Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Warped9, Jun 2, 2013.
I just watched it and really liked it a lot.
For me, "Pilgrim of Eternity" fits between "Spock's Brain" and "Balance of Terror" in terms of quality. I enjoyed watching it, and will likely watch it again.
As to the poll, I don't think it can be answered, so I won't.
So, it falls somewhere between the worst and the best of the original series? That's kinda vague.
I've watches this episode three times so far. Of course normally I wouldn't watch the same episode of anything three times in succession over the span of a week or so, but this is a bit different.
Firstly it's Star Trek TOS, my absolutely favourite television series of all. And so the novelty of watching something that resonates back to the series I love blemishes and all is a bit too much to resist. In many respects this really feels like finding a lost episode that I had somehow missed all these years similar to finding recorded yet unreleased music from The Beatles. In spirit and overall vibe this is the kind of "reboot" that's works for me. It's not really meant as a reboot, of course, in the conventional sense. It's meant to pick up where the original left off. The rebooted part is mostly in regard to casting (understandably unavoidable) and production and f/x resources. Resources today allow for things that simply couldn't be done on a television budget back in the day yet for all that the creators of STC made an effort to remain stylistically/aesthetically consistent with the original source materiel. They also made it work for the higher resolution imagery expected today.
It should also be said that the objective of this production can do things that a multi-million dollar feature film might not have been able to get away with. This is a smaller scale story and one that wouldn't likely work as a feature film which would pretty much demand a bigger story. It sets out to evoke the original source materiel in exacting detail, which works well for the small screen but might be challenged for the big screen. It caters to devoted fans of the original while a feature film must have broader appeal. STC is a labour of love while a feature film is primarily about making big box office returns.
As much as I enjoyed "Pilgrim Of Eternity" there are small things that I find a bit odd. In this I'm not referring to casting which here I found ranging from acceptable to spookily cool. I really like Vic Mignogna as Kirk. He evokes Shatner yet he's also his own thing. I felt pretty much the same about Haberkorn as Spock and Chris Doohan as Scotty. I can see myself accepting them in their roles because they manage to evoke the original performers without seeming forced. STC's Uhura, McCoy and Sulu are missing something although they're acceptable. Uhura is lacking a hint of the exotic quality Nichelle Nichols exuded. Imihara's Sulu needs to ease up a bit and feel more natural. Nemecek's McCoy is okay, but he was missing a bit of crustiness that Deforest Kelley gave the role. Mind you I still prefer him to the McCoy on The New Voyages/Phase II productions who always seems to be in some varying degree of bad mood.
There were TNG like elements to this production that I found a bit weird. The first was the introductory holodeck scene which proved to have absolutely nothing to do with the actual story of the episode. It was somewhat fun, but it also felt rather tacked on. I don't really mind the holodeck element because the concept was first seen in TAS and actually referenced in The Making Of Star Trek regarding the facilities to be found board the Enterprise. Now I only hope they don't delve further or too much into the holodeck idea.
The next TNG like idea was how the opening theme was shot. The views of the Enterprise felt more like TNG despite the reuse of the original TOS music. The next TNG like element was the introduction of a ship's Counsellor. The actress was great in the role yet this is an idea I think they'll have to be very careful with. Perhaps they should try to make the role more along the lines originally intended for Deanna Troi as opposed to how she was actually used. Again I really like the actress, but in some ways it feels like a sop to fans of contemporary Trek as do some of the other TNG like elements incorporated into this production. I don't think any of those more contemporary elements were needed to make this production work, but I reserve final judgement upon seeing where they go with this.
Comparing this with actual TOS episodes. In fairness as much as I like it I don't think it's on the level of "Balance Of Terror," "The Corbomite Maneuver," "The City On The Edge Of Forever," "The Doomsday Machine" or any of TOS' best. But that said I do think it's better than the likes of "And The Children Shall Lead" or TOS' other disappointments. So it isn't excellent and yet it also isn't outright bad or even poor. I'd say it's fair to good as a TOS episode. I'd rate it between a 3 and 4 out of 5. So I'll call it a 3.5 out of 5. If I factor in my enthusiasm for finding "new" TOS that feels a lot like original TOS then I could grade it a bit higher, say maybe as much as a 4 out of 5.
I can't help but compare this with other fan productions I've watched. Recently I've watched a number of other productions for a reasonable sense of comparison. Both Starship Exeter and Starship Farragut are bolstered by wholly original characters where the casts avoid direct comparisons with the TOS cast. This allow me to pay more attention to the story and other aspects of production. I have to say that I enjoyed both productions as something of a window into other parts of the TOS universe. We're seeing that Kirk and company have contemporaries with very similar adventures. In universe this makes a lot of sense because it wouldn't be believable if the Enterprise crew were the only exceptional ones in Starfleet.
I've also watched pretty much all of The New Voyages/Phase II features. I've enjoyed them, but they don't have that ring or vibe of authenticity that I got from Star Trek Continues. They feel like something of an alternate universe Trek that looks somewhat familiar yet also feels quite different. I have to say that a large part of it is casting---I just can't identify with this cast. The production also feels a bit like they're trying a bit too much to "connect the dots" so to speak. In the end they just don't feel like what we might have gotten in a fourth season of TOS. Mind you the objective of these productions doesn't seem to be the same as that of Star Trek Continues so a direct comparison mightn't be really fair.
The one thing I found undeniably apparent in all the productions was the inescapable enthusiasm for the subject matter.
That's because I don't feel that I can or should judge it that specifically. It's good enough to match the baseline quality of the original series, but different enough that it doesn't just fit into the same continuum.
The New Voyages/Phase II feels like fanfic to me (which it is, of course, only in a visual medium). Star Trek Continues feels like it actually could have been a TOS episode. Just a touch of polish to the script and slip in the original cast in their prime and I think it would have fit right in.
Of course we don't know yet where this series will go, but there are some things I certainly don't want to see as well as some I'd like to see in subsequent episodes.
- We've had a nice little bridging story and revisited a past character (Apollo) so now please leave it at that. I now hope they do fresh stories and avoid the TOS alumni type casting the way TNV/P2 is doing.
- While I would welcome an action oriented story akin to "The Doomsday Machine" or "The Ultimate Computer" it's the thoughtful and dramatic stories I like most. So, please, lets see some variety.
- Please, no parachuting in TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT aliens and concepts. Lets continue as if none of that has happened yet. That most certainly applies to the Borg, the Ferengi, The Cardassians, the Breen and whatever else. Don't feel beholden to what was done after TOS/TAS/TMP.
- Please, no more time travel stories.
- If Klingons and/or Romulans are done again I hope it's more than just run-of-the-mill ship battle stuff. "Balance Of Terror," "Errand Of Mercy," "The Enterprise Incident" and "Day Of The Dove" were good and entertaining stories with these enemy aliens and are good examples of how to use them. I really hope they can avoid characters like TNV's Commander Karg who I didn't find convincing in the least. Good villains need to be more than cliches and caricatures.
- I admit it was kinda cool seeing Lt. Arex put into live-action in Phase II so I'm not really averse to seeing that again. It certainly opens up possibilities in terms of other TAS aliens as long as it works in a believable way. Seeing an Andorian Starfleet officer named Thelin would be a nice little tie-in to TAS' "Yesteryear" and given that Spock and Kirk would be the only ones to have a clue as to who he is and who he was in the altered timeline. It would also be cool to see a Skorr and/or a Phylosian done live-action if at all possible without looking goofy.
- New ship designs. I admit I'd love a chance to pitch some ideas here, but ultimately it would be cool if we could see some other Starfleet ships both past and present.
As far as I'm concerned, STC can do whatever they want to do, as long as they have actors doing it.
I don't mind seeing TOS alumni cast members at all, but frankly now that it has been done I highly doubt we'll see Takei, Crosby, or Koenig making guest appearances on STC. If some other guest stars and/or extras get pulled out of the woodwork to appear as new characters, I'd enjoy that. Frankly enough time has passed that it's possible to do so, rather than having them appear as evolved versions of their former characters (i.e. a Captain Leslie ends up appearing in an approaching starship). It'll bring a little sentimental eye candy to the episodes without causing too much distraction.
I've also enjoyed the Phase II episodes and it's probably best to refrain from direct comparisons given how they're crafted in different spirits. But if there's one thing I wish they'd adjust with Phase II it's Cawley's Kirk. For me, he tries too hard to be like Shatner. There's a facial strain for emphasis that he keeps falling back on, which looks more like an impersonation rather than just personality. I know the production is Cawley's baby, and he does have quite a lot of acting experience under his belt (highly successful at being an Elvis impersonator), but he could use some coaching to polish up his Kirk persona. It would really make a pleasurable difference, given how central Kirk is to the series.
Yes, just like "Adonais." (Though I've always been fond of it.)
I like both STC and Phase II, and I'm not going to compare them directly, either.
For what it's worth, the upcoming episode Kitumba, is apparently James Cawley's last as Kirk; Brian Gross will be taking over as of Bread and Savagery, which is already in post-production.
Yes, the plan is for James to phase out (har har), after "Kitumba." We shot a vignette last year which introduces our new Captain Kirk (Mr. Brian Gross) and our new Enterprise design from the old (and ill-fated) Phase II series.
That's such a gorgeous looking Enterprise, too. I've seen that vignette at least half a dozen times and I just love the Enterprise scene at the end.
There's something about the starship Enterprise that just looks "right."
i liked cawley's kirk, now looks like phase 2's getting its own high-pitched kirk
Well, it doesn't really look like that, but it does sound like that.
Yeah, high-pitched Kirks seem to be all the rage these days... funny how that's working out.
Looks great Greg. I love the cross between the TOS and TMP Enterprise. The CG work is awesome!!! Hey where did you get that prismatic stuff on the chevron behind Kirk? I need some of that!!
it was very well done, but does it feel like the real thing to me? Hardly. if I did felt that way it would be the nostalgia talking. It certainly does LOOK like the real thing, I'll give you that. But that initial joy of familiarity can't get me over the hump of the actors, some better than others, trying to be Shatner and company. They're just not that good. And it's to be expected, they're not professionals. Until true professionals take the roles, across the board, it will never "feel" like the real thing. But it does look amazing.
What comes across in NV/P2 as well as STC is that some of the actors are comfortable in their roles, and some aren't.
Some will improve, and others won't.
I don't remember who it was, but NV/P2 at one time had a young man playing Chekov who was very good. I think he's moved on now, but I enjoyed his performance.
Gross looks like he's doing a good job. Yet I have to admit, that with the long distance shot I immediately thought of Lt. Hadley instead of Kirk.
Do you mean Andy Bray? He was good.
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