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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You NEVER saw the Klingons' ships until the 3rd season!!!


That's what throws me off a bit about the "jazzed-up" versions - you see Klingon ships in this version of "Errand of Mercy" and find youself thinking "Wait, those weren't there before!"

The Baron said: 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".

I think it was "runes" and "ruins."

THIS SIDE OF PARADISE actually strikes me now as almost reverse version of THE RETURN OF THE ARCHONS.  In both stories, you have people being zapped into placid peacefulness, and the possibility that eventually, the ship will be destroyed.  You really notice this when Sulu gets taken over ("It would be wrong to leave!") as he was taken over at the start of the earlier story.  But what a difference.  Instead of something sinister, and mechanical, it's benign, and organic. And this time, the entire crew is affected-- even Kirk, though that takes awhile.  The "romantic" score from SHORE LEAVE is reused here much more extensively, "Ruth's Theme" becoming "Leila's Theme".  I'm not really sure WHY Spock could not marry Leila, after all, his father married a human, except for their very different career paths.

I still remember the 1st time I saw this, thinking the plants which shot spores at people reminded me of the plants seen in THE OUTER LIMITS episode, "Specimen Unknown".  Except, those plant spores KILLED!

THE DEVIL IN THE DARK has always been a favorite of mine. It's just so intense, and spooky, and suspenseful.  Did anyone besides me ever notice, the FIRST guy to get killed in this story was played by Biff Elliot-- alias the very 1st "Mike Hammer" from the film I THE JURY ???  Can't miss that face, or voice!  Ken Lynch went on to become a regular on McCLOUD, starting with that show's 3rd season.  Barry Russo returned in a different role in THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER.

ERRAND OF MERCY is another classic.  This is 2 episodes in a row written by Gene Coon, and both feature the idea that things are NOT what they appear on the surface.  While DEVIL narrowed the regular cast down to just Kirk, Spock & McCoy, this one goes further, to just Kirk & Spock (though Sulu & Uhura appear very briefly on the bridge, along with George Sawara as another crewman, making 2 Asian actors manning those controls at the same time).

I've noticed that after Gene Coon took over, with a few exceptions (THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR, SPACE SEED), most of the newer episodes took place off the ship, or only on the bridge.  The rest of the ship, and its extensive crew, all but disappeared, as the storytelling became simpler and more streamlined.  Probably cheaper to do it that way, too.

The fortress Kirk & Spock attack near the end of the episode is the SAME set seen in THE CAGE when Pike fought that barbarian guy with the sword.

John Colicos is SO cool in this story.  As is John Abbott as the city elder. 12 years later, Colicos would become a regular on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

I've completely lost track of how many times I've seen some of these stories over the decades.  They just never get old!

I'm pretty close on both those series...but usually can nail Star Trek.

George Poague said:

"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 can do that with Twilight Zone, but no other show. Certainly not Star Trek.

The CIty on the Edge of Forever:
Written by Harlan Ellison
"Do you know what you just did?" "He knows, Doctor. He knows." That scene was well-played.

I haven't read Ellison's book, but I understand he was bent out of shape that they changed his script regarding Edith Keeler's death. His script called for Spock to be logical and stop Kirk from saving her, instead of Kirk stopping McCoy from saving her. I think Ellison's version would have made Spock look like a robot.

In most cases I like adapted stories to follow the originals, but there are exceptions. In Peter Benchley's Novel JAWS, the shark and Robert Shaw's character end up EXACTLY like Ahab and Moby Dick, and the police chiefs wife and the Richard Dreyfus character are unpleasant. In the movie The characters are portrayed better and the shark's end is much more satisfying. In book versions of Benchley's THE DEEP and Fleming's GOLDFINGER, the main villain's fate in the movie is wasted on an underling.

Devil in the Dark: Is it really efficient to have all these outer space colonies so dependent on one rare element? "If we don't get this shipment of plotpointium to Wayoutthere VII, the entire colony will...die!"

In the DC Star Trek comic, there was a Horta with a voice box as part of the crew. Must have been hard on the decks, though. "No Blame I..."

Errand of Mercy: A very aggressive Kirk here, who quickly went from trying to stop a war to wanting to win the first battle. However the entire concept of the Organians took all the suspense out of every Federation/Klingon battle as it could not escalate too far. Not surprisingly, the Organians were never brought up in ST:the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine or Voyager.

The story I heard was that they wanted John Colicos for Trouble with the Tribbles but he was unavailable so they created William Campbell's Koloth. That's why he and Kirk acted like old buddies! "My dear Captain Kirk!"

Operation:Annihilate!: I will not lie! Those space-pancakes scared the bejeezus out of me when I was a kid! Hiding in the shadows waiting to pounce (Rao knows how!) and possessing you with a touch! Creepy! Perhaps there's a link between them and the similar parasites from ST:TNG episode Conspiracy.

I can't believe that no one ever brought back Peter Kirk or any of his future children in the various spin-off series or books. "Hi I'm Samuel James Kirk."

 "Are you Admiral Kirk's..."

"Yes, I'm his grand-nephew."

"Wow, are you in Command training?"

"No I'm a xeno-biologist."


City on the Edge of Forever: I, too, have never read Harlan Ellison's book though I know about his objections. However, the filmed version makes for better TV. It emphasizes Kirk's sense of duty and makes him a tragic hero. It may not be the BEST Star Trek episode but it's definitely in its Top Five!

"Rice-Picker!" Still cracks me up! Especially with Spock not helping Kirk with his story. Not one bit!

When they made Star Trek: Generations and Kirk was living in his dream world, wouldn't it have been neat if they got Joan Collins to be a fantasy Edith Keeler in the 23rd century?

BTW, living on a ranch with horses isn't Kirk's perfect world. It's Shatner's! Kirk would have been aboard HIS Enterprise with Spock and McCoy by his side!


Phillip, I believe you are absolutely correct about the horsemanship supposed to be Shatner's nexus heaven, and not Kirk's.

Wouldn't that have been a surprise for Picard to have walked through the door and found Kirk sitting onthe bridge of the old enterprise with Spock and Bones at his side, if only for a cameo?

Picard: "Ambassador Spock, what are you doing here?  Admiral McCoy... I thought you had died on earth years ago...."

Bones: "Speak for yourself, chrome-dome...."

Spock: "It is not logical for you to be here, nor for us, either, captain.  You must go with him..."

Looking over the notes from "City on the Edge of Forever:"

Yes, the federation DOES deal with Guardian...it occurs in the very good sequel book, " Yesterday's Son". It's a good read, and would have worked well as a sequel single episode.

The ruin stones, and Ruined stones now make sense!

The Harlan Ellison book is quite good and very readable. It makes clear distinctions between what he wrote and what saw air

I remember seeing the closing line of that episode air live on network TV with my mom in the room and she gasped that they would allow such language to air.   Since then, every time I see it, I'm moved by the heartsick way that Kirk delivers it, regardless of how much benefit the Guardian could provide.  It's the perfect check-mate to tampering with time travel.

IIRC, the ranch scene was there at William Shatner's request. Possibly the same for Patrick Stewart's Dickensian fantasy, all it was missing was Tiny Tim!

As for "Let's get the hell out of here!", was that the first time it was used on TV?  I remember being equally

shocked when on an episode of M*A*S*H*, Hawkeye calls someone "You son of a B*tch!" What in the name of George Carlin were the rules??

Philip Portelli said:


As for "Let's get the hell out of here!", was that the first time it was used on TV?

I decided to take a look at your question, Philip.  Mainly because whenever anyone brings up the topic of a "first" on television, the conventional wisdom usually has it all wrong.  For example, I've seen The Brady Bunch, Green Acres, The Munsters, and I Love Lucy all variously described as being the "first" show to depict a man and wife occupying the same bed.  And they're all wrong.


In researching the matter, I took the tack that we're talking about the use of the word hell as an epithet---rather than simply referrring to the neitherworld.  In that latter usage, Star Trek had already used the word Hell on two previous episodes:


"Space Seed", airing on 16 February 1967; when Captain Kirk quotes Milton, "It is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven."


"The Alternative Factor", airing on 30 March 1967; when Lazarus tells his counterpart, "I'll chase you into the very fires of Hell!"


With so much television under the bridge, even by '67, there's no way I could really determine if another usage of the epithet "hell" was the first.  The schedules of 1950's television were jam-packed with anthology series, often broadcasting highly adult dramas---just the kind of stuff I skipped over as a youngster.  So the best I could do would be to determine if there was a television use of hell as an epithet that aired before "The City on the Edge of Forever", which aired on 06 April 1967.


It took a bit of looking, but I did find one.


In the Jack Webb series Dragnet.  In the episode "Kidnapping", which aired on 26 January 1967---a little over two months before "The City on the Edge of Forever"---during the course of the plot, a bank manager speaks to Sergeant Friday about the huge sum of cash demanded by the kidnapper as ransom.


"Sergeant," says the manager, "that's a hell of a lot of money."


So, while I cannot be sure when hell was first used as an epithet on television, I can say that "The City on the Edge of Forever" wasn't it.


Hope this helps.



Amok Time:

Written by Theodore Sturgeon

Directed by Joseph Pevney


Synopsis:  Spock has to swim upstream to spawn.



1)Nimoy makes "angry Spock" look really threatening.


2)"I suppose most of us overlook the fact that even Vulcans aren't indestructible." "No...we're not."


3)There's our first sighting of Chekov.


4)"It is a thing no outworlder may know,  except those very few who've been involved."


5)"The birds and the bees are not Vulcans, Captain." I love the way Shatner and NImoy play Kirk and Spock tiptoeing around this delicate subject here.


6)"How do Vulcans choose their mates, haven't you ever wondered?" "I guess the rest of us assumed that it was done quite logically."


7)"It is the pon farr - the time of mating."


8)The reconciliation scene between Spock and Chapel is well-done, too.


9)"By tradition, the male is accompanied by his closest friends. I also request McCoy accompany me." "I shall be honored, sir."  Whatever else we say about the relationship between Spock and McCoy, this episode makes it clear that they think of each other as friends.


10)"She is T'Pring - my wife."  Arlene Martel plays T'Pring well - she's got a good look for the part as well.


11)"This is the land of my family. It ihas been held by us for more than two thousand years."


12)Vulcan is hot, with a thinner atmosphere than Earth.


13)"T-Pau - theonly person to ever turn down a seat on the Federation Council." "T'Pau - officiating at Spock's wedding?" "He never mentioned that his family was this important.  Celia Lovsky was very well-cast as T'Pau.


14)Odd that his parents aren't there. I guess Vulcans do these things differently.


15)"He is deep in the plak tow - the blood fever."


16)T'Pau says "thee" when she should say "thou".


17)"Are thee Vulcan or art thee human?"


18)"All of Vulcan in one package, how can I back down in front of her?"  You idiot.


19)"This combat is to the death." D'Oh!


20)I wouldn't mind having a lirpa - not so wild about the ahn-woon.


21)"'Kill Spock'? That's not what we came to Vulcan for, is it?"


22)"I grieve with thee."


23)"I see no logic in preferring Stonn over me." I'm with Spock on that one. Stonn comes across as a bit of a stiff, even for a Vulcan.


24)"Logical. Flawlessly logical." "I am honored."


25)"After a time, you may find that 'having' is not so pleasing a thing after all as 'wanting'. It is not logical, but it is often true."


26)"Live long and prosper, Spock.""I shall do neither. I have killed my captian and my friend."  I wouldn't have been astonished to discover that T'Pau saw through McCoy's little gag and allowed as a means for all involved to save face - and survive intact.


27)"Grinning Spock" just seems kind of weird.


Overall: Another old favorite episode - well-cast with some interesitng insights into Vulcan life.


There's our first sighting of Chekov.

As many of you know, they introduced Chekov (with his Beatles haircut) when George Takei took a leave of absence to play a very Japanese version of a South Vietnamese officer in THE GREEN BERETS.

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