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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Interesting stuff, Commander.

I've always wondered about that, but I've never cared to delve into it enought to try to track it.

The Devil in the Dark:

Written by Gene L. Coon

Directed by Joseph Pevney


Synopsis: All they fought was a rock.



1)This is very much like a 50's horror movie,  with the mysterious creature killing them off one by one.


2)"I want no more deaths." "Except the bloody thing."


3)I think Spock just makes these odds of his up at random.


4)Spock almost seems spooked in this - his concern for saving the Horta goes out the window when Kirk seems to be in danger: "Kill it, Captain, quickly!"


5)The Horta was designed and was played by stuntman Janos Prohaska, who seemed to have played creatures in suits on just about every show back then.




7)"Mister Vanderberg and his men are here, and they're pretty ugly."  You're not that much to look at, yourself.


8)"I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer."


9)"By golly, Jim, I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!"


10)"Captain, the Horta is a remarkably intelligent and sensitive creature, with impeccable taste."  Who says Spock doesn't have a sense of humor?



A fun, exciting episode with an interesting creature.

I have the “photo-novel” of this one. I have only three photo-novels: “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” “Devil in the Dark” and “The Deadly Years” (four if you include ST:TMP). I kinda wish I had bought more of them back when they were being published, but I objected to the fact that thought balloons were added. (I know, I know… I was young and stupid.) Photo-novels were quite pricey on the back-issue market last time I checked.

TOMORROW IS YESTERDAY marks 3 light-hearted episodes since Gene Coon took over.  Definitely more "viewer-friendly", and about as far from THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR as you could get.  Interesting that the idea of time-travel was mentioned in the previous story (but turned out to be another lie), while here the Enterprise finds itself thrown back in time by accident.

The big question about this may always be, WHY did Kirk ever have Capt. Christopher beamed onto the Enterprise in the first place?  Wouldn't he have been safe ejecting from his cockpit and parachuting to the ground once his place was shaken to pieces?  Or, couldn't they have beamed him out, then quickly beamed him to the ground, not knowing what the heck just happened?  And then, why compound it with the security guard, who looked like he was too confused and shaken up to even want to leave the transporter platform?

I guess the centerpiece of the story is Kirk's interrogation by the security men (and the fight before that). It's hard to imagine such a level of humor turning up in any of the earlier stories produced by Roddenberry.

The end of the story, of course, has always been a sore point for me (and no doubt, countless other fans), as there's too many practical, logistical problems involved. Simply, it doesn't make any sense!  D.C. Fontana never seemed to let this bother her, as her later time travel story, "YESTERYEAR", also stemmed from a very dodgy premise.  (Spock must go back in time to fix the past; but, how did it get un-fixed in the first place?) This is nothing compared to many time-travel stories done on TV, but the irony was many years later, when the LOST IN SPACE feature film featured a time travel story, and after much thought, I realized the entire thing made PERFECT sense.  How did that happen?

Althought STAR TREK did several time travel stories, each in a somewhat different style, the obvious follow-up to this would have to be ASSIGNMENT EARTH, as they deliberately used the same technique to come back to the same general time period.  Ditto for STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, which also shares this story's semi-humorous tone.

Another thing I meant to note about "The Devil in the Daek" is that it was during this episode that Shatner got word that his dad died. I give him full credit for "going on with the show" during what must have been a very trying time. 

I am very sorry I haven’t had the time to participate on the board in general and in this discussion in particular for the past several weeks. I have some time today, though, and I caught up reading through the first seven pages over lunch. [I am relived the discussion was able to proceed without me. :) ] Here are some thoughts that came to mind after having read the discussion through December 22. I’m not going to take the time to pull quotes; y’all’ll just have to muddle though as best you can. ;)

It wasn’t emphacised in the movies, but Saavik was a Vulcan/Romulan hybrid.

So, there’s going to be a new ST movie which may or may not feature Lt. Gary Mitchell. I recently came into a stack a recent Star Trek comic books through the generosity of someone on this board. It is my intention to read these comics prior to the release of the movie. I am given to understand that one of them featured a “new universe” retelling of “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” I’m curious to see how the comic and/or movie version compares to the original.

On McCoy’s bigotry: We’ve discussed this in the past and I have always erred on the side of giving McCoy the benefit of the doubt. However, I can guarantee you that an attitude and behavior such as McCoy demonstrates, if exhibited in my place of business, would warrant a trip to HR and mandatory classes in “sensitivity training” at the very least. (And Spock would be sitting right beside him for thecomment he made to Yeoman Rand at the end of “The Enemy Within.”)

“The Naked Time” has long been a favorite of mine (for reasons already elaborated on by Kirk G.). One of my college roommates (perhaps a candidate for sensitivity training himself) always referred to this episode as “No b*tch

On the chronometer running backwards: in the original (i.e., “pre-enhanced”) version, the chonomet had dials.

You know, it never occurred to me that “The Naked Time” could have led directly into ““Tomorrow is Yesterday.” Now that it’s been pointed out to me, though, it makes perfect sense.

Reading about Nurse Chapel’s name in early drafts reminds me that Captain Pike was called “Captain Spring” and “Captain Winter” in various drafts of “The Cage.

The “Vulcanian Expedition”: one of the paperbacks (I think, but don’t ask me which one) attempted to account for the use of the use of the word “Vulcanian” (as opposed to “Vulcan”) in two early episodes by pointing out what an abject failure the first diplomatic mission to the planet Vulcan was culturally, right down to getting the name wrong. In other words, it’s quite correct to refer to the “Vulcanian Expedition” within the Star Trek universe, because that’s what it was (incorrectly) called.

The little girl Shatner picks up and holds near the end of “Miri” is one of his own two daughters.

I was bought “The Star Trek Cookbook” as a gift for the wife of a geek friend of mine. She was a fan of TNG and also happens to be a good cook. Back when I lived in St. Louis, we used to take turns hosting Star Trek-themed dinners at each other’s houses. We had (among other dishes and beverages I can no longer recall), Tranya, Cardassian hot fish juce, and Klingon roast Targ.

I thought many of the concepts introduced throughout the course of the show could have borne some follow-up. One of the best of the movies was based on that concept. Although there are certainly plenty of other episodes I would have chosen to follow up first, I can’t argue with the results. I always thought a good sequel television show would have been about a group of Federation social scientists who would follow-up the “cowboys” and explorers such as Kirk and crew.

Clint Howard as Balok is another example of unusual or unexpected casting (in this case a child to play an adult, similar to the casting of women to play men in “The Cage”) in order to achieve an “otherworldly” feel to the aliens.

Okay. That’s enough for now. In the days to come I hope to catch up to this discussion and remain caught up going forward.

I haven't seen the enhanced version of "The Naked Time"...so when we talk about chronometers running backwards, then reversing again, all I ever remember seeing were those polished white ivory dials.  What are they doing now? Digital red letters that flip down and then reverse to count upwards?

It's kind of an LCD, IIRC.

I've read amother page of this discussion.

On Pike’s Age: That line of dialogue notwithstanding, Pike and Kirk couldn’t have been the same age. A much more important fact of the show is that James Kirk was the youngest Starfleet officer ever to be promoted to captain. If Kirk had been captain for a year or so and Spock had served under Pike for eleven years, it just doesn’t jibe. More likely Kirk is about the same age now as Pike when he became captain.

My “Menagerie” Theory: The Talosians were worried that human beings might learn their illusion making abilities. Huh? How is that something someone “learns”? No, my theory is that the Talosians were telepaths (in that they could read minds and project thoughts), and they were perfectly willing to allow others to believe they could create virtual reality scenarios with their minds, but no, I just don’t buy it. That’s not a “learnable” skill. I like to believe that those little cells were, in fact, small holodecks. The secret of holodeck technology is, OTOH, a learnable skill, one that the Talosians may well have inherited from their forbears.

I’ve finished reading another page.

Presumably because everything must relate to everything else, one of the more recent Star Trek books tied Captain Kirk’s line “I’ve always known I’ll die alone” back to his experiences with Kodos the Executioner (somehow; I forget the exact details).

The camera angles from the bridge scenes of “The Corbomite Maneuver” were highly inventive and imaginative, but I have often found that to be the case with early episodes of TV shows. Just as time has obviously passed between the first two pilots, a certain amount of time has also obviously passed between “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and “The Corbomite Maneuver.” There are a lot of visual clues that the crew was still being assembled and duty assignments finalized. I like to think of the second pilot as the “shakedown cruise” before their historic five year mission has officially begun. Metatextual proof: WNMHGB has no opening voiceover.

Mark Lenard is the only actor to have played a Romulan, a Vulcan, a Klingon (in ST: TMP)… and an ape (in the Planet of the Apes TV series). You can bet Spock noticed the resemblance between the Romulan Commander and Sarek! That’s the in-story reason which led him to become an ambassador and work toward Romulan/Vulcan Reunification in his later years.

The fact that Romulans eventually started using ships of Klingon design hinted at a Romulan/Klingon alliance, but of course the real reason is that the Romulan “Bird of Prey” models were lost between seasons.

THE RETURN OF THE ARCHONS, unusually, begins in mid-story. Then Sulu gets zapped. Watching reruns of this as a kid, I recall that opening bit in the transporter room always remembering me of CATSPAW, where they beam someone back up, who then speaks and drops dead.

At first it seems another excuse to use existing backlot sets & costumes, but this one is about 50 times more interesting and watchable than MIRI.  All that group-mindlessless, makes me wonder if there was any particular thing the writer wanted to comment on-- Communism, Religion, Corporations, or just any sort of peer-pressure over-conformity in general? The underground dungeons in this also used to remind me of CATSPAW.  I only mention that because that was always a favorite of mine, yet for years, somehow, I kept missing it.

If they were all supposed to be so calm and peaceful and serene, how come that one guy got all bent out of shame with religious fervor and started accusing his fellow, "You MOCK the lawgivers!!!" He didn't seem very serene.  Neither did McCoy in that cell after he heard Kirk talk about "pulling the plug".

Landru deciding to pull the Enterprise down out of orbit-- scary stuff.  This sort of thing happened a few times on the show, including in THE APPLE, but I think this was the first time it cropped up.

It's been done to death, not only on STAR TREK but other shows as well, but I wonder, in real life, would any sort of computer ever self-destruct just because someone argued it to death?

Wouldn't a much-better name for this story have been, "THE WILL OF LANDRU" ?

A TASTE OF ARMAGEDDON is another one that I've always found immensely watchable.  Here we have the most myopic ambassador in ST history, who insists on putting The Enterprise in danger deliberately, AND violating the explicitly expressed wishes of a planet he's travelling to, just to force opening diplomatic relations... and why?  Crazy enough, for the 2nd episode in a row, we have a society where conformity is all, even if it means self-destruction, computers are more in charge than people, and the Enterprise is under attack while Kirk & co. are down on the planet.  It's no wonder, in this case, that NBC scheduled SPACE SEED in between these 2 stories!!!  I think, for once, someone didn't want to draw attention to 2 such similar plots being run back-to-back.

David Opatashu is terrific in this. I've also seen him in TARZAN AND THE VALLEY OF GOLD and EXODUS.  Barbara Babcock has much less to do, but what a gorgeous lady!  She would return (tragically) in PLATO'S STEPCHILDREN, and also played the voice of Trelane's mother (THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS) and Gary Seven's cat, Isis (ASSIGNMENT: EARTH).  But she may be best known as Grace Gardner in HILL STREET BLUES.  She also played Clint Eastwood's wife in SPACE COWBOYS.

I just noticed something strange about the design of this story.  The matte painting of the city exterior looks very futuristic.  But the interior corridors looks very "retro".  I mean, this looks like it stepped right out of the 1939 BUCK ROGERS.  I remember watching that a few years back and thinking how much the architecture on Saturn looked identical to that seen in certain STAR TREK episodes decades later, and here's the example I was thinking about.  The council chamber also could have stepped right out of DC's LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES in the late 50's or 60's.  Very minimalist, but effective.  It just strikes me now, the interiors don't match the city exteriors in any way!

Ensign Tamura (Miko Mayama) adds another interesting "ethnic" presence to the crew.  Too bad we never saw her again.  I see where she later guested in 3 episodes of-- of all things-- THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.

The computer room this time is bigger, more elaborate, and has much more screen-time than the one in the previous story.  But both meet the same fate-- more or less. 2 stories in a row, Kirk finds a society that just doesn't make any sense, and in less than 24 hours, changes everything.  Who does he think he is, Doctor Who? That's what they get for threatening his ship!!!

Errand of Mercy:

Written by Gene L. Coon

Directed by John Newland


Synopsis:  Kirk and Spock fight the Klingons on Organia!



1)First mention of the Klingons - the new FX really jazz up the space battle scenes. Shame the actual Klingons mostly look only slightly more threatening than Roger Collins.


2)"Another Armenia, Belgium...:


3)John Abbot does well as Ayelborne - you spend most of the episode wanting to smack him, then you realize he's "God".


4)"The Klingons are a military dictatorship."


5)"Vulcan merchants are not uncommon, Captain."


6)Kor is played by the great and powerfu John Colicos, who really makes the character a believable threat and yet somehow likable.


7)"Have we a ram among the sheep?"


8)"I don't trust men who smile too much."  It's true, they're always up to something.


9)Of course, Kirk might as well be wearing an "I'M NOT AN ORGANIAN" tee shirt.


10)Spock can easily beat the mind-probe.


11)"Always it is the brave ones who die."  So, cowardice is a survival trait?


12)"I'm used to the idea of dying, but I have no desire to die for the likes of you."


13)Why do heels in these things give the faces time to "think it over"? They always end up escaping!


14)"You have done well to get this far through my guards." "I belive you will find that several of them are no longer in perfect operating condition."


15)Do you ever get the feeling that Klingons was always being watched?


16)"We have the right..." "To wage war, Captain?"


17)"It is true that in the future, you and the Klingons will become fast friends, you will work together."  "In fact, eventually every third episode of Deep Space Nine will be about Klingon politics."


18)"A shame, Captain. It would have been glorious."



Another favorite episode - a good introduction to what would become a major "enemy" race. Lots of good dialogue in this.


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