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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It's what the first post says.

The Baron said:

Interesting, that makes sense. Of course, by the nature of their mission, Kirk and company probably spend more time in territories not under any established jurisdiction than Twenty-First Century military personnel do. To an extent, there must be times when they're so far from any established authortiy that Kirk effectively is "the law", for all intents and purposes. Thinking about it, I imagine that, depending upon where he's assigned to patrol, a given starship captain might have a good deal more leeway in how to handle given situations. That is, Captain Smedley of the USS Indecipherable, who's patrolling the Home Systems That Have Been Thoroughly Explored and Well-Settled for Many Years Now, probably has less call to take extraordinary or extreme measures than would Captain Kadiddlehopper of the USS Lower Slobbovia, who's exploring the Unknown Outer Expanses That Are Really Far Away.

Well, yes ... that's the entire premise of the show, that Kirk and Company are so far out on the edges of the frontier that they can't routinely call home and ask "What should I do?"

I finally got up to a 2nd-season episode I HATE with a passion and a vengeance...  BREAD AND CIRCUSES.  So, F*** it.  I skipped it. 

That felt good!!!!

JOURNEY TO BABEL -- ah yes, another one of the "classics".  Written by D.C. Fontana, this was produced by John Meredyth Lucas, who made his debut on the show as the writer of THE CHANGELING.  He went on to write 3 more stories, and produce 10 episodes, including 3 out of the 4 "parallel Earth" stories this season.

My father proved prophetic. While watching BALANCE OF TERROR, on seeing Mark Lenard, he actually blurted out, "Hey, it's Spock's father!"  A year later-- he was proven right!  I suppose it could be seen as typecasting, using the same actor to play both a Romulan and a Vulcan.  Meanwhile, Spock's mother Amanda was played by Jane Wyatt, a veteran of 196 episodes of FATHER KNOWS BEST-- as well as Ronald Colman's love interest in Frank Capra's immortal classic, LOST HORIZON.  Lenard would later return in the cartoon series, the film series, and ST:TNG, while Wyatt would return in both the cartoon and film series.

Kirk gets into another knock-down drag-out fight in the hallway, this time with William O'Connell, who later played the cowardly barber in HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, and a member of the Black Scorpions in ANY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE.  He has one of the great classic lines during his death scene, when, after estimating he has 10 minutes to live before an incurable poison kills him, he suddenly keels over and says, "I seem to have miscalculated..."

The plot about Orion raiders would have its own sequel in THE PIRATES OF ORION, the 5th season opener (2nd season of the cartoon show).

Gerald Fried is credited with music this time, and while he may have written some new tracks, what I recognized in this one were reused cues from THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER, AMOK TIME and THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE (the latter by Sol Kaplan, of course).  There may be more, but I'd have to study it in detail to be sure.  Once again, both "Kirk Does It Again" (for the climax) and the Spock-Decker debate (the aftermath) were reused.

Both Spock and Sarek persist in maintaining that emotions are "human" qualities, but it's very obvious they're both full of it.  Vulcans are not without emotions.  Vulcans have VERY STRONG emotions.  They just supress and hide them and deny they exist.  Just as Kirk and McCoy so often try to get Spock to admit to it, Amanda does the same with both her son and her husband.  This is the focus of a great joke at the end of the story.  "Emotional, isn't she?"  "She has always be so."  "Indeed.  Why did you marry her?"  "At the time, it seemed the logical thing to do."  The look on Amanda's face tells you she KNOWS he's full of it.

This one never gets old!

...Fair enough , PBB , when there are long lines I often , if I do not read them from the beginning , may get attracted later when they are revived --- and then , since they may even be far past the beginning , read what's current/what's attracted my attention from the left column .

Here's one of the many e-mails I've written to a friend in Wales in the last few weeks, discussing STAR TREK...

The wonder of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, was simply having "Star Trek" again, at all.  I remember the feeling that night.
    But everything else... I was disappointed right at the very beginning.  Why a completely new theme song?  Why a completely new logo?  Why no star field, just a black screen with white letters?  The movie hasn't even started yet, and everything is already telling you, "This isn't really Star Trek".  If you see what I mean.
    There were a number of reunion films done in the wake of surprising success of RESCUE FROM GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, and most of them failed to capture the style, character or magic of the originals.  THE WILD WILD WEST REVISITED was abominably bad, as was THE RETURN OF MAXWELL SMART (a tv-movie that instead was released theatrically, as THE NUDE BOMB).
    The look and feel of the STAR TREK reunion seemed more like THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, which was also directed by Robert Wise.  Except, that film had better writing, better characters (every actor in it probably had their best role in that film), and for a static, talk talk talky story, far more intensity and suspense.  The STAR TREK film seemed like it would have made a good double feature with 2001.
    Aside from all the major problems fans have usually complained about, the thing that bothers me the most is the whole idea that because the TV show ended, the crew was split up and went their separate ways, and they have to spend have the movie getting Kirk, Spock & McCoy back together.  The entire Will Decker sub-plot turned out to be a rehash of RUN SILENT RUN DEEP-- only it was much better in the original.  (Plus, Don Rickles was in the original.)
    Kirk would never have given up his command to become an Admiral.  Just as, 2 movies later, Kirk would never have blown up the Enterprise.  I always recall an episode of DEEP SPACE NINE where Kira found herself in a similar situation.  Of course, she was aboard a freighter.  But she out-thought Kirk.  She used the transporters to switch the crews of 2 ships, leaving the bad guys helpless.  I know, Kirk's son got killed (another totally uncalled-for development), so he wasn't thinking straight. 
    In the DS9 episode, Gul Ducat then fired on the helpless freighter, blowing it up and killing the entire crew.  Kira, shocked, asked, "Was that really necessary?"  He replied, "You're the terrorist-- you tell me."
    Gul Ducat was a fascinating villain.  He was always a villain-- even when he was trying to be a good guy.  He went from slimy beyond belief, to someone you almost had hope for, to just plain insane and evil.  But had he been a genuine good guy, with any real integrity, he never would have fallen off the wagon, so to speak.  Character, or lack of it, usually tells.
    Interesting comments about Nomad.  Yes, I suppose it does get a bit of sympathy.  But as Kirk said, "It's a killer, it's gotta be stopped."  The way the story was written, it seemed a very close thing that Kirk was able to stop it at all.  Scary.
I'm really enjoying discussing these stories with you.
    Same here!
    I'm suddenly reminded of when I was in high school, in the early 70's.  In the 60's, LOST IN SPACE had been an obsession with me.  But STAR TREK was always a more "mature", grown-up show.  In the 70's, as I began to grow up, STAR TREK got even better, as I began to understand things that had gone right over my head earlier.  Anyway, at the time, STAR TREK seemed the best show ever.  So, I couldn't understand how anyone else who'd ever seen it might not feel that way.  And I recall running into at least one person in high school who seemed very annoyed after awhile that I kept mentioning the show.  It was like, at the time, what else was worth talking about?  Or at least, what other show at the time could anyone possibly find more worth talking about?  ALL IN THE FAMILYMASH?
So I prefer the notion that the movies never happened instead. Just like the animated series it's a take it or leave it thing. They are not real and they cannot hurt you. :-)
    This sort of attitude rubs a lot of comic-book fans the wrong way, but in recent years I've come to feel that way about many long-runnng comic-book series.  It's like, Jack Kirby created so many characters in the 1960's, but when he left those books, the writing went to hell.  But it kept going... and going... for decades.  And we're supposed to think it's all part of a single, unbroken history.
    I'm reminded of Nick Fury and SHIELD.  Apart from Jack Kirby (who most people never even realized was the creator and writer!!!) and Jim Steranko (who at least part of the time treated the characters with respect), just about nobody who came after ever treated the characters of the series concept properly.  In the 70's, too many writers tried to treat SHIELD as if it was the CIA-- self-serving, corrupt and possibly evil.  But Jack Kirby's SHIELD was not and never could be any of those things.  They were the good guys-- PERIOD.  Sure, Nick was an uncouth savage part of the time, but that was just what was needed to deal with classy, refined modern-day NAZIS.  It was World War 2 all over again, but with more high-tech weapons.
    I originally saw the STAR TREK cartoons as a legitimate continuation of the show.  After all, it had the same logo, designs, actors.  I wish they'd reused the existing music.  I recently learned Ray Ellis wrote all the music for the cartoons, including the new theme song.  Ellis may be most famous for doing the music for the 1st season of SPIDER-MAN, where he wrote all the music except the theme song (that was Bob Harris).
    David Gerrold was story editor, and he got several established science-fiction writers to contribute, just as had happened on the original show.
    These days, looking back, I find I look on the cartoons as more legit than the movies!
    Even STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN feels to me like something that never should have happened the way it did.  Too much of it happened because of behind-the-scenes things, rather than legit storytelling concerns.  The 1st movie was dull, static, boring, so they decided to do an action picture, with a nasty villain.  Leonard Nimoy hated coming back as Spock, so they decided to kill the character.  Only, he had so much fun doing the 2nd film, he changed his mind.  OY!
    My best friend Jim, the day we saw it, said the 2nd film was "the best Star Trek episode ever!"  I think what he meant, at least, was, it felt like real Star Trek, while the 1st film didn't.  I feel the 2nd film was so well-received not for what it was, but because it was just so much better than the 1st one.  The 2nd film made you want to pretend the 1st film never happened.
    Except, Kirk was still an Admiral, while Spock had become the Captain.  In effect, it was VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, in space!  (Sort of like-- and you can relate to this-- STINGRAY, in reverse.  Heh heh.)  Kirk even had curly hair, just like Richard Basehart.
    I think the sub-plot about Kirk having a son, began a whole sub-genre of similar "next generation" stories.  The shock was not that Kirk suddenly found out he had a son he didn't know about.  The shock was the audience finding out that Kirk had a son all these years, and he always knew about it, but never told us.  So the woman Gary Mitchell referred to in WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE was Carol Marcus.  "I almost married her!", Kirk said.
    This suggested that Kirk became a womanizing James Bond type as a sad way of trying to recapture what he almost had but lost because of his career.  Or something.
    Had David continued as a character, it could have been very interesting.  Saavik was definitely intended to replace Spock.  But then Leonard Nimoy changed his mind, and things went crazy.  Suddenly, David's dead, the Enterprise is destroyed, and Saavik is never seen again after the 4th film.  Of course, it was planned to bring her back for the 6th film... but Gene Roddenberry nixed that idea.  he didn't want Saavik to become a villain, part of the conspiracy, so they created another Vulcan woman instead to take her place.
    All of which makes me think... it's funny, over the years, I've really appreciated most of the films on their own terms.  But when I get back into watching the show-- the REAL Star Trek-- the movies begin to seem, more and more, like a series of expensive mistakes, each building on the mistakes of the previous ones.
    I'm probably one of the few fans who likes STAR TREK 6: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY better than THE WRATH OF KHAN.  While designed as the "final" mission, it also, to me, feels more like the real show than any of the other movies.
    Isn't it a shame they didn't just do a 1st movie that simply continued where the show left off, just like the cartoons did, and simply gave us a new adventure, a new story, without having to screw around with the format and the characters?

A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR -- never a favorite of mine, but at least it's watchable.  I tended to lump this together with (or confuse it with) FRIDAY'S CHILD, in that both have primitive planets, and a sole Klingon stirring things up in a bad way.  Also, both have a stong-willed woman in the mix-- in the one, Julie Newmar (Catwoman from BATMAN), in the other, Nancy Kovack (Medea from JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS).

Spock is shot in the back, and it looks like he might DIE!  5 minutes later, Kirk is attacked and bitten by a "Mogatu"-- a white gorilla with a horn, spikes in the back, and a tail-- and it looks like HE might die, TOO!  While Kirk is saved by the "Kanutu" woman, Nona, Spock is in the hands of Dr. M'Benga (Booker Bradshaw), who interned in a Vulcan ward, and apparently knows more about Vulcan physiology than Dr. McCoy.  About time somebody on the ship did.

The one long Klingon (Ned Romero-- WHO??) has been stirring up the previously- peaceful town people and showing them how killing, stealing, comquering & raping is more profitable than trading-- and pleasurable.  He's also been giving them advanced weapons (flintlocks).  So Kirk determines that the hill people must also have the same, to maintain a "balance of power".  Nona wants really advanced weapons (phasers) and when her husband proves too peace-loving, tries to give it to the other side.  She's killed for her troubles, and her unhappy hubby decides killing will be his new way of life.

This episode came under a lot of criticism (if memory serves) as being an all-too-blatent Viet Nam War allegory. Apparently nobody could tackle the problem head-on in any normal TV show of the time, so STAR TREK did it the old Rod Serling way-- thru science-fiction allegory.  As a result, this had the most sombre, downbeat ending of any episode since the Gene Roddenberry-produced episodes (or "CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER", take yer pick).  The music heard as the Enterprise left orbit at the end was certainly gloomy and depressing.

And speaking of music... Gerald Fried was credited once again.  This time they reused cues from THE CAGE (the eerie music with the choral singing is heard when Nona is saving Kirk's life), while the bulk of the episode features music from CATSPAW.  The climax, when Kirk & his friend Tyree are fighting the village people, is a very skillful blending of music from CATSPAW and AMOK TIME.  You'd almost think they were written for the same episode!

Christine has been appearing in quite a few of these episodes of late, but probably has more dialogue this time than she's had since the 1st season.  There's a rather touching (and humorous) scene where she's holding the unconscious Spock's hand, then is told by M'Benga that Spock was aware of it. Then, she winds up slapping his face repeatedly, on his orders, to help him recover.  After which, she seems resentful and aloof when he tells her he has recovered.  We haven't seen the last of her yet...


While you raise some good points, Henry, I beg to differ about the premise of Wrath of Kahn...ST2.

It was Nimoy himself who only agreed to come back if they terminated the character. He didn't like what had been done in ST1...and wanted a resolution. But as filming progressed, he found himself regreting the deal that he had cut, and so, he asked if they might allow him to leave something cryptic as a back-door. He enjoyed the experience of ST2 so much, they had gotten it "right", so he wanted to continue. 

I never read the introduction of Savik to be a replacement for him.  I know that Robin Curtis asked for too much money, so they replaced her and reduced her role in ST 3 and 4.   But my understanding is that ST2 is basically "Horatio Hornblower in Space" with a liberal dose of "Moby Dick" thrown in.  I don't consider it a poor movie, and certainly not a mess.  I always thought ST3 was a bit of a mess, but that's just me.

What further bugs me-- now-- about ST 2, is it takes the one really interesting idea of "Space Seed"-- Khan & his people carving out a new planet for themselves-- and throws it away before the story even starts--  in order to create a "revenge" story.  Looking back, I see the whole thing as just wasted potential.


Written by Gene L.Coon

Directed by Ralph Senensky


Synopsis:  They find Zefram Cochrane living in sin with an energy being.



1)Yet another obnoxious Federation diplomat (This time played by Elinor Donahue!). It's a wonder that the UFP isn't at war with half the galaxy most of the time.


2)"The Companion rejuvenated me." More like "regenerated", I'd say. I don't really get worked up over the fact that Glenn Corbett looks notihng like James Cromwell.  A few episodes into Next Generation I decided that it and the subsequent sequel series/movies  took place in a similar but distinct timeline from the old series, so I chalk up any incongruities to that.


3)"Zefram Cochrane - of Alpha Centauri - the discoverer of the space warp?"  Alpha Centauri, Montana, apparently.


4)"Zefram Cochrane died a hundred and fifty years ago."


5)Hedford freaks out pretty quickly - must be the fever.


6)"Believe me, Captain, immortality consists largely of boredom."  You could go around the universe insulting everyone.


7)"We're on a thousand planets and spreading out."


8)I'm a little sketchy as to how the Universal Translator determines that the Companion is female.


9)"The matter of gender could change the entire situation." It usually does.


10)"The idea of male and female are universal constants, Cochrane."  Sure they are.


11)"Is this what the future holds - men who have no notion of decency or morality?"  Wait'll he finds out that the Federation allows gay marriage.


12)"Fascinating - a totally parochial attitude."


13)"I'm good at my job, but I've never been loved."  Perhaps if you weren't so unpleasant personally, Commissioner.


14)"Companion, you do not have the power to create life." "That is for the Maker of All Things."  The Companion has a religion, apparently.


15)"Jim, what about that war on Epsilon Canaris III?" "Well, I'm sure the Federation can find another woman somewhere who'll stop that war."  "Yeah, besides, the transitory happiness of these two yahoos is way more important than a bunch of aliens we've never met slaughtering one another. What do we care? We don't live there."



An OK episode - not a personal favorite of mine, but watchable. Frankly, I like Cromwell as Cochrane way more than Corbett, but that's just me.

Frankly, I like Cromwell as Cochrane way more than Corbett, but that's just me.

Well of course.  Cromwell co-starred with a pig and made it interesting.  Can Corbett say the same?

I always wondered how they explained Hedford's disappearance. "Oh, she died. No we don't have the body. Look just trust us on this, okay? So do you have a replacement diplomat? What do you mean, you don't want us taking her?"

Cochrane obviously needed booze to make him interesting! ;-)

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