facilities are in Georgia.
     
  8. ClayinCA

    ClayinCA Commodore Commodore

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    Nobody ever shoots one of these things near where I live... :(
     
  9. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    The actress playing Marlena had a remarkable resemblance to Barbara Luna. Asia DeMarcos did a great job. Here she is in the STC 3 episode "The Fairest of Them All"

    [​IMG]
     
  10. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

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    I've been impressed with the look and feel of the episodes so far. As someone said upthread, from a distance it really is indistinguishable from TOS. I've done a double take at some of the stills. especially with Vic as Kirk. His look (if not his voice) captures Shatner in his prime, and Chris Doohan is definitely his father's son.

    This new Marlena is a spot on double for BarBara Luna. I hope the voice matches the face.
     
  11. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    The starship sets are, yes. But Vic and most of the cast live in Los Angeles. If they wanted to, shooting scenes here would not be impossible.
     
  12. wtriker1701

    wtriker1701 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Vasquez "Rocks"!

    BTT: I'm looking forward to it. And yes, Asia DeMarcos definitely is a Barbara Luna look-a-like. And especially "a like"!
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Nine more days until Episode 3's release and I'm looking forward to it.

    That said I have been reflecting.

    In the space of about a year STC has managed to give us three episodes. That's a pretty impressive accomplishment given the challenge of mounting these productions. It has certainly helped maintain interest on top of their overall execution.

    From the beginning STC's stated intent was to continue TOS' depiction of the Enterprise's 5-year mission. The stated goal was to recreate the overall look and feel of TOS aas close as possbile using contemporary resources and occasonally straying a bit beyond what TOS could have done (unless they had had more extensive resources of the day). Largely I think STC has done that. They've done some things that could have been done on TOS if better resources of the day had been available and really haven't done much if anything that TOS couldn't have done.

    That isn't to say that STC hasn't done things TOS wouldn't have done. By introducing a ship's counselor they are retconning an idea that wouldn't exist for another twenty years. I understand the reasoning behind it, to introduce a better balance of gender roles to appeal to a change in viewer expectations. But I do wonder if they couldn't have done this a little more deftly. The McKennah character is used more like a psychologist and she is a doctor so why couldn't they have just called her the ship's psychologist? By invoking the title of Counselor they are making a direct connection to the TNG era. On the other hand I find McKennah far more appealing than Deanna Troi and nowhere near as annoying.

    There is some debate about the inclusion of a prototype holodeck which is such a familiar staple of the TNG-VOY era of Trek, but then again they're not introducing an idea that didn't exist back in the day. Roddenberry had conceived of something like the holodeck way back during TOS (and it was seen in TAS), but they simply had never had the opportunity realize the idea. And given what we had already seen on TOS (in terms of depicting convincing illusions (in universe) I've little doubt that something like the holodeck could have been done on TOS.

    In terms of overall execution STC has earned top marks. In many respects the production looks and feels near imdistinguishable form TOS and the divergences are minor. On this issue STC has hit their target dead on.

    In terms of story I think, so far, things are a bit murkier with STC's stated intent. Their first episode, "Pilgrim Of Eternity," was also essentially a proof of concept to show they could deliver what they were aiming for. The overall execution of the story itself works well enough, in my opinion. That said I still question the choice to do a followup episode because I don't think it's something TOS would have done. We know that Gene Coon was fond of the idea of revisiting certain characters and places, but it wasn't something Gene Roddenberry, Dorothy Fontana and Robert Justman were interested in. Revisiting the familiar is something that would happen in TAS and certainly would happen again in the films as well as extensively in the TNG-ENT productions. But it's not likely TOS would have done it. So in that sense "Pilgrim Of Eternity" feels like an oddity in terms of continuing the original series as if it hadn't been cancelled.

    I think the second episode, "Lolani," is well in keeping with the spirit of TOS. It's a fresh story that doesn't rely heavily on the familiarity of previously established characters or places. It's an effort that fosters discussion and debate (perfectly in keeping with many TOS episodes) and it goes beyond what was done on TOS previously. In an overall sense "Lolani" feels very much like something we could have seen originally.

    Which now brings us to the forthcoming third episode, "Fairest Of Them All." This will again be a revisit as well as a step back in time (they're going back to TOS' second season). The story is purportedly a direct sequel to TOS' "Mirror, Mirror" and depicting what happened when the Mirror Universe Kirk and his landing party were returned to their own universe. Again, now, they are doing something I highly doubt would have been done on TOS. TOS had already been there and done that and likely wouldn't have felt any need to answer the question of what happened to those characters. In that sense this story strikes me as pure fan indulgence rather than a genuine effort to pick up where TOS left off. It could still be fun and well executed, but it's not really fulfilling STC's original stated intent. In my view they have really done that only with "Lolani" so far.

    I can understand the challenge of mounting these productions as well as the temptation to revisit things that appealed to us originally. But it should also be remembered that a large elment of what made TOS work was the creativity to always move forward and introduce new things that added to TOS' overall tapestry. That's why I'm impressed with "Lolani" because it feels very much in keeping with what TOS would/could have done.

    It's my hope that after Episode 3, regardless of how entertaining it may be, that Star Trek Continues gets back to the kind of thinking that spawned a story like "Lolani" and refrains from revisiting the familiar. Let Phase II and others do the fanfic and continuity porn and strive to keep STC feeling like a more genuine continuation of TOS.
     
  14. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The two consistent writing trends I've noticed with STC is:

    1) They want to get on the soap-box and cover a moral issue. Some hate the preachiness, I love it.

    2) They want to fill in loose ends. These are their idea of loose ends, and some may disagree that they were there in the first place, but I like the idea of trying to fill in that missing detail (especially the Orion slavegirl issue).

    I suspect that the upcoming episode will continue to do both of these things. I don't think it is just a fanboi excuse to revisit the Mirror Universe. It will continue an exploration of the underlying theme of nature vs. nurture, to see whether the "bad" versions of the Trek characters must remain bad. Similar to the Hugh storyline with the Borg in TNG (which was basically dropped). This could be very interesting.
     
  15. DCR

    DCR Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm torn on STC - they do some things very very well, but there are other things that drive me nuts.

    They've definitely got the look. It looks and feels like Trek, and I give them full marks for that. The cast is well above the fan-film average, though I'm still not entirely sold on Spock or McCoy. Vic's physical portrayal of Kirk is pitch-perfect, and you can't do better than Chris Doohan for Scotty.

    Where I feel the letdown, is with the stories and some aspects of the storytelling; on the whole the stories feel like they came out of the TNG writer's room.

    The holodeck scene from Pilgrim of Eternity bothered me, not because it was bad, but because it was never followed up in the story. The other issue was the way Kirk kept coming back to his senior officers. In Lolani, I have to admit that I found the morality/preaching aspect too heavy handed. It was like the story served the message rather than the message serving the story. I also didn't like how the final decision was taken out of Kirk's hands while he was making up his mind.

    I guess I'm asking if it would be too much for Kirk to make a decision? That's the issue. Neither episode showed Kirk making a decision from is own gut feeling and following through decisively. Everything required thought or consultation. That's not Kirk, it's Picard.

    I do want to see the new episode, and what will hopefully follow. I just want to see more Kirk being Kirk.
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    One thing that's pretty much inescapable is the fact the writers are coming at it from a contemporary perspective and experience rather than that of the 1960's. They are influenced by so many other things besides simply TOS and its contemporaries. A contemporary individual simply cannot truly adopt a 1960's mindset and ignore everything else they know.

    TOS could be heavy-handed (by today's standards) so I don't feel STC has been off-base here. Kirk has on occasion consulted others for opinion and consensus so they're not far off-base here either, as long as they don't do it all the time.

    I can accept them introducing a new female regular in an effort to have more female presence. McKennah essentially replaces Chapel who wasn't strong enough a character anyway. I do balk at them using the title of Counselor which is so recognized with TNG. That said I'd have liked to see Uhura featured more prominently.

    I agree that each episode so far has been about conveying some sort of message and I'm on board with that. And if they manage to do that with Episode 3 as well then so much the better.

    I would like to clarify my remarks. I don't think STC has done anything flat out wrong that I simply can't accept. I'm just voicing observations in regard to what they have accomplished and in regard to their stated intent, much as it was Stan Robertson's role to oversee TOS' stories to keep them generally in line with the show NBC expected.
     
  17. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    Apart from Harry Mudd, what other characters and places did Coon bring back? And apart from being played by the same actor and being a scoundrel of sorts, Harry from Mudd's women is pretty different from the one in I, Mudd.
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Apparently he liked to tell actors that they could possibly be brought back again to revisit their characters. He also liked to reuse plot devices and other story gimmicks when possible. It seems to have been his idea to reuse Kor (from first season) in other Klingon stories to give Kirk a regular nemesis. GR wasn't keen on the idea because he thought it begged credibility that Kirk could keep running into the same adversary over and over again. Coon was the one who okayed David Gerrold reusing Harry Mudd for "I, Mudd" but when Roddenberry found out he wasn't happy. And he wasn't particularly keen about the episode either.
     
  19. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    That might be more of a production ''trick'' vis-a-vis the actors, it helps you to motivate the talent to give you their 100% performance. If an actor thinks he's just doing a single guest shot that will never be seen again, there is always the chance they'll phone it in. Not everyone is as stunningly professional as William Windom.


    Wasn't it Koloth that was in the running for the nemesis part? But anyway, putting story ideas in your notebook and getting to the point where it actually is in your 26 shooting scripts are two vastly different things.
    It's funny to see how things have changed in a few decades, where your producer USED to be the guy who ixnays returning characters over the wishes of the show runner who might want to give audiences a familiar and well-liked antagonist, and also to lighten his workload a little bit.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    There are memos where Roddenberry, Fontana and Justman remark on the familiarity of plot devices being reused more than once or twice. They preferred to think of better and other ways of doing things rather than reusing previous devices. So familiar gimmicks being reused can often be traced back to Gene Coon.

    Originally Kor was the character that was supposed to be reused in "The Trouble With Tribbles" and other 2nd season episodes with a Klingon (such as a "A Private Little War"). But John Colicos was unavailable when needed for those productions and so other actors were hired. After William Campbell appeared in "The Trouble With Tribbles" there was talk of reusing the character of Koloth again later but it never came to fruition, and that might have been due to Roddenberry because he wasn't keen on that practice.

    And in all honesty I think overall TOS' tapestry was richer and more interesting for it.