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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Was it in "Trials and Tribbleations" that Dax said McCoy went to Ole Miss?

I am now four episodes behind Bob watching the episodes (five, assuming he watched “Bread and Circuses” last night) and I hope to get caught up over the weekend if not sooner. Last night I watched…

RETURN TO TOMORROW: This episode does number among my favorites for reasons I enumerated yesterday: the episode occurs largely in space and deals with encountering the unknown. But also I really dig the conference room scene in which Kirk convinces McCoy to go along with the vote to make it unanimous. Much has been said about Shatner’s over-the-top acting style (this scene being a prime example), but William Shatner is Captain Kirk and this scene exemplifies Star Trek for me.

I also approve of this episode’s use of the term “android robot.” I know the word “android” is most often used in science fiction as a noun, but I tend to think of it primarily as an adjective meaning (in this case) “man-like.” Roger Corby and Lt. Commander Data are android robots, but robots nonetheless. Then Star Wars came along and muddied the water further. Both C-3PO and R2-D2 are robots; they are both referred to generically as “droids,” but of the two, only C-3PO is an android robot.

OLD(ER) BUSINESS: "I'm still looking forward to a nice period of rest and relaxation on some lovely... yeoman. PLANET! …on some lovely planet.”

Slightly off topic, but this past weekend I picked up the first four volumes of the James Blish short story episode adaptions at a used book sale for a grand total of two dollars! 


PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

Was it in "Trials and Tribbleations" that Dax said McCoy went to Ole Miss?




Bread and Circuses:

Written by Gene Roddenberry and Gene L. Coon

Directed by Ralph Senensky


Synopsis:  The one with the Romans,



1)"He was dropped in his fifth year." On his head, apparently.


2)"'Television' was the colloquial term."  Personally, I don't think of "television" as a colloquialism.


3)Wow, that's some awkward exposition as the Big Three explain the Prime Directive to themselves.


4)"Just once, I'd like to land someplace and say 'Behold, I am the Archangel Gabriel!'" Always liked that line.


5)"Complete Earth parallel, the language here is English."  When I was a kid, that line bugged me because I thought "A Twentieth Century Rome would speak Latin or a Latin-derived language, not English!' Now it bugs me because it's poor writing - they should have just let it alone, or mentioned the Universal Translator."


6)"Are you Children of the Sun?"  The whole "Sun/Son" business was too cutesy for me. Not the idea that a parallel Rome might have a parallel Christ, if you can accept one, you can accept the other.  No, it's more the whole use of  the pun to set up the reveal at the end that seems too contrived to me.


7)"Hodgkins' Law of Parallel Planetary Development". Well, they tried.  It smacks of the way old Doctor Who used to use the ill-defined "Blinovitch Limitation Effect" to explain any time travel plots that didn't make sense.


8)"Rome had no sun worshippers." Well, yeah they did, the cult of Sol Invictus.


9)"Medical men are trained in logic, Mister Spock." "Really, Doctor? I had no idea they were trained. Watching you, I assumed it was trial and error." "Are they enemies, captain?" "I'm not sure they're sure."


10)"They do seem to have escaped the carnage of your first three world wars, Doctor."  Were there subsequent world wars without carnage?


11)"...The six million who died in your First World War, the eleven million who died in your second, the thirty-seven million who died in your third.."  Well, I'm pretty sure that  the numbers for the first two are gross underestimates. I hope we never get the numbers for the third.



12)"Must you always be so blasted honest?"  Never let Spock plan the surprise party.


13)"I tell you I am well able to defeat you."  Vulcan trash talk!


14)"You bring this network's ratings down, Flavius, and we'll do a special on you!"  One of my favorite lines, ever.


15)"Proconsul, in some parts of the galaxy, I have seen forms of entertainment that make this look like a folks dance."  And that's just on basic cable!


16)"Fight, you pointed-eared freak!" "You tell him, buster!"  Awesome.


17)If the Romans wanted to avoid contamination, why not just tell Kirk and company to leave? Or at worst, give up Merik and his men to them? They're sworn to non-interference, after all.


18)"I'm trying to thank you, you pointed-eared hobgoblin."  McCoy does seem to have it in for Spock here.


19)"Perhaps this is considered torture, here."  No one ever tortures me with hot blondes!


20)"You're a Roman, Kirk, or you should have been."


21)"Would you leave us, Merik?  The thoughts of one man to another cannot possibly interest you."  Ooh, burn!


22)"I've heard it was - similar."


23)Scotty's timing sure was fortuitous - perhaps he was watching the broadcast on a monitor.


24)Wait, in the confrontation at the end, when the Romans throw their guns down and go for their swords, why doesn't Kirk just mow them down? Just because they throw their guns down doesn't mean he has to!



Yet another episode that's quite entertaining as long as you ignore the fact that the scenario is nonsense. Of course, they get alot of good digs at TV in there.


Oh, and thanks again, Commander. Interesting insights, as always.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if all the "parallel Earth" stories were scripts leftover from before Season 1 got started. And if so, they were RIGHT not to do them originally.

Why am I not surprised by this revelation at all?

("Jest treat her like a lady son, and she'll always take you home...."    Somehow, I never got the sexual inuendo of the ol' southern gentlemen's comment until just this moment!)

The Baron said:

PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

Was it in "Trials and Tribbleations" that Dax said McCoy went to Ole Miss?




Being (yet another) Earth culture analogue, “Bread and Circuses” is not a favorite of mine. I watched “Patterns of Force” last night, which is not a favorite, either, for the same reason.

Could WWIII have been the Eugenics Wars? By the time we were well into the 1990s and the Eugenics Wars did not happen, I concocted an elaborate theory as to why not (and also explained how the “mirror universe” came into being along the way). It all tied in to that bum who vaporized himself in “City on the Edge of Forever.” I don’t remember the particulars, but there were three distinct timelines: one (our own) in which the bum lived, Edith Keeler died and the Eugenics Wars never happened, another (the mirror universe) in which the Axis powers won WWII, and a third (the Star Trek universe) in which Edith Keeler died, the Allies won WWII, and the death of the bum led to the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s. My timeline has since been invalidated in canon, but working out the details was fun.

Assignment: Earth:

Teleplay by Art Wallace/Story by Gene Roddenberry and Art Wallace

Directed by Marc Daniels


Synopsis:  Kirk and Spock investigate a potential spin-off.



1)"Using the lightspeed breakaway factor..."  Good to see them getting some use out of that.


2)Robert Lansing does a good job as Gary Seven.


3)"Quite a lovely animal, Captain." Spock likes cats.


4)Nimoy sounds like he has a bit of a cold here.


5)Wow, check out the lantern jaw on that security guard!


6)And the lovely and talented Terri Garr as Roberta Lincoln.


7)"Where's 347?" "With 348?" Ho-ho-ho.


8)Don't know why Spock doesn't neck-pinch Roberta when she starts yelling.


9)The cat's yowling gets irritating after awhile.


10)"So, everything happened exactly the wya it was supposed to."  Well, isn't that convenient?


11)"We could say that Mister Seven and Miss Lincoln have some interesting experiences ahead of them."  Wait, at the start of the episode you didn't know who he was, but now you know their future?



An interesting enough story for what I'd always heard was an attempted spin-off. Might've made for an interesting series.

John Byrne has done four Star Trek limited series for IDW (and they were all pretty good IMHO): Crew (which, among other things, traces the career of Captain Pike’s “Number One”), Romulans: Pawns of War, Leonard McCoy: Frontier Doctor, and (apropos the episode under discussion) Assignment: Earth. I recommend any and all of these series to any fan of TOS. They are all to be collected in a single edition hardcover solicited for release April 3.

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