Saturday, 31 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.21 - Tomorrow Is Yesterday

Review 20 - Episode 21

The One where the Enterprise goes back in time.

This episode was flirting with a top score for the 1st 2 thirds, but the slightly wacky time travel logic and some silly comedy moments mean it's not quite there. But that doesn't mean this is a bad episode. Far from it, this is one of the highlights of the season.

In probably the best teaser I've seen so far, we see earth in the 60's at an airforce base when what what pops up, but the Enterprise flying through the sky. No real believable explanation is given as to how they got here, but if you can swallow the simple fact that they're back in time, them the story works well.

Having to beam Christopher aboard, the crew accidentally change time and have to work out a way of getting him back and also protect the future. I had to laugh at Kirk giving him a guided tour of the bridge without it even occurring to him that he should really be hiding this technology from him. Also, and this is a running theme throughout the series, the lack of security for 'guests' aboard the Enterprise is ridiculous and comes across as daft a lot of times.

For me, the real highlight here was the beautifully crafted dialogue between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Genuine laugh out loud material and so watchable when they're on screen together. Sulu also has a lot of screen time as does Uhura, and Scotty is given some good lines in the engine room as he states the obvious question of where on earth do they go if they're trapped in the past. I also loved the sultry female computer and Kirks reactions to it. There's actually a feel of ST IV to this episode and not just the slingshot round the sun. The comedy and different tasks the crew have to do are great and all the regulars have a decent scene.

The episode dipped slightly in the final 3rd when a 2nd guard is beamed up and played solely for comedy and also a ridiculous fight with Kirk and 3 guards. It just suddenly seems to descend into a western fist fight. The worst part is the bizarre logic of beaming the the two 60's earthmen back into their bodies of their old selves one day prior with suddenly no memory of whats going on. It just makes no sense, even though I can just about buy the way the Enterprise get home.

This is an excellent episode, only let done by a weak final act , but well worth watching


Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 59/105

Up next: The Return of the Archons - No idea. Doesn't ring any bells.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.20 - The Alternative Factor

Review 19 - Episode 20

The One with the Parallel Universe

Well, points for something different. I was worried at first when a life form appeared on the planet after the galaxy quakes. Sounded suspiciously like a God type being. But no, simply Lazarus, a mad man from another universe (depending on your P.O.V.)

The opening ten minutes is done well, with the feeling of a calm sea suddenly being whipped into a storm. The scenes of Lazarus fighting his double are very eerie and surprisingly effective. There's probably too much running around the planet and fighting in the corridor, but it's entertaining.

The big twist is that Lazarus is two people who keep flip flopping between universes and can never meet or it will be the END. This is a tad woolly and when Kirk goes to the antimatter universe it throws scientific logic out the window, but the final shot of the two Lazarus's is haunting and even if Shatner hams up the final scene it still gives you chills.

A couple of minor niggles. His beard keeps vanishing threw one scene to the point I thought he'd had a shave and no one noticed. Also , Scotty and Sulu are AWOL this episode, with new character Masters given the engineering role. I'm fairly sure she's never seen again, but it was quite a novelty too see so many new faces on board which gave it a fresh look. Also the fight at the end with Kirk and mad Lazarus is ridiculous, with Spock and 2 security guards watching Kirk wrestle with him. A vulcan nerve pinch would have ended it!

I'm pleased to see ideas for storys such as this, good ideas such as parallel universes and doubles. It doesn't quite work and there's too much fighting and running, but this is an episode that should be applauded for doing something different, even if it's reach outstretches it's grasp.


Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 55/100

Up next: Tomorrow is Yesterday - I think this is the one they go back in time. Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.19 - Arena

Review 18 - Episode 19

The One where Kirk fights a Lizard

After a poor run of episodes, this is a nice entertaining hour, if not a masterpiece.

Lets get the bad out the way first shall we. The Gorn, obviously, looks incredibly fake and blatantly like a man n a rubber suit. It also moves at turtle speed and it's hard to see how Kirk couldn't have ran rings round it. Also, the metrons are an alien race with God like powers who create the battle. 3 episodes in a row we've had incredible things being created!

The 1st half of the episode is very similar to Balance of Terror as an outpost is attacked and Kirk chases after them. There's some excellent scenes of Spock trying to talk Kirk out of destroying the alien vessel and Kirk being so enraged with emotion that he simply refuses to hear it. He's dangerous in this episode is Kirk and it's a shame McCoy wasn't around on the bridge to say his piece. The action scenes on the planet are also very watchable and the set looks good.

The 2nd half is basically an overlong fight scene between Kirk and the Gorn, but it's quite enjoyable and even the rubber suit monster is quite likable. It actually reminds me of Predator and a slice of Macgyver as Kirk tries to fashion a weapon that will kill the Gorn and set traps for him.

At the end, when he realises that the Gorn probably see the federation as invaders and is behaving exactly the way Kirk is acting is a lovely little twist that gives Kirk his sanity back and good judgement. I'll let the Metron God like being go this week as I feel that's all I ever moan about these days, but hopefully the next episode will be free of this regular story idea.

Good simple fun and Kirk running up that rock is iconic. Need I say more?


Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 52/95

Up next: The Alternative factor - No idea what this is about. Finger's crossed no God like people.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.18 - The Squire of Gothos

Review 17 - Episode 18

The One where the crew meet someone with (sigh) God like powers.

It's safe to say at this point that I despise stories such as this where the crew encounter a 'being', Trelane, who plays with them then fights them and finally a being of greater power comes along and saves the day.

I mean, what is the f*cking point of these episodes? They're so tiresome to sit through, as Kirk and co are made to participate in stupid set pieces and react to the ramblings of someone who we are meant to feel is fascinating, but is a cock.

The only real interesting aspect is that He is very similar to Q, but at least you have John de Lancie giving a bit of charisma and comedy. This is just woeful and too come right after Shore Leave which had similar strange objects and settings. Put simply, Star trek and fantasy don't mix and the pair should never be allowed to meet again.

Any good bits? The initial search for Kirk and Sulu was good as was seeing Spock in command. but that lasted for 7 minutes. It's not enough to save it and we had another crap 'let's laugh at strange stiff Mr Spock' ending, a cliche even at this early stage.

really hated this episode.


Overall Star Trek Rating so far: 49/90

Up next: Arena - I'm quite looking forward to this episode as I'm pretty sure it's the one Kirk fights the Gorn. No God like powers here!

Monday, 26 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.17 - Shore Leave

Review 16 - Episode 17

The One where the thoughts of the crew come to life on a special planet.

Garbage. I'm summing this up very quickly as I can't bring myself to talk at great length about it. The crew beam down to planet where their every whim comes true.

What follows is a lot of running and random things such as tigers and knights of armour appearing. This becomes very tedious to watch and the whole episode seems like filler. A couple of things save it from a total disaster. The outside filming is quite refreshing and makes a change from the fake boulders and skyline. Also, some of the revelations, such as kirk being bullied in the academy and a bit of a square are interesting as are a couple of comedy moments. But my God, the running. The non stop running and the stupidity of Kirk at times as he encounters his visions means this is a very bad episode.


Friday, 23 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.16 - The Menagerie (Parts I and II)

Review 15 - Episode 15 & 16

The One where Spock steals the Enterprise

I'm sure most people know the Story of this by now, but just to go over it one more time: The Cage was the 1st star trek pilot produced and the network didn't like it. So, new crew, new story and Where no man has gone before was created and the rest is history. Except you still have this expensive unaired pilot sitting collecting dust. What to do? Why not show it again, but create a framing story that would explain why we and Kirk are watching this footage. And lo, the Menagerie was created.

Now, I plan to review The cage at the end of Season 3 (don't get me started on why it's not in Season 1 Box set) so I'm not going to review the clips of it, suffice to say I was struck by how similar it was to TNG and also how it looked more modern than Kirks Star Trek. Onto the Framing device.

I like Spock stealing the enterprise and the way his plan was formulated and successfully pulled off. He gambled on Kirk not doing anything dangerous and it didn't pay off, so he immediately put himself under arrest, though whether this was his plan all along to have an exit strategy is unknown. This was a tour de force for Spock and it was very believable the way his plan was executed and ultimately failed.

What follows is rather disappointing as we have another court martial, this time of Spock. This is probably my fault for watching these in production order and not televised, but like the duplicate Kirk episode, it seems to be an idea they get, then use it again (and again in the case of humans with God powers). McCoy, who I thought would play a large part in this episode as he was on the ship, is missing for most of the 2nd half, tending to Pike it seems. Ah, poor Pike. It's ridiculous that his only communication is a flashing light, but the make up does well and it's very iconic seeing him in his black wheel chair.

The ending feels rushed to me and the fact star fleet overturns its death penalty and allows Spock to get away with it scot free seems unlikely to say the least. Even Kirk isn't bothered by Spocks actions. The actual video being streamed by the Talosians is so complicated to imagine how it works and how they could video the past that it could make your mind hurt. I did like the fact that the camera work was queried by the characters and they weren't going to pass it off as security video.

Ultimately, it's a hodge podge framing devise to reuse old stock, and whilst the 1st half does excellent work in building the tension and making us wonder whats on the planet, the 2nd half is essentially The Cage edited version and it also forces a strange ending rather than a satisfying one.


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.15 - Court Martial

Review 14 - Episode 14

The One with Captain Kirk on trial

Entertaining if slightly daft story this. Kirk is accused of perjury after one of his crew, Finney, is seemingly killed in an Ion storm. It's up to Sam Cogley to defend him.

The most interesting thing about this episode is seeing the seeds of Starfleet being sown. There is a real feel of there being a bigger universe outside the enterprise and of lot's of other story's going on. Having Kirks ex Shaw prosecuting him is a nice touch and probably one of the few times they weren't used as eye candy or screaming queens. The trial itself was enjoyable to watch, even though I suspect a lot of legal holes were created. Spock and McCoy testifying was good as was McCoys reaction to Spock calmly playing chess, yet discovering the computer had been tampered with.

The heartbeat search at the end is dubious, although certainly make for a dramatic scene, but I could have done with out the Kirk/Finney face off, especially with 2 of the worst lookalike stunt men I've ever seen. I understand a scene was cut with Jamie confronting her dad and he explains how he sabotaged the ship, hence the strange V.O. narration which makes Kirk sound like a private eye. It's a shame Scotty, Sulu and Uhura are awol again, especially Scotty as he could easily have give testimony, and I presume the personnel officer is never seen again.

It's nice to have a change of setting for Trek, and a good court story is hard to beat. That final payoff line is also good comedy gold, subtle and far better than the normal bridge crew laughing at nothing.


Sunday, 18 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.14 - The Galileo Seven

Review 13 - Episode 13

The One with the shuttle crash

Straight forward story here. Spock and 6 others crash on a hostile planet and try to get off, while Kirk has 2 days to find them before being forced to leave on an emergency medical supplies delivery.

The main plot, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and others crash on the planet and Spock takes command. His logic works well at first, if slightly grating on the others. However when the creatures are antagonised by his plan, the troops round on his machine like instructions. The creatures are quite goofy looking, and the Spears are obviously plastic, but the fact you barely see them means they appear threatening when the crew are hiding in the shuttle. One problem I have is that most of the time, Spocks right. When Boma wants to bury the dead, Spock rightly says that fixing the ship is more important and even McCoy starts on at Spock. Poor writing and trying to go for the easy emotional pot shot. Spock is cold discussing who will be left behind when they leave though, effectively sending them to their death.

McCoy redeems himself later on when they break orbit with a wonderfully dry one liner and Scotty is good here at...fixing things, but clearly haa a respect for Spock as Spock seems to have for him. You don't really see them together much, but there's great chemistry between the two. Spocks final, desperate gamble is also a lovely human touch and a clever idea.

Kirk's plot, searching for them blindly, is nicely played by Kirk, who can sense that his friends may be dying or dead. His spats with Ferris are good as well, both men are correct and have a worthy goal, but neither giving ground. Kirk being in a smaller role also lets the other crew breath and have more room to grow, especially the Spock/McCoy relationship.

The only real bad part is the final Tag of the crew all rolling about laughing at Spock - it's a stock silly ending for Trek, but seems a bit distasteful and OTT after so many crew have died.

A very good Spock episode this and very rewatchable.


Star Trek: TOS 1.13 - The Conscience of the King

Review 12 - Episode 12

The One with the Mass murderer turned Shakespearean actor

It sounds a ridiculous idea, a mas murderer who has gone into hiding by becoming a stage actor and slowly killing off the few remaining people who seen him alive. But the execution of this episode is superb, with plenty of scenes that are standouts and making the story very watchable.

I liked Kirk secretly setting up his ship as the only transport for Karidian and his crew, especially Spocks face when he wondered how the captain knew a woman would be coming on board. Kirk was quite cold with Lenore, but it always seems "she's the one" every episode. How many girls has Kirk loved and lost? Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Spock investigating his Captains odd behaviour was also good, and I loved the scene where he discusses it with McCoy over a drink (and Spock refusing said drink of course)

The build up in the first half was excellent, slowly investigating this actor who may be a mass murderer. The 2nd half, when Kirk confronts him, is disappointing. If he suspects it is him and he has killed witnesses, why the hell not lock him up. Karidian is so vague with his answers and Kirk seemingly accepts them, that it kind of deflates the finale showdown. There is a good point in there, about why the death penalty is wrong if you're not 100% sure you have the right man, but it's garbled in these scenes, as if the story isn't quite sure where it wants to end up and creates these strange postponements for the final act.

Also of note is that this Is Yeoman Rands last appearance in TOS, a walk on part where she glowers at Lenore. I liked her as a character and admittedly she was very attractive, but the Kirk/Rand relationship would have been a disaster and created a weird domestic situation on the bridge. Jim Kirk shouldn't be saddled with a hen pecking Wife in the Enterprise which is the route it looked as if it was going to go down with her jealousy. Fair well Janice Rand, you'll be back one day.

So, overall, a very different sort of story for Trek and all the more refreshing for it.


Star Trek: TOS 1.12 - Miri

Review 11 - Episode 11

The One with the kids who never grow up.

Not great this episode, but a couple of things save it from a total disaster. Kirk answers a distress beacon that leads them to a replica earth circa 1960, where only children survive.

The basic concept here, that a race of people tried to find a virus that would extend their life, but actually mutates you and kills you as soon as you reach puberty is interesting. Add in the fact that it preserves your childhood up to roughly 300 years and you have another angle. Unfortunately, none are really seen through. It works as a metaphor for eternal child hood, for becoming an adult, for discovering sexuality. These themes are barely touched upon The one that is, Miri becoming a very young adult and fancying Kirk, comes across as creepy and wrong when Kirk tries to use her to flush out the other kids. It was a more innocent time back then, but still feels wrong.

The replica earth is never mentioned again and was obviously used as a budget cut, but the fact it exists in this episode just comes across as bizarre. It's enough of a revelation to warrant it's own story, but is simply dismissed.

The Kids are awful here, looking particularly inbred and evil. Kirk and kids don't go together, especially when he preaches to them to help him. The kirk/spock/McCoy dynamic is as strong as ever and makes this more watchable than it deserves and it's nice to see Rand get a run out in her last remaing episodes.

But overall, this is not good and cannot be recommended.


Friday, 16 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.11 - Dagger of the Mind

Review 10 - Episode 10

The One with The Mind Wiper

There are 2 plot lines in this episode and one lets the side down. Lets deal with the best one first.

A prisoner, van Gelder, escapes from the penal colony of Tantalus onto the Enterprise. However he turns out to be a doctor and Kirk beams down with Helen Noel to investigate.

The plot on board the Enterprise, with Spock and McCoy trying to get to the bottom of the Van Gelder mystery is deep stuff. All 3 actors are excellent, though V Gelder can be OTT at times, but very believable. We also get to see the vulcan mind meld for the first time, very different from future episodes and It comes across as dangerous and risky for patient and Spock. Whilst it was nice to see Spock and McCoy doing their normal debating, the rest of the usual crew were missed. Even semi regulars like Rand were AWOL.

Which brings us to Kirk and Noel on the planet. This role wa obviously primed for Rand, but the writers have replaced her. I think this is for best, as I've said before, Kirk shouldn't be a 1 woman guy and this would have been too much to come back from. As it is, Noel is very easy on the eye, but her acting is ropey to say the least. Where there should have been drama and tension, she came across as rather unflustered and amused by the whole situation of kirk being mindwiped. I liked her, but perhaps in a lighter episode with a different tone. I also have an issue with Kirk going into the neutralizer chair to "test" it out. C'mon, you don't test out torture devices to see how they work. Also Shatners acting was decidedly Shatnertastic this episode. I quite like when Kirk shouts and fights, but after the weighty mind meld on the ship, this writhing about was a bit much.

It was also interesting to note that There are criminals in the 23rd century which tends to go against Gene's vision, but as he produced this I guess he either had it forced on him or decided it would make more rewarding fare. I like the idea of prison colony's and it gives the Star trek universe a richer feel to it.

It was an enjoyable episode, but the tone of the acting didn't always match the story it was trying to tell.


Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.10 - What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Review #9

The One with the Android kirk

Bit boring this one. The trouble is that Chapel is an Idiot when it comes to Korby - even though he's clearly nuts and killed 2 red shirts, she still can't see past him.

Other bad points are the fact that we've got a duplicate Kirk again and Shatners ridiculous body roll when he's tring to escape in the 1st act. Once Andrea comes on in the tiniest costume you can imagine, I abandoned all hope of taking this seriously.

Half the crew are missing as well, which means Kirk has to ground the story and unfortunately fails.

Watchable enough, if only for the eye candy, but forgettable.


Star Trek: TOS 1.9 - Balance of Terror

Review #8

The One with the Romulans

Apologies in advance for the next 2 reviews - it's late and I'm tired but want to keep on top of these reviews.
This is a cracker of an episode. What strikes me most is how much of a dry run this seems for Wrath of Khan. Forget Space Seed, this truly is the inspiration. You have 2 ships, playing cat and mouse. At times there is no visuals on screen (albeit because the romulan ship is cloaked) but the fight in the Comet could be the Nebula. The 2 captains only see each other at the end through the viewscreen, never in person and someone dies trying to activate the phasers on the enterprise, not to mention the deaths when the nuke goes off. The parallels are there and I honestly think i'm not stretching.

The wedding at the start and obviously the loss at the end is a nice reminder of life continuing onboard the starship. Spock is good in this ep as well, offering the logical yet aggressive suggestion of fighting. Bones as always wants to save lives, but it's amazing how the trio work off each other this early in the series. Styles (relation to cap styles in StIII?) is aggressive to Spock after we discover that the Romulans are very Vulcan like (in a very funny scene where the camera pans in handily on the romulan commander (played by Spocks future dad, natch)), but comes across as an idiot and imbecile.

The only real bad part is the crew tiptoeing round the ship and talking in hushed voices? eh? What the hell is going on there. Too close to the submarine story.

I'm also beginning to see why Rand was written out (other rumours aside) as Kirk needs to be single frankly and having her come up for a cuddle every time the ships in danger makes for rather poor viewing.

Finally, the creation of the Romulan empire starts here and it's quite impressive to see how many seeds were planted here, form the neutral zone to the cloaking device.

Must see episode.


Monday, 12 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.8 - Charlie X

Review #7

The one with the Kid who has God like powers

Stop me if you've heard this one before. A semi regular staple in TOS (much as Holodecks going bad would be in TNG's,etc), this has Charlie trying to fit in with the Enterprise crew as a teenager, but he has these powers that can do...anything.

This one isn't really for me. It's been a long time since I was a teenager and whilst everyone can appreciate being the new guy and all the awkwardness and misunderstandings (though i don't blame him for having a crush on Rand - who doesn't), it makes for a rather predictable story. I don't like Charlie, so you're onto a loser from the start with me. And the God powers...again!! And i know there's more coming up with the same idea.

Unintentionally funny moment of the series so far - The shat doing his gymnastic wrestling. Homoerotic comedy gold. But i still don't like this episode i'm afraid, even if I appreciate what it's trying to do.


Star Trek: TOS 1.7 - The Naked Time

Review #6

The One where the Crew go OTT

Another fun episode this. A virus gets onboard the Enterprise and drives everyone slightly crazy.

I'll get the one scene out the way that really annoyed me and me laugh involuntarily. The way the virus gets on board. Crewman Joe has a really itchy nose, even though he's in a hot zone. So why not take of your glove and have a good rub. Then, for no reason at all, start feeling bits if the virus infested table until you catch something nasty. Good thinking Joe. Joe dies, which is probably for the best. Made me laugh though.

Anyway, the main cast get some great scenes here. Sulu probably has the most fun, dashing down the corridors with his sword. Kirk has a great funny line when Riley takes control of the ship, but goes into full shatner mode once he contracts it. It probably doesn't help that it comes just after Spock has delivered a tour de force in his tortured soul after being infected by Chapel (factoid - only time the 3 TOS women, uhura, Rand and Chapel appear on TV) and she tells him she loves him. He then goes into the conference room and cry's and rants as he trys to keep his logical side in control. Could have been a disaster, but Spock has a quiet dignity whilst he breaks down and tries to get control back.

Uhura has a nice scene with Kirk and Scotty does...Scotty. I'd miss him if he wasn't there, fixing the engines.

It drags slightly in the 2nd half as we continue to plummet to the plant below and the ending made me laugh - they invent time travel matter of factly in the last 3 minutes. Spock at least mentions it opens a can of worms, but it's not really featured heavily again beyond a couple of ep's and Star trek 4.

Good episode, but they really would be tighter if they ran 30 mins.


Star Trek: TOS 1.6 - The Man Trap

The One where Doc McCoy's ex is a salt luvin' monster

It's a bit daft this episode, but a strong central performance by Bones grounds this and gives the viewer a chance to connect to the characters beyond the silly story. Basically, Nancy is a shape shifter who hypnotises you and sucks your salt out of your body. She goes on to trick various crew members before Bones finally breaks the spell once Kirk is about to be sucked dry.

It's hard to take seriously , but it kind of works. There's too many "crewman see's their fantasy" moments, but the moments with McCoy are worthwhile and generally it's a fun watch. Bit slight though. Of course, famously, this was the actual first ever episode of Trek shown on TV. Why? Half the crew disappear in the next episode as they're shown out of order, not to mention uniforms etc. The mind boggles, but it spawned 700 plus episodes no real harm done i guess.


Friday, 9 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.5 The Enemy Within

Review #4

The One where Kirk is split in half

Now, as bad as the last one was, this is top notch. It maybe suffers from that final 4th act that tends to drag out the story beyond it's natural life span, but that's being picky.

High concept time - what if Kirk was split in half, one good, one evil? We find out not as simple as we first thought. Some respect must go to Shatner here, who is easily mocked for his acting, but really delivers for the emotional, ego driven 'evil' self. He doesn't quite pull off the softer, logical side quite as well, looking a tad tired and anaemic really, but he makes this episode so watchable, you can't take your eye's off him.

Every one has a good part in this story. Spock and McCoy are great, debating whether to risk rejoining Kirk with his alter ego. Bones is all about the health of his patient whist Spock is fascinated by the potential of examining kirk, and also of the safety of the away team.

Ah yes, Sulu and extras, stuck on the surface, freezing to death. Why not just send a shuttle? 'Cos they hadn't been thought of yet. Best to assume there was radioactive clouds that would prevent reentry. Sulu does well here, making his claim to be a regular. Scotty is...Scotty, doing his transport chief part and making me believe that he knows this ship back to front with his diagnosis of the repairs and solution. He really should have done the reverse transport, but it gave Spock a nice scene as he looks...tense?! Nicely acted.

Uhura has gone missing in this episode, so her role is given to Rand, which features evil Kirk attempting to rape her in the cabin. Dark stuff for early Trek, even if Spock makes a joke about it at the end of the episode. WTF?! Surely it should be more serious than that.

The other annoying part is when Kirk releases his evil double, by himself, when he looks as weak as a kitten. Cue the fight and escape. It does set up a nice scene on the bridge though and reveals what Spock mentioned earlier - that Weak Kirk is not afraid, even if he has lost his drive and guts.

Excellent episode, best i've seen so far.


Star Trek: TOS 1.4 - Mudd's Women

Review #3
The One with the Pimp and the Ho's
This has not aged well.
Harry Mudd is a con man who is bringing his cargo, 3 beautiful women, to potential buyers. Kirk wrecks his engines saving Mudd and is at his mercy when they reach the mining colony as the miner's want only one thing - women
This is really bad. Mudd is clearly meant to be a fun, roguish character who's a bit cheeky. he's not. He's a Man who traffic's women and has them addicted to a drug called Venus which keeps them young and "beautiful". He's an Arsehole basically.
Not only that, but kirk comes over looking weak and ineffective as he practically pleads with Mudd to let the Miners deliver the crystals or the Enterprise is doomed. Now, I know he can't go in all guns blazing and simply take them, but there comes's point when kirk would rip up the rule book and put a phaser to Mudds head to save his crew and ship. He's not exactly shy at bending the rules. But no, in this episode, he's running round like a headless chicken.
The final nail is when Kirk gives Eve the placebo that gives her magically a new hairdo, make up and shiny glow, when moments ago she looked ancient and sexy as a chimney sweep.
The only good moments are McCoy and Scotty's reactions to the women, but really awful episode.

Star Trek: TOS 1.3 - The Corbomite Maneuver

The One with the Weird looking face on the view screen

The first half of this episode is far superior to the 2nd half. There is real tension and a military type feel to the orders that kirk barks out and the radio chatter. His chat with Bones, making his debut, is also good. It feels real, as if these two have a respect and history for each other.

The 2nd half is quite tedious, with the tractor beam plot not really matching the build up earlier in the episode. The unintentionally funny moment for me was when we finally see Balok and he's this creepy wee kid who wandered off Gentle Ben. And Kirk suggests to Bailey, the crew man who cracked under the pressure of mind games, that he stay and get to know this species! Aye right, why don't you stay with this weirdo and i'll be back on the Enterprise, chasing skirt and starting fights.

Kirks poker game tactics are quite watchable but the tension goes on for too long and the pay off with freaky kid is no good. Disappointing.


Thursday, 8 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.2 - Where No Man Has Gone Before -Written by Samuel A. Peeples. Directed by James Goldstone.

The one that started a Franchise.

So, here we are. The very first Star trek episode, except it's officially no.2 That's because the 1st Pilot, The Cage, is considered part of the Star Trek universe. But it's not on my DVD box set, but is on Season 3 mysteriously. So it'll get reviewed at the end of the TOS.

Anyway, this is an excellent pilot and does a great job of introducing some of the crew. It's quite strange that Bones, Uhura and Chekov are missing. And Spock has some STRANGE eyebrows going on, as well as being quite emotional and shouting all the time, even when performing the simplest tasks.

The plot is one that will crop up many times in the future. The Enterprise encounters a strange force that elevates one of the crew (Gary Mitchell) to Godhood Absolute power corrupts etc. and Kirk ends up having to fist fight him whilst potential god no.2 (Liz Dehner) fights the changes.

Having Gary be one of Kirks best friends makes it a lot more problematic when it comes to finally having to stop him, but he maybe turns evil too fast. Liz takes a lot longer and is more tortured by the fact she is leaving her humanity behind. It's entertaining and only the rather straight forward A to B nature of the plot and familiarity of the Human with god like powers brings it down a notch.

Spock arguing with Kirk is good stuff, but misses that McCoy dynamic. But considering it's the first proper Trek made it's amazing stuff and stands the test of time well.



Hello and welcome to Star Trek Reviews.

This Blog is my Project to watch every Star Trek episode and review them in order starting with TOS, then TNG, DS9, VOY and finally ENT, with some film reviews thrown in when appropriate. It's a strange hobby, being a Trek marathon Blogger. I've kept an eye out for other bloggers doing the same thing and found a couple, which I've added to the links database. One of them is on Voyager season 4 and the other is just wrapping up TOS and is going to be on TNG soon. Why do we do it? Bad TV at the moment, a love of Star Trek and a journal of our journeys watching these 700 plus episodes. I don't even know if I'll make the finish line or if they will either or when it will happen, but it should be a good journey. Goodness what i'll do at the end, but that's a long way off. If you come across any others, let me know and i'll add them in.

Ratings will be out of 5.

I hope you enjoy this journey and feel free to disagree or leave comments. Reviews will vary in length depending on how interesting an episode is.

One final thing I wanted to say was the TOS reviews will be in production order. It's ridiculous that the DVD's are in TV order and I won't be watching them like that.

Okay, on with the show!