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 Alternative Factor :

Written by Don Ingalls

Directed by Gerd Oswald

 

Synopsis:  Our heroes meet a space loonie and his anti-matter counterpart.

 

Thoughts:

1)I remember that when I watched this as a kid, I had no idea what was going on.

 

2)"Every quadrant of the galaxy and far beyond." That seems a bit unlikely. I don't buy this is serious enough to destroy the whole universe.

 

3)"He's death -  anti-life - he lives to destroy." Who is this guy, Darkseid?

 

4)They learned nothing from Khan, they just let the guy wander around the ship.

 

5)Kirk, you big drama queen, why not just let Spock neck-pinch him, rather than have a big fight scene at the end?

 

Overall:

A so-so episode. Kirk's sadness at the end was well-played,

Kirk would know well what it's like, having a mad-man at your throat for all eternity.... He's been split apart, separated into good and evil and subverted so many times.....  (Have I mentioned how much I hate this episode?)

"(Have I mentioned how much I hate this episode?)"

Hope you read my earlier review.  I'm plowing thru these same episodes, right now, only in production order.

Lazarus actually pre-dated Khan.  So, didn't they learn anything from Lazarus?  : )

I forgot to mention... this was remade the next year on LOST IN SPACE as "The Anti-Matter Man", which, oddly enough, many LIS fans consider one of the BEST episodes in the show's entire run!  Clearly, it's not the idea that counts, but the execution.

Now... try turning off the color, picturing some actors other than Shatner & Nimoy, the entire story taking place on Earth, and Dominic Frontiere music in the background.  Yep, you've got an OUTER LIMITS episode!   : )

Seriously, when Lazarus says, "MY Earth...", doesn't it suggest that someone forgot to tweak the script? It may very well have been a 2nd-season OL script that got left unused when the show was cancelled in mid-season.

Re-watching Errand of Mercy the other night and I drew a complete blank regarding the story. I knew the Organians were more powerful than they let on but other than that I recalled nothing from this episode - makes me wonder if this is one of  those episodes that received less airplay during the grand re-running of the Seventies when I became a Trek devotee.

Have to agree on Commander Kor and the actor's performance - too bad he didn't return to plague Kirk again - even if his Attila the Hun make up was a bit overdone.

Wasn't the Organian Peace Treaty mentioned again in future episodes?

My best friend Jim & I used to be able to turn on any ST episode at random, and identify if-- BY NAME-- within 5 seconds.  No other show we could do that for.  Well, after I taped the series-- UNCUT-- one day I ran the pre-credit teaser of ERRAND OF MERCY for him.  The whole thing.  and he could not figure out which episode it was.  Why?  Because for al of the 70's, in our area, the local station used to CUT the entire sequence. So while he'd no doubt seen the episode multiple times, he'd never seen the (off-camera) battle between the Enterprise and the (uinseen) Klingon ship.

Most epsodes they'd cut about a 5-minute chunk, usually in the middle.  Typically, they'd go to commercial, and when they came back, you felt like they'd left the film running. How were you supposed to follow the plots that way?  The edits I saw in the 90's on the Sci-Fi Channel were a lot sneakier... usually, a bit at the beginning and end of every scene, and sometimes, some dialogue in the middle of one.  (Just like on NIGHT COURT.)

I recently read that they wanted John Colicos to return for DAY OF THE DOVE, but he was unavailable (doing a movie at the time).  So they got Michael Ansara instead.  Which was fine by me.  Kor may be the classiest Klingon, but Kang was the toughest.  I had a wall poster with a photo of him and his men from this episode on my wall for some years.

STARDATES:

Thanks, Adam, for quoting the series bible concerning star dates. I wasn’t aware of how the star dates were derived (other than that they were vaguely “sequential (for the most part)” as I said, but this statement bolsters my assertion that “I don’t think the production staff sweated too much about the star dates”: “The progression of stardates in your script should remain constant but don't worry about whether or not there is a progression from other scripts.”

This definition of “Stardate” (from Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance) is the one I have been using for the past 35+ years: “Stardates are a method of keeping track of time passing aboard a starship, not on a planet. Logging in reports back to a ship means using the star date current at the time of an event, as it would be nearly impossible to keep track of the dates used on each planet visited. Ship’s time may seem compressed in comparison to planet time, because of the warp speeds used to get from place to place. This explains the seeming closeness of elapsed time between the events of ‘What Are Little Girls Made Of?’, ‘Miri’, and ‘Dagger of the Mind’; the logs kept on a warp-speed ship do not correlate with normal planetary timekeeping. Moving about the galaxy at warp speeds makes it impossible to keep time according to any one sun or star movement--hence the star dates.”

I have already gone on record as being a strict adherent to production order, but I’m about to post something as geeky as I have posted in a long while. Below are three lists of the first ten episodes in production order, by airdate and by star date. As you can see, not even the star dates of production order are sequential early on, but if you look strictly by star date order, the last two are way off. The earliest star date of any episode aired on the small screen is 1254.4 (“The Magicks of Megas-tu” from the animated series, on obvious error/oversight) which actually places it before “Where No Man Has Gone Before”.

PRODUCTION:
1312.4 - WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE
1512.2 - THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER
1329.1 - MUDD’S WOMEN
1672.1 - THE ENEMY WITHIN
1513.1 - THE MAN TRAP
1704.2 - THE NAKED TIME
1533.6 - CHARLIE X
1709.1 - BALANCE OF TERROR
2712.4 - WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF?
2715.1 - DAGGER OF THE MIND

AIRDATE/(Production #):
1513.1/(#6) - THE MAN TRAP
1533.6/(#8) - CHARLIE X
1312.4/(#2) - WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE
1704.2/(#7) - THE NAKED TIME
1672.1/(#5) - THE ENEMY WITHIN
1329.1/(#4) - MUDD’S WOMEN
2712.4/(#10) - WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF?
2713.5/(#12) - MIRI
2715.1/(#11) - DAGGER OF THE MIND
1512.2/(#3) - THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER

STARDATE/(Production #):
1312.4/(#2) - WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE
1329.1/(#4) - MUDD’S WOMEN
1512.2/(#3) - THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER
1513.1/(#6) - THE MAN TRAP
1533.6/(#8) - CHARLIE X
1672.1/(#5) - THE ENEMY WITHIN
1704.2/(#7) - THE NAKED TIME
1709.1/(#9) - BALANCE OF TERROR
2124.5/(#18) - THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS
2534.0/(#52) - PATTERNS OF FORCE

My best friend Jim & I used to be able to turn on any ST episode at random, and identify if-- BY NAME-- within 5 seconds. 

 

I could tell the plot of the episode this quickly, but I'd probably only get the title about seven times out of ten.

 

 

So while he'd no doubt seen the episode multiple times, he'd never seen the (off-camera) battle between the Enterprise and the (uinseen) Klingon ship.

 

The jazzed-up version throw in CG Klingon ships - it's a bit jarirng to those of us who remember the stories from wathcing them as they were originally shown.

The CIty on the Edge of Forever:

Written by Harlan Ellison

Directed by Joseph Pevney

 

Synopsis: The one with the Guardian of Forever and Edith Keeler.

 

Thoughts:

1)"You were about to make a medical comment, Jim?"

 

2)I read somewhere that the look of the Guardian and its surroundings was the result of some designer being told they wanted "rune stones", but hearing "ruined stones".

 

3)"Your science knowledge is obviously primitive."  Ooh, Spock's not happy to hear that.

 

4)A time portal that can't be fine-tuned to a specific point in space and time seems of limited utility. It's a bit too obviously a plot contrivance to create suspense as to whether Kirk and Spock will be able to stop McCoy or not.

 

5)One wonders what the Federation did about the Guardian. One wouldn't what just anyone happening across the thing.

 

6)"My friend is obviously Chinese..."

 

7)"He caught his head in a mechanical rice-picker."  Yeah, OK.

 

8)Joan Collins is adequate as Edith Keeler.

 

9)According to Harlan Ellison's book about this episode - which is a interesting read - Keeler's speeches about using spaceships to feed the hungry were added in by Roddenberry. He dismisses it as utopian b.s. I'm not wild about it myself - it smacks a little too much of the way Roy Thomas used to have characters in All-Star Squadron expressing attitudes way ahead of their time.  For that matter, RTD and Steven Moffat do that kind of crap in modern Doctor Who.

 

10)"Captain, you're asking me to work with equipment which is hardly far ahead of stone knives and bear skins."

 

11)"I may have found our focal point in time."  "I think you may also find you have a connection burning someplace."

 

12)"Don't run! I won't kill you!"  I'm reminded of the Martians in Mars Attacks! "Don't run. We are your friends."

 

13)"I believe I'm in love with Edith Keeler." "Jim, Edith Keeler must die."  "Beside,s you know full well you'll fall in love with someone else in a week or two."

 

14)"I'm a surgeon, not a psychiatrist."

 

15)"Lots of people drink from the wrong bottle, sometimes." "Not as wrong as the bottle I drank from."

 

16)You can talk about how swell Edith Keeler is, but she's apparently not bright enough to look both ways before crossing the street

 

17)"Do you know what you just did?" "He knows, Doctor. He knows."  That scene was well-played.

 

18)"Let's get the hell out of here."

 

Overall:

I'm afraid I must commit heresy against the First Church of Received Wisdom Regarding Star Trek and declare that in my opinion, this in not the best episode of the original series. Good, yes, with some excellent moments, but not a personal favorite.

Operation: Annihilate!:

Written by Steven W. Carabatsos

Directed by Herschel Daugherty

 

Synopsis: They fight some flying fried egg/pus ball things.

 

Thoughts:

1)"Your brother Sam and his family - aren't they stationed on this planet?"

 

2)"Is this your brother, Jim?" No, it's clearly Shatner with a fake mustache on and his hair combed differently.

 

3)"Your son's still alive."  No word on the other two sons mentioned in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"

 

4)"Captain, it doesn't even look real." I suppose one way of getting around the fakeness of your monsters is to make it a plot point.

 

5)Wow, Chapel backtalks McCoy!

 

6)Ah, those special sickbay restraints that can only be broken when it serves the plot.

 

7)"Freeze right there, Mister Spock, or I'll put you to sleep for sure."

 

8)"From a place where our physical laws do not apply."  How could something from such a place exist in our universe?

 

9)"We've got fourteen science labs aboard this ship."

 

10)"The fact that your nephew is the last survivor of your brother's family."  So, the other two sons are definitely dead?

 

11)Doctor McCoy: Racist or Bigot?: "Mister Spock's the best first officer in the Fleet."  So, McCoy obviously does respect Spock on some level.  Of course, this doesn't stop him making a remark about Spock's physiology later in the episode.

 

12)"I am also quite blind. An equitable trade. Thank you, Doctor."

 

13)Wait - radiation didn't work, but light did? Isn't light a form of radiation?

 

14)Vulcans have secondary innner eyelids.  " Anything else he's got two of?"

 

15)"My first sight was the face of Doctor McCoy bending over me." Of course, Spock doesn't mind giving it back once in awhile.

 

16)Kirk's nephew is pretty much forgotten by the end of it - not even a mention of how he's doing, or what is to become of him.

 

Overall

A fairly entertaining episode - somewhat reminiscent of a 50's monster movie, where they  have to race to find the one thing the monster is vulnerable to.

Oh, and that's the end of Season One, by the way.

The AMT model kits (which came with battery-powered lights) came out a few months before the 3rd season began.  My brother got The Enterprise, I got the Klingon Battle Cruiser.  (Considering all the "pretend" games we used to play as kids, this was falling right in line with the usual way we did things.)  When "THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT" aired, of course, I recognized the Klingon Battle Cruiser (even though, it was really being used by the Romulans).

It took quite a few years before I discovered that "ELANN OF TROYIUS" was the 1st time the Klingon Battle Cruiser had ever been used in an episode, while "THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT" was the first time it appeared on TV.  This threw me for a loop.  I was so SURE I'd seen the thing in "ERRAND OF MERCY", or one of the three Klingon episodes in the 2nd season.  But I hadn't!  You NEVER saw the Klingons' ships until the 3rd season!!!

I was out of the house with my Mom running some errand the night "CITY" aired.  On the way home, we stopped at her best friend's house.  I forget if the TV was already on, or if someone put it on when we got there.  But I saw this dark, depressing story that looked like an episode of THE TIME TUNNEL, as it took place in old-time New York.  But what was this?  Isn't that-- Kirk and Spock?  What the HELL?  And then this woman runs out and gets hit by a car.  And suddenly, there's this GLOOMY scene with these ancient, rough-hewn rock formations, and Kirk, Spock & McCoy step thru a portal, and disembodied voice declares, "All is as it was before."  Simply put... I did NOT like what I was seeing, at all.

It probably took several years before I managed to see the episode from the beginning (unless I saw it during summer reruns... it's funny, I have such CLEAR memories of which ST's I saw first-run and which I missed, but not which ones I saw reruns of, until it went into syndication.)  It's "okay", but it's never been a favorite of mine.  I was more impressed with "DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND", which I did see when it was first-run (which is odd, as I missed MOST of the 2nd-season OL episodes.  Perhaps Jackie Gleason was pre-empted that night?)

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