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.

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The Conscience of the King:

Written by Barry Trivers

Directed by Gerd Oswald

 

Synopsis:  An actor is believed to be an escpaed genocide.

 

Thoughts:

1)I like how they open in such a way as you don't realize at first that you're watching a scene from a play.

 

2)"That's Kodos...the Execurioner." Arnold Moss does a good job as Kodos/Karidian. The character's name was later recalle dint he early Halloween episodes of The Simpsons.

 

3)So, twenty years before, Governor of Kodos of Tarsus IV ordered the deaths of 4,000 people - half the population of the colony - in order to save the rest. And out of the 4,000 survivors, only nine - including Kirk and Riley - happened to know what he looked like? What, did he hide in a room like the Wizard of Oz?

 

4)Very dramatic, having half of Leighton's face covered. However, considering what we can do with reconstructive surgery in the Twenty-First Century, one has to wonder how bad he was hurt, that they couldn't fix it better inthe Twenty-Third.

 

5)"My father's race was spared the dubious benefits of alcohol."  "Oh? Now I know why they were conquered."  "Conquered"? When? By who? By Earth? Might've been interesting if the Vulcans had been a colonized or formerly-colonized race on the perihperies of society. Maybe positing an Earth that had formerly been a colonizing power now "reformed" but still dealing with the aftereffects of its "imperial" past?  Might explain McCoy's attitude towards Spock more - "Your 'logic' didn't stop you form being overrun by us 'emmotional' types, did it?"

 

6)McCoy's a drunk. actually, if you think about it, McCoy's kind of a chucklehead in this - dumping on Spock, squabbling with Kirk, making crucial errors - real bright babbling about Kodos without checking to see whether Riley was listening.

 

7)First phaser on overload.

 

8)"What were you twenty years ago?" "Younger, Captain. Much younger."

 

9)You wouldn't think ID'ing Kodos would be so hard. Of course, I don't suppose we'd heard of DNA evidence back in the 60's.

 

10)Funny to think that shows as diverse as Star Trek and Giligan's Island both did Hamlet episodes.

 

11)An interesting swerve that it turned out to be Lenore.  Barbara Anderson does a good job playing full-blown, bats*** crazy.

 

12)Watching this again, I do tend to think that Kirk could've handled this all a bit better, rather than pursuing it as a private investigation.  Stll, it's good that the program shows him as occasionally making wrong decisions.

 

Overall:

Another fun episode with some good performances.

I decided to take a break from DARK SHADOWS to watch some STAR TREK.

THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER -- After the network told Gene Roddenberry to get rid of the alien, what nerve, the 1st episode in regular production, there is NO Kirk on the bridge in the entire pre-credit sequence, but there's Spock, all over the screen.  Gee, you suppose this may be why NBC held this one back about 10 weeks?  The appearance of the HUMONGOUSLY huge spaceship-- followed by the "scan" of their systems and computer files-- was later redone in ST:TMP (only not as good there).

It also struck me how very similar the shot was of the Fesarius approaching The Enterprise, to that of The Death Star and The Millennium Falcon.

Joseph Sargent went to some lengths to use interesting and varied camera angles in this one, perhaps trying to get the most out of a cramped, static bridge set, where most of the story takes place.  I couldn't help but notice that when Kirk steps onto the bridge, the camera follows him from behind-- exactly as it did in ST:TMP.

I almost hate to even mention this, but isn't it odd that in this first regular episode, the ship, exploring unknown space, is blocked by something they refer to as "the cube";  and in the the ST:TNG pilot, the ship is blocked by something called "the Q"?

I notice that while Spock referred to "one of his ancestors" having married a human in WHERE NO MAN..., in here, he reveals that his mother was an Earth-woman!

Yeoman Janice Rand makes her debut.  Kirk complains about someone at HQ assigning him a female yeoman.  Does that even make sense?  McCoy asks Kirk, "What's the matter, Jim, don't you trust yourself?"  2 episodes later, the "imposter" Kirk attacks Rand in her cabin!

The voice of Balok that booms over the speakers, threatening the Enterprise, is of course, Ted Cassidy's!

I wish they had featured Balok or his people again in some later episode.  It seems a shame to introduce a people like that who clearly would wind up on good terms with the UFP, then never mention them again.  It's funny, but when Balok first appeared, he reminded me this time around of a really short, young-looking version of "The Watcher".

Balance of Terror:

Written by Paul Schneider

Directed by Vincent McEveety

 

Synopsis:  Kirk matches wits with a Romulan commander.

 

Thoughts:

1)We open with Kirk preparing to perform a marriage cermeony, with Scotty giving the bride away.

 

2)First mention of the Romulans, the Romulan Star Empire, and the Romulan Neutral Zone. We learn that Earth (Not the Federation, which has not been mentioned yet) fought a war with the Romulans over a century ago.

 

3)We also get our first sight of a Romulan warship, the original "Bird of Prey".  I always liked the Romulan ship desing, and was not happy that the Romulans started using Klingon ships later on. I like the Klingon ships OK, I just wasn't happy to lose that little bit of diversity. I also liked how the Romulans bridge was set up - that's almost liek a TARDIS console there.

 

4)We also see the first use of the cloaking device, here call an "invisibility screen". Also, the Romulan plasma weapon, which almost seems like a precursor to the Wave-Motion Gun.

 

5)I like the way the Romulans were characterized - not simply "evil aliens", but as individuals with different attitudes. I particularly liked Mark Lenard as the Romulan Commander, a more or less sympathetic character stuck in a bad situation.  One has the feleing that some Romulan higher-up sent him out on this potentially suicidal mission with the notion that it would be no great shame if he didn't come back. You end up feeling bad for him, even though you still want him to lose. Of course, once we see "Journey to Babel", it becomes retroactively funny that no one remarks on this guy's similarity to Spock's dad. John Warburton was also quite good as the Centurion.

 

6)"Leave any bigotry in your quarters, there's no room for it on the bridge."  There actually seems to be a fair amount of anti-Vulcan feeling in Starfleet in these early ones.

 

7)"Cast rodinium - this is the hardest substance known to our science."

 

8)"Vulcan, like Earth, had its aggressive, colonizing period. Savage, even by Earth standards."

 

9)The phasers, when they're used in this, actually look more like photon torpedos. Also, when the phasers are down, there's no mention of using torpedos - perhaps they haven't been invented yet?

 

10)I can understand not signaling when they're playing dead, but why personally keep quiet on-board ship? It's not as though sound travels through space, after all.

 

11)"Don't destroy the one named 'Kirk'."

 

12)"He's a sorcerer, that one."

 

13)"In a different reality, I could have called you 'friend'."

 

14)Of course, they have to have the little sting that only Tomlinson was killed.

 

Overall:

A fun war of nerves and wits - one of my favorite episodes. I gather this is quite similar to something called The Enemy Below, which I have never seen.

 

 

 

The Baron said:

10)I can understand not signaling when they're playing dead, but why personally keep quiet on-board ship? It's not as though sound travels through space, after all.

  

In sub movies it's what the sub-mariners do when the enemy is hunting for them with a sound-detection system.



Luke Blanchard said:

The Baron said:

10)I can understand not signaling when they're playing dead, but why personally keep quiet on-board ship? It's not as though sound travels through space, after all.

  

In sub movies it's what the sub-mariners do when the enemy is hunting for them with a sound-detection system.

 

 

Sure, because sound passes through water. I'm just questioning whether it would be necessary in space, is all.

Maybe they would have been able to detect vibrations within the ship.

The Baron said:

Also, the Romulan plasma weapon, which almost seems like a precursor to the Wave-Motion Gun.

 

I was watching a bit of Yamato just a few minutes ago.

14)Of course, they have to have the little sting that only Tomlinson was killed.

Putting a more human face than usual on the death of a non-regular crew member, Tomlinson is the bridegroom from the opening sequence.

I saw this when it was first-run.  Apparently, it was okay for me to stay up later on Thursday nights by then, since now, my DAD had started watching the show.  Incredible but true:  when the Romulan commander was revealed, my Dad said, "Hey, look, it's Spock's father."  This was a YEAR before Mark Lenard played Sarek!

For many years, I kept hearing this story was inspired by RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP.  But that was obviously spoken by someone who'd never seen the movie.  Yes, this was based VERY closely on the film THE ENEMY BELOW, there's no missing it!!!  Elements of RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP, however, turned up as that very annoying and uncalled-for sub-plot in the film STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE.

By the way, I wouldn't call this episode "fun".  It's too INTENSE for that!!!  Great piece of work.

Two "After-The-Facts" about Balance of Terror:

1) When Chief O'Brien married Keiko in ST:TNG's Data's Day, Captain Picard used the same speech as Captain Kirk did here.

2) In John Bryne's under-rated Star Trek books for IDW, he used the Romulan Commander as the hero of one of his mini-series and he is indeed sent out NOT to return. It also showed the Klingons as secret manipulators of the Romulans.

11)"Don't destroy the one named 'Kirk'."

 

Why thanks, thanks very much, guys......

"Since the days of the first wooden vessels, all ship's masters have had one happy
privilege; that of uniting two people in the bonds of matrimony."

                                                                --- Captain Kirk, Star Trek

 

"Since the days of the first wooden sailing ships, all captains have enjoyed the happy
privilege of joining together two people in the bonds of matrimony."

                                                                --- Captain Picard, Star Trek: the Next Generation

 

 

 

These speeches, and the respective scenes from which they derive, are based upon a common fallacy that refuses to die (probably because it's such a Neat Idea).

 

Ship's captains, in real life, do not, and never have had, the authority to perform marriages.  Not in the military.  Not in the merchant marine.  Not on cruise liners.  (NOTE:  it is possible that a ship's captain might also be an ordained clergyman; in which case, he could perform marriages, but that authority is not derived from his position as ship's captain.)

 

Now, sure, one could state that, by the future of Star Trek or the Next Generation, ship's captains did acquire the power to perform marriages.  No problem there.  But both Kirk's and Picard's opening lines are still invalid---captains have not enjoyed that happy privilege "since the days of wooden vessels".

 

"Balance of Terror" is one of the exceptional episodes of Star Trek, but that opening line by Kirk irritates me to no end because it's so wrong.

 

It's as annoying as when cop shows insist that an arrested suspect has to be read his Miranda rights.

 

 

Of course, that begs the question: Were there clergy on board the Enterprise (either one)? One would assume so but there was never mention of a Ship's Chaplain. Last Rites alone would have kept him or her busy all the time!

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