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Star Trek reviewed, from start to finish

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 02 2011, 1:16 am

This will have been done before, but i love reviewing films/tv shows, and i hope other members will enjoy reading my thoughts on the eps. All comments welcome.


THE CAGE


Excellent first episode, interesting to spot all the differences from the series to come. I like the more Human Spock, with his limp, and the Talosians are amongst the best aliens of the series. Nice glimpse of what looks like a giant spider in one of the cages.


WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE


When i first saw this, i was totally confused - Spock's makeup different, Sulu the physicist, no McCoy, Chekov, or Uhura, different uniforms... i mistakenly thought the whole of the first season must be like this, and that the eps id seen before were all from seasons 2 & 3. This was back in 1978, and when the BBC showed `The Naked Time' the week after, it all clicked into place.Gary Mitchell's eyes freaked me out when i first saw this, as id been horrified by `The Man With X-Ray Eyes' a few weeks earlier.


THE MAN TRAP


The BBC ruined this episode when it was shown throughout the 70s/80s as the ending was cut - all British viewers saw of the Salt Vampire was a quick shot of it lying dead on the floor. The scene of it trying to kill Kirk, who lets out a hell of a scream, was cut. I used to think it was average, til i saw the complete ep on video, and the closing scenes raised the hairs on my head.


CHARLIE X


A SF version of Tarzan - instead of a boy raised in the jungle by apes, and growing up with ape-like attributes, we have a boy raised by aliens in a harsh environment, and being given strange powers to survive. X-cellent performance from Robert Walker Jnr, and a nice showcase for Janice Rand. Strange to see Spock blatantly smiling in the rec room scenes. One of the worst continuity errors, with Kirk walking into the turbolift with his usual gold top, and coming onto the bridge wearing his alternate green shirt.


THE NAKED TIME


Another classic. Great teaser which really makes you excited/nervous about whats coming. Funny how the crewmembers in the rec room seem unconcerned about Tormolen pulling a knife on Sulu and Riley, until he stabs himself. First instance of Mr Spock turning nasty, belting Kirk. Funny how each season had 3 eps with Spock becoming violent etc. Season 1 - The Naked Time/This side of paradise/Operation-Annihilate! Season 2 - Amok Time/Mirror,Mirror/Return to Tomorrow. Season 3 - The Enterprise Incident/Is There in Truth No Beauty?/All our Yesterdays.


THE ENEMY WITHIN


Great episode, apparently shown to mental hospital patients in the 70s, as it helped them come to terms with their own problems. The teaser is great, there are some awful continuity errors - Kirk with no insignia, Kirk's scratch on his face changing sides etc. Interesting to see Spock almost contemptuous of the `good' Kirk in the Transporter Room scenes when they realise what's happened. And the bit at the end, where Spock leers at Janice, is hilarious!


MUDD'S WOMEN


 A nice message (it doesnt matter what you look like, it what you are like as a person that counts) wrapped in a dull story. Harry Mudd isn't very interesting or funny, and why would the women be interested in 3 balding, middle-aged men? Why do the miners use old-fashioned pots and pans, and live in houses last used by the Flintstones? Awful continuity errors in the scene wher the women are beamed on board - one moment, theyre all standing on seperate pads, the next, all lined up in a row. One minute McCoy is standing with his usual blue top, the next he's in sickbay wearing his short-sleeved surgical garment. Enjoyable, as all episodes are, but the story is boring.


WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF?


I first encountered this story on a series of bubblegum cards given to me by a friend. Each card had a colour still, a bit more of the story written on the back, and a scientific fact, alongside nice artwork of the Enterprise. When i came to see the ep, it brought back happy memories of those cards, which id long since lost. Another excellent ep, one of only 2 without McCoy (not including the 2 pilots). Ted Cassidy steals the show.


 


 

Spock's Brain

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Report this Apr. 03 2011, 11:44 am

Thanks Spouter, I don't agree with everything you say but keep the reviews coming.  I think you are a little too harsh as far as continuity goes.  I read a book on the making of Star Trek and it sounded like making an hour long TV series was very hectic.  One problem Roddenberry had was that writers were putting things in the stories that the budget just couldn't handle and they were having the characters doing things that were out of character, lots of battles going on. 

RoTrekkie

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POSTS: 477

Report this Apr. 03 2011, 3:38 pm

Yes, keep the reviews coming Spouter. "What are Little Girls Made Of?" is one my favorites from the early season one episodes, I wish I had bubblegum cards too


"Now you're beginning to talk like a doctor, bartender."

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 03 2011, 5:11 pm

Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed them.


MIRI


This is my favourite episode, for 3 reasons. First, by 1983 id seen most of the eps, or (for the few i hadnt seen) i knew what they were about. With `Miri', i knew nothing apart from the title, which i assumed must be a woman's name. I assumed it would be a 3rd season ep, as the first 2 seasons already had enough eps in them. Can you imagine what fun it is to be a huge fan of a tv show where there's 1 ep you know nothing about? I spent hours day-dreaming about this and wondering what it would be about. Second, it stands out for UK fans as it was one of the 4 eps banned by the BBC for over 20 years, after its first UK screening (in 1970) caused an uproar, leading to it not being shown again until the 90s. Third, the story is so good - i remember getting a copy of James Blish first ST book, and reading the adaptation, and being amazed by how good it was. I finally saw the episode on video in 1988, and though it couldnt live up to the image i had in my head after reading Blish's adaptation, it still stands out. Interesting that it didnt cause a stir in the US, despite the stricter TV censorship laws. Bits to watch out for (apart from all the obvious ones): one of the kids spits right in Kirk's face near the end, one of William Shatner;s daughters appears at the end, and the blue blotches on Janices leg appear on TOP of her tights (or, pantyhose, as they are called in the US) which is a bit odd - the blotches are on her skin, so they should be under the material of the tights. Thats one of those things that you dont notice at first, but when i did, it stuck out as strange. Great ep all round tho, and the `creature' that attacks McCoy is utterly hideous if you freeze-frame it!


DAGGER OF THE MIND


Never attracts much attention this one, but it stands out for me, partly due to the fact that it punctures the idea of ST presenting a glorious vision of a great future for Humanity. Dr Adams has to be the most evil git in the series and he's human! Morgan Woodward's portrayal is devastsatingly good - imo, the scene in sickbay where Kirk and McCoy are questioning him is the most disturbing bit of the entire series, due to Woodward's performance, and due to the fact that Van Gelder is like this because of something thats been done to him deliberately, and for no real reason, other than cruelty. It also seems a bit sick and kinky, to have the scenes of Van Gelder followed by scenes of a woman (Helen Noel) in a miniskirt, black tights, and with her blue knickers clearly on view, walking around in a prison where a machine is being used to turn the inmates into gibbering sweaty madmen. Put a woman in a sexy provocative costume into a grim scenario like this, and you automatically get something that comes across as sick. Watch for the ridiculous, embarrassing `Roger Moore' expression that Spock pulls to Kirk, when they first see Helen in the transporter room, wonder why the security guard near the end is holding one of the prison staff against a wall, when he's already got a phaser trained on him, and ponder why they didnt show Van Gelder back to normal at the end - great shame that.

wissa

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4026

Report this Apr. 03 2011, 7:45 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 03 2011, 5:11 pm

>

>MIRI

>This is my favourite episode, for 3 reasons. First, by 1983 id seen most of the eps, or (for the few i hadnt seen) i knew what they were about. With `Miri', i knew nothing apart from the title, which i assumed must be a woman's name. I assumed it would be a 3rd season ep, as the first 2 seasons already had enough eps in them. Can you imagine what fun it is to be a huge fan of a tv show where there's 1 ep you know nothing about? I spent hours day-dreaming about this and wondering what it would be about. Second, it stands out for UK fans as it was one of the 4 eps banned by the BBC for over 20 years, after its first UK screening (in 1970) caused an uproar, leading to it not being shown again until the 90s. Third, the story is so good - i remember getting a copy of James Blish first ST book, and reading the adaptation, and being amazed by how good it was. I finally saw the episode on video in 1988, and though it couldnt live up to the image i had in my head after reading Blish's adaptation, it still stands out. Interesting that it didnt cause a stir in the US, despite the stricter TV censorship laws. Bits to watch out for (apart from all the obvious ones): one of the kids spits right in Kirk's face near the end, one of William Shatner;s daughters appears at the end, and the blue blotches on Janices leg appear on TOP of her tights (or, pantyhose, as they are called in the US) which is a bit odd - the blotches are on her skin, so they should be under the material of the tights. Thats one of those things that you dont notice at first, but when i did, it stuck out as strange. Great ep all round tho, and the `creature' that attacks McCoy is utterly hideous if you freeze-frame it!

>


Love this thread.  I'm doing the same thing over at arch-angels.


I remember this episode from being a child and always was one of my favourites.  Possibly because I was also a little girl with a crush on Capt. Kirk.  Watching as an adult and mom though I found it a terrifying episode.  It literally gave me goosebumps.


We welcome st.com refugees! click on the image

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 04 2011, 7:41 am

Quote: wissa @ Apr. 03 2011, 7:45 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 03 2011, 5:11 pm

>

>

>MIRI

>This is my favourite episode, for 3 reasons. First, by 1983 id seen most of the eps, or (for the few i hadnt seen) i knew what they were about. With `Miri', i knew nothing apart from the title, which i assumed must be a woman's name. I assumed it would be a 3rd season ep, as the first 2 seasons already had enough eps in them. Can you imagine what fun it is to be a huge fan of a tv show where there's 1 ep you know nothing about? I spent hours day-dreaming about this and wondering what it would be about. Second, it stands out for UK fans as it was one of the 4 eps banned by the BBC for over 20 years, after its first UK screening (in 1970) caused an uproar, leading to it not being shown again until the 90s. Third, the story is so good - i remember getting a copy of James Blish first ST book, and reading the adaptation, and being amazed by how good it was. I finally saw the episode on video in 1988, and though it couldnt live up to the image i had in my head after reading Blish's adaptation, it still stands out. Interesting that it didnt cause a stir in the US, despite the stricter TV censorship laws. Bits to watch out for (apart from all the obvious ones): one of the kids spits right in Kirk's face near the end, one of William Shatner;s daughters appears at the end, and the blue blotches on Janices leg appear on TOP of her tights (or, pantyhose, as they are called in the US) which is a bit odd - the blotches are on her skin, so they should be under the material of the tights. Thats one of those things that you dont notice at first, but when i did, it stuck out as strange. Great ep all round tho, and the `creature' that attacks McCoy is utterly hideous if you freeze-frame it!

>

Love this thread.  I'm doing the same thing over at arch-angels.

I remember this episode from being a child and always was one of my favourites.  Possibly because I was also a little girl with a crush on Capt. Kirk.  Watching as an adult and mom though I found it a terrifying episode.  It literally gave me goosebumps.

Glad youre enjoying it, Wissa:-)) Arch Angels looks good, ill follow those threads as well. Even though the ban was lifted in 1992, `Miri' still stands out for me. Its fascinating watching it and thinking that it was banned once.

RoTrekkie

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 477

Report this Apr. 04 2011, 9:04 am

I saw "Miri" later than I was supposed to, and it was quite enjoyable. I liked Kim Darby a lot and the whole episode was well done.

Matthias Russell

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 7705

Report this Apr. 04 2011, 2:24 pm

I enjoy the beginning of TOS with the slightly emotional Spock and the clear attraction between him and Uhura that quickly went away. 


 


I see your reasons but am still shocked Miri would be your favorite. 


wissa

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4026

Report this Apr. 04 2011, 3:01 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 04 2011, 7:41 am

Quote: wissa @ Apr. 03 2011, 7:45 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 03 2011, 5:11 pm

>

>

>

>MIRI

>This is my favourite episode, for 3 reasons. First, by 1983 id seen most of the eps, or (for the few i hadnt seen) i knew what they were about. With `Miri', i knew nothing apart from the title, which i assumed must be a woman's name. I assumed it would be a 3rd season ep, as the first 2 seasons already had enough eps in them. Can you imagine what fun it is to be a huge fan of a tv show where there's 1 ep you know nothing about? I spent hours day-dreaming about this and wondering what it would be about. Second, it stands out for UK fans as it was one of the 4 eps banned by the BBC for over 20 years, after its first UK screening (in 1970) caused an uproar, leading to it not being shown again until the 90s. Third, the story is so good - i remember getting a copy of James Blish first ST book, and reading the adaptation, and being amazed by how good it was. I finally saw the episode on video in 1988, and though it couldnt live up to the image i had in my head after reading Blish's adaptation, it still stands out. Interesting that it didnt cause a stir in the US, despite the stricter TV censorship laws. Bits to watch out for (apart from all the obvious ones): one of the kids spits right in Kirk's face near the end, one of William Shatner;s daughters appears at the end, and the blue blotches on Janices leg appear on TOP of her tights (or, pantyhose, as they are called in the US) which is a bit odd - the blotches are on her skin, so they should be under the material of the tights. Thats one of those things that you dont notice at first, but when i did, it stuck out as strange. Great ep all round tho, and the `creature' that attacks McCoy is utterly hideous if you freeze-frame it!

>

Love this thread.  I'm doing the same thing over at arch-angels.

I remember this episode from being a child and always was one of my favourites.  Possibly because I was also a little girl with a crush on Capt. Kirk.  Watching as an adult and mom though I found it a terrifying episode.  It literally gave me goosebumps.

Glad youre enjoying it, Wissa:-)) Arch Angels looks good, ill follow those threads as well. Even though the ban was lifted in 1992, `Miri' still stands out for me. Its fascinating watching it and thinking that it was banned once.


Perhaps you should join


I'm intrigued by these 4 banned episodes and why they were banned.  I'd never heard this before.  Anyone have any good links discussing it?


We welcome st.com refugees! click on the image

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 05 2011, 2:55 am

Quote: wissa @ Apr. 04 2011, 3:01 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 04 2011, 7:41 am

Quote: wissa @ Apr. 03 2011, 7:45 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 03 2011, 5:11 pm

>

>

>

>

>MIRI

>This is my favourite episode, for 3 reasons. First, by 1983 id seen most of the eps, or (for the few i hadnt seen) i knew what they were about. With `Miri', i knew nothing apart from the title, which i assumed must be a woman's name. I assumed it would be a 3rd season ep, as the first 2 seasons already had enough eps in them. Can you imagine what fun it is to be a huge fan of a tv show where there's 1 ep you know nothing about? I spent hours day-dreaming about this and wondering what it would be about. Second, it stands out for UK fans as it was one of the 4 eps banned by the BBC for over 20 years, after its first UK screening (in 1970) caused an uproar, leading to it not being shown again until the 90s. Third, the story is so good - i remember getting a copy of James Blish first ST book, and reading the adaptation, and being amazed by how good it was. I finally saw the episode on video in 1988, and though it couldnt live up to the image i had in my head after reading Blish's adaptation, it still stands out. Interesting that it didnt cause a stir in the US, despite the stricter TV censorship laws. Bits to watch out for (apart from all the obvious ones): one of the kids spits right in Kirk's face near the end, one of William Shatner;s daughters appears at the end, and the blue blotches on Janices leg appear on TOP of her tights (or, pantyhose, as they are called in the US) which is a bit odd - the blotches are on her skin, so they should be under the material of the tights. Thats one of those things that you dont notice at first, but when i did, it stuck out as strange. Great ep all round tho, and the `creature' that attacks McCoy is utterly hideous if you freeze-frame it!

>

Love this thread.  I'm doing the same thing over at arch-angels.

I remember this episode from being a child and always was one of my favourites.  Possibly because I was also a little girl with a crush on Capt. Kirk.  Watching as an adult and mom though I found it a terrifying episode.  It literally gave me goosebumps.

Glad youre enjoying it, Wissa:-)) Arch Angels looks good, ill follow those threads as well. Even though the ban was lifted in 1992, `Miri' still stands out for me. Its fascinating watching it and thinking that it was banned once.

Perhaps you should join

I'm intrigued by these 4 banned episodes and why they were banned.  I'd never heard this before.  Anyone have any good links discussing it?

I will join, Wissa;-)) The eps were banned after the reaction caused by `Miri' made the BBC examine all eps that hadnt yet been screened (since the BBC showed the series wildly out of order, that was the 3rd season), and decided that `Plato's Stepchildren', `The Empath' and `Whom Gods Destroy' were `unsuitable for family viewing and they were banned. I mention more about them on another thread on here, about an apisode being banned.

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 05 2011, 3:45 am

THE CORBOMITE MANUEVER


A shame this was shown 10th (it was held back due to the time taken with the complex effects), as it is obviously intended to be the first episode, with the emphasis on heading into uncharted space/exploring the unknown etc. It stands out like a sore thumb as episode 10, with Spock's different `look', Uhura's gold uniform, the thicker, heavier uniforms etc. A great story though, very enjoyable. I think Balok looks better in the still that was shown at the end of most season 2 eps - in the episode itself, the `shimmer' effect added spoils it, and when Kirk and company beam over, it looks just like a dummy. Several British comics (which were all published weekly, unlike US ones) featured Star Trek comic strips, and prior to the first one being published in 1969, this was the episode selected for the writer/artists to view, to base their work on, the series not having being transmitted in the uk at that point.


THE MENAGERIE


A classic, hard to know where to begin. The great matte painting depicting the Starbase gets things off to a great start, and Spock's covert behaviour makes for an intriguing first half. Once the `Cage' footage comes in, you know you are watching an epic adventure. What i ilke is that, if a new viewer had come to the series recently and was watching this for the first time, and knew nothing of the show's history, then they would think that, for this story alone, new uniforms, different makeup for Spock, different bridge, different cast etc were employed for this story. The Talosians are very effective, the fact they are played by old women adding to their alien-ness. Ep 2 has more `Cage' footage than the first part. The only niggling bit is at the end - Spock pushes Pike out of the briefing room, heading to the transporter room to beam him down to Talos. Spock and Pike exit, then straight away, we hear the Keeper's voice on the viewscreen, Kirk turns and sees Pike as he was, able to move freely thanks to the Talosians illusory powers. The problem is, that Spock has barely had enough time to push Pike to the transporter, let alone beam him down, have Pike be met by the Talosians and `transformed'. Its churlish to quibble about this though, bearing in mind the great feeling of optimism, awe and excitement the ending has. If you still dont like Star Trek after watching this masterpiece, you are probably dead.


THE CONSCIENCE OF THE KING


Im not a fan of Shakespeare, but its an inspired idea to combine the Bard with Star Trek. Great, very literate script, fine performances etc. Lenore's line `It (Enterprise) will become a floating tomb, the soul of the great Karidian giving performances at every star he touches' accompanied by a close-up of her mad staring eyes, chills the spine. Shame that Janice Rand was ousted after this was made. Good to see Riley back for the last time - am i  the only fan who wonders what all this 23rd/24th century food would taste like? How Kodos massacred the colonists is not explored, presumably he phasered them all.


BALANCE OF TERROR


One of Trek's most overrated episodes. The Romulans are fine, some nice FX, but the story is frankly boring - the Enterprise pursues an enemy vessel for the best part of 50 minutes, and finally destroys it. Ho Hum. Im amazed that episodes like this attract so much attention, whereas `Dagger of the Mind', `Miri', `Operation-Annihilate' and `Arena', just to give  a few examples, are all far superior.


SHORE LEAVE


A return to form, a great story mixing the drama with comedy. Nice romantic interest for Bones, tho typically, as with most 60s TV, we never see or hear of Tonia Barrows again. I like the `Roger Moore' expression McCoy pulls when Tonia is taking her uniform off, and the scene where he gets killed has real impact. The fight between Kirk and Finnegan is fast-paced and exciting, but i would have thought humanity would have outgrown that sort of `laddish' behaviour by the 23rd century. I like the bit where the tiger first appears - obvious stock footage, leading to the casual viewer commenting `Ha! did they expect us to believe they got a real Tiger in there?!', only to be silenced when we later see a tiger in the same shot as Kirk and Spock. Apparently, Shatner wanted a scene in which Kirk single-handedly fought the tiger! I would have loved to see that.


THE GALILEO SEVEN


Another great ep, only undermined by the fact that there's obviously only 1 ape creature lurking about, rather than the scores of them, that the script keeps reffering to. Particularly bad is the scene where the script informs us that there are hordes of the creatures trying to bash in the Galileo's hull, and what we see is one of them, standing on an out-of-shot (thankfully!) crate, banging on the hull with a polystyrene boulder! Yeoman Mears is really cute. The Galileo modelwork is excellent, and the casual viewer would get a nice surprise when we see Spock and McCoy standing next to the full-size prop, having assumed that the shuttlecraft was just a small model and nothing else. The title of this episode refers to the 7 stranded crewmembers, and doesnt mean, as some fans think, that there are at least 7 Galileo shuttles on board. The end of the ep is faintly embarrassing, with everyone almost laughing themselves into a coma, over something that isnt remotely funny.


 

Matthias Russell

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POSTS: 7705

Report this Apr. 05 2011, 5:15 am

Are you watching 4 or 5 episodes a day? It makes it kind of hard to digest all your thoughts.

With Balance of Terror, you have to liken it to submarine warfare like Red October or a chess match. The battle is about out thinking your opponent not who can bring the bigger guns to bear.

Conscience of the King really stood out to me for done reason as one if the greats, and I'm not a shakespeare fan either.

wissa

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4026

Report this Apr. 05 2011, 10:49 am

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 05 2011, 3:45 am

>

>THE CONSCIENCE OF THE KING

>Im not a fan of Shakespeare, but its an inspired idea to combine the Bard with Star Trek. Great, very literate script, fine performances etc. Lenore's line `It (Enterprise) will become a floating tomb, the soul of the great Karidian giving performances at every star he touches' accompanied by a close-up of her mad staring eyes, chills the spine. Shame that Janice Rand was ousted after this was made. Good to see Riley back for the last time - am i  the only fan who wonders what all this 23rd/24th century food would taste like? How Kodos massacred the colonists is not explored, presumably he phasered them all.

>BALANCE OF TERROR

>One of Trek's most overrated episodes. The Romulans are fine, some nice FX, but the story is frankly boring - the Enterprise pursues an enemy vessel for the best part of 50 minutes, and finally destroys it. Ho Hum. Im amazed that episodes like this attract so much attention, whereas `Dagger of the Mind', `Miri', `Operation-Annihilate' and `Arena', just to give  a few examples, are all far superior.

>


 


loved conscience of a king.  I think it's one of the best trek episodes of any series. 


 


totally agree with you on balance of terror too.  It is slightly more acceptable when you look at it as a homage to submarine movies but still painful.  Especially stupid was the way the romulan commander thought he knew the character of kirk because he followed him into a cloud and got a few shots off.


We welcome st.com refugees! click on the image

Matthias Russell

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POSTS: 7705

Report this Apr. 05 2011, 11:12 am

In situations liked this, it is common for enemies to try to get into the minds of their opponent and learn to predict and respect him.

Abrams sited this episode as what he was trying to get as far away from as possible. I found this a shame, enjoying the psychological and strategic aspects of a battle.

I think we need a poll on balance of terror.

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 06 2011, 12:20 am

Quote: Matthias Russell @ Apr. 05 2011, 5:15 am

>Are you watching 4 or 5 episodes a day? It makes it kind of hard to digest all your thoughts. With Balance of Terror, you have to liken it to submarine warfare like Red October or a chess match. The battle is about out thinking your opponent not who can bring the bigger guns to bear. Conscience of the King really stood out to me for done reason as one if the greats, and I'm not a shakespeare fan either.


Im not watching ANY eps, but my memories of them are strong enough that i can review them without research, so to speak. Ill keep your comment in mind though, and stick to reviewing 2 eps at a time from now on.

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