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Star Trek reviewed, from start to finish

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 22 2011, 12:52 am

CATSPAW


This episode, ST's Halloween `celebration', falls flat, mainly because there arent enough elements of the supernatural involved, and also, because it seems padded, with long speeches about nothing very interesting to fill out the running time, and hide the lack of budget. In the first draft script, there was a scene of Kirk and co being attacked by a swarm of vampire bats when they entered the castle, but it wasnt filmed, pity. The 3 witches in the fog are excellent, great make-up and quite scary. The giant cat is partly effective - the scene of it howling through the doorway at Kirk is good but the shots of it padding through model sets dont really convince. 

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 25 2011, 1:44 am

I, MUDD


All 5 of ST's comedy eps work well, and this is very entertaining. Harry Mudd wasnt a comedy character in `Mudd's Women' so its interesting to see him re-invented as one here. The whole ep looks like an episode of `Batman', and Roger C. Carmel went on to play a Batman villain. It also looks very cheap, with colourful, tacky plaster sets, and when characters talk about the amazing sights theyve seen in the complex, we arent convinced. Mudds wife is very odd -the wicked witch of the west! I love the end scenes with the crew adlibbing, and Spock enjoying being silly.


JOURNEY TO BABEL


This is often regarded as a classic simply because Spock's parents are in it. It has more going for it than that though. Interesting to see more aliens en mass for once, funny that whenever the Andorians and Tellerites popped up again in the series, they were always together ie; `The Lights of Zetar'. Sarek is very good, Amanda is a female McCoy. The bit where Kirk is attacked in the corridor is noticeable for the abscence of any crewmembers walking by - theres never a redshirt around when you need them! Nice that sarek's name is derived from the show's title:  S(t)ar (t r)ek.

wissa

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POSTS: 4026

Report this Apr. 25 2011, 3:45 pm

YIKES!  you are ahead of me now.  Slow down


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wissa

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POSTS: 4026

Report this Apr. 26 2011, 8:28 am

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 20 2011, 3:22 am

>

>THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE

>Generally regarded as one of the best, this is an excellent episode, with a great guest performance from William Windom. The effects are good for the time, but look a bit naff now, especially with the same few stock shots of the Enterprise and the Planet Killer being used over and over again. In fact, a lot of these shots dont fit, in context, as the action is taking place in a relatively close area, so shots of the Enterprise warping through space are silly. Theres a blue transporter beam in this ep, instead of the usual yellow one - wonder why? During the fight between Decker and the guard, its interesting to see no other crew members are around when you need them, the corridors are usually bustling, but if someone is under attack (see also `Journey To Babel') theres never anyone around. I wonder what a female crewmember would have done if shed walked round the corner at that moment? would she have waded in to help, or just stood and cowered against the wall, as in the bar fight in `Trouble with Tribbles' where the female crewmembers can be seen doing just that.

>


 


no Uhura in that one.  We have an entirely different communications officer.


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Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 29 2011, 12:59 am

Quote: wissa @ Apr. 25 2011, 3:45 pm

>

>YIKES!  you are ahead of me now.  Slow down

>


ok, im on impulse now

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this Apr. 29 2011, 1:11 am

FRIDAY'S CHILD


A prime example of season 2's `polish a turd' approach where a really dull and innocuous story is transformed into something entertaining and even interesting. Points of interest in this ep include:


Its one of the few stories to depict an alien planet surface through studio sets AND location filming. The scenes shot on location have a really exotic look to them, making it seem as if it was shot in some eastern country rather than California.


The Klingon is played by Tige Andrews, a personal friend of William Shatner, who got him the part.


The revolt scene is exciting due partly to the great music of Gerald Fried. Watch for the bit where Akaar sticks a sword in someone - the sword is clearly stuck between the mans arm and torso. Theres a continuity glitch too, as the skewered man is wearing a green tunic one second, and a purple one the next.


Julie Newmar doesnt suit a blonde wig - she was the best ever Catwoman in `Batman', imo. 


The title of this ep is derived from the famous rhyme, `Monday's child is...'etc, etc. When it was first published, in Harpers Weekly, in the 19th century, it was Friday's Child that was full of woe. For some reason, over the years it was changed to Wednesday's child, but this ep's title is based on the original verse.


The Klingon ship is a household flat-iron with orange SFX superimposed on top.


When ST was shown in Britain, on BBC1, the listings in the `Radio Times' were quite quirky - this ep, for instance: `Captain Kirk and his party have to mind their P's and Q's, as the position on planet Capella is pregnant with perilous possibilities, particularly for Dr McCoy, whose proffered professional palliatives meet with a painful response!'.

J.T.Kirk

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POSTS: 107

Report this May. 05 2011, 5:12 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 12 2011, 8:20 am

>

>New title sequence, a new cast member, Beehive hairdo for Nurse Chapel, and a new, better arrangement of the theme - all aboard for Season 2!

>AMOK TIME

>Brilliant, one of the best eps of the entire series. Great the way it makes one of the stars of the show such a menacing villain. The scene where Kirk and Spock are in Spock's quarters, and Spock is holding a knife behind his back, his hand shaking, exudes real threat. The soundtrack is excellent, the sets impressive, and the fight between Kirk and Spock is so good, even the obvious stuntmen cant spoil it. And T'Pol is terrifying!

>Bit of trivia concerning this ep - it was responsible for a mass riot at a UK convention in 1969, in Birmingham. The series began screening on the BBC in July 1969, and soon attracted a horde of fans. This con took place later in the year, with `Amok Time' being screened before it had been shown on TV in this country. Unfortunately, the projector broke half-way through, leading to around 500 fans, mainly female, going on a rampage, causing hundreds of pounds-worth of damage, and attacking passers-by (one poor sod ended up with his face slashed to ribbons by an irate fan wielding a pair of stainless steel Spock ears). It took the police the best part of a day to round everyone up, and Birmimgham still bears the scars of this event.

>


 


Ha, ha great stuff - who says that humour doesn't cross oceans. Looking forward to the rest of your reviews, comments ... & passionate shoot from the hip digs / potshots.

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this May. 06 2011, 12:51 am

Quote: J.T.Kirk @ May. 05 2011, 5:12 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Apr. 12 2011, 8:20 am

>

>

>New title sequence, a new cast member, Beehive hairdo for Nurse Chapel, and a new, better arrangement of the theme - all aboard for Season 2!

>AMOK TIME

>Brilliant, one of the best eps of the entire series. Great the way it makes one of the stars of the show such a menacing villain. The scene where Kirk and Spock are in Spock's quarters, and Spock is holding a knife behind his back, his hand shaking, exudes real threat. The soundtrack is excellent, the sets impressive, and the fight between Kirk and Spock is so good, even the obvious stuntmen cant spoil it. And T'Pol is terrifying!

>Bit of trivia concerning this ep - it was responsible for a mass riot at a UK convention in 1969, in Birmingham. The series began screening on the BBC in July 1969, and soon attracted a horde of fans. This con took place later in the year, with `Amok Time' being screened before it had been shown on TV in this country. Unfortunately, the projector broke half-way through, leading to around 500 fans, mainly female, going on a rampage, causing hundreds of pounds-worth of damage, and attacking passers-by (one poor sod ended up with his face slashed to ribbons by an irate fan wielding a pair of stainless steel Spock ears). It took the police the best part of a day to round everyone up, and Birmimgham still bears the scars of this event.

>

 

Ha, ha great stuff - who says that humour doesn't cross oceans. Looking forward to the rest of your reviews, comments ... & passionate shoot from the hip digs / potshots.


Thanks, J.T., glad youre enjoying them:-)

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this May. 06 2011, 1:05 am

THE DEADLY YEARS


A good, but not great story - premature aging is one of the stock plots in tv fantasy/SF. Its done well here though, but i admit when i first saw this episode, i was horrified at what i considered at the time, to be a very OTT performance from DeForrest Kelley. Ive come to appreciate his performance in this ep now, though. When i first saw this ep, i thought the beginning was cut - it begins with the landing party materializing on the planet, so i thought there was a scene of the ship in orbit with a Captain's Log, that had been cut. The makeup is very good, the reuse of the Corbomite bluff is nice, and there's some weird direction in the scene where Kirk is given the antidote - a close up of his crotch, with what looks like an erection?! A clever way to put across youth and virility:-)


OBSESSION


Another `polish a turd' episode, except in this instance, they come perilously close to running out of polish! Kirk is no more obsessed with destroying the vampire cloud than he was with killing the salt vampire (The Man Trap) or the parasites of Deneva (Operation-Annihilate!) - all this business of `obsession' is just an attempt to make the story seem different and more interesting than it actually is. Its the same plot as `The Doomsday Machine' and `The Changeling', an entity of some sort which is a threat to all life and has to be destroyed. Funnily enough, despite the fact that the cloud needs blood to survive, it appears to exist on a dead world. Is it on a diet? This episode presents 2 alien worlds, not a common occurence in ST: the first is the stock set, tarted up with some exotic plants, the second has clouds in the sky which actually move, as with the planet in `Metamorphosis'. When this episode was shown on the BBC, the scene with Nurse Chapel taking G.arrovick some soup was cut

J.T.Kirk

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 107

Report this May. 06 2011, 8:26 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

> The makeup is very good, the reuse of the Corbomite bluff is nice, and there's some weird direction in the scene where Kirk is given the antidote - a close up of his crotch, with what looks like an erection?! A clever way to put across youth and virility:-)

>


The sexual innuendos/connotations planted within this series blew right over my head while watching this series as a 7,8,9 year old. Revisting it all again years later - there were many of these puns - often very subtle & so strategically placed.


It's common knowledge that the breasts were all 'stuffed' in retaliation to the network restricitions for showing any cleavage.  Kids didn't know that, we thought boobs should all be that size/shape - naturally.

whoman69

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POSTS: 977

Report this May. 06 2011, 10:16 pm

Quote: Spouter @ 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.

>


Miri is by far my least favorite episode.  It was a totally cliche move to make that world look like Earth.  The writer is beating you over the head saying, "Look, this could happen here."  The acting is horrible along with the writing.  They're all dying an all Janice is worried about is that Kirk won't see her as beautiful anymore.  This is a typical overacting job by Shatner. 


Lt. Commander Max McGillicuddy USS Vesuvius, Commanding http://ussbeowulf.kersare.net/sms/

J.T.Kirk

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POSTS: 107

Report this May. 07 2011, 3:18 am

I've always found it a bit humorous when the overaging gal (Louise?) jumps on  Kirk's back and they literally go for a 'spin'. Because there was alot of junk scattered on the floor - it's obvious that they rehearsed the steps & it all looks just a bit too choreographed. Almost like Shatner is auditioning for some kind of square dance contest or something. 


 


'Bonk, bonk on the head' was my mantra for bullies at the hockey rink & schoolyard for some time after watching that episode on it's original airing.

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this May. 07 2011, 4:33 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>

>THE DEADLY YEARS

>A good, but not great story - premature aging is one of the stock plots in tv fantasy/SF. Its done well here though, but i admit when i first saw this episode, i was horrified at what i considered at the time, to be a very OTT performance from DeForrest Kelley. Ive come to appreciate his performance in this ep now, though. When i first saw this ep, i thought the beginning was cut - it begins with the landing party materializing on the planet, so i thought there was a scene of the ship in orbit with a Captain's Log, that had been cut. The makeup is very good, the reuse of the Corbomite bluff is nice, and there's some weird direction in the scene where Kirk is given the antidote - a close up of his crotch, with what looks like an erection?! A clever way to put across youth and virility:-)

>

What??????

Now I'm going to watch that episode again to ah verify what you say.

OBSESSION

Another `polish a turd' episode, except in this instance, they come perilously close to running out of polish! Kirk is no more obsessed with destroying the vampire cloud than he was with killing the salt vampire (The Man Trap) or the parasites of Deneva (Operation-Annihilate!) - all this business of `obsession' is just an attempt to make the story seem different and more interesting than it actually is. Its the same plot as `The Doomsday Machine' and `The Changeling', an entity of some sort which is a threat to all life and has to be destroyed. Funnily enough, despite the fact that the cloud needs blood to survive, it appears to exist on a dead world. Is it on a diet? This episode presents 2 alien worlds, not a common occurence in ST: the first is the stock set, tarted up with some exotic plants, the second has clouds in the sky which actually move, as with the planet in `Metamorphosis'. When this episode was shown on the BBC, the scene with Nurse Chapel taking G.arrovick some soup was cut

Why was the scene cut?

unknown, but probably to get the show to fit a shorter slot. The BBC showed the same cut prints throughout the 70s/80s. They also re-edited the show so that the title sequence came first, then the teaser.

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this May. 07 2011, 4:36 am

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Always appreciated

J.T.Kirk

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 107

Report this May. 07 2011, 1:56 pm

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

>SHORE LEAVE

>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.


In the second tiger sequence - if you look closely at the cat's neck area,you can clearly see the chain leash that it is tied to.

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