These Are The Voyages-Star Trek TOS Remastered and Reconsidered


#784

I really enjoyed this episode tonight. Trelane was not quite Q, but I can sort of contort it in my head a little bit so that he’s part of the Q continuum, which makes the episode better for me to think Star Trek could have that kind of continuity. The actor who played Trelane was really good, by the way. He reminded me a little of Tony Curtis.

Anyway, that was a good, fun episode to end on for me as my Netflix sub runs out tonight. And with it, so do the refurbished episodes. I’m not sure if I’ll be getting Hulu or CBS All Access next, but either way, I think both services only carry the original versions of the show, not the HD makeover versions. I shall miss that. I’ve come to the conclusion over the last three months that I really like the new versions much better.


#785

Gather round, kids, because it’s that time again - this week’s episode is “Return of the Archons”. And it’s another that I don’t really recall at all, I must have seen it but it just didn’t stick with me. But I will say that, while it hits a few Trek tropes pretty hard (though they weren’t really tropes at the time), I liked this episode. It’s kind of creepy and while it doesn’t really have much in the way of surprises, it sets out a pretty straightforward story and presents it pretty well.

To recap, we’re dropped in the middle of a scene, with Sulu and some redshirt running from robed people. The two crewmen try to beam up but redshirt loses his nerve and bolts before getting beamed up, while Sulu gets gently touched just before beaming. Upon arrival, everyone is shocked to learn that Sulu is totally stoned. McCoy takes him to the kitchen to make him a cheeseburger.

Kirk and the gang decide they need to get in on this action so they decide to cosplay as pilgrims and beam down. The gang meets a lot of well-behaved young people and some cranky older people. At 6pm the young people become a lot less well-behaved but the old people stay cranky and the Enterprise crew is totally confused. Then they get identified as total narcs, and put in jail. But they’re rescued by a couple secret narcs, hiding among the alien stoners, who set them free. Kirk and Spock figure out the whole thing is obviously a plot by some weird pothead computer, so they decide to destroy it. The computer says ‘dude, you’re harshing my buzz’ to which Kirk replies ‘No U’ and the computer explodes, everyone comes down and are totally bummed now.

Like I said, there’s not a whole lot new here, though I think this is the first appearance of the prime directive, at least called out as such, and the Federation’s adherence to non-interference. Also the first appearance of totally ignoring the prime directive when you feel like it, because reasons. But I mean really, these blissed out weirdos totally had it coming. You can’t go around pointing a metal tube at someone and not expect to get your ass kicked.

I did like the bit where Reger is leading the crew to safety and says ‘too late!’ and the entire town as one stops wandering around aimlessly and stoop to pick up the nearest blunt object and advances on the crew with murder obviously on their minds. There’s a creepy hive mind thing going on here that was presented pretty well. Clearly we’re not meant to dwell on the fact that these young townspeople totally spend twelve hours of every day trashing everything. So what, they spend the next 12 hours rebuilding? I guess that’s one way to keep people occupied.

I laughed a bit when Kirk and Spock decide to beat up a couple of lawgivers, and Spock just straight up decks one of them. I was thinking what, no nerve pinch? And then right after that Kirk says to Spock, that’s kind of old fashioned don’t you think? I don’t know why things went that way, but it amused me.

Anyway thumbs up from me, a pretty good entry this week. Not really a classic in the way Corbomite Maneuver or Balance of Terror were, but worth watching.


#786

Interesting. I had no idea the prime directive was from the original series. I thought they invented that for TNG.


#787

They don’t trash things for 12 hours everyday, they only trash things on Festival. Festival happens once a year, maybe?

My son is a big RIck & Morty fan, but he didn’t really get the Purge Planet episode until I made him watch this.


#788

Do they actually say it’s only once a year? I didn’t pick up on it if they did. Would make more sense if that’s the case though.


#789

Not explicitly, but they assume Kirk & the gang have traveled from elsewhere for Festival. Which implies, I guess, that Festival isn’t everywhere, so another conundrum.

Guide us, Landru!


#790

Yeah, it’s definitely an event, a holiday. People travel to town just to attend it.


#791

There is no Fesitival in Des Moines, I guess.


#792

We had Festival in NYC once. The 1977 blackout. My friend Mike and I had to walk through it with our wives. Breaking store windows, looting, fires, screams. He was a Viet Nam vet. He said he was more afraid walking the streets of NYC than in country.


#793

I saw today that the character of Number One will be played by Rebecca Romijn in the new season of Star Trek Discovery. I really really hope they keep her attitude from The Menagerie/The Cage. She’s so bad ass. And Rebecca Romijn is great casting IMO. Now the only question is if the writers will stay consistent.


#794

So I realize normally there would be a new TOS episode discussion started at this point, but the holidays have kind of jumbled my plans, and I’m guessing they may have done so for some of you as well. I’m not sure I will get a chance this week to view another episode, but if not then definitely next week.

On the other hand, if anyone else went ahead and watched the next episode and is just burning to start the discussion, by all means do so. I just probably won’t be able to join in just yet.


#795

I just signed up for CBS All Access for the free month (last day to do so, use promo code WINTER). So I’ll hopefully catch up to you soon. This week off you’re taking off should help me do so. I left off with the Q episode, so I’ll be continuing with Arena next, when I can find some time.


#796

I saw “Arena” tonight.

What a wonderful episode! A hostile, mostly invisible enemy with superior firepower that is outsmarted and is chased by an almost bloodthirsty Kirk interested in revenge. And then both of them are stopped by a neutral race, and both captains are put onto a planet they created for this situation.

Honestly, there’s not much to say about the episode’s deeper points, since the episode lays them out for you pretty openly. But everything is just so well executed, aside from the Gorn being a lizard Halloween costume, obviously. It’s finally an episode of TOS that I can say that I liked without any reservations.

More than anything else, it really is the type of episode that really makes me want to watch more of this show. If I’d been alive back in '67 and I saw this episode, I’d have been hooked on the show, more than likely.


#797

Is this the one where the lizard guy tosses paper mache rocks at Kirk? Did they somehow improve that in these remastered versions?


#798

Yeah they replaced the paper mache with plaster of paris.


#799

And the name of the lizard race was changed from Gorn to Bob.


#800

All right, let’s see if we can get things back on track - this week’s episode is an obscurity called “Space Seed”. Not much happens in this one.

OK, that’s only half true - Space Seed is actually a pretty famous episode, if only for the introduction of Ricardo Montalban’s Khan, who of course shares scenery-chewing duty in the greatest Star Trek film ever made (that’s right, I went there). But really though, not a whole lot happens here, it’s surprisingly low-key for an introduction of such an iconic villain.

You know the basics: Enterprise stumbles across an ancient ship, discovers it has life onboard, one wakes up who then tries to take over the ship. I find the episode more interesting in its world building and the history it establishes than the character of Khan himself. This is, I believe, the first time the Eugenics Wars and beginning of the next dark age that they brought about are mentioned. We learn how Khan’s breed of “supermen” attempted to take over the world. We’ve got more questionable activities from Starfleet officers when the ship’s historian decides to throw everything away to swoon at the feet of the recently thawed Khan, and eventually just leave everything to try to settle a wild planet with him and his brood. There’s a nice little question mark at the end that Wrath of Khan picks up on, as Kirk and Spock muse on what it would be like to return to Ceti Alpha V in a hundred years and see how things have progressed. Turns out, it wouldn’t be nearly that long.

One other thing - I like the design of Khan’s ship, the Botany Bay. It’s run-down and angular, and wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Star Wars movie, I think. Also makes a nice contrast against the curvier Enterprise.


#801

I remember this episode well. Just to go meta for a second, I wonder when this is supposed to have happened? Eugenics Wars, I assume they happened before Enterprise (the TV series)? Did they happen before First Contact, when humans met vulcans? Because Enterprise (the TV show, not the ship) drew a pretty straight line from that first contact to humans getting out there and exploring.


#802

Originally the 1990s. Then First Contact retconned darn near everything in the universe bc “Behrman” (reason number 123 why I still kinda hate TNG). There was a non-canon magazine called "Trek " (@RichVR remembers) that in the 80’s kicked them to the 2030s, but as I said, “non-canon”. There was some talk JJ Abrams might mess with the universe with some retconning, yet again, but he opted for that Smokin’ Aces franchise instead.


#803

I am right there with you brother. The haters can take the “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!” out of my cold dead hands.