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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Although, interestingly, our first sight of Chekov is him interacting with Sulu.

What may be surprising to some fans, watching the 1st season, is how few episodes Sulu was actually in.  They had a regular rotating thing going on with those 2 positions on the bridge, just about every episode had somebody in there you never saw before or after.  It was quite a change when it became Sulu and Chekov on a regular basis.

I just watched CATSPAW, the 1st episode filmed for the 2nd season, which was Chekov's 1st episode.  Strangely, Sulu & Scotty were both part of an away team that got brainwashed.  When Kirk, Spock & McCoy went down to the planet, Kirk left Scotty's assistant, DeSalle in charge of the ship. What a hard-case he was!  Angrily yelling orders around, and kept calling Chekov "MISTER!"  DeSalle had previously appeared in THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS !

It seems there were many elements in CATSPAW that were recycled from earlier episodes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives the show a sense of familiarity, and allows the "new" elements of the story to stand out without having to do too much explanation.  You've got someone beaming back up to the ship and collapsing, not to mention a dungeon scene, and McCoy coming back brainwashed (RETURN OF THE ARCHONS), and a castle (THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS).

I always got a big kick out of this one, and compared to GOTHOS, it's amazing how long it seems to take them to get to the castle in the story.  Korab is kinda cool, and Sylvia is very slinky & seductive.  It's sad that Theo Marcuse, who had such a career in the 60's, passed away shortly after making this episode.  I've seen him in quite a few other things, but always connect him mostly with this. I've also seen Antoinette Bower in something else. Not the prettiest woman I've ever seen, but she definitely has something "exotic" going on.

It's interesting that you have 2 aliens together on a mission, and they're not on the same page at all when it comes to how they interpret their orders or goals.  Korab obviously could have become friends with Kirk & crew, eventually, but Sylvia was really in it for the power, and the "sensations".  I LOVED the look of the creatures at the end of the story.  One of the MOST "alien" looking aliens to ever appear on the show.

A year after this, the 2nd season of SPIDER-MAN had an episode, "The Evil Sorcerer", where the key to defeating the guy was identical to here-- his "sceptre", which, when smashed, caused all the guy's power to evaporate.

It's very noticable if you watch these in production order, that this episode had a brand-new score written for it, one of the best, I feel, which wound up getting recycled endlessly over the next 2 years.

I’ve started watching one episode of Star Trek per night, picking up where I left off a while ago. I think I’m a couple of episodes ahead of you at this point, but that’s okay; I’ll probably fall behind soon enough. (Last night we watched “Metamorphosis”.) Whereas I think watching season one episodes in production order is vitally important (especially early on), I don’t feel that way about seasons two and three, and will be watching them in “DVD order,” same as you. Still playing catch-up, here are some thoughts about…

CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER

For years I heard that the primary difference between Ellison’s teleplay and the final version was the ending. In the broadcast version, Edith Keeler walks in front of a truck, McCoy sees and tries to save her, and Kirk stops him, sacrificing the woman he loves to save their future. But in Ellison’s original, it is the emotionless Mr. Spock who stops McCoy because Kirk is willing to sacrifice the future for the woman he loves. Quite a difference! But that’s the only one. The script begins with a landing party beaming down to a planet to execute a crew member by firing squad! Ellison was one of several writers who submitted first season scripts on the basis of nothing more than the series’ bible and having seen the second pilot. Ellison’s story, good as it was, was very “un-Star Trek,” and Roddenberry was, IMHO, perfectly justified in making any changes he saw fit for what was, after all, his show. Roddenberry did not do near the injustice to the original story Joan Collins would during interviews in later years, describing Edith Keeler as a character who “loved Hitler.”

I response to the question you asked, Bob, the Guardian popped up again in “Yesteryear,” the most popular episode of the animated series. The Federation has set up a research facility on the planet, and something happens to cause Spock to have died when he was a boy. Because he was at the center of the disturbance, the adult Spock must travel back in time in order to prevent his own death.

Roddenberry did not do near the injustice to the original story Joan Collins would during interviews in later years, describing Edith Keeler as a character who “loved Hitler.”

I hadn't heard Joan Collins quoted as saying that, but it sounds like her memory of the character was faulty, or confused with some other character. I do remember the line from the ST episode that her naive peace movement "was the right idea at the wrong time". This follows the conventional wisdom that nothing after Hitler was worth fighting against.

The part about "CITY" that always got me-- behind the scenes-- was that Harlan Ellison bitched endlessly about the way his script was so heavily re-written for the show, despite the fact that the version broadcast won awards.
 
    When you're writing for a TV show, you should write for the show.  Apparently, he didn't do any research on it, or just disagreed with Gene Roddenbery's vision.
 
    Because he was so offended by the changes, he refused to ever write for the show again, and later, made a point of bad-mouthing STAR TREK to where, when they did THE NEXT GENERATION, "real" sci-fi writers did not want to be associated with the show.
 
    By comparison, he got the job of story editor on the revival of THE TWILIGHT ZONE.  Many known, established writers got involved, perhaps because he was there.  This included Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke!!!  But because a network exec vetoed his Christmas script, he walked off the show after it had only been on the air less than 4 months.
 
    The guy's got an attitude problem.
 
    I saw the other day he was involved with BABYLON 5 in some way.  Story editor?  Consultant?  Not sure what he did.  I must be the only sci-fi fan who has never seen a single e[pisode of that show.  Although I did spend 9 months at a job using Lightwave, the 3D program used to create the show's effects.
 
 
 
 
    By the way, I forgot to mention...  OPERATION-- ANNIHILATE! once again felt very much like an OUTER LIMITS script that might have been modified to being a STAR TREK.  The monsters were VERY disturbing!!  However, CATSPAW felt more like a "serious" version of a LOST IN SPACE story.
 
    By the way, I love the music in CATSPAW.  It was reused so many times, I had to see the episode in production order before I realized that music had been written specifically for CATSPAW.  Very intense, both the spooky and the exciting stuff.  Gerald Fried at his best!
Just thought I'd mention... so far, the only episodes I've skipped have been...
 
WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE
MIRI
THE GALILEO SEVEN
THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER
 
 
Of these, the only one I like is the first one, but I was just in a funny mood.  I really wanted to start with THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER.  I think I've seen WHERE NO MAN... too many times, since I have the store-bought videotape of it.
 
It's great to have every episode, so you can watch all of them, even the bad ones, which tend to be more tolerable when you are also sure of seeing all the good ones.   But it's also fun, if you choose, to skip the bad ones altogether.  Hey, why not?
 
I also watched THE MENAGERIE twice!  I'm tempted to watch CATSPAW again, too.

I loved it when Joan Collins turned up on THE NANNY.  She played Max's father's 2nd wife.  In effect, once Fran married Max, Joan became her step-mother-in-law.  Max's father was played by Robert Vaughn!

METAMORPHOSIS
    This time, I'm gonna pass on 2 reviews from the IMDB.  Here's a guy who didn't like it...
 
 
I like Kirk's speech to Cochrane about what's out in the galaxy: "We're on 1,000 planets and spreading out. We cross fantastic distances, and everything's alive, Cochrane. Life everywhere. We estimate there are millions of planets with intelligent life. We haven't begun to map them. Interesting?" Hell yeah!

This episode bores the hell out of me. There's virtually no action, I hate Commissioner Hedford, a lot of time is spent talking to the Companion via the universal translator, and I was never particularly fond of the love story. Plus, the end of this episode is really sappy. But there aren't any embarrassing moments and very few holes in the storyline. A below average episode in my book, but not pathetic. I've given "Metamorphosis" a C- grade.
 
 
 
    Now, here's mine, from 3 years ago.
 
 
LOVE Trek
 
METAMORPHOSIS was my first exposure to the Shuttlecraft, having missed THE GALILEO SEVEN and not seen it until the series turned up in syndication. Between the 2 stories you'd think every time someone from The Enterprise flies one of these things they wind up stranded on an isolated planet. At least this time the locale was pleasant enough. When this episode first aired, the "Space Pod" had made its debut on LOST IN SPACE some weeks earlier, and I recall thinking how both shows having "smaller" craft seemed an interesting parallel.

Like GALILEO (and several other stories), it seems every Federation ambassador is ill-tempered and bossy beyond belief. At least this time the person in question had a fatal disease as her "excuse".

When Glenn Corbett shows up, a man 150 years out of his time, I can't help but think of Buck Rogers (and it seems to me Corbett would have made a terrific Buck!). It's a shame he passed away shortly before his character was "brought back" in ST: FIRST CONTACT, as he probably would have been perfect in that story at an older age. (I find it patently absurd that the later film's version of his character was so COMPLETELY different in appearance and character-- are we to believe they couldn't find an actor who would at least physically resemble the original?)

Considering his track record up to here, it's quite surprising that Gene Coon should do a story that focused almost entirely on ideas, emotions and verbal interaction. While some of his episodes have felt like THE WILD WILD WEST in space, this one's more like BONANZA-- "adult" drama with people just standing around and talk talk talking for most of the hour! (In effect, this could be seen as a fore-runner of many episodes of ST:TNG-- kinda like "IS THERE IN TRUTH NO BEAUTY".) George Duning's moody, romantic score is a perfect fit.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing and compelling aspects of the story involves love between 2 very different beings, and how the "backward"-thinking man describes it as "sick" and "immoral". That sounds all too contemporary even now! Yep, Gene Coon may have written this, but I suspect Gene Roddenberry was very proud of his having done so.

Never one of my favorites... but at least it's one I've always been able to sit thru. While STAR TREK does have a number of episodes that border on unwatchable, fortunately, compared to most TV series over the years, they've always been small in number.

Sidelight: While watching ST: First Contact, I also thought about the fact that we had met him before in Metamophosis. And I too wondered about the casting.

But I would have bet my bottom dollar that the script writers were going to pull a switch on us, that Cockrum was passed out drunk in his bunk when it came to liftoff time...and that it was the black woman who actually was the pilot, but that history had gotten it wrong...giving the credit for building the ship to Cockrum and later generations assumed that he had piloted it as well.  Would have made for a better kick-ass ending to one-up everyone. (Guess having a successful black female pilot didn't fly in Hollywood, eh?)

What surprised me about Star Trek: First Contact not only were Geordi and Riker aboard Cochrane's ship but Riker started making decisions! "Well, this should be far enough!" Thanks, Will!

Still we got see a drunken Troi!

Who Mourns for Adonais?:

Written by Gilbert Ralston

Directed by Marc Daniels

 

Synopsis: Kirk and company meet Apollo.

 

Thoughts:

1)The giant hand is one of the show's great goofy moments.

 

2)We see Chekov and Sulu working together - they seem to make a good comedy team.

 

3)"He is much like Pan, and Pan always bored me."

 

4)"I am Apollo."  "And I am the Czar of All the Russias."  And we get the beginnings of Chekov's exaggerated Russian chauvinism.

 

5)"To coin a phrase - fascinating."

 

6)"I would like to point out that we are quite capable of some wrath ourselves."

 

7)"You seem wise for a woman."  As with Khan, yet another crew-woman who gets swept away by a charismatic superhuman.

 

8)"Besides, you stiff-necked thistle-head, you could've gotten yourself killed."  I know guys get goofy over women (Boy, do I know!) but Scotty's a little too besotted in this.

 

9)"A god cannot survive as a memory."

 

10)"Spock's contaminating this boy, Jim."

 

11)"There's an extra organ in his chest that I can't even make a guess about."  Root beer tap?

 

12)"You bloodthirsty Saracen!"

 

13)"Most mythology has its basis in fact." Really?

 

14)"Mankind has no need for gods, we find the one quite adequate." Guess there's no polytheists aboard the Enterprise.

 

15)"How old are you?" "Twenty-two, sir." "Then I'd better handle it."

 

16)"The way you ape human behavior is remarkable." I get that alot from women myself.

 

17)"Why, I could no more love you than I could love a new species of bacteria."  That, too.

 

18)"Would it have hurt us, I wonder, just to have gathered a few laurel leaves?"  Yes. Yes, it would.

 

Overall:

Another fun episode. You know, I swear I remember seeing somewhere an implication that Palamas was revealed to have been made pregnant by Apollo, but there's nothing about it in the episode. Could there have been some kind of a novelization of this stpry that had that in it? You know, the way that the old Doctor Who novelizations often had all sorts of stuff that wasn't in the televised versions?

This episode deserves a really big hand.

 

You know, now that you mention it, I think the James Blish novelization of this episode did reveal that Carolyn Palamas was impregnated by Apollo. I'll check tonight and report back here tomorrow.

 

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