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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My friend in Wales sent me the following:

Devil in the Dark
Miners unwittingly start destroying  the eggs of an acid spitting silicon life form

Conscience of the King
An ex despot's daughter is killing witnesses to his  genocide.

Amok Time
Kirk has to fake his own death  when Spock's intended wife wants to marry someone else

For some reason, that reminds me of the gag summary of The Wizard of Oz: "A girl and her three accomplices set out to kill an old woman."

The non-Trek one that sticks in my mind is the description (in a TV listing, I think) of John Wayne's character in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE as "the man of the title".

I once wrote a review of a movie in the style of Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" feature. I described all these awful, horrible things, and it wasn't until I got to the end, the punch line, when I revealed which movie I was reviewing.  It was a kids' film-- a cartoon-- by Disney, in fact!  The parts about child endangerment, jealousy and attempted murder probably threw people. I did like the girl in the REALLY skimpy dress, of course.

Whom Gods Destroy:

Teleplay by Lee Erwin/Story by Lee Erwin and Jerry Sohl

Directed by Herb Wallerstein

 

Synopsis: Our heroes find trouble at the Federation looney bin.

 

Thoughts:

1)"...Elba II, a planet with a poisonous atmosphere where the Federation maintains an asylum for the few remaining incorrigibly insane of the galaxy."  Wait, so what was that place that Inspector Luger was running? A health spa?

 

2)Governor Cory is played by the legendary Keye Luke, shame he doesn't get more to do here.

 

3)"A total of fifteen incurably insane out of billions..." Oh, come on, we've seen that many loons in Starfleet alone!

 

4)Steve Ihnat is obviously having fun as Garth, yet another Federation/Starfleet legend gone over the edge.

 

5)As is the lovely Yvonne Craig as Marta - when I was a kid, I totally missed that this was the same actress as Batgirl. "Goodbye, darling, I'll miss you."

 

6)"Queen's to Queen's level three."  Garth doesn't seem to have considered the possibility that Kirk might have taken even the most elementary security precautions.

 

7)Shatner gets to do some swell overacting portraying Garth having a temper fit as Kirk.

 

8)"Why can't I blow off just one of his ears?"

 

9)"It is somewhat remniscent of the dances that Vulcan children do in nursery school."  I wouldn't of thought dancing was logical.

 

10)"You, Captain, are second only to me as the finest military commander in the galaxy."  Kiss-up. Worse, incompetent kiss-up.

 

11)"I agree there was a time when war was necessary and you were our greatest warrior." It's interesting listening to Kirk and Garth talk here. Their conversation - along with a few other hints in other episodes - almost makes it sound as if the Federation isn't all that old - that it came about as the result of a war that happpened not only within their lifetimes, but not much more than fifteen or twenty years ago.

 

12)"He's my lover and I have to kill him."

 

13)"You were the prototype."  Yeah, they must have worked the bugs out in the later models.

 

14)"Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Lee Kuan, Krotus!"  They added a name to the list!

 

15)I'd forgotten that Marta got blown up! Wow, that was pretty brutal!

 

16)Why didn't Spock just zap them both at the end? Would've saved some time.

 

Overall:

Not a bad episode, considering that it's a re-hash of a couple of earlier stories. You almost feel sorry for Garth at the end, though. he was much more fun as a nutjob.

No Star Trek person ever specifies which "Caesar" they're referring to.

 

For about 30 years, Singapore was run by a guy named "Lee Kuan Yew", who may turn 90 this year.

When I worked for a TV station, we had a manilia file folder that was chocked full of one page sysnopsis and press releases of each of the original Star Trek episodes.  We were expected to make up one line promos from this stuff to promote the Star Trek episode of the week that was coming up.  We only knew that it was episode #56 that was scheduled for Saturday night or #57 for Sunday at 11:30 p.m.

As a result, you got a lot of exactly the same descriptive line, used over and over again, both in TV Guide and in on-air announcer copy. 

"Coming up tonight at 11;30 on Star Trek.... Captain Kirk and the doctor are shocked to learn someone has stollen Spock's Brain!   Join the crew for another wild adventure on Star Trek, tonight at 11:30  on WKZO TV 3."

 

But the really GREAT thing was when some Paramont intern or TV Guide flack writer got a hold of the list of descriptions, and decided to write alternative descriptions of the episodes. Suddenly, you got much more interesting teases appearing in their listings, such as "Kirk and crew beam down to Cestus 3 only to learn their outpost has been wiped out!"  

So much more intriguing that to learn, Cptain Kirk must fight a Gorn for the amusement of a race watching the outcome."

or worse yet...

"Learn the recipe for creating your own gunpowder as the creators of Star Trek put the nation's youth at risk in tonight's episode."

 

These last two examples actually made me tune in on two occassions to see what in the world they were talking about!



The Baron said:

The Tholian Web:

Written by Judy Burns and Chet Richards

Directed by Herb Wallerstein

 

Synopsis: Kirk falls into a crack between universes.

 

Thoughts:

1)The eventual fate of the Defiant was revealed in an episode of Enterprise, and a new ship of the same name was introduced in the later seasons of Deep Space Nine.

 

2)"Has there ever been a mutiny on a starship before?" "Absolutely no record of such an occurrence, Ensign."

 

3)The life support suits look a little better in this one.

 

4)Interesting design on the Tholians.

 

5)"The renowned Tholian punctuality."

 

6)The Tholian Web seems an awfully limited-use weapon, very slow to set up.

 

7)"The Captain left a message tape."  That was a nice scene, though it would have been funny if halfway into it someone had taped over it.

 

8)Our first look into Uhura's quarters.

 

9)"Doctor, I'm not going mad! I did see Captain Kirk!" "Also, Jimmy Hoffa! And the Easter Bunny!"

 

10)Poor Uhura has to lie there and listen to Chekov screaming. You'd think they'd have an isolation ward or a cone of silence or something.

 

11)"Theragen? A nerve gas used by the Klingons."  "And which McCoy has a supply of, apparently.

 

12)"Does it make a good mix with Scotch?"  "It should." "I'll let you know."  Shouldn't it worry Spock or McCoy that this is Scotty's first thought in this situation?

 

13)A nice touch that Spock welcome s Uhura and Chekov bac to duty - despite it all, he's not completely without heart.

 

14)Interesting that McCoy and Spock lie to Kirk at the end. Guess Spock forgot that Vulcans never lie.

 

Overall:

An OK episode - an interesting premise.

I don't think McCoy had some of the stuff, I think that -as we saw with various drug compounds that he happened to have handy in his portable medical kit- the science of synthesizing compounds was so advanced that he could probably make just about anything by having some basic chemical building blocks. Limited in the portable hypo but probably not that limited on the ship itself.

The web probably would have been built faster if one of the ships hadn't been damaged.



The Baron said:

Is There in Truth No Beauty? :

Written by Jean Lisette Aroeste

Directed by Ralph Senensky

 

Synopsis: In which our heroes encounter a creature no one can look at.

 

Thoughts:

1)"Humans who get even a glimpse of Medusans have gone insane." An interesting idea.  I always thought of the Medusans as more benevolent versions of the sort of critters that our Howard used to write about.

 

2)Why do they have to clear the tranporter room if the Medusan's in a box? They don't make Kirk leave the room at the end.

 

3)And we get the second appearance of Diana Muldaur, this time as Miranda Jones, Cyrano's more successful sister.

 

4)We also see the IDIC symbol, which I gather they'd hoped to market.

 

5)Couldn't Doctor Boyfriend figure out a way to kill Kollos without looking at him? Did he forget what would happen? Or was he trying to set up a perfect insanity defense?  Would an insanity defense work if you deliberately did something that you knew would drive you insane?

 

6)The music in this is very different in this one - lots of eerie stuff, and not so many of the usual music cues.

 

7)"She'll kill you if you love her!" Hey, it happens.

 

8)I like the idea of the sensor dress.

 

9)"You are blind, and there's some things you simply cannot do."  Tell that to Geordi La Forge.

 

Overall:

An OK episode, with some interesting ideas. It's funny to see Kirk's "Mister Smooth" act utterly fail to win over Miranda.

 

 

 

I think they cleared the corridors on the off chance that the box would be dropped and open. I think that the goggles prevented physical injury, the medusan gave off light after all, not mental stress.

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield:

Telpplay by Oliver Crawford/Story by Lee Cronin

 

Synopsis: Our heores get caught up in a race war.

 

Thoughts:

1)"Yet you are pumping him full of your noxious potions as if he were a human."  I'm with Spock - McCoy must have excellent malpractice insurance.

 

2)Lou Antonio is good as Lokai, but Frank Gorshin has some really intense moments as Bele. We see hints here of how Gorshin would have made a much better Joker than Romero did. And that's no disrespect to Romero, I just happen to think Gorshin might have been better for the part.  I also like how neither of their characters was made completely sympathetic - Bele comes across as a fascist, and Lokai comes across as the sort of rabble-rouser who likes to get other people to do his fighting for him. I notice that their faces are the only place where they have skin exposed - to save on make-up, I imagine.

 

3)"That's in the southernmost part of the galaxy, in an an uncharted quarter." "Southernmost"?

 

4)You monotone humans are all alike!" The whole "blackwhite vs. whiteblack" thing is a little heavy-handed a metaphor for my liking - the episode almost comes across like a lost Twilight Zone with that show's tendency to have an obvious "moral". Oh, well, at least it's not like He-Man with all the characters coming on at the end to re-hash the episode's message.

 

5)It seems perfectly logical to me that Federation starships would have some kind of a "self-destruct" for situations where it was a dire necessity that a given ship not fall into hostile hands.  I happen to suspect that Kirk felt that he had Bele's measure and that he wouldn't have to go the whole nine yards of blowing up the ship. On the other hand, it does sort of bug me that Bele could apparently take over the ship but not stop the self-destruct, especially as he easily disables it later in the episode.

 

6)The Star Trek Encyclopedia pretty much hints that Bele's spaceship was invisible to save the cost of producing a model.

 

7)"I once heard that on some of your planets people believe they are descended from...apes."  "A planet where MEN evolved from APES?"

 

8)So, in 50,000 years of chasing Lokai, Bele never once checked in to see how things were going at home?

 

9)"You both must end up dead if you don't stop hating!"  Shatner does pretty well with Kirk's anti-hate bit at the end.

 

10)You know, for nigh-immortal supermen, both Lokai and Bele look agonized by their jog through the Enterprise. I find it interesting that the transporter room was left unguarded.  I suspect that at some point, Kirk reached a point of thinking, "Screw it, let 'em go, so we can get out of here."

 

11)"Do you suppose that's all they ever had, sir?" "No, but it's all they have left."

 

Overall:

As I say, a bit heavy-handed, but better than I remember it being.

 

 

 

 

 

Whom Gods Destroy, Is There In Truth No Beauty, Let This Be Your Last Battleground - one point of quality that did not go away in the third season was the great episode titles.

I thought that it was emotional stress instead of physical stress that made them look so strung out as they ran through the corridors. I thought a better ending for the episode would have been if Spock convinced Bele to just let Lokai have the dead planet and convince him to join Starfleet or at least live on Vulcan for a while to learn emotional control.

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