Tuesday, May 7, 2013

TV Talk - Star Trek

This installment of TV Talk is brought to you by none other than Dr. Cornelius, husband of Zira and friend of Taylor.

"Beware the beast man, for he is the devil's pawn."

........ Wow,  either that Lawgiver was an enormous prick, or he was talking about Beast Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Anyway, welcome back. This time, I will be finally looking the classic series, Star Trek. Yes, this had to take a while for a few reasons as you will find out.

My first TOS (The Original Series) episode was the one called "Obsession." I believe I was in fourth grade and I was at my uncle's apartment when I saw it and it was playing on Fox. When we eventually got cable, I would watch it on the SciFi Channel when they would show it during the day. If it was ever on in syndication, I'd watch it. I even watched a couple of episodes on YouTube when CBS used to officially have them on there. When I got Nextflix, I started to peruse through the episodes. For this month, I've been trying to watch episodes that I either haven't watched in full or that are my favorites. Shockingly, I'll admit that's been a little hard to do with some of these.

Khan: Well, I think this is a start of a beautiful "friendship." 

Wow, I got a lot to say and I really don't know how to put it all. I'll try to narrow it down to a few things:
  • Awesome characters - One of the best things about this show is the crew of the Enterprise. We have our somewhat reckless but awesome captain, our logical and cold first officer, our overemotional doctor, ... and everyone else (lol). Just about everyone had something about them that was cool. What I really liked about our main characters was the friendships between them. While Spock could come off as cold, there is a sense that he does care. He just shows it in a Vulcan way. I also love the bickering between Spock and McCoy.
  • Interesting, imaginative stories - You pretty much get a situation of the week for each episode. The Enterprise travels through space and faces all kinds of wonders and dangers. There's actually only one two-parter in the whole series. While there are times where some of these episodes tend to repeat a certain aspect, the creators at least tried to do something different and unique in each episode. One episode may be about a guy who becomes a god-like being while another episode will be about a lonely god-like being. 
  • Actioned-packed - If there's one thing this show's remembered for, it's the fight scenes. While they could border on parody and hilarity, they were awesome. I guess Shatner was contracted to get in a choreographed fight for each episode.Also, the space battles (what few there were) were pretty impressive for something like that for the time.
  •  Nice acting - There were some good acting moments in the show. While it may not have been Oscar-worthy at times, it was nice. One of my favorite moments is a conversation between Spock and his mom in the episode "Journey to Babel." 
  • The Women - Come On! You know this is one reason to watch the original series. They all looked good. Uhura, Nurse Chapel, Yeomen Brand, the one green chick, that one beauty... I could go on but I'll stop there.
  • Epic Battle Music - One thing that made the fight scenes awesome was the music especially this one tune.

It's probably the only cool thing in "The Way to Eden."

Yes, there are dislikes with the show. Every show has them and Star Trek is in that same boat.
  • Too formulaic - I know it may be nit-picky, but the show did get repetitive in some plots. It seems like Enterprise had a knack for facing evil computers and the only way to beat them is to talk them to death. Kirk is usually known for falling for any woman he comes in contact with. A god-like being would show up every-so-often. The crew would usually find a planet that is pretty similar to Earth. One last trope is that the crew gets sick with some deadly virus or gets taken over by an opposing force. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy most of these episodes, but a little more variety would be good. 
  • Questionable acting - There can be some questionable acting with the show. the first person you can easily look at is William Shatner. He's not a bad actor by any means, but he had his times where you wondered what he was doing. 
  • Lackluster 3rd season - Of all of the three seasons, the 3rd season is by far the weakest of the bunch. A lot of what I talked about before pertains to this season. While you had a few clunkers in the first two seasons, Season Three is where it got really sub-par. There aren't really any standout episodes when it comes to this one. One of the few that I do like from this season is "The Tholian Web," which is pretty interesting. On the other hand, you have really lackluster episodes like "Spock's Brain," "And the Children Shall Lead," and "Turnabout Intruder."  
You know, I think that's all I have for this section. While there are certain things to pick apart with the show, it's still something I can watch. Yes, it's somewhat dated, the effects aren't always good, the situations can be a bit repetitive, and there are some bad episodes. Luckily, there's a lot more for me here to like than to dislike.
Episodes to watch
Instead of giving my favorite episodes only, here's a list of episodes to watch. Some of my favorites are on the list but not all of them.
  • Watch the Whole First Season!!! - (lol).... I know that's not an episode, but when looking at a list of that season, there are a lot of good episodes in that first season alone. "Balance of Terror", "City On the Edge of Forever", and "The Menagerie" are some of my favorites from this show. It's also the season where we meet a guy name KHAN... yes, that KHAN.
  • Journey to Babel - We get a family drama with Spock and his family, a funny fight scene, and disguised Orions. This might be my favorite episode of the series.
  • A Private Little War - It's not my favorite episode. If you like fights, bad wigs, a Prime-Directive disobeying Kirk, and a woman who gives Lady Macbeth  a run for her money, then you'll like this one.
  • Mirror, Mirror - Trapped in an alternate reality = awesomeness.
  • The Omega Glory - If you like overly patriotic stuff, this might be for you. Me? Not so much.
  • Pattern of Force - Three words: "Dang, Dirty, Nazis!!!" I do like this episode though. Basically some Federation diplomat thought it would be cool to use Adolf Hitler's ideals as a template on another planet... yeah, sounds like a stupid idea for a government, doesn't it?
  • Spock's Brain - Oh dear... this one. If you don't expect anything cerebral or good, you can at least have a couple of good laughs and tolerate it. 
  • The Way to Eden - If you want to see something that really dates this show, then this is the episode for you.
  • I, Mudd - A comedic episode? Yes. A good episode? Shockingly, yeah. I really liked this one. 
  • Let That Be Your Last Battlefield - An obvious episode about racism.

Well, that's all I got for that list. I definitely recommend the show for anyone who is looking for a little scifi goodness in their lives. With all of that said, Peace and God Bless. Next time is going to be hard for me... there's an animated series. Wish me luck.


1 comment:

  1. Omega Glory is awful and Private Little War is to dark. As to what you said about formula remember the series did have a formula the point was what the lesson was not a new way to tell the story. Just an opinion, nice job.