Star Trek : Mudd’s Women

November 17, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is Mudd’s Women. The Enterprise pursues a small ship into an asteroid field. The ship refuses to stop and burns out its engines. Kirk orders the Enterprises deflectors to cover the ship and in doing so burns out the ship’s Lithium crystals. Before the Enterprise loses power and the other ship is destroyed by an asteroid Scotty beams the ship’s Captain and three of her “crew” aboard.

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Star Trek : The Enemy Within

November 10, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is The Enemy Within. During a geological survey mission on Alfa 177 geological technician Fisher falls down a hillside injuring his hand and covering his uniform in a strange magnetic ore. Fisher beams back to the ship but during transport the transporter registers a strange power surge. Fisher arrives okay and the transporter checks out. Captain Kirk is beamed up next and upon arrival feels dizzy. Scotty tends to the Captain walking with him to sick bay. Unknown to anyone the magnetic ore has caused a transporter malfunction and after Scotty and Kirk leave it activates again and a second Kirk materializes on the transporter platform. It seems the malfunction has split Kirk into two halves one good one evil.

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Star Trek : The Naked Time

November 3, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is The Naked Time. The Enterprise is sent to Psi 200 to pick up a scientific team studying the brake up of the ancient world. Upon arriving the landing party finds that the research team is dead and under very strange circumstances. Unknown to the landing party they inadvertently bring the virus that caused the death of the research team back to the Enterprise. The virus causes the host to lose their inhibitions and rational thought. As the virus spreads chaos ensues and Lieutenant Riley takes over in engineering shutting off the engines at a crucial time as the planet is breaking up and the ship is locked in orbit. McCoy races against time to find a cure as Kirk and Spock fighting the disease themselves try to regain control of the ship.

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This is a great character episode and this is when Star trek is at its best. The disease brought onto the ship revealed a lot about each character starting with Tormolen and his repressed anxieties. We then see Sulu as he engages in some fancy sword play acting out his “swashbuckling” nature. One thing though, when Sulu is subdued on the bridge don’t Kirk Spock and Uhura get infected if as McCoy discovers the virus is spread by perspiration and Sulu was covered in it, a minor point but it did give us Spock’s line “Take D’Artagnan here to sickbay.”

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We then move onto Riley who as Spock says fancies himself a decedent of Irish kings. I can sympathize with Kirk when he lost his cool with Uhura when she couldn’t shut off Riley’s singing. We also find out after Riley takes control of engineering and starts issuing orders as Captain Riley that the Enterprise serves ice cream (I wonder if it is the play-doh kind like the food) and that the Enterprise has a bowling alley. Riley had passed the virus onto Nurse Chapel. The rattlesnake type sound effect used when the virus is passed or takes hold of the victim was a nice way of letting the audience know who was infected and how. Nurse Chapel reveals her affection for Spock and in doing so transfers the virus to him.

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We really get a great exposition into Spock’s character when his human half surfaces while he is infected and the inner struggle he deals with on a daily basis. The scene in which he struggles to control his emotions reveals a lot about his character. That scene was not originally in the script only a quick sight gag was planned but Leonard Nimoy wanted something deeper and improvised the entire scene in one take. Spock passes the disease onto Kirk who reveals his devotion to the Enterprise and the cost of that devotion.

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During all this we see McCoy struggling to find an antidote for the virus. McCoy avoided infection and as more and more crewman become infected it makes his job that much more difficult but in the end he discovers the cure. Since Chekov wasn’t on board yet it fell to Sulu to have the long scream when the antidote was administered. Scotty also avoided being infected and was hard at work trying to regain control of engineering after Riley had locked everyone out. In the original version of the episode as Scotty is cutting the bulkhead trying to gain access to engineering the phaser beam effect is missing. It was either missed in postproduction or as I always though the phaser was set so low as to not damage the internal circuits in the wall that it wasn’t visible. The beam has been inserted in the re-mastered version.

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Riley having shut off the engines as the ship spiraled into the planet made for a great climax. The implosion restart was very tension filled and the way the ship reversed out of orbit was well done. It is here that I wished they would have went with what was to be a two part story. According to one source the time warp that the Enterprise was thrown into originally was the cause of the ship ending up in the late 1960’s and would have concluded with the episode Tomorrow is Yesterday. Instead Spock states that they were only thrown back three days. Now does this mean that the entire rest of the OS is in a different timeline? The debate could get complex so I’ll leave it at that.

Star Trek : Where No Man Has Gone Before

October 27, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is Where No Man Has Gone Before. This was the second pilot episode even though it aired after The Man Trap and Charlie X. The Enterprise is on a mission to probe outside the galaxy but while in route picks up a recorder marker from the SS Valiant a ship lost some two centuries before. The recorder marker is analyzed and Spock discovers that the Valiant encountered some sort of energy barrier that damaged the ship and killed several crewman. As Spock continues it seems one crewman came back to life. It was then that the captain of the Valiant began requesting information on ESP. Spock then says he believes that the captain ordered the ship to self-destruct.

Kirk decides to continue the mission to see what is out there. The Enterprise encounters the energy barrier which Spock describes as negative energy. The ship is damaged and nine crewman are killed. Gary Mitchell a friend of Kirk and Elizabeth Dehner are injured after being zapped by a strange electrical charge. Dehner seems okay as does Mitchell except Mitchell now has a strange silver glow in his eyes and is taken to sick bay.

Dehner reports that the dead crewman as well as her and Mitchell all had high ESP ratings. Spock mentions the report of the Valiant captain requesting ESP information and is concerned but Dehner believes there is little danger. Kirk visits Mitchell in sick bay and reminisces about old times. Just as Kirk leaves Mitchell in a booming echoing voice warns Kirk “you’d better be good to me” which startles Kirk. Kirk returns to the bridge and Spock informs him that Mitchell is reading through the ships library at an alarming rate. Dehner next visits Mitchell and he exhibits strange powers as he can control his medical readouts and now has a photographic memory. As Mitchell and Dehner are getting close Lieutenant Kelso walks in to check on his friend. Mitchell tells him that there is damage to the impulse engines that would result in an explosion. Kelso doubts him but Mitchell insists and Kelso leaves. Mitchell tells Dehner that Kelso saw the damage but didn’t realize it and that he could see the image in Kelso’s mind.

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At a briefing Kelso reports that Mitchell was right about the damage even though there was no way of him knowing. Scotty then reports that buttons and levers were moving by themselves in engineering. Sulu reports that Mitchell’s powers are expanding exponentially. Dehner defends Mitchell as she has become close to him but Spock disagrees and states that he is dangerous. Spock suggests that the ship head to Delta Vega an uninhabited planet with an automated mining operation, for repairs and tells Kirk they should leave Mitchell behind. Kirk disagrees telling Spock Mitchell is his friend but Spock convinces him that it is what’s best for the ship.

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Arriving at the planet Kirk Spock and Dehner attempt to transport Mitchell to the surface Mitchell resists threatening to squash them like insects but is sedated. Mitchell is imprisoned and the crew begin salvaging parts from the facility to repair the ship. Mitchell tries to escape but the force field drains his power momentarily but it soon returns. With repairs almost complete Spock convinces Kirk that Mitchell is dangerous and Kirk orders Kelso to rig a switch to destroy the facility if Mitchell escapes. After most of the crew has returned to the ship Mitchell kills Kelso using a cable controlled by his mind and escapes with Dehner and rendering everyone else unconscious. Kirk orders everyone back to the ship and if they don’t hear from him to blast the planet with lethal radiation.

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Kirk peruses Mitchell and is confronted by Dehner who now also has the power. Kirk tries reasoning with her to help him when Mitchell shows and manhandles Kirk even opening up a grave to put him in Kirk attacks him with a phaser rifle but it is ineffectual. Dehner realizing Kirk was right attacks Mitchell weakening him enough to allow Kirk a fighting chance. Kirk gains the upper hand but Mitchell regains his power as they both fall into the grave Kirk acting quickly jumps out and retrieves the phaser rifle fires it at an outcrop of rock which falls on Mitchell in the grave sealing his fate. Kirk tends to Dehner who was badly injured in her exchange with Mitchell she asks him for forgiveness before she to dies. Back on the ship Kirk enters into his log “Add to official losses, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. Be it noted she gave her life in performance of her duty. Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell. Same notation.” Saying that Mitchell didn’t ask for what happened to him.

This was a great episode the network got the action they wanted while the show still retained the strong sci-fi element of the original pilot. I like the re-mastered effects especially planet fall and the shots of the Enterprise they are not over done here. During the chess game between kirk and Spock in the opening act Kirk says to Spock he plays an irritating game of chess to which Spock replies smiling about Earth emotion maybe they should have left out the smile. This episode being the pilot differs in some aspects like Scotty in a gold uniform Spock’s eyebrows being more upswept the uniforms are different and there are some unique camera shots and angles.

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The one thing that always bothered me with this episode was is there really an edge to the galaxy wouldn’t it just fade away and if the Valiant only had old impulse engines how did it make it to the edge of the galaxy. The barrier is a cool effect though so I always overlooked that part. Glad they ditched Spock’s earpiece with the wire and why was he always yelling I guess they hadn’t gotten all aspects of his character down yet.

Mitchell’s character was interesting his friendship with Kirk made Kirk’s decisions later that much more dramatic and that lab technician he aimed at Kirk is theorized to be Carol Marcus if you like a good retcon and he was something of a jerk before the incident. When Kirk tends to him on the bridge after being zapped he has a subtle hint of evil in his voice. Then in sick bay the booming echo reinforced his evolution into something different. I also like when Mitchell tells Dehner how he knew to tell Kelso of the engine damage “The image of what he had seen was still in his mind.” I always found it funny that Kelso said he was on his coffee break I guess coffee is forever same with Sulu mentioning pennies. During his time in sick bay we see Mitchell changing but with hints of his former self very nicely done. The cup effect was a neat little spot I wonder how they pulled it off.

The contrast between Spock and Dehner is interesting Dehner being more emotional and Spock with his logic. Kirk hearing both of them knows what he must do but I like how he needs Spock’s confirmation to do it. It’s a good way to show their mutual trust and friendship.

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The matte painting of the facility on Delta Vega is quite impressive but why is there a brig on a lifeless planet and why did they let Mitchell regain conciseness when they put him in there. I like the way Gary Lockwood would tilt his head and just have a sense of arrogance about him as Mitchell became more powerful. The scene in the brig when Mitchell tries to escape and the force field drains his power is very dramatic. As Mitchell looks at Kirk with normal eyes and says simply “Jim” it really emphasizes that he is not at fault for what he becomes and makes his ultimate fate that much more tragic.

I was disappointed that Kelso was killed it seemed he would have been an interesting character. Too bad they didn’t get to use the destruct button he set up that could have been a cool explosion but that wouldn’t have served the story and they probably couldn’t afford the effects budget for something like that.

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The final confrontation between Kirk and Mitchell is what the network wanted lots of action. It did however show Kirk to be quite skilled in negotiation as he convinced Dehner that Mitchell was dangerous. Dehner was indeed a tragic figure in all of this but in the end sacrificed herself for the others. The battle between Mitchell and Dehner does remind one of a certain Sith skill, throwing electricity around. Kirk was put in an awful position having to kill a good friend and you see that when he says “Forgive me Gary” but that hesitation almost costs him everything.

A couple of quick notes. This is the only appearance of the Phaser rifle in the series. The tombstone Mitchell conjures has Kirk’s middle initial to be R not T. No red shirts were harmed in this episode as well.

Star Trek : Charlie X

October 21, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star trek episode is Charlie X. The Enterprise picks up a unique passenger from the cargo ship Antares. Charlie Evans is the sole survivor of a ship crash on the planet Thasus. Charlie’s ship had crashed when he was just three years old. Now an adolescent Charlie tries to adjust to life around other people. At first Charlie seems like just another teenager trying to fit in but strange things begin to happen including the destruction of the Antares. The Enterprise crew soon learn that Charlie has extraordinary powers that allow him to do whatever his mind wishes.

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This episode is pretty much an absolute power corrupts absolutely story. Then you throw in the fact that Charlie is a teenager and he has been alone for most of his life compounds his issues. I like the subtle way they show Charlie’s powers when he comes aboard the Enterprise as the Antares crew are both eager to leave and are then saying how wonderful a boy Charlie is. Then we have the hint that he knew something happened to the other ship before Spock scanned it and found nothing but debris.

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Charlie is inability to control his power gets the best of him whether it is being laughed at in the gym, people not being “nice” or when Yeoman Rand rejects his advances. Charlie becomes embolden by his power but Kirk who is something of a father figure to the boy theorizes that Charlie’s power may have limits and he may be over taxing himself when he takes control of the ship. As Kirk confronts him and an alien ship appears it is the Thasians from the planet Charlie crashed on, The Thasians gave Charlie the power so he could survive and had not realized he had gone. They were unable to help the Antares but have restore the ship and crew of the Enterprise. The Thasians say they will take Charlie home with them. Charlie pleads with Kirk to let him stay as he does not want to live with the alien Thasians but the Thasians fearing he will be unable to control his power take him from the Enterprise Bridge.

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Robert Walker who played Charlie did an excellent job of making Charlie out to be menacing and at the same time innocent and in the end you even feel for him as he pleads to stay on the Enterprise. You feel sorry for him as the Thasians take him from the bridge as his pleas to stay fade away.

Some bits of trivia. This episode is one of six that take place entirely on the Enterprise. This is the only episode that features the ships gymnasium. In the re-mastered episode the Antares is modeled after the grain ships from the animated series episode More Tribbles, More Troubles. There were several red shirts harmed in this episode but they were made whole by the Thasians in the end.

Star Trek : The Man Trap

October 13, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week we go back to the beginning and the first Star trek episode ever aired The Man Trap. Even though it wasn’t the series second pilot it was aired before Were No Man Has Gone Before. The Enterprise is sent to planet M-113 to perform routine medical checkups on Professor Crater and his wife Nancy who are studying the planet. Kirk, McCoy and lieutenant Darnell beam down and encounter Nancy Crater an old flame of McCoy’s but things are not as they seem and each member of the landing party sees a different Nancy Crater. Unknown to the landing party Nancy Crater was killed by a shape shifting creature native to the planet and has assumed her identity.

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The creature in need of salt kills several crewman and with its shape shifting ability beams aboard the Enterprise in disguise. It then leads Kirk, Spock and McCoy in a dangerous game of cat and mouse changing shape to avoid capture. Professor Carter eventually confesses to Kirk that the creature had killed Nancy but that he spared its life saying that it was the last of its kind like the buffalo on Earth. After a meeting in which Crater reveals he can identify the creature in whatever form it takes the creature disguised as McCoy and fearing Crater would give it up kills Crater. After the creature kills Crater and attempts to kill Spock it returns to McCoy’s cabin in Nancy’s form and after a dramatic showdown in which McCoy must put aside his feelings for Nancy he kills the creature before it can kill Kirk.

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This episode was a good way to start the series you get a lot of good background on some of the main characters especially the big three. There is the mystery aspect of the creature it was a good idea to only see its true form at the end of the episode. The dramatic showdown made for a great ending. One of the things that makes this episode slightly different then say The Horta episode is that the creature is simply the monster of the week. Even though the creature is said to be intelligent there is no attempt to make peace with it. It’s a slight criticism but the creature was shown to be quite aggressive but so was the Horta. We even get a bit of regret from Kirk at the end when he says he was thinking of the buffalo.

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We get the first he’s dead Jim when Darnell is killed by the salt creature.

The first death also is oddly enough not a red shirt.

During Spock and Uhura’s chat we get a little background on Spock and his lack of emotion and that Vulcan has no moon.

After Darnels death we also get the first glimpse of Kirk’s devotion to his crew and how he suffers each death.

During the early part of this episode we also see the friendship between Kirk and McCoy and also Spock the big three.

The second crewman and Green are killed next and neither have a red shirt either.

To identify the creature to the audience in whatever form it takes whoever played the part bit on its knuckle as a common characteristic.

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Would have liked to have seen more of Sulu’s plants during the rest of the series but they sort of forgot about old Beauregard.

“May the Great Bird of the Galaxy roost on your planet.” Sulu’s comment to Rand when she brought him his tray, the great bird of the galaxy is actually Gene Rodenberry’s nickname.

I really wish they would have kept Rand’s character for the whole series.

It was a nice touch having the creature speak Swahili to Uhura and gave a nice little bit of info on her background.

Crater uses the old hand laser from the original pilot.

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The climax of the episode gives us a nice introduction to the friendship between the big three Kirk Spock and McCoy.

The salt creature is one of Trek’s most iconic aliens even though it’s only on screen for a short amount of time.

There were no red shirts harmed in this episode but the blues and yellows didn’t fare so well.

Star Trek : pilot history and trivia

October 6, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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Last week I reviewed the original Star Trek pilot The Cage as a regular episode. This week I thought I’d take a look at some of the history and trivia surrounding that first attempt to bring Star Trek to television. The story of The Cage is well known to most Trek fans. The network as the story goes deemed it to cerebral and declined the episode but didn’t decline the idea of an outer space series. Roddenberry offered up Where No Man Has Gone Before a more action packed episode and the rest is history.

Looking back to when I was younger and first watching Star Trek in syndication I would always wonder about this other crew of the Enterprise when the two part arc The Menagerie would air. As we know now The Menagerie used most of the original pilot to tell its story of Spock’s devotion to his other captain and his willingness to help him even at the cost of his own life. Back then though there was no internet and many of the technologies we take for granted now. You couldn’t even record your favorite episodes as VCRs where several years away. So you were left wondering about this other crew of the Enterprise. Through time and books and magazines you got to learn the story of the two pilots and how Star Trek came to be the phenomenon it is today.

I thought I’d list some bits of trivia I found interesting while reading up on the episode. I will skip most of what I think is the more well-known aspects of the show like Number One being rejected and Majel Barrett being recast as Nurse Chapel and try to list things I found that I didn’t know or found more compelling.

The Talosians were originally to be crab like creatures (I’m thinking the full Tholian they made for Enterprise) but production costs and the fear that they would resemble the sci-fi monsters of the 50’s so they were changed to the slim bodied large head aliens. The actresses who played the Talosians were cast small as to give the impression that over time they allowed their bodies to atrophy at the expense of advancing their mental powers.

Spock shows more emotion in the original pilot then the series when Number One was dropped he picked up some of her more logical ways. He also uses the term rockets to blast them out of orbit not exactly 23rd century technology. Leonard Nimoy also toned down his portrayal of Spock during the second pilot because of William Shatner’s high energy and exuberance.

During the scene in which the Talosians take control of the Enterprise’s computers and download its information your can see pictures of American presidents Eisenhower Kennedy and Johnson.

Susan Oliver who played Vina was not only an accomplished actress but also a very talented airplane pilot winning the 1970 Powder Puff Derby and was the fourth woman to fly a single engine airplane solo across the Atlantic Ocean. During production of the green Orion slave girl scenes Oliver became ill and a doctor was summoned and well you could imagine what he thought when his patient was green.

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The actual film of the episode has an interesting history. The original master color copy had been trimmed and used in The Menagerie. The cut pieces having thought to be lost at the time no color version of the complete episode existed. Gene Roddenberry did however own a full black and white version of the episode. In 1986 the two versions were combined and released as the whole episode on home video giving everyone their first glance at the original pilot. In 1987 the trimmed pieces were found and returned to Paramount but the sound tracks were missing even so the full colored version was restored using some of the soundtrack from the black and white version as well as the soundtracks developed for the Menagerie. The fully restored version on the Blu-Ray collection is very nice and as a bonus you also get the black and white version with Gene Roddenberry’s introduction too. I highly recommend the Blu-ray it has both the re-mastered episodes and the original version plus tons of bonus content.

I wonder what would have been had the network accepted the original version of Star Trek would it have become as popular as it is now, would it have been even more successful in its first run and continued on past three seasons or would it have faded into history as just another TV show. It would be nice to imagine a world where we had a five year mission with Captain Pike and a five year mission with Captain Kirk but that’s just wishful thinking but fun to speculate none the less.

Star Trek : The Cage

September 30, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week we go back to the beginning of Star Trek with The Cage or actually before the beginning. The Cage was the original pilot episode that the network rejected. This week I thought I would take a look at the actual episode and next week discuss its amazing history.

After a dangerous mission on Rigel VII the USS Enterprise commanded by Captain Christopher Pike is on its way to the Vega colony to recover when it picks up a distress call from an Earth vessel The SS Columbia that disappeared eighteen years ago. Without proof of survivors Pike decides to ignore the call but a second message indicating survivors changes his mind. On arrival at Talos IV Pike leads a landing party to the surface and discovers the survivor’s camp but it is an illusion placed in the crew’s minds by the native Talosians and Pike is captured and taken underground. As the Enterprise crew tries to figure out a way to rescue their captain Pike learns that he is a specimen in a cage which he may never escape.

A quick little observation if you notice the details several crewman have bandages from the ships encounter on Rigel VII which sets up the discussion between Pike and Boyce. I like how they set up the relationship between Pike and Dr. Boyce. You get a sense that they have served together awhile and that they are good friends. It was also a great way to show Pike’s concern for his crew and how the weight of command falls on him this would be important later in the episode. A nice bit of foreshadowing and when Boyce talks about two kinds of customers the living and the dying it is a nice parallel to the Human civilization and the Talosians. Their discussion also has some nice foreshadowing.

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I always liked Number One her character is very interesting and the first in a long line of Roddenberry’s forward thinking and optimistic vision of the future. Arriving at Talos IV we get our first look at the transporter room and a beam down. The idea of beaming down to a planet was actually a cost cutting device it was much cheaper and easier to create the transporter effect then to land the ship on a new planet each week. There is a slight mistake when Tyler talks about the time barrier being broken if faster than light travel was only just discovered then there would be no way the Columbia could have gotten this deep into space but that’s what recons are for and it really is a minor mistake given the time the episode was produced.

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The first look at the Talosians and the eerie music surrounding them really pushes home the idea of an alien culture. The makeup and effects of the Talosians was really well done from their large heads indicating superior mental abilities to their pulsating veins as they used that mental ability really made them alien but not over the top monster of the week alien.

The laser guns were a nice prop and precursor to the hand phaser. The laser canon tied to the ships power was a prop I wish we would have seen again in the series. I like the eerie music as Pike observes the other aliens in the Talosians menagerie.

The briefing on the Enterprise is another good way they showed how powerful the Talosians mental powers could be it set the table for what was to come. The next scene is the first complex illusion the Talosian force on Pike and you get an idea of their real motivation. Vina is the only constant on the planet and the only survivor that wasn’t an illusion. The Talosians were forced underground due to war centuries ago and in the confined space focused on developing their mental abilities but at the cost of everything else. It is the Talosians goal to breed a stock of humans as basically slaves to serve their civilization as they have become too dependent on their illusions and have forgotten the basics of living as Vina explains they can’t even maintain the machines left by their ancestors.

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A quick aside Susan Oliver who portrayed Vina was an accomplished pilot in real life with quite an impressive resume. The matte painting of the Rigel VII castle with the large moon behind it is quite impressive and would be seen a lot during the run of the series in the closing credits. During the fight sequence I like how Pike fights the illusion trying to maintain his reality. Those Talosians sure are creepy. I like the contrast between Pike and Vina Pike resisting the lure of illusion and Vina who has succumbed to it. When the laser canon fails Boyce is right about the Talosians making it appear that it failed but would that mean one or more Talosians would have to concentrated constantly to maintain the illusion.

The scene as Vina explains the Talosians history is quite interesting but it gives Pike confirmation of his suspicions. The one thing I don’t get if Vina is real how the Talosians make her disappear in that scene and previously on the surface. I’d have made the vial with the nourishment turn into shrimp and steak but it shows Pike’s determination not to give in to illusion. Next Pike is taken home to Earth as he discussed with Boyce in his cabin earlier by the Talosians and the lure of living an illusion with Vina becomes harder to resist. It’s also one of the only times we see Star Trek era earth in the series.

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Pike resists and suspects that emotion of hate and anger block the Talosians mental abilities but as Vina explains it is hard to keep up and that the Talosians wear you down with punishment and temptation as Pike now whisked away to Orion where Vina is now the infamous Orion slave girl and I know that song will be stuck in my head for a couple of days now. Pike has resisted every illusion so the Talosians aware of the Enterprise beaming down a rescue party fool the crew in to only beaming down Number One and the Captains Yeomen so Pike has a selection. Through it all though Pike is shown to be determined to escape.

Back on the Enterprise Spock determines that all is lost and attempts to leave but the Talosian prevent them from doing so. Spock even orders rockets to be used to escape another out of place reference but understandable given it was the pilot.

Pike’s determination pays off and he along with Vina and the others escape to the surface but it is what the Talosians wanted. Pike shows his devotion to his crew as he volunteers to stay as long as the ship is safe. The Talosians having scanned the Enterprise’s memory banks realize that the human need for freedom makes them unsuitable for their needs and frees them. Pike offer diplomatic solution but the Keeper says that humans would learn the Talosians power of illusion and destroy themselves too. Vina decides that she will stay and to prove that her desire is an honest one the Keeper show Pike her true appearance. She was badly injured and deformed to the point of great discomfort in the crash as the Talosians didn’t know how to put her “back together” and the Talosians gave her an illusion of beauty. As Pike prepares to leave the Talosians show him that Vina has the illusion of happiness with him.

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I really like this episode. I can understand why the network at the time turned this down as it was something other than what science fiction had become at the time. It was much more then just the monster of the week. The pilot was truly a ground breaking moment even though it was at first rejected it opened the door for the actual series. The Talosians were very interesting aliens and in the end not as evil as you thought they were. I liked this crew of the Enterprise and it’s interesting to think what the series would have been like had the network approve this pilot. Since there are no red shirts in this episode none were harmed actually no one was harmed except the warrior on Rigel VII. Next week a look at the history of Star Trek’s beginnings.

Star Trek : Turnabout Intruder

September 15, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is Turnabout Intruder. It is the last episode of season three and the last episode of the original series. The Enterprise answers a distress call from a scientific expedition on Camus II. Upon arriving the landing party finds only three survivors. One of which is Dr. Janus Lester an old flame of Kirk’s who despises Kirk for her inability to achieve command of a starship. Leaving Kirk alone with Lester the others leave to see to an additional survivor. While alone Lester who is not injured traps Kirk in an alien machine that can transfer the life essence of an individual from one body to another. Lester uses the machine to switch bodies with Kirk and take his place as Captain of the Enterprise.

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Although Lester knows the ins and outs of a starship captains duties her hate for Kirk and her insanity prevent her from pulling off the ruse. After Spock becomes suspicious of Lester in Kirk’s body he goes to Kirk in Lester’s body and using the Vulcan mind meld learns the truth. After Spock tries to free Kirk/Lester a court martial is ordered by Lester/Kirk. After hearing Spock’s story and seeing Lester/Kirk’s irrational behavior the crew refuses to obey her orders and she loses control of the mind transference briefly. Dr. Coleman Lester’s accomplice says that the only way for the transference to remain permanent is for Kirk/Lester to die. During the struggle in which Coleman and Lester/Kirk try to kill Kirk/Lester the transference weakens and is eventually reversed.

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I really like the re-mastered planet shot. Camus II now has rings like Saturn. Other than that this is really a forgettable episode. The part of the episode that just makes it bad is the statement by Lester that “Your world of starship captains doesn’t admit women” something that goes against what Star Trek’s vision of the future embodied. I guess one thing you could say is that Shatner’s performance as Lester trapped in his body had that campy sci-fi feel but that doesn’t even make the episode watchable. At least no red shirts were harmed in the final episode. It is too bad the series was canceled before its time and didn’t get a proper ending. Just like another great sci-fi animated series did recently. At least they made up for the lack of a nice ending with Star Trek VI.

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With this being the last episode of the original series I can’t help but to wonder what could have been. Star Trek was ground breaking. It wasn’t just another monster of the week sci-fi show. Had the network gotten behind the series and given it another season or two had they not played musical chairs with its time slot and had they given them the resources to make the show the best it could be the future of Star trek could have been much different. Unfortunately we’ll never know. The third season had its flaws but we wouldn’t have even gotten that had it not been for a fan letter writing campaign that saved Star Trek for another year.

I wonder what the people who made the decision to cancel the show thought back in the early seventies as syndication kicked in and Star Trek grew and grew instead of fading away.

One additional thing concerning the post cancelation pre movie era. I would like to recommend a book called Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series. It covers the time in the seventies where Star Trek was going to be brought back to TV but eventually morphed into Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The book explains how a new network was to be formed with Star Trek as its flagship. It goes on to tell the story of the proposed series and how it eventually became the film. There is concept art interestingly enough some even done by Star Wars icon Ralph McQuarrie, the show’s writers bible first drafts of In Thy Image which would become the movie and scripts of the first proposed thirteen episodes several of which were adapted and used in The Next Generation.

Star Trek : All Our Yesterdays

September 8, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star trek episode is All Our Yesterdays. The Enterprise heads to a planet whose star will go nova in three hours and finds everyone gone except the librarian of the planet. The library happens to be a time machine and Kirk hearing cries for help inadvertently steps through the time machine into the past. Spock and McCoy attempting to find the captain are also accidentally sent back to a different point in time. As time runs out they must each find a way back before the sun explodes trapping them in the planets past forever.

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Most people’s reviews I read like this episode but I for one find it filled with illogic to coin a phrase. First off I’m not one for time travel in the Trek universe. Okay City is great but The Naked Time should have been linked to Tomorrow is Yesterday because after that episode we are in a three day earlier alternate time line and I can forgive the non-chalet way we slingshot around the sun to save the whales because well colorful metaphors, newclearar wessels (spell check had no suggestions for that one) and it was just plain fun. We won’t mention Assignment: Earth.

Now seriously how did the Enterprise find out that the star would go nova and in three hours no less? Who told them? I’m no expert in stellar physics but even in the Trek universe would it be possible to predict to the second when a star would go nova. Anyway their scans show everyone is gone so they beam down anyway. After finding out there is nobody left why not just move on it would seem that the Sarpeidions got out of dodge. A quick side note one thing that this series always had was really cool planet and star system names. Let’s say that they found the planets inhabitants still there what would they have done anyway with only the Enterprise how many people could they have saved? We’re here to rescue your planet but we can only take a couple hundred people the whole mission makes no sense.

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Next we meet the librarian. A librarian named Mr. Atoz get it A to Z and we go round and round asking questions getting vague answers so that the hero’s don’t know it’s a time travel library. Another thing that bugged me the Sarpeidions can manipulate time but didn’t have space flight capability seems a bit odd. Back to Mr. Atoz first he doesn’t recognize an alien in Spock and if everyone had left why was he still there if he sent the last person off why not just pop in his disk and be gone it’s not like he had to lock the place up or anything it would be vaporized in a couple of hours.

So Kirk hears a scream and steps through the time portal Spock and McCoy follow him through and get transported to a different place without changing the disc but later we see Atoz change the disc before he can escape. Then Kirk can talk to Spock and McCoy through the time portal through the library through the time portal into the other past what?

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Spock has now figured out that the Sarpeidions have escaped into the planet’s past which brings up a whole new set of questions. In The City on the Edge of Forever McCoy’s one simple act changed all of history now you have an entire planets population mucking around in the past. You would think the library would be blinking in and out of existence. With so many people you would think someone would accidentally alter the timeline somewhere along the line. What if some person escaped into the past and accidentally stops the person who discovers time travel from discovering the secret and all of a sudden the whole planet reappears in the present. I could hear the collective “Ah crap” from the entire population.

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This episode was the Spock gets the girl episode. Being transported 5000 years in the past Spock takes on the characteristics of the Vulcans of that time without logic he falls for Zarabeth who they meet and who has been imprisoned in the past. This is another point that I didn’t like if the Atavachron prepares you to enter the time you choose and Spock wasn’t prepared for that time period wouldn’t he stay as he was? Also his phaser won’t work because of the time period but the tri-corder does. Kirk trapped in the Salem witch trial period of the planets past had some good moments. When the locals heard him calling out to Spock and McCoy Kirk called McCoy Bones that was pretty funny just like Catspaw when the skeleton was hanging next to McCoy and he called him Bones.

So Kirk convinces the prosecutor to take him to the portal and he returns to the library and forces Mr. Atoz to help him find the period into which Spock and McCoy have been sent. They find the right disc just as Spock and McCoy reach the portal nice coincidence. At first Spock tries to push McCoy through and remain with Zarabeth but he can’t get back alone because they had come through together why that is who knows. So after a tearful goodbye Spock and McCoy return to the library. Mr. Atoz switches discs and makes his escape into the past. Spock assures McCoy that all is as it was and with time ticking down why are they standing around kibitzing get back to the ship time is running out and Scotty is having a cow. Anyway McCoy says to Spock that it did happen meaning Spock’s emotional behavior. Spock admits it but says that she Zarabeth is dead, dead and buried. Okay here’s another thing she was banished alone in the past who buried her. Well they make it back to the ship just in time as the star explodes and the Enterprise warps away.

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A couple of bits of trivia. The re-mastered shot of Beta Niobe exploding is pretty cool and the effects were based upon actual photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. No red shirts were harmed in this episode actually no other crew member is seen in this episode although we do hear Scotty on the communicator. This was the last adventure of the Enterprise according to the Star date even though it aired before the episode Turnabout Intruder.

 
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