These Are The Voyages-Star Trek TOS Remastered and Reconsidered


#744

I haven’t gotten into any re-watching of my own yet but I do enjoy the periodic write-ups. I will also likely contribute to the discussion more once we get to the some of my Sacred Cow Episodes. So my view: keep on truckin’ divedivedive.

Also, although I suspect that although active responses may be down, the lurker-train is still chugging along.


#745

I wish I could contribute more. Work got busy (end of the semester stuff is creeping up). But I’m enjoying any and all activity in the thread. Hopefully once finals are over I can step back in.


#746

Please continue. I have gotten busy with: Rehab, getting better, my war-game design picking up steam and needing deadline attention, Movie Club. In no particular order. I have been a bad thread-starter. You @divedivedive, have been a rock. And I enjoy every post made here.


#747

I resemble this remark


#748

#749

Moving right along, this week’s episode is “The Squire of Gothos”. I admit I didn’t have particularly fond memories of this one, I found it quite boring but it’s been a very long time since I last watched it. And I find that it holds up better than I thought, given that it is basically another of the Vastly Overpowering Alien Entity tropes we’ve seen so much of. I like the way Trelane is characterized, he seems curious and exuberant, but he clearly is lacking in understanding of how people relate and, as Kirk points out, makes several very basic errors for what appears to be a superior being. I had also forgotten the reveal of Trelane as basically a child, which was parodied in the episode “Where No Fan Has Gone Before” in Futurama.

I went into this episode with the knowledge that Trelane has been retconned as a Q entity, though of course the concept of Q didn’t exist until the pilot episode of The Next Generation. But he does work as a Q, toying with the crew and delighting is expressing his superior powers over the puny humans, as well as not really having malevolent intentions but being mostly capricious. I haven’t read the novel “Q-Squared” by Peter David where Trelane is revealed to be a Q, so I can’t speak to the quality.

Anyway, I remember why the episode bored me so long ago, with the whole “we’re on the Enterprise, wait we’re in a weird castle on an alien planet, no we’ve escaped again, oh crap we’re back at the castle, no we’ve escaped once more, no now Kirk is on trial” thing. But I liked Trelane better this time, and thought the back and forth was more fun this time around. I guess I don’t need every episode to be a two-fisted action packed adventure anymore.

Last, I thought it was kind of fun that Trelane keeps salt vampires as trophies in the castle. Would that indicate that he’s been keeping an eye on the Enterprise, and its adventures? Though Trelane indicated surprise that humans were capable of traveling through space, so I guess not. Maybe Trelane just really likes salt vampires, except he used DeSalle’s phaser to zap them and - ok maybe this doesn’t bear that much thought.


#750

I liked it a lot.


#751

How odd. This episode was on the H&I Channel last night. Trelane is pretty much a baby Q.Paul Schnider could see the future!


#752

As I kid I never really liked the episodes set on historical sets because hey, I love the futuristic stuff. I always enjoyed the so-called “bottle episodes” (a somewhat derogatory term for “we’re trying to save money this week so the entire thing takes place on existing Enterprise sets”) because they fed that need. So I remember my heart sinking when something like The Squire of Gothos was set in a gothic (ho ho) castle, but rewatching it last year it was actually pretty good despite being a Trek cliche by that point. Trelane gets the right level of menace across without being too annoying, and the story wrapped up in a fairly satisfying way. And yes, particularly with the courtroom scene, I just assumed Roddenberry cribbed this wholesale for TNG’s pilot.


#753

Star Trek’s arguably best episode (CotEoF) was pretty much all Paramount/Desilou backlots. Gene Coon was amazing at saving money.


#754

All right kids, it’s Wednesday so time for another episode of Star Trek! And this week it’s a classic - Arena! Now I’ve seen a lot of lists out there on the world wide crazytown and this episode is listed as one of the worst episodes of Trek just as frequently as it is the best. I guess it’s a polarizing episode? But from the early days of my interest in Trek, I’ve loved Arena. It’s a simple episode, not a lot going on, and it’s seriously hampered by budgetary constraints, but I like it.

A brief recap - the Enterprise is tricked into landing on an outpost that they immediately discovered has been destroyed, and get attacked by bottle rockets by unseen assailants. They lob explosive blue nerf balls back at the assailants, which causes them to retreat to their ship. The Enterprise gives chase, both ships are stopped by a disembodied voice, and the captain of each ship is left on an asteroid to fight to the death to determine the victory. Kirk takes the opportunity to monologue endlessly while a big lizard listens in (dude, they told you it was a two way translator, what were you thinking?) and the two throw rocks at each other until Kirk builds a diamond bazooka and wins. Everyone’s happy.

The Gorn scared me as a kid, in much the same way Clint Howard’s ventriloquist dummy scared me in The Corbomite Maneuver. But watching it again, I see there’s a bit of complexity I didn’t notice as a kid - the Gorn aren’t unreasoning villains, but we find that the outpost the Enterprise was visiting had been established in Gorn space, and the Gorn were just defending themselves against intruders! OK sure, they decided to just blow up the outpost without every trying to talk to anyone and sure, they lured the Enterprise into a trap so they could blow that up too, but maybe blowing things up is just how conflicts are resolved on Gorn world! Hey, you just ate the last slice of pizza! Well how about I bash you over the head with this big friggin’ rock? Bet you won’t do that again.

I like the Gorn though. It’s clearly a pretty cheap costume, the face, jaw and eyes don’t move - though I did appreciate that one of the added effects in this episode was a computer assisted blink effect on the eyes, which did look pretty decent. The Gorn were also the bad guys in the most recent Star Trek video game, which I enjoyed though I will admit it’s not a very good game, just a bog standard third person cover shooter in the Star Trek universe. Also it’s peopled with characters from the Smokin’ Aces, Lord of the Rings and Sean of the Dead franchises for some reason.


#755

Oh man, now I really want to catch up to you. I only saw that episode once, and don’t remember much, but I want to see it again!


#756

This might be my favorite episode:it had it all: ground combat (with space mortars), space combat, super powerful aliens, an alien that didn’t just look like a human with makeup, Spock-McCoy bickering, and Kirk martial arts. The only problem was that the Gorn was so slow it didn’t appear threatening enough, and the one-on-one combat over-relied on the Gorn being slow.


#757

Yeah, the Gorn was a bit silly. No budget for good makeup effects, I know, but frozen plastic alligator head plus hissing plus wooden movement that really makes you wonder how the Gorn survived long enough to become a spacefaring species. It takes a lot away from this episode, makes it quite hard to take very seriously.


#758

In a possibly misguided attempt to participate in this thread, I watched this episode last night. It’s probably been thirty five years since I last saw it, but it was a favorite of the younger me, mostly because of the ending moral of mercy and solving problems though empathy and listening to the other side before acting rashly. Plus, you know, wrestling Sleestacks and doing chemistry.

There was lots of stuff I forgot - or more likely never noticed - in my childhood viewings.

Noted above was the Gorn’s fairly belligerent response to encountering a new race. You could argue that the fairly extensive Federation outpost was pretty militaristic – after all, it apparently included a sizable armory with nerf-ball ordinance that could wipe out large numbers at a good distance – but that rationalization kind of falls apart when you realize that the Gorn must have learned a great deal about humans if they were able to fake a transmission from “The Commodore” and lure Kirk and his “tactical team” down to the surface for one of the most inept ambushes ever televised.

I was struck by the voice of the Metrons telling the crew of the Enterprise that they control every aspect of the ship’s operation; the term they used sounded like the intro to The Outer Limits. Glancing at IMDB, that’s no accident since the voice of the Metrons is the same actor as the Outer Limit’s “Control”. For that matter, the voice of the Gorn is Lurch from the Addam’s Family.

Man, the scenery-chewing in the first act is astounding. The rescued crewman demanding that the universe (and Kirk, apparently) give him some answers was particularly bad. “Why did they do it? Why? WHHHHHYYYYYYYY!!!” I can only assume that the silly-putty makeup meant to show scarring was really itchy.

I didn’t mind the horrible Gorn costume or the ridiculously-slow movement. They showed fairly convincingly that as slow and cumbersome as the Gorn was, it was also effectively impervious to harm and would kill Kirk if/when it ever caught up to him. Apparently in Coon’s original script the fighting area was supposed to be enclosed in a force-bubble (thanks again IMDB) so Kirk couldn’t just jog away… I wish they would have had time to show that little tidbit.

The final theme was something that is shown in TOS many times: Everyone justifies violence as a reasonable thing to do, but when “the adults” sit the antagonists down and ask them to justify their actions, they reluctantly/sheepishly admit that beating each other up was kind of silly. The Metrons seem a little more hard-hearted about it than the Organians, but I guess even post-corporeal beings can be dicks.

More trivia courtesy of IMDB: This was the first episode where the term “Federation” was used with respect to Kirk’s organization; it was the first time the term “Starfleet” as used; it was the first appearance of “photon torpedoes”.


#759

Hey I didn’t know that, pretty cool. Oh and also:

image


#760

Agent: Ted I have a role for you in Star Trek.
Ted Cassidy: That’s great!
Agent: You’re an alien.
TC: I can do that.
Agent: They don’t show your face.
TC: It’s a speaking role, right?
Agent: Mostly grunting and hissing.
TC: …
TC: I need the cash.


#761

“You people sure do have interesting problems.”

Hello again folks, and let’s move ahead with our next Star Trek episode - this time it’s “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”. I’ll admit I wasn’t really looking forward to this one, I’m kind of like @krayzkrok in that any episode not exploring strange worlds or struggling against crazy alien beings feels like a waste of an episode. But this one turned out to be interesting for a couple of reasons that I had completely forgotten or disregarded from earlier viewings.

There’s not a lot to recap here, an incident with a “black star” sends the Enterprise into the past, to the 60s conveniently enough, hovering over the United States. They’re intercepted by an Air Force reconnaissance plane, which they accidentally destroy while trying to prevent it from firing missiles at them, and are forced to bring the pilot aboard. You’ve got your kind of bog-standard “fish out of water” plot with the pilot aboard the Enterprise, who understandably wants to get back to his family, his job and his life, and of course the conflict is that Kirk and the gang now have a guy from the past who knows about their existence. Hijinks ensue.

I won’t belabor the whole “sneaking into command to get the tapes/film/photos” or the drama around getting the pilot back to his own life. You know that’s going to get sorted out. What’s interesting is that I totally forgot that this episode is the origin of the “slingshot” method of traveling through time, which was probably most famously utilized in Star Trek IV to get back to our “present” of the 80s to rescue whales. I had not made that connection before, but I bet it was probably pretty cool for long-time viewers to see the callback in the movie.

Also, and I am willing to bet I’m alone in this, but I found the tone of the episode helped. Everything was played lightly, and though the stakes were fairly high - would the pilot get back to his family? Would the Enterprise be stuck in the past forever? Nothing felt heavy or portentous. Even the interrogation of Kirk by the Air Force base security people had a comedic tone: “I’m going to lock you up for 200 years.” “That ought to be about right.”

I even thought the weird little subplot about the overly familiar computer was kind of funny. The fact that the Enterprise put in for repairs at a station that was run by a female society who then programmed the computer with a female personality has a certain logic, and sets up a situation that’s goofy but amused me all the same.

So I’ll chalk this episode up as “a pleasant surprise.” I didn’t expect much, and got a little more than that. Good enough for me.


#762

Maybe I should use @Pod’s method and just skip some episodes. Every time I get back into that shuttlecraft episode, I think “this is boring, I should watch something else”.


#763

That one’s not a lot of fun. I’d say just skip it if it’s getting in the way of enjoying yourself. I think we’ve already established I have a completionist streak, so I’ll be watching and commenting on them all. Besides, someone has to keep the train rolling.