Sunday, 31 August 2008

Star Trek: TNG 1.1 + 1.2 - Encounter at Farpoint

Review 86 - Episode 81 & 82

The One with the New Crew

And so, as Kirk and co ride into the sunset, we flash forward to the 24th Century, a new ship, new crew and new political landscape.

I'll get the bits I hate out the way first. The first meeting with Q, a god like being with unlimited power, is really draining and the mock trial goes on for far too long. It's a mistake to introduce the crew to such a TOS concept when we're only getting to know the crew ourselves. I will confess, I hare God like being episodes, but Q somehow circumvents that, mainly due to the performance of De Lancie and his repartee with Picard.

The 2nd half is much stronger and give the crew a puzzle to solve with a City that can produce anything and an angry giant jelly fish looking for it's mate. The story's okay, but really it's the new characters and how they perform that is interesting, especially as we know what will come.

Picard is given the most scenes and comes across as cold, aloof and awkward around children
and any sort or romance. It's light years away from the Captain in later years and obviously a total contrast to shagger Kirk. But there are moments where we see the passion in him and Stewart's performance is so good, the producers have wisely built the show round him.

Data comes across well. being an obvious analogue to Spock (especially with his scene with McCoy which was a nice touch - surely that was passing the torch, not Generations). He's far more naive and child like though to the point of irritation, but Spiner is an excellent actor and makes him watchable and believable.

Riker is a combination of Kirk and Decker and he's not as good an actor as the previous two. But Riker is very likable and when he was on screen the action came to life. It's still weird seeing Frakes without his beard, but gives a nice impression of time passing in the series.

Then you have the rest, who are a mixed bag. Troi is pretty bad here, due to the script and the performance. However, I have a soft spot for her and will pretty much forgive her any bad scenes, plus she has good chemistry with Riker and wear's a mini skirt which is nice. Worf and Yar tend to cancel each other in this episode and it's probably no bad thing Yar got killed off. She's quite annoying here with her ridiculous aggression and Worf is a Klingon in a starfleet uniform, so in an interesting characters battle, only one will win. Geordi is underwritten here, his gimmick being his visor, but he's likable and quiet. Finally, Doctor Crusher and her son Wes. Early Wes is very annoying, though he's okay in this episode. Like Troi, I have fond memories of Crusher and I like her relationship with Picard and her scenes are perfectly decent here.

The Enterprise D is a bold ship design and I remember it took me a long time to get my head round it's actual shape when I first seen it. But the design holds up well, though when the Saucer is separated the Star Drive looks awful, so it's no surprise that they don't do it very often. The effects hold up for the most part as well, and the credit sequence still looks good.

It's easy with hindsight to think of the bridge crew as obvious choices, but at the time it was so different to TOS that it was a risk. And the fact the first 2 years are very rough in places. But apart from the Q court scene it's a perfectly acceptable two episodes of Trek and does the job of introducing these characters and universe well.

Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 249/435

  • Review of the episode by actor Wil Wheaton — Part I, Part II
  • Sunday, 10 August 2008

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    Review 85 - Movie no.6

    The One with the last adventure for the TOS crew

    The 5th film would have been a rather unfitting ending for the TOS crew, so thank God that Meyers came back onboard for this film, dealing with new themes and ideas.

    This isn't about the crew getting old, they ARE old and this is their final adventure together. The Klingons need to make peace with the federation, but certain parties want to stop it.

    There are lots of great scenes in here. The opening of the movie with the Excelsior and Captain Sulu is brilliant and indicates a real passing of time (nice to see Rand as well in the final outing). The effects are very impressive and do justice to the series.

    The Klingon assassination set piece is excellent, as is the dinner that precedes it. Kim Cattrall is good as Valeris, coming across more like Kirstie Alleys performance than the other Saavik. It would have been nice to see her play Saavik, but as she ultimately betrays Spock and the federation, I can understand why they didn't use her character.

    Kirk and McCoys imprisonment and Spock trying to deduce the murders are all entertaining and take us nicely to the final battle: between Excelsior, Enterprise and a Klingon bird of Prey that can fire while cloaked. Plummers performance is very OTT (more than Shatner in fact who is rather restrained in this film), but he's very enjoyable to watch. The battle isn't quite as good as Wrath of Khans finale (what could be?), but it's up there and great to watch.

    Of course the final scene has the Enterprise being ordered to be decommissioned and the final lines are moving and poignant, with the bridge scene being excellently staged. Mind you, almost all of them will pop up again in future films or TV series, but there is lovely feeling of closure here, especially as the Klingon's have been such a large part of TOS and Kirks life.

    Very well made and it gets an extra point for being the final film of the TOS series.


    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 246/430

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

    Review 84 - Movie no.5

    The One with Spock's Half-brother

    Ah well, the run had to come to an end sometime. After 4 films that entertained and challenged, comes this flick, directed by Shatner himself.

    It's not good, and there's lots of reasons why, but I don't think it's as bad as people say and it's not the worst of the series. It wastes a lot of set up and momentum from the 4th one and all the themes of growing old and your place in the universe are put to one side for an old school adventure that wouldn't be out of place in TOS.

    The rest of the crew are largely sidelined and the humour is a lot more forced and outright slapstick at times (I'm thinking Scotty knocking himself unconscious). Also, Spock's brother, Sybok, who is actually a very good character, but it's asking a lot for Spock to "betray" Kirk to this guy who's never been mentioned before, especially after all Kirk has sacrificed for Spock.

    The effects are the worst in any of the films, looking half finishes and sometimes embarrassingly bad. The Motion picture blows it out of the water and that was made over a decade before it.

    It's not all bad though. The scenes when Sybok takes McCoy and Spock into their past is well written and the general story is exciting and fun to watch (as long as you ignore the plot holes and characters being written very strangely).

    The ending is bad and Kirk battling a giant face that can be destroyed by a Klingon Laser is simply unsatisfying. If they had the money, it would have been different, but the film is what it is. I would still recommend a watch of this, though I suspect it's nostalgia and a fondness for the characters, but it seems a waste of a film, even if Shatner's directing is pretty good.


    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 241/425

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

    Review 83 - Movie no.4

    The One with the Whales

    The concluding part to the unofficial trilogy has rebirth as it's theme, from Spock being alive again, to the Whales being brought through time and the final shot of the new ship. It's very different in tone to the previous three films and anything else in the movie series as well, being more like a well done comedy episode from TOS, which I mean as praise.

    The crew go back in time to 1986 to bring back Whales and save the planet. Much of the film is given over to how the seven crew members handle 80's situations and generally the humour is witty, subtle and evolves naturally. They are split into three groups which gives every one a chance to shine.

    Kirk and Spock take most of the screen time and also Spocks personality gradually coming back to life as Kirk gently tries to get him to remember who he was. When his realisation finally comes as they discuss rescuing Chekov, it's a lovely scene and brings together threads from the previous two films. It's also nice to see Sarek again.

    There are plenty of great set pieces, comedy and action, but a couple of stand outs are rescuing Chekov and getting the whales. I have fond memories of this film as it was the first star Trek film I has seen at the Cinema and I love the 80's setting and the poster.

    The final scenes of Kirk being demoted to Captain and given command of a brand new Enterprise are perhaps unlikely, but I can forgive it that because I love the ending to cap the trilogy.

    It's not a perfect film: The Save the Whales message can be quite unsubtle at times and the threat of the Klingons is never followed up satisfactorily (though that's not really this films fault). The tone is so different from normal Trek films, that it can sometimes jar, but thematically, this is a perfect ending to the Trilogy and is highly recommended.


    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 239/420

    Wednesday, 6 August 2008

    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

    Review 82 - Movie no.3

    The One without Spock

    The middle part of the "Genesis" trilogy is probably the weakest, but has enough strong set pieces that raise it well above average.

    If Wrath of Khan was about the passing of life, this chapter is Death, the ending of the old.

    Spock is dead. Kirk is grieving and Bones seems to be mentally unstable. However, it turns out Spock has placed his Katra in McCoys head as Sarek explains in a lovely mind meld scene (and it's great to see the nod to TOS). Shatners eyes are incredibly emotive, which sounds stupid, but watch it and you'll see what I mean.

    What follows is a mission to steal the Enterprise, return to the Genesis planet, grab Spock and head for Vulcan. And avoid any Klingons.

    The early scenes of Enterprise entering space dock are beautiful, especially with the blue lighting and music. The Excelsior is also a great addition to the fleet, keeping the design theme started with Star Trek 2. Of course, we know one day this will be Sulu's ship and the Enterprise B, which gives the feeling of the Enterprise being scrapped a poignant feel. More themes of aging and things coming to an end.

    I love the theft of the Enterprise and the space dock doors refusing to open. I'm sure it would be easier to steal a smaller ship, but hell, she's for the scrap anyway. Why not?

    The Klingons come into play with a smaller, redesigned bird of Prey and an excellent character in Kruge, played by Chis Lloyd. The Klingon warrior race really starts to breathe into life from his performance.

    His space battle with Kirk over Genesis is exciting to watch and it ultimately leads to the death of David on the planet below. For me scenes with David and Saavik, played by Robin Curtis now, don't work. Her Saavik is probably truer to the "proper" Vulcan school of acting, but Kirsty really brought another dimension to the role. Their scenes with Spock growing up seem like space filler, though it does establish that Kirks son plays a little fast and easy with the rule book. David's death is shocking, made more so by Kirks reaction. Shatner really performs well in these Films.

    His solution is almost unthinkable and probably more gut wrenching for fans. Destroying the Enterprise, the ship that he has commanded for over 20 years, is a truly emotional scene and comes across well on screen, though the Klingon's are a bit dim too not realise a picture of the Enterprise on fire with a count down isn't a good sign.

    Kirks final battle with Kruge on the planet is almost Operatic, it truly is primal with Lava, explosions and trees going on fire as the planet tears it's self apart. The birth of Genesis has come to a messy end.

    Kirk wins (though not before trying to save his foe) and with command of the Bird of Prey, go to Vulcan for the ceremony. I can see why people find this last part boring, but frankly, you HAVE to have this closing scene be atmospheric and weighty if you're going to buy it.

    There is so much destruction in this film; Genesis, the Enterprise being decommissioned then destroyed, Kirks Son, and his command. All sacrificed to save Spock. And after all the death, comes the rebirth as Spock is alive again, the trio reunited. Bones is very good, playing the ghost of Spock well and his reason for Spock giving it to him still makes me laugh.

    Considering that Spocks barely in the film, the rest of the cast are largely peripheral, Uhura especially. Even Scotty doesn't have a scene worth taking about, but all 4 have decent lines (as normal)

    But this is a great film that improves as part of the trilogy and continuing the themes that Wrath of Khan started.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 234/415

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    Review 81 - Movie no.2

    The One with Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan (again).

    This film is correctly considered by 99.9% of Star Trek fans as the ultimate Trek Story, the one that all other films and episodes should aspire to be. It had the right balance of action, humour, issues and big themes. And, unlike The Motion Picture, it feels like a Trek film.

    This forms the 1st part of a trilogy of films that evolved naturally over the years and this also gives it strength, something the Next Gen films sadly lack. While they feel episodical, this has the arc of characters continuing and having impacts on future films (except ST 5 possibly).

    The story is relatively simple. Khan, who we all know from Space Seed, has escaped his planet and is hunting down Kirk. But really, that is the thinnest of ice on top of a deep lake of themes and emotions.

    It was touched upon in TMP, but Kirk is once again a man adrift, back to his desk and missing the stars. More than that, he feels his age and that life is passing him by. Everyone bar him seems to know that his first, best destiny is as a star ship captain, but he seems blinded by the career path his success as Captain has taken him.

    Kirk is then haunted by mistakes of his youth, when Khan appears, having acquired the Reliant. This is the first Federation ship we have seen that isn't Constellation class, and great credit must go to the designers for creating a ship that keeps the theme of nacelles and saucer, yet re shifts everything else. This became the template for ships even to this day.

    Khan is an excellent villain (yes, he shouldn't recognise Chekov - move on) and his first attack on the Enterprise is exciting and still looks impressive even now, plus the build up is as tense as any two fighters in a ring.

    Scotty loses his nephew here, in some lovely scenes that gives his character background and family. Khan is after the genesis device, a missile that can bring life to a planet or devastate a world in the wrong hands. Kirks ex is in charge and who else but his Son, David. I can imagine what the shock would have been like in '82, but even now as I type it, it's weird and shocking to think of Jim's son. It changes his character so much.

    The themes of aging, unsure of where you are mid life, old enemies and friends coming back to haunt you and finding your family are all examined excellently in this film and would continue through the next two as well. This film is Life or simply Living your Life and the more miles you have on the clock, the more baggage you have.

    Bones as always has some great lines and he come across as the only one of the trio to be content and not anguished (though he still likes a drink!). Chekov has some great scenes with Khan, though Uhura and Sulu are rather sidelined, but still get decent lines.

    Saavik is a new character and played with real warmth and humour for a Vulcan by Kirstie Alley. This was her first role and is excellent casting. She does tend to steal a lot of scenes though and it's a shame she didn't come back, but that's hardly her fault. A worthy addition to the Star Trek crew. (speaking of which, nice to see Kyle get a scene)

    The final Battle in the Mutara Nebula is amazing and once again the effects till hold up. It's ingenious to handicap the ships and turn it into a submarine battle. This leads to Spocks death, saving the ship.

    Spock is brilliant in this film and couldn't be more different to TMP. His scenes with Kirk, Saavik and Bones are a joy to watch and I still get a little teary with Kirks farewell speech and the music playing (kudos to Shatner for his acting)

    I seem to write for ages, yet barely say anything about how good this film really is. The uniforms are far better than those god awful PJ's and the whole tone set the standard for Trek in the future for years after it and beyond. Have no doubts that this film is at the centre of Star Trek and everything Trek should try to channel it's vision.

    A joy to watch.


    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 230/410

    Saturday, 2 August 2008

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    Review 80 - Movie no.1

    The One with the Giant Cloud

    And so, 10 years after the last time anyone had seen a new episode of Star Trek, comes The Motion Picture. I'm sure if you're reading this, you know the basic back story, but in a nut shell, Trek had become popular again through syndication and a 2nd Trek series was mooted. However, with the success of Star Wars and 2001, it was decided to take Star Trek to the big screen and give it a budget worthy of it's name. wasn't brilliantly received, by critics or most fans. The tone floored most people and their expectations were not met for what a Star Trek Feature film should look like and more importantly, FEEL like. To be honest, that was my view of it until when I watched the Directors Cut for this blog. Maybe it's because I'm older, but I was really impressed by this film. Let's explain why:

    In what was a brave (if possibly foolish move), the writers decided to not have the cast as they were a decade ago. Normal time has passed for them and us. Kirk is an Admiral in what is essentially a desk job, McCoy has retired and Spock is on Vulcan, about to undergo a ritual to purge human emotion. None of them are in a good place and the theme of belonging and going home again carries through the whole film.

    Kirk essentially bullies his way back onto the Enterprise and ousts Decker (who I believe is meant to be the son of Commodore Decker from "Doomsday Machine"), a Captain who is not a bad guy or weak, just someone who happens to be in Kirks way. Kirk is lost on this newly refitted Enterprise (more on that later) and Decker has too continually guide him through the new systems, not maliciously, but he does seem to take a grim satisfaction in correcting Kirks flawed commands.

    Kirk recalls McCoy (in a lovely scene in the transporter room with Rand as well, though her cameo kind of throws you as her relationship with Kirk is so different, but it's good to see her back), who isn't happy and isn't sure of Kirks command of the Enterprise.

    Spock comes back next, his ritual abandoned by the voice he hears from V'ger, a being of extraordinary scale and power, heading for earth to destroy it. He is cold and logical, nothing like the Spock we knew and loved from the show. Kirk is not happy, neither are his friends, and the whole mission seems in jeopardy.

    Then things start to click, as he uses his instincts to get past the first defence of the cloud and Spock starts to tune into V'ger. At this point, when they start to go deeper into the cloud, the film does drag and even in the slightly edited directs cut version, it is still too long. But having said that, the sheer size and scale of V'ger does come across and I think the potential patience breaking scene is worth it.

    The rest of the crew don't really have large parts to play. Scotty has a lovely scene with Kirk at the start as they fly round the newly refitted Enterprise. This is also a very long scene, but my God, it still holds up. Out of all the films, this give's the ship character and treats it with the love it deserves. Especially as up to now, all anyone had seen of her was stock footage in TOS. Here we see her from every angle, larger than life. Kirk and Scotty have always shared a special bond to the ship. Scotty looks after her and patches her up whilst Kirk commands her, but she has touched both their hearts.

    Chekov, Sulu and Uhura have their standard roles and even Chapel has a nice walk on part. it's disappointing there wasn't more for them to do though. Of course, we have 2 new characters, Will Decker and LLia, who are basically a template for Riker and Troi. I found their relationship arc rather boring and because you know they're never seen again, it's hard to invest.

    This film has brought so much to the Star Trek universe; The Klingons are the one's we know and love today, with a different language and of course, the bumpy foreheads. The opening scene with the 3 Klingon cruisers is brilliant as well. The music is also superb and it's no surprise TNG nicked it for their theme tune.

    Of course, it is a flawed fim. The first hour works fine for me, but once they enter the cloud it does drag slightly, especially with the LLia robot learning to love. The uniforms are also awful, though thankfully Kirk changes his half way through. The main problem I have is Spock, and to a certain degree the relationship with the Trio. They continue the antagonism between them for far too long, Spock especially as his sudden personality switch after melding with V'ger come's very near the end. Bones is also sidelined after an impressive debut.

    I haven't really discussed the end, mainly because the twist is the whole part of the last hour. Once you know it, it's really just a lovely, slightly psychedelic journey you're on. V'ger is of course Voyager 6 , a probe sent years ago into deep space and came back as an all powerful being. This is very similar to "The Changeling", but at least I believe this ship could destroy solar systems. And there's no harm in dipping into your back history.

    There has never been another Star Trek film that has has the epic scale, the vast special effects and the patience and indulgence to tell the story it wants to tell. It's probably the closest Star Trek has ever came to Art which is perhaps why it divides people into Love or Hate. Me, I loved it, for this is a flawed masterpiece.


    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 225/405

    Star Trek: TOS 1.1 - The Cage

    Review 79 - Episode 80

    The One that's the VERY first one

    If you're reading this Blog, then I'm sure you know the backstory behind this. In a nutshell, this was the original pilot that the network rejected as being to Cerebral. The crew are totally different from the 2nd pilot bar Spock and there is a very TNG feel to it. The footage was then recut and reused in the Menagerie.

    It's interesting to speculate how Star Trek would have evolved if this Pilot had taken. Would it still become the behemoth franchise we know and love today? Possible, given the success of TNG as this is similar. There is a number one (played by Majel Barrett, completely different from every other character she has ever played. Here, she almost seems sexless and emotionless and is well acted). The colouring of the bridge is much more subdued than Kirks Enterprise. Pike is extremely restrained, showing internal anger and very officious. Shades of Picard or Archer. Spock is completely different here, basically Nimoy with ears and is laughing and very un-vulcan like.

    The plot is okay as they beam down to a planet and are captured by aliens who want to breed them. The effects are very impressive for their day,especially the phaser effects. Ultimately, it's an interesting curio but the cast and situation are never expanded, so as a one off it doesn't quite excel, but it's still watchable.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 221/400

    Star Trek: TOS 3.24 - Turnabout Intruder

    Review 78 - Episode 79

    The One that's the last ever episode of TOS (sob)

    What a strange last episode of TOS to be produced. It was obvious by this time that the series had run out of creative inspiration, money and direction. The 3rd season may have been a nice surprise for the fans who campaigned to save it, but I wonder how many really enjoyed this final Season. I suppose there were some gems in amongst the dross, but it sours the memory of TOS and if it wasn't for the films, the TOS crew wouldn't have the decent final storylines they deserve.

    Anyway, this episode has Kirk swapping bodies (again) with Janice Lester who has almost been driven mad by the fact she's not allowed to be a captain because she's a woman. This is probably the most sexist thing ever invented on TOS and seriously dates the episode. Even the concept of "evil" Kirk has been seen before many times. Shatner does his best and isn't bad as Lester, but I don't think his heart is in this episode and I can't help wondering what the cast thought as they filmed this, surely knowing it was the end of the road. None of them can have thought that 6 films would be made about Star Trek. Needless to say, the crew start noticing Kirk is not himself and their minds are reversed. There's a lovely sad moment as Kirk, Spock and Scotty go in the turbo lift for the final time on the old style Enterprise and the doors close, signaling the end of TOS.

    I grew up on Star Trek Movies and TNG, so these old episodes have no nostalgia for me and always seemed hokey, cheesy and cheap. And frankly, a lot of them are. But there are some excellent episodes in the first 2 seasons that probably kept the interest in Trek alive through the years it wasn't on. And the chemistry with the Trio has not been replicated in any other series (probably a good thing as it give the other characters a chance to shine.) Even though I'm glad I've finished watching TOS and silently gave prayer at times that there was only 3 Seasons, I will miss these guys and will revisit my favourites often.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 218/395

    Star Trek: TOS 3.23 - All Our Yesterdays

    Review 77 - Episode 78

    The One where Spock falls in love (5000 years ago)

    Ah, this is a good episode. Spock and Bones are transported back to a planet's ice age and Spock falls in love and starts "regressing" with human emotions.

    Nimoy's excellent this episode, truly selling Spock falling in love. The 2nd story of kirk in Victorian England is superfluous but enjoyable. I really liked the end, especially poignant considering this was the last trio episode. Good stuff.
    (Note: apologies for the Season 3 TOS reviews. I like to think of them as being more skeleton reviews that I will one day come back to (probably the remastered episodes) and re-review. But time marches on and there are many more Trek episodes. Just a wee bone to anyone following my reviews to say that I know these are sparse, but keep the faith and they'll be redone. Yes, I am drunk as I type this)

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 215/390

    Star Trek: TOS 3.22 - The Savage Curtain

    Review 76 - Episode 77

    The One where Abe Lincoln is back!

    Rubbish. Kirk has to fight in in a battle by *yawn* alien with god like powers who force goodies to fight baddies and pluck random characters from space and time.

    The Goodies win. This episode can fuck right off.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 211/380

    Star Trek: TOS 3.21 - Requiem for Methuselah

    Review 75 - Episode 76
    The One with the android babe
    Aye, not bad. Kirk and co beam down looking for a cure and find an alien who wants his privacy and a sex bot.
    I really hate aliens with God like Powers, but this one is bearable (though shrinking the Enterprise looks crap)
    It's also rather sexist this episode as the Android female can't compute thoughts, but it was the 60's man, let it go. Worth a watch.
    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 209/375

    Star Trek: TOS 3.20 - The Way to Eden

    Review 74 - Episode 75

    The One with the Hippies

    No. Just, no.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 206/370

    Star Trek: TOS 3.19 - The Cloud Minders

    Review 73 - Episode 74

    The One with the castles in the sky

    Surprisingly interesting this episode.

    Kirk and co beam down to get a mineral from the mines of a planet and are attacked. They go the the city's in the sky and find that natural gas is causing the miners to be violent and the cloud minders to keep their status.

    It sound's rather dull the way I've just described it, but this is quite entertaining.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 206/365

    Star Trek: TOS 3.18 - The Lights of Zetar

    Review 72 - Episode 73

    The One where someone is possesed by a strange alien force (again).

    Hmm. An alien storm (in space no less) appears to absorb Romaine, a Lt who Scotty quite likes.

    It's an old story for Trek even back then, a strange cloud making a crew member go weird.

    It's nice to see Scotty in a more central role, but this is average at best.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 203/360

    Star Trek: TOS 3.17 - The Mark of Gideon

    Review 71 - Episode 72

    The One with the fake Enterprise

    Not had high concept episode for a while so here you go. Kirk is beamed onto an EXACT DUPLICATE of the Enterprise and has sex with an alien whose race is dying out.

    It's alright and some of the shots are quite spooky, but it's stretches believability and is obviously a money saving story device. Seen worse mind you.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 201/355

    Star Trek: TOS 3.16 - Whom Gods Destroy

    Review 70 - Episode 71

    The One with 2 Kirks (again)

    Not bad this, if very familiar. Remember Dagger of the Mind? Almost the exact same episode.

    I liked the security clearance codes here, preventing the duplicate Kirk beaming up. But why was there so many episodes with 2 Kirks? It's quite bizarre when you watch them.

    Orion slave girl is a nice touch, but rehashing the plot of a previous episode ruins what could have been a cracker.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 199/350

    Star Trek: TOS 3.15 - Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

    Review 69 - Episode 70

    The One where subtlety takes a nap

    Alright, this'll be short. Racism is bad and pointless. Nuff said? One more thing, the self destruct sequence is good and almost identical to the movie.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 197/345

    Star Trek: TOS 3.14 - That Which Survives

    Review 68 - Episode 69

    The One with female assassin

    Disappointing, considering it's not a bad premise. The away team of Kirk, Sulu, Bones and walking red shirt dead man beam down to a strange planet, while the Enterprise is blown hundreds of light years away by a beautiful woman whose touch can kill.

    The trouble here is that there's no end game. Kirk and co survive on the planet and encounter the woman but nothing really happens (beyond the red shirt death). And the Enterprise's struggle to get back falls rather flat, with Spock being annoying rather than humorous.

    I dunno, maybe I was in a bad mood watching this, but I really didn't like it and the coda is crap

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 195/340

    Star Trek: TOS 3.13 - Wink of an Eye

    Review 67 - Episode 68

    The One with the really fast aliens

    Quite enjoyable, if slightly daft (almost sums up TOS as a whole.) Kirk is kidnapped by aliens who exist outside normal time as a highly accelerated rate of time. This is a good idea. They kidnap him to breed him and the rest of the crew as their males are sterile. This is a bad idea.

    Somewhere in the middle, a watchable episode has come out. The science is a little wonky with the time dilation logic, but I enjoyed Spock and McCoy trying to solve the captains disappearance. Worth a watch, though Spocks comedy final line is very bad this episode. You have been warned.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 194/335

    Star Trek: TOS 3.12 - Plato's Stepchildren

    Review 66 - Episode 67

    The One where Kirk and Uhura kiss.

    This episode has become famous solely on the back of Kirk and Uhura kissing, which back in the 60's broke new ground as the first inter racial kiss. I was intrigued to see it, but I feel it's a bit of a cheat as they are both being mind controlled and the way it is shot means you don't see their lips touch. I suppose back then it was still a big deal, but this is a case of the legend being embellished over the years. Still, fair play to Star Trek for being the first to do it.

    The episode is pretty average though, God like beings force the crew to act out their whims and clothe them in greek togas. Again, I feel I've watched this already and I was glad when it was over. Gets a bonus point for the kiss.

    Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 191/330