PATTERNS OF FORCE was described by someone at the IMDB as "the serious version of A PIECE OF THE ACTION".  That's about right.  Unlike the alleged "parallel evolution" of THE OMEGA GLORY and BREAD AND CIRCUSES, the gangster planet and Nazi planet were both the direct results of Earth missions contaminating the indiginous cultures.  Of course, this meant in both cases, Kirk was free to "interfere", since he was trying to put right was was put wrong from previous interference.

This was one intense, nasty episode... and yet, unlike B&C, it's eminently watchable, even entertaining.  I wonder, maybe Nazi stories are easier to deal with than Roman Empire stories, because in WW2, there were, in the long run, much greater powers poised to take down an obviously insane, hate-filled, self-destructive country... while, with Rome, there was nothing to stop them (apart from a mesage of peace and brotherhood, which itself became perverted when a Roman emperor decided to CO-OPT it as his new STATE RELIGION).

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I watched "What Little Girls Are Made Of" tonight, and I must say it's just about as bad as I recall. I never saw this live, and only in repeat syndication, and I was appalled by it.  The captain and nurse are awfully slow at picking up on the threat.

The trip down down down the caverns and caves is reminiscent of "Journey to the Center of the Earth"....

But the thing that really caught my attention was the several colored stalactites or stalagmites ....colored in the foreground  and then when Kirk breaks off the one to ward off Rock.... well, gees, it's hard not to come right out and say it...

THEY'RE GIANT PENISES! And there's all sorts of smybolism when he attempts to strike Rock with it, and how rock takes it away from him.  In addition, there's the couple of shots where Kirk is welding it, and it just looks like he's got an incredible, rock hard...  ahem.

Hard to believe that girl was a regular on MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY, isn't it?  She later turned up in the Blake Edwards film GUNN, repeateldy trying to seduce Craig Stevens.

DAY OF THE DOVE has long been my FAVORITE 3rd-season episode.  How could it not be?  It's got the ultimate Klingon in it-- Michael Ansara!  While Kor was refined, and Koloth was prissy, the rest were just wannabes.  Kang-- he's the real deal.  You don't F*** with this guy.  Not if you wanna go on living.

Look at his first appearance in the episode.  He walks straight up to Kirk and BACKHANDS him across the face, knocking him flat on his ASS! And that's before he's spoken a single word!  And when he does speak-- WOW.

"You attacked my SHIP! FOUR HUNDRED of my crew-- DEAD!  My ship is destroyed- I claim YOURS!  You are now prisoners of the Klingon Empire, against which you have committed a wontan act of WAR!"  WHOA!!!  What a way to start an episode.

Both Kirk and Kang were lured to this deserted planet under false pretenses, with fake messages.  A 3rd party wanted them there... an alien energy being, somewhat like the one featured in WOLF IN THE FOLD, except we can see this one as it hovers in mid-air, and it changes colors as its energy levels change.  "Redjac" fed on fear-- this being feeds on HATRED.  It can also plant illusions in others' minds, and, most astonishing of all, instantaneously alter matter.  Among other things, it shuts down the emergency bulkheads on the Enterprise, trapping 400 crewmen;  it also changes the course of the ship, and sends it toward the edge of the galaxy, at warp 9!  And-- it changes phasers (and other objects) into SWORDS.  Great way to set 2 groups of people against each other.  They can't even DIE-- lethal wounds heal at incredible rates, so the fighting can go on and on and on... what a NIGHTMARE scenario!

Of course, Chevok is the FIRST to go crazy.  I mean-- who else?  He accuses the Klingons of destroying an outpost and murdering his only brother, who he has SWORN to avenge!  Except... as Sulu points out... Chekov doesn't HAVE a brother.  he's an only child!

I love when Kang orders Kirk to turn over his ship, or he'll have Kirk's landing party tortured-- TO DEATH-- one by one until he agrees.  Kirk says, "Go to the Devil!"  Kang responds, "We HAVE no Devil, Kirk-- but we understand the habits of yours!"

And then of course, there's the scene on the bridge where Scotty says "Chekov was RIGHT!  We SHOULD have left those FUZZ-FACED GOONS in the transporter!  That's right where they belong!  NON-EXISTENCE!  Now they can study the Enterprise-- add OUR technology to THEIRS-- change the balance of power-- YOU'VE JEOPARDIZED THE FEDERATION!!!"  Spock tries to calm him down, but instead, "KEEP your hands off me-- just KEEP away!  Your FEELINGS might be hurt-- you GREEN-BLOODED HALF-BREED!"  And you know you're in trouble when Spock responds, "May I say I have not enjoyed serving with humans.  I find their incessant emotions a constant irritant."  "Then TRANSFER out-- FREAK!!"  And these guys are on the same side!

I also love the scene where Chekov assaults Kang's wife, Mara, in the hallway...  "No-- you don't die-- yet.   You're not human-- but you're beautiful.  VERY...  beautiful."  Before it's over, Kirk has beaten Chekov into unconsciousness. 

It's like MIRROR, MIRROR-- except, horrifyingly, this is OUR Enterprise this time!

I believe this episode had 2 milestones regarding the transporter.  First, Scotty kept part of the group he was beaming up-- the Klingons, naturally-- "in stasis"-- only re-materializing them when HE was ready.  (This led, MANY years later, to the ST:TNG story where Scotty saved his own life by using a transporter to lock himself "in stasis", until help could arrive.)  Later, I believe we also saw the first instance of inter-ship beaming-- from the transporter room to the engineering section!  Kirk felt it was the only way to get past Kang's men so he could talk to him, before it was too late.

The action scenes in this are terrific, and seem to KEEP building in intensity, right up until the end.  I guess it's no surprise that, the more "light-hearted" finale always seems a BIT of a let-down.  Oh well.  It had to end somehow.

I think something that gets overlooked, and it relates directly to the story's TITLE, is that, presumably, after this, the Federation and the Klingons should have gotten along much better.  I mean, if an aggressive hardjhead like KANG can find himself laughing and slapping Kirk on the back in friendship (almost hard enough to knock him over, but what the hey), then there must be hope for better understanding for everybody.

If anyone needs more proof of how much I LOVED this story... for quite a few years, I had the STAR TREK poster magazine poster of Kang and his men from this episode on my wall.  I also got the "photo-book" of this story.  But more than anything... I spent a couple of YEARS working on a comic-book SEQUEL to this story, as the main focus of my GALACTON 2230 comic.  I just finished cleaning up, re-lettering and posting the unpublished 2nd issue online.

Michael Ansara has previously guest-starred on LOST IN SPACE, where he played Kurt Russell's father, and got to have a swordfight with ZORRO himself, Guy Williams!  He also guested on I DREAM OF JEANNIE as Jeannie's former boyfriend, who was extrememly jealous and murderous toward Larry Hagman's character.  Much later, he replaced Henry Silva as "Kane" in 3 different stories on BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY.  I've really come to appreciate Henry Silva as an actor over the years, but for a long time, I felt the pilot movie for that show might have been even better if Ansara had been in it instead.  He brings an intensity to his roles that just won't quit!

My momentum was so derailed by high-level lunacy, that I'm now half a season ahead on watching the show with a growing number of reviews yet to write.  If I get to the rest at all, I'll do it when I feel inspired.  But for now, I'm gonna jump ahead.  Last night, I watched TURNABOUT INTRUDER.  And you know what that means...!!!

BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR was, on its first run, an overdue, very welcome return of what had become, by then, my favorite show on TV.  I think you would have to have lived during the early 70's to really know just HOW BAD things had gotten on Saturday mornings.  The radical fanatic lunatic censorship groups who had caused the cancellation of THE UNTOUCHABLES, and the toning-down of THE MAN FROM UNCLE, had moved on to an "easier" target.  The result was, by 1970, all forms of action, excitement, or violence had been completely removed from Saturday morning kiddie shows.  Worse, some idiots had decided that children's TV "needed" to include "educational values".  This was a recipe for SHEER BOREDOM.  Kids are forced to go to school 5 days a week.  The last thing they want or "need" is to have "educational values" shoved at them during their Saturday morning cartoon haven!

I was 11 years old in 1970, and over the next few years, I saw Saturday mornings just go completely to hell.  There were a few exceptions.  The shows I recall as actually being watchable included FAT ALBERT & THE COSBY KIDS, KID POWER (adapted from the WEE PALS newspaper strips), reruns of SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (I'm shocked they only made 8 episodes for its 2nd season-- cheap bastards!!!-- and subsequent revivals / sequels got increasingly unwatchable), LAND OF THE LOST (Sid & Marty Croft's masterpiece!!!!!-- but ONLY the 1st season)... and, STAR TREK.

I've seen young reviewers at the IMDB complain about dull writing, cheap, almost non-existent animation, the works.  See my previous paragraph.  You gotta understand, not only were the times THAT BAD, but this was a show from Filmation.  This was the animation studio that did ARCHIE.  Or, more to the point, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.  Legend has it (correctly) that there was virtually a competition between Hanna-Barbera and Filmation to do increasingly-CHEAPER shows.  On that score, STAR TREK could almost be seen as Filmation's JONNY QUEST.  It was their first real attempt to turn things around, increase the budget (or at least the appearance of doing so).  It was also their first use of rotoscoping, which was used on varius shots of The Enterprise in orbit.

Most importantly, this show had GOOD writing. I can't stresss that enough.  Most of Saturday morning had become a WASTELAND, unwatchable except by the dumbest of kids, but this show was good enough for intelligent people to watch.  I'd go so far as to say this show was BETTER-WRITTEN, on average, than the bulk of the 3rd season's episodes.  (Take THAT, Fred Freiberger!!)  In the right frame of mind, this show was, at times, BETTER than the real thing.

BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR has The Enterprise star-charting on the very rim of the Galaxy, when they pick up a mysterious radio message.  They find themselves drawn in by the pull of a collapsed star's overwhelming gravity, and only save themselves by just barely attaining an orbit.  One done, they encounter another starship also orbitting, this one an immense, intricate, delicate-looking, beautiful work of some unknown alien technology, which, according to Spock, has been there for-- I kid thee not-- THREE HUNDRED MILLION years.  Isn't that overdoing it a bit?

Kirk decides to beam over, and, in a show of new technology, uses "life support belts", which radiate their own personal force fields.  (It's just like what Brainiac 5 always wears in DC's LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES!)  Scotty realizes that the metal of the alien ship was spun, organically.  (I'm reminded of an alien ship in an episode of ASTRO BOY.)  They discover one room in the ship actually has power, drawn by receptors, and maintains both a breathable atmosphere and a protective force field.  Which is handy, as the moment the door slams on them, the room is under attack by some unseen force.  (But what could possible have survived all those centuries, they wonder?)  A ship's log reveals that, as suspected, the crew-- a truly alien-looking bunch-- destroyed their own ship in order to prevent a "malevolent entity" from being set lookse on the rest of the galaxy.  Said entiry breaks into the protected room in mid-message, and the away team is quickly beamed back to The Enterprise.

Naturally, the entity is beamed with them.  It turns out to be another one of those energy beings, as seen in WOLF IN THE FOLD and DAY OF THE DOVE.  Like them, it can have a symbiotic relationship with a computer-- ro starship.  It's been trapped for an eternity, and it needs The Enterprise to escape, so it can get to the most densely-populated part of the galaxy, breed, and take over every computer, starship, or civilized planet there is.  In a recurrance of a very uncharacteristic moment, Kirk advises Scotty to arm the ship's self-destruct mechanism-- just in case.  (No, no, NO!  Kirk would NOT do this!)  Another new piece of technology turns out to be very ill-advised, as we see, for the first time, the ship's security-defense mechanism, a phaser array built into the ceiling of the Bridge.  Naturally, the first episode this appears in, and some alien entity takes control of the ship, and starts shooting Kirk with a stun beam to force him to do its bidding.  "OBEY me!  OBEY!  OBEY!!!"  (Boy, does that voice get annoying as hell-- fast!)

Kirk & Spock manage to fool the entity that they're going to crash the ship, so it flees, seconds before they engage warp drive and escape the dead star's gravity.  The entity is stuck floating in orbit, actually having the nerve and stupidity to broadcast a PATHETIC pleas for help after all it's done.  "No... don't leave me... PLEASE!!!  So.... terribly... LONELY!"  Bastard should have thought of that before it got al arrogant and bent on conquest or murder.

This was actually written by longtime TV veteran writer Samuel A. Peeples-- who previously had written the script for WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE !!!  It's like it was a matter of tradition or something-- the man who wrote the series' 2nd pilot was brought back to write the 3rd!  I wonder why these were the ONLY 2 STAR TREKs he ever did?  His long resume seems to be mostly westerns, but there's quite a lot of sci-fi in the mix as well SPACE ACADEMY, JASON OF STAR COMMAND, and Filmation's FLASH GORDON).  Actually, I take that back-- the IMDB credits him for the story for STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, but uncredited.  WOW.  If you ignore ST:TMP, ST2 practically was another "pilot".

One thing that always bugged me about this show, as a kid, was, I could never figure WHY they came up with a NEW theme song, or used entirely new music, instead of just re-using the already-existing music.  Wouldn't that have been cheaper?  (Or maybe not?)  The theme song does somewhat channel the "feel" of the original, but with an entirely different melody.  What I didn't know all these years, and never would have guessed, is that all the music on the 70's STAR TREK was written by Ray Ellis-- who also did the score for the 1st season of SPIDER-MAN in 1967.  That music I rank as some of the greatest and most memorable soundtrack music ever done for a Saturday morning cartoon show, let alone ANY tv show in general.  This stuff-- is "okay".  Not bad, but nothing to brag about.  Apparently Ray Ellis did a LOT of work for Filmation, from the 60's to the 80's.  Considering his Spidey stuff has never been given any kind of official release (except for the fan-produced project by and for members of the Spidey-Jazz yahoo group), I suspect his Filmation work may never see release, at this rate.

If STAR TREK was going to be revived as a carton show, this was the way to do it.  They kept the same ship, characters, costumes, they got ALMOST all the actors to come back and do voices (except for Walter Koenig, but they got him to write a script instead).  And they got several original series writers to come back, and a few other established science-fiction writers on top of that.  A shame they didn't have the production values of the studio's later FLASH GORDON series, but as I said, this was already a major step UP for them at the time.

One guy who got a lot of work on this show was James Doohan.  I counted 4 different characters he did voices for in this one-- Scotty, the alien captain, the evil alien entity, and, Mr. Kyle, the transporter chief (who now sports a moustache).  I suddenly find myself wondering, why DIDN'T they just get Doohan to do Mr. Chekov, as well, since he was so good at accents?  Instead, he voiced the new, alien navigator, Mr. Arrex (who, like Nurse Chapel, was onscreen but did not have ANY dialogue in this initial episode).

I'm reminded that, when this show debuted, I probably had a feeling very similar to that of when the 1st movie came out.  A wonderful, warm glow that an "old friend" had returned, even if it was in a new form.  The difference is... THIS version of STAR TREK feels more "real" and "legit" to me than ANY of the movies, or any of the sequel / spin-off shows.  It's no wonder I often jokingly say that the show ran for 5 seasons.  And this was the beginning of the 4th!

YESTERYEAR brings back D.C. Fontana, who had been almost the heart and soul of ST continuity in its 2nd season.  This story acts virtually as a sequel to THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, AMOK TIME, and JOURNEY TO BABEL all at once.  On the planet of The Guardian Of Forever (looking a lot less gloomy in the daytime), The Enterprise is assisting a team of historians.  Kirk & Spock return from a time-journey where they witnessed orion at the dawn of its civilization.  But on their return, NOBODY but Kirk knows who Spock is.  Further, Kirk's first office is Commander Thelen, an Andorian, and a search of Starfleet records reveals that Spock died at age 7, after which his parents separated, his mother died in a shuttle accident n the way back to Earth, and his father has spent all the years since as an ambassador to Earth.

It seems (and this was a plot point I somehow failed to really grasp until watching it again tonight) that the historians on the planet were viewing recent Vulcan history.  APPARENTLY, Spock was intended to visit Vulcan, but instead, chose to accompany Kirk to Orion, and this seemingly insignificant decision wound up changing history.  Because according to Spock's memories, when he was 7, his life was saved by a cousin named Selek, who he never met before or after.  And he realizes the very real possibility that HE, Spock, was "Selek".

And so, Spock goes back in time 30 years to visit Vulcan.  This is where the "unlimited budget" of doing a cartoon show really comes into play.  We see, for the very first time, the vast expanse of Vulcan, it's deserts, its cities, it's flying vehicles.  Spock gets to meet his parents, Sarek and Amanda, and himself, as a young boy.  (Shades of THE TIME TUNNEL episode about Pearl Harbor!)  Torn between Vulcan and human, Spock is criticized for showing emotion and fighting in the street.  But what about the other 3 boys, who were clearly PICKING on him, calling him names, and who really STARTED the fight?  Didn't anyone criticize THEM, these 3 pure-blooded Vulcan children, for acting in such a non-Vulcan way?

Spock-- the 7-year-old version-- decides to go into the desert, a month before his "Kas-One" manhood ordeal, in order to prove, if only to himself, that he can do it.  His pet Selat, Aychaya (the "large teddy bear with six-inch fangs" described so amusingly in JOURNEY TO BABEL) follows him, and "Selek", realizing and remembering what he'd done as a boy, follows them both.  Good thing, too, as a large beast (with the voice of GODZILLA-- I'm not kidding!! --did they license this sound effect for the show?) attacks, Aychaya fights it off, and "Selek" knocks the monster out with a nerve-pinch.  Before this, I found myself laughing really hard the scene where the young Spock tell Aychaya he's too old and fat to be out in the desert, and he should go home-- and Aychaya refuses to take no for an answer, causing Spock to throw up his hands in frustration.  It's such a wonderful, funny moment!

Aychaya is mortally wounded, as Spock learns after he runs across the desert for a healer.  On returning home, the boy explains his motives, Sarek tells "Selek" he can never repay him for saving his son's life, and "Selek" merely asks that Sarek "try to understand" his son.

They tried to make something important and meaningful out of the time being changed in a minor way, by the death of Spock's pet, but it doesn't really go anywhere, and winds up feeling like something was cut from the script for time constraints.  While never a favorite of mine, this WAS undeniably a wonderful episode, a look at Spock's home and family, and one wishes the original show had continued long enough for us to see stories like this one in live action.  Then again, maybe there is something to be said for having a cartoon show's "unlimited budget".

Ray Ellis appears to have written more music for this one, and some very nice, sweeping, moody stuff it is.

I always thought the time-travel aspect of this story made NO sense at all, since, how could time be changed because someone did NOT do something?  But looking at it again now, I suspect that point about the historians studying Vulcan was the key point, and maybe they just weren't able to fit in part of the explanation.  Had this been a full hour instead of a half-hour, the story could have been developed better.

Oddly enough, there is still ONE time paradox that cannot be explained reasonably.  The 7-year-old Spock is accused of not being able to master the Vulcan nerve pinch.  At the end of the story, he announces his intention to display it to his classmates (the snot-nosed bastards!).  Then he reveals that his cousin, "Selek", taught him how to do it.  OH REALLY???  How the hell does that work anyway???

James Doohan apparently did at least 7 voices this time around, including The Guardian of Forever, Commander Thelin, and the Vulcan healer.  But he did NOT do Sarek-- Mark Lenard actually came back for his 2nd appearance on the series.  But oddly enough, Jane Wyatt did not.  Amanda was voiced by-- and I couldn't miss recognizing her voice-- Majel Barrett.  (Well, from playing one woman who loved Spock to another, I guess that makes sense!)

This is really interesting, as I have NEVER seen an animated Star Trek episode before.

I remember reading in Shatner's star trek memories book, that he was on the road doing summer stock theatre, and living out of the back of his pick-up, when they would mail or ship him the scripts and a cassette tape to record his lines on. he says many an episode was recorded IN A GAS STATION BATHROOM, complete with poor sound reverb or unintended live echo bouncing off the walls.  (One wonders what the next person in line was thinking when Captain Kirk walks out of the occupied restroom after conversing with Spock and Bones as if they were there also!)

I read somewhere that one of the problems (challenges) of doing voices for cartoons like this is, usually, each actor reads their own lines, on their own, totally separate from anyone else.  Which makes it difficult because there's no one to bounce off of or react to.  I suppose this is often done because it makes it easier to schedule recording sessions for each actor individually.  But if several actors happened to be together, or available at the same time, would they HAVE to do it that way? 

It strikes me the same sort of problem (challenge) probably exists in the music biz.  It used to be, a band would go into a studio and perform 'live"-- everyone playing together, including the singer.  The habit seems to have become to record EACH instrument and EACH vocal separately, so each one can be more controlled, and edit them all together.  But I have no doubt it can remove any sense of sponteneity.

I recall reading a couple years back that the line readings in the 1st episode, BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR, were particularly "stiff" and unnatural, as it was the first time any of the cast had done that sort of thing.  You can tell that, alrreay by YESTERYEAR, they'd loosened up a lot and gotten more into what they were doing.

I wish the show had continued on a lot longer than it did.  As it was, they did exactly 16 episodes the 1st season, and ONLY 6 the 2nd.  I am really disgusted at either the animation stuidios, or the networks, or BOTH, and their attitude that kids supposedly like watching the same shows over and over and over again, so, WHY MAKE MORE?  Some kids-- the brain-damaged variety (in my view) may be like that, but I never was.  Back then, if I saw the same story again and less than 6 months had gone by between viewings, I'd get bored and be likely to change the channel, and never switch back.

With only 22 episodes, there wasn't enough for any kind of successful syndication run (at the time, you'd need a minimum of 52 for that-- like SPIDER-MAN).  So the only time the show would ever turn up in reruns would be on weekends.  I recall taping the entire run off Philly's Channel 48 back in the early 80's, when they were running it Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM.  If memory serves, they also ran Filmation's FANTASTIC VOYAGE about the same time, and possibly JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH

Another show that turned up in that approximate time slot was ULYSSES 31, a French-Japanese co-production that retold The Odyssey in a futuristic setting. Maddenningly, the station only ran 9 of the 26 episodes that made up the whole series.  They kept running the same 9 episodes in a loop.  HOW can TV stations be so incompetent???  I finally had to read the sypnopsis of the final episode online, because after 25 years, I just really wanted to KNOW that they'd finally made it back to Earth-- dammit!

ONE OF OUR PLANETS IS MISSING is definitely a "variation on a theme" story, as it has elements in common with THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE and THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME, as well as, oddly enough, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE.  A gigantic "cloud" wanders into Federation space from somewhere outside our galaxy, and judging by the fact that an uninhabited planet it engulfed began to break up and quickly reduce in size, the conclusion is obvious.  This thing EATS planets! The problem, of course, is that next in line is an inhabited planet with some 80 million people living on it.  How does a starship stop something like that?

Sure enough, The Enterprise gets sucked inside, and while Sulu uses sensors to construct a computer "map" of its structure, Spock concludes that it is a living being, and it may even be intelligent.  Kirk contacts the governor of Antilles, Bob Wesley (seen in THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER, another example of continuity this show often included), who retired from Starfleet to enter politics.  With only 4 hours before his entire planet may be destroyed, he makes the tough decision to at least try and evacuate those few they can-- which amounts to ships containing 5,000 childen.

The network insistence on "no violence" and "educational values" actually can be seen in this story, as, not only is it almost as talky as an episode of THE NEXT GENERATION, but at one point we're given a quick lesson in human anatomy.  Fortunately, it doesn't get in the way as such things did on the 1st season of THE SUPER-FRIENDS, but it's not worked in quite as smooth as it was much later on THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN

We do get what almost amounts to "techno-babble" in the scene where Kirk & Scott discuss matter, anti-matter, and a chance to recharge the engines, which are dangerously close to dying out due to the overwhelming strain put on the energy shields, without which the ship would begin breaking apart to be "digested".  Scotty hatches the idea of beaming a piece of the cloud's anti-matter digestive components into a force-field container, a move quite similar to one seen in the episode OBSESSION (another story that dealt with a sentient "cloud" creature).

For the 2nd time in only 3 episodes, Kirk contemplates destroying the ship, as it seems it may be the only way to stop the cloud and save a palnet of 80 million people.  (Interestingly, this IDENTICAL plot point was used in STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, although it wound up being cut out of the version shown in theatres, when Paramount cut 15 minutes just before release in order to allow an extra showing each day, to help make their money back faster.)  But, reluctant to kill what MAY be an intelligent being, Spock uses the ships sensors, connected with the universal translators, and his own telepathic abilities, to mentally reach out and CONTACT the creature.  And he SUCCEEDS!!!  It's touch and go there for a while, as the very concept of beings SO SMALL (to the cloud) come as a shock to the immense being.  It's almost like a replay of the "Galactus" story from FANTASTIC FOUR, except without the "attitude" and histrionics.  And then, like the sequence in IS THERE IN TRUTH NO BEAUTY?, Spock connects with the being, allowing it to SEE through his eyes!  It understands, and it takes Spock's advice, to go back where it came from. Antilles is saved.

After, when Kirk asks Spock what he experienced during the mind-meld, Spock replies, "The wonders-- of the universe!"  This is definitely NOT your typical Saturday morning kiddie cartoon!

This one was written by longtime TV veteran director Marc Daniels.  While it's his only STAR TREK script (if you don't count what appears, at least to me, as its HUGE influence on the 1st feature film), he actually DIRECTED no less than 15 episodes of the original series!!! --including, interestingly enough, THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE.  So I guess he knew his way around the show.

Majel Barrett supplied the voice of the cloud creature (as heard thru the universal translator).  Oddly enough, at this point, she hasn't actually done Christine Chapel's voice yet!  James Doohan not only did Scotty this time, but Bob Wesley as well.

I've not seen the episode. The intelligent cloud plot was possibly inspired by Fred Hoyle's novel The Black Cloud.

The example I cited, ULYSSES 31, I discovered online (many years after-the-fact) that the local station was actually running episodes 1, 2, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17.

Out of 26.

Go figure.

I was just thinking the other day, how many people who love to collect TV series these days have it SO DAMNED EASY!  "All" they have to do is go online, find someone who's selling a "complete DVD set", and buy it.  They never have to set up their VCR, week after week after week after week (or day after day after... you get the picture) and contend with commercial breaks, bad editing, broadcast technical problems, changes in scheduling, episodes run inexplicably out of order, ETC. ETC. ETC.  Like I did.  (ALL of the above.)

Or then of course, there was the time when CBS ran THE NEW AVENGERS on THE CBS LATE MOVIE.  The first time around, they SNIPPED OUT all of the opening credit theme songs (which were not at the beginning of the episodes, but about 5 minutes in).  The 2nd time they ran the show-- 2 years later-- I had my VCR set up, all ready to tape the series.  But the 1st episode started 10 MINUTES EARLY.  W--T-- F!!!!!!  By dumb luck, I'd turned on the TV 5 minutes early... and so, only missed the first 5 minutes of the show.  It took me 4 more years (when they finally ran the series a 3rd time) to get the missing part of that story.  But the 3rd time they ran it, they did a DOUBLE-BUTCHER job on the entire series.  Not only did they CUT scenes out that time, what they did run, the film was SPED UP.  (Because they'd skipped 2 episodes the 2nd time around, my copies of those episodes are barely watchable.)  The good thing they did the 2nd time around was, they ran the episodes they did run intact-- with the theme song included.

This wasn't some local station, either-- this was one of the NETWORKS!!!  (A**H***s!!!!!)

That show has NEVER turned up in syndication in America, either.  I do believe it was released on DVD about 10 years ago, but I can't afford it...

I'm betting that the station accidentally snapped the tape that had episodes 3-7, 10, 12-13, or they were recycling them, and then found out that they still needed them.

Sometimes, when a distributor ships a series in error, they'll cut  a deal with the receiving station to let them use them, if they'll ship them on to the correct destination OR, just to house them, they'll let them use them until they are needed elsewhere.

Another possibility.  Those episodes that you have cited might have been recorded on U-matic 3/4" tapes...and the others were on two-inch tapes, when the station's two-inch machines failed, and were never replaced. This change in format can really screw you over.

I worked for a station that had MOST of the Monty Python all recorded on 2-inch tapes and shipped them around to other PBS stations in the state upon demand...but after a while, we were the only station left with two working 2-inch tape machines (called Quads due to their 4 rotating heads.)

My own feeling is, there's right ways to do any job, and people should-- and should be able to-- take pride in what they do.  And as I look around, I AIN'T seeing it.

Too much of it is a result of central control, where a smaller number of people have been increasingly making decisions for EVERYBODY else. Some people totally fail to grasp that The Roman Empire was NOT a good idea...

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