Amph To Boldly Trek Where Many Geeks Have Gone Before-DS9: S&D, BtL, Favor the Bold & Sacrifice of Angels

Discussion in 'Community' started by The2ndQuest, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Recently, I've decided to start going through the various Trek series, starting with The Original Series, as I've never watched any of them in their entirety (though I have seen quite a bit of TNG and maybe a fourth to a half of DS9) and I kind of wanted to see what episodes were either essential or very good for each series, in an attempt to determine if any particular seasons were worth acquiring in their entirety, and which ones I'd be better off simply making a compilation of the barebones for.

    I started with TOS because I've only seen a handful of episodes, generally unable to stand the super-cheese and "60's syndrome" acting/production styles. But I did want to see if there were any decent episodes in there I never caught, and also try to find the ones that were connected to the other Treks I preferred to watch (ie, Space Seed's prelude nature to Wrath of Kahn, Tholian Web & Mirror Mirror tying to the one Enterprise two-parter, Trouble With Tribbles connecting to the one DS9 ep, etc, etc).

    So, basicly, I primarily wanted to ID the episodes relevant to the other shows, followed by actual good episodes still watchable today without any major level of nostalgia required to enjoy it and, lastly, episodes relevant to other TOS episodes.

    I eventually do want to continue this on to the other shows of the series, but, to start things off with TOS Season 1, here's my rundown of the first 10 episodes...

    (I didn't have access to The Cage pilot yet, so I'll get to that in the next batch).


    101- The Man Trap:
    -Premise: The Enterprise drops off medical supplies to a planet, where McCoy encounters another doctor he formerly had romantic involvement with. However, it turns out it is really a shape-shifting salt vampire.
    -T2Q Comments: Honestly, I couldn't finish this one, and (as I started this awhile ago before I went full-tilt into this effort) don't remember much at all about it at this point. Definitely not a good introductory episode, and thankfully not related to any other episodes, so we'll let this one be the first clunker in the waste basket.

    102- Charlie X:
    -Premise: Adolescent Charlie is dropped off aboard the Enterprise. Found to have powerful telekinetioc abilities and governed by his immaturity, he lashes out at people with his powers, making them vanish and becomes obsessed with Yeoman.
    -T2Q Comments: Plagued by "60's syndrome" acting and touches, pretty painful to watch. Into the waste basket!

    103- Where No Man Has Gone Before:
    -Premise: As the Enterprise encounters an energy barrier at the edge of the galaxy, a crewman and friend to Kirk begins gaining god-like powers which threaten the more insignificant around him.
    -T2Q Comments: An improvement over the first 2 episodes, there's some interesting things here with the crew member becoming more and more powerful. It is however hampered by it's attempted romance subplot, which has that "guy glances suggestively while girl looks back in a pout-gaze to look screwable" element that is encountered far too often in the series and just makes things laughable.
    Overall, it's not terrible, but it's not good either. Generally forgettable.

    104- The Naked Time:
    -Premise: An unknown disease is brought aboard the ship and, transmitted by touch, begins infecting the crew, removing their inhibitions and playing up their fantasies.
    -T2Q Comments: Another step up in quality, but still not "actually good". Now, granted, this may have come first, but we've seen the "crew is infected by something that spreads by touch" angle in many other shows since and have acomplished it more effectively. The one guy is a pretty annoying actor, but I think his character was meant to be annoying (and a lovely Irish stereotype at that ;) ). Still, a "nice try". Plus, "Sulu...with a sword?!" ;)
    However, since this apparently is loosely tied, either directly or thematicly, with a TNG episode, as well as the crew discovering a forumla for time travel (which will apparently come into play in a few episodes as it was originally intended to be
  2. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    I really like episode by episode threads (and film by film threads, for that matter), and this one is a very good idea.

    However: I have seen a lot of various episodes, but never in order, and frankly, I quite often don't recognize the titles (our cable network showed them out of order, to make things worse). It would really help if you could give a one-line summary of the plot, and then I bet I would recognize more.

    I do remember "Mudd's Women" by its name, for the depressing reason that it was once voted the worst Star Trek episode ever. :p
  3. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Ah, good idea. I'll recap those first 10 later tonight while I wait on the next batch.

    BTW, I'm going by the episode order listed on TV.com, for those curious, in case there are different airing orders available (I'm not sure if there are, but specifying just in case).
  4. General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus

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    The order in which they were aired is different from the production order. This is noticeable mainly early in the first season.

    And isn't "The Way To Eden" often considered the worst TOS episode? Or maybe "And The Children Shall Lead"?
  5. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Alright, I've revised the first post with episode premise summaries.

    Also, can anyone tell me just what Yeoman's function is aboard the ship? Besides mastering the "pout-gaze to look screwable" closeup, that is. She seems to be the equivilent of a waitress for the Captain, but then in an episode or two shes on an away team, which doesn' make any sense. And she's obviously not a nurse, since we have Chapel for that. So just what is her role?
  6. Nightowl TFN Timetales Writer

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    Basically, she's the Captain's personal assistant - a secretary/maid/waitress. Her function on the ship is to help keep everything running smooth and make sure the captain's (and other senior staff's) needs are met. Her job on an away team is to record (via tricorder) everything the team says/does for future reference.

    In TV terms, however, the "yeoman" role was simply an excuse to plug some more female eye candy into the crew and give Kirk some long-term temptation (since he wouldn't normally lust after, say, Uhura or Chapel). You'll see Roddenberry playing with this idea early on in "The Cage".

    Doesn't really matter, though. Rand leaves the show in a couple more episodes following some really dark offscreen events for the poor actress playing her. After she's gone, Roddenberry allows Kirk to start chasing every female guest star in sight.
  7. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    The Yeoman was on the excursions to get killed. Everybody knows that. :D

    - The Man Trap:
    Women in other guises is a common ST trope. Not sure why.

    102- Charlie X:
    This is the one with Michael Walker (son of Robert of "Strangers on a Train"), right? Yes, it's cheesy.

    103- Where No Man Has Gone Before:
    -Don't remember this one.

    104- The Naked Time:
    This one was kind of amusing.

    105- The Enemy Within:
    -This premise appears again in several guises, the best of which is probably "Turnabout Intruder"

    106- Mudd's Women:
    -Godawful covers it.

    107- What Are Little Girls Made Of?:
    This is pretty good.

    108- Miri:
    -Is this the 'grups' episode? If it is, it is essential, since our entire neighbourhood adopted this term for their paternal units (okay, I was ten :p)

    109- Dagger of the Mind:
    This is pretty good, if memory serves.

    110- The Corbomite Manuever:
    This one is probably essential.
  8. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    102- Charlie X: This is the one with Michael Walker (son of Robert of "Strangers on a Train"), right?

    I see it listed as "Robert Walker Jr" in this one episode guide.


    108- Miri:-Is this the 'grups' episode?

    Yep. "bonk, bonk!"
  9. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    As to the '60's syndrome', here's Clive James on same, reviewing a showing of Trek in the UK in 1973:

    "Drained Crystals: On "Star Trek" (BBC1), our galaxy got itself invaded by an alien Doppelganger toting mysterioso weaponry. These bad vibes in the time-warp inspired the line of the week: "Whatever that phenomenon was," piped Kirk's dishy new black lieutenant, "It drained our crystals almost completely. Could mean trouble.'

    ...As surely Brunnehilde's big moments are accompanied by a few bars of the Valkyrie's ride, Spock will say that the conclusion would appear to be logical, captain. Uhura will turn leggily from her console to announce to transmit information that either (a) all contact with Star Fleet has been lost, or (b) that it has been regained. Chekov will act badly. Bones ('Jim, this may be unbelievable, but my readings indicate that this man has...two hearts') will act extremely badly. Kirk, employing a thespian technique picked up from somebody who once worked with someone who knew Lee Strasberg's sister, will lead a team composed of Spock and Bones into the Enterprise's transporter room and so on down to the alien planet on which the Federation is about to impose its will in the name of freedom.

    The planet always turns out to be the same square mile of California scrubland long ago overexposed in Sam Katzman serials...I mean like this place has been worn smooth, friends..."
  10. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Well, the "60's syndrome" comment I made really tends to affect the lesser cast and guest stars, emerging primarily in romance or particularly dramatic scenes. Shatner falls into on occasion (outside of the romance scenes), but I think that's just ebcause he hadn't yet mastered his ham acting yet. McCoy and Spock generally don't fall suceptible to it often, though the dialogue can fail them at times.

    I'm not sure of the exact term, but I guess it would be the opposite of the method acting/realistic acting technique popularized in the 70's (which is seemingly the basis for modern acting technqiues, as far as I can tell). In other words, the cartoony false-feeling acting used throughout the majority of films and TV from the 40's, 50 & 60's.
  11. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    Oh, I agree; at times everybody's awful, with the general exception of Nimoy. His character's reticence helps a lot there.

    But it often doesn't matter, they're cheesy and corny, and I watch anyway. :p
  12. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Next batch:


    100- The Cage:
    -Premise: Pilot episode focusing on the previous captain of the Enterprise, Christopher Pike, as they investigate a distress signal which lures Pike and his ship to Talos IV, where a race with powerful mental abilities use their powers of illusion to trap Pike in a zoo-like facility.
    -T2Q Comments: Despite being a pilot, this one is actually pretty decent and has a slightly more serious/mature feel to it (though the big brained aliens are still silly, and it's hard not to crack up at Spock's exclaimation of "The women!!" [face_laugh] )
    The Number One character played Mrs Roddenberry actually improves the general dynamics of the crew arrangement and, in retrospect, is sorely missing from the actual series and actually makes a whole lot of sense; thankfully the position would be resurrected later on with Riker in TNG. The Cage is more of a show that was not to be, replaced with what we know now, though I can't help but think it might have been a better show.
    Lacking any solid transition from Pike to Kirk, I wouldn't reccomend this be viewed as an introduction to the series itself, and so it kind of remains a standalone oddity of interest. So, with that in mind, and given aspects of The Menagerie, I'd put this one down as an "Ok, But Not Necessarily Essential" episode.

    111 & 112: The Menagerie, parts 1 & 2:
    -Premise: After Spock hijacks the Enterprise and sends it on course for the forbidden planet of Talos IV, he is forced to stand trial for his actions, where he uses video testomony of the events from The Cage in his defense.
    -T2Q Comments: Basicly The Cage split into two parts to accomodate a clipshow-like framestory with Kirk and co. Once I got past the funny now-obvious Futurama/Pike-blinking-wheelchair reference connection, it was still hard for me to really get into this episode, especially having seen The Cage beforehand since I was able to deduce Spock's purpose in his actions long beforehand, which made the unnecessity of using the "video testimony" all the more blatant- as Kirk said at the end, Spock could have just told them. Now, if one hadn't seen The Cage, there might have been some more mystery to Spock's actions to draw the viewer in, but the same conclusion is eventually reached, which is disspaointing.
    Additionally, the "Kirk show feel" doesn't quite mesh well with the "Pike show feel", which just hampers the episodes further.
    If it wasn't for those two points rendering the episodes somewhat pointless, I'd have normally considered The Menagerie to be preferable viewing in favor over The Cage, since it has a Pike/Kirk transition of sorts thats still grounded in the Kirk show. As it is, The Menagerie didn't levae me with a good enough impression to really consider it essential, and so, IMO, it joins the same classification as The Cage itself does, thoguh for different reasons mentioned above.

    113: The Conscience of the King:
    -Premise: [When an actor is suspected of being a mass murderer believed dead, Kirk take ssteps to try and prove his identity, while the only surviving witnesses to those past deeds start ending up dead- and Kirk could be next.
    -T2Q Comments: Actually a pretty good mystery episode with an interesting idea through the plan behind the execution (no pun intended) of the murders. Acting overall, shy the female guest star, was unproblematic, the actor in particular was better than average for a guest star.
    An offhand comment of the murderer having his own idea of Eugenics and that "he wasn't the only one" makes a nice hint/setup for Kahn as well, which I think, when combiend with the overall quality of the episode, elevates to "Good Episodes, But Not Necessarily Essential".

    114: Balance of Terror:
    -Premise: When a Romulan ship capable of cloaking begins attacking Federation outposts along the Federation/Romulan Neutral Zone, the Enterprise engages in a game of tactics against the aggressor.
    -T2Q Comments: Some good action, and the sub-battle feel to things was pretty interesting (
  13. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    100- The Cage:
    I thought the actor playing Pike was seriously dull, but the episode itself had potential, though I don't like Mrs. R, and think that Spock makes a better second in command.

    111 & 112: The Menagerie, parts 1 & 2:
    See above.

    113: The Conscience of the King:
    I remember this one as pretty good, and the actor had some chops.

    114: Balance of Terror:
    This one I don't remember at all.
  14. Ive_Got_Two_Legs Jedi Youngling

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    The Naked Time is a tie-in to one of the early TNG episodes, as I recall. And hasn't The Squire of Gothos been retconned to show one of the Q-Continuum guys?
  15. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    I thought the actor playing Pike was seriously dull

    He was a little dry, but I think he was a bit more grounded in reality than Shatner.


    though I don't like Mrs. R, and think that Spock makes a better second in command.

    Perhaps, but, Mrs R aside, I liked the function of the Number One character- so you could have someone still in charge if the Captain had gone on an away mission, or better yet, provide a commander for away missions so that the captain of the ship isn't forced to participate in every away mission. Combining that function with the science officer was a mistake, IMO, cause the science officer is more likely to go on an away mission, so now you have your top two commanders on an away and suceptible to potential hazards, leaving even lesser ranking officers in charge of the ship.



    The Naked Time is a tie-in to one of the early TNG episodes, as I recall.

    From what I read, an early TNG episode called "The Naked Now".
  16. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Next batch:


    115- Shore Leave:
    -Premise: Finding an uninhabited world for the crew to take some shore leave on, once on the planet they begin seeing things from their mind, including Alice in Wonderland, WW2 Planes and a bully from Kirk's past.
    -T2Q Comments: Though not particularly terrible (except for the guy in the rabbit costume), I just couldn't bring myself to care about this episode. And what's with this show and Irish stereotypes? [face_laugh]
    Overall, pretty forgettable.

    116- The Galileo Seven:
    -Premise: Investigation of a cosmic event ends with a shuttlecraft and 7 crewmembers stranded on a planet inhabited by hostile giants.
    -T2Q Comments: A pretty good Spock-centric episode, though Spock's logic-based mindset is taken to almost cartoonish levels at times, which hampers the episode a good deal. Still I'll put it in the "good but necessarily essential" grouping.
    Also worth noting the Commisioner's unfiform looks very much like the ones eventually used on Enterprise.


    117- The Squire of Gothos:
    -Premise: A powerful being fascinated by mankind's past keeps members of the crew inside his mansion, manipulating the reality around them at his will.
    -T2Q Comments: Not a bad episode, though I started to suspect this was the "Futurama episode ending" episode towards the end. Still, though some silliness occur at times (am I the only one who find Uhurha to be an absolutely worthless character?) no particularly terrible 60's acting pops up, so it ends up being a decent episode. I'll classify it in the same "good but necessarily essential" grouping.



    Up next- 118: Arena, 119: Tommorow is Yesterday & 120: Court Martial



    And hasn't The Squire of Gothos been retconned to show one of the Q-Continuum guys?

    In a TNG novel apparently, though since Trek novels aren't canon, it's questionable. An interesting possibility though.
  17. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    I don't remember much about "Shore Leave" but the other two are quite good. And Uhurha has exactly the amount of worth the times and the writers allowed her, which is very little. :p
  18. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    118- Arena:
    -Premise: After a Starfleet outpost is destroyed by an unknown ship, the Enterprise pursues, only for Kirk to be forced to face his opponent, a Gorn captain, in personal combat on a planet by more powerful entities.
    -T2Q Comments: This ones pretty cheesy (I mean, that Gorn costume and his slow-mo punches are just laughable), but it is watchable. The chemistry solution was rather obvious though (Kirk can't be that dense). When watching this I suspected this was the episode that had footage used in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and I was right ::).
    Overall, given the Gorn presence (later seen again on Enterprise) and the Bill & Ted connection, I'm willing to list it as "Potentially Essential, But Not Necessarily Good".

    119- Tommorow Is Yesterday:
    -Premise: An accident ends up sending the Enterprise back in time to the 1960's.
    -T2Q Comments: Fun little time travel adventure. This was originally going to be a 2-parter with The Naked Time, but they were separated, and doing so basicly renders that little time travel forumla thing at the end of TNT irrelvant since it's not used at all in this episode, which allows me to downgrade TNT to "Ok Episode, But Not Necessarily Essential". The "transporter replacement" trick at the end for returning the various people really made no sense at all though. Ah well, neither did the "drop-kick across time" in Enterprise, so it's kind of a running theme with Trek time travel stories I guess ;)
    Kirk's one line, responding to the threat of being locked up for the next 200 years, of "That ought to be about right." was actually pretty good too. Unexpectedly clever for the generally poor dialogue the show has.
    In the end, with the time travel aspect, I'll put this one in as "Definitely Essential".

    120- Court Martial:
    -Premise: Kirk is put on trial for possible negligence in the death of a crew member when the computer logs contradict his statement of events.
    -T2Q Comments: Ok, Starfleet court episodes generally suck. I'm not opposed to having a court drama episode, but this one was done very poorly, and has a couple really terrible performances (the guy who died and his daughter- must be genetic ;) ) combined with some bad plot holes. You have the one lawyer who makes a big deal of books vs computers, but does nothing to challenge the computer until Spock shows up, basicly willing to give up without any cross exaimination. I'd have fired the buffoon.
    Additionally, the romance with the prosecution chick really doesn't add anything to the plot or any drama or tension between them- what little there is feels artifical as a result. Also, I can't help but laugh at the guy who insists on finishing the court despite the fact that the ship is losing orbit- hello? you're crashing. Maybe you should finish that little court thing later.
    There's also the plot point of them amplifying the audio aboard the ship (1 to the 4th power...which would be...1 :oops: ), which, while an interesting idea, is not executed or integrated well at all. If we can hear people's heartbeats, why not their breathing or all the talking on the bridge? Or the various machinery?
    Also, it seems the only tool in engineering is a really big wrench. [face_laugh] And why does the entire ship shake from Kikr pulling some power cables? The engines weren't on, so there's no kickback taking place. "That. Does Not. Make. Sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit." ;)
    The court rules that this episode, though not entirely unwatchable, is forgettable. Court adjourned.



    Up next- 121: Return of the Archons, 122: Space Seed (KAHNNN!!) & 123: A Taste of Armageddon
  19. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    I remember "Arena". Cheesy goodness.

    Is the second one the roaring twenties episode?

    I agree that the Starfleet episodes are a giant yawn.
  20. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    No, it's the one where an Airforce officer is sent to investigate a UFO and finds the Enterprise and is beamed aboard before the Enterprise's tractor beam destroys his plane. He then eventually helps them recover the records of the Enterprise's presence (photographs, etc).
  21. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    I remember that one...and it contains the information that a moon landing is made in the late 60's; an accurate prediction. The officer makes a joking reference to 'little green men' and then looks at Spock's ears. Heh.
  22. Nightowl TFN Timetales Writer

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    Even better, they predicted the launch of the first moon mission happening on a Wednesday - and it DID, on July 16, 1969. :-B

  23. Jediflyer Force Ghost

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    I came across these Motivational Star Trek Posters and I thought the people reading this thread might enjoy them. Samples:

    [image=http://www.milkandcookies.com/images/static/startrekinspiration/insp_truelove_preview.jpg]

    [image=http://www.milkandcookies.com/images/static/startrekinspiration/insp_continuity_preview.jpg]
  24. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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  25. Jediflyer Force Ghost

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    Well, those pictures aren't working for me anymore, so I present my workaround:

    [image=http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a182/Jediflyer/insp_vulcans_preview.jpg]

    [image=http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a182/Jediflyer/insp_truelove_preview.jpg]

    [image=http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a182/Jediflyer/insp_ingenuity_preview.jpg]

    [image=http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a182/Jediflyer/insp_expendability_preview.jpg]

    [image=http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a182/Jediflyer/insp_continuity_preview.jpg]