Category Archives: Star Trek

Star Trek S1E10 – The Corbomite Maneuver

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgThis was the first regular episode recorded after the pilot episodes, but it was the tenth aired. However, it turned out to be one of the strongest episodes.

Season 1, Episode 10: The Corbomite Maneuver

Original Air Date: November 10, 1966

Stardate 1512.2

Planet: None

Featured Alien: First Federation (Balok)

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, Scott, Rand

Main Guest Characters: Lt. Bailey (Anthony Call), Balok (Clint Howard)

Things I Noticed

As I mentioned before, this was the first episode filmed after the pilot episodes, though it was aired as episode 10. So, there are a few things that don’t match up with the later episodes.

Right off the start, the camera work when panning out from Spock and zooming in on navigation was terrible.

Uhura is wearing a yellow uniform. This indicates that it was a very early episode, as she later wears a red uniform.

McCoy ignored the red alert to finish Kirk’s physical. That seems slightly irresponsible. But some of McCoy’s behaviour is a bit too focused on Kirk rather than the situation at hand. Thankfully, he doesn’t act like this in later episodes.

Lt. Bailey seems to resent Spock a bit at the beginning. But more on his behaviour later on.

The women’s uniforms seem so loose and baggy compared to what they are in most episodes.

Unlike other episodes, they’re using metric in this episode. They did use miles at one point, mixed in with metres, but it was mostly metric.

Bailey jumps to conclusions too quickly. A bit of insubordination from time to time.

Kirk is annoyed that he was assigned a female Yeoman, Rand. Rand seems rather bitchy with him. If this were made these days, these attitudes wouldn’t be there.

The giant ship Fesarius looks better in the remastered edition.

Kirk referred to the ship as the United Earth Ship Enterprise. The Federation’s name hasn’t been established at this time.

For someone who was standoffish, Bailey has turned into someone who is rather timid in dangerous situations. And then he snapped. What kind of military has someone like this in such an important position as ship’s navigator?

Interesting how so many people are in the corridors during this high alert situation, clinging to the walls as they’re tossed around.

McCoy didn’t pronounce Balok correctly. Everyone else, including Balok, said “bay-lock.” McCoy said “Bah-lock.”

It seemed very strange seeing a 7 year old Clint Howard with the movements and mannerisms of a child and an adult voice.

My Impressions

Honestly, my nitpicks above aren’t that important, other than some behaviours and Kirk’s attitude toward a female Yeoman. Extremely outdated, and wouldn’t reflect the 22nd century at all. Otherwise, this was a pretty solid episode, despite being the third taped episode.

The thing that stood out for me when I was younger was the creepy Balok puppet. I thought this was the creepiest scene in all of Star Trek. It was a face that could’ve given me nightmares. However, I still enjoyed watching this episode when I was a kid. And now that I’ve watched it again, it really is one of the stronger episodes.

The acting is quite decent in this episode. Everyone is extremely serious, except when we get to the final scene. William Shatner was fairly decent and Leonard Nimoy was very good as usual. DeForest Kelley was a bit too overbearing, more than usual. But this was the first episode he did. Grace Lee Whitney was too strong for her position, but that’s not a problem with her acting. More a problem with how she was written in this episode. George Takei was very good. But I had a problem with Clint Howard. Of course, he was only 7 years old at the time, but he was obviously a child. How he acted and his movements were those of a child. It was just weird seeing him speak in a child-like manner with an adult voice.

With that said, the story was a very solid one. I really enjoyed the bluffing and Kirk’s resolve throughout the episode. He was a leader. I couldn’t fault the writing of this episode. It was extremely well done. I have pretty fond memories of this episode.

Verdict

★★★★ 1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? How did you feel about the puppet Balok, and then Clint Howard’s performance? Let me know in the comments below.

Star Trek S1E09 – Dagger of the Mind

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgThis is more like it. After several episodes of creepy behaviour by characters, we get one where creepy behaviour is expected. But it was surprisingly lacking in that creepiness. But this episode has some fond memories for me.

Season 1, Episode 9: Dagger of the Mind

Original Air Date: November 3, 1966

Stardate 2715.1

Planet: Tantalus V

Featured Alien: None

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura

Main Guest Characters: Dr. Tristan Adams (James Gregory), Dr. Simon van Gelder (Morgan Woodward), Lt. Helen Noel (Marianna Hill), Lethe (Susanne Wasson)

Things I Noticed

Right off the start, the cargo beamed up from the planet is destined for Stockholm, Eurasia. Interesting.

On the bridge, the log recording device looks like a big black tape recorder, and it even has leather straps. How old fashioned.

The first time Kirk sees Dr. Noel, it’s a moment of “Oh my god, not her.” But she’s portrayed as being very beautiful, and Kirk seems quite uncomfortable. But they know each other. It’s actually a fairly humourous moment.

As this is the remastered version, the surface of the planet is quite interesting, including a view of the rings of the planet. Nice touch.

Kirk and Noel embrace in the penal colony’s elevator when it suddenly goes down. I’m not sure if that would be the first response of military officers in a situation like that. It also furthered my wondering about their relationship.

The emblem on Dr. Adams’ uniform is amateurish looking. That hand looks awful!

Lethe is oddly emotionless. Kind of weird.

The inmates’ uniforms look strangely out of place, although not for the 1960s. Tie dyed patterns? Brightly coloured plaid?

First time the Vulcan Mind Meld is seen in the series. Spock is reluctant to use it, as it’s never been used on humans (although it’ll be used in Enterprise), and it’s a deeply personal thing. Doesn’t stop him from using it in later episodes! And McCoy was insistent that he use it. He doesn’t trust transporters, but he trusts the Mind Meld.

Dr. Noel is far too argumentative. She argues against Kirk’s orders so many times, I can see Kirk getting irritated.

Got to love Kirk’s cry/laugh while in pain in the neural neutralizer.

Again, they left the planet at Warp 1. When do they expect to reach their destination?

My Impressions

As you’ve seen with my nitpicks above, there weren’t that many nitpicks. I thought this was one of the best episodes so far in that aspect. I had a more difficult time finding things that were out of place or any continuity problems. The episodes are improving!

The acting was fairly decent in this one. The interaction between Kirk and Noel was good, though Noel seemed far too defiant. She’s extremely stubborn and very sure of herself, that’s quite evident. But I think the friction between the two was shown very well, though they ended up working together in the end far better, once she saw that Spock, McCoy, and Kirk were correct. Dr. Adams was portrayed well, as well. And then we have Morgan Woodward’s portrayal of the tormented Dr. van Gelder. You could see the pain, although it was slightly over the top.

I thought this was a good episode! But, there is one glaring problem. I just couldn’t understand why Dr. Adams was doing this. There didn’t seem to be any apparent motivation for it. It wasn’t explained! Why that approach to rehabilitating former criminals? It made them look like lifeless drones. I felt that he was a weak villain. Despite that, I did enjoy the episode.

Verdict

★★★ 1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? What did you think Dr. Adams’ motive was? Let me know in the comments section below.

The Star Trek Project Video Digest 6 – My Wonderful Acting

As I work through The Star Trek Project, I keep thinking about how long this is going to take at this pace. Forever. I’m considering doing only The Original Series on video, as it’s the only one that really has a lot of things to nitpick and talk about. The other series are higher quality and tend to not have any noticeable problems or unusual things. What do you think?

Anyway, for this digest, I have one video, and it features my latest attempt at acting at the beginning of the video. Check out “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

What did you think of my acting? Terrible? I agree! And let me know what you thought of this episode.

Star Trek S1E08 – Miri

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgWhat’s with the episodes with a high creep factor? Honestly, looking back at these episodes after several years of not watching them, I notice these things so much more. This is just yet another episode that has some awkward situations. As always, there are spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 8: Miri

Original Air Date: October 27, 1966

Stardate 2713.5

Planet: Parallel Earth

Featured Alien: Humans?

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Rand

Main Guest Characters: Miri (Kim Darby), Jahn (Michael J. Pollard), Farrell (Jim Goodwin), Redheaded Boy (Steven McEveety)

Things I Noticed

To start off, the age of this show is apparent. The planet’s size and mass were given in miles and tons. Yeah, right.

Also, you have to really suspend your disbelief with this episode. Another Earth? Yeah, right. What are the odds of that happening? So unlikely that it’s practically zero. Not only that, this wasn’t a parallel universe or an alternate timeline. This was in the same region of the galaxy that we live in. This is probably one of my biggest problems with this episode.

Why was Rand on the away team? I’m curious about what skills she has that are useful. It appears that her job on the ship is to attend the Captain and deliver reports for him to sign. She seems more like a secretary. But what’s she doing on the away team? That should be reserved for specialists.

I have to keep commenting on Shatner’s physical abilities. He runs funny.

When Spock uses his tricorder, all that happens is that it makes a sound. No image on the screen. It merely seems like a sound-making device. Even though he looks at it, it doesn’t seem to do much.

The trees and plants around the church look well-kept. They really shouldn’t. Also, plants should have taken over much of the roads and buildings if this world had been like this for 300 years. I doubt that children would be very interested in gardening if all they do is play in a Lord of the Flies-like fashion.

The interactions between Kirk and Miri were awkward. She’s an adolescent, but the way Kirk talks to her is creepy. This is a major red flag for me. I was cringing!

Miri hasn’t reached puberty yet, but her actress was 19 at the time. Jahn’s actor was 27. Not very convincing children. They seemed like teenagers at least, not 12 year old children.

Kirk said “you can help us best by clearing the computer banks.” Why? What purpose does it serve to clear a computer’s memory?

The bio computer is interesting. Just a box with buttons and red lights. How is data input? How do they read the data given out? Just how do these flashy blinky boxes work??

After 300 years, how do the kids’ clothes stay in such good shape? I doubt they have any good tailors.

Both Kirk and McCoy’s uniforms have opened on their left shoulders. Kirk has nothing underneath, while McCoy has a black shirt. Is this intentional?

The children have only a few months of food left. But how could they have had 300 years worth of food before? How much is that? And how could it be stored for 300 years? Wouldn’t it go bad?

Kirk tears his sleeves. Typical Kirk.

When the vaccine was found, there’s something that bothered me. How do blemishes fade that quickly? That’s not possible. Especially scab-like blemishes.

At the end, they leave the system at warp 1. Why go to warp 1? That’s only light speed. It would take them years to get anywhere.

My Impressions

This episode doesn’t get off to a good start. With the parallel Earth story, I just couldn’t get past the fact that there’s a planet in our part of the galaxy that’s identical to the Earth. That just doesn’t happen! But I guess after pushing that doubt aside, it was a decent episode. Nothing spectacular. There are just too many things that make it unlikely:

  • 300 year old children who haven’t advanced mentally. I have more faith in modern children on our Earth today.
  • Well-maintained trees and plants.
  • The kids aren’t wearing rags or completely naked.
  • Miri is a “child” yet looks like an older teenager. Jahn is also supposed to be a child, but looks even older than that. If they die at puberty, why has his voice changed?
  • A 300 year supply of food? Really? How?

Too many questions! I don’t think the writers were thinking about it very much.

As for the acting, it’s pretty typical. Kim Darby is decent as Miri. Michael J. Pollard irritated me as Jahn. Steven McEveety as the unnamed redheaded boy was even worse. But Kirk’s interaction with Miri was at times cringeworthy. I just felt embarrassed watching it.

Later on in the episode, Kirk, McCoy, and Rand were getting angry at each other quite a bit. Spock didn’t, since he wasn’t affected by the disease. I wasn’t impressed or unimpressed by their performances. Very neutral, to be honest.

Overall, I thought this was a decent episode. Not a strong one, but not terrible. Just too many awkward things going on.

Verdict

★★★ 1/2

Your Voice

What did you think about this episode? Do you agree with me about Kirk’s behaviour with Miri? Let me know in the comments below.

The Star Trek Project Video Digest 5 – I Wear a Moustache

The Star Trek Project is going strong on video, and I’m now up to episode 7, as of later this week. However, in this post, we look at episode 6.

“Mudd’s Women” is the sixth episode of the original Star Trek, and it introduces a recurring character, Harcourt Fenton Mudd. This character has a big moustache, so I tried to impersonate him. Check out the full video review and nitpicks.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below. Did you like the moustache?

The Star Trek Project Video Digest 4 – My Worst Acting Ever

It’s been a while since I’d done a Star Trek Project video, but here is the next one. This time, it features my worst acting yet!

In each of these videos, I try to impersonate one of the characters and do what they did, both in the thumbnail and the intro for the video. For episode 5 of Star Trek, I show a pretty bad impersonation of angry evil Kirk. This is “The Enemy Within.”

So, what did you think of it? It was pretty bad acting, wasn’t it?

Something you may have noticed if you’ve seen previous videos is that I’ve reordered things and put the review first. The nitpicking came after. Let me know if you like it that way in the comments below.

Star Trek S1E07 – What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgI always thought this was an odd episode. So few of the main characters are in this episode, and it focuses mainly on Nurse Chapel and Captain Kirk. Although Spock and Uhura are in it, no one else is. Did everyone just have a holiday that week? And it’s the episode with Lurch! So, as usual, there are spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 7: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Original Air Date: October 20, 1966

Stardate 2712.4

Planet: Exo III

Featured Alien: Androids

Main Cast: Kirk, Chapel, Spock, Uhura

Main Guest Characters: Dr. Roger Korby (Michael Strong), Dr. Brown (Harry Basch), Ruk (Ted Cassidy), Andrea (Sherry Jackson)

Things I Noticed

At first, I was wondering what I can nitpick about this episode. It wasn’t easy at first, but things started appearing.

Chapel had a really weird smile when talking to Korby from the bridge of the Enterprise. It was awkward watching her.

You can really notice how short the women’s uniforms are in this episode. You could see the bottom of Uhura’s butt!

When Kirk and Chapel beam down to the planet, they’re not wearing anything warm, even though it’s an icy planet. However, the entrance may actually be a window.

Kirk helps Chapel down the cavern by holding her hand like she’s a scared little girl. You’d think as a Starfleet officer, she’d be a bit braver than that.

Dr. Brown is kind of creepy. He wasn’t programmed very well if he doesn’t speak or behave like a human.

More wooden furniture! I’m so surprised at how many episodes have wooden furniture. And it’s yet another episode of people working alone or in very small groups on a planet with little outside contact.

Andrea’s outfit is rather skimpy. But that’s pretty common in Star Trek. And maybe Korby wasn’t entirely honest about his relationship with Andrea.

Korby talks a bit funny. It’s not just his voice, but his accent doesn’t seem to match anything modern.

Kirk’s roll seemed unnecessary and rather awkward. But you know, Shatner isn’t really an action star.

Strange that the blank android looks like foam. The android creation process seems rather improbable. The speed at which the turntable turns would probably seriously incapacitate Kirk, but he seemed fine.

A first look at some Star Trek food. It looked like waxy pieces of gelatin. Not very appetising.

Shatner’s double walks so differently than Shatner. It was obvious it wasn’t him.

The stalactite Kirk used to attack Ruk looked like foam.

When Korby and Andrea were destroyed, was that an accident or did Korby commit suicide?

My Impressions

This episode was another awkward one. It was downright creepy. And I mean Michael Strong’s portrayal of Dr. Korby. Was he intentionally creepy, or is that how he usually acted?

This was never one of my favourite episodes. It doesn’t have the best acting or the best cast. No McCoy, no Scotty, no Sulu. That’s unusual. There just wasn’t the usual banter between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. I miss that! Majel Barrett wasn’t doing her best acting when she smiled bashfully while talking to Korby. However, I’ve seen her do that as Lwaxana Troi in The Next Generation.

The whole premise behind Korby’s plan to replace humanity with androids seemed unlikely, too. He seemed to think that everyone would love to have android bodies so they would never get sick or old. But then, they’d never experience the joys of having children or eating delicious food. Machines wear out and break down eventually. What happens when they all stop working? Can’t have children to continue the species.

Like I said, this isn’t my favourite episode. It was okay, just not one I really looked forward to. The only thing I found memorable about it was Ruk realising there can be no peace, and that Korby was bringing conflict to Exo III again. It should be mentioned that Ted Cassidy (Ruk) is best known as the actor who portrayed Lurch in The Addams Family.

Verdict

★★★

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Do you agree it was one of the weaker episodes, or did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments section below.