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Star Trek reviewed, from start to finish

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 06 2011, 1:08 am

PLATO'S STEPCHILDREN


This episode stands out for me, as a British fan, as it was one of the 4 eps banned for over 20 years by the BBC. The BBC screened the series starting in July 1969, but it was screened out of order, which meant that `Miri' was shown after the rest of season 1, and the whole of season 2, had been screened. When `Miri' was shown, in December 1970, it caused an outrage, which led to it not being shown again until the 1990s, and to the BBC examining all future episodes. In 3 cases, they felt the eps were so debased, they had no choice but to ban them - this ep, `The Empath' and `Whom Gods Destroy'. I remember first encountering this story in James Blish's adaptation, and being amazed, nodding my head and thinking `yes, i can certainly see why this was banned'. It might seem tame now, but it was strong stuff at the time - the bit where Spock is about to stamp on Kirk's head is quite horrible, Kirk on the floor screamimg (if im not mistaken, are the Platonians mentally twisting his genitals? That seems to be the implication from the way its shot), and Spock's smutty and suggestive song, about women losing their virginity (Maiden Wine). Contrary to what some fans think, it was the sadism that got it banned, and nothing to do with the interracial kiss. This was the first such kiss on US tv, but the BBC beat them to it, with a similar kiss in a tv soap opera. Anyway, this is another excellent ep, and even though its no longer banned, watching it and the other 3 eps, still has a frisson. Looking at season 3 thus far, i think its poor reputation has more to do with the fact that Gene Roddenberry (next in line to God in some fans eyes, especially back in the 60s/70s) was ousted as producer and Fred Freiberger was brought in. The only differences are cosmetic ones (does the fact that Scotty has a different hairstyle, and the credits are in blue instead of yellow REALLY matter?), and the stories are easily equal (and in terms of effects, better) to those in the first 2 years. Those fans who think season 3 sucks - perhaps their tv sets have been tuned into another dimension?    

J.T.Kirk

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Report this Jul. 06 2011, 4:59 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Jul. 06 2011, 1:08 am

>

>PLATO'S STEPCHILDREN

>This Contrary to what some fans think, it was the sadism that got it banned, and nothing to do with the interracial kiss. This was the first such kiss on US tv, but the BBC beat them to it, with a similar kiss in a tv soap opera.


Didn't Kirk kiss Elaan, Dohlman of Elas in Elaan of Troyius? I'm sure I remember them kissing & France Nuyen, the actress who played Elaan, is of Asian Descent. Was that episode before or after Plato's Stepchildren?

Spouter

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 07 2011, 1:35 am

Quote: J.T.Kirk @ Jul. 06 2011, 4:59 pm

Quote: Spouter @ Jul. 06 2011, 1:08 am

>

>

>PLATO'S STEPCHILDREN

>This Contrary to what some fans think, it was the sadism that got it banned, and nothing to do with the interracial kiss. This was the first such kiss on US tv, but the BBC beat them to it, with a similar kiss in a tv soap opera.

Didn't Kirk kiss Elaan, Dohlman of Elas in Elaan of Troyius? I'm sure I remember them kissing & France Nuyen, the actress who played Elaan, is of Asian Descent. Was that episode before or after Plato's Stepchildren?

It was 3 eps after.

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 11 2011, 1:39 pm

WINK OF AN EYE


This episode could have been another classic, but its undermined by the tedious `romance' between Kirk and Deela, which subverts the great concept of superfast aliens into something banal. Listen to Leonard Nimoy's voice in the teaser - why is he talking in that strange way when Spock gives his report to Kirk? The matte painting of the city is from `Taste of Armageddon' but it looks poor here, as the actors are just standing in front of it, rather than being matted into it, as in the earlier ep, so it looks like what it is - a group of actors standing in front of a wall-sized painting. The end is unusual, instead of a mutually beneficial solution being found, the aliens are defeated and returned to their planet in disgrace!


THE EMPATH


Or, The One Where Kirk likes a Woman but doesnt make a pass at Her.


This is the 3rd of the four BBC-banned eps, and its easy to see why this fell foul of the censors. An ep where the main character is stripped to the waist, hung in chains and tortured had no chance of being shown on prime time back in 1970. Funnily enough, this was due to be the first 3rd season ep shown by the BBC, but after the fuss caused by `Miri', it was banned and replaced at the last minute with `The Paradise Syndrome'. The strange semi-sets are very good, Gem is ok, and the Vians are quite scary! Ive had quite a few dreams involving them over the years! I saw a clip from this ep in the 80s, and i was impressed at the atmosphere created by a short out-of-context clip. The Vians' motivation is a bit odd, and the torture scenes are quite bland and could have done with a few screams from Kirk to make them juicier. This ep was written by a fan, who sent the script in on spec - the storyline has a few similarities to `The Cage' and, as a wink to the fans, the aliens are called Vian, which is an anagram of Vina, the central character in that earlier ep.

My Star 9

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Report this Jul. 12 2011, 6:12 pm

I noticed an oversight in the credits for The Menagerie (Blue Ray DVD).


I am a big fan of Majel Barrett.


She plays No. One in Part 1 and Part 2.


There is no mention of her name in the credits for either Part 1 or Part 2.


I wonder why her name was left off??


They included a commentary for these episodes on the disk.


After a special preview was presented the women interviewed gave No. One


a negative review.  They couldn't see a woman in a roll like No. One's.


They also thought she was too unemotional and distant.


Could this be the reason that Majel's name was left off the credits?


From the first, to the last voyage, the Star Trek Universe is my home.

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 12 2011, 11:54 pm

Quote: My Star 9 @ Jul. 12 2011, 6:12 pm

>

>I noticed an oversight in the credits for The Menagerie (Blue Ray DVD).

>I am a big fan of Majel Barrett.

>She plays No. One in Part 1 and Part 2.

>There is no mention of her name in the credits for either Part 1 or Part 2.

>I wonder why her name was left off??

>They included a commentary for these episodes on the disk.

>After a special preview was presented the women interviewed gave No. One

>a negative review.  They couldn't see a woman in a roll like No. One's.

>They also thought she was too unemotional and distant.

>Could this be the reason that Majel's name was left off the credits?

>
Hi, Majel was billed as `M. Leigh Hudec' in the credits, not sure if that was her real name, or if they just used that name for the credits.

Ziriath

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POSTS: 245

Report this Jul. 13 2011, 8:47 am

Quote: Spouter @ Jul. 12 2011, 11:54 pm

Quote: My Star 9 @ Jul. 12 2011, 6:12 pm

>

>

>I noticed an oversight in the credits for The Menagerie (Blue Ray DVD).

>I am a big fan of Majel Barrett.

>She plays No. One in Part 1 and Part 2.

>There is no mention of her name in the credits for either Part 1 or Part 2.

>I wonder why her name was left off??

>They included a commentary for these episodes on the disk.

>After a special preview was presented the women interviewed gave No. One

>a negative review.  They couldn't see a woman in a roll like No. One's.

>They also thought she was too unemotional and distant.

>Could this be the reason that Majel's name was left off the credits?

>
Hi, Majel was billed as `M. Leigh Hudec' in the credits, not sure if that was her real name, or if they just used that name for the credits.


I think Majel Leigh-Hudec is her real name. But it's strange Number One is not mentioned here, at least as 'First officer'. The only excusable exception would be, if she got lost or died before this document was written. There's also an other flaw in that recommendation. Nothing there says Vulcans and Half-Vulcans shouldn't visit Talos IV.



THE WOMEN!!!

wissa

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POSTS: 4010

Report this Jul. 13 2011, 9:53 am

Quote: Spouter @ 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.

>


 


I like the way we see an insecure and vulnerable kirk in this one.  Though why didn't they beam Miramani on the ship?



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Ghostmojo

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POSTS: 1826

Report this Jul. 13 2011, 12:29 pm

Quote: Ziriath @ Jul. 13 2011, 8:47 am

>

>... There's also an other flaw in that recommendation. Nothing there says Vulcans and Half-Vulcans shouldn't visit Talos IV.

>

>


Oh contraire ... just above that bit about no human should is:


NO ONE WILL EVER VISIT TALOS IV. Which I take to mean no living creature in Star Fleet (or even the whole UFP) regardless of species ...


to boldy go where no man has gone before

Ziriath

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POSTS: 245

Report this Jul. 13 2011, 2:06 pm

Eh, it seems I have read small letters and did not notice the big ones, sorry.


THE WOMEN!!!

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 15 2011, 9:46 am

Thanks for comments folks - i never thought about how StarFleet would keep the Talos IV ban imposed, good point.


ELAAN OF TROYIUS


This is the worst ep of the series imo, alongside `The Mark of Gideon'. The idea of a female's tears causing a man to fall in love with her is a good one, and there are some good FX with the Klingon ship, but thats all the story has to offer. Its boring as Hell. I remember this ep kicked off a run of repeats on the BBC in 1976, and, as a 8-year old fan, i was excited at the return of my favourite (alongside `Doctor Who') show. However, my excitement soon turned to boredom and disappointment as this dreary tale unspooled in front of me. Does anyone really need telling that the title is a play on Helen of Troy? The Klingon looks like Frank Carson (an Irish stand-up comic, popular in the 70s) without the glasses.


WHOM GODS DESTROY


Last of the 4 BBC banned eps, and the one most UK fans have a hard time understanding why it was banned. The idea is pretty grim - Kirk and Spock imprisoned in a Looney Bin (do they use that expression in the US?) but in execution its quite mild, and comes over more like an episode of `Batman'. Most of the inmates dont act insane, and are just glorified extras. Once again, we have an Andorian and a Tellarite together, pity they have no lines. Yvonne Craig is very good as Marta, and i like the fact that Garth immediately signals to the viewer that he is insane, by wearing odd-coloured boots. The bit where Garth, changed to look like Kirk, has a temper tantrum is fascinatingly weird, and the line about `if i have to shatter every bone in Captain Kirk's body' has me laughing every time. Finally, Queen to Queen's Level 3 - since when?

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 16 2011, 5:09 am

LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD


(Why do some fans get the title wrong, and refer to it as `Let This Be Your Last Battlefield'?)


One of my favourite episodes, despite what many fans think. The anti-racism message is, as some have said in the past, `mind-numbingly obvious', but who cares? Its still a good message. Nice performances from Antonio and Gorshin as Lokai and Bele, and a great, wordy script. I havent got a problem with the `cheap' invisible ship - its a nice idea. I agree with the criticism some fans have made about the direction - it is particularly odd at the end, when Bele is chasing Lokai through the ship, and it looks like he is going for a Sunday morning jog round the park! How do they know where the Transporter room is, and why do they both stand sideways on the platform? Kirk should have beamed them both back up, instead of leaving them - he is therefore partly responsible for the extinction of an entire race, as they will both kill one another. The line about Cheron being in an uncharted area is daft, plus the fact that the planet changes colour, from mauve to orange. Overall though, a great episode. The self-destruct sequence is excellent. When this was shown on the BBC, the scene where Spock listens in to Lokai preaching in the rec room was cut.

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 18 2011, 11:39 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

>

>Great episode. The black and white makeup divide and is more evidence that things in TOS aren't meant to be taken too literally IMO.

>It is worth watching just for the self-destruct sequence alone.

>I still remember to this day that like Kirk I couldn't tell the difference between Lokai and Belle. That I too thought them to be of the same race.

>Kirk couldn't beam them back up because they could very well destroy his ship. And their destruction was also meant to be  symbolic.

>
Glad you like it too. Overall, season 3 is excellent, certainly more varied than season 2.


 

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 20 2011, 4:50 pm

THE MARK OF GIDEON


This episode is probably the worst of the series, but even then, it has an excellent teaser, and one scene of pure magic - when Kirk and Odona are on the bridge, and we suddenly see (but they dont) the faces of many citizens of Gideon, on the viewscreen, staring, as the scene fades to black with a great bit of music. The story is lousy though, a planet which is overpopulated to the extent that people are pressed up against each other, but they still find the space to build a duplicate Enterprise. Interesting that they know exactly what the ship's interior is like, even down to whats in Kirk's quarters - their intelligence force must be top class! Strange also that they know Kirk's record, even down to what diseases he has had. There are a few bits that really make me cringe, where the dialogue tries to make a rotten story seem interesting and exciting, for instance when Spock beams down, and records a log, commenting that Kirk must be involved in an experiment, the conclusion of which will see `the end of the Captain's life as he has known it'. I first saw this ep in 1976, and remember getting excited as the BBC continuity announcer gave a run-down of that night's shows, and said that in Star Trek, `Captain Kirk finds himself alone on the Enterprise'. When i watched it though, i thought it was crap. One of the writers of this ep was Stanley Adams, who played Cyrano Jones in `The Trouble with Tribbles'.

Spouter

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POSTS: 263

Report this Jul. 20 2011, 4:59 pm

Its 00:53 in the morning, im not tired, so wth, might as well add another ep:


THAT WHICH SURVIVES


Average story, but with some points of interest. I like the really cheap earthquake which occurs after Kirk and co have beamed down, and the fact that Spock is sort of the comic relief for this ep, with his misunderstandings of even the simplest Human expression. He and Scotty make an interesting double-act. Dr M'Benga is back for the 2nd and last time. The bit where Scotty announces that the ship is going to blow up `and nothing in the universe can stop it' should have been the most dramatic `fade to black' moment ever, instead its one of the worst, due to the fact that Spock looks totally unconcerned (he showed more anxiety when asked to hold a baby in `Friday's Child'!), and the poor choice of music. The planet surface is the stock set, but i like the fact that the pink sky becomes  purple as night draws on. Apparently, Shatner tried to `hit on' (i believe the US term is) Lee Merriwether, and was soundly rebuffed.

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