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Rahul
Tue, Feb 28, 2017, 3:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Catspaw

A disappointing episode, especially coming after "The Doomsday Machine" - but the Hallowe'en theme is appropriate given when it first aired.
Still, it's lots of gimmicks without much meaning; it's another twist on "The Squire of Gothos" or "Who Mourns for Adonais?" where more powerful beings that lack wisdom threaten the Enterprise crew. It's a well-worn formula; interesting soundtrack though.
I wasn't a fan of the redshirt (LaSalle? DeSalle?) who was left in command of the ship - there was a missed opportunity. Would have been better if Scotty was left in charge rather than being a zombie the whole episode.
Even the final scene wasn't that compelling - Why does Korob lose all his power? He has the transmuter. Then, Sylvia is pointing a phaser at Kirk who has the transmuter. Can't she stun Kirk and get the transmuter?
I'd give this episode 2/4 stars and I think that might be a tad generous as it was quite slow paced and only really got interesting about 40 mins. in.
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Rahul
Mon, Feb 27, 2017, 3:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Doomsday Machine

Absolutely my favorite Star Trek episode. As others have mentioned (not a single negative comment above), this episode gets everything right. Not a single wasted scene, a terrific plot with the 2 ships, Windom's acting, the dialog with Spock/Decker/McCoy, etc. -- it's perfect.
The episode does benefit greatly from the character of Decker that Windom brought to life beautifully -- from showing the anguish of his lost crew, to the shock of trying to remember the planet-killer when on the Constellation, to the resignation of his suicide mission on the shuttlecraft.
The enhanced graphics make a big difference, the detail of the asteroids (this is subtle - but I liked one asteroid crashing against the Constellation early in the episode).
Spock is terrific in this episode with his logic that doesn't become overbearing or condescending. Scotty also pulls off a minor miracle in getting the transporter working.
The other thing to not forget is the outstanding soundtrack. Highly recommend purchasing it (comes with Amok Time). The track "Kirk Does It Again" as the Constellation gets set to destroy the robot is a classic -- and one used in a handful of Trek episodes including a derivation of it for 1975's "Jaws".
No question 4/4 stars (maybe 4.5/4 stars as I think it is the best Trek episode objectively speaking aside from being my personal favorite).
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Rahul
Fri, Feb 24, 2017, 3:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

This is a goofy episode - have to agree with @dgalvan. Also very similar to "The Return of the Archons" and also "That Which Survives" (from Season 3) to some extent. That being said, I didn't mind it and don't consider it anywhere near TOS's worst episodes.
The highlight is the philosophical debate between the Big 3 on the prime directive. The fact that the Enterprise is threatened dictates the crew's actions.
Chekov, for having appeared at the start of Season 2, has already played significant roles - more so than Uhura (absent in this one) and rivalling Scott and Sulu. His character as a bit of a ladies man has now been established.
Some inconsistencies - Spock should/could have died twice (once from the spores, the other being struck directly by lightning). He also ran into Vaal's forcefield. Thought Scotty threw the kitchen sink at the impulse engines to break free, yet they have phaser power to destroy Vaal.
Other than the prime directive dialogue, the rest of the dialogue is mostly silly.
I'd give it 2/4 stars - a well-worn plot which would have been more interesting if some story of how Vaal was created, how his people got there was found out.
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Rahul
Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 3:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Mirror, Mirror

One of the more memorable episodes for me as we got to see some real acting from Sulu, Uhura, Scotty, Chekov. Spock with a goatee was decades ahead of its time and is an iconic look. It's a really fun episode with plenty going on, some unexpected turns and twists. But I also feel the episode is a tad over-rated.
It is hard to just overlook some of the things like a transporter malfunction connecting to a parallel universe and how the 4 get swapped (and their uniforms change) etc. It's a lot of hand-waving, but it does make for a good story. The fight scene with Spock against the 4 looked bad given Spock's stunt double had curly hair (watch closely). Looked as bad as the Kirk/Khan fight scene in "Space Seed" with the 2 completely different stunt doubles.
But this episode is really about the characters coming to life in their own special ways in the parallel universe. Sulu and Spock are terrific in this regard.
Kirk using his "I submit...illogical" speech at the end to Spock injects a bit of a morale to the story which is usually part of the course. Brutal empires on Earth have however lasted long enough unfortunately in some cases.
For me, this is 3.5/4 stars - an entertaining hour especially if you don't get hung up on details.
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Rahul
Wed, Feb 22, 2017, 4:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Changeling

Another mediocre episode for me after "Who Mourns for Adonais?". Just a lot of silliness with Scotty being killed then brought back to life, part of Uhura's memory being wiped out and her learning to read basic English again, Spock mind-melding with a computer...
The premise of an old Earth probe being damaged and turned into an ultra-powerful killing machine that adopts Kirk as its creator is interesting. As Nomad starts to piece together its next move (killing off the crew and heading for Earth while starting to disobey Kirk) works, however the story is slow paced, it does drag as if it was a struggle to fill the full hour.
I do agree with many of the comments already made that of all the instances where Kirk convinces a computer to destroy itself, this one's probably the most well done.
This one rates 2/4 stars for me. Very much a true science fiction story which has its silly quirks.
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Rahul
Tue, Feb 21, 2017, 4:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Overall, a mediocre episode and quite similar to "Charlie X" and "The Squire of Gothos" with the Enterprise crew having to deal with a powerful being wanting to control them, with the alien lacking wisdom and an understanding of them. It is an interesting twist with the idea that the Greek gods of 5,000 years ago were in fact aliens and, given the primitive nature of humans, were worshipped. I certainly don't think Trek is advocating atheism here - as Kirk mentions "one god".
So, it's a fairly well-worn theme and what drags it down is the portrayal of Scotty -- just losing it over Palamas. He was terrific in "A Taste of Armageddon" however his character regresses here.
I liked Kirk's speech to convince Palamas of her duty -- that is perhaps the moral of this lacklustre episode. I though the ending is well done -- similar to "Charlie X" where one has to sort of feel for the antagonist's point of view.
But overall, I think Jammer's review nails my sentiments pretty well. It's 2/4 stars for me - it got a bit silly at times, but does have some small redeeming qualities.
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Rahul
Mon, Feb 20, 2017, 3:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Amok Time

Truly one of the best Trek episodes. So much to admire about this episode including an outstanding soundtrack - classic/iconic fight music but also the music portraying various emotions/scenes (Spock brooding, the processional) - really encourage any serious Trek fans to buy the soundtrack (comes with The Doomsday Machine soundtrack which is excellent too).
Loved the moments when Spock tries to explain to Kirk "Vulcan biology" to which the captain responds "...the biology of Vulcans..." and "the birds and the bees are not Vulcans..."
Very cool how they showed the aerial view of Vulcan and the place of Spock's ancestors. Chapel's emotional caring for Spock is also touching - how happy she is to make a bowl of soup for him. Really can't find any flaws with this episode.
I have a few disagreements with Jammer's review and I wholeheartedly agree with @Mike and @kerry's comments. This is essential Trek and goes far beyond being "fun".
It's an easy 4/4 stars for me - as much as "The City on the Edge..." is widely regarded as the best episode of all, for me, I'd rank "Amok Time" ahead of it. Spock the Vulcan is so critical to TOS and this episode really gives a good background to the species which would have been very important for the understanding of the show back when it was made and nobody knew what to make of Vulcans.
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Rahul
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

Really enjoyed this episode -- the creatures flying around and attacking people's backs gave me a good fright after seeing the episode for the 1st time as a kid in the late 70s/early 80s or whenever it was.
It's an interesting story with Spock's acting the strong point - does a great job mimicking what it's like to be fighting through pain while still trying to help the cause. His logic wins out in this episode.
What is puzzling is how it took them so long to figure out that a certain type of light from the sun kills the creature -- from that standpoint the episode dragged a touch, but it was still engaging. Not a huge fan of Shatner's forceful style of acting in storming out of rooms, being very curt with Bones/Spock to figure out the solution. Given that his extended family was killed I think a more vulnerable Kirk would have been better.
Also, the part about Spock being temporarily blinded -- couldn't they have waited for the lab test results? Getting bailed out because of Spock's extra eye-lid is a let-off.
Nevertheless, a solid episode to conclude Season 1 of Trek TOS. I give it 3/4 stars.
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Rahul
Thu, Feb 16, 2017, 3:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

Not much I can add to everything that's been said or discussed about "City" -- I do believe on its merits it is one of the very best Trek episodes and one of my favorites (though not my absolute favorite).
What's great about the episode is that it transcends sci-fi and I believe non-Trek fans can appreciate it. The developing romance between Keeler and Kirk works really well, and I think Kirk delivers one of his best performances especially the last 5 mins. when Keeler dies, he grieves and his classic line at the end "Let's get the hell out of here." It's a poignant ending and not the sometimes predictable TOS ending.
I should also mention that I think it is inconsistent to suggest Kirk bring Keeler back to the future - I think it should be pretty clear that that can't happen and that the Guardian is controling the situations of the time travelers but not those who are already in the past.
The episode really had everything - the humor between Kirk/Spock and the police officer is terrific, the Kirk/Spock interaction when determining Keeler must die and also McCoy's performance as a crazy man encountering the hobo (prior to him passing out).
I enjoyed reading all the reviews here - really agree with @PZ in particular.
I can see how this episode is regarded as the best Trek episode - have seen it ranked as such on a number of lists. It does have a certain charm that a lot of episodes simply don't. It helps to have a supporting actress like Joan Collins.
No question 4/4 stars for me - an episode that is clearly standing the test of time.
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Rahul
Wed, Feb 15, 2017, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Alternative Factor

Not one of the episodes that will resonate with a lot of folks -- went too far on the sci-fi scale with plenty of technobabble resulting in a confusing story. Some interesting ideas - as is almost always the case with Trek TOS - but one major flaw it how Lazarus is just allowed to wander around the ship without restraint. He even threatens Kirk "Captain, I'll have my vengeance" and then is just free to go. Bizarre given the threat the Federation believes it faces (prelude to invasion).
As for the special effects of the parallel universe and the transition between the 2 - I won't complain about 60s special effects but this episode made it hard not to cringe. It just seemed particularly low-budget / amateurish to me.
I'm also not a fan of how the Enterprise is in a situation where the whole universe could be destroyed if the 2 Lazaruses meet. Seems excessive.
Anyhow, this is a very disappointing episode. 1.5/4 stars for me and peculiar that it is sandwiched by 2 excellent episodes "The Devil..." and "The City on the Edge..."
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Rahul
Tue, Feb 14, 2017, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Errand of Mercy

Another great Season 1 episode with a nice twist at the end. The clues were effectively sprinkled throughout the episode that there's something special about the Organians, however they deliberately tried to appear sheep-like until the very end when war was about to break out.

One assertion: The Organians may well be the most advanced species in all of TOS Trek. I can't think of a species that has been associated with a history of millions of years of evolution. Something to debate...

The motives of peace / non-violence are presented much better here than with the Metron in "Arena" - That episode was a case of a higher being's attempt at imposing higher morals didn't come off as well as here.

The acting of Colicos as Kor was terrific - many interesting dialogues with Kirk/Spock/Organians. And I believe it is the first introduction of the Federation's biggest nemesis in the series. The Romulans were introduced in "Balance of Terror".

There is also the opposing philosophies of the Klingon Empire (communist dictatorship) and the Federation's American values of trying to help a perceived inferior society with strategic aims.

Overall an enjoyable episode and one in which a race of vastly superior beings seems to act as such - their only weakness seems to be the pain they feel when around violent beings, however they only take action when push comes to shove.

3.5/4 stars for me.
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Rahul
Mon, Feb 13, 2017, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Devil in the Dark

One of the best Trek TOS episodes for me - conveys the respect for other lives, no matter what they look like or have done. Very well conceived, written and acted. Took the crew a bit of time to figure out the silicon nodules are eggs but that may be because McCoy ridicules Spock for his initial suggestions about silicon-based life.

In any case, there are the iconic scenes of Spock and the Horta in mind-meld, the "No Kill I" and McCoy's initial scepticism for healing the creature. Kirk's lines are great in convincing McCoy to heal the Horta.

The episode moves at a good pace, there's no down time - everything is done with a purpose. Great how the episode starts not with the Enterprise approaching the planet but with the situation with the miners getting killed. Good to start differently.

No question, this one's 4/4 stars for me - what Star Trek TOS was all about with good acting, a good plot/suspense, and establishing a moral principle.
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Rahul
Fri, Feb 10, 2017, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: This Side of Paradise

A decent episode which touches on a couple of themes - the happy drug culture and how man needs to be challenged, Kirk's love for his ship is the most powerful drug, and an insight into Spock's loneliness - his line at the end is poignant.
What is odd is how Kirk isn't initially infected after catching up on Spock hanging from a tree (one of the classic moments in all of Trek). He must have been in some emotionally elevated state -- he eventually succumbs on the ship after spending some reflective time alone on it.
Bit of a stretch to me how quickly humans come under its spell and why they didn't beam down to the planet in protective suits given the deadly radiation.
But definitely Kirk and Spock's various interactions are gold. Some filler moments in this one which kept it at a slow pace overall.
Not a bad episode overall, 2.5/4 stars for me.
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Rahul
Thu, Feb 9, 2017, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

This is an excellent episode - great idea, acting, and I can't think of any overtly stupid actions. Spock has some great lines and the deviousness of Anan7 to achieve his objectives made it very interesting.
As for a moral or lesson from the episode - I think it's simply pointing out that war is bad and making it sterile only serves to keep it going. With real war, both parties should eventually try to find peace as the devastation is too great. Kirk sets this up in his own way -- he has been threatened / the ship has been threatened and he has little choice.
I guess the cliche (albeit small) is Ambassador Fox at the start - do all these high-ranking officers always have to feel the need to enforce their authority? In any case, Scotty was terrific in defying him.
No guilt in giving this episode 4/4 stars - one of the best of all TOS episodes.
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Rahul
Wed, Feb 8, 2017, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

Really enjoyed this episode - especially the 1st half hour. Very intriguing how the crew discovers the sleeper ship, tries to figure out what happened, sketchy details re. Khan (not Kahn, the German footballer)
Regarding McGivers - hard to imagine her behaving this way in real life toward a 200+ year old tyrant brought back from the past. A central part of the story is Montalban's charisma over her, though she's not portrayed in a good light.
The fight seen with the stunt doubles was poor - wish they could have done a better job there. Also a bit hard to believe Kirk overcomes Khan (maybe because of his arrogance) after being in a decompression chamber. Speedy recovery!
But the theme of the reaction to a tyrant - admiration, disgust etc. is well examined. Montalban's acting is great - Khan has become a truly iconic villain and WOK is clearly the best Star Trek film ever made.
Interesting decision by Kirk to ship Khan & Co. to a barren planet. McGivers has no choice but to go with Khan.
I'm sure there must be other Star Trek TOS episodes where a movie could serve as sequel.
For me, 3.5/4 stars - a very interesting premise, interesting themes of dictators/conquerors, not judging portrayal of McGivers. A classic.
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Rahul
Tue, Feb 7, 2017, 3:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

An episode that touched on a number of classic Trek themes that would be re-visited in subsequent episodes -- so something of a landmark episode even though it's not that notable in itself.
There is definitely the theme of communism under Landru (communal society without a soul/individuality) and Kirk & Co. quickly recognize that it's not a productive society -- applaud Trek for taking on this theme -- the heat beams on the Enterprise make their mission clear.
I enjoyed the episode except for the ending where Kirk (with Spock's help) use logic to cause the computer to destroy itself. Why didn't the computer use the soundwaves again to knock everybody out?
The festival/red hour was left to the viewer's interpretation - but omitting it would not have affected the plot - a non-sequitur, I think maybe to fill time.
Like many TOS episodes, an excellent premise with some questionable plot twists, some things unexplained, but still an enjoyable hour. For me 2.5/4 stars.
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Rahul
Mon, Feb 6, 2017, 3:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Court Martial

The premise of a courtroom drama is excellent and it brings out some good acting from the Big 3 and supporting actors. Kirk's old school attorney brings a nice touch of the tradition to the legal profession. He makes a valid point about man vs. machine. Plenty of passionate shouting about beliefs and principles...
It's an interesting episode but where it mostly falters for me is the lack of rigor around the trial -- I can see lawyers shaking their heads at it. The heartbeats thing is a bit ridiculous, surely nobody can hide aboard the Enterprise. The decaying orbit part where the Commodore says he won't beam off the ship because the trial is ongoing makes no sense -- Finney's already been found, so Kirk's innocent.
Finney's gone bananas -- he's suicidal hiding aboard the Enterprise after he means for it to be destroyed and thus truly exact revenge against Kirk. But in the end he tells Kirk how to undo his sabotage because Kirk tells him his daughter is on board (without proof - we didn't actually see her on board).
Anyhow, too many inconsistencies that ruin an excellent premise (won't be the first time for a Trek TOS episode).
Overall for me 2.5/4 stars -- good, creative idea but a few holes in the plot.
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Rahul
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Arena

One other thing to add to my prior comment:

"Arena" is very similar to "Balance of Terror" -- aliens (justifiably in the wrong according to Enterprise) destroy Earth outposts and Kirk & Co. go in pursuit. BoT is a riveting starship vs. starship battle, whereas "Arena" needs some contrivance to become a captain vs. captain battle. It's the contrivance that weakens "Arena" in absolute terms and relative to BoT. But it is still a very strong episode. If "Arena" hadn't interjected the "lesson" of "superior race" etc., it would probably please a lot of people.
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Rahul
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 3:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Arena

I thoroughly enjoyed this iconic episode as a kid some 30+ years ago and even just watching it now, I still enjoyed it. It's not perfect, but it is a classic TOS episode. Plenty of suspense, action, a decent plot.
I have no issues with the Gorn's rubber costume or the fight scenes. Kirk is supposed to be fighting a large slow powerful intelligent lizard-like humanoid -- and that's exactly how the fight scene plays out. Kirk's ingenuity wins out.
Kirk is justified in pursuing the Gorn ship -- I think Kirk's argument here wins out over Spock although it would have been good if he could have laid out why (all women/children mercilessly killed, Enterprise lured in for destruction) rather than simply disregarding Spock's objections. I don't see how the Enterprise could start believing that the Gorn were merely defending themselves.
What isn't well thought out is the Metron's higher moral standard. Arranging a fight to the death between the 2 captains and then planning to destroy the losing ship doesn't strike me as an example of a more advanced race's ideology.

Anyhow, still a very enjoyable episode of classic TOS Trek. I give it 3.5/4 stars - it is one of the better Season 1 episodes and really feel Jammer's review is much too harsh at 1.5 stars which would put it as one of the worst.
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Rahul
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 5:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Squire of Gothos

This was a weak episode, very similar to "Charlie X" but worse. The plot is simplistic and does drag on and the ending is extremely similar to "Charlie X". Otherwise there's no way for the Enterprise to get out of their pickle -- an even more superior power (parents) is needed to restore order.

Trelane is an interesting character and does turn out to be a child of the advanced life form that he is -- but he still throws a tantrum in front of his parents and Kirk at the end.

I don't think the episode goes far enough with making the point about wise use of tremendous powers or whatever the point is. Not an episode to generate enough intrigue, tension, entertainment for me to watch again. For me, 1.5/4 stars.
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Rahul
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 5:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Galileo Seven

Really enjoyed this episode and getting a closer examination of Spock's character and reasoning in an all-out survival situation. Yes, he makes some questionable decisions like going to check out the ape creatures without his phaser, not factoring in the emotional needs/responses of his human subordinates. His final act of igniting the fuel is a logical one. Since he's unable to communicate with the Enterprise, he takes a chance that lighting the fuel will attract the ship.

Spock does start out as a bit of a jerk with his comments just after the shuttle crash lands (he'll be a jerk in "That Which Survives" in a similar manner in Season III) and doesn't establish a good basis for command with the emotional humans. This leads to the insubordination, which is also due to being in a life and death situation.

The most junior officers are very unprofessional - notably Boma. It's another test for Spock's command, which he tells McCoy is not his objective despite the doctor's prodding.

One thing is that in a difficult situation, the one you want on your team is Scotty. He just gets things done quietly and effectively -- although it is a stretch to think a few phasers could send a shuttlecraft into orbit.

It's a good story and ending that works out cleverly. For me, 3.5/4 stars.
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Rahul
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Shore Leave

About the only good thing about this episode is the soundtrack. (I really enjoy the Star Trek TOS soundtracks). Anyhow, I don't understand how Jammer rates this 3/4 stars and "Balance of Terror" 2.5/4 -- off the mark on both counts.

The premise is kind of silly - that the crew gets themselves into all kinds of trouble because what they think of comes to life. It should become obvious to them quite quickly of what is going on, yet it doesn't, and therefore we have a weak episode.

The fight scene with Kirk/Finnegan drags on far too long as does this whole episode. The ending is weak with the creator of the amusement park world showing up and just explaining everything.

The episode looks even weaker when coming right after "Conscience..." and "Balance..." And why was the force field on the planet affecting the ship and preventing communications etc.?

For me, 1/4 stars, weakest of Season 1 so far, weaker than "Mudd's Women" for sure.
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Rahul
Fri, Jan 27, 2017, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Definitely one of the best Trek episodes. It's riveting and there's not much one can shake a stick at.
A number of themes at play -- it's interesting Star Trek introduces the Romulans before the Klingons as it seemed to me the latter would turn out to be the primary ongoing threat to the Federation.
In any case, so much to like about this episode that clearly served as a model for parts of Wrath of Khan, the best ST movie ever.
Kirk's handling of Stiles' bigotry is excellent, his admission to McCoy of the pressure of command in their heart-to-heart adds a human dimension to the battle, Lenard as Romulan commander ultimately showing respect for his adversary and the conflicts between his philosophy and the Romulan Empire's, so much to love about this episode.
I guess the Enterprise is quite lucky with firing phasers (though they came out as photon torpedoes) and getting away from the Romulan plasma torpedo. But what's interesting about the battle is each starship has its strengths and weaknesses.
The side story of the wedding and Spock saving Stiles' life is weaved in perfectly.
No question one of the best Trek episodes. For me 4/4 stars.
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Rahul
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 3:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Conscience of the King

Definitely one of the stronger Season 1 episodes -- and therefore one of the better TOS episodes overall.
Very creative idea overlaying Hamlet with a who-dunnit onboard the Enterprise. I thought the acting was solid. Lenore initially is blinded by her need to protect her father - she's already insane and she completely loses it at the end after killing her father - the close-up of her eyes at the end is chilling.
I liked the Spock/McCoy dynamic in taking initially opposing sides to what Kirk is up to. There are some holes in Kirk's decision making though - like demoting Riley and not trying to protect him.
Overall, I thought it was a very intelligent episode that brought a new element to TOS. I can't really compare it with any others for obvious similarities off the top of my head.
For me, I give it 3.5/4 stars.
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Rahul
Wed, Jan 25, 2017, 8:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

No doubt a true Trek classic. Great way to repackage and reinvigorate "The Cage". Certainly an episode to generate discussion. For me, I enjoyed the 1st part much more than the 2nd. In the 1st part, you're left with an immediate desire to get answers to so many questions like why is Spock doing this, what is so bad about Talos IV etc. The 2nd part where the Talosians simply conclude humans are not suitable for their purposes is a bit anti-climactic. The other thing I'm left wondering is what's true and what's an illusion. The part about the Commodore being an illusion while conducting the court martial seems a bit of a stretch to me -- that the Talosians can transmit their illusions to people light years away. I also thought the transmission from Starfleet Command that Spock is cleared of all charges was part of the illusion.
The overall ending arrangement with Pike opting to stay on Talos IV makes sense and provides a nice finish to the epic.
Overall, 3/4 stars for me. One I'd definitely want to rewatch and pick up some more of the subtleties. Just watched the 2 episodes for the 1st time in probably over 30 years.
I wish TOS had more 2-part episodes.
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