Star Trek Continues releases second episode “Lolani” | TrekMovie.com
jump to navigation

Star Trek Continues releases second episode “Lolani” February 9, 2014

by Brian Drew , Filed under: Fan Productions , trackback

The fan production Star Trek Continues will premiered it’s second installment this weekend. Star Trek Continues, a TOS-era production, made a splash last year when it released it’s first episode, “Pilgrim of Eternity” – a sequel to the second season TOS episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?”, which featured the return of actor Michael Forest as Apollo. See our story. The second episode, “Lolani”, which was crowd funded as part of a successful Kickstarter campaign last fall, debuted before a live audience Saturday night at the Dallas Sci-Fi Expo, and has now been made available online. Click on for the details and the video.


stc-lolani-final-poster-small

A survivor from a distressed Tellarite vessel pulls Captain Kirk and his crew into a moral quandary over her sovereignty.

“Lolani” features appearances by two longtime genre favorites. Lou Ferrigno (yes, THE Lou Ferrigno), whom many fans remember fondly as The Incredible Hulk, will be playing an unspecified role. Erin Gray, known to many fans as Colonel Wilma Deering in the 1979 television revival of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, will be playing Commodore Gray.

The series stars voice actor Vic Mignogna (who is also executive producer) as Captain Kirk, voice actor Todd Haberkorn as Mr. Spock, Trek author Larry Nemecek as Dr. McCoy, Chris Doohan as Scotty, Mythbuster Grant Imahara as Sulu, Kim Stinger as Uhura, Michele Specht as Dr. McKennah, and Steven Dengler as Drake.

After a successful run on Kickstarter, Star Trek Continues has been funded for another 3 episodes. More information about the production, which includes several short video vignettes, can be found at http://www.startrekcontinues.com

Comments

1. Matt Wright - February 10, 2014

Shall we try again folks? Let’s be respectful this time…

2. Drew - February 10, 2014

I really enjoyed this episode. I’m not going to even attempt to nitpick. Great job Vic and crew!

3. PEB - February 10, 2014

Thanks Matt, it’s getting crazy around here. The episode was great. It was like watching one of the classic episodes from back in the day. Great casting and acting. They have the mannerisms down to a t. Didn’t realise the stand-in for Chekov is the same actor who played little Boba Fett in Star Wars Episode 2. I continue to be incredibly impressed by the team.

4. Ctrl-Opt-Del - February 10, 2014

Honestly, personally, I prefer Phase II’s style; but I’m not going to complain about new ‘Trek!

In my head cannon “Star Trek Continues” takes place *between* TOS & NV/P2, and I’m just seeing it all out of order.

Unless the “Continues” people deliberately do something in their series to create an irreconcilable inconsistency between the two I don’t see any reason why not to view it that way…

5. CmdrR - February 10, 2014

This is a very well-crafted piece of work. Very watchable.

Love the guest starring roles… the inside baseball references… and love to see Trek shown respect.

6. EM - February 10, 2014

I really enjoy both Phase II and Continues. I just wish that Continues would use the 16:9 ratio to film their shows. I understand their desire to keep to the 4:3 format used during the TOS era, I just prefer 16:9. I am always conscious of the difference while viewing Continues. It kind of takes me out of the show.

7. Cygnus-X1 - February 10, 2014

Best fan film yet!

Two thumbs up…WAY up!

I do have a problem watching all of these fan films at their respective sites, though—whether it be STC, Phase2, or Starship Farragut. I guess my computer processor isn’t good enough to keep up. When I watch them at YouTube, though, I have no problems at all.

8. nlurker - February 10, 2014

Outstanding! The quality of “Lolani” equals that of many real TOS episodes in almost every respect.

9. Ran - February 10, 2014

Excellent episode. Dialogue and pace are remarkable for a 50 minutes, low budget fan film. This one holds more “Trek” value than recent movies and truly brings the spirit of Roddenberry to life.

Well done!

10. KevinJ - February 10, 2014

I liked it. Did anyone else notice that the audio is in mono, as the episodes of the original series were? Nice performances by all actors/actresses but Erin Gray’s performance really stood out, she clearly still has what it takes to be a pro and Chris Doohan gave a performance that I think his father would be very proud of.

11. New Horizon - February 10, 2014

I’m just about to sit down and watch the episode now. As far as the comments about the aspect ratio, I don’t care either way but if their goal is to remain faithful to the original show then 4:3 is the logical road to take. It’s an artistic choice and really, in 16:9 it can’t feel the same as the original because it gives the show a different scope due to the framing of the shots. I’m very happy with Continues as is.

12. CDR Arch - February 10, 2014

I loved it, and I want to be respectful to those who love what JJ Abrams has done. So don’t take it personally if I like this character of Kirk much better. The small details of having Kirk read a book and need glasses was a nice touch. Also this Kirk is a scholar and is reading Gibbons’ Rise and Fall of Roman Empire was more of the Kirk that I respect. JJ’s Kirk was not “a stack of books with legs” or was he the type of serious Hornblower like Captain from the original series. You don’t need to crash a starship into a building to get me to watch, just tell a great story in the morality play format with a touch of action and adventure and you have a great show. So far New Voyages World Enough and Time is my favorite fan film but this one is a very close second! Great work to all those involved, or as we say in the US Navy, Bravo Zulu!

13. MJ - February 10, 2014

Vic is Kirk! Best Kirk performance in a fan production yet!

Story was mediocre though — seemed like an excuse to show a very attractive half-naked green woman. Kind of sexist as well.

14. Marja - February 10, 2014

I think I’m now a fan of Star Trek Continues!

Acting has improved. Todd Haberkorn has got Spock’s dialogue pacing down, and brings much of the gravitas Nimoy had.

Mignogna was even better in this episode than in the first, and has a nice energy/tension with ‘Dr McKenna”. The other cast members did great work as well, especially young Ens Kenway and Lolani. Ferrigno, I had difficulty understanding, but his acting was good.

I liked the funny moments and the solemn ones; in these respects they really capture the spirit of TOS. I’ll be watching this one again.

My quibbles are mostly makeup related. I’ll go into these later in another post. There was a sound glitch early on the Bridge [Kirk speaking with Sulu and the new navigator - whom I liked quite well btw], a continuity error with Uhura’s hair, and perhaps other things I didn’t notice.

Overall the the music was well employed, production looked like Trek TOS, and the cast and crew caught the spirit of TOS. I am very happy with this episode.

One MAJOR item, though. The creators of TOS’s original musical scoring, which adds so much to the authentic and emotional feel of the episode[s] SHOULD BE CREDITED. It is very wrong not to do so. Jeffries’ original set designs, prop styles, &c. should be credited also.

I do hope another hour is on its way to us soon. Thanks for making this happen, Vic Mignogna, cast and crew!

15. Phil - February 10, 2014

@1. You’re not holding your breath, are you? Keep your finger on the insta-ban button, my friend….

16. TrekMadeMeWonder - February 10, 2014

This episode was great!

As I’ve stated, my one gripe would be that Courtney Stodden was not cast as the Orion slave woman.

My other comment would be, I am pretty sure that Crewman Kenway had Lolani beamed right to his quarters. Seemed to me like he was still trying to do Lolani’s bidding. Especially with his request for time off at the end.

Thanks everyone! This hit all the correct original series chords witht he great writing! And the sets were fantastic, too.

17. Darkowski - February 10, 2014

Loved it!

18. Vultan - February 10, 2014

#13

Didn’t you just describe a quarter of TOS episodes?

19. Marja - February 10, 2014

18 Vultan, maybe more than a quarter ;-)

AND DON’T GET ME WRONG I LOVE TOS.

20. Rastaman - February 10, 2014

That was remarkable, and a very good moral tale. It speaks out against the sex trade, which is still a very real thing. I disagree that it was sexist given the overall message of the story. I enjoy Vic’s Kirk a great deal.

21. Steve - February 10, 2014

Remarkable job by Vic and his team, the lighting, sound and atmosphere was perfect. Like others here, Vic plays a very convincing Kirk.

My only gripe, which is small, was the performance of Lou Ferrigno. I found it hard to understand him and he seemed to have an odd accent.

Other than that, the best fan production episode yet in terms of Roddenberry’s vision and the stories of the original series.

22. CraigB - February 10, 2014

Really enjoying this fan film. Great work guys!!!!

23. Vultan - February 10, 2014

#19

Oh, me too. I love TOS. But I admit the show wasn’t without its bad writing and sexist moments. Maybe the new movies are a little TOO faithful to the original in that regard.

24. Michael Hall - February 10, 2014

On first viewing “Lolani’s” treatment of slavery and human (Orion?) trafficking seemed to me to be simplistic and obvious. That of course is a bug, not a feature, of all too many TOS episodes, particularly in the second and third seasons. Much as we all love the old show, producers with the benefit of a half-century’s worth of hindsight should be under no obligation to slavishly copy what was always weakest about it, even as was noted at the time.

After watching the episode again, however, I can see that it presents a dilemma for Kirk and the Enterprise crew that’s more morally complex than I initially gave it credit for. Starfleet’s complicity in handing over Lolani, ostensibly for the greater good, is particularly effective, as is Kirk’s complete failure in salvaging the situation, realizing far too late that working within the parameters of the Orion trader’s culture by offering to buy the girl probably would have much more effective than lecturing him on his moral inferiority. That unlikely tactic worked for Kirk in far too many TOS episodes, and because the captain is at base a decent man, its failure here and the guilt he would feel in its aftermath could well have some interesting repercussions for the character.

Tech values once again were excellent. Much as I appreciate Tobias Richter’s feature quality work in Phase 2 I tend to prefer the scaled-back attempt to emulate the TOS visual FX style in STC. Many commenters on the previous thread felt the Enterprise sets were too dark, but I loved the look myself, seeing in it Jerry Finnerman’s atmospheric lighting set-ups that so distinguished TOS’ first season. With a few exceptions, blocking and direction were fine (I particularly liked the tracking shot in the corridor outside the hangar deck).

As to the acting, while I wish the role had been played as more ‘exotic’ I thought the wonderfully named Fiona Vroom did just fine in the title role. She certainly has the looks and the energy necessary for the part, and I especially appreciated that the character, while sympathetic, is portrayed as manipulative, selfish, and by no means altogether likable. And may I say that I thought Lou Ferrigno was pretty damned awesome in this show? His Zuminhon was exactly the right combination of physical menace with an overlay of not-quite-convincing charm that the role called for. Were it not for the speech impediment brought on by his deafness I’m guessing he might have had a more varied and interesting career than playing a ’70s-TV version of a Marvel superhero, and I’d bet good money that he had more fun with this role than all the episodes of “The Incredible Hulk” put together.

Though I ended up thinking quite highly of “Lolani” I still wouldn’t put it in the same class as Phase 2′s “World Enough and Time,” another story featuring a doomed heroine whose stay on the Enterprise turns out to be all too brief. But that the producers got as close as they did on only their second try bodes very well, in this fan’s opinion, for Star Trek Continues. My sincere congratulations to everyone involved.

25. Ahmed - February 10, 2014

@ 13. MJ – February 10, 2014

“Story was mediocre though — seemed like an excuse to show a very attractive half-naked green woman. Kind of sexist as well.”

As Vultan pointed out, this was the case with most of TOS episodes. Also one recent nuTrek movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTmXQHjpODA

26. V - February 10, 2014

Good second work. But the story dragged at times. And you are not developing the other main characters. There is no need for a new doctor/counselor when you could develop Uhura and have her work with Lolani.

27. bjdcharlie - February 10, 2014

Wow these guys have nailed it again,

teleplay, check
first class lighting, check
good to excellent acting, check
sets, check
scoring with original music, check

The attention to detail is ectraordinary, and Vic’s Kirk seems exceptionally good. This McKenna character fits right in. Chris Doohan, gives me goosebumps as Scotty. It’s got a few warts but on the whole I’m extremely impressed.
I honestly think this is one of the best TOS Treks ever, despite the obvious differences.

I love the use of previously unused music scoring, very effective

28. Red Dead Ryan - February 10, 2014

I enjoyed this episode. The acting and production was excellent, for the most part. Vic is a great Kirk. The story seemed a bit too preachy and sexist, though. Also, I noticed the green make-up rub off of the actress’ skin during the kissing scene.

I still think they should be filming in the 16×9 format.

29. I'm so over you people - February 10, 2014

Ugh, anyone complaining about sexism is an idiot.

30. MJ - February 10, 2014

Ahmed and Vultan,

I don’t dispute your points about TOS or STID concerning sexism. And my point is not contrary to your points, other then to comment that “we should know better” now here in the 21st century…and that goes for STID as well.

I get that this is suppose to be like it was made in the 60′s, but that can be taken too literally.

31. Jim Nightshade - February 10, 2014

i believe lou ferrigno is either deaf or has a severe hearing deficiency….he has always spoken being a little bit difficult to understand because of it…heck if everyone got past arnold s. unique dialect lou shouldnt be a prob heheh

32. northstar - February 11, 2014

Another decent episode from STC, no doubt about that. On technical aspects, they are top notch.

I liked the acting as well for the most part, I just thought that Kirks flykick was way over the top, as was the overacting of the actor playing Kenway.

The story, as many have already pointed out, wasn´t very original or gripping – and it was another bottle-show. With the huge amount of money they have available through their Kickstarter I was hoping for something more exciting. I would have loved to see the

interior of the Tellarite ship for example. The constant discussion and talk with Starfleet was more TNG then TOS. It feels like Kirk isn´t the old Kirk yet.

I was never able to get an emotional bond to the slave girl. The solution to just buy the girl was so obvious that it made me wonder why any of the main characters didn´t find that solution earlier.

What sets STC apart from other series like P2 is their focus on the old “style”, the – by todays standards – strange aspect ratio, the old school looking effects. But on the other hand they try to bring in new elements that do not quite seem to fit in there – like the holodeck or the counselor. I hope this will even out with the next episodes.

Of our main characters, McCoy and especially Uhura didn´t get much to do because of the addition of the overmakeuped counselor. She seems to take most of the lines off these two and has a much too close relation to Kirk. So, less counselor in the future, please.

The sets and lights looked great, although the lighting was extremly dark, like it all played at night. But that might be a youtube-issue. The VFX were solid, with the slight exception of the intro – the planet looked very strange.

So, despite the critic – a watchable episode – with lots of room for improvement…

33. Toonloon - February 11, 2014

I thought this episode was absolutely outstanding! I would hesitate to use the word “fan” when describing it as the production and acting are totally professional IMHO.

I realised after a while that I was mentally making notes on how it compared to TOS rather than a fan film. My thought was that it seemed a bit “talky”, but then I realised that it was a bottle show by necessity and that it actually had something meaningful to say. I liked that sometimes the prime directive is NOT the human thing to do.

There’s so much I could single out for praise here but I’m at work and tapping away on my iphone, so I’ll address my comment to Vic and his whe crew – congratulations! And thank you.

34. Dr Beckett - February 11, 2014

“Continues” on a whole has so far been absolutely extraordinary. As others have stated here, it captures the essence of TOS perfectly! This is first and only fan series, Trek related or otherwise, where I’ve actually sat through entire episodes in one go.

Keep up the great work guys, and I hope to see more episodes coming in as a faster rate ;)

35. TrekMadeMeWonder - February 11, 2014

33. Dr Beckett

Continues is doing a great job. So much so that I think these new episodes are giving the big budget movies a run for thier money, or at least, attention. This struck me as an episode between one of the second or third season episodes. But seriously, this was a very enjoyable episode!!

And with these productions, I am beginning to think that we do NOT need the over bloated messes that appear on the big screen every so many years!

Now tell me, exactly which production is hurting and who is helping the Star Trek brand these days? These can only help Star Trek. And it would be nice to see Lou turn up in the next big screen Trek.

36. TrekGirl - February 11, 2014

@ 1. I have a feeling I missed something, lol

37. Ensign RedShirt - February 11, 2014

35 TrekGirl

Be grateful that you did.

38. R.E.Moore - February 11, 2014

Excellent! I could see this being done on Enterprise as well. Good job :-)

39. Ensign Ricky - February 11, 2014

Ha, all the bad kids got sent home! Once again I will say I thought this was an excellent episode. I totally enjoyed it and am looking forward to more STC.

40. Lady Valkris - February 11, 2014

It seems that I missed some sort of fracas over this. Again.

There should be no friction between ‘camps’. Each and every fan production is worthy of consideration and respect. For each endeavor is a manifestation of a deep and abiding love for Star Trek. Production values vary but the fandom should not. Each of these productions do their part to keep to keep the 47 year legacy alive.

With that said…

Like other productions, namely Phase II, Continues, Secret Voyages, there will always be glitches, continuity errors, critiques on story, costuming, makeup, sound, et al. I’m a firm believer that respectful and constructive criticisms only serve to make these productions even better.

Our organization strives to support every fan production, be they live action, cgi, animated or in some cases fan fiction.

We’re Trekkies/Trekkers. It’s who we are and what we do.

Erika Y. Figueroa
Director
Carolina Alliance of Star Trek Fans

41. Lady Valkris - February 11, 2014

My two cents as I know cast/crew of Continues read these comments:

Stinger – Hair continuity issues

Haberkorn – eyebrow issues. Understanding that these episodes are filmed over a span of days and makeup may not always be perfectly the same as the day before, Spock’s eyebrows in a few scenes were harshly drawn on. As a woman who paints her face every work day and draws on eyebrows I couldn’t help but wince. It was glaring to me how amateurish his eyebrows and ears looked in some scenes. The line of demarcation between prosthetic and his skin was quite visible at times. Small things like this can take a viewer out of a story.

Vroom – even if it isn’t caught on set, the makeup problem on her neck during the ‘romantic’ scene could’ve been address in post production

The Bridge- footsteps were very loud on the bridge. Having been on that set I’ve felt and heard my steps during a time with many other folk milling around. In soundstage mode it was very distracting. Never hear it anywhere else on the set though.

Specht – someone mentioned her heavy makeup. She is a beautiful woman and perhaps her very glamorous makeup is part of her character’s back story not sure. But this episode was far better than Pilgrim as last time the under eye concealer was startlingly bright and very distracting, actually aging her. This time it was toned down and there was far better blending. It actually took years off of her face.

Kudos:
Haberkorn – really getting the pacing and tenor of Spock’s voice down. Much better
Vic – looks great, Shatner-esque while still making it his own
Vroom – great job shifting between sympathetic to manipulative
Specht – Makeup is much better
Doohan – channels his father but it’s not a caricature. Great job.
Gray & Ferrigno – SQUEEE!

LOVED this episode.

It’s a great time to be a Star Trek fan. These films/webisodes gives us a way to get ‘new’ stories while we continue to patiently wait for a CBS tv series.

Who else is excited for Phase II’s The Holiest Thing premiering this week? I know I am.

42. falcon - February 11, 2014

I have to say, this was the best-written, best-acted, best-filmed and best-edited fan production I have ever seen. The production values on this one rival (and in some cases surpass) those on today’s network television shows. I don’t have any real nits about sets, props or makeup (heck, Kirk’s phaser fell off during a take in the Botany Bay on “Space Seed,” but the take was allowed to continue). The story took an interesting twist (no spoilers if you haven’t seen it), basically rescuing Kirk from his failure (if “rescuing” could be used in this instance). I had no problem with Dr. McKenna – how many times has a military organization forced personnel onto a commander with no real reason or need for them? I think if each episode continues to improve as this one has, great things are in store for these folks.

43. Trekwho - February 11, 2014

The feel and look of this series is absolutely spot on to what we experienced in the Original Series. It was also refreshing to see a wholly-character driven episode, with no phaser fights or chase scenes. Not that those kinds of episodes can’t be good too, but some mature drama focus is part of what I miss about Star Trek, and I am glad this series has brought that back.

44. section9 - February 11, 2014

I loved this. I thought it was a very well made fan production, and think it’s one of the best “revival” Treks that’s ever been done.

I felt as if I was ACTUALLY watching Trek, and it gave you that Sixties sensibility that TOS actually gave you when you sat down and watched it back then.

45. David Simpson - February 11, 2014

I thought the episode “Lolani” was a huge up-tick in the acting. It was more than credible, it was substantial. The writing and directing were great. Great story line and all actors suberb. Even Vic pushed his acting skills up a huge amount in the second episode. Now here’s the but… Please, take this in the spirit in which I give it. First there needed to be better lighting. It appeared dark in many situations… secondly… there was an absence of significant drama to sustain the great story line. Mr. Ferrigno was so imposing and great for this role, that I felt there should have been more interaction with the crew and captain other than that short sequence. The ending was at first confusing.. the explosion with no reaction or verbage as to what happened. I almost felt this story line needed more time than the 50 minutes given to develop or a little more editing on Lolani and her effect on the ships males. I felt it was a good pick based on TOS and felt real comfortable. There should have been a alien ship scene with Mr. Ferrigno but I understand the set constraints. Having seen the first episode and this one, I feel we have seen enough of the briefing room for episode three. I can’t say enough on the acting.. which was superb!!!!

46. Jon - February 11, 2014

Just wanted to chime in that I thought STC’s latest effort was terrific! Praise all around to this fan production! And the guest stars were also really good…loved seeing Mr. Ferrigno and Ms. Gray again!. And Ms. Vroom did a great job as Lolani.

Even my non-Trekker parents like it. My mom (in her 70s) said…and I quote…”That was really good!” And again, this is coming from someone who only knows Trek through watching the occasional episode with me through the many years I have been a fan (since the early 1970s).

Infinitely better than a certain recent “Trek” outing that was “Trek” in name only, IMHO.

Paramount/CBS: Hire these guys for a TV series!

Jon

47. Matt - February 11, 2014

13. – What’s wrong with being sexy?

48. THX-1138 - February 11, 2014

I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I realize that there is always going to be those who don’t like it as much as I, but I simply do not care. I loved it.

The 4:3 aspect ratio is perfect, as is the familiar “graininess” to the FX shots. The dark, atmospheric lighting is so iconically TOS I don’t know why it bothers anyone. But again, that’s their problem, not mine. The Hangar Deck sequence was a fine little treat, as was the drop kick (I actually raised my arms in triumph. That was such a Shatner/Kirk move-loved it!).

Vic’s Kirk as fantastic. Nether an impersonation nor a parody, it captures Shat/Kirk’s look and natural cadence. Doohan is gold and Haberkorn is really starting to capture the nuances of Nimoy’s TOS Spock. Heck, I was even impressed by the performances of the extras. I also agree that Big Lou did a great job. Yes, it was sometimes difficult to understand all of his dialogue but like any good Star Trek fan I chose to chalk that up to the way Orion male’s dialects sound. Problem solved.

Tellarites. They freaking had Tellarites.

One thing I want to know: The Orion Ship–that’s totally based on the Leif Ericksen model, is it not? If so, I am so totally doing a build up of that model as an Orion Slaver ship.

Again, I am in love. CBS, put some money behind this show and put it on the air. I would watch this every week. And again, if we happen to not share the same point of view, remember:

I simply do not care.

49. Phil - February 11, 2014

@35. You did. Just another pointless on-line flame out that was, thankfully, deleted.

50. Jay - February 11, 2014

I find I am drawn to this very well made and acted production far more than anything on network/cable television. I have been a die-hard Star Trek fan since the mid 70′s and this show is so close to the feel of classic trek that it is almost indistinguishable. I hope this effort has a long and successful run. Networks executives should take notice!

51. jus_wonderin - February 11, 2014

Michelle Spectz is great.

52. Dom - February 11, 2014

Just watched it! Wow! 90 per cent score from me! Very very good indeed! Vic’s absolutely nailing the role of Kirk, Fiona Vroom (who is being rather overlooked because of the casting of Mr Ferrigno, IMHO) is just superb as the unfortunate Lolani.

I can’t praise this episode enough. This is spot on the whole way through. Very well shot, very well acted. The episode avoids banging us over the head with its message, throws in a proper fight scene and doesn’t cop out on where the story is headed!

There’s little that gives away that this isn’t a made-for TV episode. A terrific shipbound episode. I can’t wait for the next one. Hopefully we’ll get an alien world with funky vegetation and a cool cyclorama! ;)

Folks, this is another sign of the future of TV in the Netflix era. We want season four of Star Trek? We’ll pay for it!

Thank you everyone involved. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and will be certain to contribute to the next Kickstarter campaign.

Congratulations! x

53. Marja - February 11, 2014

MAKEUP/HAIR/COSTUME & END TITLES CRITIQUES AND MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS

I agree with the above poster that Uhura and McCoy suffered a bit in this production, that Uhura could have been the one to “gift” Lolani with the pretty dress at McKenna’s request. I think McCoy could have helped Kirk struggle with the moral question at at least one point. But Mignogna did a fine job portraying Kirk’s inner debate throughout. A true, early Shatner-style Kirk, right down to the “Kirk-fu!”

The screen ratio didn’t bother me a bit, unless you’re talking pixels per whatever. It was very true to TOS un-remastered quality ;-)

Spock’s eyebrows – Haberkorn’s eyebrows are too high. Since his own eyebrows seem to slant up a bit, I’d recommend:

- Follow the natural line, blending under his own and up at the outer ends. This should give a bit more of the saturnine aspect of Nimoy’s Spock. [Again i commend Todd for altering his vocal pacing as he says Spock's lines - a big improvement!]

- Uhura’s eye makeup in TOS was modelled on a ballerina’s. A full line around the eye, splitting at the inside corner, with the uptick at the outside corner. This might minimize the appearance of the actress’s eyes which pop out a bit more than Ms Nichols’.

- Uhura’s hair – the bob she wears is quite nice, but I’d add a fall at the crown for more body. Uhura’s hair in TOS was bolstered by one, if not two wigs. I wouldn’t force that on anyone! But a full-bodied fall depending from her crown would add height and more body. [She's naturally quite lovely; I'm just speaking from the TOS point of view.

- Dr McKenna - PLEASE lessen her makeup; her eye makeup is distractingly heavy and succeeds in making her look less attractive than she'd look with less! The false eyelashes and the dark blue were especially heavy. It made her look less like a counselor and more like a woman with a Different Profession, if you get my drift. Also is her bustline naturally that high? It didn't look quite ... right to me. Lifted beyond nature, I'm thinking!

- Dr McKenna's hair - it looked better in the Apollo episode. I think there was one less wig/fall then. The actress has a lovely full head of natural hair. It's a beautiful color, but in this episode it was too long, and looked unprofessional. In TOS, female Starfleet officers did not wear their hair "loosely about their shoulders." A beautiful, feminine yet more professional-looking hairstyle could be designed for her. Even a collarbone-length haircut would make her look more professional, or a pretty, over-one shoulder ponytail [without the horrid gray part] a la Chapel’s in “The Naked Time” might do nicely.

- I noticed the Lolani’s fading makeup as well, in her kissing scene with Kirk. Of course, that could be “true to period,” LOL. Her face makeup could have been better, but the flaws didn’t stand out as memorably as others.

- COSTUMES for the most part were OUTSTANDING, including Ferrigno’s as the Orion slaver. The only exception was Lolani’s dress, given her by McKenna. It may have been inspired by Rand’s peignor in “Charlie X,” but I would have added a thin gold sash at the waist [or other sparkly fabric] to nip it in a bit. The bare cut-outs at the arm and the one-shoulder design were reminiscent of Bill Theiss though! The fleet uniforms look better, if possible, than the originals! And I LOVED that McKenna’s tights were a bit darker than in TOS, revealing a tiny bit less “skin.”

CREDITS

- AGAIN I THINK A TITLE CARD acknowledging the original creators of costumes, musical scoring, sets, props and sound effects [all BEAUTIFULLY EMPLOYED in STC, btw] should appear in the end credits, even if it simply says “We Gratefully Acknowledge the Inspired Creators who contributed so much to Star Trek: William Ware Theiss, [the musical score composers, several, whose names I regrettably don't recall at the moment], Matt Jeffries, Irving Feinberg, and [all the other people whose names my mind is missing right now].

- This could be ONE TITLE CARD and would not, I think, significantly add to the cost of end titles. I noticed Mr Mignogna had a title card for his contribution of “original music” which must have blended in quite well with original scoring because I only noticed a few measures of it.

One fan’s opinion, I know, but I feel they should give credit where credit is due. I cannot say enough how much influence the original creators had in producing the wonder that was TOS in its time, on short budgets and tight time constraints.

I AM GRATEFUL TO THE STC PRODUCERS AND ACTORS for all they’ve done to bring us new episodes that feel “authentically TOS.” And those who funded the production.

54. Always Adventure - February 11, 2014

I really enjoyed the episode. It was much better than their first episode. In fact, it was definitely the best of the fan productions aside from World Enough and Time (it would be hard to match that one). “Lolani” actually found a relatively new idea for the Star Trek universe and explored it. I really liked the idea of exploring the Orion slave culture. The episode was very well plotted, and mostly well acted. I look forward to more of their work.

55. Cygnus-X1 - February 11, 2014

A few people have made the comparison to Phase 2 “World Enough and Time.” While the ending of that episode was very moving and effective, it took way too long to get there. I found the episode to drag quite a bit in the middle, where the crew is trying the various methods of solving the problem of the girl and the ship. Lolani has much better pacing and is more even throughout.

Also, and this is more of an aside, Lolani plays more like a TOS episode than World Enough—not that this attribute is a determiner of value, per se, but rather just an attribute worth noting.

56. Al - February 11, 2014

A query.In the viewscreen shots in the first part of the episode the screen shows part of the saucer top right. I don’t recall ever seeing this before and it seems to imply a strange camera placement for the screen. Usually we get a field of view forward that isn’t interrupted by any part of the ship. I wonder if this was an error, an effects shot that was meant to be exterior but was used for the viewscreen.

57. Michael Hall - February 11, 2014

@55 Cygnus X-1:

I agree that after its spectacular first act WEAT sags somewhat in its middle section, and have noted elsewhere that it could probably use some trimming. Still, overall I think it tells a more complex and original “science fiction”-type story, one that actually adds to our understanding of the ST universe while giving George Takei his single best outing ever as Hikaru Sulu. For those and other reasons I would still prefer it to “Lolani” in spite of its imperfections. Both shows have powerful resolutions that work on multiple levels, and that can compare to the best of TOS.

(And yes, I would also agree that “Lolani” feels more like a typical TOS episode. WEAT’s spectacular visual FX, its often wonderful original score, and its use of the feature film-era continuity preclude it from strictly fulfilling the mission statement of playing like a lost show from a hypothetical fourth season. Which doesn’t bother me at all.)

58. Caesar - February 11, 2014

This seriously makes Phase II look…well, cartoonish? The whole thing is really really well done.

59. Calastir - February 11, 2014

This one made me cry. The first fanfilm ever to have this effect on me, this is the best Trek fanfilm series to date.
Great sets, great actors, great story, what’s not to love?

60. Odkin - February 11, 2014

I give it an 8 out of 10. The Spock actors’ performance was excellent, but his wig and eyebrows must be fixed. His bangs and eyebrows are distractingly high. Nemecek is the weak link in the trio, both physically and talent-wise.

My main problem is the “Counselor” character. The concept of a Counselor is useless to begin with. It just muddles the importance of McCoy. Moreover, I already see little Mary Sue signs in her, and nothing would wreck the chemistry faster than a newbie know-it-all standing toe-to-toe with our heroes on a recurring basis,

61. Michael Hall - February 11, 2014

“. . .and nothing would wreck the chemistry faster than a newbie know-it-all standing toe-to-toe with our heroes on a recurring basis,”

Oh, I don’t know. Chekov certainly added a new flavor to the mix (for better or worse) in TOS’ second season, and it’s not unreasonable to figure that new characters might have been added had the show survived into a fourth. Things change.

The Tracey-Hepburn thing they did with with Kirk and McKenna in “Lolani” was a little cute for my taste, but the comic timing of both actors was at least pretty spot-on. The character and relationship may yet grow on me.

62. Todd - February 11, 2014

Howdy folks- thank you all for watching and enjoying what we do! Happy to add to the Trek universe!

We’re so grateful for all the amazing fans that support us by watching and that supported our kickstarter to ensure we can make more episodes!

We’ve had over 40,000 views in less than three days for episode 2…thank you for spreading the word! We hope to continue honoring and respecting the Trek vision set out by our founding Starfleet Fathers!

Oh- and those are my eyebrows (with a few millimeters added to the end of mine) and that is my real hair :)

I don’t plan on mimicking Nimoy, but I do plan on playing the character of Spock, everyone’s favorite Vulcan. My goal is not to copy Nimoy and play Nimoy playing Spock, but Todd interpreting Spock, y’know?

Anyhoo- we’re gearing up for episode 3. Stay tuned!

63. THX-1138 - February 11, 2014

Todd,

Hurry up.

Thanks.

64. Bob - February 11, 2014

Great job everyone! Made me feel like I was watching an original episode. I was in the DS9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations” and can say that it definitely looks like this team recreated the sets very well! And a quick hello to Larry Nemecek. Been a while since I’ve seen you!

65. Chris Doohan - February 11, 2014

62 Todd

Those ears were his too. It saved a lot of time in the make-up chair.

66. nlurker - February 11, 2014

65 Chris

LOL

67. anotherscott - February 11, 2014

At the end, the way Lolani and Kenway looked at each other in the transporter room, my thought was that the two of them had agreed that, if Lolani were forced to go back, he would arrange for her to die due to a “transporter malfunction” because she would rather die than go back to that life. I kind of like my ending better! But it was still a strong episode… this and WEAT would be my two favorites. I could nitpick about this or that, but right now I’m just enjoying having enjoyed it!

68. Cygnus-X1 - February 11, 2014

57. Michael Hall – February 11, 2014

I did appreciate the science in World Enough, though the “transporter trouble” premise has been done quite a bit and is a bit too easy of a plot device.

That notwithstanding, I don’t recall any Trek episode of any series ever doing a story where extra dimensions are such an integral part of the story—and World Enough does it smartly. For that reason, if not for others, World Enough should serve as en exemplar of science fiction for TV/film.

69. Marja - February 11, 2014

62 Todd H, First, I want to emphasize that you guys did a fantastic job on this one! And now, some “here’s what I really meant” remarks ….

those are my eyebrows (with a few millimeters added to the end of mine)

Dear Todd, I didn’t mean YOUR eyebrows are too high. I meant the way your natural brows look when you’re in Spock makeup/hair, they seem too high above your eyes, giving you a constantly surprised look. [Spock should look surprised when he's being insouciant or saucy, but not all the time...]

I meant that perhaps some hairs [or dark color] could be added / drawn in short brow-like lines below yours [i.e., making the brows look a bit thicker underneath so the bottom of them is a bit closer to your eyes], flaring up just a tad at the end of your own brows, which already have the right slant naturally. I wouldn’t want you to suffer through having a hundred yak hairs glued on a la Nimoy ;-) but perhaps there’s an easy, workable solution.

And your ears looked great!

I don’t plan on mimicking Nimoy, but I do plan on playing the character of Spock, everyone’s favorite Vulcan. My goal is not to copy Nimoy and play Nimoy playing Spock, but Todd interpreting Spock, y’know?

Re: I mean that your more deliberate, scholarly rhythm/ pacing as you say your lines sounds a little more like the idea of “Spock” to me. I know you’re not doing Nimoy doing Spock, and good on ya’ for that; I just wanted to say I like what you’re doing now.

You guys rock, I truly enjoyed it. Live Long and Make More!

70. Cygnus-X1 - February 11, 2014

62. Todd – February 11, 2014

Todd, I noticed marked improvement in both yours and Vic’s performances and comfort in the roles of Spock and Kirk, from Pilgrim to Lolani. It seems like you guys are really zeroing in on the sweet spot for your interpretations those characters. Also enjoyed your performance as the Romulan in Starship Farragut “The Price of Anything.” Looking forward to the next STC episode!

71. Stanky McFibberich - February 11, 2014

This was fantastic! Yes, there could be things to nit-pick, but overall, it invoked the essence of the series and that can only be good. Really enjoyed it!

72. Stanky McFibberich - February 11, 2014

62. Todd – Excellent job. I didn’t feel like I was watching Nimoy as Spock, but definitely the character of Spock. You did good.

73. Benjamin Adams - February 11, 2014

I have only three words: I *loved* this.

74. CDR Arch - February 11, 2014

We need a Romulan episode next. Maybe something that tells the story of what Section 31 does with the cloaking device that Kirk stole? Bring back the female Romulan Commander.
CBS should bring back weekly Star Trek in any form, the show needs a weekly format to discuss social issues and tell limited stories. The movies have to be about action to make money. WE NEED WEEKLY STAR TREK, the fan films are demonstrating the market. If CBS was really bold they would try a REAL reboot of Star Trek by offering the STC/ Phase 2 crews a season of classic Trek. How much fun would that be? The sets are made, it would not be that costly, it would be a better use of money than one of the dumb sitcoms or reality shows they are about to back.

75. Toothless Grishnar Cat - February 11, 2014

I personally wouldn’t mind seeing a follow-up to “For the World is Hollow…”. Watching that episode, a sequel seems to have been intended for the hypothetical 4th season of TOS. Kind of surprised no fan films have tried to take on that concept… it has potential.

76. I am not Herbert - February 11, 2014

GREAT STUFF! =D

Good to see Todd and Chris here! Kudos! =)

I’ll be looking forward to the next one…! =)

Spock & McKenna = my favorites! =)

young transporter officer was good too! ;-)

77. I am not Herbert - February 11, 2014

…and that was the best role ever for Lou Ferrigno! Nailed It!! =D

78. Marja - February 11, 2014

70 Cygnus, [to Todd Haberkorn] Also enjoyed your performance as the Romulan in Starship Farragut “The Price of Anything.”

I definitely checked the credits for that episode, because I was sure “that guy looks like the guy who played Spock — oh it IS him!” Todd’s multi-tasking was a hoot – two very different characters indeed.

74 Arch, Section 31 never appeared in TOS. I guess they can break ground and use them in STC, but I don’t personally like that deep dark side of Trek.

I agree with your idea of a Romulan episode and would love to see [a really good actress play] the Romulan commander. It might be interesting to see a story arc featuring this character and a relationship between her and Spock of mutual mistrust and respect. [No, not a romantic relationship.]

And although it would be lots of fun to see STC get a gig on CBS [because most of their programming is cr*p], I doubt it would happen. TV audiences, especially young ones, have been programmed by other television and by movies to expect either smirky sex, action, violent predator-targeting-females dramas or goofy [good and bad] programs.

TOS-style Trek would be predicted by network programmers to appeal only to an “older” demographic, not the young one. However the young might find TOS-style Trek quite charming because it’s so different; the hipsters would view it as “mid-century” ‘camp’ or just good TV, older folks would thank CBS for the memory of good broadcast TV, and the very young might find the longer beats without constant flash-flash camera movements and editing cuts a nice change from what’s on TV now.

Not sure when the programmers are going to realize what a large part of the television audience is over 40 with disposable income; I guess they’re getting there.

79. I am not Herbert - February 11, 2014

…i USED to have “disposable” income (before 2008)… =(

80. Pensive's Wetness - February 11, 2014

*claps* I was very impressed with this episode. If there were any gafs, i didn’t notice them because i was engrossed in the story. 9 & 1/2 Halflings out of 10 halflings.

81. Cygnus-X1 - February 11, 2014

Just watched Lolani again. It’s really good. The pacing and editing are great. The episode doesn’t drag at all. After just a few minutes in, every line of dialogue and action moves the story forward to its climax. The directing is also great—White got really good performances out of everyone. Even the fight scene well choreographed and genuinely compelling. I enjoyed the comedic bit between Kirk and McKennah, too: “…I mean, no…Yes to the no.”

This is a classic Trek morality play—the conscious of the individual vs. the established ethics of the collective (Star Fleet). Kirk is too good a soldier to go rescue Lolani, until he realizes the effects of his decision on the conscience of the crewman. It’s also a variation on the “Good of the one outweighs the good of the many” theme from STIII.

That tall security chief is a good addition to the cast, also.

82. purple rain - February 12, 2014

Loved it, Vic nailed Kirk

83. MidMoElMarko - February 12, 2014

Bravo! The cleanest, truest-to-the-source-material fan production I’ve seen yet. Vic Mignona and his crew of actors and production folks are doing an outstanding job; and his ability to attract familiar faces to make appearances (Erin Gray? Wow…..an old crush) is an added perk. If he ever needs yet another middle -aged male voice, this old TV/Radio guy is available!

84. Admiral Lex Krepps - February 12, 2014

I enjoyed it – first time I can say that of a fan production. My only issue was Lou Ferigno’s voice – the effect made him sound unworldly, which makes sense, but during the dinner scene some of his dialogue was quite hard to make out. Shades of Bane there me thinks!

Great to see Erin Gray, I adored her as Wilma Deering back in the day. Dr McKennah is the kind of strong female character I suspect Rodenberry would have liked to included. There’s a good bit of interplay there between her and Kirk. Stunning actress, too.

85. Anja - February 12, 2014

I really enjoyed the webisode. I thought the story was very interesting.

First the Orion man where the slaves (also see Star Trek Enterprise episode “Bound”) but after a war the Orion woman became the slaves…who knows what will happen now that crewman Kenway goes to Orion with Lolani’s speech…

My only remark is about Kevin Fry who played the Orion male. I found it difficult to understand what he was saying, but I guess I wasn’t the only one.

86. wi-kiry-lan - February 12, 2014

This was an excellent episode – however…

Things I wish had been tightened up script wise…

Why does a slave with dead owners default back to the seller?
I think it’s regrettable that TOS fan fiction insists on making ENTERPRISE references – I would guess that statistically TOS fans would care for that show the least – maybe Ent might be popular with Voyager fans….

DS9 had an Orion syndicate – no green hulks in sight. Heck I think a draft script for the Cage mentions slave girls can come in many colors!

Why does starfleet care about Orion? Is there a diplomatic relationship because nothing was mentioned. (if I missed it sorry) Something justifying why starfleet was making the decision it did would have filled a minor plot hole like that. I really really can’t see TOS starfleet making that call but maybe if the details had been modified a Prime Directive case could be made – but that wasn’t done here and maybe should have.

Even some chat about how buying her just funds a new girl replacing her – something would add just a bit more depth. (This is a real problem reporters for example have when reporting on child slavery in certain countries – buying the girl just gives the slavers more money. So unfortunately there is no shortage of material to make a science fiction commentary on and it wasn’t really done here.)

Were TOS security guards ever that clueless? TNG ones maybe.

But again I think this was an excellent effort.

87. cardassiana - February 12, 2014

Loved it.It really looks like Tos season number 4.
Vic improved so muc, but my fav is Todd , i mean i prefer him to Quinto !!!!
My only problem is that Dr McKenna steals lines to the McCoy and Uhura.Please ,give more time to the regular crew!

88. Michael Hall - February 12, 2014

This is a classic Trek morality play—the conscious of the individual vs. the established ethics of the collective (Star Fleet). Kirk is too good a soldier to go rescue Lolani, until he realizes the effects of his decision on the conscience of the crewman. It’s also a variation on the “Good of the one outweighs the good of the many” theme from STIII.”

When Kirk explains that “The Fall of the Roman Empire” is about what happens when a civilization loses touch with the values that made it great, in the context of this story he may as well be talking about Starfleet, and perhaps (at least temporarily) himself. For my money that’s what makes “Lolani” work, in spite of its flaws. The issue really isn’t Zumanhon, who at the end of the day is just another thug with some money and political connections. Nor is it wholly about Lolani herself–sympathetic as her quest for freedom is, it is almost entirely based on self-interest. (A few generations back she would have been holding the reins, and losing no more sleep over it than Zumanhon.) As the ensign discovers, what matters is stepping up to defend the rights of those least like yourself, with no hope of reward or guarantee of success. If there is to be anything like the optimism embodied in Trek for humanity’s actual future, that’s how we’ll get there.

89. VGer23 - February 12, 2014

I’ve been watching Star Trek for over 35 years. I grew up as an Original Series fan watching re-runs in the late 70′s…and then on to the movies before TNG came out. I love all Trek to varying degrees, but my heart is always with TOS.

That said, this is the closest thing I have seen or felt to the original show yet. This episode actually FELT like it could have been a lost 3rd season episode of the series (and that is a HUGE compliment). The pacing, acting, music, sets, costumes and (particularly) the plot/writing were pure TOS Trek. It is really an unbelievable job and obviously a labor of love.

I think it’s fantastic (and I liked the first episode very much too)! Please keep up the great work and don’t be discouraged by negativity. Star Trek fans are either fantastic, tolerant, friendly people OR they are miserable, negative ##$%@. I’d focus on the first demographic and how they think about the show.

90. Marja - February 12, 2014

96 WaKiriLan, HAHAHA TOS security guards were “clueless” about 50% of the time! They fell for the simplest ruses, bless their hearts. Whatever moved the plot forward, y’know.

89 VGer, It was more like a “missing” 2nd Season episode! Second season was much better than Third season ;-)

91. THX-1138 - February 12, 2014

I think it is apparent that a portion of the folks who have watched this don’t in fact realize that Lou Ferrigno, who played the Orion slaver, Zumanhon, is deaf. That is why his dialogue can be difficult to understand at times. It’s not an effect. That aside, I thought his acting was outstanding. He easily switched from being jovial and gracious to quite menacing in the blink of an eye.

I watched it again and still love it. Hurry up and make more!

92. Randy C - February 12, 2014

I think this was a good effort but I don’t know why fan films that want to redo classic Trek don’t like classic Trek enough to give us a Kirk, Spock and McCoy story. I have no idea why Dr. Mckenna is delivering lines that should be a main cast member’s lines and I find it really irritating. Yes, she’s pretty and a good actress but she’s not why I watch Star Trek, and her character comes off out of line and abarasive. *I* wouldn’t talk to Kirk that way and I’m not even in starfleet.

93. Cygnus-X1 - February 12, 2014

86. wi-kiry-lan – February 12, 2014

I think it’s regrettable that TOS fan fiction insists on making ENTERPRISE references –

Many Trekkies are fond of Season 4 of Enterprise, myself among them. (I’m actually also quite fond of Season 3). Enterprise was also the only Trek series to explore the Orions. It’s also the only Trek series set in a time period prior to TOS, so it’s natural material to expound upon.

94. Cygnus-X1 - February 12, 2014

88. Michael Hall – February 12, 2014

Good point. And good catch regarding the book.

The episode opens with Kirk reading that book, and when he’s called to the bridge he looks at its spine (where the title is) and says, “We’ll continue this later.”

When Kirk later reveals the title of the book and its theme, the opening scene is at once retroactively imbued with a certain meaning and significance: “A once great civilization that collapsed from within due to its own moral decay” is obviously an indictment upon Star Fleet, and this indictment will serve as the main struggle within the story, with the young Crewman Kenway representing the original values of Star Fleet—those which have made it “once great”—and Commodore Gray representing the threat of collapse from within due to rigid thinking and the loss of original values, i.e. the danger of Star Fleet “losing its way,” so to speak.

The meaning of the opening scene is now evident: What is to be “continued later” is the struggle between decay and rebirth, between the young and the old, between the collective and the individual, between the system and its original intent—between the rigid, bureaucratic thinking of Star Fleet and the uncorrupted, naive thinking of the idealistic young Crewman Kenway—and the outcome of that struggle, as the story unfolds. It’s a Shakespearian sort of device—telling the audience that a certain conflict is about to transpire, on which the outcome of the story being told will hinge—but in Lolani, it’s done as subtle foreshadowing (as opposed to having a character in the play turn to the audience and speak directly to them).

This is good writing.

95. Tim Larsen - February 12, 2014

2 for 2 – AND the Kirk kick!

I was sold 10 seconds into the episode when Kirk tries to focus on the book he’s reading :)

96. Odkin - February 12, 2014

On rewatching, I have to reiterate the redundancy of Dr. McKenna. The show has a doctor/confidant character – it’s McCoy. The show has numerous caring/compassionate female characters – Rand and Chapel and Uhura. McKenna adds nothing. Note – not a slam on the lovely, talented and buxom actress. The character just feels “Mary Sue’d’ in.

SPOILERS –
Once Kirk announces to the crew that he is violating a Starfleet order, he basically screws the crew. Once they know he is giving an illegal order, they ARE complicit if they choose to follow it. Soldiers are not required to carry out illegal orders.

Finally, and this is the BIG problem – the lack of reaction at the end to the explosion really stood out on rewatching. No shock, no “Spock, what happened?”, no requests to scan? On first watching, I was focused on following the plot. On second watching, I just thought “why does no one care?”. Why does Kirk just slink away?

97. tronic307 - February 12, 2014

I know that the Federation is not allowed to subvert another society’s laws, but I had assumed that might only apply to pre-interstellar civilizations, otherwise said society’s influence would be virtually inescapable. A bit of a plot device for me, but I’m fine with it, as long as there is precedence. Also, doesn’t Kirk usually cover his eyes with his arm when a ship explodes at close range on the main viewscreen, asking for lifesigns as soon as he regains his wits? Doesn’t Uhura drop things? Doesn’t Spock instinctively scan for survivors without having to be asked?
I did enjoy the emotional impact, my sympathy for the doomed but not defeated Lolani. No one cut her a break, not even a ‘Utopian’ society. I guess it shows that the quest for true humanity is never-ending.

98. Cygnus-X1 - February 12, 2014

96. Odkin – February 12, 2014

Rand, Chapel and Uhura never really challenged the authority of Kirk. McKennah is different in that respect. She’s compassionate, but also strong willed. And the actor that plays her has turned in two very enjoyable performances, so why would the production not utilize her? As a not-for-profit production, they’re necessarily going to be more limited in their casting choices than a production that pays well, so it makes sense to utilize the best actors they can get, even if they’re inventing new roles for them.

I partly agree with you on the “complicity” issue, though it was kind of borrowed from STIV, where Kirk asks at the end that his crew not be punished for obeying his orders. It’s the kind of departure from the real world that was common to TOS, and in that respect it works in Lolani.

The lack of reaction by Kirk to the explosion was melodramatic and obviously intended to create suspense which is then resolved upon Kirk playing Lolani’s recording. On the one hand, it does stick out as a plot device; but on the other hand, that kind of melodrama was also rather common to TOS—Kirk being so dispirited that he just walks off the bridge without much explanation. Though having Kirk walk off without saying anything might have gone a bit too far.

The same degree of suspense could have been achieved by having a gut-punched Kirk ask Spock what happened and Spock reply simply, “unknown” or that he’d analyze the debris for an answer. Then Kirk leaves the bridge and discovers Lolani’s recording and the suspense is resolved.

99. Red Shirt Diaries - February 12, 2014

Does anyone know when this is going to get released in standard 16×9 HD aspect ratio?

100. Ensign RedShirt - February 12, 2014

99 -

They shot it in 4×3, just like TOS. Looks fine to me.

101. Ctrl-Opt-Del - February 12, 2014

@78. Marja – February 11, 2014

“Section 31 never appeared in TOS. I guess they can break ground and use them in STC”

They wouldn’t technically be “breaking ground”, Phase II already used Section 31 in “Blood and Fire”…

102. Odkin - February 12, 2014

Red Shirt – I suspect never. They were trying to match TOS at 4:3. Why would there be a 16:9? It’s like asking when the Kansas scenes in wizard of Oz will be shown in color.

Cygnus – Agree on the bridge conclusion. How hard would this have been:
Kirk: “Spock…”
Spock: “Scanning wreckage. Catastrophic internal detonation. There are no survivors.”
Kirk: “Lolani. Mr. Scott, figure out what she did. Spock… take the conn.”

As far as McKenna, yes the EXACT problem is that she’s a Mary Sue out of nowhere, with no history, no goodwill with the audience, in an ambiguous position, challenging the lead character. It’s painfully forced. Sure, she’s a good performer. Why isn’t she Chapel, or Rand? There is no place for a Counselor in the TOS dramatic structure. If McCoy isn’t the confidant, the conscience, the sole person who can challenge the Captain… then what role does he serve dramatically?

103. c - February 12, 2014

Loved it, would not make a penny at the cinema, but wow for me a Trekkie.

104. The Transformed Man - February 12, 2014

@99 It wont ever be released in the 16×9 aspect ratio as that is not the aesthetic the show is going for. BTW, it is in HD, it’s simply in a 4:3 aspect ration which has nothing to do whether something is high definition or not.

The creative team wants a show that feels like it is a continuation of the original Star Trek… a Season 4 if you will; so that rules out 16:9.

105. Red Dead Ryan - February 12, 2014

I’m sorry….but this whole “anti-widescreen” explanation doesn’t hold any water when you consider that “Continues” has included elements from the spinoffs, including the holodeck. There was never any holodeck during TOS. So they have already deviated from canon.

106. Marja - February 12, 2014

98 Cygnus, “Though having Kirk walk off without saying anything might have gone a bit too far.”

Having Kirk say in a hollow voice, “Spock, you have the conn” would have done nicely. But TOS continuity in the matter of military protocols was often slipshod. They made similar omissions.

100, Re: Section 31 in Phase II. As far as I can determine, STC is trying to continue the TOS-established “universe,” and I haven’t been able to watch Phase II (for some reason I just can’t get through five minutes of it).

Widescreen, no widescreen, feck, TOS isn’t in widescreen is it? For heaven’s sake. I’m happy if it’s in HD or at least consistent with re-mastered TOS.

107. James - February 12, 2014

Just FYI, Gene Roddenberry had planned for a precursor to the “holodeck” to appear in TOS, if and when budget allowed, had the series continued.

In TAS, holographic technology is added to the “rec room” to make it an early holodeck. So it’s already established in canon that early quasi-holodeck technology was invented around 2269-70.

So having a holodeck in STC is very much in keeping with the original series. [Same with having a ship's psychiatrist. There were already two ship's psychiatrists in TOS (Dehner, and later Noel). No reason at all why there wouldn't be one in season 4. People who criticize STC for having a psychiatrist on board haven't watched TOS very carefully.]

So far, I haven’t seen anything in STC that’s from the spinoff series. It’s all genuine TOS. :)

108. StevenPDX - February 13, 2014

Friggin’ loved it! In the absence of TV Trek, this rocked it. Vic is Kirk. It’s a little eerie how close to Shatner he is! Good acting, good banter, and a good moral dilemma. Makes me wonder if Kirk will catch hell cuz he announced his intention to disobey orders even though he couldn’t carry it out.

Whether you liked it or not, how many TV shows have this many fans making multiple productions like what we have? The Trek community is great. Thanks Vic and crew for all your terrific work!

109. Dave H - February 13, 2014

What the heck regarding the widescreen? Huh???

If this reasoning I am hearing from a couple of people here is true, then what’s with the CGI modern looking special effects? I mean, they shouldn’t be using models and blue-screens then, or at the very least the CGI that they use need to much more closely match the special effects we saw in TOS.

Otherwise, the widescreen argument is hypocritical give that the special effects aren’t held to the same standard.

Give us special effects that match TOS, or give us widescreen. You can’t have your cake and eat is to. Be consistent.

110. Dave H - February 13, 2014

@101

“They were trying to match TOS at 4:3. Why would there be a 16:9? It’s like asking when the Kansas scenes in wizard of Oz will be shown in color.”

Then why the inconsistency of the obviously modern CGI special effects? The special effects need to match a fictional 1969-1970 Star Trek series if your argument here is to be believed.

@103

“The creative team wants a show that feels like it is a continuation of the original Star Trek… a Season 4 if you will; so that rules out 16:9.”

Similarly then, based on your logic here, the modern looking special effects, which looking nothing like what we would have seen in 69-70, are simply not credible at all. The special effects are obviously modern, and would not have looked that way in 69-70.

111. Michael Hall - February 13, 2014

@ 107 & 108,

Though the production is using CGI to produce the visual FX, the style is actually much more reminicient of TOS than that of, say, Phase 2. Of the fan productions only the still unfinished “Tressarian Intersection” comes closer; in many respects the STC FX arguably resemble the original look of TOS more than those of TOS Remastered.

(And in any case, it’s pretty damned nervy of you to demand anything on this front, much less toss around words like “hypocrisy” to describe the creative decisions behind a project produced solely for the enjoyment of its audience. Don’t care for the aspect ratio of STC? Then don’t watch.)

112. Mike Barnett - February 13, 2014

Thumbs up! One of the best fan productions ever. Keep up the great work!

113. I am not Herbert - February 13, 2014

yeah, some nice Kirk Fu! =)

…double flying kick to the chest, SWEET! =D

114. jerr - February 13, 2014

@109
“Of the fan productions only the still unfinished “Tressarian Intersection” comes closer;”

Just 47 more days!
http://www.starshipexeter.com/

115. PC3 - February 13, 2014

Why isn’t this on TV now – current cast included??

116. Who cares - February 13, 2014

@86. The Orions have been green since the first one appeared in “The Cage”, the very first pilot for Star Trek. The Orion Syndicate first appeared in TOS as well, the assassin in the episode “Babel” (aka the episode with Spock’s father) was an employee of the Orion Syndicate. Other than the Xindi and that lame Temporal Cold War garbage there was nothing new created for Enterprise, it was all previously established material.

117. Michael Hall - February 13, 2014

@114–

Thanks. Got to be the most overdue fourth act in history. After a pretty cool opening I’ve found the story to be only fitfully interesting, and the Exeter crew not all that likable. But the production value, achieved under conditions that make Phase 2′s converted auto repair facility look like Sony Studios, is really impressive, and Dennis Bailey’s CG work remarkable in its fidelity to the look of TOS. Watching, you feel like it was 1969, all over again.

118. Cygnus-X1 - February 13, 2014

106. Marja – February 12, 2014

Having Kirk say in a hollow voice, “Spock, you have the conn” would have done nicely. But TOS continuity in the matter of military protocols was often slipshod. They made similar omissions.

I agree.

119. Ensign Ricky - February 13, 2014

One of the highlights for me is watching Chris Doohan pull off a flawless “Scotty”.

120. Ensign Ricky - February 13, 2014

115. PC3 – February 13, 2014

Why isn’t this on TV now – current cast included??

If only there were a network specifically for Science Fiction ……..a Sci Fi Network. I thought there use to be something like that one time or another. Oh well.

121. Cygnus-X1 - February 13, 2014

113. I am not Herbert – February 13, 2014

yeah, some nice Kirk Fu! =)

The drop kick was a nice touch.

And, actually, Kirk besting that huge Orion guy by means of the drop kick should really clue us in to the show’s premise as regarding fidelity to the real world vs. fidelity to the TOS world. Obviously, the drop kick is not meant to be a realistic way of winning a fight (especially against a Lou Ferrigno-sized opponent), but rather a wink and nod to TOS and its fans. We viewers should bear this in mind when making criticisms relating to departures from real-world military protocol and so forth.

122. Odkin - February 13, 2014

Sigh. Trek fans defending a flaw in dramatic structure (shoe-horning in a useless character) by referring to the fake history of a fake military.

Same with the bridge exit lapse. It fails on it’s own merits. It’s COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT that other episodes of other shows in other decades did something similar once!

Still giving the episode 8 out of 10. So many perfect moments, with 2 flaws (McKenna and the bridge finale)

123. Michael Hall - February 13, 2014

“We viewers should bear this in mind when making criticisms relating to departures from real-world military protocol and so forth.”

I wonder–if given the choice of a fully-funded Trek series produced on, say, Netflix, which would the majority of fans prefer: a modern update like Joe Stracynski’s proposed reboot, or a ‘retro’ show that does its best to continue the adventures chronicled in TOS a la Phase 2 or Star Trek Continues? Interesting question.

124. Cygnus-X1 - February 13, 2014

122. Odkin – February 13, 2014

Same with the bridge exit lapse. It fails on it’s own merits. It’s COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT that other episodes of other shows in other decades did something similar once!

I agree that it would have been better for Kirk to say something upon leaving the bridge, but not that it’s “completely irrelevant” that TOS had a dramatic style which wasn’t all that far from the choice for the bridge scene in Lolani. The sweet spot would’ve been for Kirk to have said something minimal, conveying his dispiritedness, but not necessarily trying to conform more to the real world than TOS did. The show wants to be believable, but it’s also clearly trying to mimic and be faithful to a certain dramatic style, namely that of TOS.

125. THX-1138 - February 13, 2014

The actress that plays McKenna, Michelle Specht, is Vic’s squeeze IRL. That’s proabaly one reason she is given so much screen time. You know, kinda like how Majel Barrett might have gotten more screen time in TOS. Both are or were good actors whose squeeze was running the show. No slight to Larry Nemecek but Michelle is a better actor and I don’t mind her getting more lines. She’s also pretty nice to look at. And besides, where are the complaints that a Maori character has replaced Checkov (not that I mind that either)? I would have liked Uhura to have more to do but it didn’t ruin my day. If you recall, in TOS there were many episodes where Uhura didn’t even appear and was replaced by a different actress playing a different comm’s officer. Or Sulu replaced by Billy Blackburn.

As for the aspect ration, help me to understand why this sticks in so many people’s craw? Do you feel ripped off by having an extra 1/8 (or whatever, I’m a musician not a mathematician) of the screen edge not visible? They’re going for the look of TOS and in their opinion 4:3 is the look. And how does this relate to the fact that they are shooting the ship FX in CGI? Doug Drexler, from freaking TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise, Academy Award winning Doug Drexler, is the man behind the look of the FX, and he has stated that he is painstakingly doing everything possible to re-create the camera shots and even the lenses used on TOS. If they were to shoot the FX with models and green screen and computerized tracking shots then they would never actually do the show as it would be cost and time prohibitive.

I can understand, though, that some folks are just not going to like what they see. There’s some stuff in JJ’s Trek that isn’t my cup of tea. But it’s all good, we can discuss the merits or flaws of all Trek like grown-ups.

126. Cygnus-X1 - February 13, 2014

123. Michael Hall – February 13, 2014

I wonder–if given the choice of a fully-funded Trek series produced on, say, Netflix, which would the majority of fans prefer: a modern update like Joe Stracynski’s proposed reboot, or a ‘retro’ show that does its best to continue the adventures chronicled in TOS a la Phase 2 or Star Trek Continues? Interesting question.

That is an interesting question. Even more so because I’m not familiar with Joe Stracynski’s reboot proposal.

I think a major attraction of fan productions to the TOS form is that we are now almost 50 years more technologically advanced than they were in the low-budget TOS days, and hence, imitating the look and feel of TOS is more technologically feasible and cost-effective for indie production outfits.

If we had to choose only one new Trek series, the aforementioned technological issue would presumably not be a factor. My answer would have to lean toward the writing and acting. Great writing and acting trumps a flashy, new premise and slick production values. Though, there would be the issue of how long could the new series maintain freshness if it was a revisiting of the TOS form. STC and P2 are only able to turn out an episode per year or so each. If there were 20 episodes being produced per season, the novel revisit back to the 1960s TOS form would run a greater risk of becoming tired and stale. But, having said that, the series would only really be limited by the imaginations of the writers and their ability to think up fresh new concepts for episodes.

127. Who cares - February 13, 2014

While I am personally ready to embrace any new incarnation of Trek on TV I would prefer if, no matter which timeline it is set in, that the show center on the Enterprise B or C. If it was in the new timeline and aboard the Enterprise C then the second or third season cliffhanger could be the battle of Narendra III, which could then be resolved in a very different way than how it ended in the Prime timeline.

Also I hope Strazinski never comes near Trek again, among comic book readers he is known for never finishing a single job he is hired for, if hired to write a character for a year he will quit in 6 months, and he has never broken this pattern once.

128. Marja - February 13, 2014

114 jerr, Hot diggity dog! I’m looking forward to it :-)

129. Marja - February 13, 2014

TOS continuity was often slipshod in military protocols

All I was saying is, it’s understandable that they didn’t have Kirk say something as he left the Bridge; TOS often did stuff that way, as did all the Treks following.

It’s a minor flaw. I just thought Kirk’s hollowly saying “you have the conn” would

[a] underline that Kirk is always mindful of duty; [b] underline that he is leaving the Bridge to brood in private; and [c] underline that only those who work closely with him on the Bridge will know how much he’s hurting in the instance.

130. Michael Hall - February 13, 2014

Jeez, Who cares. If Stracynski’s having written just about every episode of Babylon 5 after its first season–an impressive accomplishment in terms of sheer output, even if you don’t much care for the show itself–doesn’t demonstrate his ability to stick with a project in your book, I don’t know what possibly could.

You can easily Google and read in its entirety his proposal for the Trek reboot, Cygnus X-1. I have several reservations with it, not to mention wondering if JMS could manage to keep B-5′s iconoclasm and laissez-faire ethos separate from Gene Roddenberry’s much more idealistic creation. But there’s no doubting his genuine love and respect for SF and general and Trek in particular. Given how things have turned out, I’d gladly turn back to the clock and give Stracynski his shot.

And Marja, the Starfleet depicted in TOS was never intended to be strictly military in nature. That’s not a rewriting of history after the fact by Roddenberry as he entered his Beloved Guru phase and became more utopian in his outlook (though that is certainly true): you can find the statement that “Starfleet is not a military organization” smack-dab in the middle of “The Making of Star Trek,” written during the show’s second season.

131. Who cares - February 13, 2014

@ Michael Hall. Yeah JMS stuck with Babylon 5, which I never liked, but more recently he was hired by DC Comics to reboot Superman (in the comics) and he quit before he was finished and left other writers to try to finish the job with no idea what he had planned, then he did the same thing to Wonder Woman, and the Marvel Comics characters The Squadron Supreme, and this is all after Babylon 5 ended its run, in fact all three of those happened in the last 10 years.

So basically the only thing he has stuck with I don’t like,and I absolutely hated everything he did to Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Squadron Supreme.

So yeah, IMO a JMS Trek would be a very bad thing, YMMV but that is how it is for me.

132. Dom - February 13, 2014

Re: the aspect ratio issue.

The 1960s sets of the Enterprise were clearly designed for 4:3. They don’t really work in any production since that has shown them in widescreen. Had the original shows been widescreen, the bridge would have been designed differently.

One of the reasons ST:C works so well is by keeping the original aspect. And, for all the slightly more advanced FX, they’re not really any more elaborate than Star Trek Remastered, which I’d consider a touchstone for this show.

And really, complaining about a show staying that faithful to its forebear is a strange thing to do! It’s effectively Star Trek Remastered season four!

133. Odkin - February 13, 2014

@THX-1138 re: Michelle Specht and Vic’s relationship.

So what does it say that I had no idea that was the case, but could just tell this was being forced? I have no problem with Vic using whoever he wants. He should have cast her as an existing character. The problem is creating a new major character for her, in a production that in every other way is a faithful recreation.

The balance of characters in a show is designed a certain way for a reason. Jamming in a “Cousin Oliver” hardly ever works, and when it does, it’s because it’s fixing something broken. The TOS structure isn’t broken.

134. Ensign RedShirt - February 13, 2014

132 – Dom

I was going to write something very similar, but you beat me to it. Cheers.

The FX, while digital, are very much in TOS style. The Enterprise isn’t doing barrel rolls are any other kind of nonsense. It’s remarkably faithful to the series.

135. THX-1138 - February 13, 2014

Odkin

No worries. Looks like this isn’t your cup of tea. As I stated before, I think she is a better actor than Larry and she is much easier on the eyes. The original series had a balance of the characters of Kirk Spock and McCoy, probably because those three actors, Shatner, Nimoy, and De Kelley had the chops to do scenes together. I get the feeling that it may be a conscious decision to feature the better actor. It is, after all, an amateur production (sort of). That she probably took some of the spotlight from Uhura would be my only beef but like I said, sometimes Uhura wasn’t even IN many TOS episodes.

136. Ctrl-Opt-Del - February 13, 2014

@106. Marja – February 12, 2014

“As far as I can determine, STC is trying to continue the TOS-established “universe,”” so is Phase II…

Hence my earlier comment of personally viewing STC as being between TOS & NV/P2, rather than choosing between the two.

137. Dom - February 13, 2014

133. Odkin

The thing is, we have no idea what would have happened in a fourth series of the original Star Trek. For all we know, not all the actors would have returned and new characters might have been added. ST:C, the same as the 1969-1970 season, might have used new ship shots, chances are the sets would have needed an overhaul due to wear and tear, hairstyles would have changed along with the show’s sensibility.

The lunar landings would have impacted the show, along with the student riots and the summer of love. 2001 came out just before season three launched and might have influenced season four. New writers would have been hired and new producers would have affected the show’s stylistic direction.

The show is called Star Trek Continues, after all, not ‘Star Trek: Preserved in Amber’. Really, there’s no reason for all the original characters to be kept around. The fact that Sulu, Chekov and Uhura are on the Enterprise in TMP doesn’t mean they saw out the whole five year mission. So, adding new characters, to me, is part of the ‘continues’ aspect of the series. Heck, maybe in time they can do a movie based on one of the ideas from the 70s, using Ralph McQuarrie’s designs!

138. Dom - February 13, 2014

135. Ctrl-Opt-Del said: ‘Hence my earlier comment of personally viewing STC as being between TOS & NV/P2, rather than choosing between the two.’

For me, STC is season four of TOS, while ST:PII is the 1978 series that would have begun with In Thy Image, detailing the second five year mission… It would also explain things like Peter Kirk being so much older.

139. Cygnus-X1 - February 13, 2014

137. Dom – February 13, 2014

For me, STC is season four of TOS, while ST:PII is the 1978 series that would have begun with In Thy Image, detailing the second five year mission… It would also explain things like Peter Kirk being so much older.

Interesting point.

140. feenix219 - February 13, 2014

137. As much as I would love to see the post TMP Enterpries and the second 5YM and a real Phase 2 series, it wouldn’t be right to do so without the beautiful movie era ship being used. The series would have to start with TMP era atmosphere, and slowly work it into the Khan era miltary uniform, etc. Phase 2, by sticking with the original ship and sets, while just updating the nacelles, is clearly placing their show in the original 5YM. Yet, by calling it Phase 2, and introducing Xon, they are implying exactly what you said, at the same time. Its a bit self defeating. Doing an Ilia plot (The Child) without Ilia, having Xon AND Spock… its an odd mix.

For a true Phase 2, you have to veer off from continuity, and do Decker (Riker), Ilia (Troi), and Xon (Data), and thats basically been done as TNG. A true “second 5 year mission” wouldn’t necessarily have to be “Phase 2″ but it *would* have to fill in the required holes.

STC ignores all of this, and just does original Trek, in its original from, and begins precisely from Turnabout Intruder, and doesn’t make you overthink the continuity. Just keep watching TOS. :)

141. Dave H - February 13, 2014

“And in any case, it’s pretty damned nervy of you to demand anything on this front, much less toss around words like “hypocrisy” to describe the creative decisions behind a project produced solely for the enjoyment of its audience. Don’t care for the aspect ratio of STC? Then don’t watch.”

Nice try, but I was not demanding anything from the great fan producers of this. Rather, I am simply saying, don’t give me faulty excuses on why you are using antiquated 3×2 aspect when the special effects are definitely modern looking CGI — no, I don’t think the special effects look much at all like TOS special effects. My comment here was directed at the two posters here who took this hypocritical position of defending the 3×2 aspect ratio.

The 3×2 aspect ratio is distracting, and it lessens my enjoyment of watching the episode. So sue me!

142. Dave H - February 13, 2014

“And, for all the slightly more advanced FX, they’re not really any more elaborate than Star Trek Remastered, which I’d consider a touchstone for this show. And really, complaining about a show staying that faithful to its forebear is a strange thing to do! It’s effectively Star Trek Remastered season four!”

This is what I meant by “having your cake and eating it too”. So, let’s do modern looking CGI effects even though they look nothing like the classic special effects would have looked like in 69/70 — NO PROBLEM!!! But, OH NO, we can’t have the modern looking aspect ratio that 99.9% of viewers today are use to, because that wasn’t they way they would have done it in 1969-1970.

As I said, this point of view (NOT the great fan producers of this show) is hypocritical.

143. Dave H - February 13, 2014

correction — I meant to say 4:3 in my posts above. sorry!

144. Marja - February 13, 2014

130 Michael Hall, I know, I read and re-read The Making of Star Trek religiously for something like 10 years. It was interesting the way they employed military protocol at times, like having courts-martial, having admirals order Kirk here and there, and having Kirk say things like “you’re away from your post, mister!” and so on, and use ranks and naval terminology, but at other times they didn’t.

That’s what I mean by the continuity is lacking. But that’s my “military” thinking I suppose, either an organization is something, or it’s another thing, but it can’t be several things at once, can it?

Oh wait, TrekMovie. I rescind my argument ;-)

145. Justiceman - February 14, 2014

I think that the Star Trek Continues team really got it right this time. At very few moments did I think it was anything below network broadcast standards. Well shot, well acted, good FX, good sound, and I must say that the traditional aspect ratio didn’t bother me at all.

I don’t think this takes away from the great work that the folks at Star Trek Phase II have been doing in any way. I’m glad we have both! And really, Trek is starting to achieve the sort of lasting cultural greatness that will continue to allow all sorts of people to reinterpret it for years (and maybe even centuries) to come.

146. Andorian - February 14, 2014

Re: Dave H

You know, you make a good point there. If the goal is to really make the series like it was done in 1970, then this goal would certainly appear more credible to us “outsiders” if they went full bore on this, rather then mixing and matching some modern elements like the CGI special effects, holodeck, etc.

Until they go the extra mile on truly making this look like a 1970 “season 4″ show with the special effects, they will remain open to fair and legitimate criticism about really needing a 4:3 aspect ratio to maintain historical integrity.

It’s a case of fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

147. wtriker1701 - February 14, 2014

I’d like to add, that I love the McKenna character. And I wouldn’t compare her to TNG’s Troi, but rather to the then thrown away idead of Janice Rand. She also was to be Captain Kirk’s subtle love interest, she was to be the one talking to him frankly “off the protocol”.

So that’s how I receive her and can perfectly live with.

It does help, that she’s a real eye-catcher!

148. Dom - February 14, 2014

142. Dave H: ‘This is what I meant by “having your cake and eating it too”. So, let’s do modern looking CGI effects even though they look nothing like the classic special effects would have looked like in 69/70 — NO PROBLEM!!! But, OH NO, we can’t have the modern looking aspect ratio that 99.9% of viewers today are use to, because that wasn’t they way they would have done it in 1969-1970. As I said, this point of view (NOT the great fan producers of this show) is hypocritical.’

All this is beginning to sound a bit like nerd rage. As I pointed out before, the sets were clearly designed for 4:3 television framing. You only have to look at Enterprise and ST:PII to see that there’s something not quite right when the traditional sets are framed in 16:9. The same goes for TNG: when they made Generations, the bridge and other sets required considerable enhancement both for cinema picture definition and for the screen width. That’s, I’m quite sure, partly why ST:PII are moving their look on considerably, since they shoot in 16:9.

Really, to be ranting about ‘hypocrisy’ on ST:C is very over the top. They’ve made an artistic decision (the correct one in my opinion) that the design of the TOS sets was for 4:3, so they should keep that. And it works! Lolani wouldn’t look right in 16:9. Equally, the effects are the standard of Star Trek Remastered, which correlates with how TOS is currently seen worldwide. ST:C looks like a 1970 Star Trek episode might, based on how the 1966-69 looks as it is currently broadcast.

149. Dom - February 14, 2014

140. feenix219 said: ‘As much as I would love to see the post TMP Enterpries and the second 5YM and a real Phase 2 series, it wouldn’t be right to do so without the beautiful movie era ship being used.’

I’m not talking about TMP. I’m talking about the TV films and so on written throughout the 1970s. Phase II effectively is what would would have happened had the film series not existed. I don’t think ST:PII and ST:C should be too contained by movie continuity. They’re continuations of the TV show, after all.

‘The series would have to start with TMP era atmosphere, and slowly work it into the Khan era miltary uniform, etc. Phase 2, by sticking with the original ship and sets, while just updating the nacelles, is clearly placing their show in the original 5YM. Yet, by calling it Phase 2, and introducing Xon, they are implying exactly what you said, at the same time. Its a bit self defeating. Doing an Ilia plot (The Child) without Ilia, having Xon AND Spock… its an odd mix.’

Not really. They’re being sensible and avoiding getting too tied up in knots about the separate movie series.

‘For a true Phase 2, you have to veer off from continuity, and do Decker (Riker), Ilia (Troi), and Xon (Data), and thats basically been done as TNG. A true “second 5 year mission” wouldn’t necessarily have to be “Phase 2″ but it *would* have to fill in the required holes.’

Veering off future continuity a bit doesn’t really worry me. Roddenberry stated he was perfectly happy to contradict TOS with TNG anyway.

‘STC ignores all of this, and just does original Trek, in its original from, and begins precisely from Turnabout Intruder, and doesn’t make you overthink the continuity. Just keep watching TOS. :)’

Exactly. That’s why I like it. Basically, its Star Trek from an alt-universe where the show wasn’t cancelled. Better they don’t get hung up on what happens in movies made over a decade later and follow their own path, whether that means new characters rather than constantly recasting the regulars or worrying about contradicting the future Treks.

150. Rhonda Merrick - February 14, 2014

At first I was distracted by the names being the same as the original… but as the story unfolded, I was drawn into it. Interesting how modern day struggles are shown in this retro futuristic sci-fi show. It touched on gender issue… subjugation of people… international laws… ancient customs…martyrs…and the power of the insignificant people to do significant things. One had the feeling that her message delivered by that lowely shipman (with serious engineering skills) will pack one heck of a blow to the status quo… really well done.

151. Mark Lynch - February 14, 2014

I haven’t watched all of this yet, but what I have seen I have thoroughly enjoyed.
The acting is top rate for most of the characters. I am especially impressed with Vic as Kirk.
Effects are great, but then what else should we expect from the master Doug Drexler? :-)

I’m looking forward to the next one. I truly hope they get lots of funding and can build more sets.
Can’t tell you how much I want to see Engineering…

152. Marja - February 14, 2014

146 Andorian, and Dave H,

Somebody above said, STC is like a re-mastered TOS episode in its special effects.

I agree, and enjoy.

As for the ratio business, I’m watching DS9 in the exact same ratio. Doesn’t bother me a bit.

153. DiscoSpock - February 14, 2014

Hello Marja,

Say, wasn’t the point of the defense of not using the modern aspect ratio was that the look of the show should be like if they had actually produced the series in 1969/1970?

So now, we are supposed to believe something like this:

“We want to create a production that looks as if it was a genuine Season 4 of Star Trek produced in 1969 to 1970, but then with updated remastered special effects produced in 2013″

If that is the revised mission statement of STC, then I don’t think it’s really a genuine attempt to produce something historical looking like TOS.

STIC might as well give us the 16×9 aspect ratio if its producers are willing to compromise their integrity to give us special effects that don’t like historical TOS Trek.

154. Chris Doohan - February 14, 2014

151 Mark lynch “Can’t tell you how much I want to see Engineering…”

Me too!!!

155. DiscoSpock - February 14, 2014

@148 “As I pointed out before, the sets were clearly designed for 4:3 television framing. You only have to look at Enterprise and ST:PII to see that there’s something not quite right when the traditional sets are framed in 16:9.”

Hmm. I actually much prefer the framing of those sets in 16×9 to the 3:2 framing of TOS and STC. It looks significantly better to my eye.

At this point in time, the 4:3 is kind of annoying to see in a brand new production. I mean, come on, if they really were trying to do what they say, then the video would be output in 320 lines of resolution — like the original series in the late 60′s — not HD resolution. We only got to see TOS in HD when it was remastered in the 21st century — not 45 years ago.

156. Marja - February 14, 2014

Re my 152,

Lest I incite nerd rage, DS9 seems to take up the same amount of space on my screen.

Maybe it’s a little more this way or that way, but as a viewer who’s NOT a film expert, I can see the actors and see what they are doing, and see the station and the ships in views that look quite fine, so I’m happy, y’know? I don’t give a care about ratios.

157. star trackie - February 14, 2014

Great sets. Good acting. Top notch production values and effects. And one boring, “hit-you-over-the-head”, “look- it’s a morality-play-just like TOS!” lesson on slavery. TOS can be many things, but it should never be yawn inducing. (plenty of TNG episodes for that!) Better luck next time.

158. Dave H - February 14, 2014

I think I would believe the reasoning here more if the producers just said that artistically they preferred the 4:3 ratio — rather than this false argument about manufacturing this reason that they are supposedly creating something that looks like what we would have seen visually in 1970…that’s just not the case. This production is obviously modern looking in several ways.

Just be honest and say it was an artistic decision. This way, there is no need to keep up the “it looks like a 1970 production” false proposition.

159. Ensign RedShirt - February 14, 2014

There are no issues with “artistic integrity” here. They chose to shoot in 4:3 because that’s the way TOS was shot. That’s it. If you’re engrossed enough in the story, you won’t notice the bars anyway.

Why do I have a feeling that the people who are now complaining about “the black bars on the sides” were the same people who complained about letterboxing 20 years ago.

160. Cygnus-X1 - February 14, 2014

156. Marja – February 14, 2014

Yeah, all of this nitpicking about the aspect ratio is weird.

It looks great. It’s remarkably faithful to TOS. What more could you ask for? It should come with a pizza and 6-pack, too?

161. Ensign RedShirt - February 14, 2014

160 Cygnus

Exactly.

We’re given this entertaining tribute to TOS made by folks who are doing it for the sheer love of Star Trek and we get people complaining about aspect ratios. In a fan production. Ridiculous.

162. THX-1138 - February 14, 2014

Dave H

We get it. You don’t like the 4:3. The horse is quite dead, further beatings are unnecessary. Perhaps instead of telling all of us how much you dislike it you might try contacting the producers of STC.

As for your dislike of the “modern looking FX”, what would you suggest, short of shooting miniatures on green screen with computerized tracking shots, because there is no way that will happen? Drexler has said that he has taken every step that he is capable of in trying to match the camera angles of the ship in the 60′s (yes I know there are some new ones) and replicating the look of the lenses used in the original production. Should they transfer all of the FX shots to film and then run them through an optical printer just to ensure that you can see the star field through the nacelles due to image transparency? I don’t want to accuse you of any nerd rage but wouldn’t a simple “meh, I don’t like this and that about STC.” have sufficed? You seem really bent out of shape about it.

Only trying to understand where you’re coming from and not intending to insult you.

163. MJ - February 14, 2014

star trackie,

This is similar to my assessment. Looks great, better acting, but a lame story, and an excuse for showing a very attractive half-naked green girl..which seriously, is I think why many of the guys here are fawning all over this fan production.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
157. star trackie – February 14, 2014
Great sets. Good acting. Top notch production values and effects. And one boring, “hit-you-over-the-head”, “look- it’s a morality-play-just like TOS!” lesson on slavery. TOS can be many things, but it should never be yawn inducing. (plenty of TNG episodes for that!) Better luck next time.

164. MJ - February 14, 2014

@161

THX,

I think they could have certainly done CGI in a way that mimiced much more closely the look of TOS. However, it looks instead like they mimic the remastered special effects, which you have to admit, doesn’t fit in with the concept they are trying to sell us that this would like like a Season 4 in 1969.

I think Dave and others have a valid point here. If you are not going to be serious about making all aspects of the show look like a 1969 Season 4, then don’t act so high and mighty about insisting that the aspect ratio must be 4:3 to preserve the historical integrity. You have modern looking special effects, HD resolution, and holodecks — none of which would have been present if we were all watching a Season 4 episode in late 1969.

165. THX-1138 - February 14, 2014

MJ

I don’t know how you could mimic anymore closely the FX of the late 60′s outside of actually shooting them the same way, which is far too cost prohibitive for a fan production with no studio financial backing. What would your solution be?

166. MJ - February 14, 2014

@164

It’s only a matter of the imagination, skill, access to the right software, and amount of work the CGI animator wants to put into it. Case in point, look at this incredible job a CGI aninmator did for fun in recreating TMP dry-dock sequence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvPrYMczF3k

This looks freaking awesome and very closely resembles TMP sequence, even though that used blue-screen and models.

I would argue that any historical special effects look can be mimicked with CGI.

167. Red Dead Ryan - February 14, 2014

Yes, if the STC staff had merely stated “artistic reasons” for shooting in the 4:3 format, I could accept that. But by making the argument that they’re shooting the series just as how a fourth season would have been shot in 69-70 yet featuring twenty-first century visual effects is in of itself contradictory and inconsistent.

I also don’t buy the argument that the TOS sets weren’t designed for widescreen cameras.

The TOS sets, I would argue, hold up even better in hi-def widescreen. “In A Mirror, Darkly” parts 1 and 2 as well as “Phase II” are proof of this.

Also, “Deep Space Nine” was shot in the 4:3 format. The show was ending around the time that widescreen cameras were starting to be used by tv producers. It was a different era.

168. Ensign RedShirt - February 14, 2014

MJ -

I’m sure Doug Drexler would be thrilled to benefit from your considerable expertise in all things FX – you should reach out to him via his website.

169. Admiral Archer's Prize Beagle - February 14, 2014

Red Dead Ryan,

Obviously, they meant well with the 4:3 format. But it just doesn’t look so great in practice, as a lot of people are now commenting on here.

I fear though that pride will triumph over common sense here, and they will circle the wagons and stick to this poorly conceived idea.

170. Michael Hall - February 14, 2014

“Nice try, but I was not demanding anything from the great fan producers of this.”

Well, pardon, but “give us special effects that look like TOS, or give us widescreen” sounds pretty demanding to me. Maybe I should have read your post in the original Klingon for clarity’s sake. :-)

As to the CG visuals not looking much like those of TOS–well, sez you. That’s obviously not the intent of their creator, Doug Drexler, who’s forgotten more of the lore and practical experience of creating special effects for various incarnations of Trek than you or I will ever know in this lifetime. Not that his expertise makes your opinion, or that of Disco Spock or MJ any less valid–but they are just that, opinions. Not facts that should be self-evidently obvious to the rest of us. Meanwhile, the producers of STC have every right to shoot their series in whatever aspect ratio that appeals to them. Tagging people who just spent their own time and money to give you more of your favorite series with implications of “hypocrisy” and questions about their artistic integrity, over such a trivial issue? Jesus, nerds.

171. I am not Herbert - February 14, 2014

16:9 would be stupid. stay with TOS 4:3.

there is no order given for Spock to “take the conn” because it goes without saying (Spock knows what Kirk wants without being told)

(when the captain leaves the bridge, he relinquishes command, regardless of what is said or not said…)

they are IN SHOCK at just witnessing the senseless loss of a ship and all aboard, including those who they had just put a lot of emotional investment into…

giving that order would have actually ruined the feeling… ’nuff said?

172. Michael Hall - February 14, 2014

MJ–

Thanks for the link. Given the roster of talent involved I’m not in the least surprised by the video’s quality. Still; wow!

173. Jonboc - February 14, 2014

Too heavy handed with the “message”. And not sure I can warm up to the captain. he just doesn’t have that “commanding” presence that Kirk needs and Shatner had…this version of Kirk reminds me more of a “gee,shucks” Archer-type captain. Technically, they hit it out of the ballpark…absolutely gorgeous. But they need lots of work on the writing, the pacing and striking that perfect balance of drama/humor/action and romance that TOS did so well. All in all a noble attempt. Hopefully they will eventually find their way.

174. feenix219 - February 14, 2014

You can’t complain about 4:3 with remastered effects, unless you also hold the current Star Trek Remastered in the same regard. If S4 had existed, it would have been remastered by now as well, and this is exactly what it would look like.

175. K-7 - February 14, 2014

@MJ

That link to TMP CGI is the best piece of Trek fan CGI in history. Nothing else comes close. It gives me goosbumps to watch it is so well done.

@feenix219

I think that is the point that people are trying to make. It gives it a modern feel, not a 1970 feel, and so why not also just go 16×9 and be done with the pretense that we are pretending we are watching it on a 1970 19-in at best, color TV with 320 lines of resolution?

176. D Tremethick - February 14, 2014

This episode is what Star Trek is all about. It follows Gene’s dream to a T. The reality is that slavery exists in nations that are considered allies and friendly. We need to help the women in those nations take a stand to gain their rights.

177. B Kramer 4:3 - February 14, 2014

mj atleast disagree using your legion of puppets once in a while to make it look semi-real while beating your dead horses.

178. MJ - February 14, 2014

It sounds like at least half the people here want 16×9. Why not just release it in both formats and let the viewers decide?

What would be the harm in that???

I’d be willing to contribute my own money to Kickstarter for this if the producers relented and agreed to at least offer an alternative 16×9 presentation.

Other of you here who want 16×9, would you be willing to donate some $$ to STC if they agreed here to offer the next movie in a 16×9 alternative?

179. Michael Hall - February 14, 2014

Jesus. I can’t think of a single film or TV series where my feelings about it, pro or con, would be affected to any significant degree by a different aspect ratio. To each his own, I guess.

180. Cygnus-X1 - February 14, 2014

Man, you’ve got like some kinda problem or something.

181. K-7 - February 14, 2014

#178

Michael Hall is entitled to his opinions here. You don’t have to like them.

182. MJ - February 14, 2014

@178 @179

Michael Hall and I may disagree on things from time to time, but we respect each others’ opinions. I don’t see his opinion being any more problematic than mine — we just happen to disagree on this.

No big deal. Let’s keep this to discussing the issues, not in making personal attacks on others’ please.

183. Cygnus-X1 - February 14, 2014

Michael Hall’s opinions are not problematic.

184. Keachick - February 14, 2014

I started watching this episode and after hearing the Mission Statement, I found I could no longer watch or listen.

I am sorry but “my captain” is either a 1960s TOS-era Shatner/Kirk or a 2009/13 Pine/Kirk. This actor’s look and voice are all wrong.

Both Shatner and Pine have that “je ne sais quoi” quality but it is there all the same. It is in how they look and talk, how they embody the James Kirk character.

I will try to get past how un alike this Kirk is and watch the rest of the episode. It seems to be well done so far as I saw, despite the Herculean obstacle that I will attempt to overcome.

I do love “my” Shatner/Pine James T Kirk!

185. I am not Herbert - February 14, 2014

151. Mark lynch: “Can’t tell you how much I want to see Engineering…”

154. Chris Doohan: “Me too!!!”

ME THREE!!! =D

186. K-7 - February 14, 2014

#181

Well just make up you mind, Cygnus?

Sheesh!

187. Cygnus-X1 - February 14, 2014

182. Keachick – February 14, 2014

We’re all rooting for you, Keachick! You can do it! :-)

188. Keachick - February 14, 2014

#185 – LOL!

189. MJ - February 14, 2014

“Michael Hall’s opinions are not problematic.”

Cygnus,thanks for being more open to Michael’s opinion now.

See, we can all get along better if we just try a little bit harder.

Bravo, dude!

190. feenix219 - February 15, 2014

175: But the whole point IS to make it seem like it stepped right off of a 1970 studio production lot, to make it seem like a lost episode – but if that lost season existed, and was released as the TOS Season 4 Box Set right now… it would have remastered effects and look exactly like it does now. So, to the viewer, in this day and age, STC is exactly what a lost episode would look like in the present.

191. K-7 - February 15, 2014

#175

My remastered TOS blu-ray set allows me to choose between the remastered and the original special effects. I always choose the original.

I think you either go all the way here, or make compromises. And I really don’t have a lot of issues with the few compromises they are making…but why can’t they then just make the 16×9 compromise all well given these other compromises that they are making?

192. Cygnus-X1 - February 15, 2014

It’s never too late to seek help.

193. feenix219 - February 15, 2014

140. “Not really. They’re being sensible and avoiding getting too tied up in knots about the separate movie series.”

Thats not entirely true, though. Phase II has made a point to introduce TMP elements into the show, and have stated their purpose is to actually fill in those gaps and blend it into TMP. They are more bogged down in continuity then anyone. They are both using elements of the (alternate universe, basically, defunct Phase II television show, which would have been a second 5 year mission, beginning with a variation of TMP as the pilot episode) while clearly setting their series during the 5th year of the original series, down to including Arex from the (“4th season” Animated Series) show. They shoehorn the “2nd 5ym Phase II” elements into the end of the first 5ym. Its not criticism; Just an observation.

I then got off track with my own yearnings for a true 2nd 5 year mission series, with the movie era ship and CGI, starting out with TMP sets and aesthetics, continuing with some epic adventures that introduce the new bridge and uniforms, and end with Spock as Captain of the Enterprise in its new vocation as a training vessel.

We are in complete agreement about STC. They are the polar opposite of Phase II in that regard (save for the holodeck gag) and, while I doubt they will ever contradict future lore, I have faith that they will continue to stay firmly in the mindset of a true 4th season of the original show, in the original style, and I absolutely love them for it. Its exactly what its supposed to be.

194. Dom - February 15, 2014

Many films are shot in Academy Ratio, then masked for cinema screenings (if you look at VHS era releases of, say, Back to the Future, there’s more screen visible, top and bottom, than in the widescreen releases.)

Many shows were shot widescreen then cropped for TV. Some were made widescreen-safe — The X-Files, for example, is now screening in HD in widescreen and Babylon 5 was shot that way, although it suffers from people being bunched up in the 4:3-safe area of the screen.

On the other hand, some shows were deliberately shot with the intention of being made in 4:3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an example where it was clearly shot for 4:3. The unmasked 16:9 versions on DVD release in Europe have some horrendous visual gaffes such as actors out of character, lights and other camera equipment in shot, incomplete effects and generally dreadful-looking 16:9 framing. I would expect any HD release to be 4:3 at Joss Whedon’s insistence, just as the US DVDs are. The Shield is another example.

Aspect ratio, be it Academy, 4:3, 1.85:1, 1.77:1, 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 is an artistic choice, it reflects the kind of story being told, and that’s that. Saying something shot for 4:3 should be 16:9 is as ignorant as people complaining about black bars on the screen in the 1990s for widescreen video releases.

There’s a lot to be said for 4:3. It’s about the ability to get a close up of a person’s face without distraction. It has an intimacy that widescreen doesn’t allow for. There’s a clear awareness of this in the way STC is shot that would be destroyed by 16:9 framing. 16:9 is more cinematic, but it creates a distance, especially in something as studiobound as the original Star Trek. Lolani certainy wouldn’t work in widescreen.

I’m surprised at the hostility certain people have towards STC’s decision to frame for 4:3. To me, it looks like Star Trek Remastered season 4. I never expected to see sputtery shots of the Enterprise with an obvious bluescreen glow, matte lines and optical printer scratches and fading. TOS’s effects were great for standard definition and I liked them better than TNG’s which looked glossy and fake until the HD remasters. But TOS’s effects don’t stand up to scrutiny in HD and I never expected anything but an overhaul for Blu-ray.

Since STC is being made now, they obviously have to use the best quality materials they can. There’s no way they’re going to build model rigs and shoot on film, then deliberately make it look battered up. Anyone who thinks they should is clearly ignorant of the scale of work and the money that would require.

So really, people need to learn a little respect for the STC team and let them make the decisions and be grateful for what they’re getting. I’m very much looking forward to the next episode in 4:3 with superb CGI model work.

195. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 15, 2014

My review that I posted on Trekbbs:
Re: Star Trek Continues: Episode 2 “Lolani”…
I’ve rewatched the episode a few other times and here are my thoughts. First, congrats to the STAR TREK CONTINUES team for releasing an episode that captivated my attention and that told a meaningful story.

What Are We to Do About a Slave Named Lolani?

Fan films are well-intentioned, herculean efforts by a group of dedicated and hardworking fans who are trying to recreate the spark that made the original “Star Trek” series so thrilling. Some are amateurs. Others professionals using their talents to bring life to their childhood dreams. Fan productions often have the style but none of the substance.

Not since STARSHIP EXETER’s “Tressaurian Intersection” and STAR TREK: PHASE II’s “World Enough and Time” has there been a fan film that’s come close to that substance. “Lolani” — the latest offering from STAR TREK CONTINUES — is one step closer, perhaps closer than a fan film has ever been. Why? Simply because it’s about something and it’s trying to say something important even if it falls short in places.

Not a Pew-Pew in Sight

The U.S.S. Enterprise stumbles upon a Tellarite vessel with a sole surviving passenger — an Orion slave woman, Lolani. The episode unfolds as Kirk and crew try to keep Lolani free while investigating what happened aboard the Tellarite ship. Political pressures conspire to keep Lolani a slave and Kirk is torn between the law and a desire free her by any means. In the end, the sex/slave trade proves too big a problem to be solved by one starship captain in 50 minutes.

This is a large problem writ small. We see the quandary of slavery explored through the character drama on the Enterprise. And without a pew-pew in sight. What a relief! STAR TREK CONTINUES has succeeded where many fan films have failed. It’s relied on character to drive the story and engage the audience than space battles and effects.

More than that, the episode is daring enough to let the situation be a futile one. Kirk can’t win this one. Lolani because of circumstances must go back to her owner. But even in the futility of the situation, there is a glimmer of hope at the end. The message of “slavery/sex trade is bad” and the ending’s posthumous monologue is a bit ham-fisted. But you have to admire that CONTINUES set the bar high in tackling a large issue. However, I would’ve preferred more subtly in the script and in the performances.

Scars Should’ve Run Deep

Either because of the script or the performance, one didn’t get the sense that Lolani had deep scars and years of abuse. It was good to see her do anything in her power, even use her “habits,” to coerce both Kirk and Keneway to help her. Yet, she doesn’t act like someone who’s been abused (and I’ve known abused women). She too readily acquiesces to Spock’s mind-meld — she should see it as another violation, as Maurice points out. She should vehemently refused. She is too trusting of the crew too quickly.

Lolani’s reaction to the news that Zaminhon is coming is a bit weak and too placid. There is no sense of desperation from her at the prospect of retuning to her abuser. Fiona Vroom’s performance lacks nuance and the writing doesn’t give her that nuance to play either. For example, Lolani is so traumatized by killing the Tellerites that she suppresses the memory. It would’ve been stronger had she hid it, refuse Spock’s mind-meld then admit the truth and been more biting in her response to Kirk — “If you killed the men attempting to rape you, would you talk openly about it.” I wanted Lolani to have stronger moments were she was both a strong person and a wounded one. And it would’ve been nice to have them happen within the same scene — though the mind-meld scene comes close.

A Lack of Color

In a story about slavery, there is a lack of any other color than green. Something I noticed upon second viewing was the whiteness of the main players in the story. Uhura has only one close up. Mostly we see her back. STAR TREK CONTINUES missed a great opportunity to have Uhura be the champion for Lolani. While I admire them using a woman with Dr. McKenna, the story would’ve been stronger with Uhura in that role. In the original show, Uhura was the representation of how far blacks would come, that they would make it into the future and their skin color would no longer be an issue. Had this episode actually been made in 1969/70, Uhura would no doubt have been in McKenna’s role because of that.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy … Well, Kinda

This episode falls into the same trap that many fan films fall into — calling Starfleet Command. Usually, orders from the higher ups is an excuse to trot out the old war horses of TV Sci-Fi. The cardinal sin is that it absolves Kirk of any decision making. Here, it straddles that line. It would’ve been better had Kirk, much like he was in the original series, on his own to make a decision. As been pointed out by others in this thread, the drama and debate should’ve been with Kirk, Spock and McCoy as it was in the original series.

Fan films get the function of this trio so wrong more often than they get it right. Spock and McCoy are Kirk’s thought process made manifest. It’s the debate of logic and humanity within Kirk. And it’s through that debate, he is able to take decisive action. STAR TREK CONTINUES, like PHASE II, underutilizes Spock and McCoy. At least, Todd Haberkorn’s Spock is less “robotic” here than Brandon Stacey’s performance. However, Larry Nemecek is woefully miscast as McCoy — his performance lacks the bite necessary for the character.

Finally, Kirk fluctuates between how Kirk was in the original show and Picard. His consultations with Starfleet and his dinner solution all smack of Picard. Kirk should’ve been more clever in resolving the situation, even if it backfired in the end. I kept expecting him to use the Tellarite ship somehow, either to hide Lolani or to trick Zaminhon. But at least he is less Picard-like here than he was in “Pilgrim of Eternity”. And he’s not Archer-like as Kirk was in PHASE II’s “Kitumba.” However, Vic Mignogna performance is strong in the role. He has presence and you feel he is in command.

Second Star to the Right …

I have other quibbles, but I’ve mentioned those before (the TNG elements, etc.). Yet this episode is a step in the right direction. The elements are there — character, story, theme — now those elements have to be refined. And hopefully the next episode will be even closer to recapturing the spark that made the original so special.

196. Shatoupee - February 15, 2014

An incredible episode that I found to be highly entertaining. Can’t wait for more.

197. Cygnus-X1 - February 15, 2014

192. Dom – February 15, 2014

Yes, thank you.

I also do not feel short-changed by this very impressive, thoughtful, not-for-profit, passion-driven production due to it lacking shots filled with rolling set-scape on either side the actors’ faces.

198. Michael Hall - February 15, 2014

@ 193 Ryan Thomas Riddle–

While I don’t agree with all of it, that was a very thoughtful, well-written review of this episode. I look forward to reading more of your work as both productions release new material. Good job!

199. JimJ - February 15, 2014

Loved it. Great job to all involved!!!

200. Cygnus-X1 - February 15, 2014

193. Ryan Thomas Riddle – February 15, 2014

Either because of the script or the performance, one didn’t get the sense that Lolani had deep scars and years of abuse. It was good to see her do anything in her power, even use her “habits,” to coerce both Kirk and Keneway to help her. Yet, she doesn’t act like someone who’s been abused (and I’ve known abused women).

Something to keep in mind here is that STC is trying to imitate the look and feel of TOS. I wouldn’t expect the kind of gritty reality of, say, Ron Moore’s BSG. I suppose they could have written Lolani a bit less chipper, less trusting, and more withdrawn, but too much of that would affect the pacing of the story, which was one of this episode’s strongest attributes. It would take longer to get from point A to point B if the main character has to be hand-held and nurtured before she’ll feel comfortable doing things. Also, portraying Lolani as “really” abused would deviate from the goal of the production, and it would be a heavy downer in a format that is meant to stay relatively light and optimistic.

201. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 15, 2014

@ 196. Michael Hall -

While I don’t agree with all of it, that was a very thoughtful, well-written review of this episode. I look forward to reading more of your work as both productions release new material. Good job!

Thanks!

@198 Cygnus

Something to keep in mind here is that STC is trying to imitate the look and feel of TOS. I wouldn’t expect the kind of gritty reality of, say, Ron Moore’s BSG. I suppose they could have written Lolani a bit less chipper, less trusting, and more withdrawn, but too much of that would affect the pacing of the story, which was one of this episode’s strongest attributes. It would take longer to get from point A to point B if the main character has to be hand-held and nurtured before she’ll feel comfortable doing things. Also, portraying Lolani as “really” abused would deviate from the goal of the production, and it would be a heavy downer in a format that is meant to stay relatively light and optimistic.

Thanks for the comment!

The portrayal need not be gritty like BSG, but more naturalistic, like the early episodes of TOS. Lolani should’ve had more range — she had little nuance. Like Lenore in “Conscience of the King.” And it wouldn’t been out of the 60s dramatic context to have her be that way. The example I can think of is Eartha Kitt’s portrayal of a heroin-addicted, abused jazz singer in the I SPY episode, “The Loser.” And TOS wasn’t always a light and optimistic format, it had its dour moments. This STC episode is dealing with a heavy topic and it wouldn’t be out of place to push the envelope more.

I don’t think it would’ve slowed down the story, but rather given it an additional depth.

202. Michael Hall - February 15, 2014

Actually, I always thought that the character of Lenore Karidian as written, and Barbara Anderson’s performance, were the weakest things about the otherwise excellent “Conscience of the King”. (By contrast, as Karidian/Kodos Arnold Moss may well have given Trek’s best guest-star appearance ever, in any series.)

That said, I very much agree that the character of Lolani should have been more nuanced. (As I mentioned previously, I also wish she had been played as more exotic and mysterious–Susan Oliver, as opposed to Yvonne Craig.). Still, I give the producers considerable credit for making her more complex and conflicted than was necessary for a mere placeholder “morality play” victim, for placing Starfleet on the wrong side of the moral issue, and for an utter failure on Kirk’s part to salvage the situation that was entirely consistent with one of his own major character flaws: preening self-rightousness. That, in truth, is probably more than TOS would have done with this story, particularly after its first season.

203. Ron Albanese - February 15, 2014

Just watched he whole thing – LOVED it! My wife did, too!

I don’t feel there has to be a competition, for having multiple fan-made Treks only makes everyone strive to make things better …

But vis-a-vis Phase II, the acting was much more even … the actors seemed comfortable.

Phase II sometimes has the feel of, “look at us – we’re playing Star Trek!”

That’s just something I noticed – LOVE and RESPECT to both productions.

204. Marja - February 15, 2014

195 and 201 Ryan T Riddle,

I AGREE WITH YOU SO MUCH on the “Lack of Color” section. It was very disappointing not to see a TOS-like range of minority representation. But …

I wonder if they avoided using a person of color because of the loaded topic of slavery and contemporary concerns about racial stereotyping; i.e., a concern about being politically “incorrect” by depicting Africans or African-Americans as inevitable inheritors of the “slave” mantle, who are the ones who “must always be concerned” with resolving such issues simply because they are POCs. [Of course any decent person must be concerned, but to "assign" this concern to a POC "point man" might have been just a little too ... pointed.]

Just a thought I had along the way as I considered, what if the Engineering ensign who fell for Lolani had been a POC. What if he had gone at the end to take up her cause. Would that have been too pointed? It might have happened IN THE ERA of TOS, but I’m not sure it’d go down well in the present day.

Yes, indeed, I would like to have seen Uhura better represented in the episode. But to make her the “interpreter” of, or intercessor against, slave experience would have been dicey, not to mention odd, because in the minds of most Americans, Africans [and Uhura is African, not African-American] did not experience the evils of slavery in their own continent. [If we are historically cognizant, we know that, unfortunately, they DID.]

“Finally, Kirk fluctuates between how Kirk was in the original show and Picard. His consultations with Starfleet and his dinner solution all smack of Picard.” I don’t know, the dinner solution was used twice by TOS JTK; once in “Space Seed” and again “Is There in Truth No Beauty.” I’m not sure if “smacking of Picard” is your way of saying Picard was a “weaker” captain than JTK, so I’ll leave that alone for now. I never agreed with that assessment of Picard by some fans.

“Bedeviled by Punctuation department” – You do mean Lenore in “Conscience of the King” had range and nuance, I hope … Barbara Anderson did a fantastic job in the role. That episode is one of my favorites [despite its now-clunky technology, and now-cliched "crazy under the exterior" character].

Yeah, I agree, Lolani could have had a bit more nuance, and some smoother transitions in mood. As it was, the writing resembled a TOS episode, but the acting of the “guest star” was not quite up to snuff with the usual TOS standard.
—————————————————————

In general, I do think Dr McKenna takes up a little too much story time, that some of her functions belong to McCoy, and in the story, I think Uhura could have given Lolani the pretty gown [Uhura was established in TOS to be quite the fashionable, beautiful lady]. I suspect Michelle Specht is relieving Larry Nemecek of some of the acting duties, as, regrettably, he is miscast – in his comical moments he almost seems to be mugging for the camera, and in his serious moments, lacks McCoy’s acerbic edge, as Riddle points out, or his gravitas. Nevertheless [and despite her excess makeup and hair] I enjoyed some of McKenna’s by-play with Kirk.

205. Lostrod - February 15, 2014

Ok. Due to bandwidth restrictions on military duty it took several days to finish watching this episode. I loved it and thought it was the truest to the spirit of Star Trek.

I can’t believe that people here would nit pick over makeup, sound, etc.

Had this been presented to NBC in 1968 it would have been mind boggling.

Sheesh.

Keep ‘em coming.

Regards.

206. Michael Hall - February 15, 2014

““Finally, Kirk fluctuates between how Kirk was in the original show and Picard. His consultations with Starfleet and his dinner solution all smack of Picard.”

I also definitely part company with Ryan in this regard (or, at least, don’t entirely buy into his analysis). James Kirk was a fictional character given the illusion of consistency by one actor’s indelible portrayal, but he was written by a variety of authors in any number of different ways. In “The Man Trap” he comes across as a hidebound martinet; in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “The Galileo Seven” he’s a dedicated explorer with a genuine scientific curiosity about the unknown. In “Balance of Terror” he’s the reluctant warrior (yet brilliant tactician); in Gene Coon’s teleplays he’s most often portrayed as the Good Soldier who manages to overcome his initial prejudices. In “The Trouble With Tribbles,” his weapon of choice is in-your-face sarcasm. And so on.

Far from lacking dramatic consistency, I think these different takes actually gave the character the illusion of a complex personality, and far more depth and interest than he otherwise might have had. And I think it’s far too easy, with the hindsight of forty years’ worth of the Trek franchise, to pigeonhole certain actions or behaviors as being like those of Picard, or Archer, or Janeway for that matter. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and a call to Starfleet just a call to Starfleet. :-)

(I also agree about Kirk not really being a “stronger” captain than Picard, but that’s another subject for another (far nerdier) day than today.

207. porthoses bitch - February 15, 2014

I’ve had the oppurtunity to meet both Lou Ferrigno and Erin Grey both very nice people and class acts all around. I applaud this whole heartedly. Most fan films tend to fall apart in the third act not the case here. Well done.

208. Michael Hall - February 15, 2014

““Finally, Kirk fluctuates between how Kirk was in the original show and Picard. His consultations with Starfleet and his dinner solution all smack of Picard.”

I also definitely part company with Ryan in this regard (or, at least, don’t entirely buy into his analysis). James Kirk was a fictional character given the illusion of consistency by one actor’s indelible portrayal, but he was written by a variety of authors in any number of different ways. In “The Man Trap” he comes across as a hidebound martinet; in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “The Galileo Seven” he’s a dedicated explorer with a genuine scientific curiosity about the unknown. In “Balance of Terror” he’s the reluctant warrior (yet brilliant tactician); in Gene Coon’s teleplays he’s most often portrayed as the Good Soldier who manages to overcome his initial prejudices. In “The Trouble With Tribbles,” his weapon of choice is in-your-face sarcasm. And so on.

Far from lacking dramatic consistency, I think these different takes actually gave the character the illusion of a complex personality, and far more depth and interest than he otherwise might have had. And I think it’s far too easy, with the hindsight of forty years’ worth of the Trek franchise, to pigeonhole certain actions or behaviors as being like those of Picard, or Archer, or Janeway for that matter. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and a call to Starfleet just a call to Starfleet. :-)

(I also agree about Kirk not really being a “stronger” captain than Picard, but that’s another subject for another (far nerdier) day than today.)

209. Koloth Sisko - February 15, 2014

I am not a fan of fan made films. I appreciate the spirit and the effort and I don’t bash them but they are not for me.

I honestly don’t think Paramount is paying attention to them because at the end of the day they want a Trek Movie franchise. It would be up to CBS which owns the rights to the show to take up the mantle and bring it back. Personally I think it would be cool if they got Ron Moore involved with a new series but that is just me.

I think Trek belongs on television and the big screen. It would be mad cool if they could make a television series set in that new world with new characters. Kirk is on his five year mission now. A television show could deal with all the social and political intrigue like for example I would have loved to have known how the Federation and Romulus dealt with the fall out from Nero’s Incursion and all of that. A television show to compliment the films and that universe would be mad cool.

210. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 15, 2014

204 — Marja

Yes, I did mean like Lenore — typing on an iPad is hellish and mistake prone. :)

Re: Uhura

I don’t think it would’ve been dicey. However, that history of slavery is precisely why Uhura would’ve been better as Lolani’s champion. Art is always best when it creates discomfort in an audience and challenges their preconceived notions.

But it would’ve been nice had someone of color was involved. The way it stands now makes it seem that only the white man can help the downtrodden. That it’s the white man’s burden. I’m sure that wasn’t the intention, but that’s how it could be perceived.

206 — Michael Hall

I’m not trying to pigeonhole Kirk as to a one-note, consistent character. Quite frankly, I prefer and like that in the original series, he could be many things, like any of us. Yet, he was also shown as someone that was quick to think, clever and able to take decisive action. What’s missing in these fan films is that aspect of the character. Possibly because there are no meaningful Kirk-Spock-McCoy exchanges, where the situation is debated. There aren’t even any Kirk-Spock exchanges. It’s through that debate where Kirk usually is able to come up with a course of action.

And I like that Kirk is prone to mistakes. My favorite line in “Where No Man Has Gone Before” is: “It’s my fault Mitchell got as far as he did.” I also like that the events in TWOK are mostly because he failed to raise the shields.

Think my intention in comparing Kirk’s actions in this episode with Picard has been interpreted in a way I didn’t originally intend. Of course, it’s my word choice — “smacks” is a strong word, which is why I used it to make a stronger point. Confabs with Starfleet and the dinner invite are more inline with Picard’s traits. Of course, I think Kirk is the better captain, he’s my favorite. But I like Picard just fine. He’s different from Kirk. Or as I like to say, Kirk is Captain Horatio Hornblower and Picard is Admiral Lord Horatio Hornblower.

But we can agree to disagree. :)

211. Michael Hall - February 15, 2014

Oh, I don’t know that we disagree so much; I think it’s just a matter of emphasis. Both characters clearly reflect the eras in which their shows were produced, and were portrayed by actors with very different styles. But I’ve always thought the easy comparison of Kirk as the ladykilling, phaser-packing cowboy as opposed to the sedate, diplomatic Picard was simplistic and overstated, and not very helpful in understanding the appeal of either character.

(Actually, that description does pretty much sum up the J.J. Abrams version of Kirk, but that’s also a subject for another day.)

212. Cygnus-X1 - February 15, 2014

210. Ryan Thomas Riddle – February 15, 2014

Re: Uhura

But it would’ve been nice had someone of color was involved. The way it stands now makes it seem that only the white man can help the downtrodden. That it’s the white man’s burden. I’m sure that wasn’t the intention, but that’s how it could be perceived.

I can get on board with your ideas about how better to have portrayed Lolani, but I think this criticism by you and others, that Uhura should have been the one to champion the cause of Lolani, is an overreach.

Helping Lolani wasn’t “the White man’s burden;” it was the captain’s burden. It’s not the place of a communications officer to alter the ship’s mission.

I also don’t tend to agree with criticisms regarding the races of the actors/characters in Trek . If there’s something really, blatantly offensive, then OK. But, obviously that wasn’t the case here.

There can be exceptions if it’s really meaningfully done, but in general, I don’t like the idea of asking writers of Trek stories to have characters of certain races perform certain functions within the story based solely upon their races.

One of the main premises and moral statements of TOS was that it was a post-race, post-discrimination setting. Yes, TOS was made during the height of tensions during the civil rights struggle, but it didn’t go out of its way to have Uhura do certain things just because she was Black. Uhura was the communications officer, not the Black communications officer. Kirk was the captain, not the White captain. Uhura and Kirk were made to kiss by Parmen because Uhura was a woman and Kirk was a man, not because of their races. TOS specifically treated Uhura the same as the other officers. I think that was a very wise decision and I think it’s even more appropriate today.

213. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 15, 2014

212 — Cygnus-X1

Agree with you that TOS and fan films-based on it area post-discriminating setting, but the show is being viewed by people today and is a prism for stories of today (or then in the 1960s). As for your example of Parmen, that kiss was considered grand breaking for its time because it was between a black woman and a white man.

But art is of its time even if it is portraying a time when race is no longer an issue. And being of its time, it is perceived with that lens, connotations and all, for good or bad, including ones of ethnicity.

My criticism and others isn’t saying Uhura should be the one to take up Kirk’s role, but that the production missed an opportunity having her fill the McKenna role instead. And I’ve longed for Uhura to have a bigger role in TOS and in fan films, which is why I’m glad she has a more prominent role in the Abrams’ films. Although, she could have more to do other than be Spock’s girlfriend, but that’s a debate for another time. :)

Also, I appreciate your thoughts on the matter — this is turning out to be a great discussion!

214. Cygnus-X1 - February 15, 2014

213. Ryan Thomas Riddle – February 15, 2014

As for your example of Parmen, that kiss was considered grand breaking for its time because it was between a black woman and a white man.

Yes, it was considered ground-breaking because of the prevailing prejudices of the time. But, in and of itself—if you separate out viewers’ psychological baggage—it does not come across like the writers were going out of their way to discriminate in favor of Uhura for that scene. She was simply the only female officer in main cast. Who ELSE would have been kissing Kirk? A lesser character like Rand or Chapel? Now, that might have seemed like discrimination.

If your goal is to diminish racism, then the best way to go about that in art is not to participate in it, i.e. not to discriminate based on race. It can actually be counter-productive if the audience feels like there is discrimination going on, even if it’s in favor of an ethnic minority. Sure, if you see certain potential in the actor playing Uhura (or in any actor), then, of course, you should write more meaty parts for them. It’s one thing to have people of different ethnic backgrounds represented in the show, but I think it’s a mistake to ask the writers to “color up” a given episode just to make a point. Going out of the way to have the Black character champion the slave character in the story would be hanging a huge banner on the top of the screen: “See, Black people used to be slaves, but we’re soooo past that now!” The story’s theme works just fine as it is, with Kirk doing his normal thing and Uhura doing her normal thing.

I suppose the Kenway character could have been played by a Black actor, but really don’t see how that would have been any more meaningful or necessarily better. I had the same reaction when people complained about Khan being played by a White actor in STID. I think Bob Orci responded, “the best actor gets the job,” and that is absolutely the right mentality to have. If a fantastic Indian or Hispanic actor auditioned for a role that wasn’t specifically written for an actor of that ethnicity, it would likewise be a mistake to deny them the part based on their race.

215. Cygnus-X1 - February 15, 2014

It would also be a mistake to deny the best actor the part, even if his ethnicity wasn’t exactly the same as that implied by the name of the character. So, long as the actor is believable in the role, s/he should get it if s/he is the best qualified for it. There is any number of ways that a man with the name “Khan Noonien Singh” of the 23rd Century could have the appearance of Benedict Cumberbatch. Voyager’s “Harry Kim” character had a Korean name, but he was played by a Chinese actor. ENT’s “Hoshi Sato” had a Japanese name, but was played by a Korean actor. And even if the character’s name is of an ethnicity that would be normally perceived very differently from the appearance of the actor playing him, that is easily explained away with a couple of lines early on about the character’s history, e.g. “My grandfather was German.”

216. Marja - February 15, 2014

206 Michael Hall, thanks for saying it, I couldn’t quite gather my thoughts there, but I heartily agree on Kirk.

————————————————

209 Koloth Sisko, “I think Trek belongs on television and the big screen. It would be mad cool if they could make a television series set in that new world with new characters. Kirk is on his five year mission now. A television show could deal with all the social and political intrigue like for example I would have loved to have known how the Federation and Romulus dealt with the fall out from Nero’s Incursion and all of that. A television show to compliment the films and that universe would be mad cool.”

If your second sentence actually reads “… television series set in that new world with the new characters, I AM SO WITH YOU ON THAT!!! Yes! let’s see the New Crew on the 5-year mission PLEASE!

217. Odkin - February 15, 2014

Too little praise here for Ferrigno, I see. I thought his speech issues (from deafness) lent a great deal to his alien presence. I could understand everything, and I thought he did a great job!

BTW I get a great kick out of the crusaders above whining about “people of color” and “POC” in a show with black people, asian people, green people, “vulcan” people, deaf people… really? How much time do you spend a day fretting about race and “colored people”?

Why don’t you worry about story problems (not caring how the other ship blew up or if anyone had jettisoned), character problems (McKenna shouldn’t exist although the actress is great) and acting problems (Nemecek needs to GO).

218. Odkin - February 15, 2014

PS – could be worse I guess. You could be whining about the aspect ratio! Only an obsessive nut would repeatedly focus on that.

219. Marja - February 15, 2014

213 RTRiddle, ” Although, she could have more to do other than be Spock’s girlfriend, but that’s a debate for another time. :) ”

She does have more to do. Please stop dismissing the movie character based solely on the relationship scenes between her and Spock. Her scene “speaking Klingon” was BOSS. and lest anyone say it, she was NOT rescued by Khan. She used the distraction [as any male character would] to take the Klingon’s blade and stab him with it.

214 Cygnus, “I suppose the Kenway character could have been played by a Black actor, but really don’t see how that would have been any more meaningful or necessarily better.’ A black actor, an Australian aborigine, a Maori, an American Indian …. any would have been an improvement over “naive white kid” – although the actor did a good job.

” I had the same reaction when people complained about Khan being played by a White actor in STID. I think Bob Orci responded, “the best actor gets the job,” and that is absolutely the right mentality to have.”

The fact is, there is a built-in prejudice in Hollywood. If “who you know” is how you get hired – and it is, many times, in the insular Industry that is the movie/TV business. The white directors, producers, showrunners, casting agents &c. know predominantly white actors, because that is now and has for generations been the predominant demographic in Hollywood casting.

Sadly we will not be a post-racial society for many generations, by my lights. Hmmm, maybe by Star Trek’s time.

220. Andy Patterson - February 15, 2014

Pretty poignant. I liked it. That’s as close to the ‘No Win Scenario’ as Kirk ever got on the real show.

Big Lou. Yeah. And I liked the girl too.

221. Marja - February 15, 2014

217 Odkin,

I think “crusading” for equality is a hella lot more significant than complaining about aspect ratio, which others have done to excess in this thread.

I agree with you that story weaknesses deserve attention, as do the roles of Larry Nemecek and Michelle Specht, and we’ve discussed those things already. Someone brought up the near absence of POC and we discussed it.

222. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 16, 2014

@ 214 Cygnus-X1

-If your goal is to diminish racism, then the best way to go about that in art is not to participate in it, i.e. not to discriminate based on race. It can actually be counter-productive if the audience feels like there is discrimination going on, even if it’s in favor of an ethnic minority. Sure, if you see certain potential in the actor playing Uhura (or in any actor), then, of course, you should write more meaty parts for them. It’s one thing to have people of different ethnic backgrounds represented in the show, but I think it’s a mistake to ask the writers to “color up” a given episode just to make a point. Going out of the way to have the Black character champion the slave character in the story would be hanging a huge banner on the top of the screen: “See, Black people used to be slaves, but we’re soooo past that now!” The story’s theme works just fine as it is, with Kirk doing his normal thing and Uhura doing her normal thing.-

It’s not participating in racism, but acknowledging history, giving greater depth to the statement on slavery. Nor do I think it discrimination in using Uhura to give that depth. Nick Meyer did something similar, but in a more chilling manner in STAR TREK VI. He gave Brock Peters the vitriolic line “alien trash of the galaxy” because he felt it would be unnerving coming from the black actor who portrayed the Tom Robinson in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Nor do I think it’s hanging a banner on the episode, which I do like greatly. My critique isn’t meant to diminish that, but rather to just highlight an area I felt fell short. But we’ll have to agree to disagree on this point.

Get that everyone’s milage may vary here.

@217. Odkin
-BTW I get a great kick out of the crusaders above whining about “people of color” and “POC” in a show with black people, asian people, green people, “vulcan” people, deaf people… really? How much time do you spend a day fretting about race and “colored people”?-

A lot of folks, including me, do spend a lot of time considering race and pop culture. Here’s an excellent blog on the “intersection of race and pop culture”: http://www.racialicious.com/

I’m acutely aware of race and its portrayal in media because I have a mixed heritage. I’m not on a crusade, but it would be nice to have more representation. That being said I had little problems with Benedict Cumberbatch being cast as Khan. I did, however, have problems with the yellow-face in CLOUD ATLAS. But I don’t want to derail the conversation into those two topics here.

@219. Marja – February 15, 2014
-She does have more to do. Please stop dismissing the movie character based solely on the relationship scenes between her and Spock. Her scene “speaking Klingon” was BOSS. and lest anyone say it, she was NOT rescued by Khan. She used the distraction [as any male character would] to take the Klingon’s blade and stab him with it.-

Wasn’t dismissing her based solely on that. I did say I was pleased she had a larger role and was the female lead of the movies. Yes, it was boss to see her speak Klingon and I don’t think Khan rescued her. However, I wished she actually was able to convince the Klingons before Khan interrupted, showing her succeed rather than be cut off. And nearly forgot she did actually save Spock at the end by shooting Khan.

That being said, she is mostly seen in context to her relationship with Spock in many of the movies scenes. Her moments where she shines professionally are few and far between. I would like to see more scenes like where she speaks Klingon. Oh and I’m glad she’s a real fighter and hasn’t once uttered that line from TOS, “Captain, I’m afraid.”

223. Disinvited - February 16, 2014

Hmmm…I had contributed a post with quoted source on art education, galleries, framing, white borders, use of mattes, etc. which seems to have gotten swallowed in the article renaming.

224. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

219. Marja – February 15, 2014

A black actor, an Australian aborigine, a Maori, an American Indian …. any would have been an improvement over “naive white kid” – although the actor did a good job.

The fact is, there is a built-in prejudice in Hollywood. If “who you know” is how you get hired – and it is, many times, in the insular Industry that is the movie/TV business. The white directors, producers, showrunners, casting agents &c. know predominantly white actors, because that is now and has for generations been the predominant demographic in Hollywood casting.

I understand your point and I appreciate the value in trying to compensate for systemic prejudice, but Trek is pretty much the exemplar of racial diversity in TV/film. Picking on any one episode (fan or franchise), when Trek as a whole has been very good about diversity, doesn’t seem fair. There is any number of reasons why that actor got the role of Kenway; as you said, he did a good job, and to me that is reason enough. I don’t think one should assume that this particular production didn’t try hard enough to be racially diverse. Casting an inferior actor simply because he wasn’t White would not have been good for anyone. And the truth is that we have no idea what their casting options were. Good actors willing to work for free, who were right for the role, etc.—the “naivety” of the character was actually an important attribute, as it was juxtaposed with the entrenched, systematic thinking of Star Fleet. A good Black or Asian actor who didn’t have that particular attribute would not have been as effective, for example.

225. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

222. Ryan Thomas Riddle – February 16, 2014

It’s not participating in racism, but acknowledging history, giving greater depth to the statement on slavery. Nor do I think it discrimination in using Uhura to give that depth.

I just don’t understand how having Uhura (instead of Kirk) champion the rights of Lolani would have added any depth to the moral statement that slavery is wrong. I mean, as the episode now stands, does it come across to you as morally ambiguous about the issue of slavery? Do you need it to be a Black character who sticks up for Lolani in order for the point about slavery to be clear and effectively made? Maybe you could elaborate a bit on what you mean by “depth” and how your proposed re-write would have added it.

226. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

219. Marja

BTW, they shoe-horned a non-White Kiwi character into the bridge scene at the beginning of the episode who served no purpose other than adding to the diversity of the crew.

227. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

“Mixed race” Kiwi is probably more precise based on his appearance.

228. Michael Hall - February 16, 2014

“There is any number of ways that a man with the name “Khan Noonien Singh” of the 23rd Century could have the appearance of Benedict Cumberbatch.”

*Sigh*. Trouble is, Khan isn’t a man of the 23rd century. He’s a man of the 20th century. And there’s no conceivable way that a man of Cumberbatch’s appearance and diction would end up ruling all of south Asia, even in our time. (And Orci’s stated reasoning behind the decision was not just that “the best actor won,” but that the production was uneasy about stereotyping an ethnic actor in the role of a terrorist. Unlike the “yellowface” makeups in CLOUD ATLAS, which at least serve the “transmigrating souls” aspect of the plot, that’s just another kind of pandering.)

229. Michael Hall - February 16, 2014

I just don’t understand how having Uhura (instead of Kirk) champion the rights of Lolani would have added any depth to the moral statement that slavery is wrong. I mean, as the episode now stands, does it come across to you as morally ambiguous about the issue of slavery?”

FWIW, I don’t think that the take-away from “Lolani” is “slavery is wrong”. That’s a given, certainly in the case of anyone likely to be watching this show. The question the episode asks is, are our cherished values threatened when we stand by and do nothing in the face of injustice, even when there sound pragmatic reasons for doing so? That’s a much more interesting and provocative question.

My guess is that it would have made more dramatic sense for McKenna’s function in the story to be handed over to Uhura, as almost certainly would have happened had this been filmed in 1970. Not necessarily because she’s Black, but because she’s a character long-known to the audience. But that’s just my problematic opinion. :-)

230. cwg29 - February 16, 2014

Wow, that episode was extremely satisfying. Story, story, story, makes all the difference. And having Col. Wilma Dearing and the Hulk was definitely icing on the cake. And I love all the subtle touches with stage and FX. Thank You!

231. Jeff C. - February 16, 2014

229. Star Trek Continues is new to me. I had not heard of it until I watched the 2 episodes last week. “Lolani” was the better of the 2 episodes. To watch a Star Trek production again with a clear moral question was very refreshing whether it was Kirk or Uhura challenging slavery. I am amazed at how well Continues has been made thus far. The fact it has the feel of the original series is spectacular. We can complain about Nemecek (I don’t like the casting either), but I will take this fan made seriesover any Star Trek I have seen since Next Gen. Its not that I did not like the post Gen Trek up until Nu-Trek, but Continues reminds me of what the original series offered and what made me fall in love with the franchise…a theme to the story and for lack of a better word the classic aura of that first series. Jeff C

232. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

228. Michael Hall – February 16, 2014

I only ever saw Bob say “the best actor gets the job,” so I can’t comment on the stereotyping issue. But, honestly, it still doesn’t bother me because (1) Cumberbatch was good in the role; (2) he’s an actor playing a role, and I can suspend my disbelief for good reasons—like casting issues; (3) the character, Khan, is a super-charismatic, super-intelligent, super-ambitious alpha-male leader type; I can believe that he found a way to earn the loyalty and trust of people of different ethnicity—learning their languages, customs, religions and then proselytizing in a way designed to appeal to their needs and desires while exploiting their fears; (4) It’s the Alt Universe—who knows how its 20th Century history unfolded; (5) A man with the accent of Ricardo Montalban would not necessarily fit in any better than BC in Asia, but we don’t take issue with the original casting choice for Khan.

233. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

229. Michael Hall – February 16, 2014

FWIW, I don’t think that the take-away from “Lolani” is “slavery is wrong”. That’s a given, certainly in the case of anyone likely to be watching this show. The question the episode asks is, are our cherished values threatened when we stand by and do nothing in the face of injustice, even when there sound pragmatic reasons for doing so? That’s a much more interesting and provocative question.

No, I agree. We discussed this already. I’m only addressing the aforementioned issue regarding the episode’s “statement” about slavery being delivered by Kirk instead of by Uhura, not getting into a thematic analysis.

My guess is that it would have made more dramatic sense for McKenna’s function in the story to be handed over to Uhura, as almost certainly would have happened had this been filmed in 1970. Not necessarily because she’s Black, but because she’s a character long-known to the audience. But that’s just my problematic opinion. :-)

Goddamn, you’re a trouble-maker.

No, actually I can get on board with your choice there, if we’re speaking strictly in terms of dramatic function. Though, again, I really enjoyed Michele Specht in the role.

234. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

228. Michael Hall – February 16, 2014

You’re right, though, to point out that Khan was a man of the 20th Century. I had a lapse of memory there. Actually, it reminds of the time when I

235. Jeff C. - February 16, 2014

228. I agree that Cumberbatch was an excellant villain, but what the need was to make him Khan will forever puzzle me. When I think of Khan whether it be Ghengis or Khan Noonien Singh I do NOT think of a pasty, English white guy. It just doesn’t fit. They should never have messed with a masterpiece like WOK anyway. I don’t think it did anyone any good to make him Khan- including Cumberbatch. Just to throw this out there…in this “alternate universe” wouldn’t he have made a better Gary Mitchell than Khan???

236. Michael Hall - February 16, 2014

” I don’t think it did anyone any good to make him Khan- including Cumberbatch. Just to throw this out there.”

Don’t want to hijack this thread (which has led to some pretty good discussion so far), but yes. Having the character be Khan in the first place was an unfortunate notion of Damon Lindelof that was sold to the rest of J.J. Abrams’ Supreme Court. In the end, I don’t think it did the filmmakers any favors. Long-time fans were (at best) split on the idea, and the general moviegoing audience couldn’t have cared less. All it did was generate a lot of unfortunate comparisons to an almost universally beloved film, and bust-up the original idea of of an alternate universe created by Nero’s incursion beyond repair.

Cumberbatch is an amazing actor, and was riveting in every scene in STID that featured him. But this Khan’s abilities were amped far beyond those of the original character, and his history is a real mess in either universe. (Supposedly this genetically-engineered wonder, more than a match for any 23rd century Earthman or Vulcan, was created by the superscience of–wait for it–the 1950s.) Better they should have simply called him a revived Augment, downplayed or ignored the established timeline, and left it at that.

237. Marja - February 16, 2014

214 Cygnus, “If your goal is to diminish racism, then the best way to go about that in art is not to participate in it, i.e. not to discriminate based on race.” This is the argument the majority culture has been making for years. But there’s a reason it’s called “the majority culture.” It’s the majority of people we see in TV, movies &c.

I get your point about the volunteer actor.

However, regardless of Trek’s wonderful history, the stupid and insensitive casting of “Khan” [o WHY didn't they just leave him John Harrison if they wanted to go with Cumberbatch] was uncalled for. There are any number of great actors who’d have been equally good in the role. Farhan Tahir, for one, or Sendhil Ramamurthy, for two. It was quick, easy, and Cumby was available. Yes, he turned in a great, scenery-chewing performance. But the whole “Khan” thing was a mistake.

238. Marja - February 16, 2014

226 Cygnus, “BTW, they shoe-horned a non-White Kiwi character into the bridge scene at the beginning of the episode who served no purpose other than adding to the diversity of the crew.”

Frankly I thought he was a much better actor than the gent who plays Chekov. And what’s wrong with adding diversity? I’m sure Gene Roddenberry could have cast Celeste Yarnall as the Comms Officer, and David Soul as the helmsman [and white actors stood in for Nichols and Takei when they were away] and nobody would have blinked an eye.

Roddenberry’s point was that the future professional atmosphere would be one of diversity [Uhura is a big part of why I joined the USCG]. A big point in the ’60s, one that should be routine now. But it still isn’t.

And re your “we don’t take issue with the original casting of Montalban as Khan.”

Here’s why I don’t: TOS was made in 10 days, and episodes were filmed so close together that they didn’t have much time to cast actors. In TWOK Montalban also chewed the scenery masterfully, and his character was carried over from “Space Seed,” so, okay, sort of, in the original ep, he wore dark makeup [which was all the consideration they could give to "multi-racial appearance" with their time constraints] and had an exotic accent.

In 2013, for a multi-million-dollar movie, casting the role of someone named Khan, they sought Benicio del Toro. Whut? He’s not South Asian. That was number 1. Then they kept the idea of Khan and cast a white actor. WHUT. That was number 2. We’ve debated all this before, at length. I am one who thinks Bob’s “defense” of the casting was merely great wordsmithing for “we got a good white actor b/c he was available and somewhat famous.” I think the “we didn’t want a terrorist of color” statement was a great cover story, sounding, as it did, really sensitive and all.

239. Chris Miles - February 16, 2014

For the love of Pete- can we stay on topic here?

I liked the Lolani Ep! (slight spoilers below)

In a perfect world- I would have had Phase II’s Christina Marie Moses (World Enough And Time) play Lolani- and the actor from STC’s vignettes as McCoy.

As for the story- I would have made the ending pop a bit, perhaps made the explosion more nebulous, (Kirk suspects she may not actually be dead) and/or the bookmark/data cartridge be holding open a significant/relevant passage from Kirk’s Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Also, I’m not at all sure the transporter crewman would have been so easily excused in the actual series. Also- the end scene- what “family” of a slave girl is he going to visit?

Not a fan of the smart-aleck ship’s counselor. (In either of STCs’s eps) I just don’t see it on Kirks ship- the same way I didn’t see Pulaski on Picard’s ship. However, if she is supposed to be seen as strong woman on the old school enterprise- why is her only real role here to provide a new dress for Lolani? Kirk has to do most of the heavy lifting here.

Suggest a bit of improvement in order (acting and or writing) of the security chief (if he is to be used again)

Cheers-
Spot on Kirk without parody or caricature of Shatner. Even the gestures/movements.

Cheers-
Music and cues.

Nitpick- since they’ve suckered me in with the old school 4×3 and FX- why not keep the opening title sequence/typeface simple as well? Also I don’t suppose 24fps is possible- but unless it’s the lighting, the look seems “video-ey”/high frame rate to my old eyes.

Interesting. Buck Rogers shows up on Phase II’s Kitumba and Wilma Deering shows up on STC’s Lolani.

I am now on the Hunt for any Twiki or Dr. Theopolis Doug Drexler easter eggs floating by a porthole or something.

A final note about the “Vic as controlling/egoist” thing.

If 60′s Shatner was half the egomaniac/primadonna/pain in the ass everyone(but Nimoy) says he was- then it all kinda makes sense

240. Marja - February 16, 2014

Cygnus, Yeah, I don’t want to hijack the thread. Some of us [most notably Aurore] have argued the Khan thing again and again. Sorry to bring it up again, man, I think it was just your saying “we didn’t have any objection” … ‘cos “we” did – those of “us” who agree with me, that is :-).

236 Michael Hall, “In the end, I don’t think [Khan] did the filmmakers any favors. Long-time fans were (at best) split on the idea, and the general moviegoing audience couldn’t have cared less. All it did was generate a lot of unfortunate comparisons to an almost universally beloved film, and bust-up the original idea of of an alternate universe created by Nero’s incursion beyond repair.” AGREED.

There is a hilarious send-up of this “logic” at HISHE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N15J4ibej8

241. Chris Miles - February 16, 2014

Self edit:

The book is Gibbons’
“Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

Why don’t we have an edit mode here?

242. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

235. Jeff C. – February 16, 2014

They should never have messed with a masterpiece like WOK anyway.

I agree.

243. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

236. Michael Hall – February 16, 2014

But this Khan’s abilities were amped far beyond those of the original character, and his history is a real mess in either universe. (Supposedly this genetically-engineered wonder, more than a match for any 23rd century Earthman or Vulcan, was created by the superscience of–wait for it–the 1950s.) Better they should have simply called him a revived Augment, downplayed or ignored the established timeline, and left it at that.

Yup.

244. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

238. Marja – February 16, 2014

Frankly I thought he was a much better actor than the gent who plays Chekov. And what’s wrong with adding diversity?

Nothing, per se.

But too many incidents of diversity for diversity’s sake can get to be annoying. My point was that, in this episode that you are politely criticizing as being too White, they’d even stuck in a Kiwi guy for no other reason but to add diversity—obviously the producers value diversity and were striving for it. But, there are practical considerations which must also be taken into account. Balance is the key. Yes, factor the value of diversity into your casting, but weigh it accordingly, along with other important factors and considerations.

245. Michael Hall - February 16, 2014

Marja, thanks for that. Pretty hilarious, becuzz it’s true.

“For the love of Pete- can we stay on topic here?”

Okay, okay!

“Nitpick- since they’ve suckered me in with the old school 4×3 and FX- why not keep the opening title sequence/typeface simple as well?”

This bothered me a little, too. The drifting nebula and angle on the Enterprise at the beginning are pure TNG. I think Scott Gammans was responsible for the opening titles, and I’m a fan of his work, but it’s pretty doubtful that the producers would have gone for (or even been capable of) such a radical update in 1970. If you want to see the opening TOS credits reproduced very faithfully in CGI, Dennis Bailey’s work for the Starship Exeter series is still the gold standard to beat.

246. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 16, 2014

@225. Cygnus-X1

How would I have used Uhura to add more depth?

For one, I wouldn’t have dialogue that would hang a lantern on Uhura being black. Simply having her in McKennah’s role would be enough to bring in the historical connotations. Because in story, connotations are sometimes more powerful than denotations.

That being said, I’d have a scene between Uhura and Kirk that brings him to the realization that the Federation is no better than the Roman Empire, that it’s lost sight of its ideas. Wouldn’t necessarily have Uhura state the obvious, “blacks were once denied the same rights that’s being denied to Lolani.” Once again, her being in that role communicates that enough without having to call it out in dialogue. Think more in the lines of the scene in “Measure of Man” where Picard and Guinan discuss creating a race of Datas, where slavery is mentioned but skin color is not. I’d still leave the decision-making to Kirk, after all he is the lead.

Certainly, I’d give Uhura more bite than McKennah and have her be more protective of Lolani, even giving her a change of clothes just shortly after she escorts Lolani to guest quarters. Also, I’d show how women are equal and respected by men and have Uhura have to give some order to a male subordinate in front of Lolani. It’s then that Lolani makes the realization that woman are respected on this ship. As it stands in the episode, we are TOLD that but we AREN’T really shown … well we kinda are with the Kirk-McKenna debate on the bridge.

Those are my initial thoughts on how I’d approach it. If I sat with the actual script and took it line-by-line, I’d perhaps have more concrete ideas on exactly what lines of dialogue I’d change and how I’d rearrange scenes and situations.

I will add that I’ve no problem with McKennah in this episode, a lot less than I did in the first STC episode. Michele Specht is quite good in the role. She has that timber in her performance that is very therapist-like, soothing and even keel. I don’t like that a TNG-like “ship’s counselor” has been added to the cast who seems to put Spock and McCoy on the sidelines. Would prefer that she be treated more like Dr. Noel or Dehnar, someone who plays a role in an episode then vanishes back into the background, occasionally contributing every now and then. Although it is nice to have another prominent female on the bridge.

But I do agree with @299 Michael Hall — the theme isn’t “slavery is bad”, that’s too simple. He’s right that it’s a far more interesting to ask whether we hold up to our values when put up against a wall.

247. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 16, 2014

@245 Michael Hall

Re: The Opening Titles

Gabriel Koerner, from TREKKIES and now Hollywood VFX artist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_K%C3%B6erner) , is actually listed as creating the opening titles on the end credits.

I don’t like them. Think they betray the aesthetic that STC is going for and seems out of place with the TOS look that they’ve meticulously recreated.

248. Michael Hall - February 16, 2014

Ryan Riddle,

Thanks for the correction. Like Scott Gammans, Gabriel Koerner is a talented FX artist with whom I’ve had a brief correspondence. Which, along with my advancing years, explains the confusion.

249. I am Roger Corby! - February 16, 2014

Late to the dance.

But this was outstanding.

You see the world in a way we haven’t seen since the control matrix was established somewhere after September, 1966 and yesterday.

Bully for you. By God, thank you for remembering.

250. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

240. Marja – February 16, 2014

Thanks for the link!

251. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

246. Ryan Thomas Riddle – February 16, 2014

For one, I wouldn’t have dialogue that would hang a lantern on Uhura being black. Simply having her in McKennah’s role would be enough to bring in the historical connotations. Because in story, connotations are sometimes more powerful than denotations.

I think you’re not giving the audience nearly enough credit for being at least averagely educated. We don’t understand the implications of slavery unless it’s a Black character helping the slave? Because nearly 50 years after the Civil Rights Act in the US, and growing up through years and years of American and Black History education in public schools, the nickel still hasn’t dropped that Blacks in the US were once enslaved? I mean, having Uhura as Lolani’s escort would be fine, if that’s how it worked out best casting-wise, but I honestly don’t see how it adds depth.

252. Cygnus-X1 - February 16, 2014

(Obviously Black people were enslaved not just in the US, but in other parts of the world as well, including Africa.)

253. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 16, 2014

@ 250 & 251 Cygnus-X1

Think I am giving the audience credit for being educated. I wouldn’t spell it out in dialogue. Once again, I’d rely on connotation rather denotation. But we’ve reached an impass and I won’t convince you. Like I said, we’ll agree to disagree.

254. Cygnus-X1 - February 17, 2014

252. Ryan Thomas Riddle

OK, but can you just tell me what would be “connoted” by having Uhura take on the role which McKennah now plays? I’m just curious.

255. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 17, 2014

@253 – Cygnus-X-1

I explain it a bit in my previous reply. It would carry the historical weight by having Uhura in that role, without having to call it out, the audience can infer a connection to the past. It adds another dimension to the story. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be the center piece of the story, which is what seems to be the objection. It would be one of many layers to the story, which, let’s face it, could use more nuanced layers. The episode gets a bit ham-fisted at the end.

256. Dom - February 17, 2014

Uhura’s a communications officer. McKennah’s a psychologist, trained to deal with this stuff. So, basically, people are saying that a communications officer, untrained in dealing with sexual abuse cases, should be put in charge of a victimised young woman because her African ancestors were slaves nearly a half millennium before (from her perspective.)

257. Michael Hall - February 17, 2014

I think it speaks pretty well of this episode that it has raised this interesting question, with people on both sides of the debate making pretty good points.

258. Chris Doohan - February 17, 2014

Loving all the debates. We Trek fans are passionate people, aren’t we?
I’m glad that many of you are enjoying the episode. I’m leaving in three weeks to film episode three. You are going to love this one…great script!!!

259. Dom - February 17, 2014

I love that people are debating the story and subject matter rather than the usual nerdy ‘canon’ nonsense.

Looking forward to the next one Mr D! Next time there’s a Kickstarter drive, I’ll be investing! :)

260. Cygnus-X1 - February 17, 2014

256. Dom – February 17, 2014

Excellent point.

261. Marja - February 17, 2014

242 and 243 Cygnus, we’re in total agreement here! ;-)
244 Cygnus, ” My point was that, in this episode that you are politely criticizing as being too White, they’d even stuck in a Kiwi guy for no other reason but to add diversity—obviously the producers value diversity and were striving for it.”

They stuck in Maori guy, I think, because their Chekov wasn’t available. And hooray for them for not using yet another white guy. Just sayin.

246 RT Riddle, AGREED! I tried to make a few of these points; you made these arguments so much better, and more cogently. Especially re: Uhura, and her being an officer, giving orders. I also agree on McKenna’s psychologist abilities. I admire Specht in the role too, I just wish they’d tone down her present “glamor kitty” aspects. I think they could have used Uhura in a couple of those scenes, and split the “helping Lolani” between her and McKenna.

And 256 Dom, I am in no way implying that Uhura act as a psychologist. I think she would have been the logical person to give Lolani the dress, and she could have aided Lolani’s understanding that women are equal in Federation culture. Plus, been a “sisterly” supportive presence. As RT Riddle said, Uhura could serve as a reminder without S-L-A-V-E-R-Y being spelled out to the audience, much as Guinan did with Picard in the TNG scene he cited.

258 Chris D, Bless you guys, we can’t wait! And thanks for tuning in to the debates – Trek has always inspired them, so y’all have contributed to this distinguished [sometimes not] tradition!

262. Cygnus-X1 - February 17, 2014

257. Michael Hall – February 17, 2014
258. Chris Doohan – February 17, 2014

Cheers!

Looking forward to it, Chris.

I’m enjoying watching and re-watching Lolani as much as I’ve enjoyed watching some of my favorite Trek franchise episodes—and therein lies the proof of the pudding!

263. Dom - February 17, 2014

261. Marja: ‘And 256 Dom, I am in no way implying that Uhura act as a psychologist. I think she would have been the logical person to give Lolani the dress, and she could have aided Lolani’s understanding that women are equal in Federation culture.’

Why? Nothing in this case has anything to do with a communications officer. You have to think about the command structure in what is a diplomatic hot potato that could blow up any minute. Why should she, as a professional, desert her station to dish out fashion advice? How patronising! Surely the fact that the communications officer isn’t taken off duty because of her skin colour and her girl parts shows that women are equal?

This isn’t TNG where there are nearly ten actors listed in the opening credits and therefore had to do something in every story. Many episodes didn’t feature members of the supporting cast, with only Kirk and Spock appearing in all of the original run.

‘Plus, been a “sisterly” supportive presence. As RT Riddle said, Uhura could serve as a reminder without S-L-A-V-E-R-Y being spelled out to the audience, much as Guinan did with Picard in the TNG scene he cited.”

TNG’s crass, in-your-face PC is one of its least endearing aspects. Throwing Uhura in there ‘Cos she’s, like, black innit?’ is the sort of crass, obvious move you would expect from TNG, along with the obligatory lecture about ‘Once upon a time humans were so dreadful and now we’re better than every one else!’ Uhura has as much business interfering with the Lolani situation as the bloke who cleans the ship’s loos.

Thank God STC avoided a lecture from Uhura. The episode is set in roughly 2270, 400-odd years beyond white slavery in the US and Uhura is from Africa anyway, her native tongue Swahili. To stick the communications officer in the middle of a diplomatic incident based on the colour of her skin is the kind of trite, palm in face, obvious tokenism I’m very glad this episode avoided.

264. Dom - February 17, 2014

White-run black slavery…

Grr… iPad auto correct…

265. Michael Hall - February 17, 2014

@ 263 Dom–

I think you make some pretty good points here re the desirability of transferring the ‘female mentor’ role in this story to Uhura (notwithstanding my belief that’s probably what would have happened had this been an actual TOS episode filmed in 1969 or 1970), and look forward to reading Ryan’s response.. They might have gone down more effectively, though, had you not gone for the easy (and, in your case, reflexive) TNG-bashing. Was that really necessary to make your case? I think it can be said with reasonable certainty that if anyone was galaxy-wide champion at lecturing aliens on how they should measure up to human (that is, 20th century American) standards, it was James T. Kirk. I love TOS (and yes, prefer it overall to TNG), but that’s just the fact.

266. pauln6 - February 17, 2014

I really enjoyed this episode, although I was puzzled why the possibility of claiming political asylum was not explored in any detail..

I was initially wary of McKenna being a ‘counselor’ because it hamstrung Troi’s development in TNG but in this episode I thought that Michelle Specht not only held her own as a lead but in a way that was totally appropriate to her role in the series. She has great chemistry and timing. Uhura is a technician and I don’t really want to see her being the token female on the ship. I’d rather see the character be given an expanded role that is appropriate for her own particular skill set.

The show could still do with a few more women on board and I’m still puzzled why Nurse Temple isn’t Nurse Chapel but it was great to finally see a TOS female security guard. If she’d only been tagged as Petty Officer Rand…

267. Patty W - February 17, 2014

Respectfully, people seem to be missing the elephant on the ship. This is a fanfilm and the amount of time a certain character has on screen is directly linked to the amount of time the actor can volunteer out of their paying jobs to the filming. I suspect Vic’s wife is available for pretty much the entire shoot, while Kim Stinger (Uhura) has other obligations to attend to. It’s part of the reason she left P2….STC films closer to her and less of her “available time” would be spent on airplanes. So, it’s well and good to say “Uhura should have more screen time than the Counselor”….but the writer’s hands are tied by actor availability.

268. Cygnus-X1 - February 17, 2014

267. Patty W – February 17, 2014

Right, that’s the sort of thing that I was driving at in my references to “casting issues.”

269. DiscoSpock - February 17, 2014

@194

“Aspect ratio, be it Academy, 4:3, 1.85:1, 1.77:1, 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 is an artistic choice, it reflects the kind of story being told, and that’s that. Saying something shot for 4:3 should be 16:9 is as ignorant as people complaining about black bars on the screen in the 1990s for widescreen video releases.”

That is simply not true for most cases. For most cases, it is a choice made by the technology/equipment made of the given period and economic reasons, not artistic choice.

Also, I remember Gene Roddenberry saying at a late 70′s Star Trek convention that he wishes the original episodes could have been shot in 35 mm, but that the budget would not have supported that.

270. MJ - February 17, 2014

Disco,

You are mixed up. TOS was shot on 35 mm. You are probably thinking of the blooper reel, which was 16 mm reel, that Roddenberry maintained originally.

I do recall Roddenberry commenting something along the lines of “I wish we could play the episodes on a widescreen” in I think a Starlog issue or some other magazine in the late 70′s. No doubt he probably commented on this at some conventions as well.

If Rod is reading this, maybe he could comment on this?

271. MJ - February 17, 2014

@258

Chris, old friend, great to see you posting here again!

Looking forward to the next episode. The production values and action have really hit the mark, so if the next script is as good as you are saying, then I think STC may finally go where no fan production has gone before.

Thanks for all of your hard work on this, Chris!

272. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 17, 2014

261. Marja – February 17, 2014
“246 RT Riddle, AGREED! I tried to make a few of these points; you made these arguments so much better, and more cogently. Especially re: Uhura, and her being an officer, giving orders. I also agree on McKenna’s psychologist abilities. I admire Specht in the role too, I just wish they’d tone down her present “glamor kitty” aspects. I think they could have used Uhura in a couple of those scenes, and split the “helping Lolani” between her and McKenna.
And 256 Dom, I am in no way implying that Uhura act as a psychologist. I think she would have been the logical person to give Lolani the dress, and she could have aided Lolani’s understanding that women are equal in Federation culture. Plus, been a “sisterly” supportive presence. As RT Riddle said, Uhura could serve as a reminder without S-L-A-V-E-R-Y being spelled out to the audience, much as Guinan did with Picard in the TNG scene he cited.”

Thanks, Marja. Let me address some of the points brought up by Dom. He makes a good point when he says:

256. Dom – February 17, 2014
“Uhura’s a communications officer. McKennah’s a psychologist, trained to deal with this stuff. So, basically, people are saying that a communications officer, untrained in dealing with sexual abuse cases, should be put in charge of a victimised young woman because her African ancestors were slaves nearly a half millennium before (from her perspective.)”

Valid point about McKennah being a psychologist. However, she does little of that in the episode, other than some lip service. She doesn’t asses Lolani’s condition, nor does she quickly protect her in the Sick Bay scene. If she was trained in sexual abuse cases, she would’ve at least covered Lolani immediately with a blanket (as one of my friend suggested) — and chewed out McCoy for not doing so himself. McKennah also should’ve objected to the mind meld, pointing out how traumatic that would be for a recently assaulted woman.

And no one is suggesting that Uhura psychologically treat Lolani. But having a scene or two with Lolani would’ve added some additional layers to the episode, as I’ve spelled out elsewhere. One way is to have Lolani observe Uhura give orders to a male subordinate, and be impressed, stopping to admire her or chat with the communications officer. And I find that Lolani is too trusting of McKennah — feel that she’d be a bit leery of someone trying to psychologically asses her. She might find it easier to feel comfort with a female line officer who is respected for her rank, not her gender. And McKennah seeing that Lolani respects Uhura as an officer could suggest that Uhura could help bring Lolani around to revealing what happened on a Tellarite ship. And I could see Kirk being convinced to go with it as the only option to reach Lolani.

263. Dom – February 17, 2014

“Why? Nothing in this case has anything to do with a communications officer. You have to think about the command structure in what is a diplomatic hot potato that could blow up any minute. Why should she, as a professional, desert her station to dish out fashion advice? How patronising! Surely the fact that the communications officer isn’t taken off duty because of her skin colour and her girl parts shows that women are equal?”

Marja didn’t suggest that Uhura be giving fashion advice, just loaning her a dress. And as I demonstrated above there are ways of involving Uhura more in

“TNG’s crass, in-your-face PC is one of its least endearing aspects. Throwing Uhura in there ‘Cos she’s, like, black innit?’ is the sort of crass, obvious move you would expect from TNG, along with the obligatory lecture about ‘Once upon a time humans were so dreadful and now we’re better than every one else!’ Uhura has as much business interfering with the Lolani situation as the bloke who cleans the ship’s loos.
Thank God STC avoided a lecture from Uhura. The episode is set in roughly 2270, 400-odd years beyond white slavery in the US and Uhura is from Africa anyway, her native tongue Swahili. To stick the communications officer in the middle of a diplomatic incident based on the colour of her skin is the kind of trite, palm in face, obvious tokenism I’m very glad this episode avoided.”

No one has suggested that Uhura make some grandiose monologue on the evils of slavery. And quite frankly, I’ve stated that I would NOT have the dialogue spell that out. What we’re taking about is having more representation of color in the episode. Right now everyone that’s invested in saving Lolani is white, plain as day. As stated before, it has the appearance, even if it wasn’t the intention, that only white people can free a slave.

Here’s where I think the rubber is meeting the road on this: the misconception that Kirk is making some decision to use Uhura because she’s black to speak with Lolani. That’s not what’s being suggested. It’s being suggested that the writers of the episode could’ve involved Uhura to add another layer to the episode. Play on both the historical significance of the character whilst making a comment, without being obvious in dialogue, on “those who remember history are doomed to repeat it.” However, as I’ve shown in this post and my previous post, it’s possible to bring Uhura into the story, logically and without hanging a lantern on her skin color or white slavery.

267. Patty W – February 17, 2014
“Respectfully, people seem to be missing the elephant on the ship. This is a fanfilm and the amount of time a certain character has on screen is directly linked to the amount of time the actor can volunteer out of their paying jobs to the filming. I suspect Vic’s wife is available for pretty much the entire shoot, while Kim Stinger (Uhura) has other obligations to attend to. It’s part of the reason she left P2….STC films closer to her and less of her “available time” would be spent on airplanes. So, it’s well and good to say “Uhura should have more screen time than the Counselor”….but the writer’s hands are tied by actor availability.”

It’s not really an elephant and it’s a given that this is a volunteer effort, schedules permitting. But, frankly, that doesn’t negate the debate that there was an opportunity to have more representation of color in the episode, whether Uhura or someone else.

258. Chris Doohan – February 17, 2014
“Loving all the debates. We Trek fans are passionate people, aren’t we?
I’m glad that many of you are enjoying the episode. I’m leaving in three weeks to film episode three. You are going to love this one…great script!!!”

Glad to hear it! You’ve all created an episode that’s sparked debate that’s about something and not obsessed with canon or minute.

273. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 17, 2014

I will add one more comment. Yes, Uhura is a communications officer. Yes, she’s stationed on the bridge. But she is also the de facto female lead of TOS (while not a leading character). Why not give her more to do or involve her more in the stories? That’s what I like about the Abrams movies — they give Uhura more to do and involve her as a lead character.

274. Ensign RedShirt - February 17, 2014

269 – Disco Spock

TOS WAS shot in 35mm. Perhaps Gene meant shooting anamorphically, which would’ve been silly.

275. Admiral Archer's Prize Beagle - February 17, 2014

“I do recall Roddenberry commenting something along the lines of “I wish we could play the episodes on a widescreen” in I think a Starlog issue or some other magazine in the late 70′s. No doubt he probably commented on this at some conventions as well.”

So Gene actually would have preferred that TOS be shot in wide-screen then it would seem?

Wow! I was not aware of that.

276. Nick - February 17, 2014

Really good. Great to see a very familiar version of Captain Kirk and Star Trek, well played!

277. Dave H - February 18, 2014

Interesting to see that the Great Bird would have preferred widescreen for TOS episodes.

This revelation would seem to be rather problematic for the producers of Star Trek Continues.

278. Dr Beckett - February 18, 2014

I am just loving STC. So last night I watched Pilgrim of Eternity and Lolani back to back with my wife. She’s a casual Trek viewer and really thought she was watching a new Trek TV show. I then had to explain the concept of fan productions.

279. Dom - February 18, 2014

273. Ryan Thomas Riddle: ‘Yes, Uhura is a communications officer. Yes, she’s stationed on the bridge. But she is also the de facto female lead of TOS (while not a leading character).’

It looks like McKennah is the female lead now. And your argument hasn’t changed beyond wanting a token usage of Uhura based on her skin colour in an era when race is no longer an issue. To you, it might be a cute, warm and ‘squooshy’ thing that makes you feel all cosy and comfortable because of its obviousness. To anyone else, throwing in an other character is an unnecessary complication to an already-busy plot.

276. Dave H: ‘Interesting to see that the Great Bird would have preferred widescreen for TOS episodes. This revelation would seem to be rather problematic for the producers of Star Trek Continues.’

It means nothing whatsoever for STC. Rodders wasn’t involved much in season three of TOS and there’s no reason to think he’d have been involved in season four. The studio would never have allowed them to shoot TOS in widescreen (at most a few TV shows had episodes shot 1.66:1-safe for potential screening as features in European cinemas.) Rodders had bigger ambitions for Star Trek than TV, hence the pompous mess that he created with ST: TMP. What a producer would have liked, looking back years later, is not the same as creating a show based on the show at the time.

269. DiscoSpock: ‘That is simply not true for most cases. For most cases, it is a choice made by the technology/equipment made of the given period and economic reasons, not artistic choice.’

A director and cinematographer discuss the look and feel for their film and decide on aspect ratio and film stock based on that. If you spend any time watching films, you’ll see that some films are 2.4:1 and many are 1.85:1 (close to TV’s 1.77:1.) Of course it’s artistic choice. Indeed, many films historically are shot Academy then masked, top and bottom , to make a widescreen frame. As I pointed out earlier, check out the 4:3 TV version of Back to the Future which has more visual information at the top of the screen.

269. DiscoSpock: ‘Also, I remember Gene Roddenberry saying at a late 70′s Star Trek convention that he wishes the original episodes could have been shot in 35 mm, but that the budget would not have supported that.’

Star Trek was always shot on 35mm.

265. Michael Hall: ‘I think you make some pretty good points here re the desirability of transferring the ‘female mentor’ role in this story to Uhura (notwithstanding my belief that’s probably what would have happened had this been an actual TOS episode filmed in 1969 or 1970), and look forward to reading Ryan’s response.’

Thank you.

‘They might have gone down more effectively, though, had you not gone for the easy (and, in your case, reflexive) TNG-bashing. Was that really necessary to make your case?’

TNG was invoked. I dismissed it. TNG is a fraud: a show that uses the Star Trek name and some terminology but has nothing, structurally or philosophically, to do with Star Trek. It’s a perfectly acceptable scifi show, separate from Star Trek, but discussing a fan Star Trek film from a TNG point of view is pointless.

‘I think it can be said with reasonable certainty that if anyone was galaxy-wide champion at lecturing aliens on how they should measure up to human (that is, 20th century American) standards, it was James T. Kirk. I love TOS (and yes, prefer it overall to TNG), but that’s just the fact.’

Kirk liked to wipe out computer overlords, but he was a soldier and rarely went in for lectures. Kirk wasn’t above lecturing other humans, in his role as senior military officer, but he was more of a ‘stand and argue with the bad guy’ type rather than the ‘talk down to the lumpyhead human neurosis of the week’ sort espoused by TNG. And frankly, I’ll take a 20th Century American-styled Federation over a Soviet-style culture espoused in TNG anytime! ;)

280. Disinvited - February 18, 2014

#270. MJ – February 17, 2014

According to this article from MOTION NATION:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ETB0Fw323RAJ:motionnation.info/Star_Trek:_The_Motion_Picture&strip=1

“Roddenberry had first proposed a Star Trek feature at the 1968 World Science Fiction Convention. The movie was to have been set before the television series, showing how the crew of the Enterprise met.”

So it was likely at the “1968 World Science Fiction Convention” while the show was still airing first run on NBC that he made the statements that you recall.

281. Bill - February 18, 2014

Absolutely loved it! Great acting, story and sets. Forget “fan film,” this IS
Star Trek.

Vic is an incredible Kirk. Has all the mannerisms, walk, voice inflections, yet he makes the role his own. I must have played that flying drop-kick (with the great music) five times over!

Have to agree with Todd’s post above. He’s not Nimoy, he’s Todd interpreting Spock, better and better, too. His mind meld with Lolani rival’s Trek’s best, especially when they speak together.

Chris is spot-on golden. ‘Nuff said

Lou Ferrigno and Fiona Vroom gave great, multi layered performances too. Their scences together encapsulated the message of the entire episode.

Michele is teriffic as Dr. McKennah, but it did seem this new character was used a bit too much and to the exclusion of the iconic Bones, Sulu and Uhura. Kim and Grant had virtually nothing to say or do, and Larry’s Bones, apparently his last appearance, was much underused. They are wonderful in their roles and I was surprised to see them limited to “bridge to captain” and “in transporter range.”

But great Trek and another incredible achievement, actually continuing the actual series and much surpassing the JJ movies. As my wife, who hadn’t seen TOS in years said after seeing it last night
That was amazing!,

282. Chris Miles - February 18, 2014

@258 Chris Doohan

Thanks again for being part of this great set of projects.

Looking forward to Number 3. Hopefully in one of these eps you’ll have more time in the center seat. Some of my favorite moments in TOS were when Scotty made it clear that while in command, he simply had no time for nonsense.

FWIW- Many of us were in hiding as the negativity and trolling had hijacked these comment threads. Nice to see that your work brought many of the calmer voices back to the discussion.

283. DiscoSpock - February 18, 2014

@278 / Dom

” The studio would never have allowed them to shoot TOS in widescreen”

“A director and cinematographer discuss the look and feel for their film and decide on aspect ratio and film stock based on that.”

So which is it, Dom?

Sounds like you just proved my point for me — my point what I said already on this: “For most cases, it is a choice made by the technology/equipment made of the given period and economic reasons, not artistic choice.’

Glad to see that you are now in agreement with this. The choice is seldom left up to the artist, especially with TV productions.

If widescreen was an option, you can bed Rodenberry would have went in that direction.

284. K-7 - February 18, 2014

DiscoSpock,

Yea, I noticed that too. In one part of post, Dom insists the the studio would never let the TOS producers pick a different aspect ratio, but then in a later part of his post his says the artists always get to determine the aspect ratio.

Huh??? Seems like Dom is being disingenuous with you on this discussion.

You were of course right — in most cases, the artist does not get to make this call. Especially in regards to television, it is decided via the studio based on economics, equipment available, current broadcast standards, etc.

285. Odkin - February 18, 2014

Dom seems to be the only one here making sense, especially about TNG! He can probably expect to be banned soon.

286. Michael Hall - February 18, 2014

@ 270 MJ–

“I do recall Roddenberry commenting something along the lines of “I wish we could play the episodes on a widescreen” in I think a Starlog issue or some other magazine in the late 70′s. No doubt he probably commented on this at some conventions as well.”

I saw Roddenberry at several of the college lectures he gave during the ’70s and at several conventions. He always made a point, I think, to note how much he would enjoy producing a Trek freed of many of the technical constraints and network interference he had to deal with during TOS’ original run, though I don’t recall him ever specifically bringing up the issue of widescreen (except, maybe, as a generic term for the idea that it would be cool to do a movie). In any case, that’s really a separate issue from whether the use of a different aspect ratio than that used in TOS is appropriate for Star Trek Continues. Gene Roddenberry naturally wanted to make a rebooted Star Trek look as sophisticated and “modern” as possible, carrying over those things from TOS only where it made sense to. The producers of STC want to make their product as close in appearance to TOS as possible as a tribute to a classic show– a very different thing. Just how far they should go in that effort, including the question of aspect ratio, is of course something about which reasonable people can disagree.

@ 270 Dom–

“Kirk liked to wipe out computer overlords, but he was a soldier and rarely went in for lectures.”

Well, he also said that he was now, primarily, an explorer.

“Return of the Archons.” “A Taste of Armageddon.” “The Apple.” “The Omega Glory.” “Metamorphosis.” “The Gamesters of Triskelion.” “Plato’s Stepchildren.” “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” All shows where the good captain lectures wayward aliens on proper–i.e., human–standards of behavior. (A couple of them still manage to be really good episodes, regardless.) And I’m not even trying very hard.

Show me an equivalent number, let alone as an absolute percentage, of TNG episodes where Picard makes a heavy-handed speech about the wonderfulness of 24th century humanity. Yes, that was an unfortunate early aspect of the show, but it was thankfully jettisoned over time as Roddenberry’s well-meaning-but-counterproductive dramatic strictures for the series were loosened and more talented writers were brought on board. Which is the point that most will grant about TNG (but you won’t, because you abhor its politics): that it got substantially better over time. Would that one could say the same about TOS.

“TNG is a fraud: a show that uses the Star Trek name and some terminology but has nothing, structurally or philosophically, to do with Star Trek. It’s a perfectly acceptable scifi show, separate from Star Trek, but discussing a fan Star Trek film from a TNG point of view is pointless.”

Interesting that you would make that statement in light of your defense of McKenna’s role in this story, a character clearly modeled on TNG’s Deanna Troi. Still, much as I disagree, I can relate, feeling pretty much the same way about the Abramsverse. Hard as I’ve tried–and I have tried, believe me–in the end, I just can’t see it as Star Trek. But neither TNG or the Abrams films are the subject of this thread. Dragging the conversation about “Lolani” to a place where you can unload for the upteenth time about your personal pet peeve is really just another kind of trolling.

287. Jonboc - February 18, 2014

Yep…Dom’s words ring true, especially regarding TNG. Well said.

288. Michael Hall - February 18, 2014

Yeah, they ring true to you. Meanwhile, my comments on this issue seem to keep disappearing, so who’s getting banned?

289. feenix219 - February 18, 2014

random observation… Vic looks like Shatner, but sounds like Bakula! I’ve been trying to figure out why the voice still sounds a bit familiar, and I think thats it. Lol!

290. Andorian - February 18, 2014

Dom seems to be way off base here on the aspect ratio thing.

291. Who cares - February 18, 2014

Dom knows nothing, especially about TNG, and is not worth engaging in conversation.

292. Cygnus-X1 - February 18, 2014

Star Trek Continues looks good the way it is.

It looks like TOS, which is obviously the goal of the producers.

It would look less like TOS if they made it widescreen, never mind all of the other issues that come along with widescreen.

They’re not going to change it to widescreen for a couple of people who happen to be obsessed with widescreen.

293. Bill - February 18, 2014

Could you PLEASE put aside this never-ending back and forth about aspect ratios and maybe, just maybe have a dialogue about the STORY and Characters for just a while? I beg you!

294. Dave H - February 18, 2014

@293

How about you just stop you whining about people who are interested in the technical aspects of this show? Do you hear anyone in the ongoing aspect ratio discussion trying to bully you and ohter’s to stop talking about the dramatic aspects of the show?

Of course you don’t. Because we are polite, and respect all topics and POV’s here.

Please stop the attempt at bullying those of us who are just interested in the subject to shut up. It’s an interesting topic. If you don’t like it, just ignore his.

295. Dave H - February 18, 2014

“They’re not going to change it to widescreen for a couple of people who happen to be obsessed with widescreen.”

I don’t know about that. MJ suggested a Kickstarter for widescreen. I’d be willing to put in say $50 on that as well, and I am sure others here would too. I would hazard to guess that they might raise $10,000 or more if they started a new campaign to go widescreen.

296. Cygnus-X1 - February 18, 2014

I’m trying to think of an even more ridiculous rejoinder to that, and I just can’t.

297. Dave H - February 18, 2014

@296

Maybe then start your ranting again about how a new Trek show should be based on all the qualities of Enterprise? Or bring up you beloved Star Wars “The Force” again and compare it to mind-melding?

Those were real doosies — very entertaining — and I sincerely thank for your bringing smiles and laughs to me with those posts. :-)

298. Maurice Molyneaux - February 18, 2014

re Uhura’s lack of use in the episode.

Respectfully, Star Trek isn’t about 23rd century people. It’s about and aimed at *us*. What hapoens in the story (plot) is different from what the audience gets out of it (theme). In the context of this story, Uhura could have simply acted out of compassion (it’s in her character, she gave up her quarters for the Dolman in “Elaan of Troyius” after all) and such an act, within the world of the story, would have no connection to her being “black” or on the past systematic enslavement of same, but from the audience’s POV such action—as an equal and uncommented upon—would remind us of how we’ve treated people as property in the past (and in some places, still do), and how this is an outmoded concept…merely by NOT hanging a lantern on it. In other words, just by being there and being involved you comment on the situation by NOT commenting.

299. Michael Hall - February 18, 2014

@ 295 Dave H–

“I don’t know about that. MJ suggested a Kickstarter for widescreen. I’d be willing to put in say $50 on that as well, and I am sure others here would too.”

So if I’m understanding you correctly, STC could turn out a dozen episodes of such dramatic quality as to make “City on the Edge of Forever” look like an Afterschool Special, but you won’t hand over your $50.00 if the producers won’t go for a widescreen format? And conversely, you’ll give them the money regardless of story quality if they do?

Not trying to be snarky, just genuinely curious. But here’s a respectful suggestion in either case: make your cash contributions to Phase 2 instead. They’re good people who are already shooting their episodes in widescreen, and they can always use the money.

300. Dave H - February 18, 2014

Michael Hall,

Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to make a donation to Phase II as you suggested.

Regarding the rest of what you said, I could just as easily say, what would be so hard to the producers simply to offer an alternative download of a widescreen version to view, given that so many people today prefer that way to watch scifi?

And yes, if they agree to that very minor fan request, I will make a donation to them as well.

301. Garak's Pride - February 18, 2014

@ Michael Hall
@ Dave H

Guys, just curious here. What would be the harm in STC either offering a donation window on their web site, or on Kickstarter, that collected donations for fans who wanted the widescreen formation option?

What would be the harm in this, other than potentially providing STC with more revenue for production? I don’t see any negatives here — they still do the major release in 4:3, but then a week later offer a widescreen download for us nerds that prefer that.

Not getting why the producers are so hung up on this???

302. Michael Hall - February 18, 2014

“Not getting why the producers are so hung up on this???”

Who says they are, in fact, hung up on it? Maybe they will in fact go for this as a fund-raising scheme, if enough fans say they’re interested. I’d suggest going to their website and (respectfully) making your case for such a release.

Here’s the thing, though–my question is, why is this so important to you? TOS is still released on video and broadcast in 4:3; I imagine you still watch it and (presumably) enjoy it. Why the hang-up on what the fan producers of STC have decided, rightly or wrongly, to do with their own time and money? Why is the shooting ratio such a big deal (or, in the case of making Kickstarter contributions, deal-breaker)?

303. crazydaystrom - February 18, 2014

Finally got around to watching “LOLANI”. Fine ep. Very impressive. VERY TOS! Sure it could be put through a sieve and nitpicked to hell but it’s an outstanding fan effort IMO.

I don’t know about Mr. Mignogna’s dealings, good, bad or whatever, his honor or lack of same but he and all others involved in this effort are to be commended.

And CHRIS DOOHAN, I’m sure your Dad would be proud. I’m not sure how much training as an actor you’ve had but your Scottie is just about spot on!

Looking forward to the next Star Trek Continues ep.

304. Dom - February 18, 2014

OK. An evening away from the web and the subsequent reading has made me feel like a punchbag.

Since I’m not a troll (hello Micheal Hall from here under the bridge), I’ll try to address all points.

283. DiscoSpock said: ‘” The studio would never have allowed them to shoot TOS in widescreen”

“A director and cinematographer discuss the look and feel for their film and decide on aspect ratio and film stock based on that.”

So which is it, Dom?

Sounds like you just proved my point for me — my point what I said already on this: “For most cases, it is a choice made by the technology/equipment made of the given period and economic reasons, not artistic choice.’’

Clearly in the first case I was talking about the film industry, which I also apply to web films, in that there’s a choice. In the second case I was taking about television, which, particularly then and really up until Twin Peaks aired, was a different medium. Given STC is a web film series, the artistic choice applies.

Many, many TV people were against the move to widescreen a few years back because of the ‘intimacy’ of 4:3. STC have the option and have made an artistic choice. It seems you and I had our wires crossed because I wasn’t talking about TV. Indeed the 1.77:1 aspect ratio is relatively recent: a compromise between European 1.66:1 and American 1.85:1. I didn’t know aspect ratio was such an issue on that level for people here and I really don’t understand why having the show in 4:3 disturbs people so much.

284. K-7: ‘Yea, I noticed that too. In one part of post, Dom insists the the studio would never let the TOS producers pick a different aspect ratio, but then in a later part of his post his says the artists always get to determine the aspect ratio.’

Hello! I’m here! You can address me directly if you think I’m wrong! Clearly wires were crossed as I was talking about the film/web industry for the options and 1970s TV for locked-in 4:3.

‘Huh??? Seems like Dom is being disingenuous with you on this discussion.’

No sarcasm was intended. I’ve dealt with DiscoSpock plenty of times here and found him/her perfectly agreeable.

‘You were of course right — in most cases, the artist does not get to make this call. Especially in regards to television, it is decided via the studio based on economics, equipment available, current broadcast standards, etc.’

As I say, film industry – director/producer/cinematographer choice, TV – industry standards. Wires were obviously crossed.

286. Michael Hall

Jim in Errand of Mercy: ‘Forgive me gentlemen, I’m a soldier, not a diplomat.’

‘Interesting that you would make that statement in light of your defense of McKenna’s role in this story, a character clearly modeled on TNG’s Deanna Troi.’

McKennah’s a qualified Doctor, at least. Troi never really seemed to have a qualification. Her original role was intended to be as the ship’s psychologist. She ended up being a very attractive woman in non-uniform sexy outfits and was that annoying 1980s hippy dippy California cult psychotherapist type. I cheered when Jellico (my favourite TNG era captain) told her to start behaving like an officer and dress like one. I believe Marina Sirtis did too.

‘Dragging the conversation about “Lolani” to a place where you can unload for the upteenth time about your personal pet peeve is really just another kind of trolling.’

Trolls make statements and walk off leaving arguments unfinished. I’m right here answering back. If TNG is brought into a discussion about TOS, it’s a bit pointless. They’re different shows and even Gene Roddenberry didn’t want crossovers between them (the rather sweet McCoy cameo as a one off in Farpoint notwithstanding!)

290. Andorian: ‘Dom seems to be way off base here on the aspect ratio thing.’

Rather than play the cyber bully thing and speak of me in the third person, how about addressing me directly and saying why I’m ‘off base?’ Please. State your reasons.

291. Who cares: ‘Dom knows nothing, especially about TNG, and is not worth engaging in conversation.’

Speaking of creatures living under bridges, please explain how I know ‘nothing.’ I know TOS and TNG backwards from multiple viewings (TOS because I love it and TNG because I really want to love it as, when it’s good, it’s so very good and promises so much, but always let’s me down!) Your remark is a snidey bit of bullying and does nothing for the discussion.

293. Bill: ‘Could you PLEASE put aside this never-ending back and forth about aspect ratios and maybe, just maybe have a dialogue about the STORY and Characters for just a while? I beg you!’

Thank you! The only reason I got caught in this bizarre argument is because I don’t understand why people are taking 4:3 AR so personally and demanding an aspect alien to TV in that era.

OK folks, stepping back. Feel free to launch back in!

305. Garak's Pride - February 18, 2014

@ Michael Hall

It just seems like “a waste” to me that they are not taking advantage of widescreen. TOS episodes are “locked” in that way (at 4:3), and can’t be updated…at least not until probably AI-based software is developed later this century that could probably make that widescreen as well.

I really prefer to seen modern works in widescreen. It’s a real groaner for me when I have to go back and watch stuff in 4:3, but at least in most of those cases, they have a valid excuse that is produced when that was the standard. I don’t see any good reason for STC’s modern production to be doing this other than misplaced sentimentality.

After all, we have already established that they are using CGI for the special effects, which is more modern than the original effects, so widescreen shouldn’t really be an issues for them at all if they want to do that.

306. Patty W - February 18, 2014

273. Ryan Thomas Riddle “I will add one more comment. Yes, Uhura is a communications officer. Yes, she’s stationed on the bridge. But she is also the de facto female lead of TOS (while not a leading character). Why not give her more to do or involve her more in the stories? That’s what I like about the Abrams movies — they give Uhura more to do and involve her as a lead character.”

How about because the actress isn’t available to film more? This is a fanfilm reality. If you want to see more Uhura involvement, go watch Phase II’s “Kitumba”. We had Kim for nearly the entire shoot and took advantage of that. She even gets to metaphorically slap Kirk upside the head and tell him to grow the heck up.

307. Dom - February 18, 2014

OK. I just wrote an insanely long post addressing everybody’s remarks and it’s vanished.

Guys, can we take it as read that I’ve politely as possible replied to everything everyone said, because after 20 mins of typing I’ll cry if I have to go through it all again?

Disco Spock, K-7, Andorian, I clarified my remarks about aspects in that I was speaking of 1970s TV on one issue and the film industry as another.

Michael Hall, I addressed the TNG thing, but I’m argued out now. But I will say McKennah at least has a medical qualification unlike Deanna Troi. I always felt sorry for Marina Sirtis not getting a better deal with her role,

Who Cares? Well really, who does? ;)

308. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 18, 2014

304. Patty W – February 18, 2014

“How about because the actress isn’t available to film more? This is a fanfilm reality. If you want to see more Uhura involvement, go watch Phase II’s “Kitumba”. We had Kim for nearly the entire shoot and took advantage of that. She even gets to metaphorically slap Kirk upside the head and tell him to grow the heck up.”

As I wrote in my previous response, that’s understood. But that should negate a discussion about featuring her more, especially if the opportunity arises.

Frankly, neither one of us — you or me, know what Kim’s availability was for the STC shoot. Only those on the production would know that for sure. Thanks for pointing me to “Kitumba,” which I have watched and do plan on reviewing.

309. Dom - February 18, 2014

And now it’s back! Doh! Time for bed!

Peace and love everyone!

310. Marja - February 18, 2014

Why? Nothing in this case has anything to do with a communications officer. You have to think about the command structure in what is a diplomatic hot potato that could blow up any minute. Why should she, as a professional, desert her station to dish out fashion advice? Well, I didn’t say she would desert her post to do so; even Uhura gets a coffee break or a rest period between shifts, innit. My point was, AS A PROFESSIONAL, IN THE COURSE OF HER DUTIES, Uhura – when Lolani was on the bridge, remember that? – Uhura could have issued an order to a subordinate and underlined the point that women have equality in Starfleet and the Federation.

How patronising! Surely the fact that the communications officer isn’t taken off duty because of her skin colour and her girl parts shows that women are equal? Read my post again, and read my above, and read RTRiddle’s post before you fly off about Uhura. Really, “girl parts”?

This isn’t TNG where there are nearly ten actors listed in the opening credits and therefore had to do something in every story. Many episodes didn’t feature members of the supporting cast, with only Kirk and Spock appearing in all of the original run.

‘Plus, been a “sisterly” supportive presence. As RT Riddle said, Uhura could serve as a reminder without S-L-A-V-E-R-Y being spelled out to the audience, much as Guinan did with Picard in the TNG scene he cited.”

TNG’s crass, in-your-face PC is one of its least endearing aspects. 1st and 2nd Season TNG, and the “Q” episodes, yeh. The rest of TNG was not so PC.

Throwing Uhura in there ‘Cos she’s, like, black innit?’ is the sort of crass, obvious move you would expect from TNG, along with the obligatory lecture about ‘Once upon a time humans were so dreadful and now we’re better than every one else!’ You’re quite twisting what I said in my post, and I certainly did not mention any lecture from anyone. Uhura has as much business interfering with the Lolani situation as the bloke who cleans the ship’s loos. Wow, talk about patronising. Surely you’re not drawing equivalency between Uhura and a janitor?! Oh … guess not, that would be me taking away from your post what you seemed to take away from mine.

311. Marja - February 18, 2014

Addendum, Dom, “Thank God STC avoided a lecture from Uhura. The episode is set in roughly 2270, 400-odd years beyond white slavery in the US and Uhura is from Africa anyway, her native tongue Swahili.” which you’d realize I had addressed, if you’d read my earlier post. That’s okay, I don’t expect you to have done so. Just emphasizing that I already covered the slavery issue [there were slaves in ancient Africa] and never said Uhura should lecture anyone.

312. MJ - February 18, 2014

I wouldn’t go as far as Dom to say the Picard and company were “Soviet-like” in their zeal for lecturing, and sometimes forcing, others to accept their socialist-utopian view of the world, but Dom’s point in nevertheless valid — his point being that the way the future was presented in TOS, including Rodenberry’s philosophies for a better future, was both much more meaningful and achievable to me than the lame and force-fed way that baldy and company tried to jam it down our throats for seven years. And that is another reason why to me, DS9, is just so much better than TNG.

313. Ensign RedShirt - February 18, 2014

If you think a Kickstarter is needed to make STC go widescreen, then you have no clue how tv or film is shot.

STC is shot with HD cameras, which typically shoot at a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. When shooting, they more than likely set the viewfinder for 4:3 (1.33:1) to make sure they got the framing right, and then added the black bars on the side during post. It’s a very basic and simple masking effect in Avid, or Final Cut, or any other NLE out there.

The point is that it’s not a cost issue – it’s a stylistic one.

Poor Dom. The guy is simply trying to correct misconceptions and he gets jumped on.

314. Dom - February 18, 2014

310. MJ said: ‘I wouldn’t go as far as Dom to say the Picard and company were “Soviet-like” in their zeal for lecturing … that baldy and company tried to jam it down our throats for seven years. And that is another reason why to me, DS9, is just so much better than TNG.’

And DS9 is on my shelf next to TOS. While far from perfect, you can tell it was a spinoff overseen by TOS fans. The USS Odyssey and its pompous crew were a blatant spoof of the Enterprise-D gang and the DS9 gang’s attitude to them was essentially rolling their eyes at their behaviour. And the joke about there being no money… I loved that!

I find TOS and even DS9 to present hopeful futures, even if the hope in DS9 often rests more on half-humans and non-humans. TNG I just find oppressive and dehumanising. I can imagine the characters as they’d look on Soviet poster art as ideals of people – the super men – rather than just people!

In STC, Vic and his gang have recaptured that hopefulness of the sixties before the deaths of Dr King and Bobby Kennedy (and eventually the latter stages of Viet Nam and the Watergate scandal) turned everything towards cynicism. For all the darkness in TOS and, indeed, what we see in Lolani, the crew represent a beacon of hope: imperfect people who are trying to do their best, even in sticky situations. I mean, it can be argued that Kirk makes a real mess of things in Lolani, but that’s why I love the original crew.

Prior to STC, I didn’t think it would be possible to recapture that spirit and make a new televisual Trek. I watched a reasonable amount of NV/PII and found it an intriguing mix of old and new that sort of works, but it’s very much a case of making a modern, cinematic story set in a fictional past, yet fully aware of what’s to come. It’s kind of an interquel/bridging series.

That’s fair enough, but STC nails it by just being the old show and getting on with being season 4. And I hate to bring in the aspect ratio issue (the bruises are still sore!) but part of what makes it feel right is the framing. 4:3 gives that sense of intimacy. When you get a close up of Kirk or Lolani, their face fills the screen and there’s no dead space at the sides. 16:9 is cinematic, but the original Trek had an intimacy because it was a TV morality play and you could get really close in on the actors. I remember Joss Whedon getting very vocal about Buffy, especially dreading the idea of his episode The Body getting shown in unmasked 16:9. I mean, historically, filmmakers would blot out whole sections of the screen in their films in order to focus on one area, so I see Vic and his team choosing 4:3 as keeping with the oldest dramatic filmmakers by taking a 16:9 canvas and painting on a 4:3 area.

STC has convinced me that actual Star Trek can work on TV again. I’d always felt it would need an Abrams-style overhaul or some sort of sequelising, but, actually, with relatively little tinkering, I now think you could pretty much do prime universe, 23rd century Trek on TV again. The two STC episodes show to me that, by de-emphasising the effects and concentrating on the story and performances Star Trek could return. It doesnt need to be ‘BIG’ with lots of effects; it merely needs good storytelling and likeable, believable, relatable characters.

The best compliment I can give to the STC episodes is that they are equal to several of the original episodes and, in some cases, superior.

315. Dom - February 18, 2014

310. Marja

Peace. We’re not going to agree and the more we disagree the more extreme and distorted our arguments will become. I’m sure you’re a great person and your argument is just as valid as mine.

Take care. :)

316. Cygnus-X1 - February 18, 2014

310. Marja – February 18, 2014

Marja, maybe you should do a Kickstarter campaign and raise enough money for STC to make episodes which feature Uhura more prominently. I’m thinking about doing a Kickstarter to have a second version of each episode made with Kirk wearing the green shirt. ;-)

317. Cygnus-X1 - February 18, 2014

(Which is not to reduce diversity as an issue to the the level of a trivial aesthetic detail.) ;-)

318. K-7 - February 18, 2014

Cygnus, how about a Kickstarter campaign to raise $500 as a bribe for you to never post here again. You get cash, and we don’t have to read your posts anymore…EVERYBODY WINS !

319. Red Dead Ryan - February 18, 2014

#312.

“I wouldn’t go as far as Dom to say the Picard and company were “Soviet-like” in their zeal for lecturing, and sometimes forcing, others to accept their socialist-utopian view of the world, but Dom’s point in nevertheless valid — his point being that the way the future was presented in TOS, including Rodenberry’s philosophies for a better future, was both much more meaningful and achievable to me than the lame and force-fed way that baldy and company tried to jam it down our throats for seven years. And that is another reason why to me, DS9, is just so much better than TNG.”

MJ, I agree with your statement. TNG, unfortunately, just doesn’t hold up as well as TOS and DS9 when you put each shows’ depictions of the future into context. Things are a bit too perfect in regards to TNG — most of the characters you couldn’t really relate to, unlike those in TOS and DS9, who would occasionally get into arguments with each other and/or make mistakes (doing the wrong things for the right reasons) for which they would suffer the consequences.

As for widescreen, if the proper cameras were available to the TOS production crew in the sixties, you can bet their bottom dollar they would have filmed it in 16×9. Now obviously they would have reformatted it to fit 4×3 televisions that were in use at the time, but they would have had the original film copies saved to future-proof the series. And now we find out that Gene Roddenberry would have filmed the show in widescreen if he had a choice.

So really, there is no logical reason to adhere to the 4×3 format outside of sentimentality. Especially when no one was sentimental enough to duplicate the sixties effects for STC in the first place.

320. Red Dead Ryan - February 18, 2014

#318.

“Cygnus, how about a Kickstarter campaign to raise $500 as a bribe for you to never post here again. You get cash, and we don’t have to read your posts anymore…EVERYBODY WINS !”

This I could go for! Good idea! :-)

321. Cygnus-X1 - February 18, 2014

Well, I don’t see that there’s any reason for that, my good man. I support the aspect-ratio Kickstarter idea.

I think that if you don’t like some particular detail in these passion-driven productions, no matter how de minimis that detail might be, it is a good idea to embark on a fundraising campaign to raise enough money to convince the producers to “relent” and bend their not-for-profit, artistic expression to the will of your particular taste.

322. Dom - February 18, 2014

319. Red Dead Ryan said: ‘As for widescreen, if the proper cameras were available to the TOS production crew in the sixties, you can bet their bottom dollar they would have filmed it in 16×9. Now obviously they would have reformatted it to fit 4×3 televisions that were in use at the time, but they would have had the original film copies saved to future-proof the series. And now we find out that Gene Roddenberry would have filmed the show in widescreen if he had a choice.’

Widescreen was a gimmick introduced by the film industry a little over a decade before a Star Trek to offset the threat and differentiate it from television. Europe used 1.66:1 and America 1.85:1. Film was often still shot in Academy format (similar to TV’s 4:3), and is even to this day, then masked or matted to the relevant aspect in the cinema. The projectionist receives a guide, but there can be considerable variation from cinema to cinema. Not everything is shot with anamorphic lenses, remember.

Indeed, Stanley Kubrick liked to shoot Academy because he actually didn’t like black bars on 4:3 TVs, so his compositions would be opened up for broadcast. That’s why Eyes Wide Shut had a 4:3 DVD release. The same with several Alfred Hitchcock films. Some unmasked films reveal all sorts of horrors. The Bruce Willis/Jane March film Color of Night on TV had boom mics dropping into shots!

Had there been any consideration to make Trek 1.66:1 safe or 1.85:1 safe for cinema showings, it would and could have been done in the sixties simply by altering the framing. Some of the Man From UNCLE episodes were compiled and were released in cinemas in Europe, for example, so they kept potential cinema screenings in mind.

Gene Roddenberry claimed a lot of things retrospectively; just read Robert Justman’s and Herb Solow’s book. There was only one Trek two-parter and, had there been any consideration of cinema releases, there would likely have been more.

Thing is, I’m the first to complain if something 1.77:1 is panned and scanned to 4:3, but I have no objection to 4:3 if it’s shot that way. Perhaps the best perspective is that you aren’t losing width, but rather gaining height. IMAX isn’t 16:9, for example.

Like I say, to complain about native 4:3 is akin to 4:3 TV owners not liking black bars on 16:9 films. On the web, frankly, any aspect ratio goes. STC looks great on my iPad and fine on my HDTV because it’s correctly framed for 4:3. If they simply opened out the sides, it’s likely we’d have the sorts of issues seen in Buffy and The Shield and 1.77:1 framing would unquestionably change the feel of the films.

The guys have made a choice. I don’t understand people’s problem with that.

323. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 18, 2014

298. Maurice Molyneaux – February 18, 2014
“re Uhura’s lack of use in the episode.

Respectfully, Star Trek isn’t about 23rd century people. It’s about and aimed at *us*. What hapoens in the story (plot) is different from what the audience gets out of it (theme). In the context of this story, Uhura could have simply acted out of compassion (it’s in her character, she gave up her quarters for the Dolman in “Elaan of Troyius” after all) and such an act, within the world of the story, would have no connection to her being “black” or on the past systematic enslavement of same, but from the audience’s POV such action—as an equal and uncommented upon—would remind us of how we’ve treated people as property in the past (and in some places, still do), and how this is an outmoded concept…merely by NOT hanging a lantern on it. In other words, just by being there and being involved you comment on the situation by NOT commenting.”

Nicely put! That’s exactly what I was getting at, but probably not expressing well.

324. Garak's Pride - February 18, 2014

@EM

“I really enjoy both Phase II and Continues. I just wish that Continues would use the 16:9 ratio to film their shows. I understand their desire to keep to the 4:3 format used during the TOS era, I just prefer 16:9. I am always conscious of the difference while viewing Continues. It kind of takes me out of the show.”

I agree 100%

325. Garak's Pride - February 18, 2014

“Widescreen was a gimmick introduced by the film industry…”

Yea, it was as bad as when God and/or Natural Selection created that 2nd eye with stereo vision that we have with our eyes and brains today. What a gimmick. One eye, with black and white, is really all a mammal would truly need to function on this earth effectively.

;-)

Seriously, 4:3 looks like shit now that I have widescreen. I know what I like, and it aint 4:30 squarish. At the same time, I find 2.4 to 1 utrawide to be too wide for my eyes. 16:9 and 1.85 to 1 are the most natural viewing for movies and tv that my eyes and brain like.

326. Garak's Pride - February 18, 2014

“IMAX isn’t 16:9, for example.”

But IMAX is designed for a 200 foot wide screen in a theater, so this is an apples to oranges comparison. And besides, I hate it when Batman goes to IMAZ and I get the bars on my blu-ray, so even that sucks for IMAX.

327. Garak's Pride - February 18, 2014

“Respectfully, Star Trek isn’t about 23rd century people.”

Respectfully, many episodes are about 23rd century people. Take TMP for example — pure scifi about man merging with machine to become transcendent. That is about future people, not us here today.

Another example, take The Traveler episode in TNG — the guy could use his mind to travel to different galaxies and dimensions…not about people today.

Where no man has gone before…man get’s super-human powers to be able ton control and manipulate matter…not about people today.

Now, of course, you can claim that these episodes mean something to us today…sure, but they would also mean something to somebody watching then in a different era 100 years from now, or 100 years ago…they are not about people today as you suggest.

328. Garak's Pride - February 18, 2014

“Perhaps the best perspective is that you aren’t losing width, but rather gaining height”

And theirin lies the human factors problem with 4:3. Our eyes are spaced horizontally on our heads, not vertically. That is why for the vast majority of us, widescreen is so much more preferred by our eyes and brains.

If instead, our eyes were stacked vertically on our heads, then, yes, it would be a better experience for us to watch a show with the increased height of 4:3.

In short, our eyes and brain are particularity suites for the 1.77:1 and 1.85:1 aspects. Much less than that is irritating, and it takes me out of the drama, an much more than that, you head needs to pan and scan somewhat to see everything, which is also distracting.

329. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 18, 2014

327. Garak’s Pride – February 18, 2014
“Respectfully, many episodes are about 23rd century people. Take TMP for example — pure scifi about man merging with machine to become transcendent. That is about future people, not us here today.

Another example, take The Traveler episode in TNG — the guy could use his mind to travel to different galaxies and dimensions…not about people today.

Where no man has gone before…man get’s super-human powers to be able ton control and manipulate matter…not about people today.

Now, of course, you can claim that these episodes mean something to us today…sure, but they would also mean something to somebody watching then in a different era 100 years from now, or 100 years ago…they are not about people today as you suggest.”

STAR TREK and science fiction in general is a prism into us. The stories may feature 23rd Century folks, but those stories are really about us, reflected and refracted. Fiction, be it television or novels or comic books, are very much of the zeitgeist its made in.

Roddenberry always meant STAR TREK to be a commentary on society of today, on us and our society, for good or bad. STAR TREK is about us, refracted through the prism of a future society. And that’s when STAR TREK is at its best. “A Private Little War” aren’t about future people dealing with arming a planet, it’s an allegory on the US involvement in Asia. “The Ultimate Computer” isn’t about future people being replaced by a computer, it’s about us and potentially our jobs becoming irrelevant because of computers.

Let’s broaden this to other science fiction. BABYLON 5 isn’t really about the struggles of a space station, it’s a metaphor for global politics even though its set in the future. DUNE isn’t really about a desert world in 10,000-plus BCE; it’s about how we treat our resources and damage our environment in the process.

Science fiction isn’t about the future people. It’s about us. All art made in our time is.

330. Maurice - February 18, 2014

re 372:

Star Trek is about people (American people, mostly) like *us* playing like it’s a future which differs from ours only in superficial ways and due to magic “science” to create morality plays . It’s not about future people at all, else we’d be unable to identify with them. Most of the “alien” cultures presented are less alien than many other cultures on Earth.

Suspending disbelief doesn’t change that that’s what it is (and what it’s creators admit it is).

331. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 18, 2014

^Sorry about that folks. Couple of typos in that post. Seems I got caught in the passionate debate. :)

332. MJ - February 18, 2014

Ryan TR,

But some science fiction, and even some Star Trek, goes beyond that, and tries to look down the road into the future; sometimes the really far future. I consider myself an expert on hard sf literature, and I can tell you categorically, that much of the stuff I have read over the years is not grounded much at all in today’s society.

You are selling sf short by providing your own subjective definition to it. Perhaps a visit to the hard sf section of your local library, bookstore or internet site might be in order for you. Read Cordwainer Smith, Vinge’s Realtime series, Hamilton’s Commonwealth, some of Neil Stephenson’s work, and even a few of of Asimov’s and Clarke’s stuff.

And yes, I think TMP in Star Trek does just that. Which may be also why it is perceived as boring by most — it really does try to do the future, and the audiences weren’t all that interested in really being in the 23rd century, unfortunately. The audience would rather here Klingon’s quoting Shakespeare is untranslated English.

333. MJ - February 18, 2014

@325 @328

“Seriously, 4:3 looks like shit now that I have widescreen. I know what I like, and it aint 4:30 squarish. At the same time, I find 2.4 to 1 utrawide to be too wide for my eyes. 16:9 and 1.85 to 1 are the most natural viewing for movies and tv that my eyes and brain like…In short, our eyes and brain are particularity suites for the 1.77:1 and 1.85:1 aspects. Much less than that is irritating, and it takes me out of the drama, an much more than that, you head needs to pan and scan somewhat to see everything, which is also distracting.”

Well said !!!!!

334. MJ - February 18, 2014

“DUNE isn’t really about a desert world in 10,000-plus BCE; it’s about how we treat our resources and damage our environment in the process.”

Not so fast. Dune is also about the creation of a super-human through eons of a special breeding program designed by humans with psychic powers and who have the memories of their forebears contained in their DNA — i.e, NOT BASED ON TODAY’S WORLD.

335. Ryan Thomas Riddle - February 18, 2014

@ MJ

I have visited the local science fiction section of my library, especially when I was a child,

and read a few of the authors you mention. No need to be insulting. But I still hold to science fiction being a commentary on how WE of TODAY would react to technology or societal changes, or on our world as it is today.

The creation of a super-human race in the DUNE series is but one aspect of the series. But the first book is very much an ecological novel about how we pilfer our natural resources. The Freman are very much influenced by Arabic and Islamic culture. It has themes of gender roles, the Bene Gesserit order a commentary on religious orders, the messiah metaphor in the Muad’Dib, etc. etc. Once again reflecting upon our society and projecting it into the future — SO BASED ON TODAY’S WORLD.

As defined by Issac Asmiov, circa 1950s:
“Modern science fiction is the only form of literature that consistently considers the nature of the changes that face us, the possible consequences, and the possible solutions.

That branch of literature which is concerned with the impact of scientific advance upon human beings.”

According to that, it’s about US and how technology or science changes US.

John Boyd, author “Last Starship from Earth”: “Science fiction is story-telling, usually imaginative as distinct from realistic fiction, which poses the effects of current or extrapolated scientific discoveries, or a single discovery, on the behavior of individuals of society.”

Once again, our society projected into the future.

Robert Heinlen: “Science Fiction is speculative fiction in which the author takes as his first postulate the real world as we know it, including all established facts and natural laws. The result can be extremely fantastic in content, but it is not fantasy; it is legitimate–and often very tightly reasoned–speculation about the possibilities of the real world. This category excludes rocket ships that make U-turns, serpent men of Neptune that lust after human maidens, and stories by authors who flunked their Boy Scout merit badge tests in descriptive astronomy.”

Once again, our world as we know it and projecting it into the future and saying something about it.

Science fiction as a genre has many definitions, but there is an aspect of it that is a lens into us and projecting what we are today into the future. STAR TREK embodies that more than anything with its morality plays.

336. helenofpeel - February 19, 2014

Well, these comments are a refreshing change from the previous crapfest that was thunderous and blue!

Good on the moderators!

:)

337. MJ - February 19, 2014

@334

Not to be likewise insulting to you, but as a student of history, I can assure you that basic human interaction has not really changed that much in the past 2500 years of human history. So, I could pick up a story from say 100 BC, and relate it to today’s situation, including politics, war, peoples rights, viewpoints, etc. So stories from thousands of years ago can comment on today. This is the static nature of basic human interaction, politics, drama, etc.

So you are confusing here the issue of the static nature of human situations, with the peculiar nature of science fiction, which, in some cases, postulates far different future worlds and human interactions than the prism of today can suggest.

There is a reason I did not mention Heinlein in my listing of authors who are capable of writing believable far future science fiction — he did not do that. Don’t get me wrong, he was a fantastic storyteller and I love his work, but yea, he was writing the easily extrapolated type of science fiction that you are talking about. So sure, he proves your preferred definition of sf — I get that.

The is a lot of sf that does not follow this model though. Gregory Benford’s Galactic Center series, Greg Bear’s Eon and Eternity, Hamilton’s Commonwealth series, much of Delany’s work, etc. etc. The are stories that unlike the theme of what you are saying, could not have been written 1000 years ago. Rather, they are attempting to look at a radically different future that is not a simple extrapolation of today.

338. Dom - February 19, 2014

The remarks about 16:9 vs 4:3 are fascinating and I’d be intrigued to know the demographics of the opinions. At nearly 40, I grew up with 4:3 TV and regularly watched black and white and silent films in that ratio on television. I’d heard there was a serious, intolerance among the younger generation for black and white and silents (which are hardly ever on TV now) and, it appears, 4:3 now falls under this.

There seem to be two camps on the debate. The angrily stated ‘Not having 1.77:1 is intolerable: I can’t stand it!’ and the more baffled ‘So they’re using 4:3 because they decided to. Why not?’

I mean, between Academy and its similar international relations and 4:3 television, we effectively had something close to 4:3 as a visual standard for over a century and yet, within the space of a decade, we have people saying their eyes and brains can’t cope with it and it deleteriously affects their viewing experience. And the feelings about this are extremely strong from them.

Like I say, I’m cool with 4:3. I grew up with it, love old TV shows and have loads of black and white and silent films on DVD and Blu-ray. I just regard 4:3 in the same way as I regard 2.4:1, 2.35:1, Univisium, 1.85:1, 1.77:1, 1.66:1 and Academy… it’s a tool in the artist’s box and gives a particular feel to the work.

I believe that moving to 16:9 would drastically change the feel of STC for the worse. It would make it a modern, cinematic series rather the brilliant evocation of late-1960s Star Trek that it is. I also just plain like 4:3, which is shaped like a theatre stage and is just the right thing for the elevated, eerily lit, melodrama that is TOS. I’m happy to live and let live.

339. Bill - February 19, 2014

Love to hear some more opinions on the expanded McKenna role to (I believe at least) the detriment of the Sulu and Uhura near walk-ons and the reduced McCoy role in the ep. I think even the new navigator had more to do than Grant?
Can anyone confirm if it was a cast availability issue or a deliberate expansion of Ms. Specht’s role (which was excellently played by the way). Or whatever it may have been. Still an amazing spot-on episode and one I’ve watched three times already and counting. Can’t wait for the next one!

Looking forward to any feedback you guys might have!

340. Chris Doohan - February 19, 2014

336 Helenofpeel

“Well, these comments are a refreshing change from the previous crapfest that was thunderous and blue!

Good on the moderators”

I couldn’t agree more. Thank you to Trekmovie for keeping out the riff-raff.

As far as responding to topics on aspect ratios, casting availability, etc, I will leave that to the Producers.

341. Chris Miles - February 19, 2014

@338 DOM

“Like I say, I’m cool with 4:3. I grew up with it, love old TV shows and have loads of black and white and silent films on DVD and Blu-ray. I just regard 4:3 in the same way as I regard 2.4:1, 2.35:1, Univisium, 1.85:1, 1.77:1, 1.66:1 and Academy… it’s a tool in the artist’s box and gives a particular feel to the work.”

I second that. I grew up watching Trek on UHF. As a person born in Fall ’66- (exactly as old as Trek on TV) I enjoy the original aspect ratio- It’s part and parcel of the retro feel- Which is why, in a previous post I called for a more simple Star Trek Continues Tittle/Font, rather than the red stylized/Photoshop version.

There was an old IBM ad back in the early days of the internet:

“Why is the Logo on fire?”

In other words … Less is more.

What else do folks want from the producers? DTS Master Audio? Dolby Atmos? It’s a show recreating a show from the 60′s.

16×9 for sake of 16×9 is literally a stretch.

In the search for ne plus ultra Trek – Lets call for quality stories, great acting. and stirring piece of music/cues from time to time.

At what point did we become so interested in how things look, rather than (and sometimes at the expense of what things mean?

342. Cygnus-X1 - February 19, 2014

341. Chris Miles – February 19, 2014
@338 DOM

I third that.

At what point did we become so interested in how things look, rather than (and sometimes at the expense of what things mean?

Hear, hear.

343. p3orion - February 19, 2014

@ #26: “There is no need for a new doctor/counselor…”

There is when the actress is married to Vic Mignogna, who is the producer, writer, editor, carpenter, and Captain Kirk.

The story was a little weaker on this one. Until the climactic scene, Kirk seemed a bit slow to “get his back up.” He was not driving the situation, but just going with the flow, and if he felt any real resistance early on, it was not too evident.

Also, some of the other cast members were left too far to the side; did Sulu or Uhura even have any lines this time? They’re too good to waste; don’t put yourself in the position of having to replace the actors because these get bored and won’t come back.

On the other hand, please dial back Dr. McKennah.

344. Cygnus-X1 - February 19, 2014

343. p3orion – February 19, 2014

Until the climactic scene, Kirk seemed a bit slow to “get his back up.” He was not driving the situation, but just going with the flow, and if he felt any real resistance early on, it was not too evident.

That was kind of the main point of the story.

Kirk was in limbo between the entrenched bureaucracy of Star Fleet and his own sense of what should be done. In the end, it is Crewman Kenway’s naive lack of moral ambivalence about the issue that makes Kirk realize that he has to disobey Star Fleet orders and do what he knows is right.

345. Dom - February 19, 2014

338. Bill

Bearing in mind George Takei only appeared in approximately half the TOS episodes and most of the others, even McCoy, were regularly absent (indeed, IIRC, Spock is the only character to appear in all the TOS Treks from the pilot through the animated series and the six proper TOS movies) it wouldn’t have been surprising if, in the fourth year, not all of the actors might have returned and new characters had been introduced.

Dr McKennah (I’m taking the spelling from IMDB,) whom I assume is a psychologist and maybe an anthropologist, is a logical character to introduce, given the crew’s mission. At least she’s a qualified doctor, unlike Deanna Troi whom one suspects failed her City & Guilds in avoiding giant planets! ;)

Actor availability is always an issue and I suspect the episode was written around that, so part of McKennah’s presence is down to the actress and her husband (hello Majel Barrett!) while the Sulu, Chekov and Uhura actors were limited by their availability. I’m not worried: the supporting cast in Trek wasn’t together that much, as there was often someone absent. I actually find it more credible that the same group wouldn’t be on shift all at the same time, unlike in TNG where the ensemble contracts required all the actors on set, even if just for one line in an episode.

Also, when a new character (Ro in TNG, for example) is introduced, it’s not uncommon for the first couple of scripts to big them up.

I’m fine with new characters being introduced. This is season four, after all.

346. Marja - February 19, 2014

I will say two things about aspect ratio:

[1] Wide screen is fine in a movie theatre. And if you happen to have one of those huge screens in your home.

[2] Wide screen aspect ratio does not allow for intimacy related to faces. Not so much. We get a lot of background scenery, or we get actors whose heads are sliced off at the forehead and chin. Ridiculous to me, as movies are, and should be for the most part, about people.

347. MJ - February 19, 2014

“What else do folks want from the producers? DTS Master Audio? Dolby Atmos? It’s a show recreating a show from the 60′s.”

Well then, why is it in HD Resolution, instead of standard definition TV resolution? That wasn’t the way it was shown in the 60′s.

See, the creators of this have already picked and chosen some elements of how it looked in the 60′s on TV with modern elements such as HD resolution and modern CGI effects.

So your point is moot — they are already including modern production elements anyway.

348. Marja - February 19, 2014

314 Dom, “For all the darkness in TOS and, indeed, what we see in Lolani, the crew represent a beacon of hope: imperfect people who are trying to do their best, even in sticky situations. I mean, it can be argued that Kirk makes a real mess of things in Lolani, but that’s why I love the original crew.”

I do indeed love the exploration of human frailties and perceptions that leads to good drama. These were sometimes explored in TNG, to be fair. But I agree that TOS and DS9 are the deepest wrt to the life and political [and thus dramatic] choices that face us. I think “Enterprise” was also successful in this.
————————————————————-

#318 and #320, Please see #1.

349. MJ - February 19, 2014

@346 “Wide screen aspect ratio does not allow for intimacy related to faces. Not so much. We get a lot of background scenery, or we get actors whose heads are sliced off at the forehead and chin. Ridiculous to me, as movies are, and should be for the most part, about people.”

This is completely ridiculous. I could not disagree with any statement on Trekmovie.com in recent history more than this statement.

350. Bill - February 19, 2014

Thanks Dom! Lots of interesting opinions on this page. Glad I found it. My only other thought (if the other actors were indeed available) is that TOS was a weekly series, which would seem to allow for rotating the characters in and out more easily than STC can.

In any event, as an old fan of the Chris Reeve Jane Seymour romance “Somewhere in Time”, I’m surprised no one noticed that Seymour’s character was named Elise McKennah! Perhaps Vic and Michele are fans?

351. Cygnus-X1 - February 19, 2014

345. Dom – February 19, 2014

All good points.

352. Marja - February 19, 2014

322 Dom, Though I don’t grasp all the tech details of what you’ve said, I definitely respect the artistic choice of any filmmaker. They do have the expertise and know what they want to convey.

Dramatic structure, which applies across all dramatic portrayals, film, TV, live theatre and otherwise, is something we should all feel free to discuss, but I’m one of probaby 6/8ths of the audience who have no preference / couldn’t give a care about some technical aspects of filmmaking.

Where tech aspects affect the dramatic portrayals of people or story, they’re legitimate IMO, but the choices of fan filmmakers should be up to them; they’re not even making money off of it, and we get to see their products for free, lucky us!

I think there’s a difference between Star Trek MOVIES and Star Trek TV, in that on TV, for the most part, we’re not seeing huge swathes of starfields/ nebulae with starships doing what they do.

353. Marja - February 19, 2014

OK, so I looked up the aspect ratios, and it looks like movies cutting sides of the screen to fit into 4:3 ratio is a legitimate complaint, but this show was shot FOR TV in 4:3.

I’d also like to know if a certain ratio is responsible for the distortion of faces and figures I see on certain televisions. People are “squished” horizontally, which takes ME out of the drama. And drama is the reason I watch visual fictional portrayals.

354. Marja - February 19, 2014

MJ, I would love to SEE some examples of what you guys are talking about. Can you point me to some visual examples of 2.4:1, 2.35:1, Univisium, 1.85:1, 1.77:1, 1.66:1 and Academy1:7 :1, 1:8 :1, &c.?

Maybe that way you can convince me ;-)

I looked back at some screencaps of Trek09, and for the most part Abrams used that full widescreen frame beautifully. I found it weird, though, in the close-ups of Spock and Uhura [Quinto is about 8" taller than Saldana] their two faces seemed a bit difficult to fit into the wide frame [thus the cut-off tops of heads I referred to], yet if Abrams had pulled back a little bit, the intimacy would have been lost.

355. Marja - February 19, 2014

349 MJ, In many closeups, such as in a scene of three people talking, two of the people are out of focus so the actor speaking can be in clear focus. Also a lot of body language leaves the equation because you can see only the top 1/4 of actors’ bodies in a scene of two actors … fortunately our Star Trek actors in Abrams’ productions are fantastic at conveying emotions with their faces ….

356. MJ - February 19, 2014

@355

In 4:3, the natural view of my eyes/brain doesn’t really focus on the vertical top and bottom of the screen though, because it’s unnaturally stretched vertically for my horizontally spread eyes to notice. So I really never notice this extra body language that you are talking about, as my eye/brain combination is more naturally suited to a more horizontally spread out view that we get with 1:77 to 1 and 1.85 to 1. It’s a nice theory, and I am glad that it seems to work for you, but that extra body language information is not picked up much by my eye/brain combination.

Our eyes are spaced horizontally, not vertically. 4:3 is unnatural and annoying. I didn’t realize just how unnatural and annoying it was until widescreen TV came out. I actually despise 4:3 now, and try to avoid it except when it is the only option.

357. Disinvited - February 19, 2014

Well, I waited patiently for my missive on art galleries and framing to leave moderation hell but I suppose it just got lost in the shuffle.

I don’t have a copy but I’ll try to touch on what I recall.

I think the problem people have with (video) art not filling its frame is primarily the fault of (oakc of?) art education in these current times and the dissonance stems from the ignorance of the galleries, i.e. tv stations, not understanding how to properly frame art that doesn’t conform to the size frame available and the art patrons (television viewers) viewing it.

A quick overview:

http://web.wm.edu/muscarelle/education/docents/Frame%20Exhibit%20Notes.pdf

I submit the real problem isn’t that all television art isn’t the same aspect ratio that completely fills the set’s screen but that the presenters have inelegantly decided NOT to apply any of the centuries of knowledge of art as to how to properly border a 4:3 image in a 16:9 frame. They feign the technology only gives them one option, black, but that just plain isn’t true as Walt Disney himself proved when he decided to promote the “widescreenness” of his SLEEPING BEAUTY on the 4:3 tv screens of that era (He filled the black areas with art that made it look like theater curtains had been pulled back.).

And the reason I suspect this is the primary root of the problem is widescreen cinema movies have NOT been one singular aspect ratio since their inception. They varied all over the place, and yet, even though this introduced plenty of exhibitions where the projected image absolutely does not and did not fill the top and bottom of many theaters’ white (quite a few Academy ratio) projection screens I recall no one complaining about it as they do about similar mismatches on video screens where presentations make the choice to have an introduced border be black.

I could also note that white borders are quite common in photographic art and in their gallery exhibition framings.

358. MJ - February 19, 2014

Marja,

This video provides a good comparison of different ratios:

http://vimeo.com/14489729

Is this the kind of description you were looking for?

359. Disinvited - February 19, 2014

#357. Disinvited – February 19, 2014

oakc= lack

360. DiscoSpock - February 19, 2014

MJ,

I read somewhere that the natural human field of view is approximately equivalent to 16×9. So it’s no wonder why most people prefer to watch TV in that format these days.

361. Disinvited - February 19, 2014

#356. MJ – February 19, 2014

I think visitors to your abode may find it equally unnerving to discover that you’ve turned all your 8 1/2 x 11 portraits and pictures onto their “natural” sides.

362. MJ - February 19, 2014

@361. Perhaps I have re framed all of those 8.5×11 portrait photos into 11×17 landscape frames, with huge “black spaces” on either side of the photo within the frame?

:-)

363. Dom - February 19, 2014

360. DiscoSpock and co…

People go with what they’re given. In the 4:3 era there was no shortage of people complaining about black bars at the top and bottom of the screen on widescreen VHSes. They still complain about 2.4:1 with black bars on TV. Consequently, 2.1:1, 2.35:1 and 2.4:1 films are regularly cropped or unmatted to 1.77:1 for broadcast.

I always bought films in the intended aspect and would favour wide framing over Academy even when the director had shot safe for either format, preferring the cinema aspect. I remember really bollocking one of my friends for buying the final VHS Star Wars trilogy pre-Special Edition release in 4:3 demanding to know the point in chopping off almost two thirds of the image for the sake of fitting on his 14″ portable TV. But I also completely respected the decision to shoot natively in 4:3.

16:9 can be argued be more ‘comfortable’ in some circumstances (and it works for many productions), but Academy is closer to the setup of a Victorian era theatre stage, so people were effectively watching a recorded play. 4:3 and Academy gives the viewer a greater space above and below the image, perfectly framing a face.

While here in the UK we spoke of going to the cinema or ‘the pictures,’ but the US had movie theaters. TV actively sought to resemble theatre in its early days, with TV movies such as Don Siegel’s The Killing (shot for 4:3 but also 1.85:1 safe for potential cinema exhibition) being deliberately seen as a separate entity.

Really though, 4:3 isn’t worth spilling so much blood. It looks perfectly fine and anyone who can’t cope with over a century of Academy and 4:3 really needs to grow up and get over it. They’re basically being Philistines and acting like the people who moaned about 16:9 bars on 4:3 sets. More hilariously, Academy format films actually benefit because the lack of overscan on HDTV actually gives back five per cent of the picture previously lost (how often were the credits cropped on all sides on Academy ratio films on broadcast?)

Michael Mann shot LA Takedown and oversaw Miami Vice in 4:3. David Lynch and his collaborators shot Twin Peaks beautifully framed for 4:3 and it would be horrible cropped or unmatted to 1.77:1. Joss Whedon personally intervened to make sure Buffy was released in 4:3 on DVD in the US, even though he couldn’t stop European 1.77:1 releases.

4:3 was and still is is a normal, mainstream format and has been the most common for over a hundred years. The few uninformed youngsters who moan about such a superb evocation of 60s Star Trek on the grounds of it being accurately framed according to the era need to go away and learn about the history of cinema and TV.

People who honestly think throwing out threats to Kickstarter campaigns and, given the psychosis common to ‘avid fans,’ probably death threats next, need to take a chill pill and learn something about TV and film. Try Film Art: An Introduction on Amazon. I doubt STC is losing many viewers because of its excellent 4:3 composition anyway.

364. Ensign RedShirt - February 19, 2014

363 – Dom

Bravo. That was great. Totally on point.

I give you a lot of credit for trying, but some of the people you’re arguing with don’t let facts or anything else get in their way once they formulate an opinion.

365. reni - February 19, 2014

I think people who abhor the ‘fullscreen’ look are suffering from the fact they now see vertical black bars on their monitors/widescreen TVs instead of horizontal bars that was common place on fullscreen TVs of yesteryear. Yes, I can see how it’s jarring and annoying to experience this and I sympathize.
However, instead of appreciating the intentional choice to preserve the ‘classic Trek’ look, it just sounds like you’re annoyed this fanseries isn’t using your expensive screen to its full potential. You’re missing the entire point of why STC selected this composition. If they changed the composition to widescreen it wouldn’t feel like the 1960′s TV show anymore. It’s like changing the Mona Lisa to a horizontal landscape composition. Doesn’t look quite right, does it?
While it may seem like a small throwaway decision, choosing a composition size is a deliberate choice made ahead of starting a project. Screen ratio and composition really sets the message, tone, and overall look of a piece. Be it fine art or film. Since STC is a fan endeavor, everyone involved are using their creative energies to create a piece that mimics the source material, so unlike the original TOS directors and cameramen who had to follow the TV production status quo, the staff on STC have the luxury of being artists and get to make artistic decisions.

Also, the argument that they shouldn’t be using modern technology to create old school Trek is silly. As a fellow artist, I can understand why they’re using tools currently and easily available to create a piece that can merge seamlessly with the remastered original. If computer technology was available in the 60s they definitely would have been using it. As much as my opinion counts, I’d prefer STC stays 4:3 and they should continue to use modern technology to achieve this vision. I think they’re doing a fantastic job.

In regards to STC in general, I can’t wait for the 3rd episode. I’m very excited to see where this series is going next.

366. Red Dead Ryan - February 19, 2014

Look, nobody’s in favor of going back and reformatting 4:3 shows into 16:9. I would expect that TOS and DS9 be left as is. They were shot in the 4:3 aspect ratio, so that doesn’t bother me as I grew up watching those shows as they were framed for tv anyway.

However, now that widescreen tvs and computers are in most homes now, there simply isn’t any good reason to continue to film stuff in the 4:3 format.

If, for example, “Game Of Thrones” was shot in the 4:3 format, it wouldn’t be as good since you would be missing a lot of the scenery, and character scenes would feel more cramped. The widescreen aspect helps make the show bigger, grander, and more epic than it would be in the old format.

The only people complaining about widescreen are those who still watch tv and movies on old 4:3 tvs.

367. MJ - February 19, 2014

“If they changed the composition to widescreen it wouldn’t feel like the 1960′s TV show anymore. It’s like changing the Mona Lisa to a horizontal landscape composition. Doesn’t look quite right, does it?”

Yea, but it already looks a lot different than TOS. It has a lot more detail due to it being in HD resolution instead of SD resolution, and the CGI special effects look modern.

As I’ve said before, if the goal is to really look like the TOS in 1970 in a mythical season 4, then you need to have this in 325 lines of horizontal resolution, and do a much better job with the CGI in making it look like the special effects from the late 60′s instead of looking obviously like the remastered effects of the mid-2000′s.

However, since they are not going all the way to truly make it look like a 1970 production, then what is the big deal with giving us a modern widescreen option to view this in. You’ve already got HD resolution and modern special effects, so just also make the minor move to have a 16:9 format that those of us who prefer that can see this in.

But hey, if they insist on keeping 4:3 to go truly classic on on this, then I will shut up on this provided the next episode has 325 lines of SD resolution, and the special effects truly look like TOS episodes did.

368. reni - February 19, 2014

366.
“However, now that widescreen tvs and computers are in most homes now, there simply isn’t any good reason to continue to film stuff in the 4:3 format.”

I have to respectfully disagree with this statement.

What it comes down to is art in film. While most filmed media is made for the masses, there is a still a kernel of creativity to be found there. If one bothers to look at film and television with a critical eye, they can see beyond the story and appreciate the craft that goes into it.

While widescreen is indeed grander and more cinematic, if the occasion arises where there is a reason to film in a different screen ratio, then I will completely agree with the decision to use it. People who decide to go outside the industry norm usually have a very good justification for not following the standard format. In this case they wanted to preserve the original look of the television shots from the 60s and chose to film in 4:3. I completely agree with their choice as a purely aesthetic reason.

I’m not saying TOS was the pinnacle of art in film, far from it. Especially since it was a TV show made quickly for mass appeal and revenue. Almost 50 years later, after massive changes in technology and preferred visuals, we’re encountering a group of people who are using their resources to recreate a television show filmed decades ago. If that doesn’t require creative thinking and use of an artistic eye then I don’t know how else to explain the aesthetic they’re attempting (successfully) to attain.

369. MJ - February 19, 2014

@363

“probably death threats next,”

Sheesh, what a complete a-hole to make that insinuation like that here on people that are having a civil discussion on aspect ratio, etc. Like I or someone else would make “death threats?”

WTF?????

You should be ashamed of yourself. You embarrass all of us here with such unsavory comments.

370. MJ - February 19, 2014

@364

“363 – Dom. Bravo. That was great”

Ah, so you approve of him accusing everyone his disagrees with of making “DEATH THREATS” when no one here has gotten even slightly out of bounds on this topic.

Shame on you as well, then. What’s next, you guys going to start calling us all Nazis just because we choose to have a different opinion on you on this topic?

371. reni - February 19, 2014

367.
“But hey, if they insist on keeping 4:3 to go truly classic on on this, then I will shut up on this provided the next episode has 325 lines of SD resolution, and the special effects truly look like TOS episodes did.”

I don’t get this all or nothing argument. They’re going for an aesthetic, that doesn’t mean they’re going to ignore the advancement in film technology too. I think by choosing to blend the art with technology so it looks like the remastered episodes is a smart one.

While I get what what you’re saying about having a widescreen ratio if they have the cameras to do it, I think showing TOS in movie format wouldn’t look right. Despite how great TOS is, I don’t think it’s grand enough to carry a widescreen format. But this is just my opinion as a critical observer. As I said, I get the artistic vision they’re going for and I don’t think they need to be ‘all or nothing’ to achieve that.

372. Marja - February 19, 2014

MJ, Thanks for the comparison piece. All I can say is, there are some sacrifices in filming two or three characters in widescreen having a conversation. You’ll find numerous instances of this in screencaps from Trek09 and STID.

As I’ve said, for great starscapes and landscapes and a row of Starfleet officers sitting together, crowd scenes, chases through the streets of San Francisco, and various other things, widescreen is great. For close-ups and 2- or 3-character moments, IMO, not so much.

Sorry you’ve been missing out on actors’ body language all these years, MJ; it’s one of the first skills actors learn to help communicate their character’s emotions, a vital part of stagecraft.

We all come to the cinema for different reasons. I come to watch actors, uh, interact.

And now I know why actors on some TVs look squished “fat” and out of proportion, because the TV is a “widescreen.” Ugh. So I’d rather have black on either side of a properly-proportioned image of the actors. JMHO.

373. Dave H - February 19, 2014

It’s sad here how a couple of the 4:3 proponents are now feeling the need to “go postal” on people here that aren’t agreeing with them.

I have seen a lot of personal attacks on this site, but accusing people in a simple technical disagreement of making future death threats is perhaps the most bizarre thing I have ever come across on this site.

I don’t ever recall anyone making a death threat on any topic here. And if they did, we should all report it to the FBI, and that is not something to be taken lightly.

374. Garak's Pride - February 19, 2014

Dom,

Really awful choice of words — and completely unfair to others who don’t share your opinions on this topic.

Guy, you really need to retract that remark ASAP and apologize to everyone here.

375. Cygnus-X1 - February 19, 2014

363. Dom – February 19, 2014

Well said.

And, I agree with 364. Ensign RedShirt.

I would also add that it’s precisely this sort of missing the forest for the trees that I hear people ascribing derisively to Trekkies in general: fixated peevishness with, and resistance to, relatively trivial details of a given Trek product, followed immediately by petulant demands that such details be changed in order to alleviate said fixation. I remember when the casting for ST09 was first announced, and there was no shortage of people here up in arms—I mean absolutely outraged—that Chris Pine had been cast as Kirk despite his having—(wait for it)—BLUE EYES!!

I said this like a 100 posts ago, Dom and others have said it, and I’ll say it again: The producers of STC obviously intend for it to resemble TOS as closely as possible, and they have succeeded brilliantly. It looks GREAT, and its aesthetics (among other attributes), including its friggin’ aspect ratio, are remarkably faithful to TOS.

I suppose all of the complaining about the aspect ratio wasn’t a total waste, however, as it led to a brief history and synopsis of the topic of aspect ratios in TV and film which has been informative.

376. Admiral Archer's Prize Beagle - February 19, 2014

Wow, this Dom person is predicting that people who disagree with him on a fan topic here are next going to be making “death threats?”

Really?

377. Dave H - February 19, 2014

#375

Cygnus, you might want to fully read what your buddy Dom said before you continue is your love-fest with him. He is predicting that some of us who disagree with his aspect ratio opinions will be resorting to “death threats” soon. I am sure that you do not agree with that, as you seem like a reasonable person?

378. Cygnus-X1 - February 19, 2014

It’s called hyperbole.

“…missing the forest for the trees…”

I give you exhibits A, B, C, D, E…

379. K-7 - February 19, 2014

Folks, no one should be shocked here at this behavior. When some people lose the “battle of ideas,” this is the kind of personal attack stuff that they resort to.

And it was completely unnecessary, because both sides have some valid points here. Marja, in particular, has made some good points about facial close-ups.

We just happen to disagree here, but that does not mean that people should resort to saying horrible crapmouth stuff like Dom just did.

380. Dave H - February 19, 2014

@378

It does not read like hyperbole.

You just don’t say that on this site to people in a discussion like this. There is no defense for a remark that casts people who disagree with you in a light like that. That is WRONG.

381. Red Dead Ryan - February 19, 2014

I agree that Dom needs to apologize for his inflammatory accusations directed at those who diagree with his views.

As far as I remember, no one on this site has uttered threats of violence against others on this site, or the folks involved with either Kickstarter or STC.

#375. Cygnus X-1,

I find it interesting that you’re complaining about people nitpicking over the color of Chris Pine’s eyes while you yourself have nitpicked the entire movie while making comparisons to “Star Wars”, the Force, and other movies that have nothing to do with the nuTrek movies.

382. Dave H - February 19, 2014

…and Cygnus, on Janurary 29th, you yourself said:

“You see, there are a handful of people here who just snipe and name-call in lieu of thoughtful responses pertaining to the issue being discussed. Comments by these people really do not merit a response.”

So do you only apply this to people who disagree with you? If people like Dom, who accuses people who disagree with him of making death threats, behave this way, then you not only turn the other cheek, but you quickly jump into support him so long as it fits your need to win the argument?

hyp·o·crite [hip-uh-krit]
noun
1.
a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

383. MJ - February 19, 2014

Marja,

Thanks for your thoughtful response on 4:3. I do get your POV, and I can see that for some of the kinds of movies you like, why you might personally prefer 4:3, even though I wouldn’t. And you are right, I am not a person who really pays much attention to body language — I prefer panoramas and more contextual detail. Just my personal preference.

I feel bad for you and others who are trying to make the 4:3 case here, that others who share your opinion are essentially going rogue here with personal attacks, with a couple people giving that “atta boy virtual hand-slaps” for ostensibly scoring personal attack points against me and others.

384. Red Shirt Diaries - February 19, 2014

@ Dom

SHAME ON YOU !!!!!!!!!!

385. Red Dead Ryan - February 19, 2014

I think that Cygnus happens to support Dom’s remarks because of spite against some of us here as a form of payback when we disagreed with his criticisms of the Trek reboot (in particular the first movie). This is rather sad, and quite petty.

I know if MJ, Dave H or I made the same accusatory remarks Dom did, Cygnus and his gang would be outraged. They’d call us out on the carpet for it.

Also, we recently forgave Dom for his “cupid stunt” remark he directed at MJ about five months ago, believing that it wasn’t an anagram for something offensive. He explained himself, clarified the matter and we accepted his explanation and apology.

However, this recent incident once again calls into question his rationality and he needs to accept responsibility here.

386. Red Shirt Diaries - February 19, 2014

@MJ

“As I’ve said before, if the goal is to really look like the TOS in 1970 in a mythical season 4, then you need to have this in 325 lines of horizontal resolution, and do a much better job with the CGI in making it look like the special effects from the late 60′s instead of looking obviously like the remastered effects of the mid-2000′s. However, since they are not going all the way to truly make it look like a 1970 production, then what is the big deal with giving us a modern widescreen option to view this in. You’ve already got HD resolution and modern special effects, so just also make the minor move to have a 16:9 format that those of us who prefer that can see this in. But hey, if they insist on keeping 4:3 to go truly classic on on this, then I will shut up on this provided the next episode has 325 lines of SD resolution, and the special effects truly look like TOS episodes did.”

I agree completely. This is just good ole fashioned horse-sense.

387. MJ - February 19, 2014

@385 “I think that Cygnus happens to support Dom’s remarks because of spite against some of us here as a form of payback when we disagreed with his criticisms of the Trek reboot (in particular the first movie). This is rather sad, and quite petty. I know if MJ, Dave H or I made the same accusatory remarks Dom did, Cygnus and his gang would be outraged. They’d call us out on the carpet for it”

I agree, RDR. See Dave H’s quote above from Cygnus’s own words in relation to this. Cygnus has a different rules for acceptable behavior here that is based on whether you agree or disagree with his position. Hell shit on us for minor entreaties, then turn around and French Kiss Dom in the same breath when Dom accuses us of completely false and horrid stuff that we wouldn’t see to or worst childhood enemy.

388. feenix219 - February 20, 2014

This is such a stupid argument. It is trying to resemble TOS, *period*. TOS would have always remained in 4:3, *period.* By now, a hypothetical S4 would have been *remastered* and have special effects that look the way STC does. This is *exactly* what your DVD set of S4 would be looking at RIGHT NOW. IF you have a problem with STC being in 4:3, then you should have the same problem with your TOS DVDs being in 4:3, downright *unwatchable*, RIGHT???

389. Cygnus-X1 - February 20, 2014

We’re not getting sidetricked [sic] on a he-said, she-said tangent here.

Juxtaposing scenes, themes, allegories and archetypes of movies is not tantamount to obsessing over and petulantly demanding the revision of trivial details like aspect ratio. Scenes, themes, allegories and archetypes are substantial and IMPORTANT to the movie/episode. They’re the very meat of the thing.

So, it’s not about “Cygnus said so and so,” and it’s not about “Dom used a hyperbolic phrase.”

It’s about Star Trek Continues “Lolani,” which looks FANTASTIC as it is, aspect ratio and all, remarkably faithful to TOS in terms of aesthetics, tone and spirit—in terms of artistic values and sensibilities in toto.

Phase II is shot in widescreen, and that seems to be concordant with that production’s premise of being set subsequent to TOS. If I’m not mistaken, the setting of Phase II is around the time in between the end of TOS and the beginning of the TOS movies. The point being that Phase II is premised upon a different vision and has a different goal than STC. The goal of Phase II is not to replicate the look and feel of 1966-1969 TOS, but rather to explore Star Trek in the aforementioned period, in between the end of TOS on TV and the beginning of the TOS movies.

It’s really great to have both of these productions running with their different visions which complement but also differ significantly from each other. And I get the distinct feeling that we’re entering an exciting, prolific time for both productions.

390. Cygnus-X1 - February 20, 2014

(And, the 4:3 aspect ratio of Star Trek Continues is certainly important to its look, which, as I said, is intended to be faithful to TOS. But, getting fixated on the aspect ratio and demanding it be changed is missing the forest for the trees.)

391. Dom - February 20, 2014

Really, if people are picking up on the ‘death threats’ in-joke, they really have run out of justifiable arguments in favour of making the STC guys change their way of working. Essentially, I will keep coming back with accurate arguments based on years of working in the business and a more than a couple of decades studying cinema and certain extremist fans will pick more and more on a bit of snark rather than argue the subject matter – clearly certain ‘experts’ here didn’t spot the film reference, which is really quite hilarious to me.

FYI, folks, there is precedent for fans going OTT towards showrunners. On the previous incarnation of this thread, an individual was making shocking, libellous accusations about people on STC and flooding other fora with similar remarks. I presume he still is. When the new Doctor Who logo was launched a decade ago, apparently people started making death threats at the designers.

Look at some of the inflammatory, derogatory remarks I’ve received regularly throughout this thread. People who, rather than address me directly, have dismissed me for not knowing what I’m talking about, but not saying what it is they think I’m mistaken on. People making abusive remarks about me in the third person to each other when I’m right here. People deliberately taking massive offence at asides with the sole purpose of distracting me from the point I’m making, so I’m supposed to be forced on the defensive and they can get a power rush from making me apologise for a snarky remark because I’ve argued back about aspect ratios from a point of view of knowledge. Shame on me? Shame on some of you for reducing the discussion to the level of a school playground.

I will always answer people on a forum. I don’t make a statement and run under a bridge to hide. ‘Avid fan,’ incidentally, is a Manhunter reference which ties in with my mentioning Michael Mann, who happily oversaw Miami Vice, Crime Story and LA Takedown in 4:3 and generally shoots his cinema films in the widest possible aspect. Hannibal Lecktor’s reply to ‘Avid fan’ was to give out Will Graham’s address to the Tooth Fairy and say ‘Kill them all!’ Again, I make my comments as a lover of cinema and classic TV in all it’s forms – maybe I assume people have seen great thirty year old films just because I have, which may be in error.

When I see a canvas, I see a space to be manipulated, an area the artist has a choice to use. Vittorio Storarro, for example, was inspired to create the 2.00:1 Univisium format after years of study of painters and particularly being inspired by the composition of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper (he discussed this in a documentary I worked on for a Polish TV.)

Controversially, he reframed his earlier films in that format, such as Apocalypse Now, which didn’t get a proper aspect release until the recent Blu-ray release. The 18:9 framing didn’t do Apocalypse Now any favours, so I was glad to see it returned to its correct width. The idea with Univisium was to create a format that was comfortable on the eyes and wouldn’t suffer greatly being cropped to 4:3 for television.

As for people’s remarks about STC being released with half the vertical resolution of standard def, where does that leave the Star Trek Remastered project? Should I downgrade my Blu-ray player output? Should I make it higher resolution 25i or 29.97i because that’s how it went out in my relevant country. The reason for HD pixel density (lines are irrelevant here) is picture clarity and it’s silly to blurt out derogatory remarks about the picture quality being too nice and that being a reason for reframing. Incidentally, I streamed the feed from my iPad to my Smart TV setup at 720p (roughly 1K, so MJ’s desire for reduced quality is right there) and it looked lovely.

Like I say, 4:3 is about more height and not cropping the sides of a non-existent 16:9 image. People need to remove a limited view that their TV screen has to be 100 per cent filled. If a filmmaker wants to use the whole 1.77:1 space or part of it, that’s their choice. The web, in particular, makes aspect ratio irrelevant.

People should just be grateful for the lovely work STC has given them, rather than chomping at the fingers of the hand that feeds them, and having the temerity to believe that they might force the team (that gives them these shows for free) to change what they do to sate a vocal minority’s agenda.

Lifting my shield now in expectation of another salvo heading my way?

Take care folks! ;)

392. Chris Doohan - February 20, 2014

You may enjoy this comparison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuYAuyM_aNY&feature=youtu.be

393. Dom - February 20, 2014

392. Chris Doohan

Very cool! Shows how well you guys understand Star Trek. Vic’s got William Shatner’s movements down to a tee! I don’t know if Vic’s shorter than Mr Shatner or you’re a lot taller than than your dad though! ;)

The video reminds me of the comparison they did for the Psycho shower sequence in Hitchcock’s film and Gus Van Sant’s copy/remake/colourisation thingy, only without knives and random lightning flashes!!

394. Michael Hall - February 20, 2014

“I agree completely. This is just good ole fashioned horse-sense.”

Well, not really. TOS wasn’t filmed at a low resolution back in the Sixties; it just happened to be broadcast that way at the time. With new prints and some color correction/cleanup, it looks splendid in HD as-is. As for the CGI, once again I disagree that it looks more “modern” than the rest of the production (aside from the elimination of technical flaws like matte lines and excessive film grain, of course). It isn’t as close as Dennis Bailey’s or Daren Dochterman’s work to the original look of the TOS effects, but is arguably considerably more faithful overall than Trek Remastered.

People on both sides have made convincing arguments about the appropriateness of the 4:3 aspect ratio in STC, and of course there is ultimately no “right” answer as to which is preferable. What I still find puzzling is the emphasis some are placing on this issue, at the expense of things like story, casting, or even discussion involving the other technical elements of the show.

395. Dom - February 20, 2014

394. Michael Hall

Agreed. The reason I found myself sucked into the argument was a perplexity about why the use of 4:3 would upset people so much. As my original comments about the episode reflect, I loved it for the terrific story and performances which set it up above a number of actual TOS episodes.

I’ll happily take whatever STC release, no qualms.

396. Marja - February 20, 2014

YES PLEASE LET’S GET BACK TO DISCUSSING THE DRAMATIC ELEMENTS THANK YOU

whew.

397. K-7 - February 20, 2014

“Look at some of the inflammatory, derogatory remarks I’ve received regularly throughout this thread. People who, rather than address me directly, have dismissed me for not knowing what I’m talking about, but not saying what it is they think I’m mistaken on. People making abusive remarks about me in the third person to each other when I’m right here. People deliberately taking massive offence at asides with the sole purpose of distracting me from the point I’m making, so I’m supposed to be forced on the defensive and they can get a power rush from making me apologise for a snarky remark because I’ve argued back about aspect ratios from a point of view of knowledge. Shame on me? Shame on some of you for reducing the discussion to the level of a school playground.”

So you don’t like people’s general behavior and tactics here, so you are thus allowed to accuse them of essentially making a threat to cause physical murder of others by them?

Wow! Baby got his feelings hurt by his big sister when playing out in the yard, so now he is going to falsely claim that to his parents that his sister was actually trying to physically murder him.

You are a true scumbag, Dom. The lowest of the low here.

I’ll repeat, it is inexcusable for your to accuse people you disagree with, who perhaps mildly slighted you in discourse here, of planning to issue threats to murder other people on this site. You owe the entire community here an apology.

398. K-7 - February 20, 2014

Chris Doohan,

I would urge you not to respond or engage with Dom here. He has come out and projected that the people disagreeing him on this minor aspect ratio discussion are soon going to me making threats of murder against others posting here. Dom is obviously unstable.

399. Cygnus-X1 - February 20, 2014

392. Chris Doohan – February 20, 2014

Thanks for the link!

Like I said, remarkably faithful to TOS.

400. Cygnus-X1 - February 20, 2014

391. Dom – February 20, 2014

Dom, don’t get sucked into an ad hominem tit-for-tat by those guys. They’ll just go on like that forever. It’s what they do.

396. Marja – February 20, 2014

Yes…another aspect of it that I especially liked was the scene right after the opening credits, where Lolani pulls a knife on Kirk. The reaction shot, the way that Kirk, Spock et al recoil at the same time, and Kirk’s line, “It’s always best not to stab your friends!” serve to replicate that TOS sense of humor that was both grim and lighthearted at once, and the timing when they all jump back is spot-on.

401. Dom - February 20, 2014

397. K-7 and whoever else you call yourself

I never, ever made such an accusation.

You’re welcome to throw around whatever high-falutin remarks and moral grandstanding you choose because you lost the argument and it irks you. It hurts that you were so very wrong, that you can’t see the possibilities beyond a 1920×1080 rectangular shape.

I didn’t want to be sucked into this nonsensical argument. I just came here because I liked the episodes and wanted to thank the people who made them. I came here making no demands of them, no blackmail of ‘I’ll give you 50 bucks if you’ll shoot your show the way I say.’

I’ve been on this site from day one, I’ve had terrific discussions with tremendous people and there have been terrific times. Perhaps you read passion into my words where there is none. Perhaps you take seriously words said tongue in cheek. Perhaps you took serious words as a joke. The lack of edit function and emoticons has long been a problem here. It’s very much a case of ‘hit send and damnation awaits.’ I will happily throw myself at the feet of the moderators and submit to their judgement. I have always respected Matt and Anthony and, when lines have been overstepped, I have apologised.

My remark was the mildly hyperbolic: ‘People who honestly think throwing out threats to Kickstarter campaigns and, given the psychosis common to ‘avid fans,’ probably death threats next, need to take a chill pill and learn something about TV and film. Try Film Art: An Introduction on Amazon. I doubt STC is losing many viewers because of its excellent 4:3 composition anyway.’

The fact that you took that to mean you implies that I must have hit a raw nerve and that you really think that way, because I never named you and the word ‘probably’ clearly doesn’t mean ‘will.’ You’re just looking for a way to grandstand and I won’t use words such as ‘scumbag’ to describe you. Growing a thicker skin and learning to be a grown up is, however, something I’d recommend.

You can’t bully me: I’ve been here longer than you and I’ll still be here when you’ve got bored and decided it’s more fun to hang out on Peppa Pig sites.

Now can we please move back to the episode rather than obsess over a technical detail that is the choice of the filmmakers who were kind enough to give us these films? By derailing this thread into demands that they shoot the episode differently is disrespectful to all the artists involved and I’ve wasted far too much time and energy discussing something you and a few others others (whom I suspect are the same person under different names) have clearly already made up your minds about and from which you will never be dissuaded.

402. Dom - February 20, 2014

400. Cygnus-X1

You’re right. I’ll stick to the episodes and filter out the ambient noise. :)

403. Disinvited - February 20, 2014

#367. MJ – February 19, 2014

Your resolution facts are uncoordinated.

The original series was filmed on 35mm film. JJ used to 35mm film his 2009 opus. And it was distributed for television exhibition on FILM.

Now if your argument is that the majority viewed the series on inferior display equipment that’s one point to make. BUT, you are forgetting this was/is STAR TREK and television wasn’t the only device by which fans got to watch it in the 70s. Many conventions of the era presented marathons of these episodes’ as projected FILMS. I know for certain as I was there watching them. I will never forget my first experience realizing how good an episode of ST could look even viewing a well worn 16mm print copy of those 35mm masters at such dimensions I could only imagine when watching it on tv.

Also, if I recall correctly the first episode ever shown to the “public” was a projected film presentation of an episode at a Science Fiction convention before NBC aired anything.

404. Red Dead Ryan - February 20, 2014

Dom, you are out of line here and we all know it. We were all having a civil discussion here until you accused those of us who disagree with you of intending to commit acts of violence. Now you insist that we’re too dumb to get the joke and now you are playing the victim card.

No, you’re the bully, and you meant what you said. You’re a liar, and you have no credibility here whatsoever.

We didn’t make this personal…..you did, when you deliberately — and in all seriousness — accused some of us of intending to commit physical acts of harm against the STC crew.

Cygnus, well, at least we know that you’re sticking to your double-standard code of conduct here. :-)

405. MJ - February 20, 2014

@ 401 / Dom

Dom, I appreciate your explanation. Obviously though, using those words “death threat” though really disturbed a lot of people here who see that as way out of bounds, regardless of how it was intended by you.

For my part, if you just posted here, “Sorry for my bad choice of words,” then I am fine to move one. No harm done.

I was actually enjoying the back and forth discussion with you on the aspect ratio thing until you inserted that strange and incendiary comment.

406. MJ - February 20, 2014

@403

“Your resolution facts are uncoordinated. The original series was filmed on 35mm film. JJ used to 35mm film his 2009 opus. And it was distributed for television exhibition on FILM.”

This is simply false. I challenge you to show where I ever here made the claim that Trek was not show and distributed on 35mm film?

The goal of the production of STC is to show us how a Star Trek episodes would have looked to a viewer in an imaginary 4th season that would have taken place between September 1969 and May 1970. Thus, to “go all the way” with this approach to make this as authentic looking as possible, the video viewed of these episodes needs to include:

1. Sets and Actors looking like they did to a TV viewer in 69-70 (i.e. no holodecks)

2. Special Effects looking like they did to a TV viewer in 69-70 (CGI must be made to look like late 60′s special effects)

3. Sounds sounding like they did to a TV viewer in 69-70

4. Viewer experience consistent with a TV viewer watching in 69-70 (derived from this would be 4:3 aspect ration and 480i resolution)

This is what would be required to give the viewer of STC the true effect of watching this as if they were in their living room in September 1970, joyously watching the premier of Star Trek Season 4.

407. Andorian - February 20, 2014

Dave H, MJ, Read Dead Ryan,

This ridiculous going on and on over the aspect ratio is getting truly boring. We get it — you’d prefer widescreen. Now please go away and shut up.

Dom,

That was one of the most awful personal attacks that I have ever seen in the internet. Clean up your act.

Cygnus X-1,

Can you possibly be any more obvious that the sole point of your recent posts here has been to score points against MJ and Red Dead Ryan?

408. Disinvited - February 20, 2014

#406. MJ – February 20, 2014

I was attributing your low resolution insistence to Treknesia and simply trying to remind you.

I was simply confounded by the fact that you would restrict syndicated Trek resolution to the low resolution of the US when it was a world-wide phenomenon and the rest of the world wasn’t so limited. They even had superior audio.

409. Cygnus-X1 - February 20, 2014

407. Andorian – February 20, 2014

Don’t know what you’re on about, and don’t care.

Moving back to Lolani…

410. Disinvited - February 20, 2014

#408. Disinvited – February 20, 2014

I reread your 406 and Ii think I understand your position better. Thanks for explaining,

I’m still a little confused about whether the imaginary “4th” should be considered a syndicated or network series.

411. MJ - February 20, 2014

@408

“I was simply confounded by the fact that you would restrict syndicated Trek resolution to the low resolution of the US when it was a world-wide phenomenon and the rest of the world wasn’t so limited. They even had superior audio.”

Good point. But here, if they are going to provide outputs of it in different resolutions and aspects ratios to cover the world as you suggest, then why not just provide an additional output in HD widescreen as well. Still don’t get the big deal on this completely artificial constraint?

412. Disinvited - February 20, 2014

#406. MJ – February 20, 2014

But if we are imagining a “4th” season why not imagine a highly successful one without a lot of those restrictions and allowed to ramp up a la THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.with its eye to international exhibition? Instead of restricting it to the worst or average production values of the era couldn’t you open your aperture a smidge to permit the best that was achieved by a TV production of that time frame.?

Hmmm…and after STC released an ep at 480i for a year would you be amenable to them upping the res 20% for international “syndication”, and the year after that…etc. until we reached your STC the reimagined widescreen converted edition? ;-)

413. B Kramer 4:3 - February 20, 2014

Dom,

Excellent points.

Don’t let the king of the trolls & puppets nonsense effect you.

The guy obviously has problems: posting the exact same statements as a multitude of people in such an anal retentive, childish, illogical, see through manner.

LLAP

414. Andorian - February 20, 2014

Then why did you respond to me?….let me guess, because your bloated ego demanded it?

Dom, MJ, Red Dead, Ryan…these guys all had the fortitude to actually not respond to me…they didn’t need to self gratify themselves like you did.

If you are not going to respond, then simply don’t respond. No need to half-ass it, as it makes you look unsure of yourself.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

409. Cygnus-X1 – February 20, 2014
407. Andorian – February 20, 2014

Don’t know what you’re on about, and don’t care.

415. feenix219 - February 20, 2014

GOTO 388

REPEAT

*bangs head into brick wall*

416. K-7 - February 20, 2014

“*bangs head into brick wall*

Actually the aspect ratio of brinks is about 3:1. Square bricks and short rectangular bricks don’t work very well in construction.

Common theme here.

417. K-7 - February 20, 2014

@413

LOL

Yea, Cygnus likes to read his own posts here way too much.

418. K-7 - February 20, 2014

@405

“Dom, I appreciate your explanation. Obviously though, using those words “death threat” though really disturbed a lot of people here who see that as way out of bounds, regardless of how it was intended by you. For my part, if you just posted here, “Sorry for my bad choice of words,” then I am fine to move one. No harm done.”

Yea, I agree with that. A very simple bit of even slight contrition from Dom would be welcome here given that awful insult of his.

But my bet is that Dom remains unapologetic, and that we will get more of the same from him in the future. Remember his “cupid stunt” insults a couple of months back. This is how Dom rolls.

419. Dave H - February 20, 2014

Still waiting for a legitimate apology from Dom………..

420. Jonboc - February 20, 2014

“awful insult.”….really K-7. Lol I swear, nothing personal, but sometimes…not all the time…but sometimes you , MJ , Red Dead are so full of horse-hockey with your tit-for-tats, it makes me laugh. This site is pretty much dead, and I rarely stop in any more… but some things never change!

And for what it’s worth, saw and spoke with Karl Urban recently at a con and he said they were filming this year. Which we all knew anyway, but what a nice guy…he’s truly a Trek fan, and a quick wit.

421. Ensign RedShirt - February 20, 2014

Ah. I see that the Sock Puppet Brigade is out in full force.

422. Marja - February 20, 2014

EVERYBODY JUST APOLOGIZE TO EVERYBODY ELSE RIGHT NOW!

Don’t make Matt have to come in here.

Criminey.

423. K-7 - February 20, 2014

#420

Claiming that people you disagree with are about to to start making “death threats” here — yes, that is an “awful insult.”

#421

Yes, you are in force here.

424. Red Dead Ryan - February 20, 2014

I like how folks like Jonboc and Ensign RedShirt/B Kramer 4:3 jump in and attack without bothering to check the facts beforehand…..not. :-(

As for an apology for Dom……don’t count on it. As long as his gang continues to defend him and his behaviour, he’ll just go into hiding until we finally move on and forget about this.

Except we won’t forget this anytime soon. Dom and his cohorts can count on that!

425. MJ - February 20, 2014

RDR,

Yea, you know, sometimes Jonboc makes some valid observations when things get out of hand here — and in those cases, he has been right when we have got a bit carried away here. But this is not one of those cases.

Accusing people who simply disagree with you over a nerdy technical discussion on video formats of “getting ready to make death threats” is one of the worst personal attacks that I have ever seen on the Internet.

426. Odkin - February 20, 2014

Dom – don’t apologize. You’ve just stirred up a hornet’s nest of bitter losers (and their multiple sockpuppets) who are looking to be offended.

427. K-7 - February 20, 2014

@426

Wow, only 3 posts after “Ensign Red Shirt”, “Odkin” makes the sock-puppet charge. Can anyone spell “coincidence” LOL

Same old thing here folks — this gang of trouble-making sockpuppets (really just one person who does this every few months) starts off with their PREMPTIVE STRIKE accusations of accusing others of being sockpuppets.

We’ve all seen the movie before….what a loser this person is.

428. DiscoSpock - February 20, 2014

I haven’t seen Odkin post in a long time. Kind of interesting that he suddenly shows up right exactly after Dom disappears to avoid taking responsibility?

And not only does Odkin suddenly show up now, but he conveniently absolves Dom of all sins.

How fortunate and unexpected that Odkin coincidentally decided to show up right here, right now.

429. K-7 - February 20, 2014

Disco,

Here’s betting that #421 and #426 are both Dom; and who knows who Dom is or was on this site, historically speaking. One strange puppy, that is for sure.

And this preemptive thing where this guy starts off by accusing others of being sock-puppets is getting to be really tiring.

430. Odkin - February 21, 2014

Wow, you people are insane. I have no idea who Dom is, I have posted multiple previous times in this thread and in the one that was deleted.

I urge the mods to review IP logs, validate that I am not “Dom” and then give K-7 “and” DiscoSpock a short window of time to apologize or be banned. “Their” BS and abuse in this thread is intolerable.

431. wtriker1701 - February 21, 2014

I’d say: an artistic choice, also regarding aspect ratio, is an artistic choice. No one has to love nor like it. But it obviously doesn’t take away from the success STC has with it’s outings. And it’s good that way.

I respect their choice and frankly, I love it. It isn’t everybody’s cup of tea I understand. But I love it for what it is.

432. Captain Slow - February 21, 2014

This seems to be getting somewhat out of hand again. How will anyone be harmed by an aspect ratio?

I personally prefer an anamorphic aspect ratio of 2.35:1, but that wouldn’t suit a production like this. The 16×9 group say that they just want the producers to know that some people prefer it in widescreen. Well they must surely know by now.

The 4×3 group say that it shouldn’t be in widescreen because TOS wasn’t. I would agree with this. And yes, I know the effects don’t match but with work they could be better. Also, this was written in an early Trekmovie article on STC:

“There was even some discussion of trying to use models for the effects shots but this was too impractical”

So they did want to match the effects but weren’t able to, so you can’t really use that as an argument.

Now you can disagree with me all you want, but it won’t really change anything because we aren’t involved in the production and don’t have any credibility anyway. But here is a statement from someone who also isn’t involved but who has a lot more credibility than us:

“291. Mike Okuda – August 9, 2012

Very cool. Enjoyed this a lot! One of the great joys of fan films is that each production gets to make their own choices.

I enjoy Phase II’s use of 16×9 because I think the sets look really cool in widescreen and because it gives a modern look to their show. I like ST Continues’s use of 4×3 because it feels more like the original. It’s great that two different groups are each making different, but valid artistic choices. Why should either be limited to the other’s choices?”

433. Michael Hall - February 21, 2014

Hear, hear, Mike Okuda.

434. DiscoSpock - February 21, 2014

Hmm?

Why does it seem like every time I see you infrequently post, you are either being negative, “yelling” at someone, spouting politics, or being a general malcontent? Do you ever have anything positive to post here?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
430. Odkin – February 21, 2014
Wow, you people are insane. I have no idea who Dom is, I have posted multiple previous times in this thread and in the one that was deleted.

I urge the mods to review IP logs, validate that I am not “Dom” and then give K-7 “and” DiscoSpock a short window of time to apologize or be banned. “Their” BS and abuse in this thread is intolerable.

435. DiscoSpock - February 21, 2014

Dom, where did you go?????

436. B Kramer 4:3 - February 21, 2014

434 mj get some help pinocchio.

437. Marja - February 21, 2014

Guys, unless you’re trying to get the thread closed down, why not just move on. Name-calling is so tiresome.

438. feenix219 - February 21, 2014

If that is one of the worst personal attacks that you have ever seen on the internet, then you must not get out much, even on line. That is so incredibly tame its ridiculous. The internet / twitter creates death threats in all sorts of scenarios, from sports to politics to theatrics. Outrageous behavior by extreme fans of *anything* is completely *expected.* It was a mocking, exaggerated comment, but nowhere in there, were any death threats made. Is there a comprehension problem here, or a human relations one? Tunnel vision reigns supreme…. if anyone truly takes the comment as if it was personally directed at them personally, and is then so offended, because you know, we REALLY think one of the posters here is going to make a death threat… just wow.

439. Garak's Pride - February 21, 2014

@423

We should be glad then that Dom’s comments are about the worst it gets here. And the fact that this site is not nearly as bad as others would actually seem to be reinforced then by people here not accepting what apparently is acceptable on other sites.

So let’s keep on demanding better here of Dom and others everyone — feenix219 points out correctly what happens on other sites where people just fall into lax acceptance of much worse.

This pretty much validates how many people here simply won’t accept Dom’s comments.

Thanks feenix219.

440. Admiral Archer's Prize Beagle - February 21, 2014

I agree with Garak and feenix. The fact that people here will not accept behavior that is acceptable on some other sites is something we should cherish and support.

441. feenix219 - February 21, 2014

You are all ridiculous. Don’t twist what I’m saying. You’re not that stupid.

442. Marja - February 21, 2014

Just watched “Lolani” again

It’s still great!

443. B Kramer 4:3 - February 21, 2014

feenix , you are exactly right.

All those that are BS-ing about the so-called death threat nonsense are one and the same pathetic person.

Normal people don’t associate with such socially enept people who spend all their time doing such inane things in real life and have better things to do.

These kind of people think they are clever but are as dumb as they come in their pathological need to control and be the center of attention at all costs even if they destroy message boards.

LLAP

444. K-7 - February 21, 2014

@443

Like we are suppose to believe that you are a newbie who just coincidentally posted on Trekmovie.com for the first time today on this particular topic?

How stupid do you think we are, sockpuppet?

Come on, fess up on your regular identity here?

445. K-7 - February 21, 2014

The way I see it, Garak just used the same information you used to draw a positive conclusion on why people here on this site won’t accept some of the crap on other sites.

Why don’t you just shut the F up and go back to those gutter sites you seem so fond of — you seem very familiar with them and more comfortable with their human manure and pettiness.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

441. feenix219 – February 21, 2014
You are all ridiculous. Don’t twist what I’m saying. You’re not that stupid.

446. Odkin - February 21, 2014

OMG, this is hilarious. A bunch of social misfit internet tough guys.

Dom… don’t let the psychos bully you.

447. Odkin - February 21, 2014

OMG, this is hilarious. A bunch of social misfit internet tough guys.

Dom… don’t let the psychos bully you.

448. K-7 - February 21, 2014

We understood you the first time, Einstein.

And wow, another “spectacular coincidence” here that you show up immediately to reinforce this “B Kramer 4:3″ that has never posted on this site every before.

449. Andorian - February 21, 2014

You all deserve each other. K-7 should bed Dom, and Red Dead Ryan and Odkin should get a room. You are are way under-sexed. Feenix can watch.

450. feenix219 - February 22, 2014

Such hateful, judgemental, close minded bullshit from so called Trek fans. Wow. You know, there is a reason Star Trek fans are given such a bad name in many circles. I think I’m looking at the reason why….

GET A LIFE – William Shatner.

451. Andorian - February 22, 2014

Feenix,

And you fit right in, mate!

452. Dave H - February 22, 2014

@438 / feenix219:

“If that is one of the worst personal attacks that you have ever seen on the internet, then you must not get out much, even on line. That is so incredibly tame its ridiculous. The internet / twitter creates death threats in all sorts of scenarios, from sports to politics to theatrics. Outrageous behavior by extreme fans of *anything* is completely *expected.* ”

@450 / feenix219:

“Such hateful, judgemental, close minded bullshit from so called Trek fans. Wow. You know, there is a reason Star Trek fans are given such a bad name in many circles.”

Hmm? First you say not to pay attention to all the harsh language and fighting here because the rest of the internet is so much worse, but then you do a complete 180 and say how awful people are treating each other here?

I am thoroughly confused now about what you are trying to say given your complete 180 here from earlier? You said other sites were much worse and not to fret so much on people’s actions here, and now you say that people’s actions here are very bad? Which is it?

A recommendation for you: Just pick one of your viewpoints here and stick with it, and abandon the other viewpoint. That way we can understand better what exactly you are trying to convey?

So please go an “sharpen your pencil,” and return with a consistent and clear message.

453. feenix219 - February 22, 2014

You know what, I’ll never post here again. Hypocritical pieces of shit.

454. Red Dead Ryan - February 22, 2014

WOW!!!!

453.

Huh? I think you’re the hypocrite here pal. On two fronts. Firstly, as Dave H had just pointed out, you claimed that worse things were said on other sites, and yet, you do a complete 180 and tell us how badly some are behaving here.

Next, you start namecalling and insisting that we’re somehow “hypocritical pieces of sh!t”. You’re displaying the very same behaviour that you condemned earlier. WTF?????

I believe now that Dom is sitting back, alllowing his “thugs” (Odkin, B Kramer, feenix) to do his dirty work.

455. DiscoSpock - February 22, 2014

Cool ! As you told us all here, his is the way people post on other internet sites, so I am down with your”hip personal attacks” my man! We all need to start talking like you and Dom now — you two represent the new moral compass for this site!

(sarcasm)

==========================================
453. feenix219 – February 22, 2014
You know what, I’ll never post here again. Hypocritical pieces of shit.

456. Red Dead Ryan - February 22, 2014

It might be the last time feenix219 posts……under the name feenix219. No doubt he’s already picked a new disguise under which he can “discreetly” launch his attacks, hoping to to fool us into thinking he actually left for good.

457. murt - February 22, 2014

Wow – I love the lighting, direction, sets, and story – absolutely amazing replication of TOS.

My one slight critique would be the actors who play Kirk and Spock, but obviously it’s extremely difficult to completely capture what Shatner and Nimoy did.

Vic Mignogna is doing a great job of mimicking Shatner’s mannerisms and he physically looks a bit like Shatner did in the ’60s, except older, but he doesn’t have that fire/twinkle in his eyes that Shatner had. His Kirk reminds me more of Jeffrey Hunter’s Pike – more jaded and ‘been there done that,’ but less passionate.

For me, Chris Pine does a better job of capturing the essence of Kirk.

458. Captain Slow - February 22, 2014

Something that’s been bothering me lately about the character of McKennah is that in the TOS movies we see Rand, Chapel, and Kyle, but no McKennah. So how will this be explained in the series? Will she leave, die, or have a falling out with the crew? This is the problem with introducing new important characters into canon. The same with Phase II including a bunch of new characters.

My solution (which would probably annoy a bunch of people) would be to completely ignore everything made after TOS. So act as if TAS and the movies never happened. That way you won’t have to worry about canon conflicts.

459. Toothless Grishnar Cat - February 22, 2014

Looks like this article didn’t even need that Blue Thunder chap to turn into a crapfest. Waiting on Matt to close it.

460. Odkin - February 22, 2014

Hopefully after banning the rude and delusional lying misfits K-9 and BrainDead Ryan.

461. ThePencil - February 22, 2014

Ive got to say they have a fantastic job.
There are shots when i actually think Vic is Shatner.

CBS should pick this up, it would get plenty of ratings.

Also i saw their kirkstarter didnt raise as much as other Star Trek Themed ones, after watching the two episodes. I think people should look to back this next time.

Really good stuff.

462. Marja - February 22, 2014

Murt, Captain Slow and Pencil, Whew! Thanks for getting back to the reason for the thread.

Murt, I caught a little of a twinkle here and there, especially in the “no to the ‘no’” scene on the Bridge, where Lolani watches them try to deal with the question of sexual attraction between them. But you’re right, that Errol Flynn/Shatner quality isn’t quite there yet.

Captain Slow, McKennah could always be transferred to another ship, or to a space station to practice as a psychologist. The Enterprise isn’t a permanent duty station, unless your name is Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott, Uhura, Sulu or Chekov. Even Chapel transferred to Earth at some point.

Pencil, I agree on Mignogna. He has the posture and body language down to a T. Comparatively makes it hard for Haberkorn to come across as “authentic” Spock b/c he’s not “doing a perfect Nimoy.” Todd H. is, however, growing into the character of Spock, much better this time. As for Larry Nemecek, he’s a Trek expert and god bless him. ;-)

463. MJ - February 22, 2014

Odkin,

Everyone else is moving on. Just drop it now, please.

464. MJ - February 22, 2014

@461

Yea, Vic really channeled Kirk-Shatner extremely well in this episode. As I said originally, this is the best fan actor portrayal of Kirk ever.

Chris Doohan is promising a killer script for the next one, so I am psyched. The story on this one was a little weak.

465. Marja - February 22, 2014

464 MJ, Others more discerning than I have pointed out some weaknesses, and I noticed a few myself, but overall, the story seems like classic Trek to me, TOS that is. I actually watched the episode a second time and enjoyed it again. The music was very well done, I thought, adding a lot of emotion in the right places. And at the end of the first viewing I was actually a bit teary! That says a lot, it hit the right emotional and story beats to “qualify” as a close-to-TOS episode.

I know you’re a bit of a music maven yourself, MJ; what did you think, and how much “original” music did you notice? Mignogna’s original music must have either blended in extremely well, or been only a very little part of the soundtrack.

466. MJ - February 22, 2014

@465

Yea Marja, the music was great and fit in with TOS perfectly. In fact, all of the production values of the dramatic scenes were great.

467. reni - February 23, 2014

STC announced on their twitter that Chuck Huber, the actor who was in the vignettes, would be playing McCoy in the next episode.

468. Dunsel Report - February 23, 2014

Pretty great production but Vignola’s Kirk leaves me cold. He captures a lot of Kirk’s mannerisms but not his likability.

469. MJ - February 23, 2014

One other pet peeve — can we stop bringing in “geratrics” now for the fan productions going forward. They just distract me from the story…that frail and unconvincing Apollo was the worst version of this tendency.

470. Cygnus-X1 - February 23, 2014

Michael Forest and Diana Hale turned in compelling and touching performances in Pilgrim of Eternity.

471. MJ - February 23, 2014

@470.

Oh please. It was painful, awkward and distracting to watch that poor guy.

472. Yanks - February 23, 2014

I’ve enjoyed both the episodes from this group.

473. Red Dead Ryan - February 23, 2014

It doesn’t do fan productions any favors when the producers continually bring back eighty-year old actors to reprise a guest role from almost fifty years ago. Michael Forrest clearly struggled in the fan flick. It was painful to watch.

474. Michael Hall - February 23, 2014

“Michael Forest and Diana Hale turned in compelling and touching performances in Pilgrim of Eternity.”

For the most part, I agree. (And I’m not even much of a fan of “Who Mourns for Adonais?”)

Thanks to the posters who pulled this thread back from the abyss. On a related topic, the premiere of the Phase 2 episode “The Holiest Thing” should be happening any time now. It will mark the first appearance of Brian Gross as Kirk, and the refit of the Enterprise into its “updated” pre-TMP configuration. With the aesthetics of the two major TOS fan productions increasingly diverging, it should make an interesting comparison/contrast to “Lolani.”

475. Cygnus-X1 - February 23, 2014

474. Michael Hall – February 23, 2014

Thanks for the update. Excited to see what they come up with this time.

476. Cygnus-X1 - February 24, 2014

The one question that I have regarding Michael Forest’s performance concerns his hair alternating between no wig, then wig, then no wig, then wig again. Not a huge deal, but a minor mystery. Apparently they shot the scenes out of order and either decided mid-shoot to have him wear a wig, or they’d started with him wearing a wig and something happened to it.

477. Dr Beckett - February 24, 2014

@ 476. Cygnus-X1

Re: The Wig – I thought this was part of the story; the hair signified him ‘de-aging’ whenever he received attention\adoration, and no hair when the opposite happened. The closing shot showed Apollo as being much more younger, implying that he spent a year on the planet doing good deeds, hence alot more adoration and gratitude.

Then again, I could have been seeing the hair\no hair issue as I wanted to and like you said, this was very likely a production gaffe :)

478. Chris Doohan - February 24, 2014

461 thepencil.

Give us a vote. :)

http://www.sliceofscifi.com/2014/02/23/which-of-these-star-trek-fan-production-should-paramount-pick-up/

479. Cygnus-X1 - February 24, 2014

477. Dr Beckett – February 24, 2014

You’re right. And at the very end of the episode, Apollo’s hair has turned dark from the energy that he’s received via self-sacrifice. I remember catching that the first time around, but somehow I didn’t make the connection with the white wig. I actually enjoyed watching this episode even more the second time. It feels like I’m watching TOS, especially now that I’ve gotten used to the new actors and their mannerisms.

Also, the FX look quite good as they are—modest, yet aesthetically pleasing and effective. I don’t see any reason to make the FX look worse for the sake of conformity with TOS. They do well to capture and replicate the best attributes of TOS while also improving upon the obvious shortcomings of TOS. They wouldn’t, for example, write intentionally bad episodes for the sake of conforming with TOS.

480. Cygnus-X1 - February 24, 2014

478. Chris Doohan – February 24, 2014

I gave you a vote!

481. Marja - February 24, 2014

468 Dunsel, Mignogna definitely captured most of Kirk’s personality as well. Lolani was a pretty serious episode. I saw a trace of that old humor in his scene on the bridge with Dr McKennah, but yeah, I’d like to see more of that spark of Kirk humor. Or should I say Shatner humor?

479 Cygnus, and thank God for that, TOS had more than their share of bad episodes, especially in 3rd Season, alas. The writing of Kirk really suffered, and he became a bit of a caricature.

In “Lolani” the Kirk character has more soul and seriousness and much less caricature. I think Mignogna has set himself a large task and must walk a fine line to avoid “parody” and hew to authenticity.

What do others think about this?

482. Jeff C. - February 24, 2014

478. Chris. Glad to give you all at STC a vote. Phase 2 has a slight 3 % lead. Hopefully anyone with some clout who could make something like this happen would factor in the short time STC has been around when considering the numbers. After an episode or two more I have a feeling this vote if redone won’t be close. You folks are making your mark in Trek lore and I am excited what the future might bring in many different areas – especially a tv series. Thanks for being involved. Jeff C.

483. Jeff C. - February 24, 2014

467. Nothing against Nemecek, but that is a good move. In order for this series to grow and continue to succeed it will need a strong McCoy. The big 3 carried TOS and the subsequent movies.

484. Jeff C. - February 24, 2014

What STC has done is bring the feel and look of TOS back for us to savor. It has also, just as important, gave us back the character we love as well as stories that ask a moral question. This almost seems too good to be true. :). Jeff C.

485. Jeff C. - February 24, 2014

484. I meant it has brought back the characters we love. Sorry. Thx Jeff C.

486. Jeff C. - February 24, 2014

Time travel… I pray that we see little if any episodes dealing with it in STC. With nu-Trek and Enterprise I have had enough of that to last me for years. Jeff C.

487. Marja - February 24, 2014

486 Jeff, I’m with you on the time travel, jeeze. Though I like the Alternate Timeline that established the Alternate Universe, I have no prob with that b/c it’s based on the Physics idea of “bubble” universes [I think], and I really like the new cast very much.

Time travel just comes with too many ridiculous paradoxes ….

DON’T DO IT STC PLEASE!

488. MJ - February 24, 2014

If the choice is between a time travel story with fresh guest actors/characters, or a different story that has more recycled geezers from the 60′s/70′s as guest stars, then by all means, bring on the time travel story.

489. Cygnus-X1 - February 24, 2014

481. Marja – February 24, 2014

In “Lolani” the Kirk character has more soul and seriousness and much less caricature. I think Mignogna has set himself a large task and must walk a fine line to avoid “parody” and hew to authenticity.

I think he’s at the beginning of the journey with the character. He’s improved markedly from the first vignette, to Pilgrim, to Lolani, and it seems like he’s going to continue progressing thus. I get the impression that they’re all starting to relax into their roles and are gradually zeroing in on their respective sweet spots. I see Vic as drawing influence from Shatner’s Kirk, but not copying everything about him. And I think that as Vic grows more and more comfortable in the role, his Kirk will become more distinctly Mignogna and less Shatner. Todd and Chris are well on their ways to carving out their own variations on Spock and Scotty as well. Dunno about Bones yet…we’ll see what happens in the next one.

490. MJ - February 24, 2014

@489

You have it completely backwards. The reason that Vic is so much better now is that he is doing a much better job of playing a Shat like Kirk, rather that playing a Vic-like Kirk. It was nearly like TOS Kirk in this great performance by him, whereas previously it was not as convincing a performance by him.

We certainly don’t want him regressing to play more a Vic Kirk now that he has really nailed a Kirk that looks nearly like Shat-Kirk in TOS. That would defeat the entire point of the effort here in this being as close as possible to a 69/70 Season 4.

491. Marja - February 25, 2014

488 MJ, I agree with you on the “recycled” old folk [being of a certain age myself, I refuse to say "geezer"]. I hope STC will avoid the temptation.

And also avoid the temptation of time travel eps and their attendant paradoxes.

492. Cygnus-X1 - February 25, 2014

490. MJ – February 24, 2014

It’s possible that Vic’s Kirk bending more toward Shatner is the best Kirk for him. It’s also possible that a third way will be best—not bending more toward Shatner, but neither reverting back to what it was early on. We’ll see in the next one which way he’s going with it. Each actor has to interpret his character and make choices about which motivations, emotions, gestures and so forth to accentuate. The actors have to carve out their own variations on their respective characters without, as someone said previously, seeming to parody them. The actors do appear to be staying within intentionally defined and delimited ranges, with the exception of McCoy who has been totally outside the box so far. It is a bit of a tightrope to walk, especially for Kirk.

493. Chris Doohan - February 25, 2014

Thanks for all your kind words on STC, we really appreciate it. The aformentioned Sci-Fi pulse poll is still active. Although CBS would never pick up on one of these, it’s still fun to vote.

Here it is again.

http://www.sliceofscifi.com/2014/02/23/which-of-these-star-trek-fan-production-should-paramount-pick-up/

494. Michael Hall - February 25, 2014

“Although CBS would never pick up on one of these, it’s still fun to vote.”

Which is why I won’t vote, with all due respect to Mr. Doohan. Since the odds of CBS picking up any of these fan shows for regular production is about the same as a dark comet fragment igniting the next passing of the Olympic torch precisely on cue, such a poll is just another way of saying “which show do you like better?” Having crewed on Phase 2, I have no desire to play favorites, but simply to judge every episode on its own merits. Each show has now produced work of value, and I wish nothing but the best to both.

495. MJ - February 25, 2014

I gotta question,

Seeing how STIC is currently finishing a disappointing 3rd in this poll, is the religious-like adherence of the STC producers to that old 3:2 aspect ratio, that many people (especially younger fans) detest, limiting the audience for this great fan series?

I think it is.

My message to the STC Producers:

Why not just start a simple Kickstarter campaign to bring the aspect ratio up to modern standards. If its successful, you all get much need more money for the series; if it’s unsuccessful, then you can categorically say once and for all that this really is not an issue. You win either way.

496. Michael Hall - February 25, 2014

“Seeing how STIC is currently finishing a disappointing 3rd in this poll, is the religious-like adherence of the STC producers to that old 3:2 aspect ratio, that many people (especially younger fans) detest, limiting the audience for this great fan series?. . .I think it is.

Hmm. Maybe, but I took a quick read of all of the comments on that poll, and with the exception of a poster who mistakenly claimed that both productions shoot in widescreen, no a single one mentioned aspect ratio.

Again, there’s no right or wrong answer to the question of which format is aesthetically preferable. It’s just a matter of personal taste. But I think the question carries far less weight with most viewers than the really intense partisans on either side in this thread suppose.

497. Cygnus-X1 - February 25, 2014

I feel like I’ve suddenly been transported back in time to last week.

I would advise anyone who’s still interested in discussing the aspect ratio to simply scroll up and re-read what has already been said about it many times over.

498. B Kramer 4:3 - February 25, 2014

495 legion:

truly moronic

499. Disinvited - February 25, 2014

#495. MJ – February 25, 2014

The problem that I have with taking the aspect ratio as a serious exhibition issue is that most extremely profitable cinema of today have trouble maintaining one consistent one from start to finish as it is. Most blockbusters and wannabes throw their extremely wide aspect ratios out when they decide to amp up their action set pieces by employing IMAX film cameras with their extremely tall aspect ratios even more diametrically opposed to the film’s original wide one than the 4:3 that gives you such woe – AND people pay EXTRA to have their a/r changed thusly during the film’s course.

Then there are more subtler changes such as in, DISNEY’S ENCHANTED where it starts with one wide ratio for one “universe” and then switches to different wide one for the other.

To be fair to your position, there is one film that I find an a/r enigma: DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID. Why this film did not use the Academy ratio has always been a “mystery” to me.

500. helenofpeel - February 25, 2014

I’ve seen the poll folks are referencing. A 1% point difference, in an unscientific poll, by the way, is meaningless.

It simply means that fans have high regard for both Phase 2 and STC.

That sounds about right to me.

Talk about splitting hairs! Sheesh!

501. MJ - February 25, 2014

@499

Well, what you describe certainly didn’t hurt DVD/Blu-Ray sales of the Batman movies — the aspect rations in the last two Batman films actually shift during the movies. ;-)

502. Ensign RedShirt - February 25, 2014

MJ -

Just can’t let it go, huh?

What would raising money on Kickstarter do? It’s not a financial consideration; simply an artistic choice. It literally costs nothing extra to shoot in 4:3. You simply matte the viewfinder for proper framing and then you add a 4:3 matte in post. Any NLE system can do it. It’s not a big deal.

Why on earth would you need a Kickstarter?

503. MJ - February 25, 2014

What’s with all the people here who are not involved in the production of STC, feeling a visceral need to reject the aspect ratio message I posted to the producers of STC.

That message is for the producers of STC — not you naysayer clowns who simply like to bitch constantly about everything on this site (Michael Hall excepted, as I appreciate his informed comments).

Anybody here every seen Ensign Red Shirt ever post any think other than arguing/bitching about stuff here? By comparison, the guy makes the Grinch seem like a positive and friendly dude.

504. Ensign RedShirt - February 25, 2014

MJ -

Nice try. I did not bitch at all. Simply tried to correct you on a technical subject you clearly know nothing about.

You have insisted more than once that starting a Kickstarter is necessary in order to finance a different aspect ratio. It requires nothing of the sort. It’s a simple matting decision made during production. That’s it. The STC crew will tell you the same thing.

505. Jeff C. - February 25, 2014

493. Hi Chris. Could you give us some insight in to why CBS would never pick up a fan made series? I am assuming because that would rub many of the “professionals” the wrong way, but is there more to it than that ? I may be looking for a smiggin of hope, but I am hoping/wishing that if a fan series were to get enough views and have a big following they perhaps might try something unconventional. Could you give us some insight in to how the networks work/think? Thanks Jeff C.

506. MJ - February 25, 2014

@504

I never claimed that the funding from this Kickstarter request would provide money needed to technical changes to provide a widescreen version. The purpose of my Kickstarter idea is for the producers to tap into a new revenue stream — from potential STC fans who are kind of luke-warm right now to STC due to the antiquated aspect ratio.

I’ll say it again here, I think such a Kikstarter campaign to encourage a widescreen aspect ration for STC would easily make $10,000. I have already committed to donate $50, and a couple other posters said they would post as well. If you have several regulars here in this limited set of fans on Trekmovie.com who are willing to support this financially, then one could certainly extrapolate that 100′s of fans “out there” would likely be willing to fund this as well.

507. Disinvited - February 25, 2014

#501. MJ – February 25, 2014

I know. That’s why I brought it up. To my mind, it argues against your reasoning that there are a significant number of consumers actively opposed to products containing aspect ratios that extremely diverge from their home wide screen one.

However, I also take the fact that DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID is widescreen while mostly drawing on Academy Ratio material as evidence that there may be some Hollywood marketing school of thought, that may support you in some way, that, as yet, hasn’t been articulated.

508. MJ - February 25, 2014

@507

No, actually the Batman movies prove my point. While they do switch back between 2.35 to 1 and 1:77 to 1, they panned the IMAX 3:2 portions to 1:77 to 1 because they realized it would be unacceptable for a modern audience to show those movies in 3:2 aspect ratio…exactly as I have been saying here.

I will note here that many of you want to keep going on and on with this issue. I was simply providing a message to the producers of STC. I am not really getting why so many people here are so scared of my Kickstarter idea for widescreen STC, and why you keep wanting to repeat all of the discussions again on this topic?

509. MJ - February 25, 2014

correction: above, I meant “4:3″ not “3:2″

510. Disinvited - February 26, 2014

#509. MJ – February 25, 2014

Actually, the IMAX sequences we were referencing are 1.44:1

511. Cygnus-X1 - February 26, 2014

502. Ensign RedShirt – February 25, 2014

It is kind of amazing. The guy just doesn’t get it.

512. Chris Doohan - February 26, 2014

495 MJ

Unlike other shows, STC did not directly ask people to vote on that poll. Renegades asked their Kickstarter donors to vote (I’m a donor, so I got that email). We will not do that.

As far as the aspect ratio, the producers have no intention of changing the ratio, even if they had enough money. Hope that puts that to rest. :)

513. Chris Doohan - February 26, 2014

505 Jeff C.

It’s just a gut feeling. I think they want to keep the movies going (as long as they’re making money) as long as they can. Putting another variation of Star Trek on network TV may interfere with the considerable money stream that these movies provide.

That being said, I think this is a great opportunity for CBS/Paramount to team up and release a web-series or two on Netflix, etc. Being that these episodes are already in production and are relatively cheap to make, it seems like a no brainer. At this point, they think these web-series are in the no harm zone, so why not capitalize on them if they’re already out there for public consumption.

514. Cygnus-X1 - February 26, 2014

513. Chris Doohan – February 26, 2014

That being said, I think this is a great opportunity for CBS/Paramount to team up and release a web-series or two on Netflix, etc.

Yes!

Another added advantage to a Netflix series—at least, this is the impression that I get—is that it would have more freedom to be done as the producers want, and be under less pressure to be tailored to a mainstream audience such as on network TV. Have I got this right, or am I seeing it too rosy?

515. Jeff C. - February 26, 2014

513. Chris. Sounds …pardon the word… logical. Lol! Is there any possibility you may have a chance to direct or write an episode?
I would love to see STC get on Netflix or perhaps we can hope that CBS decides to get ambitious and go the CSI or Law and Order route and squeeze as much out of the Star Trek franchise as they can. If they were to do that maybe we could see you folks on tv even with the movies being made. It worked before with all the ST tv series and movies being made simultaneously in the 80s and 90s. I can’t help, but be optimistic. You guys have something special going with this. Thanks Jeff C.

516. Jeff C. - February 26, 2014

513. Chris. Despite the odds outside of watching the episodes, giving money to the kick start campaigns, and participating in polls what can we as fans do to help STC get on CBS? Thx Jeff C.

517. Marja - February 26, 2014

I can see STC in rotation with some other new Trek shows in a Neflix incarnation ….

518. Captain Slow - February 27, 2014

MJ and others, I have a question I’d like to ask, but please lets not turn this into an argument. You’ve said that you would pay STC 50 dollars to change the aspect ratio because you hate 4:3. But you’ve also said that you think the story is mediocre. So why not donate money to hire an experienced sci-fi writer instead? I see that as a better use of money and it’s less likely to bring the wrath of CBS since it would be clear where the money is going.

519. Dan Ray Williams - February 27, 2014

I’d like to say, watching continues felt like the days I used to spend watching my brother’s VHS tapes of the old series.

I’d huddle in front of my TV and pop them into the VCR and just watch TOS all day, except the last episode which was in poor quality, I guess the tape was old.

But watching this brought back fond memories of those times. Vic I thought did a wonderful job as Kirk (admit it, Vic does a wonderful job no matter what he’s doing), he’s even got Shatner’s figure and semi-looks like Shatner did. His voice, yes, needs to get used to in this iconic role, but it did sound Shatner-esque.

Spock … is hit or miss. Scotty is wonderful as he sounds just like his father, which is a plus. Bones, well hit or miss as well. Was surprised to see Grant as Sulu but he pulled it off pretty well.

They need to keep up the wonderful work and if I was employed at the current time I’d definitely donate as much as I was able to make sure this series “Continues”

All in all, it felt like an TOS era episode and is truly something that I’m sure Gene himself would be proud of.

Also Lolani, call me. wink wink nudge nudge. ehh? ehhh? no … ok.

520. Marja - February 27, 2014

OK guys, I watched a ST:Phase II today, “Blood and Fire,” with James Cawley, an ep co-written by David Gerrold, and it was great. Cawley doesn’t “have Kirk down” the way Mignogna does, but the ep, for a fan production, is fine. Their McCoy is good, their Spock is too, although his facial expression often gives me the impression that he has very bad indigestion.

The SFX in the episode were great.

Did I notice the screen ratio? No. I noticed the scripting, acting, science fiction and characters. And I confess, I got a bit teary at the end, just as I did at the end of “Lolani.” Great job, guys, and I now officially take back what I said about not making it past the first five minutes.

521. Michael Hall - February 28, 2014

Marja,

My main problem with “Blood and Fire” is a lack of professionalism and credibility with regards to the character of Peter Kirk. I’m not sure if it was the way the role was written, David Gerrold’s limitations as a director, or Bobby Rice’s lack of experience as an actor (he’s since gotten much better in the part)–but however well-intentioned, the depiction of the central relationship in this show recalls the worst of TOS’ sexual stereotyping. If Gerrold wanted to make the case that a gay security officer could serve Stafleet ably without regards to his sexual orientation (and I don’t doubt that to be the case), the wailing and hair-pulling depicted in “Blood and Fire” in the midst of a crisis situation didn’t do him or the cause of equality any favors.

There are a number of things I do like about the episode. It’s well-produced, with a number of nice directorial touches; the devastating opening battle between the Enterprise and a Klingon cruiser is handled very well by both Gerrold and the FX team; and, as you say, the ending is quite moving. I just wish the tone and execution had been more consistent throughout.

Have you checked out “World Enough and Time” yet? Not to keep beating the same drum over and over, but I think it’s still the best Trek (of any series) fan film produced so far, and by quite a wide margin.

522. MJ - February 28, 2014

Can’t believe that it’s nearly a month later, the Phase II folks are still using the same old “snowy weather” excuse as to why their episode is still delayed?

I’ll give this to Vic — his STC operation seems better organized and punctual.

523. Cygnus-X1 - February 28, 2014

519. Dan Ray Williams – February 27, 2014

All in all, it felt like an TOS era episode and is truly something that I’m sure Gene himself would be proud of.

Hear, hear.

Also Lolani, call me. wink wink nudge nudge. ehh? ehhh? no … ok.

Yes…Lolani…

NOT BAD TO LOOK AT.

524. MJ - February 28, 2014

@522

We got the 13-year old bonor-boy humor the first time.

Dude, she died to try to free women on her planet.

525. Red Dead Ryan - February 28, 2014

Cygnus,

That statement about Lolani was incredibly inappropriate. You’re not 13 years old anymore, so quit with the “teenage boy has wet dream” “humor”.

Not to mention she had been physically abused and nearly raped in the episode. Lolani died for the goal of equal rights and respect for women.

I think you need to apologize to the women on this site.

526. Cygnus-X1 - February 28, 2014

Take it easy, Kickstarter.

527. Cygnus-X1 - February 28, 2014

520. Marja – February 27, 2014
521. Michael Hall – February 28, 2014

If Gerrold wanted to make the case that a gay security officer could serve Stafleet ably without regards to his sexual orientation (and I don’t doubt that to be the case), the wailing and hair-pulling depicted in “Blood and Fire” in the midst of a crisis situation didn’t do him or the cause of equality any favors.

I couldn’t agree more.

Additionally, I could have done without most of the affectionate sweet-nothings exchanged between the characters. The love dialogue was trite to the point of cringe-inducement, conveying no greater meaning about the relationship between the two boys beyond puppy-love. Ten minutes worth of that stuff, both in the bedroom scene and later on the Copernicus, could have been trimmed off and also thereby benefited the pacing of the episode.

the devastating opening battle between the Enterprise and a Klingon cruiser is handled very well by both Gerrold and the FX team

I agree. I also found the reveal of the blood worms very effective and compelling—the reveal scene was nicely set up, starting at the beginning of the story, with tension and mystery that pays off at the moment that the worms are revealed.

I found the acting solid throughout the episode. The Alex Freeman character earns his keep by his self-sacrifice at the end, but the Peter Kirk character remains annoying and whiny throughout the episode, which ends with one final scene of him being annoying and whiny, as though we hadn’t had enough of that. They could at least have ended with him showing personal growth, “manning up” and gaining maturity from the harrowing events that he’d just experienced.

The pacing in this episode was a bit better and more even than in World Enough, but it was still unnecessarily long. This two-parter would have been better with at least 30 minutes trimmed, and might have been best tightened to regular-episode-length (50-something minutes).

I found the negotiation bits with the Klingon captain not entirely convincing, as the enemy’s motive seemed ambivalent, vacillating too much between wanting to kill everyone and being patient enough to sit on the sidelines and let events play out, especially for a bellicose Klingon of that era. That whole negotiation with the Klingons could have been trimmed down as well.

I also found the logistics about the blood worms a bit convoluted. I felt like I needed a paper with definitions clarifying the distinctions and relationships between the many and sundry terms for the different forms/phases/stages of the creature—Regulan blood worms, plasmacytes, wavecles, particles, ancestral stage (after the catalytic reaction)…and whatever that sparkly flying thing at the end was supposed to be.

All in all, it was an impressive and enjoyable episode (excepting the love story part, which was annoying). The lagging pacing is the biggest issue that I’ve had with the with Phase II episodes that I’ve watched so far—World Enough, Blood & Fire, Kitumba. I respect the attempt to be thoughtful, contemplative and deliberate about the drama, but there’s just quite a bit of redundancy that could be trimmed without sacrificing thematic depth/impact/meaning or dramatic effect.

528. Odkin - February 28, 2014

MJ and RedDead, Still acting like fools.

“She died for equal rights!”. No, she didn’t die. She’s a damn actress, and one who trades professionally on her extreme beauty to get jobs and fans. Her name is Fiona VROOM, for crying out loud.

She’s a hot girl. It’s how she makes her living and Cygnus has every right to comment on it. You’re not her Daddy, and you’re not the Grand High Inquisitor of the liberal PC Thought Police. Get a job.

529. MJ - February 28, 2014

@527

Wow, another “incredible coincidence” that you just happen to show up here at this particular point in time to reinforce Cygnus.

LOL :-)))

530. MJ - February 28, 2014

The juvenile reaction to this character and actress is not unexpected here. Recall that I pointed out this very weakness with this story back on post @13 here — pointed out that the use of the hot girl was basically catering to the T&A interests of the Cygnus’s, Odkin’s and Dan’s of this site.

Looks like my post below was nearly clairvoyant.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
13. MJ – February 10, 2014
Vic is Kirk! Best Kirk performance in a fan production yet!

Story was mediocre though — seemed like an excuse to show a very attractive half-naked green woman. Kind of sexist as well.

531. Cygnus-X1 - February 28, 2014

One more note on the gay relationship in Blood & Fire…

(My last comment disappeared and might reappear after this one. This one might also disappear because of the buzzword, “gay.”)

…Contrast it with the relationship between Jack and Ennis in Brokeback Mountain, which was much more meaningfully written.

There was an “issue” about the relationship between Jack and Ennis, and a big issue at that. It wasn’t just two guys being attracted to each other, and the scenes showing their mutual attraction were tighter, more compelling and well-earned by their underlying implications. I get the impression that the director of Blood & Fire, David Gerrold, thought that merely the novelty of a gay relationship in a Star Trek story would be enough to impart meaning and significance—but, it isn’t. Ideally the relationship should be compelling and meaningful, both in and of itself, and in relation to the greater story, such that it’s almost irrelevant whether it’s a gay or straight relationship, which is how I felt about the relationship between Jack and Ennis in Brokeback Mountain, one of the best love stories ever told in film, in my opinion.

532. Cygnus-X1 - February 28, 2014

528. Odkin – February 28, 2014

I’m thinking about starting a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to raise money to try and pressure the producers of STC to make more episodes with Fiona Vroom. You in?

533. MJ - February 28, 2014

talking to yourself again, eh?

;-)

534. Odkin - February 28, 2014

Cygnus-
Sure! Let’s find a few more like her and put Mudd back in the wife smuggling business!

Meanwhile MJ and RedDead can meetup and re-watch “Blood and Fire” together.

535. Odkin - February 28, 2014

MJ – I enjoy your delusions because I know them to be false, and therefore they validate for me that everything else you say if full of shit as well.

536. Cygnus-X1 - March 1, 2014

532. Odkin – February 28, 2014

Actually, I’m going to demand nothing less than that Fiona Vroom be the lead in every episode from now on. And that the name of the series be changed to “Fiona Vroom & pals.” Pals should be lowercase in order to accentuate the importance of Fiona Vroom. Also the new title should be retroactively applied to both of the two existing episodes, even though Fiona Vroom isn’t in Pilgrim of Eternity. And the aspect ratio in all episodes henceforth shall adapt throughout each episode to the physical dimensions of Fiona Vroom. When she’s standing, the aspect ratio shall be vertically prominent, when she’s lying down, horizontally so, and when she’s sitting at her desk working diligently, the aspect ratio shall be more square-like. And the term “aspect ratio” henceforth shall be changed to “Fiona Vroom ratio.”

537. MJ - March 1, 2014

Reminds me of much the response that Christ, Ghandi and Einstein received in their early work. Thanks!!!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
533. Odkin – February 28, 2014
MJ – I enjoy your delusions because I know them to be false, and therefore they validate for me that everything else you say if full of shit as well.

538. MJ - March 1, 2014

Odkin and Cygnus,

It helps, my entertainment value to you to, to do view your two voices through the vehicle of Gollum for LOTR. Cyngus has the more honest and positive statements — he is Smeigel. Wherash, the negative oppressive Gollum is Odkin in this vision of mine.

Odkin: “We could let HER do it.”

LOL

539. Marja - March 1, 2014

521, Agreed, Peter Kirk did seem [both in character and in acting] a bit over-the-top, but I have to say I liked the portrayal of two gay, heroic characters. I’ll allow that Peter is very “young” [compared with his spouse-to-be, Freeman] and was over-emotional in the scene on the Bridge, but I loved when he told Freeman about his uncle’s response to his request to get married.

It was wonderful [in a way] to see the fire effect on the one nacelle in the beginning, and to see the nacelle come back on line later in the episode. The Klingons toward the end, however, beggared credibility.

The acting and the appearances of various of the actors is one of the reasons I usually use the caveat, “for a fan production …”.

I recalled, as I was watching this one, that I watched “To Serve All My Days” [The One With Chekov, as it might be called if it were a "Friends" ep] … I was moderately impressed, but the appearances of the original Trek actors is always somewhat discomfiting to me, even though that ep was pretty well written and performed. “World Enough and Time,” I hear, is The One With Sulu, and I also hear that Takei really gets to Emote in this one, so you may understand my hesitation ….

540. Marja - March 1, 2014

Y’know, I didn’t like the sexist remark by Dan Ray Williams nor the quotation of it by Cygnus, but I’m equally turned off by all the jousting, all y’all guys [including Odkin, MJ and RDR].

Your remarks AT one another just seem plain ol’ mean spirited. “Your fozzer was a ‘amster and your mozzer smelt of … elderberries!”

Come on, please let’s talk about Star Trek, not diss each other, okay?

Nicely and Gently Yours,
Marja

541. Odkin - March 1, 2014

Cygnus-
“Fiona Vroom ratio” – that’d be sort of hourglass-shaped, wouldn’t it?
Could we retroactively retitle New Voyages episode as well? “To Vroom All My Fionas” and “Fiona Enough and Vroom” seem fitting tributes.

We should be ashamed, after all according to K9 and BrainDead, she died for our sins!! Where is our respect for this martyr to the cause; this true humanitarian hero? Her sex appeal is completely irrelevant to her being cast as a half-naked pleasure slave! She deserves the same respect we’d show Susan B. Anthony or Harriet Tubman!

542. MJ - March 1, 2014

Too bad their is not an Orion Slave Girl pourn site for you guys to get your jollies off on.

543. MJ - March 1, 2014

“We should be ashamed, after all according to K9 and BrainDead, she died for our sins!! Where is our respect for this martyr to the cause; this true humanitarian hero? Her sex appeal is completely irrelevant to her being cast as a half-naked pleasure slave! She deserves the same respect we’d show Susan B. Anthony or Harriet Tubman!”

Again, I said way back in post @13 (repeated here below) that is a reason that I did not like this story. This story is partly for the lowest common denominator types of Trek fans — the Odkin’s Cygnus’s, Dan’s,” who are probably doing god knows what at their computers as they freeze-frame certain shots of Lolani from this episode. Eew!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
13. MJ – February 10, 2014
Vic is Kirk! Best Kirk performance in a fan production yet!

Story was mediocre though — seemed like an excuse to show a very attractive half-naked green woman. Kind of sexist as well.

544. MJ - March 1, 2014

“She deserves the same respect we’d show Susan B. Anthony or Harriet Tubman!”

Actually, she deserves more of our respect. Neither of those two women died for their cause.

545. Cygnus-X1 - March 1, 2014

539. Marja – March 1, 2014

Takei is good in World Enough—You should watch that one next.

Peter’s Shatner impression was kinda funny and ironic.

If I can endure women going on about how hot Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are, I’m sure that you can cope with me saying that Fiona Vroom is easy on the eyes.

546. Odkin - March 1, 2014

Just curious MJ. Do you self-identify as a “male” or “female”? And is that different from the way your chromosomes identify you?

547. MJ - March 1, 2014

@546. I am male. You’ll have to go to the internet to find photos of she-males, dude — I can’t help you with those fantasies.

548. Red Dead Ryan - March 1, 2014

Odkin + Cygnus,

Why don’t you guys find a shack somewhere where you can both drool over pourno together and not bother us with your creepy Orion slave girl lust?

549. MJ - March 1, 2014

RDR,

In the 23rd Century, you and I would be trying to help get Lolani out of slavery.

In contrast, some of the other people posting here would be more interested in being “paying customers.”

550. Red Dead Ryan - March 1, 2014

MJ,

Sad to say this — as the writers of this episode clearly had their hearts in the right place — but “Lolani” has ended up being nothing more than soft-core pourn to some here, when, in fact, it was actually about a woman standing up and fighting for respect and equality.

The message clearly has been ignored by Cygnus, Odkin, and probably a bunch of others as well. :-(

But I hope the writers learn from this as well. They need to be careful about sexualizing female characters. It was most likely unintentional, but this episode was mysogynistic in places.

551. B Kramer 4:3 - March 1, 2014

mj-puppet troll legion: whatever

Anyways, fellow real fans, “These are the Voyages Season 2″ excerpt The Writing of “Amok Time” is now available here:

http://www.thesearethevoyagesbooks.com/the-writing-of-ldquoamok-timerdquo.html

For those who are interested in ordering:

http://www.thesearethevoyagesbooks.com/

LLAP

552. Kara - March 1, 2014

Red Dead Ryan & MJ,

I wish we had more “modern men” like you guys in Trek fandom. Sadly, most guy Trek fans I have met over the years are the type that probably would rather use Lolani for their “needs” instead of helping her and doing the right thing.

553. MJ - March 1, 2014

Kara, thank you for the kind words.

On this earth, we are all human beings first, and males and females secondly.

Don’t let the juvenile boner-boy types here get to you.

554. MJ - March 1, 2014

Kara, thank you for the kind words.

I apologize on behalf of all male Trek fans for you having to see the juvenile and sexist remarks of some fans here on this topic.

On this earth, we are all human beings first, and males and females second.

555. Marja - March 1, 2014

545, Cygnus, While I do indeed find Quinto hot as blazes, I don’t often say so here in the board, b/c I’m sensitive to the heavy male presence here. I’m not so sure guys would appreciate it any more than I do their “horndog” references to females.

Plus, I feel it undermines my credibility as a commenter. As if, perhaps, I watch JJTrek only to feast my eyes on the male actors. And I don’t watch it only for that.

But, we’ll have to agree to disagree here, too. I’m not one who’s been making that sort of comment again and again. I think, all told, I’ve done it twice in all my time on TrekMovie.

556. Marja - March 1, 2014

And thanks, Cygnus, for the Phase II recommendation. I’ll check it out.

550 RDR, “But I hope the writers learn from this as well. They need to be careful about sexualizing female characters. It was most likely unintentional, but this episode was mysogynistic in places.” Well … then … they are truly following in the footsteps of certain TOS episodes.

In “The Cage” Vina’s intended use is made quite plain with her appearance to Pike as an Orion slave girl who dance de sexy dance.

There were a few TOS episodes that had women in leadership roles ["Enterprise Incident" for one], and there was always the steady presence of Uhura, but to some men on this board, Uhura was “no more than a glorified telephone operator.”

At the nadir end of the spectrum, we had Janice Lester in “Turnabout Intruder.”

Sexism, alas, was rampant in ’60s Trek. [I mean, just look at those women's uniforms, gad.]

557. Marja - March 1, 2014

addendum, this is not an effort to excuse Trek sexism [Trexism?] in any way. I don’t like the objectification of anyone at any time.

My remarks above are kind of a sad shrug, in acknowledgement of the nature of female presence in films appealing to young men, their appearance in videogames [36DDD with a 12-inch waist, anyone?] and so on.

A gay acquaintance recently remarked that he didn’t like the portrayal of gays in “Spamalot,” and while I agreed that they were stereotypical and over the top, I ignored the sexy dance costumes the all-female chorus wore. I’m regrettably and regretfully used to that sort of thing in theatre and movies and so on.

But I don’t like it in Trek, or from fans of Trek, and I speak up about it. One only has to review our threads from February 2013 after the LOOK UNDIES! shot of Carol Marcus. Cripes. Talk about sexism.

558. Red Dead Ryan - March 1, 2014

I think just because they’re continuing where TOS left off, doesn’t mean that the STC production needs to continue with the sexism, however unintentional. They hired a non-white Chekov this time, which would not have occurred under an official fourth season of TOS. So they have already proven to be more progressive on the racial equality front.

TOS had a lot of sexism, but that doesn’t mean STC has to follow suit even though everything else is based on the look and feel of the sixties show.

559. odkin - March 1, 2014

Reddead and Mj (same person)

TOS isn’t TNG .The men in TOSs time have not yet been neutered.

You enjoy your show where everybody wears their onesie jumpers. Let me enjoy my show where the men wear pants and the women wear skirts.

Amazing how you think infinite diversity means universal conformity.

560. Red Dead Ryan - March 1, 2014

#556.

“Reddead and Mj (same person)”

No, genius, we are not the same person.

And why don’t you try to come up with something substantial to say next time?

561. Cygnus-X1 - March 2, 2014

Fiona Vroom is gorgeous.

562. Kara - March 2, 2014

odkin,

It is a shame that so many male Star Trek fans today still feel the way you do.

I’ve been hit on at several conventions by slobbering Neanderthal types like you. It makes me sick to think about it.

563. Odkin - March 2, 2014

We’ll Kara, you know what they say… Dress for the job you want to have.

The fact is I’m not hitting on anyone. I’ve been married 30 years. I’m like your Dad engaging in a little healthy slut shaming. Don’t dress like one and expect to be viewed dispassionately. It’s not human nature and all the liberal wish think in the world won’t change that.

564. Red Dead Ryan - March 2, 2014

563. Odkin

The more you talk, the more you reveal your true self. What I see is someone who obviously thinks of women as sex objects and lashes out at others because he’s insecure about himself (and probably his manhood, too).

Fortunately, Kara, most male Trekkies aren’t like him. The mysogynistic ones tend to be the most loud, obnoxious and outfront about it. Hopefully you’ve met some good guys at conventions who respect and appreciate you as a person.

565. Matt Wright - March 2, 2014

@Odkin – time to move on, your mysogynistic junk won’t be tolerated.

566. TonyD - March 2, 2014

I finally got around to watching Lolani and Pilgrim of Eternity over the past few days and I have to hand to to the folks working on Star Trek Continues. They’ve really caught the vibe of the old show (at least during these first two episodes). While I like Phase II, they seem a little too flashy at times, trying too cram too much into each show. Star Trek Continues on the other hand nicely takes a more minimalist approach which is in keeping with the original show. The production values really harken back to TOS and while some of the actors may look a bit off, the acting is uniformly solid across the board.

As to the stories themselves, they are, again much like TOS, little morality plays on the challenges our world faces.

Really nicely done all around and I look forward to seeing what these folks come up with next.

567. MJ - March 2, 2014

Matt, thank you. Moderation was definitely needed here. Well said, sir.

568. MJ - March 2, 2014

Cygnus, you be well advised to pick better “associates” here from now on to back your viewpoints. The quality of the this latest backer of yours, was…how to put it delicately…somewhat lacking in goodness and integrity.

569. Cygnus-X1 - March 2, 2014

I haven’t picked any associates to back any viewpoints, Kickstarter.

570. Cygnus-X1 - March 2, 2014

I find Fiona Vroom to be very good looking. If people agree or don’t agree, they are free to say so. I suspect that her good looks were a factor in her getting the role. And by “suspect” I mean “am absolutely sure of.” She also did a good job with the role, as I have said.

People also free to make mean comments about female Trek actors whom they do not find easy on the eyes days—like your comment about Jolene Blalock, for example—though, in my opinion, if one is going to make a comment about the physical attractiveness of a person, it is much nicer for it to be a flattery than derision. I certainly would rather be told that I am good looking than…well, whatever it was that you said about Jolene Blalock, and I “suspect” that most people feel the same way. But, thank you for your concern. This was a very important issue to discuss and I think that we all learned something here today.

571. MJ - March 2, 2014

Whatever you say, “Green-Sugar”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
569. Cygnus-X1 – March 2, 2014
I haven’t picked any associates to back any viewpoints, Kickstarter.

572. Marja - March 2, 2014

It’s one thing to get a nod and an appreciative smile from a guy, indicating “you’re attractive and I might like to introduce myself;” it’s another thing for some guy to catch your eye, leer, and slowly lick his lips, or make some other crude sexual gesture.

Let’s try to stick with the first mode for Star Trek actresses and actors, okay?

sign me, “Sick of Sexism”

573. Cygnus-X1 - March 2, 2014

How about we just outlaw or do away with heterosexual men altogether. I’ve read several articles discussing how men have become obsolete in modern society anyway.

574. Cygnus-X1 - March 2, 2014

What confusing and turbulent times these are when a man is not allowed to remark that an actress is pretty.

Sign me, “Sick of feminist oppression.”

575. feenix219 - March 3, 2014

This board is the god damn thought police.

Opposing viewpoints need not apply.

576. MJ - March 3, 2014

@576

Yes, please don’t apply…go away troll…..

577. MJ - March 3, 2014

What a lame frat-boy-like pity party these poor, out of date, guys are having.

Oh, why can’t the world just be like “Mad Men” anymore. Those were the days when men were men and women were women….err, subservient girls.

LOL

578. B Kramer 4:3 - March 3, 2014

mj-destroyer of message boards

you really need to get a life

579. Red Dead Ryan - March 3, 2014

Well, gee — Feenix219 and B Kramer 4:3 have shown up once again to back up Cygnus X1 and his crude remarks. And one seems to quickly follow the other in bashing MJ.

Could this be any more obvious?

580. B Kramer 4:3 - March 3, 2014

579 mj

You’ve probably driven away everybody from yourself in real life too because of such ridiculous antics.

sad

581. Red Dead Ryan - March 3, 2014

580. B Kramer,

Hey moron, why don’t you post something substantive next time? Also, MJ is and I are seperate individuals.

If anyone could be accused of sockpuppeteering, its you and your kin feenix.

Also, the 4:3 format is now outdated, limited, and narrow. Do you also suffer from black and white vision? Maybe you should upgrade to 16:9 full-colour vision. It’s what most people currently use in the twenty-first century.

582. Cygnus-X1 - March 3, 2014

579. Red Dead Ryan – March 3, 2014

Like how you, MJ and the other three regularly show up to pile on?

As though it needs to be said (yet again), I don’t post under any other names.

The real issue is that you guys set out to gin up trouble here for your own purposes, which are not constructive, but destructive. I think that most people don’t take you seriously, with all of your frequent apology-demanding and other ridiculous antics. But, you do regularly misrepresent and mischaracterize what people say here just to have something to start trouble over.

And the more that one tries to correct and disabuse people of your misstatements, the more of them that you dish out, which is why I usually don’t bother any more…or even read your posts, frankly. As I said, I don’t think many people take you seriously, any way. But just as a reminder of what you’re doing, my initial remark that you have characterized as “crude” was:

“Not bad to look at.”

That’s pretty much the most understated way that one could possibly say that someone is good looking, without becoming irretrievably silly. And, obviously, it should go without saying—as should this entire topic—that I was paying a compliment to an actress whose performance I had already complimented, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of that.

So, I just wanted to point out what exactly it was that I said which you have set out to foment ill-will over in this latest effort of yours—and there are several such efforts by you lot each week.

And, Marja, I was not leering at your or anyone else. I said a nice thing (and rather reservedly so) about the physical appearance of an actress—that’s all. Physical appearances are real. Things being nice—that’s real too. Sometimes people look nice. Sometimes they look VERY nice. Sometimes people say that other people look nice. There’s nothing strange, degrading or unnatural about any of it. If men and women never thought that each other looked nice, our species might likely become extinct. Looking nice is also big business, incidentally. I can’t comment on your appearance obviously, but you seem like a nice person, and I would not want you to misconstrue—or be convinced by others to do so—a compliment paid to another person as being somehow disrespectful to you. There are no hidden implications, I swear. It was just straight-up flattery of another person. I hope I’m allowed to say all that. I’m not leering at the screen or drooling when I say it, I promise.

583. HarryMudd.com - March 3, 2014

That’s excellent news about Chuck Huber returning as Dr. McCoy in STAR TREK CONTINUES. In the vignettes, his portrayal ranged from impish to serious, and all while embodying the essence of the good doctor. His depth and empathy would have been welcome in STC’s first two episodes, as McCoy had direct contact with two vulnerable guest stars, and that could have made for some good scenes.

Michael Forest did a great job in PILGRIM OF ETERNITY and I was pleased to see him again. However, one misstep in the episode is that the use of the wig was inconsistent. It was clearly meant to demonstrate Apollo’s shifting energy level, with his hair falling out and then growing back as his energy level fell and rose. Unfortunately, when Apollo was at his weakest and needed help walking off the bridge, he had a full head of hair, but when he was next seen resting in Sickbay, and was confrontational with Kirk (demonstrating increased energy), he had inexplicably lost much of it. A way to resolve this would have been for Apollo’s hair to have begun vanishing while leaving the bridge, showing he was visibly deteriorating before our eyes.

Michele Specht is a good actress and doing a fine job as McKennah, who is an enjoyable and welcome new character (much as Chekov was for season two). Unfortunately, time on the screen is a zero-sum situation, whereby one character’s moments are often at the expense of others, so a bit of her screen time should have been trimmed and gone to a few of the other regulars. For example, it wouldn’t have taken much for Lolani’s visit to the Bridge to have included a special moment each with Uhura and Sulu, and doing so would have provided improved context for their reaction shots at the sad ending.

A missed opportunity in LOLANI, and which could have been done subtly, would have been to show the impact an Orion woman would have on some of the female crew members, not just the men — unless perhaps it was done so subtly that I missed it!

This turned out somewhat longer than I had intended. Given its length already, please allow me to simply note that we owe a debt of gratitude to the cast and crew of STC for their hard work and creative efforts. The same goes as well for those who labor on PHASE II, STARSHIP EXETER (thanks in advance for Act IV!), and many others, including newcomers, such as STARSHIP POTEMKIN. The latter’s most recent episode had two of the most shocking moments I’ve ever seen in all of Trekdom, and with a powerful ending.

Thanks to all! LLAP

584. MJ - March 3, 2014

How patthetic.

You guys lose the war of ideas, one of you goes “pssycho” on poor Kaara here in response, and Maatt has to step in. Then, banned Oddkin rolls his sok-pupppet goons out…..and now it’s all RDR’s and my fault?

What a mentally bankrupt collection of whining infanttile clowwns.

You are not a bad guy Cygnus, but you have attracted a cadre of thuugs to your side. Again, you’d bell advised to distance yourself from their remarks here.

585. MJ - March 3, 2014

“Like how you, MJ and the other three regularly show up to pile on?”

So then where are the other three on this current discussion?’

What are you crying about — it’s just been RDR and myself here for the last two days?

586. MJ - March 3, 2014

My goodness, what a big baby……

587. B Kramer 4:3 - March 3, 2014

582 Cygnus, that is what gives gives it away (among other things), and confirms it is one and the same person: the twisting of the most innocent of statements repeatedly of people who reveal that he is full of it. Then the running with it by bringing in his many, many puppets to create silly mountains out of molehills to stir up trouble and praise himself. As I said, normal people have better things to do and would never agree with such behaviour. He is relentless: Pinocchio’s nose never grew so long as this guy’s.

588. MJ - March 3, 2014

Go away trooll.

589. Cygnus-X1 - March 3, 2014

584. MJ – March 3, 2014

There has been no “war of ideas,” but merely the nuisance of you lot trying to instigate ill-will and resentment as is your wont…after all of your efforts to hector, nag and bribe the STC production into changing the aspect ratio of their show to suit your personal taste, that is.

It’s good that it’s only two of you at the moment. Often it’s 4 or 5—I won’t bother naming the others and thereby give them an excuse to join in here. The point is that it’s generally you lot who set about stirring up trouble—arguing the person instead of the idea, mischaracterizing people’s comments and then demanding apologies, and being quite rude and caustic about it all—even if others do get carried away in their responses to your agitating.

You can call me a baby or whatever you like—I really don’t mind and don’t care. I’d be happy for you to ignore me completely instead of using my comments as opportunities to derail discussions of Trek and Trek-related issues.

590. Red Dead Ryan - March 3, 2014

B Kramer,

No, we’re not the same person. I live in Canada and MJ lives in southern California.

Your detective skills are lacking. Go find a different hobby.

591. BigDaddyNC - March 3, 2014

I have to say that both Star Trek Continues and Phase II are great shows in their own right.

The best part of it is that we fans are the winners here. Thanks to the labors of love from these two teams and many others, we get to continue to experience the TOS Trek Universe. What fun!

Phase II was plagued with substandard acting and effects in the beginning, but they have brought their productions up to a much higher standard since “World Enough and Time”. As others have stated, Phase II is working really hard at trying to bridge the period between TOS and TMP — and it’s frankly a lot of fun to see their efforts. They are trying to ramp up the “Trek Experience” and it feels like a “TOS on Steroids”. James Cawley has improved his Kirk over the years, but I am looking forward to the new Kirk.

Star Trek Continues feels to me much more faithful to the original. Acting is consistently better in STC with the notable exception of Larry Nemecek as McCoy — love his writing, don’t love his acting. Good news that they are bringing back the actor from the vignettes. Mignona nails Kirk in pace and gesture and despite my initial doubts about Haberkorn, he has done a great job with Spock.

As far as scripts and stories are concerned…I feel that Phase II has more ambitious storytelling where STC so far is favoring Roddenberry’s morality plays. It’s all good.

Just keep this stuff coming. Gotta love it!

592. MJ - March 3, 2014

@589.

Dude, you are your cronies were the ones here that required Maatt to have to step in on after you guys got out of hand in trying to bully Kaara, not RDR and I:

“time to move on, your myysogynistic junk won’t be tolerated.”

593. B Kramer 4:3 - March 3, 2014

590 mj ah, so you beem back & forth.

589 Cygnus, the exact same twisting was used with the so called ‘death threat’ BS above by this person. The gang of one, attempted to shame and get Dom to appologize when he did absolutely nothing wrong. He has no shame. This has been going on for years: manipulaton & attention. Who in their right mind would want to do this to be ‘king of a board’? Furthermore this guy is so devious that he sockpuppeted other identities on this very board who disagreed with him to contradict and confuse a while back.

LLAP

594. MJ - March 3, 2014

The funniest thing of all here is just how obvious it is to anyone who is paying attention that Dom, Okdin, B Kramer and Feenix are the same person… this is one sad and lonely dude who is continually frustrated in failed after failed attempts to bully and silence RDR, others and me here.

And watch, I bet another “identify” will show up now to further reinforce this sad and lonely guy.

Remember, this creep basically told Kaara that she will deserve from men what she gets based on her clothing choice. That’s what this sick basturd actually believes, and what Cygnus, though his silence on this, effectively empowers these haateful clowns.

595. MJ - March 3, 2014

“But just as a reminder of what you’re doing, my initial remark that you have characterized as “crude” was: Not bad to look at.”

How convenient that you have already forgotten your cat-calls — remember what you posted:

“Also Lolani, call me. wink wink nudge nudge. ehh? ehhh? no … ok. Yes…Lolani…”

Guess you forgot all that?.

And then, of course, when Oddkin lectured Kaara on who to dress and behave as a women should (“I’m engaging in a little healthy sluut shaming. Don’t dress like one…”, instead of saying this was wrong, you instead used the opportunity to say:

“How about we just outlaw or do away with heterosexual men altogether..”

You need to take accountability here for what you say. Stop blaming RDR and I for your foot in the mouth dissease. And how about sticking up for a women who is getting picked up by a jirk here next time as well?

596. MJ - March 3, 2014

correction “picked on”, not “picked up”

597. Matt Wright - March 3, 2014

@ MJ – yeah dude we’re done here. I’m not going to allow you to play these games any more.

598. Cygnus-X1 - March 3, 2014

583. HarryMudd.com – March 3, 2014

That’s excellent news about Chuck Huber returning as Dr. McCoy in STAR TREK CONTINUES. In the vignettes, his portrayal ranged from impish to serious, and all while embodying the essence of the good doctor.

That is good news. Looking forward to it as well.

Michael Forest did a great job in PILGRIM OF ETERNITY and I was pleased to see him again. However, one misstep in the episode is that the use of the wig was inconsistent. It was clearly meant to demonstrate Apollo’s shifting energy level, with his hair falling out and then growing back as his energy level fell and rose. Unfortunately, when Apollo was at his weakest and needed help walking off the bridge, he had a full head of hair, but when he was next seen resting in Sickbay, and was confrontational with Kirk (demonstrating increased energy), he had inexplicably lost much of it. A way to resolve this would have been for Apollo’s hair to have begun vanishing while leaving the bridge, showing he was visibly deteriorating before our eyes.

I enjoyed Michael Forest’s performance as well. And the timing of the wig also threw me. It does seem like having a couple more stages of hair, i.e. a couple more wigs, would have eliminated that bit of confusion.

599. HarryMudd.com - March 4, 2014

Michael Forest has aged almost fifty years since WHO MOURNS FOR ADONAIS, so for the audience to instantly recognize him as the same actor, STC needed the wig and a duplicate of Forest’s old Bill Theiss costume.

To demonstrate the repeated changes in Apollo’s energy level, and to make the terrific ending on the planet instantly comprehensible, they also needed to visually show us that Apollo’s appearance was variable. Having the hair appear and vanish was an inspired way to reveal that.

The problem was that at the beginning of the episode, Apollo was at his very weakest, even needing help to exit the bridge… but he still had the hair.

That’s why I thought that having the hair literally vanish while he leaves the bridge could have worked to show that he was visibly deteriorating.

It does seem like having a couple more stages of hair, i.e. a couple more wigs, would have eliminated that bit of confusion..

Yes, multiple wigs might have worked too.

(And please note that none of this is to diminish the magnificent acting job done by Michael Forest. His anguish and vulnerability from 8:10 – 8:30 is particularly noteworthy.)

600. Michael Hall - March 9, 2014

@ 591 BigDaddyNC–

Excellent post, Especially, this:

“The best part of it is that we fans are the winners here. Thanks to the labors of love from these two teams and many others, we get to continue to experience the TOS Trek Universe. What fun!”

I’m right there with you.

601. Cygnus-X1 - March 10, 2014

Just watched Phase 2, “Enemy: Starfleet!”

I was impressed by how well the action scenes were done; I found them just as compelling and believable as action scenes in franchise Trek TV shows. The brief action scene with Kirk, Alersa and her two guards in the hallway aboard The Eagle really took me by surprise.

While this story didn’t have a strong theme, it was told well enough and the acting was solid all around. The Peter Kirk character was much less annoying in this episode than in “Blood and Fire,” and it’s good that they started the process of redeeming his character after his antics in the previous two-parter. Though, I don’t think that the character Peter Kirk as written justifies as much attention as he gets in this story.

The episode looked great, of course, but, as with all of the other P2 episodes, I found “Enemy: Starfleet!” to have some pacing issues, though not to the degree as in other episodes. The viewscreen scene between Kirk and Alersa dragged and would have been better trimmed down by a few minutes, and the ending dragged as well. This episode would be better trimmed down by 5-10 minutes.

On the whole, this was not one of the better P2 episodes, but still an impressive achievement in several ways.

602. Cygnus-X1 - March 10, 2014

P.S. I haven’t seen all of the P2 episodes yet—just “World Enough,” “Blood and Fire,” “Enemy: Starfleet!” and Kitumba so far.

603. Michael Hall - March 10, 2014

Of all the Phase 2 episodes produced so far, I’d say that “Enemy: Starfleet” most has that quality that many people on these forums are attributing to STC: looking and “feeling” like a real TOS episode. Maybe not a great one–it’s too lightweight for that–but it really plays like a so-so episode from the second season. Editing and musical choices are largely excellent, and the re-creation of the “wormhole” effect from TMP really rocks.

As far as pacing is concerned, I’d lose the scene in Sickbay between Peter Kirk, McCoy, and Chekov–it’s slow, talky, and the humor is fairly lame. Plus, it’s redundant; the scene between Peter and his uncle about his feelings for his dead lover covers the same emotional territory, and is much better to boot.

604. Cygnus-X1 - March 11, 2014

603. Michael Hall – March 10, 2014

Agree with you on all points.

Also, I found the DeSalle character a good addition.

TrekMovie.com is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.