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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Star Trek Contiunes Episode 2 Lolani Review

When I chat with people about Star Trek, I often compare it to Portland's microbrew industry. Star Trek has become so popular that the fans can now produce their own high quality Star Trek productions. Just like fans of good beer in Portland can pretty much open their own little breweries here in the Rose City. The technology has never been more accessible and loads of folks have the talents and skills to make these fan production really good. It mostly comes down to being able to fundraise and organize effectively to do your best. 

Lolani is the second episode from the folks at Star Trek Continues. I reviewed the first episode here. Go watch Pilgrim of Eternity if you haven't seen it yet and then you dive right into Lolani. I have tried not to include anything I would consider 'spoliers'. Mostly I just mention where the cast is used and the quality of the story. Don't read anymore if you really just want to experience the episode before you start to want to talk about it.

I thought this episode was even a stronger showcase of the talent of the cast and crew than POE. Vic Mignogna starts off the episode with what I thought was a magnificent portrayal of a Captain Kirk starting to show some signs of his future eye troubles. It is these little things that I as fan love to see. We know from the films that Kirk uses reading glasses to read his favorite books. Doctor McCoy explained in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,  that he is allergic to Retinax V, the common treatment for his vision troubles. Paying respect to your source materials is always a must when it comes to Star Trek. Maybe in a few episodes we'll see Kirk get prescribed his glasses.

Dinner table politics around the Enterprise is nothing new. It is a great scene. When I close my eyes and Chris Doohan preforms some of his lines, it almost makes me think his father is there reading the lines.

The guest cast were well utilized in enhancing the story. Lou Ferrigno playing an Orion was a great way to get him back into the green. He fit in really well with the cast at the dinner scene. There's some great Star Wars trivia in this episode for those you that go search the IMDb page of Daniel Logan. This episode also introduces us to Fiona Vroom who portrays the title character Lolani.

This was a great story, and that is the heart of Star Trek. Great stories. You can have all the special effects, big budgets and state of the art sets, but if you lack a great story...well you know the difference. What's the difference between Code of Honor and Yesterday's Enterprise? The story. Exploring the Orions and their society was something that was not done much in the original Star Trek and was really just neglected for most all of TNG, DS9, VOY and really didn't get much attention until Enterprise. Learning that Orion men also have the potential to control others with a pheromone was a cool little discovery. If it was pointed out in Enterprise; I don't remember hearing it. If it is something they've developed as part of the background of the Orions, then that's pretty cool.

About the only downside to this episode was the lack of consistent use of the regular cast. Tough choices have to be made when you have four guest/supporting characters having full involvement in the episode. So not seeing some of the regular cast was ok, but I hope they balance it out in the next several episodes.

Ending the episode was a little bit of a surprise. I kept trying to think of how the crew was going to not disobey orders and let Lolani leave a free woman. I almost thought when they were transporting back that she would be transported to the Tellarite ship or possibly 'escape' and they could have claimed that she outwitted them.. No, the writers chose an unhappy ending. Which proves that all good stories don't necessarily equate to happy endings.

Head over to youtube watch the episode and leave them a +Thumbs Up.
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