Tag Archives: The Star Trek Project

Where I Impersonate Clint Howard in “The Corbomite Maneuver”

VEDA day 3 brings us a bit of Star Trek. I’ve already reviewed season 1, episode 10 on the blog, but this time, it’s in video format. And I do a terrible impression of Clint Howard’s Commander Balok. He’s a weird alien. Only a 7 year old actor at the time, he was playing an adult alien. Check out my impression, the review, and my nitpicks.

Let me know what you thought of my impression. Terrible, isn’t it? Well, it’s supposed to be!

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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!