Rgirvan44 -> RE: Star Trek... Where to Start (4/5/2009 11:34:01 PM)
So guess what I spent my Bank Holiday doing?
Season One is done!
The Squire of Gothos
Yet another encounter with a childish god like being. In retrospect I am glad that The Next Generation invented Q to fulfil this role. It seems like Kirk is bumping into these beings every other week part of me wants to pretend they are all part of Q's race. Even the ending is a direct lift from Charlie X. I suppose in the 60s doing this sort of thing was considered pretty normal for TV.
Not the shows finest episode it has to be said. Lots of talking, little action.
The Gorn! Yay!
I love how the first half of the episode is pretty much trying to figure out a situation where Kirk can battle an intelligent lizard man in the desert. The suit DOES look silly, as does much of the fighting. In this age of close up fast editing, seeing the Gorn slowly swing its arms and Kirk slowly ducking is funny. But still, there is a lot to enjoy here, not least Shatner talking to himself while running quickly away from the slow moving animal. The denouncement was cool as well.
Tomorrow is Yesterday
Wow I had no idea the theory of time travel espoused in Star Trek IV The Voyage Home had its basis in this episode. That's some cool continuity right there (the new effects for the sling shot are great really evoke the shots from the film).
Love how smug Kirk is showing the Airforce pilot around the ship until Spock points out that he can't return to Earth - I suspect that the seeds for City on the Edge of Forever were planted here. Shatner has a great fight with three guards and looks like he is having fun with the subsequent interrogation.
As a look into how the Federation works and seeing fellow Starship captains it was interesting, and seeing Spock using his detective skills was a treat. The way evidence was shown felt a bit too easy and the young girl whose father was killed overacts like crazy.
Not much more to say. Pretty standard episode, with an ending that was a little too pat. Would have been interesting to have seen Kirk being right, but having to deal with the consequences of his actions. I am also surprised to see the Federation caring about this one guy, considering how many others are killed on a week by week basis.
The Return of Archons
Obviously the Maverick back lot set was free for a week. After Mudds woman this is the worst of the season. Just dull dull dull.
This is the big one and it sure doesn't disappoint. I had feared that the character in this episode wouldn't really reflect the Khan we saw in the movies but by goodness it is all there from the get go. The arrogance, the conflict between Kirk and Khan and for anyone who thinks Montalban pecs were fake in WOK should check this episode out. Dude was built.
He really does give a compelling performance and the script gives him a lot to chew on. The inflections when he speaks are still there 15 + years later.
I have to wonder why the Enterprise needs an Earth historian on the ship, especially since they had just gone back to Earths past a couple of episodes ago and didn't use McGivers. She is a hottie, even though she seemed to be into some kinky stuff with Khan. Kirk is totally jealous and a bit bitchy to her he certainly agrees with me about the uselessness of a historian on a star ship.
One thing that lets the episode down a little and an example of the minus points of such clean transfers it is now pretty much obvious when stunt doubles are being used. At one point I had turn at the wrong point, and when turning back I was wondering who Khan was fighting.
A final point I will make is that the episode ends with Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty by themselves and walking out of the room. They are the characters present when Spock makes his sacrifice in Wrath of Khan. Don't know if that was a deliberate decision by Bennett, but it is some nice foreshadowing.
A Taste of Armageddon
I remember watching this when I was younger and enjoying it. The concept is still strong and particularly relevant in today's world of the internet and global communications and the solution showing the gambler that Kirk can sometimes be.
My favourite thing was when Scotty was made captain and instantly recognised that something was up when Kirk called up from the planet. Usually TV shows would have let the characters make dumb decisions, but not here.
This Side of Paradise AKA The Episode Where Spock Got High On Spores and Smacked Kirk Around. (To quote Futurama)
I know this one is liked by people, but I couldn't really get into it. Most of the episode, based on a agricultural planet that somehow looks like it is from the 18th century, involves Kirk arguing to the colonists to get a onto the ship. Only when Spock gets hit by some trippy pollen and starts' getting it on with one of the female colonists does it become fun.
A later scene has Kirk goading Spock into fighting him, which ends up working. I wonder, considering that the writers are huge TOS fans, that they used this as the basis for part of the new film. Seeing Spock in a temper in the trailers does seem out of character.
The Devil in the Dark
I think this is where all the stuff about Red Shirts biting it comes from. Not many of them have died this season, but the security team here were all in red.
Effective episode with a monster that looks like a life sized fake puke toy. It was a nice mystery, and had some tense moments. For all the common views that TOS was a lot more about the action, there is still a pacifist subtext in there. Its just that Kirk is allowed to punch the aliens a couple of times before befriending them.
Errand of Mercy
The first appearance of the Klingon's in a sub standard episode. Although we do see some ship to ship combat. The plot yet again hinges on, yet again, super powered beings.
A plodding episode, and of course the Klingons aren't quite the intergalactic bastards of the galaxy as seen in the first 6 movies. I do wonder if they were popular in the 60s and 70s (the Romulans seems to have got the better plotlines) and if not, why the decision was made to reintroduce them in The Motion Picture.
The Alternative Factor
Again super powered beings are involved. Didn't enjoy this, apart from the ending which was quite imaginative. There is just too many of these kinds of episodes and the blend into each other. Pretty funny how the very first Next Gen involved super beings. Roddenberry seems to have never got bored of them.
City on the Edge of Forever
Masterpiece epic and tragic, Harlan Ellison should be rightly proud of this episode. Only in sci-fi could a 60s show have the hero let make the decison Kirk does here. Just watch it!
So does the movie acknowledge Kirks brother? He doesn't seem that cut up about losing most of his family at the end of the episode, already back to joking around with the crew no wonder he knew he would die alone, he is a cold cold man.
Not much to say about this one. Nurse Chapel appears for the first time in a while.
Was it just me or was Joss Whedon somewhat inspired by this when writing Serenity. When Kirk and Co. beam to the planet it REALLY resembles Miranda, as does the revelation as to what happened to the planets inhabitants. That has been the main thing I took from this episode watch them side by side big surprise.
So that is season one down. Some real classics in there, although the tendency towards using god like beings is already a clichι and the slowly creeping use of period sets suggests some of the problems of season three. For anyone seeing the movie this weekend and wanting more, you could do far worse than picking this up. It takes about ten episodes to really get the cast balance right, and some people such as Janice Rand just vanish. By the end the Kirk-Spock-Bone dynamitic is fully in place and the scripts and performances really start to focus on this.