Star Trek: The Original Series Season 2
SPOILERS TOTAL. You've been warned.
Spock's surprised outburst of "Captain! Jim!" has got to be one of his top moments on the show.
This is an interesting episode concept, but admittedly I'm a bit of an ancient astronaut theory whore. I can't help but think there should've been a way to reach a better outcome, but maybe I'm thinking too TNG here. Apollo wants things to be as they once were, but if he could make a bit of compromise there'd still be a place for him. Surely if knowledge of him got to the Federation at large there would be people willing to become voluntary followers. Or he could've found new purpose with a non-human species, since he clearly has no equivalent to the Prime Directive.
Enterprise seems to have a knack for getting crewgals who fall for the wrong ancient guy. This time one goes for Apollo, and it was just a few episodes back that one fell for Khan.
Also, Chekov is only 22? Didn't realize I'd started passing up TOS Enterprise crewmembers in age.
(First watched 2009-03-16) A lost Earth probe that merges with something else to have a dangerous change of mission? Hmm, where have I seen that before?
Nomad's merging was very weird. Rather than whole pieces of information gone, it half-remembered everything. Like that Captain Kirk sounded a little like its creator Roykirk. Or its original mission of "Seek out life" plus the alien probe's mission of "sterilize soil samples" merged into "Seek out life, and sterilize if imperfect"?
Maybe the writers didn't properly put into words what they meant, but what was going on with Uhura just seemed wrong. Nomad talks of wiping her memory... and their thought is that without brain damage they can reeducate her? Now, maybe it would've been more appropriate to compare what had happened to a stroke or something, where with therapy they could help her reconnect with her old self again. But as stated it just seemed like she became a blank slate, and through fancy education techniques they would turn her into a working officer again within a few weeks.
Somehow Kirk's joking about Nomad at the end seems inappropriate. "My son, the doctor!" After it vaporized four of the crew it doesn't seem like the kind of thing to say.
(First watched 2008-03-19) MORE flowers shooting people, this time with goofier sound effects.
Though as usual I disagree with Kirk that forcing the people away from their life was the necessarily right thing to do... in this case I think they were justified from a self-defense standpoint in taking out Vaal. I wonder if Vaal's name came from Baal?
Again convenient that Spock is Super Vulcan. Early on Vaal vaporized a redshirt with a lightning bolt, but Spock got away with second-degree burns.
Also, so nice of Kirk to say Spock looks like Satan.
(First watched 2008-03-20) Considering weapons technology of now (or even the late 60s), it seems like a few hundred years from now man would be able to make a 97 megaton explosion a bit more cheaply than sacrificing a Constitution-class starship. Just how powerful are those photon torpedos supposed to be anyway? That does seem a relatively easy explosion for destroying something that destroys planets; that they conjecture was a final effort doomsday device of some unknown civilization.
At least in the original special effects, the shuttlecraft appears huge. At least, the shots of it next to the planet killer don't make it seem much smaller than the shots of Constitution-class starships next to the planet killer.
(First watched 2008-03-21) The hidden racial memory fears of mankind are witches, cats, and old castles? Really?
For the umpteenth time, Spock mentions a form of life as possibly coming from another galaxy. When did he become expert on every goddamned thing in the Milky Way?
The little marionettes used at the end were funny, in that the strings were quite visible.
(First watched 2009-03-18) Boy... talking machines to death. Again. So they go through all those crazy actions to confuse a bunch of Alices to death, when in the end all they need to off Norman is the "The liar says he's a liar." paradox to cause smoke to start coming out of their heads?
As usual, Spock's logic depended on making some unfounded assumptions that turned out to be right. For starters, that it was obvious so many androids couldn't operate independently. Why? Then that the central system must be overloaded with more than 200,000 of them. Why?
Leaving Mudd on a planet with 500 replicas of his nagging ex-wife... that's cruel and unusual!
The set design was particularly interesting in this episode. Really weird door and chair shapes.
Boy, Cochrane sure looks and speaks a lot different when he's old-young. His reactions to the Companion weirded me out. First, he was ambivalent about it. Then he learned it was female, and felt violated and angry. Then it joined up with the human female, and he had the hots for it enough to abandon any other human contact for the rest of his life.
I don't quite get that, though. Sure, he's a famous guy who might get bugged... but he's already been alone (other than the Companion) for 150 years; would it be too much to have a FEW visitors occasionally and have at least a communications terminal or something?
Also, what the hell kind of story is Kirk going to make up for their strange problems that doesn't mention Cochrane but does explain away how they lost an entire diplomat they were supposed to be helping.
(First watched 2009-03-19) Spock and Sarek are big babies in this episode.
Kirk sure seemed sure the unidentified ship was like nothing the Romulans had. I guess in the past half year or so they went from having no knowledge of the Romulans over the last century to knowing about everything they have. Considering Mark Lenard was the main Romulan in that episode, I wonder how many viewers back in the day thought Sarek was some sort of Romulan spy.
(First watched 2009-03-23) Leonard James Akaar! I know of the characters from his appearance in the DS9 Relaunch novels, but I just assumed his goofy name and connection to TOS characters came from some other novel.
Kirk seemed more pissed than usual at the death of his redshirt. But seriously, the guy was asking for it. Seeing a Klingon and immediately preparing to fire on him is what Kirk considers a purely instinctual defensive move?
(First watched 2009-03-24) It's pretty funny to see these actors in old age makeup. Since it's several decades later we've seen what they look like a few decades older, so we can see how not-even-close they got.
The Commodore seemed in the right to remove Kirk from command, but he could've handled his following moves a bit more sensibly. I mean, cutting across into Romulan space to save time, but then not going as fast as possible? Pretty dumb to intrude upon Romulan space in general with little knowledge of them; the border must be freaky weird shaped there to make sticking on their side such a longer trip.
I like the callback to corbomite.
(First watched 2009-03-27) I sometimes wish the captains were a little less perfect. Might've been interesting if Kirk had been so obsessed about something and ended up being wrong about it.
So if they never successfully fought off the cloud in the old days... what was with Kirk giving specific advice on phaser settings to combat it?
So what was the big deal about needing someone to set off the antimatter bomb immediately before beaming out? It's not like it was such a tiny bomb that it would only kill things within 5 feet of it. Set a 10 second timer and beam out.
Kirk: "It seems impossible, but all the evidence points to Jack the Ripper!" Uhhh, up to that point the ONLY piece of evidence pointing to Jack the Ripper was a nickname muttered by a psychic. If that's all the evidence I had to go on, I'd think maybe crazy-Scotty was being inspired by the historical killer.
The guy who ended up being the corporeal body of the... thing... sounded like Radar from M*A*S*H.
I noticed one of the historical bits of serial-killery mentioned was in 2156. I wonder, if it had gone on a season or two longer, if they would've tried to make an Enterprise episode about that; though of course it couldn't reach a full conclusion.
So weird to see this episode, when I've seen DS9's Trials and Tribble-ations more often.
I wonder if McCoy's description of the tribbles is the only time the word "bisexual" has come up in Trek.
Kirk is a dick to Baris. Sure, it turns out to be Baris's assistant who is the behind-the-scenes trouble, but his initial worries about the safety of the grain weren't unwarranted, and Starfleet Command backed him up on it.
(First watched 2008-04-03) Boy, it just feels like there was nothing notable in this episode.
Well, OK. I did find it funny that the first time they had a fight, Kirk took the easy way out and went against the normal-sized guy. Chekov got a giant, and Uhura went against two women!
(First watched 2008-04-04) What a weird episode. It's probably a pretty dumb move on Kirk's part to unilaterally try to "undo" the society-tainting damage a previous Federation starship had done, once they'd escaped and there was no emergency situation. But then we wouldn't have much of an episode.
Pretty hard to believe that that one book about 1920s gangsters was enough for the people of the planet to recreate accurate clothing of many styles, vehicles, weaponry, and accents.
Fizzbin was a pretty weird idea... but really was pretty lame as a distraction. I mean, his deception didn't end up having anything to do with the game, but with dropping a card on the ground.
218: The Immunity Syndrome
(First watched 2009-03-28) So how big was that area of blackness? We know the amoeba was planet-sized, and it was much bigger than that. It has to be, to have sucked up an entire solar system.
I like the metaphor of Enterprise as an antibody for the galaxy's body.
Where did this thing come from, though? They were worried about it doubling and doubling and doubling... but if this one wasn't the first, that's still an unresolved issue.
219: A Private Little War
(First watched 2009-03-29) Very interesting. Highlights the dilemma of what to do once a place has been tainted. Kirk decides the only real option is to... taint it from another direction to try to restore balance. Not an easy decision, though.
I wonder what became of this. They were talking about how if the Klingons were interfering with the planet it could lead to war, but clearly that didn't happen. Did the situation on this planet continue escalating? What's it like in the 24th century? Or even a few decades later, when Federation/Klingon hostilities have cooled off?
(First watched 2008-04-09) First, I'm not sure I get the title. It sounds like a Babelfished version of Back to the Future. Nobody returned to tomorrow in this episode. If anything, the energy beings temporarily getting physical bodies again would be like a return to the past for them.
So yeah, yet again energy beings that are like nothing they've ever heard of. Uh-huh.
Seemed a bit pointless that the two good energy beings voluntarily died after they got rid of the bad seed. Sure, the android bodies they were working on wouldn't have exactly been like flesh and bone, but jeez.
Who knew Pulaski was so old?
(First watched 2008-04-10) Uh-huh. So some brilliant Federation observer decides to meddle with a society by trying to institute... good Nazism? Right down to the symbols, names, and uniforms?
222: By Any Other Name
(First watched 2009-03-30) Once they came up with the plan to distract the Kelvans with their human senses, how did I know Kirk's plan would be to force himself on a woman?
So they're a multi-generational force... and there are five of them? I know they're a completely alien species, but that seems like a pretty limited gene pool for a 600 year mission.
I suppose they made peace, but didn't share their technology. Certainly the Enterprise didn't keep going around at warp 11.
223: The Omega Glory
(First watched 2009-04-01) A planet with enough parallel development that it had something very like Earth's cold war? Believable. That it was similar enough to create the words Yankee and Communist, and later variations of them? A bit far-fetched. That it produced an exact duplicate of the US Constitution, down to the exact font? Bullshit.
Also bullshit, the conversation near the end that went something like this.
Spock: That other captain was clearly wrong to stick his nose in this planet's business, in violation of the Prime Directive. But didn't you just do the same thing?
Kirk: No, because I'm the good guy.
The idea of a Starfleet officer going against Starfleet rules and ethics in an attempt to get access to a fountain of youth reminded me of Star Trek: Insurrection.
I recently said it'd be nice if the captains were more fallible. Well, considering every time Kirk runs into another starship captain they've either gone mad or evil or dead or something, maybe it's a good thing there's at least one successful one?
224: The Ultimate Computer
(First watched 2009-04-02) Whoa, Daystrom. I've frequently heard of the Daystrom Institute, but I kinda thought he was someone from even further back in history. Didn't realize he'd be showing up in TOS like Cochrane did. Aaand he's Blacula!
For people who work on a highly advanced starship, everyone seems a bit too damn touchy about a further innovation. Though both sides seem to look at the situation in extremes. Daystrom: "Nobody needs to go around space anymore!" Others: "We don't need no stinking computer!" Really if this thing had worked out it'd be a great supplement, though clearly couldn't take the place of 95% of the people on board as shown here.
The M-5 was supposed to be so good that with its better-than-human reflexes, it could really take on three equally equipped ships?
Funny at the end how they're talking about the potential/horror of a computerized doctor.
225: Bread and Circuses
(First watched 2009-04-03) Hey, YET ANOTHER very-near-Earth. At least this one had an interesting twist, though: Rome survives to the technological equivalent of our 20th century. Given the Roman setting, I thought the twist on the Sun/Son worshippers was a bit obvious. I wonder what sort of theological arguments that would cause in the Trek universe? One side could say it proves there's a God causing planets to develop in a similar way, and sending Christ to each. Another side could say that random chance causing similar things to occur in various places just goes to show that religious beliefs are a natural development.
Nice McCoy/Spock scene when they're in a cell alone together, and more serious than banter for a change.
(First watched 2008-04-18) Weird episode, considering it was also intended as a pilot for a present-day spinoff. That being the case the guest star is the real hero of the episode, while the Enterprise crew mostly get in his way since they're not sure if he's a good guy. The show nearly got canceled after this season; this would've been an oddy of a last episode.
What were they doing there, anyway? The excuse of going back in time to see how mankind survived troubling times seems a bit goofy, and something that would take a lot more than a few days of intercepting broadcasts or whatnot. If they weren't interrupted, would they have gone to the planet to spy around? Would they have bounced around more points in history to get a broader view?
So at the end of the episode Kirk and co. basically say "HEY we checked our records and this stuff was supposed to happen!" Well, A) Why weren't you checking up on this shit earlier? and B) I know time travel on Trek isn't very consistent, but if the events of the day weren't in the record before, they probably would be AFTER they did them, not proving much of anything.
Earth seemed to be having a very non-cloudy day when they'd show the Enterprise orbiting it. Also, the dubbed-in fake cat meows sounded really, really bad. Scotty's hair seemed weird in this episode; combed differently.
This episode was followed up in the Eugenics Wars novels.