Star Trek Continues: Lolani – A Slice of SciFi Review

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lolani3 Star Trek Continues has launched its second episode after an impressive release of its first titled “Pilgrim of Eternity;” see my review of that debut episode HERE.

This second episode is called “Lolani,” which is the name of a female Orion slave that comes into the custody of Kirk and crew aboard the Enterprise after coming upon her in a disabled Tellarite transport ship. Lolani is the only survivor and is brought onboard the Enterprise while Spock and Security Chief Drake (Steven Dengler) investigate how the crew of that ship came to their deaths.

The storyline fits quite nicely into the realm of TOS Trek as it uses the future to tackle such current topics as individual freedom and expression for oppressed peoples, something Star Trek has always excelled in and this new expression of the franchise under the guiding hand of Vic Mignogna appears to be following suit, quite successfully.

The actors in this second episode seem to have settled into their roles very comfortably giving the appearance that the original series is truly continuing on unabated by the passage of nearly five decades since it first aired.

Mignogna offers another convincing performance as Captain James T. Kirk, the most realistic since Mr. Shatner and the current big screen Kirk, Chris Pine. All the other actors from the first episode have returned as well with Larry Nemecek back in sickbay as Dr. McCoy, Todd Haberkorn remains at the science station as First Officer Spock, Chris Doohan continues on as Scotty, Grant Imahara returns as Mr. Sulu and Kim Stinger is at her communications console as Lt. Uhura. Also back is the new ship’s counselor Dr. McKenna convincingly played by actress Michele Specht.

In the first premiere episode they brought out the big guns by having stage and screen actor Michael Forest reprise his original Star Trek role of Apollo. For “Lolani” another set of big guns was brought on board with the appearance of The Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno as the antagonist, an Orion Slave Trader named Zaminhon. Without any doubt this is probably the most dialogue Ferrigno has ever been given for a role and he was outstanding. The episode was really taken up a couple of notches once he entered stage left. Fiona Vroom was quite good as Lolani and supporting characters such as transporter tech Ensign Kenway (Matthew Ewald) gave the episode it’s heartfelt Kevin Riley moment.

“Lolani” was written by Paul Bianchi, Huston Huddleston and Vic Mignogna with Chris White (“Taken In”) sitting in the Director’s chair.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best “Lolani” rates an easy 8.5. It was thoroughly watchable with rarely a boring moment. All the actors seem to be very much at home in their roles as these iconic characters and delivered them flawlessly without effort or the need to make it appear rushed, especially Mr. Mignogna as Kirk. Even Haberkorn, Imahara and Nemecek’s performances as Kirk, Sulu and McCoy were more fluid in this second outing and are really beginning to grow on me. The best in the ensemble cast continues to be Chris Doohan as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, the role made famous for four decades by his late father James Doohan. Chris was born to play Scotty.

I enjoyed this second episode of Star Trek Continues and eagerly await the next and hopefully many more down the road.

Comments

  1. I agree with your very positive reviews of the Star Trek Continues episodes that have been released — the shows “feel” authentic and like an extension of TOS, from the costumes and set design, to the music and sound. The actors have done an excellent job of presenting the characters with a combination of classic persona and their own personal interpretation. The scripts have been good, not exceptional, but still good and quite enjoyable. I have really enjoyed these and I hope they can keep on producing new shows to enjoy!

  2. Jack Yan says:

    Very well said, Sam. I am amazed at how good STC is. I had watched some of the New Voyages and liked them, but they never grabbed me. Even though I am not a Trekkie, I find myself hooked on STC and I can’t wait for the third episode. The guest stars are impressive and I agree that Lou Ferrigno was excellent. The man has a great deal of charisma as an actor.

  3. Wayne Erfling says:

    I was surprised how good this episode was – the gal playing Lolani was probably the weakest link, weaving back and forth from out of control manipulator and murderer to noble freedom fighter.

    Grant Imahara’s role in this episode was small and he did not attract undue attention to himself as in a previous episode. Acting lessons? Just settling in to a role?

    I’m really tired of the “retro” fascination of both the commercial films (Khan again?) and the fan-produced shows (Apollo, Lolani, Chekhov, etc.). I would much prefer if the STTOS elements were more seamlessly woven into new and original plots, rather than the “what if the whole episode was about this [minor] [character, location, plot twist]“.

    But bottom line, this was still the best of the fan episodes I’ve seen to date, and I’m ready for more.

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