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saffron
Mon, Jun 8, 2020, 7:50am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Return to Tomorrow

Wow, this must indeed be the epicenter of shatnering. Not only does Sargon go through all stages of inhabiting a human body, which is at first extremely painful, then very nice, then painful again; but also the whole briefing looks like Kirk is fighting a toothache or something. Compare that to Nimoy just boyishly enjoying his bad guy. Or Diana Muldaur, who I think hasn't changed that much at all. Even back then Ann Mulhall conveys a quiet but resolved competence. I also actually like Dr Pulaski, but I guess I let you scream at me for that in a different comment section :)

As to the speech, a similar point has been made - much more effectively imo - in The Immunity Syndrome, where they simply point out that look, we have come all the way here, this is what we do, so it *would* be kind of stupid to turn around and do what? go back home and hide under the bed? So yes I think it is comically oversold here, but you guys are right, it just wouldn't be Kirk without Shatner.

I also like that the aliens actually are who they say they are. Genuinely surprising when Sargon says 'ok let's get to work building those robots to teach the humans the things'. It sounds a lot like a con, but for once it's not.

Btw the funniest Shatner impressions have to be the ones that come from his crewmates, in interviews I found on youtube. Nimoy and especially Koenig do a great Kirk, sometimes to his face. Priceless.
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saffron
Sun, Apr 19, 2020, 11:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Wolf in the Fold

ok for some reason I never caught the whole therapy idea until now, and yes it is horrible. I still maintain that TOS was way more sexist than it needed to be, and 'hey it was the 60s' just doesn't cut it. There's just no excuse for a line like "*A woman* caused an accident" and everything that comes after that.
What's worse, I think that story is supposed to serve as a potential motive for Scotty, to let the viewer think for a second that maybe he did do it?

But trying to look past that, I still like this episode and I agree with everything in the review. It's still genuinely creepy after all these years - the psychic screaming seemingly meaningless words, the creature showing itself and possessing different characters... and as much as I hate all things courtroom in TV shows - The Deadly Years being a particular offender - even that works in this case.

If anything, the way this is packed with classic horror cliches, I would have guessed it was another Halloween episode. But apparently it aired around christmas, so interesting choice ;)
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saffron
Sun, Apr 5, 2020, 7:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Friday's Child

I generally enjoyed this episode. I also really like Capella, which is
now nicely visible in the evening sky. Spring is coming. Anyway:

Right after Babel, we are back to the "Earth Federation" trying to
secure those minerals for their colonies. I don't know about the Prime
Directive though. The Capellans might well be warp capable or at least
aware of their planet's position in interstellar relations, and still
choose to live on simple soundstages with a couple of drapes and
employ edged weapons as part of their culture. For what it's worth,
materialising aliens are not a big deal to them; they greet them with
a simple "So you're the earth vessel?"

The wide-spread notion that redshirt deaths are generally shrugged off
might be a bit unfair after all. This far in the series, Kirk
routinely mourns and "demands an explanation" for his crewman's death;
he even does so in this case, where his party is clearly the one at
fault. He promptly gets his explanation from McCoy, who dryly points
out that this idiot just needlessly caused an interplanetary
incident. Well, to the young guy, a Klingon might be a terrifying
alien, maybe like a Borg (you do tend to kill those on sight). But I
can't say that they have done much to earn that reputation; the one
here certainly doesn't.

The Klingons are still sneaky and dishonorable here, eventually
backing away from the fight in space as well. That's interesting given that in the
beginning, the Klingons seem to be at an advantage precisely because
they are cultually closer to the Capellans. - However, it is
believable that a single Bird of Prey or "small scout ship"/glowing
paperclip would be seriously outgunned by the Enterprise. Still in
STIII, a fully armed Constitution class vessel coming at you is a
thing to be very nervous about. (Obviously, by that time, the Klingons
would choose to die in the fight.)

DC Fontana's script has another one of those remarkably hard cuts that
she already employed twice in Babel, and that most of you were put off
by. I call it some refreshingly dynamic pacing, maybe even somewhat
ahead of its time. It also works in this case: we can all figure out
that there's a coup by Maab's people, no need to spell it out.

I also rather enjoyed Julie Newmar's display of regal arrogance,
putting a good measure of Catwoman in her always-sexy voice when she
declares that "it is my right to see him die". Her exact motivations
remain unclear throughout though, like pretty much everyone's.

Yeah, and Scotty is probably a tad too smug when he explains to
everyone on the bridge how *he* just fell for a ruse, abandoning his
captain in the process; the story sounds accordingly different in his
report to said captain when he finally returns. And finally, their
very cavalry-like appearance, while okay as a joke, felt rather
unneccessary to me. Kirk had almost got it there. Just one
three-minute Kirk speech about how honoring proper succession demands
Junior is now in charge, everyone voluntarily drops their weapons
and bows to the baby, boom, you're done.
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saffron
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: I, Mudd

Well, this one definitely worked better when I was 6.
Harcourt really doesn't do all that much to earn his reputation as Star Trek's Hilarious Clown that the series wants him to be. And I don't necessarily blame the actor for that. Norman, on the other hand, was pretty well acted, a solid robo-antagonist given the material.

The two sisters who play the Alices are actually credited as 'Alice #1 through 250' and 'Alice #251 through 500', respectively. That was the biggest chuckle I got out of the episode this time around.
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saffron
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 8:30am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

*un*professionalism, obviously. Sorry.
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saffron
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 8:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Apple

Ok I liked the adventure elements. I did not care for the sex talk, which is made uncomfortable and unnecessarily stretched out at the same time.

What really bothers me is the blatant professionalism of just about everyone. Why are they constantly insisting this is "paradise", just because a planet *has plant life*? In The Enemy Within, they have a tent set up and collect samples and make it look like they're doing actual field work.

The final straw is an exchange between Kirk and Scotty near the beginning, where Kirk is like "Dude, redshirt just died" and Scotty goes "Oh no, what a shame" and then moments later he goes on about how much he would love to stroll around down there himself. Then Kirk says something along the lines of "Ok gotta be real careful from here on out", then immediately proceeds to pick a flower and mindlessly smell it. It's like the actors and director didn't even care anymore at this point. :D
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saffron
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 7:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

@ Peter,

well I guess we can give the script credit for at least *giving* her a profession, as opposed to just being a tricorder stand or Apollo demanding a female specimen (which is how many other episodes handle it). I think at one time she's even asked a question relevant to her job, although many more lines about the historical/mythological background could just have been given to her instead of Kirk/Spock.

As for the dialog on the bridge, yes it's cringy and undoubtedly sexist, even for the time. Though I will say Kirk's line about losing an officer is very nicely delivered, as if he's coming to his senses while he hears himself talk.
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saffron
Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 6:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Here we got a contender for the Laziest Exposition Ever, when upon arrival, the woman just literally asks "so what am I doing here?", and McCoy helpfully explains her profession. To her.
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saffron
Fri, Jun 7, 2019, 6:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Catspaw

I *also* have a soft spot for this one. The Three Witches are another iconic TOS image from my childhood. Watching as an adult, I expected nothing more than a novelty Halloween episode, but this is actually a legit TOS adventure. It has a lot of great lines, which mostly come from Kirk-Spock-McCoy interaction, because for the most part it's the three of them working together by themselves. Is this actually the first time we see just the trio beam down and get to work on a planet? Anyway the image made me smile. You see them materialize and you just know it's *on*. It's TOS time. Things are gettin' *explored*.

The aliens probing for our conscious minds and accidentally reaching the subconscious, as Spock explains, is really a nice SciFi thought. The 'universal images' that are supposed to reside there are a pop culture version of Jungian psychology, which was rather popular back then.

Also, pipe cleaner aliens.
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