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Star Trek S1E16 – The Galileo Seven

Parts of this episode have always bothered me. But at least this is the first time we get to see the shuttlecraft being used by the Enterprise crew to go somewhere. This is a very Spock-centric episode, and I have some issues about it.

Season 1, Episode 16: The Galileo Seven

Original Air Date: January 5, 1967

Stardate 2821.5

Planet: Taurus II

Featured Alien: Taurus II creatures

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

Main Guest Characters: Lt. Boma (Don Marshall), Commissioner Farris (John Crawford), Lt. Gaetano (Peter Marko), Yeoman Mears (Phyllis Douglas), Lt. Latimer (Rees Vaughn), Lt. Kelowitz (Grant Woods), Creature (Buck Maffei), Transporter Chief (David Ross)

Things I Noticed

Murasaki 312 is a quasar-like formation. Of course, we now know there are no quasars in our galaxy, but they are extremely luminous cores of galaxies. Sure, this could be a black hole, but it sure isn’t a quasar. At least with the digital remaster, they made it look quasar-like.

I find it interesting that they need to transport medicine from one planet to another to handle a plague. They can’t make the drugs on Makus III? But I guess I can understand, since it’s probably a newer colony.

I’m not very fond of the digital remastering of the shuttlecraft. It seems to be even lower quality than TNG. Animation students could do a better job.

And speaking of shuttlecraft, this is the first episode produced that showed a shuttlecraft. “The Menagerie” was filmed later, but aired before this episode.

The instrumentation on the Galileo seems kind of clumsy and inefficient. Latimer had to reach behind himself to press a button to reverse engines.

Kirk said the shuttlecraft is 24 feet long. Not metric!

I can’t stand Commissioner Farris’ constant smug look. It’s the kind of look that makes you want to punch a guy.

I don’t know why they’d assume the Galileo would land on Taurus II. Either it was a wild guess or they thought they’d be drawn into the centre of Murasaki 312. And how would they know about the planets? The systems are unexplored.

Lt. Boma and Lt. Gaetano are bordering on insubordination when speaking to Spock. They’re ready to blame him for everything.

20th century gauges on the shuttlecraft! We have some old technology.

Spock was getting a little emotional while giving orders. Or was he just being forceful?

Spock was questioning himself a lot. This is a Spock I’m not used to seeing. He should be more intelligent than this, as he should know logic isn’t everything. At least he’s more like that in the movies.

What is space normal speed? I would assume it’s impulse and not warp.

When Galileo lifted off, Taurus II’s CG looked extremely amateurish. I’m not impressed with the CG in this episode.

So, this was Spock’s first command. Even though he is a Lt. Commander, he’s never been in command before? He’s second in command of the Enterprise!

Rescued at the very last second! How probably is that? Of course, it was done for the drama.

My Impressions

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t very impressed by this episode. The main failing here has to do with Spock. His inability to reason that less intelligent life forms do not behave logically baffled me. Spock should know better! He should know that living and working with humans for so long. Nimoy’s acting was over the top with this one. Usually, he does well as Spock, but I felt this episode’s acting was atypical of him. Not good. Not to mention his logic was too simplistic.

John Crawford does a pretty good job of being a very arrogant and incredibly irritating Commissioner Farris. I could not stand him! William Shatner was good as Kirk, while the others were pretty typical, including Scotty and McCoy. Though why were they needed for an astrophysical survey is beyond me.

As you could see with my nitpicks, there were things that annoyed me about this episode. It was never one of my favourites when I was a kid, either. Whoever was in charge of the digital remastering of this episode didn’t do a very good job. The shuttlecraft looked awful. I normally like the remastering, but not in this case.

The theme of this episode is okay, but I don’t like how it was handled by Spock. He really should’ve been more intelligent than that.

Verdict

★★1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Did you enjoy it? Or did you find it to be unsatisfying, like I did? Let me know in the comments section below.

Star Trek S1E15 – Shore Leave

This was a very unusual episode. Did you know most of the dialogue was ad libbed? Gene Roddenberry had to rewrite the script of this episode after the network complained it was too surreal. He rewrote it on the fly while it was being filmed. Roddenberry had been told to go on vacation before this episode, and it turns out this episode is about a vacation.

Season 1, Episode 15: Shore Leave

Original Air Date: December 29, 1966

Stardate 3025.3

Planet: Shore Leave Planet in the Omicron Delta region (no official name)

Featured Alien: The Caretaker

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

Main Guest Characters: Alice (Marcia Brown), Yeoman Tonia Barrows (Emily Banks), The Caretaker (Oliver McGowan),  Esteban Rodriguez (Perry Lopez),  Lt. Angela Martine (Barbara Baldavin),  Finnegan (Bruce Mars),  Ruth (Shirley Bonne),  The Warrior (Sebastian Tom)

Things I Noticed

The planet has no animal life, yet it has flowers. Don’t they require a polinator? But then, this isn’t Earth. Nor is anything real.

This is an unusual episode, featuring figments of the crew’s imagination come to life. This is more fantasy than sci-fi, it seems. It is very difficult to nitpick things, as many of the things that happen really can’t be nitpicked.

Lt. Martine is back, and this time, she seems to have completely gotten over her fiance’s death. Well, that was fast!

Finnegan seems like a stereotypical Irish man combined with a leprechaun.

The old style antenna seems a bit old-fashioned for an advanced world like this.

Why would Kirk run after Sulu, and then take a moment to appreciate a flower? Priorities, Captain?

Kirk seems to be affected by what’s going on the most, or he’s extremely weak-willed. I just can’t seem to resist Ruth, and it takes a lot to snap him out of it.

McCoy is getting pretty close to Yeoman Barrows. Earlier, she massaged Kirk’s back, and he didn’t like it.

Finnegan says he’s still 20 years old, but he looks like he’s in his 30s. Shouldn’t this be from Kirk’s memory?

Before Finnegan flipped him, Kirk’s uniform was intact. After the flip, it was ripped. There was no reason it would have ripped. But you know, no Kirk fight is complete without a ripped uniform.

The tiger has a chain around its neck. Obviously for safety reasons, but why would it appear on this world?

It makes me wonder why humans aren’t ready to understand The Caretaker’s people or where they come from.

Again, they leave at warp 1. Is this standard for leaving a system? I guess it would make sense, taking a lower speed in system.

My Impressions

This was an amusing episode. It was sometimes difficult to take it seriously, as most of the things were quite absurd. But then, a lot of the crew of the Enterprise thought it was absurd. But the acting was also kind of absurd. Shatner wasn’t very good. DeForest Kelley didn’t do very well, either. Actually, there was a bit of overacting. But it makes sense since learning that most of the dialogue was ad libbed.

So, the acting wasn’t that great in this episode. I didn’t think the story was the best, either. It was amusing, kind of weird, but unimportant. It could’ve been removed from the series and no one would have cared. It affected nothing, really.  It wasn’t terrible, though. Just fluff.

One thing this episode did show is how irresponsible some of the crew can be! Kirk fights Finnegan, Kirk stops searching for Sulu because of a flower, Martine changing into a princess dress, Sulu shooting a gun, and more. Maybe their minds were affected by this world? I don’t know.

Verdict

★★★

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Was it fluff? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments section below.

Star Trek S1E14 – Balance of Terror

Did you know the Romulans appeared in The Original Series before the Klingons did? Well, this is the first episode starring the Romulans, and quite possibly one of the most important episodes in all of Star Trek. This is one of the classics.

Season 1, Episode 14: Balance of Terror

Original Air Date: December 15, 1966

Stardate 1709.2

Planet: None

Featured Alien: Romulans

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

Main Guest Characters: Romulan Commander (Mark Lenard), Lt. Robert Tomlinson (Stephen Mines), Lt. Angela Martine (Barbara Baldavin), Lt. Stiles (Paul Comi), Centurion (John Warburton), Decius (Lawrence Montaigne)

Things I Noticed

When Lt. Martine and Lt. Tomlinson were getting married, Rand appeared. While the previous episode was her last filmed episode, this one was filmed before that.

This is the first time the Romulans appear in Star Trek. It’s also the first time we see one of the major enemies of the Federation.

The display of the Neutral Zone and Romulus looked pretty cheap.

When Kirk addressed the ship about approaching the Neutral Zone, everyone looked up, as if looking at the speakers.

Spock spoke of the Romulan War, and it was interesting to note that he mentioned that they used “primitive atomic weapons” and there was no ship to ship visual communication. Of course, since Enterprise has been aired, we know they used phaser and photon torpedoes at that time and the visual communication wasn’t a technical limitation on Starfleet’s part.

Lt. Stiles seems far too free to voice his opinions. The way he acts is insubordination.

Commander Hansen of Outpost 4 said they’re a mile deep inside an iron asteroid. Not metric!

First time we see a Romulan ship cloaking.

First look at the Romulans. As we know, they look like Vulcans, and are in fact descendents of Vulcans.

The recording of the code that Spock tries to decode sounds almost like it has a pinball machine’s bells.

We learn castrodinium is the hardest substance known. I don’t think it’s ever mentioned again.

They’re approaching a comet, which has a tail, but how? They aren’t in a star system. They’re in interstellar space.

When they were firing phasers, the phaser control room had to manually fire them. This is so much like 20th century warships. But the control for phasers should be on the bridge, no need for people to operate them from another room. Also, it seems more like photon torpedoes being fired, not phasers. Oops. The Enterprise even shook a bit when the phasers fired. And they exploded by the Romulan Bird of Prey. Not phasers!

The phaser circuits are under Spock’s science station. I thought they could operate the phasers from the phaser control room. Either poorly designed, or the writers weren’t thinking how illogical this was.

The Romulan weapon can travel faster than the speed of light. So why is the Enterprise fleeing in the exact path of the weapon? Why not move perpendicular to the weapon’s path?

Rand embraced Kirk when the Romulan weapon was about to hit the Enterprise. Seems kind of inappropriate.

I never understood why the Romulans didn’t have warp capabilities. They wouldn’t be able to leave their own system.

Why can Rand just enter Kirk’s quarters without asking for his permission?

McCoy said there’s a possibility of 3 million Earth-type planets in the galaxy. I think he underestimated.

Surprising that of all people to make such a simple mistake, it would be Spock. You’d think he’d know where all the buttons were on his console.

Not sure why a nuclear warhead would cause so much damage on the Enterprise, especially with its shields. In The Next Generation, a nuclear weapon wouldn’t even bother a Federation starship.

Lt. Stiles blatant bigotry against Spock should have resulted in a reprimand.

When McCoy told Kirk that Tomlinson died, he called him “boy.”

My Impressions

Despite the long list of nitpicks (and some more general observations), this was an incredibly solid episode. We were treated to what makes Kirk such a capable Captain. Lots of battle tactics, bluffing, and trying to anticipate the other’s next move. The tension was three, and it was very well done.

The acting was quite good. This was Mark Lenard’s first appearance in a Star Trek episode, though he’s better-known as Spock’s father, Sarek. Outstanding acting by Lenard, though I think he’s better-suited as a Vulcan. William Shatner had one of his strongest performances in this episode, and I was equally impressed by Leonard Nimoy. Watching this episode was a treat.

For such an important episode, introducing the Romulans to us, we have a very compelling story and great tension. I’d rank this as one of my favourite episodes from The Original Series. I wish the Romulans would’ve appeared more often in this series.

Verdict

★★★★★

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Do you think it’s one of the best episodes of The Original Series? Let me know in the comments section below.

Star Trek S1E13 – The Conscience of the King

Shakespeare seems to be a common theme in Star Trek, especially The Original Series and The Next Generation. William Shatner did train as a classic Shakespearean actor after all. Well, here is an episode where Shakespeare is on stage, literally.

Season 1, Episode 13: The Conscience of the King

Original Air Date: December 8, 1966

Stardate 2817.6

Planet: Planet Q, Benecia

Featured Alien: None

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

Main Guest Characters: Anton Karidian / Kodos (Arnold Moss), Lenore Karidian (Barbara Anderson), Lt. Kevin Thomas Riley (Bruce Hyde), Dr. Thomas Leighton (William Sargent), Martha Leighton (Natalie Norwick), Lt. Leslie (Eddie Paskey)

Things I Noticed

I find it difficult to believe that there is famine on an Earth/Federation colony at this time. It may be possible, but I’d think it’s highly unlikely.

Odd that Dr. Leighton has half of his face covered by a black fabric. I’m sure cosmetic surgery is so advanced at that time that his original appearance could be restored, including a prosthetic eye that would function normally. Again, I understand this is due to the fact that this episode was made more than 50 years ago.

When Kirk called up information about Kodos and Anton Karidian, the computer made a lot of mechanical clicks. Weird.

Kirk is unusually smooth with Lenore Karidian. But then, this was just an act, I think.

As Kirk was walking on the bridge, it sounded like he was walking on a wood floor. I’m pretty sure it was, being a cheap set.

When Spock said his father’s race (the Vulcans) didn’t drink alcohol, McCoy said now he knows why they were conquered. Since when were the Vulcans conquered? This just confused me.

McCoy refered to Lenore as a creature. A bit of sexism here?

First time we see the observation deck above the shuttle bay. There are windows, too!

I think this is the first time Kirk kisses a woman! In previous episodes, he’s resisted because as a Captain, he’s pretty much married to his ship.

This is the second and final time Riley appears in a Star Trek episode.

The return of the 20th century spray bottle! This time to poison Riley’s milk. And of course, the ugly gelatin food appears again.

They used tape film for recorded audio. That’s not even used today.

McCoy inadvertently let Riley know about Kodos. It seemed rather careless. He was right behind him!

The acting company’s set is made of wood. Maybe they wanted authenticity. Or it’s just the material the Star Trek set designers had to use.

Kirk and Spock compare paper printouts of the Kodos’ and Karidian’s voice prints side-by-side. They actually used their eyes to compare the voice prints! That is an incredibly inefficient way to do it. Use the computer!

Who in their right mind would continue to quote Shakespeare after they’ve killed their father? But then, she did seem crazy.

Leaving Benecia at warp 1. Warp 1 again. Slow!

My Impressions

Way back when I used to watch Star Trek as a teenager, I was never impressed by this episode. I wanted Klingons and Romulans. Not Shakespeare. But after watching this episode as a 40 year old, I have a completely different feeling about it. I like Shakespeare. But that’s not why I like this episode.

I felt that the acting was pretty good in general. Sure, there was overacting by Shatner a bit (the scene with Lenore in the observation deck was a bit over the top) and some extreme overacting by Barbara Anderson as Lenore Karidian, but it was otherwise well done.

One thing I don’t get is why Kirk didn’t just confide in Spock and McCoy that he suspected Karidian of being Kodos. But I guess it’s possible that he didn’t want them to be subjected to disciplinary action if the transport of the Karidian Company was completely against protocol, and that Kirk was just on a wild goose chase.

The story had a decent amount of suspense. Is Karidian actually Kodos? Would Riley be killed? I thought that was done pretty well. Overall, I enjoyed this episode.

Verdict

★★★★

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Was Anderson’s portrayal of Lenore over the top? Did you think Karidian regretted what he had done? Let me know in the comments section below.

Star Trek S1E12 – The Menagerie: Part 2

And now, the conclusion. This is the second part of the only two-part episode of the original series. You can read part 1 here. While I nitpicked a lot for part 1, there’s actually not much for part 2. Let’s find out what I thought!

Season 1, Episode 11: The Menagerie: Part 1

Original Air Date: November 24, 1966

Stardate 3013.1

Planet: Talos IV

Featured Alien: Talosians

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock

Main Guest Characters: Captain Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter), Commodore Jose I. Mendez (Malachi Throne), Fleet Captain Pike (Sean Kenney), Lt. Piper (Julie Parrish), Lt. Hansen (Hagan Beggs), Number One (Majel Barrett), Dr. Philip Boyce (John Hoyt), Vina (Susan Oliver), The Keeper (Meg Wyllie), Yeoman J. M. Colt (Laurel Goodwin)

Things I Noticed

Pike said the Enterprise was from a stellar group from the other end of the galaxy. We now know that’s not going to be true according to later Star Trek series. For one thing, Talos IV isn’t that far from Starbase 11. And being only 100 years after the founding of the Federation, the explored part of the galaxy is quite small. Talos IV isn’t that far from Earth.

When the Talosians communicate telepathically, the veins on their heads pulsate. Weird.

The creatures on Rigel VII are humanoid, wear clothes, and seem to live in a medieval-like society, so why do they roar like animals rather than speak?

Number One has blue nail polish. She can wear it. It’s just that it was interesting to notice.

The pilot episode was the first time we saw Orion slave girls.

The image shown on the screen during the trial is washed out. You’d think they’d have better video equipment.

They have lasers, not phasers. Even in the time of Captain Archer, they had phase pistols (phasers).

At the end of “The Cage,” they said hyperdrive, not warp drive. Of course, at this time, they hadn’t established the technology of Star Trek.

My Impressions

There’s not really much I can add about this episode that I haven’t already said about Part 1. The episode continues in much the same way, though this tends to be far more about “The Cage” than original footage. Even the main cast members have been reduced to only Kirk and Spock.

The acting by Shatner and Nimoy is still quite good. I really enjoyed the high quality of acting in this episode. No overacting, no awkwardness, no silliness. Just plain good acting.

The final scenes with the Talosians appear to also be from original footage of the pilot, though I don’t recall seeing them in the pilot.

Overall, I thought this pair of episodes was very well done, even though they were essentially clips episodes.

Verdict

★★★★★

Your Voice

What did you think of the conclusion? And do you know if the final scenes with the Talosians are actually original footage from the pilot? I haven’t seen the original “The Cage” in quite some time. Should I review it? Let me know in the comments section below.

Star Trek S1E11 – The Menagerie: Part 1

This is the most unusual episode I’ve done. There was an issue in the production schedule, and they had to figure out a way to fill out a couple weeks. So, they brought back the episode “The Cage” and did it as a couple clips episodes! Of course, there’s new footage, but much of it is from the original pilot. Not only am I reviewing this episode, but also the pilot. Well, at least half of it. This is a two-parter!

Season 1, Episode 11: The Menagerie: Part 1

Original Air Date: November 17, 1966

Stardate 3012.4

Planet: Starbase 11 and Talos IV

Featured Alien: Talosians

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

Main Guest Characters: Captain Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter), Commodore Jose I. Mendez (Malachi Throne), Fleet Captain Pike (Sean Kenney), Lt. Piper (Julie Parrish), Lt. Hansen (Hagan Beggs), Number One (Majel Barrett), Dr. Philip Boyce (John Hoyt), Vina (Susan Oliver), The Keeper (Meg Wyllie)

Things I Noticed

First of all, this may be a minor thing, but I always imagined Starbases being in space. They go to Starbase 11, but it’s on a planet? Actually, I shouldn’t say a planet, because it appears it’s more likely a large moon orbiting a ringed planet. An M-class moon. This is also the first time that a Starbase is mentioned in Star Trek.

Captain Pike’s wheelchair is something I wouldn’t expect in the 23rd century. With the advances they’d have, there would be a more efficient way for him to communicate other than having the chair’s light flash once for yes and twice for no. Even early 21st century neural interface technology is more advanced.

Spock committing mutiny? Not expected from someone like him.

This is Malachi Throne’s first on-screen appearance in a Star Trek episode. He also appeared in The Next Generation. However, in the original pilot episode, he was the voice of The Keeper, though that had been replaced for this episode.

Spock creates a fake transmission from Starbase Operations. How he does it is by opening a front panel and manipulate something inside. I’d think there’d be an easier way to create a voice file. Later, he used colourful tapes with recorded messages.

McCoy says they can’t tap into the brain, but with current science, we can. We’ve advanced farther today than they imagined we could by the 23rd century back in the 1960s. But then, I said that about Pike’s chair.

Death penalty for approaching Talos IV? I find that hard to believe. Kind of odd that this is the only case for a death penalty, and I’d be more inclined to believe that the death penalty had been abolished at this time.

The top secret file has a few interesting things (thank you pause button!): They refer to Spock as Half-Vulcan Science Officer Spock (why so specific about his species?), the location of Talos IV is the third quadrant of vernal galaxy (there are 4 quadrants in the galaxy, and it’s later established that they are quadrants Alpha to Delta), and what’s with the all caps? Also, the top secret file is a hard copy.

Starbase 11 only has one shuttlecraft? You’d think they’d have a warp-capable ship available. The ship’s library says it has ion engine power (a later episode said ion engines are beyond Starfleet capabilities), but shuttlecraft should have impulse engines, if I remember my Star Trek Technical Manual correctly. And I’m surprised that the shuttlecraft has such a small supply of oxygen. It should have the ability to extract O2 from CO2.

Spock’s rank is revealed to be Lt. Commander. I’d always thought he was a full Commander.

In the recording from the pilot, the computer printed a message on paper. Paper!

After beaming down to the surface, you can notice Spock limping. Leonard Nimoy must have injured his ankle or leg. Shortly after, Spock smiled when they found a singing plant. This was long before his emotionless persona was established.

Vina is wearing makeup. They have makeup on Talos IV? There are no other women on the planet, so how does she know how to put it on?

My Impressions

This is the reason I didn’t review the pilot. Should I go back and review it? For the longest time, this was the only way to see the pilot episode, although that is available to watch now.

Overall, this was a very strong episode. The courtroom drama, seriousness, and acting were very well done. The performance by Leonard Nimoy is excellent. William Shatner and DeForest Kelley do a great job, as well. Jeffrey Hunter did well as the original Captain Pike, but I found him to be dry and too serious. He didn’t have enough personality. I prefer the crew with Kirk far more than Pike’s crew. William Shatner may have some acting shortcomings, but I actually enjoy watching Kirk. It wouldn’t be Star Trek without him.

What I found interesting is how Number One (Majel Barrett) was never given a name. She’s supposed to be the second in command, but we don’t have a name. It was a remarkable thing for a show in the mid 60s to have a woman as second in command. It’s too bad the final episode of the series says a woman cannot be a Captain of a starship. Of course, that’s a load of bull. But it reflects the time it was made, not the actual future.

As I said, this was a strong episode. I thought it was one of the best in The Original Series. It was full of drama and extremely series. Great stuff! Part 2 will be coming soon.

Verdict

★★★★★

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? How would you compare the two Enterprise crews? Did you find Pike as dull as I did? And what did you think of the acting in this episode? Let me know in the comments section!

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.

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.

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.