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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When I first saw Star Trek 4, I thought the probe was the doomsday machine given the angle of the shots that were used until they clarified but I even told my companion at the time.

MIRROR, MIRROR has long been a favorite of mine.  Yet for some reason, I wasn't particularly looking forward to it this time.  Maybe those DS9 sequels have ruined it for me?  Ah well.  I enjoyed it tonight anyway.  It's interesting that so soon after he supplied the voice for Nomad, Vic Perrin ("The Control Voice" from THE OUTER LIMITS) returned as the leader of the Halkans.

The general concensus at the IMDB is that this episode is extrememly fun despite being so nasty & intense.  I think that about sums it up.  Also, the situation is so fast-paced, you never have time to think or-- pardon the phrase-- "agonize" over it.  How cool is Spock with a beard?  Sulu with a scar?  Chekov in "The Booth"? Marlena-- possibly the sexiest woman to ever appear on the show?  (Barbara Luna had previously appeared in THE OUTER LIMITS episode "It Crawled Out Of The Woodwork", one of the SCARIEST episodes in that entire series!!)  I noticed Uhura's dress was much longer in this episode-- perhaps to make up for the bare mid-driff.  (Both versions of the uniform probably used the exact same amount of material-- heh heh.)  I had a poster of Uhura in this outfit on my wall once, years back!

Gotta love Sulu's attempt to take command.  "Mr. Spock has order to kill you.  He will succeed... apparently.  But you will also appear to have killed him, following a fierce battle.  Regretable... but it will leave me in command!"  Boy, that didn't last long.  I'm reminded of the SOUTH PARK episode that made fun of this story.  Eric Cartman and the other kids from the evil parallel universe all had beards, just like Spock-- even though they were little kids!

I missed who was credited with music this time, but it appears it was reused cues.  I recognized music from THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE, specifically, the music heard when spock was having his confrontation with Decker on the bridge.

THE DEADLY YEARS, meanwhile, has never been a favorite, but at least it's watchable.  Thematically, it's a follow-up to MIRI, in that a landing party beams down and immediately picks up a rare disease which will kill them in less than a week.  Unlike the earlier episode, it's safe to beam back up (good thing, as they had already beamed back up before they realized they were infected!!).  And so the bulk of the story becomes a "plague of the week" show, in the manner of the many, many doctor shows that were so popular in the 50's & 60's.

Further, Kirk has a reunion with a woman he was apparently VERY serious about 6 years earlier, but with whom he broke things off because their careers took them in 2 different directions.  One MIGHT almost have connected that this woman, a medical doctor and researcher, could have been the woman referred to by Gary Mitchell in WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE (a thought that never crossed my mind until now), except that particular detail was very specifically followed up on in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN.  I guess Kirk had serious affairs with at least 2 such women, then.

In the midst of all the gloom and doom, some almost out of of place (yet actually quite welcome) humor comes in the form of Chekov, the only member of the landing party unaffected, who has to suffer test after test after test as they try to find out what's killing them, and why he's not dying!

A further complication arises in the form of Commodore Stocker, described by Kirk as a "desk-bound paper-pusher", who is anxious to get to Starbase 10, and then, feels he must remove Kirk from Command when his faculties fail, in order to reach Starbase 10 to save Kirk's life.  It's a very sad, uncomfortable scene when Spock is forced to convene a competency hearing, and every one of the witnesses clearly hates to be giving their honest testimony (including the latest yeoman, who is one really pretty woman).

And then, we have the 2 really STUPID incidents of the story, both connected with Stocker.  First, HE takes command, instead of handing it over to Sulu, who has been in command multiple times before this, and shown great competency in tough combat situations.  Second, Stocker orders a direct course thru the Romulan Neutral Zone.  Even if the Romulans didn't attack (WHICH THEY DID!!!), wouldn't this be enough for Starfleet to bring Stocker up on charges???

The make-up in this story is pretty amazing.  All the affected characters keep looking older and OLDER as the story goes on.

Just as in MIRI, the cure is more painful than the disease, but in minutes, Kirk is back in charge, and for the 2nd time, uses the "Corbomite Device" bluff to get his ship out of trouble.  It's clear from the looks on Sulu & Chekov's faces that they know there is NO SUCH DEVICE.  There never was a self-destruct device installed on board the Enterprise... until the 3rd season episode, LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD.  I cannot imagine Kirk ever, under any circumstances, deliberately blowing up The Enterprise.  (So, let's just hurl curses at the idiots who wrote STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, and try to pretend those movies never happened.)

Fred Steiner & Sol Kaplan are credited with music this time out.  I'm not sure what Fred Steiner music was reused, but the Sol Kaplan music is plainly obvious.  It's from THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE.  Not only is the Spock-Decker confrontation music heard again (for the 2nd episode in a row), but the action music, including the climactic "Kirk Does It Again" track is heard, during the Romulan attack.

I agree... I thought the same thing as well...but couldn't figure out how it would tie in with the whales....

John Moret said:

When I first saw Star Trek 4, I thought the probe was the doomsday machine given the angle of the shots that were used until they clarified but I even told my companion at the time.

"couldn't figure out how it would tie in with the whales"

Something that I don't think anyone has EVER really discussed, looked into, or tried to explain, is exactly what the hell that probe was, who sent it, was anyone or anything inside it piloting it, etc. etc. etc.  One might think, given its shape, that it was a spaceship designed for a whale... but how could a whale build such a thing?

It's amazing, given how well most of the film holds together, and how extremely entertaining it is, that the entire plot hinges on something that just doesn't make any sense at all.

Maybe the dolphins from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy checking up on their whale-brethen?


It was an UNMANED probe...no inidcation that there were creatures inside, nor expected to be.

We've been sending unmaned probes outside the solar system for years.

Which was why Kirk and Krew went back to the 20th century to get George and Gracie (the whales, not Burns & Allen but man THAT would have been a great movie!), they needed to answer the probe and there was no one on board to parlay with.


Written by Robert Bloch

Directed by Jospeh Pevney


Synopsis:  Our heroes encounter a haunted castle.



1)The dead guy transporting was pretty creepy.


2)The Ghost Witches are pretty goofy.


3)DeSalle comes across as a bit of a stiff.


4)Korob is also pretty goofy.


5)So, we have another really powerful enemy with bad info about humanity, just like Trelane.


6)"You can't think a man to death."  It's true, hitting him with something heavy is usually more efficacious.


7)"...But I'll bet you creditsd to navy beans we can put a dent in it."


8)There's a nice little throwaway bit in the dungeon where Shatner looks at the skeleton and tilts his head at the same angle, just for a second.


9)"The cat is the most ruthless, the most terrfying of animals."


10)"Captain, a little more alacrity, if you please."  Vulcan for "Hurry up, you idiot!"


11)Good thing Sylvia spends ten minutes yowling at them from off-screen, rather than, oh, I don't know, attacking them immediately, maybe?


12)"Don't let her touch the wand, Captain."   Advice Kirk should follow more often.


13)"Korob and Sylvia as they really are." Goofy little puppets.



For me, at least, this is easily the lamest episode to date, and from such a good writer, too. There's a germ of an interesting idea here, but the follow-through is really rotten.

IIRC, this was Star Trek's Halloween episode.

12) "Don't let her touch the wand, Captain." Advice Kirk should follow more often.

Bravo, Sir!

As for the puppets, weird looking, true but obviously made from scraps from the wardrobe department and pipe cleaners. You can see the strings!

Without watching it again (will eventually), I think the implication was that the probe passed by Earth billions of years ago and learned the language of prehistoric whales, and only knew how to talk to whales. Of course, the storyline of the humpback whales having gone extinct reflects a concern at the time. Since then conservation measures have (so far) preserved the species.

Philip Portelli said:

Which was why Kirk and Krew went back to the 20th century to get George and Gracie (the whales, not Burns & Allen but man THAT would have been a great movie!), they needed to answer the probe and there was no one on board to parlay with.

Tonight:  I MUDD and THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES.  Incredible that these 2 were filmed back-to-back!!!

Both episodes reuse music from THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE (the Spock-Decker scene), while TRIBBLES also reuses music from THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER (!!!).  However, Jerry Fielding most definitely wrote a lot of NEW music for TRIBBLES, notably the bar-room brawl and the "Tribble" theme (that sort-of sickening-sounding piece).

It's obvious, watching the stories in this sequence, that Scotty is not interested n shore leave in TRIBBLES, because the last time he had shore leave (WOLF IN THE FOLD) it didn't go well.  (Come to think of it, checking the broadcast schedule, NBC actually ran WOLF and TRIBBLES back-to-back!)

Incredibly, Roger C. Carmel was appearing as one of the regulars on Desilu's THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW when he made his 2nd appearance on STAR TREK.  However, as he got himself fired off the sitcom (by insisting on a pay hike when the network refused to give them any more money), this may explain why he didn't come back in the 3rd season.  (Well, that and Fred Freiberger feeling STAR TREK should not be doing comedy episodes... GRRRRR.)

Stanley Adams, meanwhile, later this same season, would make his INFAMOUS guest-appearance on LOST IN SPACE in what is considered by some as the "worst" episode of that show's entire run.  I think there are quite a few that are much dumber, but that's me.

I MUDD is another of those stories that really feels more like LOST IN SPACE than STAR TREK, only, better.  I'm not sure what TRIBBLES feels like.  Maybe a GOMER PYLE or McHALE'S NAVY ?

Rumor has it they wanted John Colicos to come back for TRIBBLES, but he was busy elsewhere.  So instead, they brought back William Campbell.  He didn't really get to do nearly as much here as in THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS.  Meanwhile, for decades I watched this episode, over and over and over, and never recognized Campbell's sidekick as Michael Pataki, who later turned up in such things as McCLOUD, WKRP IN CINCINNATI, and HALLOWEEN 4.  He may be the most famous Klingon of all, given that he's the one who goads Scotty into starting the bar-fight.

The guest-stars I really recognized, of course, were William Schallert (THE PATTY DUKE SHOW) and Whit Bissell (THE TIME TUNNEL).  After all the hard-headed pain-in-the-ass Federation officials Kirk has crossed paths with, it was nice-- and hilarious-- to see him show one of them a total lack of respect. When it turns out that the guy's assistant was actually the Klingon spy... it proved Kirk's attitude correct, if only by dumb luck.

I had heard that in the sequel DS9 episode "Trials and Tribulation" that they got the exact same actor to play the Klingon spy again.  But when I finally got to see that episode, I didn't recognise him. Should I have?

And, I'm sorry, but "a bomb in a tribble"....REALLY?  THat's the best you can do?

Why didn't Kirk and company feel the explosion off the port bow if it really did go off?

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