Sunday, October 2, 2016

TV Time--Star Trek TOS

As I previously mentioned, BBC America ran a marathon of Star Trek episodes from the original series. I caught several episodes (or parts of episodes) in passing: The Man Trap, Charlie X, The Menagerie, Amok Time, Patterns of Force. Some were mediocre; Amok Time and The Menagerie were classics.

I recorded my favorite episodes and worked through them over the next few weeks. (One exception was Mirror, Mirror from Season Two--I didn't record that because I had watched that a few months earlier.)

Season One episodes:

Balance of Terror--I recorded this thinking it was The Enterprise Incident. Still a good choice, it provides the first look at the Romulans and an indictment against racism.

The Galileo Seven--This was a favorite that had lost luster over the years. I wouldn't record it again.

Space Seed--This episode didn't resonate with me, but it spawned a movie so it was worth a re-watch. An interesting concept, but not a favorite.

The Devil in the Dark--Similar to The Galileo Seven, this had lost luster to me. Watching it recently, it held up okay. But the "horta" was hokey looking. I hated how Kirk and Spock changed positions about the need to kill the creature.

The City on the Edge of Forever--This is the best episode of the original series. It combines some of my favorite ideas of time travel and alternate realities. Plus a love story. This episode was written by Harlan Ellison, apparently with many rewrites and some turmoil. Similar concepts were explored in the Deep Space Nine episodes Past Tense. In both cases, alterations to the timeline prevented the creation of the United Federation of Planets.

Season Two episodes:

Journey to Babel--I liked this for the introduction of Spock's parents and what I think is the first formal reception on the Enterprise.

The Trouble with Tribbles--The most fun episode, it gives Shatner a chance to play comedy. There were some great lines, especially when Scotty explains why he threw the first punch in the fight with the Klingons, "They called the Enterprise a garbage scow."  And of course, "Before they went into warp, I transported the whole kit 'n' caboodle into their engine room, where they'll be no tribble at all." This was another episode revisited in Deep Space Nine.

Season Three episode:

The Enterprise Incident--This was the first mention of the cloaking device. I enjoyed the subterfuge of Kirk and Spock infiltrating the Vulcan ship.

Funny how the first season episodes were my favorites. Looking at the third season episodes, it's no surprise that the series was canceled. Plus the series was inappropriately scheduled at Fridays at 10 PM.

The last broadcast episode, "keep women in their place"  is a travesty to the original ideal of Star Trek and should have been completely rewritten if not shelved.

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