What I've got is the new releases with the enhanced special effects - I'll comment on these as best I can, shame I haven't got the originals to compare and contrast, but such is life. I put up the "spoiler" just on the off chance that there's someone here that hasn't seen all these a million times - you never know, I suppose.
""The Omega Glory" is also the only episode I've always hated. I don't know how anything about it could be worse."
I still recall seeing it first-run, and thinking the beginning sequence was intriguing, and terrifying. What could have caused the entire crew of that ship to be destroyed the way they were? Then they beam down to the planet... and the whole story takes a severe left turn. The longer it goes on, the more it seems to go off-course. Then it gets worse when you realize that Ron Tracy is not just obsessed, he's gone INSANE. Starfleet seems to have a really bad track record with mentally unstable commanding officers!
But the climax has always been the most mind-boggling part of ther story. It just keeps getting worse and worse as it goes.
There was a fascinating discussion about this at the IMDB a few years ago (strangely, all the old posts for ST seem to have been deleted, nothing there goes back before 2012 now). Someone suggested that the entire climax would have made sense IF the planet had been settled by Earth colonists centuries earlier, who, after arriving at the planet, had somehow brought their old war with them and fought a new one, then forgotten their own past. But give the "thousand years old" one of the natives was supposed to be, some kind of time-travel would also have to be involved.
Alternately, the story could have made sense in a more simpler context, had they just NOT featured the actual U.S. flag and Constitution!
Dramatically, the story has always been frustrating to me. It starts out in one place and goes somewhere else entirely. One could see why, if this was a very early script, it was rejected (indeed, as I said before, I strongly suspect it was heavily re-written to become "Miri"). Incidentally, the sub-plot of a Starfleet commander deciding to violate the Prime Directive, and deliberately sacrifice an entire native population, just so that the rest of the Federation could benefit from some scientific discovery, was reused in the film STAR TREK: INSURRECTION !! (I thought it was handled much better in there-- I recall when I saw it thinking, "I knew there was a good story in there somewhere..." The film also reused the basic theme of the even-more-hated 3rd season episode, "The Way To Eden". Both of these "tributes" tend to get totally ignored because TNG fans only notice a relatively MINOR element early in the story that was reused from an TNG episode!)
I think one of the things that makes this episode, aside from its own obsessions and incompetences, rub fans the wrong way, was because at that point, they did "Patterns Of Force", "The Omega Glory" and "Bread And Circuses", each 2 weeks apart from each other. "Parallel Earth" stories were beginning to pile up at a frightening rate! (Probably the best one, "A Piece of the Action", was only 4 weeks before "Patterns Of Force". But I suspect both "The Omega Glory" AND "Bread And Circuses" were long-overdue; if I'm not mistaken, "Bread and Circuses" was actually the 1st of these 4 stories to be filmed, but somehow "held back" until nearly the very end of the season, perhaps because of its level of violence and/or vague references to Christianity.)
It cracked me up a few months back to see both Morgan Woodward AND Roy Jensen appear together in the TARZAN episode "King of the Dwasari", both as hired henchmen of a very young Robert Loggia!
Roy Jenson ("Cloud William"), in a long career, turned up in 3 episodes of THE FUGITIVE, including "Moon Child", where he played an insane strangler who never spoke a word of dialogue. SCARY stuff!
Ron Tracy (Morgan Woodward) is probably the one thing that (JUST BARELY) holds this episode together. He always struck me as one of the most dangerous villains in the entire run of the series, because he was so crazy.
"watching it last night, it occurred to me for the first time that we never really get any backstory on what Adams is up to - has he got a nefarious plan? Does he think he's serving a greater good but knows that society will disapprove? Does he just like messing with people? Was he always nuts or did he just go over the edge at some point? A little more development of what he was up to wouldn' t have gone amiss."
WOW!!! This is amazing. This is the EXACT same thing that bugged me about this episode for many years.
I remember watching the episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel when they did a run of them UNCUT, with intervierws added. When they got to this story, I was floored. There WAS no "nefarious plan". Dr. Adams was just a no-good SICK B****** who loved lording it over other people. He didn't seem to even care or realize that it might catch up with him, if he did what he did to Kirk. (Criminals are like that a lot-- they F*** up by going too far and it brings about their downfall.) See, I'd watched the story on TV, CUT, so many times, I began to figure something very important was missing from the broadcast. NOPE. Maybe nothing was missing, but if there was, it was missing at the script stage. It reminded me of just how vague or disturbing or open to interpration several of the earliest ST episodes really were.
The crazy thing is, SOUTH PARK did a tribute to this episode-- the one about the "planet-arium", and they apparently "fixed" the story by adding a nefarious plot. So on seeing the original ST version afterwards, I felt sure something was missing.
I never watched BARNEY MILLER until maybe 10 years ago, when one of the cable channels had a marathon. I was very annoyed when they didn't continue to run the show afterwards. On the other hand, I've seen James Gregory in so many things over the years, but the one that probabvly stuck in my head the most was when he played "General Ursus" in BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. "The only GOOD human-- is a DEAD human!!"
The Corbomite Maneuver:
Written by Jerry Sohl
Directed by Joseph Sargent
Synopsis: Our heroes encounter a weird little man with a very big ship.
1)"What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?"
2)Anthony Hall does OK as Bailey. One does wonder how someone as prone to hysterics as he is got on to a starship. Of course, in the end, Kirk ditches him as quickly as he can.
3)The relationship between Kirk and McCoy is interesting in these early ones. I'd forgotten how much they argued with one another.
4)The first use of the ship's phasers here.
5)And the first mention of a tractor beam.
6)Kirk introduces the ship as the "United Earth Ship Enterprise". One gets the mpression that they're still fairly early days in deep space exploration.
7)Gotta love Balok's puppet. "In some manner, he was reminiscent of my father."
8)"You have an annoying fascination for timepieces, Mister Sulu." They really convey the tension well in the countdown scene.
9)"Not chess, Mister Spock - poker."
10)I like Rand in this - shame she wasn't able to last longer.
11)Clint Howard as the real Balok is creepier than the puppet.
12)Tranya looks like orange juice.
An OK episode, some good scenes in this. Balok's "test" seems a bit extreme, but then no one was actually hurt in the end, I suppose.
It's a shame that we never EVER hear of Balok, his race, his ship nor Bailey ever again.
My money is on the theory that Balok ate him as soon as the starship left. Tranya indeed! Ha!
They did that alot on the old show - introduced all these peoples and concepts, then never mentioned them again.
"a very big ship"
I don't care how crude some might think the special effects... my mind was blown the first tme I saw this. And I can hear the music as the ship appears in my head. 3rd episode in a row with a full score written for it, this, the first one by Fred Steiner!
"What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?"
"If I turned around every time some light went on, I'd wind up talking to myself."
They really should have run this 2nd (after running "Where No Man..." 1st).
"One gets the impression that they're still fairly early days in deep space exploration."
I was thinking about this the other day, in connection with 2 things: the 1st movie, and the opening credits voice-over. The idea of a "5-year-mission" ONLY makes sense if you think in terms of "early days of deep space exploration", when a ship and crew could be ot of touch with Earth and any Earth colonies for YEARS at a stretch! Think LOST IN SPACE, only without the "lost" bit. Once they started having semi-regular contact with other starships, or star bases, or established Earth colonies, you no longer had the feeling of them being "out there" all alone. Space was becoming a familiar place, of sorts.
This is perhaps the single MOST annoying and/or UNCALLED-FOR element of the 1st feature film: the idea that, at the end of the show, the ship would have returned to Earth, their "mission" completed, and the crew all broken up and gfone their separate ways. What B***S***!!! Fully half of that film is wasted just trying to get the crew back together for a "reunion" story.
"Gotta love Balok's puppet."
They used to love to run that at the end of the end credits (either that, or a shot of Vina as the Orion dancing slave girl). I used to wonder for 4 years what the heck it was, as I never saw this one until it turned up in syndication in Philly in 1970.
"Not chess, Mister Spock - poker."
A nice follow-up to the opening scene in "Where No Man..."
"I like Rand in this - shame she wasn't able to last longer."
I blame the network. Apparently, they didn't want Kirk tied down to one woman, as they wanted him to be more like James Bond-- a different woman in every story.
"Clint Howard as the real Balok is creepier than the puppet."
"Tom Roberts! Great guy! I bought him his first touchdown."
"An OK episode, some good scenes in this. Balok's "test" seems a bit extreme, but then no one was actually hurt in the end, I suppose."
I think I find this a rare exception to the way so many early episodes had gloomy or downbeat endings.
"It's a shame that we never EVER hear of Balok, his race, his ship nor Bailey ever again."
I have a suspicion 2 of them showed up in a cameo in "Journey To Babel".
"They did that alot on the old show - introduced all these peoples and concepts, then never mentioned them again."
I found this sort of typipcal TV show behavior far more annoying on something like NIGHT COURT. For example, when Ray Walston turned up in the 2nd season an an "eccentric" judge. He'd have made a great friend or mentor for Harry. Never saw him again. But, oddly enough, Ray Walston DID wind up playing a judge some years later, on his own TV series.
This seems a good place to share some correspondence with another fan...
There's another explanation for Rand's disappearance from the series. It's been written up in Shatner's Star Trek Memories, and elsewhere as well.
There are some accounts (I'm being as tactful as I can here) that say that the actress who played Yeoman Rand, was "a party girl" and that she frequently partied too much. As a result, she was starting to blow lines, cause production delays, and by her last appearance, was severely cut from the script and left on the cutting room floor because of an unacceptable coherent performance.
But there's another interpretation as well. (and again, I'm being as tactful as possible)... that as an attractive female, she was subject to, er...: the casting couch, the advances of senior production officials, and powerful or influenial lead actors. And that once she had "made the rounds" so to speak, she was in such a poor state that she couldn't act coherently. However, Shatner makes a point to say that she had "cleaned up her act" by the time the third movie came out that she was included in the scene where Enterprise returns to the hanger/dock as the woman in the viewing lounge shaking her head over the visible scaring and burns on the outside of Kirk's Enterprise.
I have no other evidence either way on these two versions of her departure...but I believe where there's smoke, there's fire.
Kirk G said:
I have no other evidence either way on these two versions of her departure...but I believe where there's smoke, there's fire.
There's at least a third version of what led to Grace Lee Whitney being dropped from the series.
Miss Whitney's autobiography---The Longest Trek; My Tour of the Galaxy (Quill Dancer Press, Inc., 1998)---details the events that led to her dismissal. In fact, the book leads with it. (Presumedly, Miss Whitney understood that this was the one matter that fans would want to know about most.)
According to Miss Whitney, there was a watershed moment that led to Yeoman Janice Rand being written out of the series, and if her account is accurate, it was a serious one, indeed.
She describes the events thusly:
During the shooting of the episode "Miri", she and the rest of the cast and the crew were enjoying the weekly Friday wrap party. In attendence on this particular occasion was one of the network officials, whom she identifies only as "the Executive". At some point, the Executive lured Miss Whitney to his office and attempted to force himself on her. (And, yes, "force himself on her" is an epithet for precisely what you're thinking it is.)
Fully aware that this man could torpedo her career, Miss Whitney attempted to negotiate her way out of the locked office and the situation, but the Executive was having none of that. As Miss Whitney describes:
I had known this man for a couple of years, and had never known him to be violent. A womanizer, yes, but not a monster. This night was different. This night, he was drunk. We both were. Not so drunk that we didn't know what was happening, not so drunk that we wouldn't remember it all later. But he was clearly drunk enough that his personality was altered from that of the Executive I had known all these months. He was angry with me---and, I think, angry with himself. His carefully plotted "seduction" wasn't going the way he had planned, and he was growing impatient and frustrated.
I'll omit the sordid details that Miss Whitney provides about the incident. To put the key event tactfully, after demanding certain humiliating actions from her, as a "warm-up", and growing enraged at her resistance, the Executive forced her to perform an oral act on him. (Again, precisely what you're assuming it was.)
Again, from her book:
I tried to do what he wanted me to, so I could get it over with. I knew, deep down inside, that I was finished on Star Trek. At that moment, however, I didn't care about that. Nothing else mattered---not my tarnished virtue, not my career, not my rôle on Star Trek. The only thing that mattered was getting out of that room alive.
Miss Whitney states that, four days later, she was informed by her agent that her part was being written out of Star Trek.
Now, true, there's no-one to corroborate her account. And it could be viewed as self-serving---it certainly reads better that she was fired from the show by an executive who sexually asaulted her, than for being drunk and too incoherent to act.
One thing to consider, though, in gauging her credibility is the fact that Miss Whitney pulls no punches in describing her own actions as a "party girl", both before and after Star Trek. In fact, she describes willingly indulging in activities far more prurient than what she relates taking place in that executive's office.
Drugs. Booze. Sex. And with little restraint. On many other occasions---but not on that particular night, in that particular executive's office.
It just strikes me that, if Miss Whitney was brutally candid about doing all of that on other occasions, there wouldn't be much point in stating that she was forced to perform for a network executive. Oh, sure, one could come up with several "well, maybes" to explain it. And one of them might be correct. But the simplest answer is that it was the truth.
She also takes William Shatner's account of her firing, as described in Star Trek Memories, to task. Yes, Shatner was correct in stating that Miss Whitney, at the time, was in a vicious cycle of wolfing down amphetamines to keep her weight down and then drinking to deaden the nervous energy caused by the amphetamines. That part of it, she says, is just as she told Shatner in their telephone interview.
However, in the rest of it, Miss Whitney insists that Shatner had some small details in error---such as when he stated that she was fired one day after her six-second walk-on at the end of the episode "The Conscience of the King". Actually, Miss Whitney says, she was informed of her termination the week before filming that episode.
But her major contention with Shatner's version is his statement that she drank on the set and thus, her performances on camera were incoherent, or as Shatner put it---"noticeably distracted [and] visibly ill."
Yes, Miss Whitney admits, she got drunk off her ass in the evenings and during the Friday wrap parties, but never while she was working and never on the set.
Now, frankly, I was never much of a Grace Lee Whitney fan, so I didn't pay close attention to her performances or how she looked on screen in her Star Trek appearances. In searching my own memories, I don't recall seeing her look or act so badly that it stood out to my casual viewing. Now, those of you who scrutinise such things more closely may have spotted something I overlooked.
The Menagerie Part 1:
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Marc Daniels
Synopsis: Spock is court-martialed for re-using footage of the original pilot.
1)Kirk took over the Enterprise from Pike. They met when Pike was promoted to fleet captain. (What's a "fleet captain"? How is that different from an "admiral"?) They're about the same age.
2)Good to see Malachi Throne as Commodore Mendez. Throne's another one of those guys that was everywhere, back in the day.
3)Spock served with Pike for eleven years, four months, and five days.
4)To my mind, this episode puts the lie to any notion that Spock has no emotions. A being of pure, cold logic would never go out of their way to give Pike a more comfortable life the way Spock does here.
5)"The simple that he's a Vulcan means he's incapable of telling alie." I don't know, I would think that there are times when it's logical to lie.
6)Doctor McCoy: Racist or Bigot?: The way McCoy acts in this episode certainly indicates to me that he does have faith in and care about Spock.He sticks up for Spock and is obviously extremely reluctant to have him arrested. Of course, this is not mutually exclusive with him having attitudes that might be called "racist", merely that he's not simply a "hater".
7)First mention of a Starbase and first use of the term "Starfleet Command".
8)Visiting Talos IV is "the only death penalty left on our books". That's always seemed a little extreme to me.
9)First use of a shuttlecraft here.
10)"We didn't have the heart to retire him, Jim." This strikes me as a bit "Plot Convenience Playhouse". Does that sort of thing actually happen?
11)"This is thirteen years ago."
12)Seeing Pike in a wheelchair makes me imagine a conversation between him and Davros. Also makes me think that we're already more advanced in some ways now than they imagined the 23rd Century being back then.
13)Cliffhanger: Spock insists that Kirk must see the rest of the transmission! Kirk replies, "Lock him up." Shatner's portrayal of Kirk's misery at having to have Spock locked up is well-done. Shatner can act, not doubt about it.
For a story that exists to get some use out of the first pilot, this is quite good.
As regards Grace Lee Whitney, so far at least I haven't seen her show any signs of "heat exhaustion" (as somebody once called it). I've quite enjoyed her performances to date. Of course, this isn't Dark Shadows, apparently Star Trek could afford the occasional second take.
"Spock is court-martialed for re-using footage of the original pilot."
I was shocked the other day, glancing over the IMDB episode guide, to be reminded that this episodes was only the 2nd time I'd ever watched the show!! I caught "The Naked Time" and was fascinated by it, but as far as I know, did NOT tune in the series again until this one. We had a very strict bed time on school nights, which was 9 PM. The show started at 8:30 PM.
I remember being very quiet and trying not to attract my parents' attention to the fact that I was watching an hour-long show that was not gonna be over until a half-hour after I was supposed to be in bed. When 9 o'clock came around, I remember practically begging to be allowed to stay up a half-hour extra, since this was something rare, and special, and I'd already seen the first half of it. Somehow, they agreed. So imagine all our shock when it got over, and it turned out to be a (GASP!) 2-parter!! My mother, especially, hated 2-parters, since in our house, it seemed we'd almost always miss the first half or the 2nd half of one. So by agreeing to let me stay up for this, they had in effect agreed to let me stay up the NEXT week, as well!!
The crazy thing was (and I forget it it was either half of this particular story that this happened with), but, my DAD watched the show... and HE got hooked. So, suddenly, it was OKAY for us to stay up to watch STAR TREK. Dad hated LOST IN SPACE... mainly, because he found Dr. Smith extremely annoying. But STAR TREK, that he got to like, and pretty quick. (Maybe it was the gorgeous women?)
Now, had the show been on Friday nights the 1st season (as it was the 2nd season), this would not have been a problem, as Friday nights we regularly stayed up to 11 PM.
"Good to see Malachi Throne as Commodore Mendez. Throne's another one of those guys that was everywhere, back in the day."
The same TV season, he also appeared on LOST IN SPACE (as the Arabian thief, with Ted Cassidy as his "slave"), and on THE TIME TUNNEL (twice, I think). What I didn't realize was, I'd seen him the year before, on BATMAN, as "False Face". While his real face was only seen for a few seconds, you couldn't miss that voice.
"First mention of a Starbase and first use of the term "Starfleet Command"."
I think... in production order, it was actually "Court Martial". It's idiotic that that story was run after this one, when it was made earlier. Dramatically speaking, I think Spock's court martial works much better seen after Kirk's court-martial. Somehow, seeing Kirk's after Spock's seems anti-climactic.
Also, as I mentioned before, having Starbases made the space they were exploring seem a lot less remote and unknown, and somehow makes the idea of a finite "five-year mission" seem silly. I'd have thought it would be an ONGOING thing, especially in light of Kirk doing the exact same job Pike was doing so many years earlier. They really should have changed the spoken into to "It's mission..."
"First use of a shuttlecraft here."
Without looking it up, I'd be "The Gallileo Seven" must have been made before this, as well.
"Shatner's portrayal of Kirk's misery at having to have Spock locked up is well-done. Shatner can act, not doubt about it."
As I said, what a shock-- that only the 2nd episode I'd ever seen turned out to be the first half of a 2-parter.
"For a story that exists to get some use out of the first pilot, this is quite good."
Of course, I had no idea what was coming. The bulk of the pilot (and I had NO IDEA it was filmed so far before anything else but unused until then) doesn't turn up until Part 2. My best friend Jim once commented that unlike 2-parters in the 70's & 80's (which were often stories worthy of being 1 hour, padded out mercilessly to 2), in the 60's, 2-parters tended to be often almost like 2 separate stories with some link between then. Put another way, each half of a 60's 2-parter often could stand on its own, or seemed to have a very different focus. It wasn't like they just cut off a simple story and said "to be continued", it's like you had a full "act", then after a week's intermission, a 2nd "act" that at times felt like an entirely different story in its own right.
That was certainly true here. Almost all of the focus in Part 1 was in Spock stealing the Enterprise and kidnapping Pike, then being caught, and forcing a court martial hearing. While the hearing continues in Part 2, maybe 90% of Part 2 is the "testimony". It's so strange, when I think back on the first time I saw this, but I really had NO clue, no idea where this all could possibly be going! This just wasn't like ANY other 2-parter I'd ever sat thru in my life up to then. I think that's worth stating, considering how familiar it is, after decades and perhaps dozens of viewings over the years.