Tag Archives: episode

Star Trek S1E06 – Mudd’s Women

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgI went into this episode thinking it was a different episode. You see, there are two episodes featuring Harcourt Fenton Mudd, a serious one, and a silly one. Well, what we get here is the serious one. And of course, spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 6: Mudd’s Women

Original Air Date: October 13, 1966

Stardate 1329.8

Planet: Rigel XII

Featured Alien: None

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

Main Guest Characters: Harcourt Fenton Mudd (Roger C. Carmel), Eve McHuron (Karen Steele), Ruth Bonaventure (Maggie Thrett), Magda Kovacs (Susan Denberg), Ben Childress (Gene Dynarski), Herm Gossett (John Kowal), Benton (Seamon Glass), Farrell (Jim Goodwin)

Things I Noticed

Talk about a lot of guest stars. This is the first time we get to see Harcourt Fenton Mudd, the con man. He went by the name Captain Leo Walsh.

There’s another uniform change. This time, Uhura was wearing yellow. But this was one of the earliest episodes made, and was considered for the second pilot episode.

As we move on, we see an asteroid belt. Now, I blame the digital remake of this scene. There were too many asteroids. Asteroid belts are not that dense. You’re unlikely to ever see an asteroid as you pass through a belt.

This is also the first time we hear about lithium crystals. As we all know, dilithium crystals are used in starships. But since this is an early episode, I don’t think they’d established dilithium crystals as the focal point for matter and antimatter streams. I have the technical manual. I know how it works.

Mudd has a rather hairy neck. It’s a bit odd.

In the transporter room, this is the first time we hear about McCoy’s distrust of transporters.

I’d like to know how Mudd knows Spock is only part Vulcan, or as he says, Vulcanian.

I’d also like to know why there was a sine wave on the monitor during the lie detector test.

The police record on Mudd is somewhat humourous. Of course, no metric. Looks like a typed card with a colour mugshot. I love being able to pause to see things like this.

The women’s lives were basically described as being women who did the cooking and mending clothes on farm worlds, merely doing traditional women’s roles. Very outdated, and I wouldn’t have thought they’d be like this in the 23rd century.

Mudd says the lithium miners are rich. I thought money was not a factor in Star Trek. At least in Starfleet, they don’t need it.

I find it humourous that Mudd thinks he could buy the Enterprise and become Kirk’s commander. You can’t buy a Starfleet ship and command its crew. That’s like some rich con man buying an American aircraft carrier and assuming command of its crew.

Mudd says lithium is worth hundreds of times more than diamonds and thousands more than gold. Didn’t know they were trade commodities in the 23rd century.

The mining camp’s doors look like giant styrofoam blocks, not rock. Incredibly low tech for the 23rd century, including pans and wood furniture. The outside of the quarters are futuristic-looking, but the inside is like a cave. Weird.

I have issues with the mining camp’s attitude and willingness to collude with Mudd, basically holding the Enterprise hostage. Wouldn’t that result in the arrest and charging of the miners? I mean, they’re Federation citizens betraying the Federation’s military.

They have circular playing cards. Maybe they exist today, but I haven’t seen them.

So, a placebo can actually make someone’s appearance and skin condition change within seconds? Wow.

My Impressions

Another classic, especially with Mudd. He’s made the two episodes he’s in fun. I enjoyed this episode, though it wasn’t incredibly strong. There were so many things in this episode that made me question whether it’s supposed to portray the 23rd century. Star Trek was quite progressive for the 1960s, but it’s so incredibly outdated, especially regarding the attitude towards women. It handles race as being something that’s completely accepted. There are no racial issues. However it still treats women as being the “weaker sex” and objects for men’s desire.

Regardless, I still enjoyed the episode. Of the main characters, Kirk was the focus. Spock was a secondary focus, but it was mostly Kirk, Mudd, the women, and the miners. People criticise Shatner’s acting all the time, but I thought he was good in this episode. For one thing, he completely resisted the women! Amazing!

Verdict

★★★★

Your Voice

What did you think about this episode? Do you notice how women are treated in Star Trek? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Star Trek S1E05 – The Enemy Within

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgThe early part of Star Trek has some really good episodes. This is another one of those episodes that people think of when they imagine classic Trek. And in this one, we get to experience William Shatner’s acting range. Warning: there are spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 5: The Enemy Within

Original Air Date: October 6, 1966

Stardate 1672.1

Planet: Alpha 177

Featured Alien: Alien dog

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

Main Guest Characters: No one notable

Things I Noticed

Right at the beginning, we notice how cheap the production is. The alien dog looks like a dog in a costume. Honestly, you can easily tell it’s a dog.

In the transporter room, Scotty uses a sensor that looks like cheap plastic. More cheapness.

There was a continuity error, as well. When Kirk beamed up (both good and evil Kirk), his uniform insignia was missing. But soon after, it was back. How’d they not notice that?

And in sick bay, the plastic 20th century spray bottles are back!

On to the crew quarters, they have interesting decor. They’re so industrial-looking. Also, Rand’s mirror is so foggy or scuffed up so much, you can’t really see a reflection very well.

Also, every time I see Rand, I wonder how long it takes her to do her hair like that. It seems so elaborate.

And in Kirk’s quarters, I noticed that he has makeup. Why?

While Sulu and the others are trapped on the surface of the planet with freezing temperatures, they try to fix the transporter on the Enterprise. Why not just send a shuttlecraft? Of course, they hadn’t been designed for the show yet.

What really surprised me is how deserted Engineering is. Doesn’t anyone work there?

When good and evil Kirk fight each other, you can see that Shatner’s double is taller than him.

This is the first episode that McCoy uses the exact phrase, “He’s dead, Jim.”

In the scene on the bridge later in the episode, the scratches switched cheeks on evil Kirk. I guess they just mirrored the film.

Sulu and the others were left on the planet at nearly -120 degrees. How could they survive? They were wrapped in thin blankets.

My Impressions

I really enjoyed this episode. This is definitely classic Trek. It’s one of those episodes I looked forward to watching. As this centres on Kirk, we get to see a lot of his acting. As good Kirk, he’s quite normal. He doesn’t do any over the top acting at all. I was impressed. But as evil Kirk, he is overly dramatic. It’s so goofy-looking.

Kirk’s acting is definitely the highlight of this episode. Both good and bad. All the other characters are as I would expect them. Their personalities are set by this time, and it looks like they’ve settled into their roles.

Overall, I think this is one of the better episodes. Good stuff!

Verdict

★★★★1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Do you agree that it’s one of Star Trek‘s stronger episodes? What did you think of Shatner’s acting? Let me know in the comments below.

Star Trek S1E04 – The Naked Time

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgI feel like this is the episode that feels like regular Star Trek. The main characters are all there, they’re all acting as they should (under normal circumstances), and this is one of those episodes that some may consider to be an all time classic. And just remember, this post contains spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 4: The Naked Time

Original Air Date: September 29, 1966

Stardate 1704.2

Planet: Psi 2000

Featured Alien: None

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

Main Guest Characters: Lt. Kevin Thomas Riley, Lt. Joe Tormolen

Things I Noticed

At the beginning, we see Spock and Tormolen wearing environment suits. They are ridiculous. They could even stick their hands inside and scratch their noses. No protection at all. They look like cheap hazmat suits. And how could Tormolen be so absentminded to take off his glove and forget it?

Psi 2000 is collapsing. I’m just wondering how a planet collapses. It’s old, but what are the mechanics for it?

I like how the spectral analysis tapes look like the regular visible spectrum.

We get to see the food dispensers for the first time in this episode. Put a tape in and the food comes out. At least we didn’t see gelatin cubes.

This episode is Riley’s first appearance. We do get to see him again, I believe. Unless my memory is faulty. Pretty sure we do see him again.

In the last episode, sick bay was an awful shade of green. Now it’s quite dark during surgery. Isn’t that dangerous? You’d think it would be well-lit during surgery.

The planet’s collapse is still bugging me at this time. Just because the planet is collapsing doesn’t change the mass. So why would the orbit of the Enterprise degrade? It shouldn’t! The gravitational pull should be the same no matter how small it gets. This is simple physics.

I’m amazed they mentioned universal suffrage in this episode. This is the 23rd century, when that shouldn’t even be an issue. Why would anyone even mention that it’s great that they’re giving women a chance to do things like control the helm?

And back to sick bay. Did you notice there are 20th century spray bottles? Low tech!

I sound pretty nitpicky, don’t I? Well, up next is the shirtless Sulu scene! This is one of the best scenes in all of Star Trek!

Some more firsts in this episode. It’s the first time we see Spock’s Vulcan neck pinch. It’s also the first time we get to see engineering. It features prominently in this episode.

It’s amazing how much romantic interest there is in Spock in these early episodes. Now it’s Nurse Chapel, who is making her first appearance. She confesses she’s in love with Spock.

Love Spock in this one. McCoy and Scott are their usual selves. Kirk, well, he’s a bit over the top. But I think this is the first episode we actually get to see the characters acting as we expect them to. They’ve established the characters at this point.

Kirk says he will never lose you (meaning the Enterprise). The Enterprise is his love. But he has feelings for Rand. How interesting. This establishes his love affair with his ship.

McCoy ripped Kirk’s uniform. Was that necessary to give him a hypospray? But then, his uniform is often ripped. I think that’s a rule for Kirk. Must rip his shirt!

Interesting how they say they’re going faster than is possible for normal space. That would mean exceeding the speed of light. Warp is not normal space, so they can exceed light speed in that way. Superluminal speed in normal space would mean a time warp. Since the formula worked, they now have the ability to travel back in time, something they do in future episodes, but rarely.

This episode sets the stage for the TNG episode “The Naked Now.” The same thing happened, and everyone acts drunk. But I think The Original Series did it better.

My Impressions

Wow. This is one of my favourite episodes of Star Trek. And for it to be so early in the series, that’s saying something. But then, the first season had a lot of good episodes. I really enjoyed the acting in this episode. Spock showing his emotions as he loses control was one of the highlights. Kirk also lost control, but his acting is over the top. Leonard Nimoy was a better actor than William Shatner ever was, I think. McCoy and Scotty were their usual selves, as well. Nice to see. And then there’s Sulu. That shirtless fencing scene was great.

I’d say that this is a classic episode. It often appears on lists of the best Star Trek episodes, not only for this series, but all series. And I agree. It really was one of the best. There’s not much more I can about it.

Verdict

★★★★★

Your Voice

How about you? What did you think of this episode? Is it one of the best in your opinion? Let me know in the comments below.

Star Trek S1E03 – Where No Man Has Gone Before

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgIt’s episodes like this that make me happy to be watching Star Trek. I’m feeling a lot of nostalgia, and it’s great. This episode also makes me glad I can pause the video. So much information can be missed if you don’t! So, you have been warned: spoilers ahead!

Season 1, Episode 3: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Original Air Date: September 22, 1966

Stardate 1312.4

Planet: None. Delta Vega

Featured Alien: None

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, Scott, Sulu

Main Guest Characters: Lt. Cmdr Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood), Lt. Lee Kelso, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner (Sally Kellerman), Dr. Mark Piper

Things I Noticed

First off, it seems there are so many different characters. That’s because this was originally the second pilot episode, the one that was made after Lucille Ball encouraged NBC to give the show a second chance. Lucille Ball saved Star Trek! Some differences in this episode are that there are no red uniforms, instead replaced with a lighter yellow. Spock is wearing yellow and Sulu is wearing blue. In this case, Sulu is a physicist, not the helmsman.

McCoy, Uhura, and Rand are not in the pilot, but Scott is. So, this is the first time we get to see Scotty. The other main crew members that we see here are Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, Lt. Lee Kelso, and Dr. Mark Piper. Only Piper survives this episode.

Mitchell’s actor is Gary Lockwood, who is most notably in the 2001: A Space Odyssey movie as Dr. Frank Poole. Dehner’s actress is Sally Kellerman, who has had a long acting career. She’s still active! She was Major Margaret Houlihan in the M*A*S*H movie.

In this episode, Spock looks a little different. His eyebrows are slanted much more. He also smiles again. Since this was a pilot, and his character wasn’t firmly established yet, emotions slip sometimes. On the bridge, later in the episode, he shouts a lot. Very shouty Spock. We also find out that he has human ancestry.

One of the curious things I noticed is that they used zippers. If you look at Kirk’s collar at the beginning, you can see a 20th century zipper.

The first three episodes all have something to do with ESP or some other psychic ability. Isn’t that odd? Star Trek started out embracing ESP as a fact. Of course, we know this is a fairly common theme in the series, especially with Vulcans and Betazoids. But they have an ESP rating in their medical records. This is where pausing comes in handy with this. Dehner’s and Mitchell’s medical records are interesting to read. But what I found funny is that they’re typed with a typewriter, and then someone underlined key phrases with a pencil or pen.

More on technology, the S. S. Valiant used tapes, but so does the Enterprise. However, they look more like 3 1/2 inch floppy disks. Also, the communicator looks like clear plastic. It’s a bit different than the ones they use in later episodes. However, they’re still shaped like more modern flip phones.

The Enterprise went through a barrier at the edge of the galaxy, as had the Valiant. But I don’t really understand why there would be a barrier there. There’s no real scientific basis for this. That’s why it’s science fiction.

In an interesting parallel with the first episode of The Next Generation, Mitchell and Kirk talk about being at Deneb IV. That’s where TNG‘s first episode takes place. Not only that, both episodes feature beings with god-like powers: Mitchell and Q.

And finally, the sick bay’s walls are an awful shade of green. Why’d the choose that colour?

My Impressions

This should have been the first episode! With the major differences in cast and characters, it makes no sense for it to be the third episode. Really, it isn’t. However, it was aired after the first two. I wonder how much that confused people. But it turned out that this was a very good episode.

Gary Lockwood as Gary Mitchell was very good. He portrayed a man who was given the ultimate power and his arrogant nature was evident even before it happened. I just felt arrogance from him, and once he had those powers, he took advantage of them early on. Dehner was also affected, but exhibited the changes much later on. Both performances were good. I felt good about Kirk in this episode, too. Spock was Spock-like, but not totally.

We were treated to one of Kirk’s signature fights here, too. He’s the underdog, he gets bloodied up, and his shirt gets ripped. That always happens. He has a strange fighting style, but we love it, don’t we?

The action and tension in this episode were top notch for Star Trek. The original series never had the best fight choreography, but this was decent. And the main theme of this episode, absolute power corrupts absolutely is done well.  Probably one of the better episodes, and really should have been the first.

Verdict

★★★★1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below. And stay tuned for a page for The Star Trek Project!

Star Trek S1E02 – Charlie X

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgI have a very refreshing feeling watching Star Trek again. It doesn’t matter what the episode is, I’m having fun going through the episodes, noticing little details, and thankful that I can pause the video whenever I want. I continue The Star Trek Project with the second episode of the original series. Keep in mind that I include spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 2: Charlie X

Original Air Date: September 15, 1966

Stardate 1533.6

Planet: None. En route to Colony Alpha V.

Featured Alien: Thasians

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

Main Guest Characters: Charlie Evans

Things I Noticed

This is the first time we get to see Kirk’s alternate green uniform. Picard also had an alternate uniform. Maybe Captains can use them?

This is also the first time we get to see another Starfleet ship. It’s a small ship, but thanks to the CGI used in the remastered version, it looks good. In the original series, every ship had its own insignia. The Enterprise insignia that we’re used to is used in all other later series as the Starfleet insignia.

After Charlie beamed on board, everyone seems to act strangely around him. He hasn’t exhibited any unusual behaviour to make them do that, so why do they act so unnaturally? Either bad acting or bad writing.

Sexism pops up again. Charlie slapped Rand on the butt, and she had a hard time explaining why it was wrong. She told him to ask McCoy or Kirk. Later on, he asked Kirk, and he had a hard time explaining, as if he were embarrassed. You know what? Picard probably wouldn’t be able to explain well, either. I’m not even sure if Sisko or Archer could do it, but I’m sure Janeway could’ve. She would’ve said it well. Other characters, like Riker, might have had a good explanation.

There’s more Uhura and Spock interaction here. This time, it’s teasing. Uhura has a way with making people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed it seems. Spock played his harp (a first in the series) while Uhura sang (also the first time in the series). She teased him about his appearance, saying he looked a bit like the devil. When Charlie came in, it became extremely awkward. She teased him about liking Rand. That’s when we start seeing Charlie’s revenge escalating. One more thing about this scene is that Spock smiled. Still a bit more emotional than the rest of the series.

This is the first time UESPA is mentioned. It’s the United Earth Space Probe Agency. It will be mentioned several times in various series, and is kind of a predecessor of Starfleet, though they merge before the Enterprise series begins. It seems they work together for some time before eventually just being called Starfleet.

I was curious about the actor who played Charlie. Robert walker was 26 years old at the time this episode was made. Charlie was 17.

Notable absences are Scott, Sulu, and Chapel.

My Impressions

My main feelings about this episode is that it was incredibly awkward. We introduce a teenager who hasn’t lived around humans for most of his life, and has god-like powers. He doesn’t know how to control his anger. Charlie isn’t the awkward thing about this episode. It’s everyone else. They’re all acting as if they’d never been around a teenager before. They don’t seem to know how to talk to him. And Kirk’s reluctance to even say a word with him for half the episode was strange. And everyone was trying to get him to talk to Charlie. Stop acting like that!

For a second episode, it was still lacklustre. Two episodes in and we don’t have a strong episode yet. I’ve seen discussions online where people are wondering why they didn’t just start with the third episode (which I’ll do next), as it was a strong one. The main cast are still getting into their characters. Spock isn’t quite totally in control of his emotions. Uhura’s time singing was just plain awkward. And Kirk being flustered and unable to explain to a 17 year old why you can’t slap a woman on the ass was painful to watch. You know who was the star of this episode? I thought Robert Walker’s portrayal of Charlie was quite good. He made this episode.

It was moderately enjoyable, but still weak.

Verdict

★★★1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below. Also, coming soon is The Star Trek Project page, where you’ll see all blog and video reviews linked.