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Randie
Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 10:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

how can anybody go this long without mentioning THAT EAR SCENE? Have to say I was very pleased (and disturbed) with the continuation of subjecting Chekov to the worst mind control and disgusting torture possible like they had during the series.

Anyway, that scene is AMAZING. Gave me a phobia I’ve never gotten over. But damn... it’s worth it.
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Randie
Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Spectre of the Gun

I’m pretty biased in favor of TOS, having been raised on this series and none of the following ones, so the fact that this is one of my favorite episodes probably doesn’t hold much weight compared to somebody with a broader perspective. But, alas, I’ve always loved this episode, even given all of its long and repetitive dialogue and minced plot.

The reason I enjoy TOS so much is its unapologetically theatrical execution. The sets are evidently fake, the performances are overdramatic, the costumes are ridiculous, and the dialogue is preachy - and I adore it. I think I loved Spectre of the Gun so much because it exemplifies all of that to an extreme. The half-constructed western town was so fascinating to me as a child, especially the buildings without walls and randomly designated edifices. There is something so unnerving about an empty stage before or after a performance, and that’s just what the charicature of Tombstone captures in SotG.

I’m a sucker for actors who take their roles completely seriously, and Star Trek TOS required that from its cast. The dedication (and overacting) of the actors help suspend disbelief and create a light-hearted atmosphere of “look, I know this is fake, but humor me”. The guest actors who play the Earps and Doc H are absolutely phenomenal and genuinely creep me out. Often my least favorite part of Trek is the guest characters (motives hard to believe, backstory ridiculous, etc) but the stone cold performances really gave our leads something to act with.

The dialogue is slow and redundant, but I’m the kind of person who enjoys a scene where the characters are just bantering back and forth, even if it is meaningless. My favorite part of TOS is the main characters and their ongoing dynamic. I appreciate Spectre of the Gun because it was one of the few episodes that actually included Chekov.

Okay.... Chekov. What a mess. I love the character, and I love the actor, but I hate the writing. While I’m appreciative that SotG gives the character an opportunity to do something, it vexes me that he was written so lamely and almost out of character. That is, if there was any character to write him out of. Why would he jeopardize the entire mission to be with a random girl who - when they first met - basically molested him...? And, also, if he’d really do that in this episode, why in The Way to Eden does Chekov’s old girlfriend say he is rigid, correct, and straight-laced??

The problem with chekov is it seems no one ever knows what to do with him. Does he HAVE any personality traits besides flirty, Russian, and occasionally psychopathic? Even though Chekov is my favorite character in the series (unpopular opinion, I know, but I’m a sucker for hard luck cases), I feel the only reason he has a somewhat consistent personality in the series is due to Koenig making the best of every line he’s given.

I think that speaks for the rest of the episode, and the series, too. In TOS the producers and the actors just had to make the best out of what they were given. SotG really demonstrates that in its writing, set, and costumes. I don’t know... for me, the most enjoyable part of the show is not just its fakeness, but the reality it wants you to accept.
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