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).
There's been several actors who've appeared playing more than one role (Diana Muldaur, Barry Russo, Jon Lormer, Malachi Throne, Vic Perrin, Ted Cassidy, Skip Homeier) but Roger C. Carmel does seem to be the only guest-star to return playing the same role. Which he played, 3 times! (Yes, I include the cartoons.) As it happens, the SAME person also wrote all 3 "Harry Mudd" stories.
When I started my thread, I had completely forgotten that this earlier "Star Trek" thread had existed.
Tonight: THE OMEGA GLORY
I thought, just for laughs, it might be fun to watch this right after MUDD'S WOMEN, considering both scripts were written very early-on, and submitted as possible stories for the 2nd pilot, to see if this thing might "fit" better early-on.
Oddly enough, for the most part, it does. It's got a bleakness about it that seems to go along with most of Gene Roddenberry's run of producer, and the violence in the fight scenes matches or out-does that seen in WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE.
A strange thing that crossed my mind was the bit at the beginning, about how "something" removed all the water from the bodies of the Exeter crew, and what was left behind was crystalized elements. This is, as someone pointed out, IDENTICAL to the "McGuffin" in the 1966 BATMAN movie. However, someone said that WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE was filmed just about a YEAR before it was aired. That would mean it was filmed around September 1965. Which would mean all 3 scripts submitted were written some time well before that! So the question becomes... was the idea of the "de-hydrator" in the BATMAN film swiped from a rejected Gene Roddenberry script? Or, were both inspired by some common source which has not been identified yet?
The most interesting aspect of this, looking at it now, is that, when this was conceived, no one had decided how far in the future STAR TREK was going to take place in. Apparently, something CUT from the script when they finally did shoot it (near the end of the 2nd season, perhaps 2-1/2 to 3 years after it was written!) was the revelation that "Omega" was settled by Earth explorers, from 2 different nations, who wound up having "the war Earth avoided", and this was the result... at least ONE THOUSAND YEARS LATER. It's only when and where it actually was filmed that the original version of the story no longer fit, and so we were left instead with this "parallel evoution" crap (which nobody in the finished script even bnothers to mention, apparently presuming that by now, everybody watching has already seen "BREAD AND CIRCUSES").
This would have actually worked as a LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES story.
The one thing I still can't get over is... after the Yangs have won, WHAT exactly did Ron Tracey hope to accomplish by "dragging Kirk down with him"? But considering the look on his face from the moment he returned from the massacre in the hills, I'd say it's obvious. The man by that point had gone COMPLETELY INSANE.
In that light... if one placed this story THIS early in the run of the show... Morgan Woodward's appearance in the episode DAGGER OF THE MIND could well have been a sequel to this. Only, instead of his playing Dr. Van Gelder, the head of the institution, he could have returned as Ron Tracey-- an inmate who, instead of being helped or cured, was being ABUSED by the man in charge. You know... that could have made for an even more compelling story.
Actually, the scene leading up to the climactic knock-down drag-out fight to the death (almost) between Kirk & Tracey really spotlights just how STUPID "Cloud William", the leader of the Yangs, is. He asks, "How are we to know? If we destroy the good, the evil would be among us." Why didn't someone simply point out to this NEANDERTHAL that Tracey had killed THOUSANDS of his people, and had killed one of Kirk's men, and tried to kill Kirk several times... while Kirk merely defended himself, AND, helped Coud William ot ESCAPE the jail cell? Couldn't he have figured out which of the two of them was "good" or "evil" based on that? Sheesh.
As Rupert Crosse once said... "WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?" (Sadly, I already know the anser to that question.)
Remember, Freeze-Dried coffee was becoming very common in the 60s. The concept isn't that unique.
THE SURVIVOR by James Schmerer is another of the "variations on a theme" stories done on this show. Self-made millionaire & well-known philanthropist Carter Winston, missing and presumed dead for 5 years, turns up in a heavily-damaged one-man craft rescued by The Enterprise. While giving him the required physical, McCoy's instruments seem to be somewhat on the fritz, Some readings are fine, but some are strangely off. By a wild coincidence, Carter's financee, Ann, is assigned on The Enterprise as Chief of Security. Their reunion is sad, however, as he tells her that he no longer loves her, and she must forget him. (Heavy stuff for a supposed "kiddie cartoon".)
However, while making out a report, Kirk falls alseep... as "Carter", abruptly, changes form-- first, become a bizarre, tentacled alien, then, the image of Kirk! On the bridge, "Kirk" orders a change in course which will take the ship thru the Romulan Neutral Zone-- allegedly on a mission of mercy where every minute counts. Kirk awakens, returns to the bridge, and soon discovers something's not right. He has no memory of ordering the ship into the Neutral Zone, orders Sulu to plot a course out at warp 8, and tells Lt. M'ress to put the ship on alert. (This is her first appearance on the show, "filling in" for Uhura. Lt. Arex, meanwhile, continues to have NO dialogue!)
Worried he might be a danger to his own ship, Kirk goes to see McCoy for a complete physical, accompanied by Spock, who becomes suspicious when McCoy admits he might have made a mistake when examining Winston. Returning to sick bay, they find the REAL Dr. McCoy in a storage room, having fallen asleep on the floor! Noting the examination room now has 3 tables instead of 2, Kirk confronts THE TABLE... which turns into its true form, a Vandorian. They're a race that can change to any form, and have a habit of deception, which has made the Federation declare their world off-limits. Suddenly the ship is confronted by a pair of Romulan battle cruisers, and Kirk quickly deduces that "Winston" is working for them. Kirk refuses to surrender his vessel, and drives off the Romulans, but only after one of the sabotaged deflector screens abruptly comes on again. Denying he had time to fix it, Scotty sees "Winston" in his true form-- the alien having moments before turned itself into a deflector screen to save the ship.
It turns out that after Winston crashed no their planet, the alien looked after him for a whole year before he died. During that time, the alien took on so many of Winston's attributes and personality traits, it's as though part of him still lives on. Which is why, he explains, he couldn't bring himself to allow harm to come to the ship-- or to Ann. He further explains that he was a "non-producer" among his people, and the Romulans gave him a way to become usefull. "It's important to be useful.", he says. His having saved the ship will be held in his favor, Kirk explains, and Ann requests the job of watching over him. "Even the image of Carter Winston could be a better life than the Romulans offered you.", she says.
While this might have seemed dull to some kids, I always found it an interesting, thoughful, sensitve story. I see bits of WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF? in here (man believed dead, apparently found alive, his fiancee on the ship), as well as THE DEADLY YEARS (crossing into the Neutral Zone), but mostly, I see this as a "kindler, gentler" version of THE MAN TRAP, right down to McCoy being knocked out and replaced by the alien. The main difference here is, this alien is actually intelligent, it's not a killer, it actually does change shape (no "illusion" involved), and, the end of the story involves redemption and understanding. Just the sort of "message" story that would be very "in" in early-70's TV.
As it turns out, this story even inspired some of my own writing, without my knowing it. Some years back, I spent quite a lot of time working on what happened to be a rather similar story, and right in the middle of it, I found myself watching these cartoons again. What a shock when I saw this one, for the first time in maybe 20 years, and realized that I'd completely forgotten this even existed... except, maybe, all the way in the back of my mind!
This time around, James Doohan did both Scotty AND the Romulan commander; Majel Barrett did Christine, Lt. M'Ress and the Enterprise computer; Nichelle Nichols did Anne Nored (but NOT Uhura, oddly enough!); and longtime Filmation veteran Ted Knight was the Vandorian posing as Carter Winston. Knight had earlier starred in Filmation's JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, doing the voices of both the show's hero AND villain.
THE INFINITE VULCAN: when first-run, my LEAST-favorite episode of the series. So, I'm gonna save myself some effort here...
Intelligent Plants, a 40 foot clone of Spock and an outcast for the eugenic wars.
The crew beam down to the planet Filos inhabited by intelligent plants. Sulu is bitten by a Replaw plant, which injects a deadly poison into him, a talking plant called Agmar then administers an Antidote that saves Sulu.
Flying plants then Kidnap Spock and Agmar he is being taken to "the master" as Spock is a "perfect specimen". Agmar then introduces Kirk to Dr Stavos Kaniculus 5 a clone of a survivor from the eugenics war who is 40 feet tall.
Kaniculus then clones a 40 foot Spock, leaving the original close to death. Kaniculus reveals that he and "Spock 2" will roam the galaxy to enforce peace. With Spock close to death Kirk manages to persuade Kaniculus that peace already exists and Spock 2 then mind-melds with Spock to revive him.
Kaniculus and "Spock 2" agree to remain on the planet and help the intelligent plant rebuild their society.
This was written by Walter Koenig and is quite honestly a terrible plot that makes no sense. To think that there is a 50 foot Spock clone who turned into a gardner is just beyond comprehension.
Worst episode of TAS I have seen (so far!)
When NBC started running reruns of this show, and they started doing so before they had even finished running all the first-run episodes (I HATE when anybody does that!!!), it seemed ot me that, every damn tme I turned the show on, they were running THIS episode again! I know that can't be true-- but it seemed like it. Once the reruns started in full swing, I might not watch every week. But when I did tune it, it sure as hell seemed this one was being run over and over. When I saw the title, I'd just shut the TV off. Did they think it might be popular because it focused on Spock?
WHY-- GIANT-- clones???
I hated those flying bat-shit creatures. They reminded me of things Ralph Bakshi & Gray Morrow had done on ROCKET ROBIN HOOD and SPIDER-MAN. Only, more annoying.
The mobile plants actually reminded me of the tiny, fearful aliens Jack Kirby had inhabinting the wilds of the Skrull homeworld, in the FF episode, "BEHOLD! A DISTANT STAR!"
ONLY good moment in the entire episode-- the ending. Kirk tells Sulu he'd like him to teach Kirk a "throw". Sulu replies, "I don't know, sir. It's not just skill. You have to be... INSCRUTABLE." "Sulu? You're the most scrutable man I know!" (You can tell Sulu was bull-S***ing.)
After 39 years, it's not so bad anymore. In this case, I wouldn't say it's grown on me. It's more like, I'm just more tolerant of it.
THE MAN TRAP remains a very strange episode. On the one hand, you have a "monster" story that I've never found satisfying, and on the other, you have prolonged sequences in the middle that explore the ship and its crew more than in perhaps any other episode ever made of the show. Had the monster part lived up to the rest, this could have been a perfect episode.
Watching in production order, i couldn't help but note the way Kirk angrily yells at McCoiy in the sick bay when he's not getting the kind of results he wants... coming one episode after THE ENEMY WITHIN, when we got to see "a part of Kirk that no one should see" (to paraphrase his own words). I'm also wondering what's going on with Rand & Sulu. Were they just friends-- or, had she been reassigned to become Sulu's Yeoman? Do other top officers on the ship have their own yeomen? Or is that just a "Captain" thing? Grace Lee Whitney probably gets more screentime here than in any other episode.
As does Uhura. After not seeing this one uncut for many years, I reacll a few years back being really surprised at the way she's clearly FLIRTING with Spock! "Why don't you tell me I'm an attractive young woman, or tell me how Vulcan looks on a lonely night when the moon is full." "...........Vulcan HAS no moon, Miss Uhura." "I'm NOT SURPRISED, Mr. Spock!" I swear, she was never more attractive on this show than in that ONE scene. I guess it was downhill all the way for her after that.
George Clayton Johnson, I've just found out, must be one weird guy. He has relatively few writing credits-- there's often years between credits, apart from his working on both the LOGAN'S RUN movie and its subsequent TV series. But check out this quote from hm posted at the IMDB:
"I'm a free man. I don't wear anybody's collar. I'm not obliged to smile if I don't want to. That gives me a lot of perverse pride -- I really am a person who could stop doing what I'm doing right now, go off to Ceylon tomorrow and live among the fishermen. I make a living without having a job; I don't cater to anybody. I believe that's the hardest thing to achieve in this world -- any kind of autonomy, any kind of independence, any kind of freedom. So, I'm very, very proud of the fact that I'm an independent."
Sounds like there's some of him in Dr. Crater, all right.
I decided to watch WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF? next, because despite being made after THE NAKED TIME, it's long been clear this one was intended to take place before it. Sure enough, everything about Nurse Christine Chapel in this story screams that this is her debut (even if it was filmed 2nd). I wonder how that happened? Was there something about this episode that caused a delay-- perhaps the availability of one of the guest cast?
There is so much ambiguity in this, it actually took me decades and more viewings than I can remember to conclude that when Kirk says, "Roger Corby-- was NEVER here.", he was stating a FACT. A moment earlier, Christine had told him, "Can't you see-- everything you've done proves that's not true!" I was finally forced to conclude that what they were dealing with for the entire story was an android with Roger's memories, which was under the DELUSION that it really was Roger. Roger's real self-- his soul-- died when he did.
This may be the first time Kirk argues with a "computer" and causes its destruction. After being told by Ruk "Your continued existence is not logical", he gets Ruk to think back, to what happened to "The Old ones"-- yes-- the ones who MADE us", and how it was possible for the androids to have destroyed them. "Self-preservation over-rides programming"-- and at that moment, he realizes "Corby" is a danger, tries to kill him, and is destroyed by him. Sheesh. So much for an android so old, so ancient, even he had no idea how long he'd been around.
Perhaps more bizarre was Andrea. As a demonstration, Roger had Andrea kiss Kirk-- then, slap him. Later, Kirk told her to kiss him, and afterwards, on automatic reflex, she started to slap him! But he stopped her-- and, in "James Bond" fashion-- forced himself on her. But she objected-- "No-- not programmed for you!" --and ran off. Later, when Roger radioed her to "take care" of an intruder in the outer tunnels, instead of Spock, she ran into the android Kirk. Strangely, the real Kirk's forced kiss must have REALLY screwed with her brain! She tried to kiss HIM, thinking he was the real one again-- and when he refused, she vaporized him, following her orders to "take care" of the intruder. Seeing the real Kirk was still alive a moment later, and realizing she'd destroyed the android continued to screw with her brain, as next thing, she looks at Roger, and starts stammering about, "...to LOVE you!" He objects, saying, no, she can't love! She's not capable of it! --but was he right, or wrong? I'm reminded of how Kirk managed to awaken REAL emotions in the android in the later episode REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAH. Did he do the same thing here? We'll never know for sure... a moment later, a despondent Corby, perhaps realizing at last that he WASN'T the real Corby, that the real Corby was DEAD, and that all he hoped to accomplish was a lie doomed to failure... fired a phaser, destroying both himself AND Andrea.
I can't be sure if the music for this episode was written for this one or being reused, but Fred Steiner's score is really dark and riveting!
It felt a bit weird to see 2 episodes with 2 Kirks confronting each other so close together. On the other hand, it was fun to see Spock smile again, when after chastising Kirk's use of the term "half-breed", Kirk replies by saying, "I'll remember that-- the next time In in a simiar situation."
Henry R. Kujawa said:
The more I watch the cartoons, the more I like 'em, and the more I watch the MOVIES, the LESS I like THEM!!! So to me, the cartoons are MORE "in continuity" than every single thing they've done since.
I’m sure the argument against that would be that such a move would be too confusing to the “casual fan.” I’ve railed against catering to the “casual fan” before and I’ll tell you what: the casual fan wouldn’t be confused because he doesn’t give a $#!t.
To tell you the truth, I’d rather see the new universe make the move to a weekly TV series and future movies feature the 24th century as depicted in the comic book series lead-in to the reboot, Countdown.
If "Roger Corby" had no interest in Andrea, then why did he dress her like that??
As far as what Gene Roddenberry considered canon, he stated that Star Trek V and Star Trek VI weren't canon but Paramount made them, he exec produced them and the cast performed in them. Plus people PAID to see them. Sounds like they're official to me!
"For a long time I had a difficult time accepting TNG as “real” Trek."
I'm kind of the reverse. I accepted it right from the start. But over the course of 7 years, I slowly got more and more FED UP with the characters, the writing, everything. It took me until late last year (2011) before I got around to watching the run a 2nd time!
My mother never saw the show until it had been on about 3 or 4 years. But then, she got HOOKED-- big-time. They used to run every episode twice a week, to give people a better chance to see it. Mom would watch each episode BOTH times-- then, when rerun season came around, AGAIN! So she was watching each episode 4 TIMES!!! --and I'd only seen each one ONCE apiece, when they were first-run, and I taped them.
At some point, the reruns came around to the 1st season, and Mom got to see the 2-hour pilot. I happened to walk thru the dining room where she always sat, watching her small table-top TV set... and she looked at me and said, "This is the DUMBEST story I've ever seen!" I remembered back to when I'd seen the pilot... and I started laughing. She really nailed it.
Last year, I noted the show got MUCH better once you got past the pilot. The crazy thing is-- and I know I'm a minority in this-- I liked most of the 1st season MORE than any of the seasons that followed. REALLY. (Go figure.)
On the other hand... when they did FIRST CONTACT, I remember thinking, that after 9 WHOLE YEARS... they'd "finally" gotten it right. What the hell took 'em so long??? I also thoroughly enoyed INSURRECTION and NEMESIS. Really. (Sadly, Mom passed away before NEMESIS came out. I bet she'd have loved it.)
THE NAKED TIME has always had a special place in the history of STAR TREK for me. It was my 1st episode!
Up until then, science-fiction on TV for me had been THE OUTER LIMITS, FIREBALL XL5, JONNY QUEST and LOST IN SPACE. I also used to watch VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, but never that regular that I can recall. In early '66 we got our first UHF TV, and the number of shows available exploded, including things like ASTRO BOY, 8TH MAN. But things really went crazy in September '66. So many new shows, so many science-fiction shows, adventure shows, live-action, cartoons & puppet shows, from the US, England and Japan... what a time to be 7 years old! And then, a few weeks into the new season, I finally ran across this thing. I honestly didn't know what to make of it. I certainly didn't understand half of it at first. But I do know... I was MEZMERIZED, from the first moment. I didn't know what the heck I was watching, but I couldn't take my eyes off it. I suppose I may have sensed that what this show really was, was... "LOST IN SPACE-- for grown-ups!"
I will say, this one feels so much better coming after WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF?, as far as Nurse Christine Chapel is concerned. It may have been filmed first (and aired first), but LITTLE GIRLS just had to have been written first. Somebody at NBC just screwed up the schedule. No surprise there... when you consider they ran the pilot 3rd, despite it having so many different characters, costumes, props, sets, etc. Running stories in any kind of sensible order was the furthest thing from their minds.
I think it's safe to say Bruce Hyde as Kevin Thomas Riley may be one of the most popular guest-actors in the show's early run, and someone I bet most fans wish had been a regular, instead of only being in 2 episodes. I was rather surprised to look him up at the IMDB and see that, after no more than 2 years of working in TV, he completely disappeared from Hollywood. Apparently, over a number of years, he got himself several college degrees, and for most of his career has split his time between stage acting and teaching acting! (That's at least 3 guest-stars on the show I can think of who became acting teachers-- Bruce Hyde, Kim Darby, and Jeff Corey.)
Sulu is a RIOT in this. Between George Takei on STAR TREK and Bruce Lee on THE GREEN HORNET, 1966 was a good year for Asian actors on US TV. When this debuted, I had no idea who the heck "D'Artagnan" (as Spock sarcastically called him) was.
I got a kick, decades after-the-fact, when someone pointed out Uhura's reply to, "I'll protect you, fair maiden" with the line, "Sorry, neither!" appeared to slip right past the censors, as it suggests that in addition to being dark-skinned, she's also NOT a virgin.
I'm sure if I were a crewmember aboard The Enterprise, I'd be spending a lot of my free time in the bowling alley (wherever that is!).
One thing that does make me shake my head about this story... the engineering section. HOW on Earth was it even possible for there to be NOBODY left in there, just because Riley walked in and said the Captain wanted to see them on the bridge? So, WHAT? EVERYBODY on duty in the entire enginer room just upped and walked out, AT ONCE, without leaving ANYONE on duty? I know this episode is crazy in spots, but this is just plain STUPID (if you think about it). And then there's that door. It REALLY took Scotty 10 minutes to slowly, pain-stakingly cut a very precise pattern-shaped hole in the wall, so he could-- what-- "hot-wire" the door to get it open? Wouldn't it have made more sense to set the phaser for DISINTEGRATE and just point at the DOOR itself??? They could always replace the door. The whole thing just seems so terribly contrived, expecially when, it seems to me, later stories showed there was certainly MORE than just one way into the engine room, and certainly more than just that one "single" door!
Despite this monstrous, unbeleivable stupidity, the prolonged sequence with Riley always stuck in my head. Back then, I was very much in love with a girl named "Kathleen".
Checking the production schedule, I see this was only Janice Rand's 3rd appearance-- and was made only 2 weeks after THE ENEMY WITHIN. They sure seemed to be doing a lot with her in these early episodes. It's a shame she vanished off the show the way she did. I found myself wondering tonight what her reaction to the disease might have been. An orgy?
The scene between Spock-- fighting to regain control of himself-- and Kirk-- going steadily more berzerk even BEFORE he gets the disease-- is amazing to watch. It's a testament to William Shatner's skills as an actor that he was able to rattle off at high speed a line like, "We may go up in the biggest explosion anyone in these parts has ever seen, but we've got to take that one in ten thousand chance!", without missing a word. This is also when, after Spock leaves, he looks up at the ceiling, and says, "Never lose you-- NEVER lose you!" I instantly thought... whoever wrote LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD clearly never saw this episode. (Translation: The Enterprise should NEVER have had a "self-destruct mechanism" installed as part of its official equipment. NEVER. Doing so just leads to crap like the scene in STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK.)