16 April 2014 | quickwatson
Surprisingly entertaining & faithful tribute to TOS
I decided to catch an episode of the fan-made series "Star Trek Continues," mainly because of guest star Lou Ferrigno, who starred in a movie I produced (Liberator). Frankly, I didn't have very high expectations; as most fan vehicles contain a sincerity-to-professionalism ratio of roughly 90 to 10.
Man, was I wrong! They NAILED every technical detail. Sets, costumes, cinematography, & VFX are all so close to TOS that the differences are virtually negligible, even on my 60 inch TV.
"Lolani" concerns the Orion slave trade, capturing the essence of TOS with heavily-laden metaphors. On a scriptwriting level, it falls somewhere between Season 3 episodes "Let That be Your Last Battlefield" (remember Frank Gorshin and his stark B&W makeup???) and "The Cloud Miners." Being that Miners dealt with capitalism and Battlefield dealt with race, for "Lolani" to compare favorably (both thematically and technically) this episode had a really high bar they had to climb.
Lou is formidable (and once again, GREEN!) He would've fit right in as a regular villain in TOS, had he been the right age for the role in 1969. He only has a handful of dramatic scenes, and his fight is not particularly convincing – but that's mainly due to the outcome, not the staging (which reflects TOS to a tee).
Vic Mignogna plays Kirk straight; minus Shatnerisms. He makes excellent dramatic choices that define classic Kirk. I just wish the register of his voice was lower.
Spock & McCoy don't fare as well. Spock has a highly reduced role in this episode, which is fine because Todd Haberkorn really doesn't have the gravitas to pull it off, especially a mind-meld. As Bones, Larry Nemecek also has very little to do, and could have been crankier. Should another episode prove to be heavily dependent on the classic "trio interaction," I think it might get uncomfortable to watch them struggle....
The rest of the acting is *meh.* Keeping in mind that the original supporting cast in TOS were not especially good actors to begin with, I guess I shouldn't be TOO disappointed. While these actors have a far way to go to, it's the OVERALL product I'm reviewing, so I'll give STC the benefit of the doubt and catch a few more. They can only get better!
All in all, STSC is a high quality effort that I enjoyed FAR MORE than the last Trek feature film. Give it a shot!