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Star Trek reviewed, from start to finish

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this May. 03 2012, 4:23 am

Great documentary on the Animated series DVD.

padracin

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Report this May. 04 2012, 3:43 pm

Regarding the EMPATH........that was one of my favorite episodes -- a little 'gem' heh heh, of a story. 


Kudos to Kathryn Hays for doing the best she could with an underwritten part.  Bigger kudos to Nimoy for showing what a great actor can do with few lines and using very small facial expressions. 


I always found Gem's kind of empath infinitely more appealing than Troi.  And I thought there were aspects of her character that could make her a potential match for Spock.  And was I the only one who thought she looked like Spock's Mom?

padracin

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POSTS: 325

Report this May. 04 2012, 7:36 pm

Yeah SF!


Agreed with all your observations,  and an excellent point about being play-like.  It was a real change from other episodes.


As to Spock there's a very small scene when he is tending to McCoy where Gem approaches and there's a very brief form of communion between the two of them.  Didn't mean that Gem herself would be a good match, but that attributes of her character were admirable and might be complementary to Spock's character.


 

CloudMinder2

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POSTS: 482

Report this May. 21 2012, 1:34 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>ENSIGN'S LOG: Earth Date: 13 May 2012; In viewing Star Trek The Original Series, Mister Spock stated that a tri-chorder can record live history at a rapid pace. He then used the tri-chorder to slow down the history to find an approximate time to review the history. Star Trek: The Original Series - The City on the Edge of Forever

>


Probably the shakiest science ever seen in Trek, which is one of the reasons why that episode is so over-rated 


"There are always alternatives" Spock

dbutler69

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POSTS: 11

Report this May. 31 2012, 7:12 am

This is a nice idea.  :-)


Also, I wish I had a memory as good as you!

SpockType

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POSTS: 289

Report this Sep. 14 2012, 3:33 pm

I recently watched 'City on the Edge of Forever' again. Quite good. The speech that Edith Keller gave, when Kirk and Spock first got there, was still rather relevant now. I was wondering what happened in that one scene where that tramp takes a device (probably a communicator) out of McCoy's pocket, then disappears in a blue flash.


'Patterns of Force' and 'Bread and Circuses' have similar stories. 'A Piece of the Action' also, to an extent.


  

Commandamanda

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POSTS: 70

Report this Sep. 14 2012, 5:30 pm

I sat down to read your reviews today and was astonished by some of the trivia that you've given about the airing schedule on the BBC, banned eps, and your take on what is decidedly an American-based. American-driven series. 


While some of your reviews were elightened and interesting, others showed a lack of understanding of the writers, shooting schedule and effects...But I don't hold that against you.  


I think it all depends upon your interests in the characters, character development, and information which might not be available to you int the UK. 


There are so many back stories, case and point: 


Harlan Ellison's refusal to have his name put in the credits because they'd done such a hatchet-job on his script for "City On The Edge of Forever". Try reading Ellison's original screenplay, which should make your hair stand on end: 


http://www.fastcopyinc.com/orionpress/articles/city.htm


"The Devil in The Dark" not being a true classic - because there were cutting problems and because the Horta wasn't fleshed out right: 


Shooting for this ep was interrupted by the death of Shatner's father, so during the scenes with the Horta, Shatner was played by a body double from behind, with only front shots done on the same day that Shatner had to fly up for his father's burial. As a result, pay attention to Nimoy, who seems to be hovering just a little closer to Shatner during the whole ep. 


The Horta itself was a sublime work of budget amazingness, from it's capacity to breath to the realization that there's actually a guy under there, working it. Imagine being told to make a rock-creature, finding the parts for it in a dumpster, and bringing it to life? 


Even the Horta eggs were cool, knowing that they were merely a kid's rubber ball, cut up and spray-painted. 


 


I won't go on and on, but I do think that before you cut the eps down, you should look a little closer at the story behind them. Most of it can be found on Wikipedia - in great detail. 


 


Still, you've made a great effort, and for that I'm sure many fans are greatful. 


I wonder how your opinion of some of these episodes will be in a few years time...when you've grown into them a little more? 


 

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Oct. 07 2012, 4:16 am

I occassionally come back to see if anyone has posted any new comments on this thread, and i was very pleased to see your post, many thanks for commenting, and for the kind words. Your comments have inspired me to check out my reviews again, as its been a while since i did them and in some cases, ive forgotten what i wrote! I tried to do the reviews in a `bottom line' sort of style rather than lengthy ones which would be unsuitable on a thread of this type i think. I was also interested to get across the perspective of an English fan, and how the BBC treated the series, cuts and all.


Despite the cuts, and the 4 banned episodes, the BBC actually treated TOS very well - it was screened every year on the BBC from 1969 to 1976, and then after a short gap, from 1978 to 1982, then 1984 to 1986 - not bad considering the BBC didnt really repeat shows that much.


Once again, thanks for the comments. Im reviewing TNG and Voyager at the moment and will get onto the Animated show, the films, DSN and Enterprise eventually. Id also like to review all the ST comics that have appeared over the years, all of which should keep me going into the 23rd century

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Nov. 03 2012, 6:07 pm

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>I've been watching TOS on TV one episode every day and have noticed a few things. Kirk wears that green shirt quite a lot - a lot more than I remembered.

>I was watching Catspaw and I noticed that in the opening Kirk hears from the redshirt crewman after not hearing from Scott or Sulu in the landing party and rushes to the transporter room to see what's happened to the landing party. He as usual had Spock walk with him into the turbo lift but after the credits Kirk was in the transporter room with just McCoy who he had called from the bridge. Where was Spock? Why did he leave the bridge at the same time as Kirk? Was he just going to the bathroom? To meditate? Did I miss something and Kirk told him to go to the labs?

>


Its a poor continuity error, especially when Spock later on in the episode makes mention of the fact that Jackson collapsed in the Transporter Room.

cellist

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POSTS: 28

Report this Dec. 07 2012, 1:02 am

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 02 2011, 1:16 am

>I like your reviews here, but frankly, the Enemy Within made no sense at all. The Enterprise always had SHUTTLECRAFT to rescue people when the transporter went out. Also, they could have transported heaters down to the landing party--who cares if they get duplicated.

>

>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.

>

cellist

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Report this Dec. 07 2012, 1:11 am

Quote: wissa @ 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.


 


I think that the episode "Balance of Terror" was specifically an homage to the 1957 submarine movie "The Enemy Below" starring Robert Mitchum. I have seen the movie, and the Star Trek episode has an almost identical plot.

cellist

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Report this Dec. 07 2012, 1:17 am

Quote: Spouter @ 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.

>


 


Also wanted to say the Shore Leave is definitely one of my all-time favorites. The premise is absolutely ingenious--what would happen if you visited a planet where whatever you thought of automatically became real? The answer, as the episode suggests, is complete chaos.

cellist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 28

Report this Dec. 07 2012, 1:28 am

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 10 2011, 4:31 am

>

>ERRAND OF MERCY

>Another great episode. If the Klingons are such a major threat, why have they never been seen, or even mentioned before? Funny to see most of them clean-shaven - only the leader and 2nd-in-command have beards. Organia is another parallel Earth, this time with the appearance of the middle ages, men wearing doublets and hose, women wearing long dresses, theres even an ox pulling a cart. Kirk comes across as a warlike prick at the end, as bad as Kor. Nice to have an episode end on Kirk's face, rather than the usual stock shot of the Enterprise warping off.

>THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR

>In the style of Captain Kirk:

>FACT: this is generally regarded by fandom en masse as the worst episode of the first season.

>FACT: it isnt, its better than a few others i could mention, and though it doesnt quite reach the lofty heights of THe Naked Time, Charlie X, Miri, The Menagerie etc, it sits quite comfortably alongside Shore Leave, The Galileo Seven, Tomorrow is Yesterday etc.

>AND, FACT: a main reason that fans dislike it, apart from the ending, is that (they say) its impossible to tell which Lazarus is on the scene at any time. It isnt, its easy to tell - the bad Lazarus has a plaster on his head and rants and raves constantly. Some of the confusion arises from the scene where the `Good' Lazarus attacks the Black female engineer (whos wearing a blue costume - why? Shouldnt she be wearing a red one? perhaps she didnt look good in red), and the radio operator from `Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea', but he does so in a gentile way. The fact that the 2 Lazruses are identical makes no difference, because ANY pieces of matter and anti-matter coming into contact would blow up the universe just as effectively.

>Theres one scene where Lazarus' beard is almost gone, just a few strands, but in the nect scene, its full and bushy again. I have an explanation for this - though he looks human, hes actually an alien of course. He must have had a shave, prior to the scene in the briefing room, but, one of the traits of his species is being able to grow hair very quickly, so by the time of the scene on the planet's surface, it grew back.

>Why didnt they just destroy Lazarus' ship, or kill the `Bad' one? Locking the 2 men forever in limbo seems a horrible solution to the problem. oh, and one more thing: the `Fact...fact....and fact 'speech is regarded as one of Kirk's catch-phrases. Why? He only says it in this ep.

>


 


Errand of Mercy is one of those Cold War episodes like Balance of Terror and Arena--these were basically prayers that the US and USSR would not blow each other to pieces. Star Trek was actually quite effective at this.

cellist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 28

Report this Dec. 07 2012, 1:40 am

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 12 2011, 3:30 am

>

>THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER

>Excellent, but overrated. Its great, but not as great as many fans think. Ive read comments over the years to the effect that its not only the best ep of TOS, but the best Star Trek ever, better than all those great eps of TNG etc! Its overrated because it was written by Harlan Ellison, and because of the controversy of Gene Roddenberry's rewriting of Ellison's script. Possibly also, because its the only ep of TOS which deals with time/reality being changed - always a popular theme in the other ST shows. A good story, characterization, good performances etc, but i imagine that newer fans, having read all the hype about it, but not knowing anything of the story, would be disappointed.

>OPERATION-ANNIHILATE!

>One of my favourites. The theme of parasitic monsters taking over bodies is an old one, but a good one, and this ep does it justice. Its one of the iconic childhood memories i have of the series - the landing party going into a building where the `pancakes/jellyfish' are hiding on a wall, and one jumps on Spock's back. The parasites look a bit fake (to the extent that a line had to be inserted where the Yeoman says it `doesnt even look real!') but that doesnt detract from a great story. Joan Swift gives one of the most convincing performances in the series. The end is a bit odd - Kirk's brother and sister in law are dead, and hes having a good old laugh, because Spock is safe! Still, this is acceptable because this is the last ep of season 1 and a downbeat ending would have been innappropriate.  

>


Your review of The City on the Edge of Forever belies the old saying--familiarity breeds contempt. You know this episode too well. I know it really well too, along with all of the other ones, and I still think it is the best. The most interesting aspect is actually the classical tragedy--Kirk has to kill the woman he loves, and he does. And the love story is very real, as opposed to most of Kirk's encounters with women. The time travel premise is also classic, and this episode has the undisputed most powerful ending of any Star Trek episode. Sometimes the conventional view is correct.

cellist

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 28

Report this Dec. 07 2012, 1:45 am

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 13 2011, 12:50 am

>

>WHO MOURNS FOR ADONAIS?

>Another excellent ep, this stands out as being unique in a season where the same story concepts/ideas were re-used constantly ; ie parallel Earths and mad computers. Good performance from Michael Forest, who gives a convincing English accent. Scotty is taken for a fool by Carolyn, she casually tosses him aside in favour of Apollo, but despite this, he is still concerned for her safety at every opportunity. Good FX when Apollo grows to giant size, and when Scotty is flung backwards. I think the female crewmembers uniforms are very sexy, so (as in `Squire of Gothos') its strange that Apollo changes her clothes for a look that is not as good. The rape at the end is tastefully, and subtly done, though the ep ends abruptly. Originally, it was to have concluded with McCoy on the ship telling Kirk that Carolyn is expecting Apollo's child.

>


The version I have seen does end this way--in the trailer, McCoy tells Kirk that she is pregnant.


 

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