Friday, March 2, 2012

Review: Star Trek (1966-1969) [57-68]

We enter Season 3.

"Spectre of the Gun" (4/10)
More subdued opening theme, eh? Shatner doesn't look so fit. And the Enterprise seems to be missing some fill lights. And Uhura's... hair... sucks.
-- Well, the special effect on the space buoy is an improvement over the usual crap the ship comes across, disregarding the general strangeness of finding geometric objects that spin in space. Wish I could say the same for the devildoll with the glowing eyes. Did their budget take a nosedive? Will every planet be covered in impenetrable fog? Oh of course not, there'll be Earth parallels too, how silly of me to forget them. It's not a total loss in that the idea of executing someone by making them play the losing side in a reenactment of a historical event is neat, and the set that this plays out in is all abstract... and... there's a sign floating in midair! Could this be a seed of the Holodeck idea? I'll annoyingly pester Leonard Nimoy at the next convention. He loves dumb questions. Just loves em.

"Elaan of Troyius" (6/10)
A racial tete-a-tete with a spoiled princess, a dignitary immune to stab wounds, and a hidden Klingon warship off the port bow. A series of small but deadly problems need to be solved. The plot, like the general quality, is better than the title would have you believe.
-- Kirk resists the poorly set up Love Tears rather well, considering the story requirements, but I don't know why Spock wouldn't relieve him of duty, just to be safe. He even has a good recommendation from Bones. I enjoyed how straightforward and cliche-twist-free the story was, that it all boiled down to just getting the princess to Troyius without getting blown to bits. Oh, a small complaint, but it's one I have for Robinson Crusoe on Mars too. It's a shame the princess isn't some weird looking alien, like a reptile or something with long fingers, but just some hot looking human. Having her look as strange as the visiting ambassador would have upped the suspense and really driven home the "strange new worlds" theme of the show, not to mention making the biochemical tears a little more believable (Recall: barn scenes in Splice). I guess going that route means that I want Enemy Mine, but in my mind it's less stupid shut up leave me alone.

"The Paradise Syndrome" (3/10)
Earth parallel! It's one of THOSE KIND too. You know what I mean... Indians (wagon burners)... half-assed ticking clock element... Enterprise races to a piece of crumpled paper...
-- Someone didn't inform Shatner proper CPR techniques, ie you're not trying to fuck the victim. Then they zoom in on the guy who has a problem with all this WILL HE BE THE EPISODE'S VILLAIN? What the hell is HAPPENING? WHAT IN GODS NAME AM I WATCHING Still want to claim that Starfleet's Prime Directive is defended to the death? Because allowing a pre-warp civilization to be destroyed by an asteroid would be following that directive. Y'know, problems of this nature can be avoided if you resist the urge to beam down onto every planet you come across. At least the episode gives us an explanation as to why there are so many of these planets throughout the galaxy. But do The Protectors ever come back in a later episode/show? I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. Either way, this is probably the worst thing that has ever happened on Starfleet watch. Somebody needs to lose their job.

"The Enterprise Incident" (4/10)
Initiate Implausibility Gambit reminicient of a Sonic the Hedgehog comic story. The one where Sally goes on a secret mission without telling anybody. Do you remember which issue it is? I looked but I can't seem to find it. It's one of the early ones. I won't discount the possibility of it being in the miniseries. I want to say it's before issue 25, but anything is possible. It's going to bother me so somebody please tell me.
-- Being that my favorite aspect of the show was that uncrossable Romulan neutral zone, I'm disappointed that it is broken in the first five minutes of an episode by a ridiculous Kirk. It's one of those secret missions that require impossible feats of intuition regarding enemy actions. And no War Bird? More like no "Balance of Terror." No I won't stop harping about it.

"And the Children Shall Lead" (3/10)
Rule 4675: When you beam down to a planet and see nothing but a bunch of dead bodies, beam the fuck back up. There might be a horrible disease or worse, children. Then you'll have to beam down headstones and a whole ordeal ensues with a disembodied old guy who cannot act his way out of balls.
-- There is a part where Kirk beams crewmen out into space and writes them off as dead before even a minute passes. You guys perform medical miracles all the live-long day! You can't like, TRY? The only part I enjoyed is when Chekov and Kirk started yelling at each other. A low point for certain.

"Spock's Brain" (4/10)
"His b-what?" Ugh. UGH. Bones should have been controlling Spock's body with an NES Advantage.
-- This group of female brainthieves is fucking annoying; I'da resorted to smacking them way closer to the beginning. The plot of the episode is really unclear... the women don't seem to have much of a working knowledge of their own culture and why do they need Spock's brain again? I don't know, and the Enterprise crew moves against a 'needs of the many' argument to save Spock. I should have been keeping a tally this whole time. I know of this episode's reputation, but Worst Ever? It doesn't strike me as such, especially after the previous one.

"Is There In Truth No Beauty?" (6/10)
Watch how often I get the title wrong when mentioning it to others. Some Lovecraft for you.
-- I'm surprised at how geniunely horrific this episode gets, and it's sort of a first season style episode. The concept of an alien race so ugly that they inspire madness in humans and all of these crazy precautions need to be taken is a great idea. Followed by liberal use of a fish-eye lens. Once they solved the problem I was like "Oh, how do we still have ten minutes left OH SHIT SPOCK FORGOT TO PUT ON THE GLASSES." Next time I need a body to ride around in, I know who to choose.

"The Empath" (4/10)
Leave it to Kirk to yell at a mute girl... the extremely overacty mute girl with the injury transfer powers and superhealing abilities. The show's writers find a way to set an entire episode in a dark warehouse. Bones hates underground dwellings too?!
-- Fucking ouch on the wrist wounds! Man, Star Trek has a prejudice against aliens with big heads. They's always motherfuckers. It's another powerful-mediating-race in disguise, the twist being that our heroes have to convince them to stop being assholes. Which actually isn't a twist at all.

"The Tholian Web" (6/10)
Has the starship designation Defiant been used elsewhere? Seems like it has. *takes nap, wakes up* Worf's ship from DS9/First Contact! I'm the fuckin MAN!
-- Neway, the crew's spacesuits look way more practical than they did back in "The Naked Time," if also way more ridiculous looking. There are bunch of small, silly moments in execution (more fish-eye lens!) between a bunch of cool stuff (Kirk waiting on a silent bridge in the middle of a bunch of dead bodies while they work frantically to beam him back). Spock is making a mess of things under command again, do Vulcans just suck at it like black people suck at being humble? Heh, racism. I'll stop Bonesing, Spock does a much better job this time around. And I'm especially a sucker for the web that increases in size and complexity as the episode goes on and the situation gets more dire. Is there a last-minute continuity error? Vulcans ARE capable of lying, then?

"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" (5/10)
A dramatic terminal illness episode?! In THIS show?! Are we certain this planetary body is an asteroid? It looks a lot like a planet, what with the sky and everything. Oh I get it, it's like a thing they're doing.
-- It's strange having a 'we love Bones' episode right after a 'we love Kirk' episode, but then again, what order am I watching these things in? To be honest, I don't know how I feel about this one. There's nothing too stupid about it, but it doesn't go many places. I'd almost say it was... hollow?

"Day of the Dove" (4/10)
Steve Aylett is right: Kirk sometimes looks like a grotesque monster. Look at the way he beams down to a planet in hunched aggression. He is clearly a danger.
-- What is with this episode? Kirk tells somebody 'go to the devil,' Chekov calls the Klingons 'cossacks,' the Federation may have death camps, the Klingons complain about the violence of another culture, Chekov is overcome by what I assume is patriotism and gets the rape-urge in him... does that glowing electric ball have something to do with it? I sense another all-powerful-being episode... or it's a thinly veiled metaphor for... stem-cell research...

"Plato's Stepchildren" (4/10)
Uuuuuuuuggggghhhh, a midget is always a bad sign for a television episode, I've been known to think. Does that make me a bad person? Yes.
-- Moving on, this is also a *sound drop* Earth Parallel AND about a race with psychic (psychokinetic? PSIONIC?! headmakeydo) abilities. Just to make matters a little bit worse, the story requires DeForest Kelley to throw himself around the set, which he is the worst ever at doing. It's better than "The Squire of Gothos" because of awesome wire work and more intense villains that torture our heroes... with a surprisingly tame interracial kiss. Humph. I didn't like it, what do you want from me?

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