These Are The Voyages-Star Trek TOS Remastered and Reconsidered


I had to cut my last post short since I suddenly got busy at work. Where was I?

Oh yes, the Romulans. I really found the episode interesting from just a general Trek lore point of view. I had no idea from watching TNG/DS9/Voyager that the humans (or is it the Federation? Was there a Federation yet, a hundred years before Kirk? Is that closer to the Captain Archer time period?) were at war with the Romulans, and they fought the war without ever finding out what the Romulans looked like.

Another reason I found this episode cool is that the internal behavior of the Romulan ship crew was actually very similar to their behavior in one of my favorite TNG episodes, in which Counselor Troi becomes a Romulan and has to realistically portray herself as such. I love seeing that kind of consistency across multiple Star Trek series, especially considering that this episode is where the Romulans were basically invented.


I was living overseas when TOS was first broadcast. As a result I saw most of the show years later, in syndication, and out of order. I have a very strong memory of seeing Balance of Terror for the first time and being shocked to discover that the ship attacking the Enterprise was commanded by Spock’s father. So the whole reaction of the crew really worked for me — I thought they were shocked to see Sarek too.

It’s a good episode. The dialog and relationship between the Romulan captain and the Centurion is very well done — every scene between those two is top-notch. To me, the weakest part of the story is that Kirk is way too easy on Stiles.


This is really funny! I don’t know why I didn’t think the same thing. I had the same viewing pattern and saw them at like 6 or 7 for the first time.


Shore Leave

Spoilers for Shore Leave follow.

Yeoman Barrow! Yowzer! Giving the Captain a back massage right on the bridge! Spock raises an eyebrow! Captain you horny dog! No wait, he says the Captain needs shore leave.

Dr McCoy is down on the planet, checking things out, and he put on way too much mascara when getting ready for this away mission. But to be fair, it’s not often the Doctor gets to go on away missions. He deserves this mascara. Work it, Doctor!

So when the Dr. mentions Alice in Wonderland, and the rabbit and Alice show up, the audience figures out that something is going on. Somehow what he was thinking about became… real? An illusion materialized? We’re not sure yet. What’s amazing about this episode is it’s near the end of the episode after Mr. Spock beams down that he finally puts up this hypothesis: their thoughts are becoming real.

Meanwhile, the episode itself is fairly charming for the most part. The light banter between these characters remains a highlight. When Spock traps the Captain into realizing that he needs shore leave, it’s pretty mellow and a very endearing moment for both characters.

Overall the episode takes too long in moving forward with its premise, and takes too long in silly scenes, making me really impatient at times. Their sense of timing is really off in this episode, even if I like certain scenes, and enjoyed the premise. It’s just not well executed overall.

It’s frustrating to me that the show started off so fantastic out of the gate with several fantastic episodes, and now continues into sort of drab execution since then. Last week’s boring episode with the Romulans when the premise was so interesting, and now this. Before that, Kodos was pretty great, but the pacing was kind of annoying in that episode too. 3 Episodes in a row now where I’m pretty disappointed. I really hope they can tighten up these episodes next week and not have to have to have so much filler where I’m left anxious for them to get on with it.


So here we are again, and as the Rock says, this week we will talk about Shore Leave. This is another one that, like the dummy from The Corbomite Maneuver, kind of traumatized me as a child, because I really thought McCoy was dead. But yeah, you’d have to be a child not to see through that one.

I’ll level with you guys, I don’t like this episode. I would summarize it as some stuff happens, then a guy shows up and says whoops, clerical error, it was supposed to be fun! Ha ha. There are a couple good moments, like Kirk thinking Spock is giving him a back rub and then when Spock jujitsu’s Kirk into going down on shore leave. But all the other stuff is just perfunctory, to me. It’s made clear early on that they’re not hallucinations, so we’re just spinning our wheels until we find out who’s behind it all. And it’s just some guy. Yay.

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear differing opinions. I didn’t hate the episode, the interactions between the crew members was solid as always. I guess this was just a budget-saving episode, they took the cameras to a local park and spitballed. Oh no wait, I forgot to mention, the episode was written by Theodore Sturgeon! Which just goes to show you that not even Theodore Sturgeon is exempt from Sturgeon’s Law.


Wikipedia says:

Sturgeon’s revelation (as originally expounded by Theodore Sturgeon), commonly referred to as Sturgeon’s law , is an adage commonly cited as “ninety percent of everything is crap”.

The phrase was derived from Sturgeon’s observation that while science fiction was often derided for its low quality by critics, the majority of examples of works in other fields could equally be seen to be of low quality, and that science fiction was thus no different in that regard from other art forms.


Yes, sorry, I assumed everyone was familiar with Sturgeon’s Law at this point.


No comment on McCoy’s mascara? He got all gussied up for Yeoman Barrow. I wonder if he’s in love?


There’s so much eyeliner and such going on in this show that I didn’t even notice. I did find it a bit strange, whatever was going on between McCoy and Yeoman Barrow, awful lot of fraternization on the Enterprise. And have we seen the last of Yeoman Rand? Until she pops back up in the Motion Picture anyway?


You know, I couldn’t stand Shore Leave. Couldn’t stand it when it aired, couldn’t stand it when I rewatched it last year. Maybe I just don’t like that kind of whimsical nonsense, and by the time it was over I also wanted to join Kirk in beating the crap out of Finnegan.

But Rock8man, I’m disappointed you didn’t like Balance of Terror (or, by the sounds of it, Wrath of Khan!). I love those slow-burn ship combat thrillers, where it’s not about the special effects but about the characters; the politics onboard each ship, and the battle of wits between the captains. One of my favourite episodes that one, which is probably partially why I disliked Shore Leave coming straight after it.

Fortunately next week makes up for it.


Hey, I’m disappointed too. I love that kind of thing in Das Boot, the Hunt for Red October, and so on. I love me some tense submarine combat. But yeah, I don’t know quite why it doesn’t work for me with Kirk and the Enterprise. For some reason I just don’t feel engaged with it, and when you’re not feeling engaged, there’s no tension, and then those scenes just become boring. In most submarine movies, I feel really engaged, so every move is heart-stoppingly tense in the right scene. Neither Balance of Terror nor Wrath of Khan in the nebula fight really made me feel real danger.


Aw man, I totally forgot to talk about that damned fistfight! Jesus, that was nearly as long as the one in They Live, and equally as pointless.


Yeah, I forgot to talk about the fist fight as well. It was interesting to me that Kirk pretty much got his ass handed to him repeatedly. In the end he started doing well because he can keep taking a punch. He’s got resilience. In the beginning Finnegan just kept winning and winning and winning. And then he started getting tired from kicking so much ass. That’s when Kirk started getting his licks in as well.


As a kid, I loved that fist fight to death; the idea of beating the hell out of one of your old bullies b/c you could take a punch was inspiring to grade-school-me. I have not re-watched the episode in a very long time so perhaps I need to do so. I wonder if the episode holds up for me?


I say jump in, this episode needs a defender and doesn’t look like we’ve found one yet.


All right kiddies, it’s that time again! This week we’re watching Galileo 7, or as we’ve remarked earlier, the introduction of the shuttlecraft. Good thing somebody invented those! Otherwise we’d never have this thrilling adventure of a confused Vulcan, given his first command and utterly perplexed that the universe doesn’t conform to his expectations of completely logical actions, and his loyal crew of backbiting officers for whom the burial of a dead coworker takes all precedence, even over the continued survival of the remaining crew.

All right, first off, this episode was really hurt by the budget of the show. I started out watching with the enhanced effects but noticed they really stood out in this episode, much moreso than in earlier ones I thought, so I figured I’d bop back to watching without and I’m not sure which is worse, really. I liked what they tried to do with perspective to present the alien bear-apes as huge, but then in the scene where Gaetano is menaced by one they show them together in a shot and it’s just a pretty big guy holding his arms aloft in the classic “I’m going to get you” pose that every kid knows.

Also, just in case you forgot, Spock is a logic-driven person. Figured that was due for reminding, because I’m starting to think the show has a dim view of the average viewers’ memory, given how they make sure to hammer that point home each week. And since this episode is pretty much the Spock Show, they make sure to hammer it home after every commercial break. I also learned that starship crew get really pissy when they aren’t allowed to have a funeral for dead crew members.

I’d rate this one as average. I hoped for more, it’s an interesting idea, but sometimes (like in Mira and Dagger of the Mind) it seems a little wobbly about the execution. Especially at the very end, when the bridge crew decides to gather around Spock and needle him about his use of the last of the shuttle’s fuel to signal the Enterprise. I guess being on the bridge is a lot like being a fifth grader, sometimes you just have to take your lumps.


Hey everybody, I just wanted to do a little temperature check, if you will. It looks like participation in the thread is starting to slow down - and that’s natural, not to mention what we’ve set up here is a long-term commitment. At least for me, because I do intend to continue viewing and then commenting on episodes in Star Trek TOS until I run out of them.

But I’m no autocrat, nor is this actually my thread. @Navaronegun dreamed this whole thing up and got it going, and he asked me to set the pace, which I’m doing because I’m enjoying it. I could happily go on even if I’m the only person posting in the thread, I’m bull headed like that. A girlfriend once told me I’m a prototypical Aries, if I see a problem I put my head down and charge. But I’d prefer to have the dialogue, the give and take, so let me ask if the pace is appropriate. I figured one episode per week gave everyone a chance to catch up at their own pace. Certainly there’s no obligation here, you don’t have to watch every episode like I’m doing, you can pop up if one of your favorites turns up in the rotation. I’m not taking role. Just wanted to check how this is working for everyone before I put my head back down and go full steam ahead.


I’ve watched the first 20 minutes or so of this week’s episode. I’m enjoying it a lot so far. When Spock announced that he would be the one choosing which 3 people got to go on the shuttle, I thought McCoy and others were being a little unfair. That’s not an easy decision, but if he makes the right choice, odds are that if the 3 on the shuttle survived and got help, then they would come back for the others. So I was just impressed that Spock took on that responsibility so unflinchingly, you know? But not these others.


I like the leisurely pace. It let me skip a few weeks a while back, and then catch up quickly. I’m pretty sure I’ll unsubscribe from Netflix in December, and maybe not be subscribed to anything, so I’ll have to catch up in January.

I appreciate your commitment to be the pace setter even when everyone else gets on and off this train. It lets us know that it’s still in motion.


Well, that’s the intention, that I set a steady pace, and people are free to jump in and out as they please. I’m just doing a spot check to see how that’s working for everyone who isn’t me so far.