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Star Trek reviewed, from start to finish

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this May. 27 2011, 5:04 am

THE OMEGA GLORY


This ep is one of my favourites from TOS, because its the best example of turd-polishing - taking a boring story and making it an interesting 49 mins. The ideas are all old-hat: Renegade Starship captain, parallel Earth, fountain of youth. Theyve all been done in Star Trek, or feel like they have. But the ep is always entertaining. The disease reducing its victims to powder gets things off to a good start, plus a rare chance to see Ed McCready in the flesh (without makeup) as the dying Exeter's Doctor. Theres another great OTT performance from Morgan Woodward, and plenty of action. I can do a great impression of Woodward, from both this ep, and `Dagger of the Mind', what a pity you cant see it.  The ending raises an interesting point about TOS - it has a reputation as a peace-loving, pacifistic show, which preaches tolerance, non-violence etc., but it's ironic because it must be one of the most violent 60s SF series, often presenting ideas, scenes which are quite horrible - here for instance, we have the spectacle of 2 men (Kirk and Tracey) in a fight to the death, watched by a cheering mob, while they fight to get control of a knife, to stick into the other's stomach or head! Lovely. This isnt a criticism, more an observation, and it's one of the many exciting things about this great show - the idea that a peaceful man like Kirk often has to use violent methods to achieve a peaceful goal. Its also interesting that he is a very adept fighter, as many people in todays society believe that pacifistic people would be wimps/pushovers. Well with Kirk, heres someone who's a pacifist, but when he needs to, can he sock it to them! 

wissa

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POSTS: 4024

Report this Jun. 02 2011, 8:56 am

Quote: Spouter @ May. 08 2011, 5:13 am

>

>THE GAMESTERS OF TRISKELION

>This is almost a classic, but its undermined by the constant cuts back to the Enterprise:  just as something exciting is about to happen on Triskelion, we cut to Spock, Bones and Scotty arguing about what to do next. Blatant padding, really. The purple/green sky combo looks nice, and pops up again in other eps. Interesting to see an Andorian amongst the gladiators. I read a review of this ep back in the 80s, in which the excitable reviewer thought that Uhura had actually been raped by Lars: of course she isnt raped! Lars tries to ravish her but she fights him off. If she had been raped, i doubt the incident would have been so glibly brushed aside for the rest of the ep. Some nice comedy with the alien who fancies Chekov (i read somewhere this was a man playing the part). The action scenes are very effective, but its a bit daft that Kirk can record a `Captain's log' while in the process of being whipped to death. Watch for the bit near the end, where Kirk yanks off his collar and throws it away - Bill Shatner is really posing for the cameras in this scene, looking intense.

>


do you think this woman is a relative of lady Gaga's?


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Vger23

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POSTS: 6799

Report this Jun. 02 2011, 9:33 am

Quote: wissa @ Jun. 02 2011, 8:56 am

Quote: Spouter @ May. 08 2011, 5:13 am

>

>

>THE GAMESTERS OF TRISKELION

>This is almost a classic, but its undermined by the constant cuts back to the Enterprise:  just as something exciting is about to happen on Triskelion, we cut to Spock, Bones and Scotty arguing about what to do next. Blatant padding, really. The purple/green sky combo looks nice, and pops up again in other eps. Interesting to see an Andorian amongst the gladiators. I read a review of this ep back in the 80s, in which the excitable reviewer thought that Uhura had actually been raped by Lars: of course she isnt raped! Lars tries to ravish her but she fights him off. If she had been raped, i doubt the incident would have been so glibly brushed aside for the rest of the ep. Some nice comedy with the alien who fancies Chekov (i read somewhere this was a man playing the part). The action scenes are very effective, but its a bit daft that Kirk can record a `Captain's log' while in the process of being whipped to death. Watch for the bit near the end, where Kirk yanks off his collar and throws it away - Bill Shatner is really posing for the cameras in this scene, looking intense.

>

do you think this woman is a relative of lady Gaga's?


Without question.


I AM KEE-ROCK!!

Mr_Parker_Gabriel

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POSTS: 3

Report this Jun. 02 2011, 9:54 am

"The Naked Time," aside from giving Bruce Hyde a reasonably annoying but laughable character in Kevin Thomas Riley(who proved to be tragic when it was discovered that his parents had died on Tarsus IV at the hands of at least one of the Kodoses--that's right, there were two Kodoses; more on that in a future post), also brought about the emergence of a phenomenon that has been explored all too rarely in the books, and, AFAIK, not at all in the filmed installments: The Back-To-Earth Terror Society.

You read the transcription of Stewart Moss's lines as LTJG Joseph Tormolen just before he uses that knife on himself, and they read almost like "The Back-To-Earth Manifesto" in a nutshell! For all you knew, Joe Tormolen might have been a Back-To-Earthling HIMSELF, for all the hate Mr. Moss infused into those few lines he delivered!! With that kind of paradox, engaging in space travel as a career but believing that Earth was the ONLY planet on which or the only PLACE where any humans belonged, ever had, or ever WOULD, it was no wonder Lieutenant Junior Grade Tormolen stopped wanting to live, and caused himself to spite everything McCoy did to save his life by making himself die, under the influence of the Psi 2000 virus.

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jun. 03 2011, 12:42 am

Thanks for your comments, folks, and yes, Shahna does look like a relative of Lady Gaga's

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this Jun. 03 2011, 12:50 am

THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER


Someone in the ST production office was very paranoid about our mechanical friends, back in the 60s, what with the steady stream of stories about deranged computers/machines. This ep is really just about average, one of the most obscure and least-discussed eps. Apart from the M5 prop, it contains nothing new - no new effects, sets etc, and only 2 guest stars. As soon as it begins, its obvious what is going to happen, and it follows a predictable path. One thing i like very much though is that the Enterprise goes into orbit around a Strange New World, but no-one beams down, and we dont see the surface - Spock presents a read-out on the planet having 2 major land masses, one of which is populated, but we dont see the inhabitants, and so this allows our imagination to work, creating a society in our own minds. For me, the planet has a yellow sky, and is inhabited by a race of aliens who resemble giant spiders, but with humanoid heads (a bit like `The Zanti Misfits' from `The Outer Limits').


Nice to hear James Doohan as the voice of M5, and to see the stock composite shots of the Enterprise, as the other StarFleet ships.

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jun. 05 2011, 4:32 am

Well, to the last 2 eps of season 2, which are both classics


BREAD AND CIRCUSES


Another great parallel Earth story, with the cliched idea of a 20th century Roman Empire being given an unexpected twist, with the inspired idea of gladiators hacking away at each other in a TV studio-bound arena. The combat scenes are very exciting - i bet Kirk was just dying to get down there and get stuck in himself. The scene where Kirk has a quick fling with Drusilla was cut by the BBC, making Kirk's punny line `They threw me a few curves' meaningless. Great character scene in the cell with Spock and McCoy, and the ending is unusual - instead of changing the society for the better, the landing party just manage to get beamed up in the nick of time, though theres an optimistic coda.


ASSIGNMENT: EARTH


An excellent, highly unusual ep. It was intended as the `Backdoor Pilot' for a series about Gary Seven, Roberta and Isis, and so there is a great deal of attention focussed on them, especially Seven. It comes across like an episode of the `Gary Seven' show, in which the Star Trek cast are guest stars. Regular viewers may have been getting a bit tired of parallel Earth stories, so here we get the real thing. A superb blend of drama/humour, and a fitting end to the season.


The general concensus of fan, tv critics/writers' opinion in the 70s/80s was that the first season of Star Trek was not only the best season of Trek, but was the best single season of a tv fantasy/SF show in general. The general opinion on season 2 was that it was not quite as good as the first, and that the third season was crap. Looking back over season 2, i think it is just as good as season 1, and that the majority of negative comments were unfair. Certainly, i can remember watching repeats of TOS on BBC2 in the mid-80s, and wondering what on Earth was supposed to be wrong with it. What makes a story like, say `The Squire of Gothos' or `Arena' any more or less entertaining than say, `The Doomsday Machine' or `Bread and Circuses'? The characters have a better rapport in season 2, and the effects are slightly better. Ill beam up season 3 shortly.  

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jun. 08 2011, 12:58 am

Aaaaaaaaarrrgghhh `Star Trek Reviewed from Start to Finish' has been cancelled - there should be a campaign started to bring it back

wissa

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POSTS: 4024

Report this Jun. 09 2011, 9:19 am

Quote: Spouter @ May. 18 2011, 12:38 am

>

>A PIECE OF THE ACTION

>Quite hard to review, this one, as my thoughts on it are exactly the same as everyone elses': great episode, good comedy, Fizzbin, `i would advise youse to keep diallin' Oxmyx', great sets etc.

>One thing ill say: whenever there is a poll or whatever about the sexiest women in TOS, its always the usual suspects - Janice Rand, Uhura, Helen Noel, Martha Landon etc. For my money, its the 2 women in this ep who appear near the start, complaining about the `crummy street lights' in the area. Makes me wish i was a Gangster!

>


 


seriously?  It was all I could do to sit through it.  They are being held by the gangsters, they escape, they are being held again, they escape, they are being held again, they escape. 


The car was midly amusing.  And it looked like the actors were having fun, but over all it was an hour of my life I'll never get back. 


 


well, probably mutlitple hours.  Wonder how many times I have watched this episode.


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wissa

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POSTS: 4024

Report this Jun. 09 2011, 9:20 am

Quote: Spouter @ Jun. 08 2011, 12:58 am

>

>Aaaaaaaaarrrgghhh `Star Trek Reviewed from Start to Finish' has been cancelled - there should be a campaign started to bring it back

>


 


BRING IT BACK!


 


sorry, my participation is suckish.  I'm trying not to read what you write till after I do mine on the same episode.


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Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jun. 09 2011, 4:23 pm

Quote: wissa @ Jun. 09 2011, 9:20 am

Quote: Spouter @ Jun. 08 2011, 12:58 am

>

>

>Aaaaaaaaarrrgghhh `Star Trek Reviewed from Start to Finish' has been cancelled - there should be a campaign started to bring it back

>

 

BRING IT BACK!

 

sorry, my participation is suckish.  I'm trying not to read what you write till after I do mine on the same episode.

Hi Wissa, yes im following your reviews with interest - my opinions on the eps are carved in stone, and i find it easy to review them as ive been writing the reviews in my head for the last 20 years, lol. Ill let you get ahead with season 3 before i resume

wissa

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 4024

Report this Jun. 10 2011, 7:36 am

Quote: Spouter @ May. 18 2011, 12:38 am

>

>THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME

>A dull and predictable story that has already been done 3 times before - in the same season. The first time-`The Doomsday Machine'-it worked well, but the second and third outings-`The Changeling'/`Obsession'-fell flat, and this is even worse. Its basically 49 minutes of padding. The only thing that stands out is the footage of the giant amoeba. 4 points of note: 1. Its the last appearance, production-wise, of Kirk's alternate green shirt. 2. Kyle appears, but with a different hairstyle, a gold shirt instead of a red one, and is called `Cowell', both by Kirk and in the credits. Did they expect us to think it was a different crewman? 3. The shuttle interior is different to how it looked before. 4. The USS Intrepid has a crew of Vulcans- but i thought Vulcans didnt approve of StarFleet, as was pointed out by Sarek in `Journey to Babel'. The impression given to this point is that Spock is the only Vulcan in StarFleet.

>


 


good catch on the vulcan thing.  Unless Spock is doing a Riker thing where he is refusing commands to stay on the enterprise how can there be a whole vulcan crew out there?  I thought he was the first vulcan not the only. 


 


I liked this episode though.  Liked the tension between Spock and McCoy.  There is always tension of course, but this was direct competition which I don't think we've seen before.


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Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jun. 15 2011, 1:50 am

Different uniforms, blue credits instead of yellow, and, according to 99% of Trekkers anyway, a horrible deterioration in the show's quality - its season 3


SPOCK'S BRAIN


Generally regarded as the worst episode of the entire series, by people who've never seen `The Mark of Gideon', this is actually a fun and entertaining romp, more enjoyable than many straight-faced episodes. Im not actually convinced that this isnt a comedy, either - the myth is that Fred Freiberger disliked comedy eps, and so this story, written as a comedy, was altered to become serious. But was it? The beginning is fairly serious, but then it takes a tongue-in-cheek turn. The set of the planet surface is quite cheap, with the rocks spray-painted to give them a glacial look, and that cave turns up in many a 3rd season story. Marj Dusay (Kara) is another of TOS unsung sex symbols. This episode is excellently directed, with some angles of the bridge never seen before (or since), and theres even a scene of Kirk with just the starfield on the viewscreen behind him. The idea of Spock getting his brain put back in his head while he's still conscious is utterly sick, but since its played for laughs, its not as disturbing as it might have been. 

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jun. 16 2011, 8:25 am

THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT


A far more entertaining story than TOS' other Romulan ep, `Balance of Terror'. Theres an intriguing mystery to start with, as we ponder on whats wrong with Kirk, and why the antagonism between him and Spock - just smell the testosterone in the briefing room scene where they stare each other out! One thing i love about this ep, is the fact that Shatner's ott performance can be explained away by the fact that its Kirk who is pretending to have gone mad - so its Captain Kirk who is a complete ham, rather than Shatner. A pity they didnt do a scene where Kirk asks Bones " What did you think of my performance?" Bones: "I'm a Doctor, not a drama critic". The Romulan commander is quite nice - i like her sexy costume, with the mini-skirt, dark tights, and go-go boots. Her knickers are also clearly on view when she sits and rises. The love scenes between her and Spock were added by the story editor, Arthur H. Singer - apparently, Dorothy Fontana was horrified when she found out, and personally apologised to Leonard Nimoy on set. Incidentally, these scenes, of Spock and the Commander stroking each others hands were cut by the BBC who considered them embarrassing! And Bill Shatner really poses for the camera in sickbay when hes disguised as a Romulan

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jun. 16 2011, 8:35 am

THE PARADISE SYNDROME


While this is quite a dull story, it stands out in several respects. First, its the only 3rd season ep filmed on location. Second, it offers a plausible explanation for why there are so many humanoid species in the galaxy - the Preservers `seeded' other worlds with them. Nice idea, better than just the outlandish coincidences/illegal contamination plots of other eps. The episode has a great beam-down sequence at the start. The main thing that makes this ep unusual is the fact that it appears to be an ep from the 70s, rather than the 60s - its much more like a 70s show than a 60s one. Its easy to imagine David Banner or Steve Austin in Kirk's situation (though they wouldnt be on another planet), and even Kirk looks more like William Shatner than Captain Kirk, or like Shatner looked in the 70s when he appeared on chat shows etc. So, as a glimpse into what Star Trek's 4th, 5th or 6th seasons would have looked like, this is unmissable.

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