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dgalvan
Mon, Jun 9, 2014, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

I thought this episode was ok, actually. It certainly sparks interesting discussions/debates regarding the quest for "simplicity" and whether it is well- or ill-advised. (Simpler feels easier, but reality and nature are complex, requiring complex technologies and solutions to problems.)

To each their own. I'd have given this ep 2 stars.
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dgalvan
Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 1:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Wink of an Eye

I like this episode a lot because it was DIFFERENT. It broke what was becoming a litany of formulaic templates for Star Trek episodes. The accelerated race of people makes for an intriguing and refreshing concept, and it was a fun mystery to build up to ("what was that mosquito sound?").
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dgalvan
Wed, Jun 4, 2014, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: That Which Survives

Where did this version of Spock come from? It seemed like they were trying to resurrect some of the story elements from the Season 1 episode "Galileo Seven", in which Spock is in command of the landing party and struggles with keeping loyalty from a crew that sees him as too unemotional and unintuitive. But instead, in "That Which Survives", Spock just ended up looking like a jerk. He was just written very differently in this episode than in any other. Didn't seem like him.

Also, how come the computer-generated Losira could exist on the Enterprise, 1000 light years away from the computer generating her?
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dgalvan
Wed, Jun 4, 2014, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

Agree this was a missed opportunity.

The main value of this episode was in the scene where Kirk and Spock are oblivious to the racial difference between the two aliens, and Bele revealed it was the side of their faces that were black vs. white. Also Kirk's discussion at the end that their hatred destroyed their people. Good food for thought. But the rest of the episode was filled up with nuts-and-bolts sci-fi distractions that failed to pick up on this good sociological theme of racism and hatred.

Ah well, what little allegory it had in it was memorable, at least.
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dgalvan
Wed, Jun 4, 2014, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Whom Gods Destroy

The maniacal Lord Garth was, in my opinion, a better and more memorable villain than was Khan in Space Seed. A shapeshifting nutcase bent on universal domination? That would be an interesting character to re-visit.
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dgalvan
Wed, Jun 4, 2014, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Elaan of Troyius

This was ok.

But the deus ex machina that Elas happened to have dilithium crystals as a "common stone" was a bit hard to take. Seriously. . . the Federation never noticed this before?
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dgalvan
Wed, Jun 4, 2014, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Tholian Web

I was looking forward to this episode because I had heard good things about it, and because it had a tie-in with an episode of Enterprise (the series I watched before TOS) that takes place in the mirror universe.

I found Tholian Web to be just too much complexity and plot without enough clarity on any one aspect of the story. How the Defiant disappeared into another universe was completely esoteric and not well explained. Why Kirk didn't quite disappear with it was a bit better (he was "caught in the transporter beam at the time"), but still wanted for more effort of explanation. For example, why did he keep halfway appearing at odd places of the ship? The Tholians were ok as meddlesome side-antagonists, but the "space madness" sickness was just the straw that broke the camels back. Too many things going on at once made the episode feel like it was trying to do too much, and nothing ended up feeling whole.

Yeah, the Spock/McCoy interaction was good, I'll give it that. Just would have preferred a less hairy plot to support that interaction. Weirdly, I feel like this same plot would have come across better if it were stretched into a 2 hour movie. Hey, could be good for the third new Star Trek movie, as there hasn't been much McCoy/Spock interaction in those as of yet.
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dgalvan
Fri, May 16, 2014, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Enterprise Incident

Great episode.

One point of confusion: Why did one of the roman ships look like a klingon ship in this episode? There is that brief line at the beginning where spock says "The Romulans are now using Klingon ship designs." And that's it.

I am guessing this has got to be production-driven. Maybe they didn't have enough model-footage of the romulan ship, but they did have special effects footage of klingon ships, and they were pressed for budget/time so they just used the existing footage of a klingon ship from a previous episode?

Funny because in the remastered version available on Netflix streaming the special effects are pretty good and they show two Romulan birds of prey and the Klingon battle cruiser in these scenes.
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dgalvan
Thu, May 15, 2014, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Spock's Brain

I sat down to watch this having seen all the hype about this being one of, if not the, worst episode of Star Trek. By the end of the episode, I was left thinking: "What's the big deal? This wasn't that bad."

Certainly wasn't one of the best episodes, but I really don't see why it has received so much ire.

Sure there are major suspensions of disbelief, but I'd argue the ones required in this episode are no worse than those in MANY other episodes of Star Trek.

For example, I'll say I was way more annoyed with The Omega Glory than I was with this episode.

On the positive side:
+The concept of a society who relies so much on the technology of its ancestors that its own technical skills have atrophied is a good sci-fi topic. I think there was a TNG episode that touched on this idea.
+The remote-control Spock was just a fun gimmick.
+The "Teacher" helmet was also a fun, fine concept, not unlike the "I know Kung Fu" instant-learning capability in the Matrix.

Anyway, my opinion: this is a decent middle-of-the road episode of Star Trek. Not the greatest, but CERTAINLY not the worst either.
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dgalvan
Wed, May 14, 2014, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Assignment: Earth

-I THOUGHT this episode seemed like an attempt at a spinoff. Jammer mentioning it in his review made it all makes sense. Would have been a silly but probably entertaining show if it had actually gotten picked up by the network.

-Roberta came to work like she'd done it many times. . . so why is she surprised to meet her boss? They didn't explain that at all. . . was she just . . . like. . .a temp showing up to work somewhere she'd never been before? Weird.

-The cat clearly had a human making the "meow" sounds for it the entire episode. This made me laugh more times than it probably was meant to. When the cat attacked a red shirt in the transporter room I started cracking up. "RREEEEEEOOOOWWWWW!" Those poor redshirts always get the short end of the stick.

-The time travel: It was indeed silly to have the enterprise travel back in time for historical research.
That said, I must disagree with DutchStudent here: Time travel in the 23rd century was "nearly routine.The Enterprise had traveled in time before using a "slingshot around the sun" technique, back in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" (season 1). And they did the same thing again in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. I'd say two TOS episodes and a movie make it canon: Starfleet personnel could travel in time if they wanted to. There was some "temporal prime directive" background on this in later episodes of Deep Space 9 and Voyager.
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dgalvan
Wed, May 14, 2014, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Bread and Circuses

Agree with DutchStudent: this is one of those episodes where a simpler and more sensible solution is staring you in the face for the entire episode. As soon as they find Merrick, Scotty could have stunned the surrounding area and beamed up the good guys. Episode over.

Not that I would have preferred that story, but they could have at least inserted some line of dialog as to why that solution (being so obvious) wasn't available. Otherwise the viewer is just distracted the whole time thinking: "why don't they just. . .?!?!?"

Also, it seemed sort of unnecessary that Captain Merrick was left to perish on the planet. I was waiting for Kirk to order Merrick beamed aboard after they got back to the Enterprise. . . but instead they just left him there! What the heck, Kirk the jerk?
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dgalvan
Wed, May 14, 2014, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

I also notice the trend that Strider mentioned above:

several episodes this season had the basic formula:
Enterprise goes to planet where previous Earth-based ship had been, with original crew meeting demise somehow, and the surviving crew members playing a role in the indigenous society.
-Omega Glory (other star fleet captain participates in fight between factions.)
-Patterns of Force (Federation historian crafts society based on Nazi Earth)
-Bread and Circuses (Freighter ship captain becoming First Citizen in modern-day-Rome society)

With three formulaic episodes, I think this counts as another Trek stereotype right up there with Kirk outsmarting a computer!
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dgalvan
Wed, May 14, 2014, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

This episode had several really good ideas which were hamstrung by poor execution.

---------------
Likes:

*The concept of original ideals (the constitution) being misunderstood/misinterpreted by distant future generations was cool and interesting, IMO. It sort of hearkened back to "planet of the apes" style of post apocalyptic story telling.

The plot about trying to find the serum (fountain of youth), and then it turning out that the people live longer on that planet simply due to natural selection, was good as well. That explained (at least on a surface, sci-fi level of believability) why you couldn't extract a serum that gave people long life. Just like we humans can't just make a serum from turtles or trees that makes us live as long as them.

---------------
Dislikes:

*The biggest problem was that it required too big a suspension of disbelief regarding the "parallel Earth" being so exactly like our Earth in that this planet even had the same exact American flag and the same U.S. constitution, word for word. I kept waiting for the explanation: ("oh and by the way a time-traveling star fleet ship accidentally went back in time and delivered the U.S. constitution and Flag to this planet"). But it never came! Roddenberry meant for us to just believe that this planet developed identically to Earth, including the creation of the United States of America. I mean, if he wanted to do that he could have used time travel in this episode and sent the Enterprise into an alternate future Earth. Or he could have just had all the same themes, but not have the exact flag and verbatim constitution. . . instead something that was recognizably analogous but not identical, having developed on a different planet and all.

*And, yeah, there was probably too much plot for one episode, but IMO it could have still been a great episode if the above problem had been corrected.
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dgalvan
Wed, May 14, 2014, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: By Any Other Name

Continuity bonus: This episode re-visits the "galactic barrier" at the rim of the Milky Way. Recall the enterprise encountered it in "Where no man has gone before" (the gary mitchell episode).

In "By Any Other Name", Kirk references it, saying something like "yes we've seen it" when the lead Kelvan mentions the barrier.
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dgalvan
Fri, Apr 11, 2014, 10:07am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Journey to Babel

Good last line from McCoy, as he successfully shushes both Spock and Kirk, being patients in his Sick Bay:
"Well, what do you know! I finally got the last word!"
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dgalvan
Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Metamorphosis

It bothered me that no one batted an eye about essentially sacrificing Ms. Hedford in this way. The companion said she was "still there" in a sense, but it seems like it was just the companion in Hedford's body. You could argue that Hedford was about to die anyway, but she wouldn't have been if the companion hadn't trapped them in the first place. To make it all the worse/insulting, Kirk has a one-liner where he said "I'm sure the Federation can find another diplomat to prevent that war." Like ambassadors are a dime a dozen.

Other than that the episode was thought-provoking on its own.

As part of Trek canon, it shows the fate of Zefram Cochrane, who we saw as a somewhat old dude in First Contact, and then was referenced in Enterprise as being off on some ship somewhere, lost. Apparently he got captured by the companion, reverted to youthfulness, and then eventually died with "her". Kirk/McCoy/Spock probably the last people to see him alive.
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dgalvan
Mon, Apr 7, 2014, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

This one was goofy for sure, but oddly I actually enjoyed watching it. Would have preferred they delved into the origin of Vaal, rather then wasting time on the spore-shooting plants and exploding rocks, which had nothing to do with anything else.

I will say that, as kid, I played the 8-bit Nintendo Star Trek game, and one of the levels was essentially this episode, which I hadn't seen at the time. So it was kind of fun to see the origin of that video game level in this show.

(I took the firing/re-hiring of Scotty as essentially a running joke between Kirk and Scotty. Not to be taken seriously.)
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dgalvan
Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I grew up on TNG, and am just now watching TOS on Netflix.

I had seen TMP before, but it must have been over 20 years ago when I was a pre-teen, and I didn't really "get it" at the time.

Now watching TMP, having seen all of TNG and the first season of TOS, the first thing that struck me about this film was: the music! It's (what I thought was) the TNG theme song. But apparently, it never was the TNG theme song. It was the score from the first TMP, later re-applied to TNG!

Also, the interior design of the new enterprise (especially the engineering deck and the corridors) seems to me to be almost directly re-used for TNG!
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dgalvan
Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: This Side of Paradise

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this episode is the first where Spock's race is referred to as "Vulcan" instead of "Vulcanian".

In retrospect: "Vulcanian" makes more sense, since they are from the planet Vulcan. But I guess they thought Vulcan sounded better.
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dgalvan
Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: This Side of Paradise

For me the funniest thing in this episode was how the spores somehow gave Dr. McCoy a southern drawl. That seemed weird and out of place, given no one else changed their accents. It wasn't even just an accent: suddenly Bones was off making Mint Julips. Who the heck directed Kelley to turn into a plantation owner, when for everyone else the spores just made them relaxed and happy?
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dgalvan
Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

-This plot concept seemed completely original to me! Surprising, but I'd never seen a sci-fi plot where a war was fought with simulations, and the "casualties" obediently killed themselves, all in an effort to preserve the infrastructure. It was pleasant to find such an original plot in a 50-year old TV episode. But then, I'm now curious why this concept hasn't been re-visitited in any modern sci-fi show I can think of. Am I missing an example?

-Kirk's point at the end when chatting with McCoy and Spock is key: with real weapons, people would still die, but now the ability to make war would eventually be hindered as well.

-Shatner gets lampooned a lot, but watching most of these TOS episodes for the first time, I gotta say: He is REALLY good!

You can call it overacting, but most of the time I don't think it's not really overdone. And it is entertaining in the way it is supposed to be: presenting the idea that Kirk is indeed a maverick. It's not subtle, but not everything has to be subtle to be good.

-This is yet another episode where the "aliens" look exactly like humans. Logistically understandable given the special effects / makeup limitations of the time. But still, a tad annoying.
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dgalvan
Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

Just watched Space Seed for the first time. Thoughts:

-Ricardo Montalban definitely made this episode watchable. I think if someone else had played Khan, this episode would have been completely forgettable. This was a case where the actor was way better than the material he had to work with.

-Now that I've seen it, I'm surprised they decided to return to this topic for Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. Don't get me long, I agree that TWOK was among the best of the ST movies. But, after watching Space Seed, I would not think this was a story that could be successfully returned to, because frankly it just wasn't that great of an episode to begin with. I guess they must have just decided that they needed a great villain, and Ricardo Montalban definitely delivers.

-That fight scene was laugh-out-loud funny. Multiple shots where you get full frontal shots of Shatner's stunt double's face. Maybe it was harder to tell them apart on the grainy 480i tiny tv screens of the 60's. But in glorious HD via Netflix, it is comical: The viewer is like: wait, who the hell is THAT, and why are we watching a fight between two completely different people?

What's more: why did they even use stunt double's for this in the first place? Interspersed in the fight are shots of Shatner doing seemingly equally strenuous things (holding onto a grid with his hands while trying to choke Khan with his legs). And in other episodes Shatner gets into the fighting a lot more than this one. *shrug*
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dgalvan
Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Return of the Archons

"Kirk Outsmarts the Computer ™" seemed to happen a lot in TOS. It's kind of an interesting artifact from a time when computers were huge, room-filling mechanical devices. Hard for us to comprehend with our present-day definition of "computer", but probably worked as a sensible idea for the audiences of mid-to-late 60's.

-I assumed the "festival" was Landru's way of letting the people blow off pent-up aggression and frustration, so that they could sustain their politeness the rest of the time. But that was just my assumption. . . they certainly didn't address it in the episode itself, which I thought was odd because it was a big deal at first and then never mentioned again.

-I also laughed out loud when the guards were left gaping at their destroyed Landru computer while Kirk walked by and said "If I were you I'd start looking for another job". Look at it from the guard's point of view. Some alien guys show up and destroy their system of government, philosophy, and religion all in one brief logic- conversation. Then head-alien (Kirk) just says, "see ya later suckers!" If I were the guards I'd be like: What the hell, man! We were fine before you got here!

-At this stage going through TOS's first season for the first time, I am noticing that almost all aliens they encounter look pretty much exactly like humans. With the exceptions of Spock, Romulans, Balok (Corbomite Maneuver) and the Gorn, pretty much all aliens they find on other planets are just humans. (The one with the kids who fear the "groups", this episode, the "Taste of Armageddon", etc.)

I recognize that budgets for makeup etc. were limited back in the day, so it's not a big deal, but it is a noticeable deviation that I'm glad the later Star Trek Spinoffs corrected. In those later shows, they would almost always add a little brow ridge, ear deviation, or even just a different hairstyle to show that someone is not human.
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dgalvan
Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 4:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Corbomite Maneuver

This episode really made me notice the trend in this series of providing gratuitous closeups of actors faces to show their response to a given situation. I don't know if this was unique to star trek or common to other shows of the era, but by today's standards it seems a bit silly.

Example:

While the crew is trying to break free of Balok's tractor beam near the end of the show, increasing the engine power to dangerous levels, we get a closeup of Kirk's face, then of Scotty's face, then of Spock's face, then of Bailey's face, then of McCoy's face, then back to Kirk. . . etc. During this series of closeups, nothing is really happening or changing in the plot. We are just staring at a series of intense faces looking at the view screen. This happens a lot in Star Trek, and seems to be time-filler or an attempt to build tension. But I find it annoying. And the later Star Trek spinoffs didn't really do this.
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dgalvan
Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

The episode was Ok overall.

But what bugs me the most is the whole "exact duplicate of Earth" thing, which they never even tried to discuss further, let alone explain. I mean the continents were the same and everything, and they commented on it leading up to the opening credits. . .and then they never discussed it again. Why?

Why not just have the same plot on a planet that happened to NOT be an exact duplicate of Earth? And the children could be aliens that are only slightly different from humans. Just seemed odd that they introduced and hilighted this huge plot detail and completely left it alone.
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