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Decker December 31 2010 08:26 AM

The 2011-12 Trek Marathon
I'm going to start a marathon viewing of Star Trek tomorrow, January 1st, one episode a day (as time allows it). Including all seven series as well as the eleven movies (a total 727 installments), the marathon is just three days short of two years and (as long as the world doesn't end before that) should end on December 28th '12.

I plan to begin with “The Cage” and continue TOS in production order (different one from the blu-ray/DVD). From TAS onwards, I think it best to watch the episodes in the order they originally aired on TV (as given by Memory Alpha), with intertwining series, interrupted by the movies.
To give an example, the schedule for the week from the 16th to 22nd of April 2012 should look somewhat like this:
(16) VOY 3×25 Worst Case Scenario
(17) DS9 5×24 Empok Nor
(18) VOY 3×26 Scorpion
(19) DS9 5×25 In the Cards
(20) DS9 5×26 Call to Arms
(21) VOY 4×01 Scorpion, Part 2
(22) VOY 4×02 The Gift
I think this might be a wonderful opportunity to exchange thoughts on episodes and get to watch the whole franchise.

Who wants to participate?

Nardpuncher December 31 2010 02:28 PM

Re: Trek Marathon
I'd like to participate but don't have access to all the episodes, as well as having many episodes of Voyager and Enterprise I never want to see again.

That's a great 45th anniversary logo, where'd you get it?

Decker December 31 2010 03:10 PM

Re: Trek Marathon
I found that image online. Seems to be the logo for the 45th anniversary convention in Las Vegas.

That's too bad. I suppose access wouldn't be much of a problem thanks to YouTube etc.
I can see why you wouldn't want to rewatch certain episodes though;)

Yeoman Randi December 31 2010 06:29 PM

Re: Trek Marathon
What a great idea! I watch at least one ep a day (of the various incarnations) and wish i could do it with you. That would be great fun to have someone to watch and compare notes with. But i look forward to your posts! ENJOY!

Alienesse December 31 2010 06:51 PM

Re: Trek Marathon
I really like your initiative, danrohrbach! I would like to join your Trek marathon as well. So, as I understand it, we're watching "The Cage" tomorrow, and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" the day after tomorrow, right?

sbk1234 December 31 2010 08:27 PM

Re: Trek Marathon
Shall we all meet at your house, and where will we sleep?

LOKAI of CHERON January 1 2011 01:21 AM

Re: Trek Marathon
I'm doing the exact same thing - watching two episodes a day. I'm going with this order, which is supposedly chronological. I was hoping somebody might be able to comment on its accuracy?

Decker January 1 2011 01:55 AM

Re: Trek Marathon
Alienesse: Thank you. Yes, that's right. For TOS, I suppose it'll be best to go production order (as listed on Memory Alpha or the episode guide linked to on top of this forum).

LOKAI of CHERON: Personally I don't think that kind of chronology (stardate order) would make much sense, 'cause you'd miss out on all the development of Star Trek as a franchise and the changes it went through over the years production value-wise (obviously so when you begin with the latest one and move on to the earliest after that).
And since not just a few of the stardates are picked for convenience rather than reference, in-story character development as well will only be apparent if you watch the series in air date order. The producers surely didn't do several seasons to eventually have them rearranged by us the fans.

Surely, in the case of an arc like, let's say the Dominion War, where you have two series exploring the same timeframe, the producers obviously want us to watch both simultaneously to get the bigger image, thus DS9 and VOY were aired the way they did.

Edit: By the way, how come there's no option to delete your own post/thread and, even though I renamed the first post's title, the thread title won't change?

AstroSmurf January 1 2011 04:26 PM

Re: The 2011-12 Trek Marathon
^ That is something a Mod would have to fix for you... which I now have. :bolian:

LOKAI of CHERON January 1 2011 07:17 PM

Re: The 2011-12 Trek Marathon
Well, Broken Bow and Fight Or Flight down... only 725 segments to go!

Decker January 2 2011 05:59 AM

Re: The 2011-12 Trek Marathon
Happy new year to everyone!
And here we go, the big two-year Star Trek Marathon. Here's some of my thoughts on the first episode.


TOS 0x01 The Cage ('11/01/01)

"The Cage", being the first pilot, wasn't seen by the public in its original form until released on VHS in 1986 (it aired for the first time in '88 during a TNG season break). Nevertheless, most of its footage had already been reused in the two-parter "The Menagerie" (coming up January 16/17).
Said two-parter almost makes "The Cage" feel a little redundant, since it's essentially nothing more than a clever move on Roddenberry's part to get "The Cage" on TV screens after all. A number of people go so far as to consider this first pilot non-canon, partly also because of numerous inconsistencies with the rest of the series.

Jeffrey Hunter as Pike is believable and engaging. For some reason I can't help but think of "Planet of the Apes" (and maybe even more so "Beneath") when watching this episode. Sure there's similarities in the plot, but the thickness and heroics of both Heston's Astronaut Taylor and Captain Pike are anything but unlike.
I would have loved to see Hunter do a few more episodes as captain or at least guest-star along Shatner. I can't see him romance the women like Kirk though.

That Spock's emotionlessness hadn't been decided on at the time this episode was shot is pretty obvious. His whole tone is different from the Spock we know.

One might notice that the transporter special effect is a bit different from the one we're used to. Here are Roddenberry's instructions:

"Appearances and disappearances of crew:
Eliminate the thick line around the crew members as they are transported. Have a subtle suggestion of sparkle rather than the Peter Pan sparkle being used. Get rid of the colored outline. Have crew members slowly dissolve. Maintain whole image with slight flickering of color instead of present solid color. All the actors should have the same color effect instead of the present individual assortment of colors.
- G. R."

"The Cage" is a thoroughly enjoyable episode. Apart from the fact that it's Pike and not Kirk, it's a perfectly adequate pilot to the series and, as such, feels more accessible than "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

Favorite quotes:
  • "Sometimes, a man'll tell his bartender things he'll never tell his doctor." (Boyce)
  • "Alright, telepathy!" (Pike)
  • "The women!" (Spock)

Alienesse January 2 2011 11:18 AM

Re: The 2011-12 Trek Marathon
Happy new year, fellow Trekkies!

This surely is a great way to start a year. Here are my thoughts on "The Cage":

  • I really liked Captain Pike, but, although I wasn't around in the sixties, I think that his angsty nature was a bit ahead of its time. I would have loved to see more episodes with him as Captain, though. I'm sure it would have been a very different show. Still, a comparison with Kirk is inevitable and Kirk wins in my book. I think Kirk's more flamboyant demeanor worked far better for the role of starship captain and especially coupled with Spock's later restrained manner.
  • Having a woman in a position of true authority was great, but I couldn't help noticing the little sexist remarks such as "I can't get used to having a woman on the bridge" or Pike's response to Number One's inquisitive glance - "No offense, Lieutenant. You're different, of course." Oh well, I guess sexism hasn't been a problem in the real world for a long time, so we could let that go.
  • As much as I loved the idea of a female XO, I'm glad Roddenberry chose to keep Spock and change him into the character that we know today. Nimoy's line delivery in "The Cage" sounded forced and robotic, and Spock's character wasn't as effective displaying emotion the way he did in the first pilot.
  • The doctor was ok, but McCoy was a very inspired replacement.
  • I loved the philosophical theme of the episode. What is reality and what is merely an illusion? When is it sensible to choose one over the other? That's good stuff.
  • Favorite quote: "There's a way out of any cage, and I'll find it." (Pike)
Overall, it was a good episode, but the way that the show actually turned out was a definite improvement.

Decker January 2 2011 05:34 PM

Re: The 2011-12 Trek Marathon

TOS 1x01 Where No Man Has Gone Before ('11/01/02)

This is the second pilot of Star Trek. Or let's say, the "Kirk pilot". First thing I noticed is that we get some pretty conclusive information about Spock. His actions might not be really essential to the plot here, but a considerable amount of time is spent on building his character. That and the following is reason good enough for watching TOS in production order instead of going with air date.

In the opening scene of this episode (which is also the first time we get introduced to 3D chess) it is established that Spock doesn't show the same kind of emotional response like humans do and that one of his "ancestors married a human female". Kirk calls him heartless after Spock suggests killing Mitchell (played by Gary Lockwood, Dr. Poole from "2001: A Space Odyssey"). In his own words: "I don't feel. All I know is logic."
On another note, no one should be allowed to tell Spock to "get out of here".

I gotta be honest: I never really liked this one a lot. The episode (its acting, dialogue, implications, etc.), especially the final confrontation, is overly dramatic, unfittingly so with it being the pilot. And, although there's some background on Spock, the non-regulars get too much screen time. There's not much that we find out about our captain.

From Alpha Memory:


This was the second Star Trek pilot. However, it aired as the third regular series episode, after "The Man Trap" and "Charlie X". In their book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, Robert H. Justman and Herbert F. Solow explain that because this segment was "too expository" in nature – a common fault with pilots – it would not have made a good premiere episode for the series.
Apart from regular crew members being absent, there are some other things that we'll see change for the better in the next few episodes. Most noticeably, Spock's eyebrows. Not as bushy as in "The Cage", but here they are slanted close to 45 degrees. Also, some of the crew members obviously failed to get the memo about the uniforms. Spock and Scotty are still in their gold ones from "The Cage". It will take a few more episodes for the costume department to work out the final designs and who is to wear which.

The biggest increase compared to "The Cage" is in action. There's fistfights, psionic electrocuting and the only instance of the "phaser rifle". That one looks pretty funky but almost ends up proving completely useless against the now god-like Mitchell.
Sulu is there, but then again pretty absent. Most of the time he's just standing around, quite decoratively so. Thankfully he gets to say something rather intelligent at the crew meeting. We'll meet McCoy and Uhura tomorrow.

Favorite Quotes:
  • "You were dead for almost twenty-two seconds" (Dehner) <-- Did she really count that?
  • "Above all else, a god needs compassion" (Kirk)

Decker January 3 2011 08:16 PM

Re: The 2011-12 Trek Marathon

TOS 1x02 The Corbomite Maneuver ('11/01/03)

The more I see this episode, the better it gets. When writing, I was just about to call it "mildly entertaining", but after giving it even another try, "mildly" really doesn't seem to do it justice after all. It's definitely a tad more than just that.

The episode has its lengths. Most obvious is this in the last third, when Balok's pilot vessel is "guiding" Kirk, who in turn tries breaking free from Balok's grip. Although I do understand that stakes are being raised in their little game of poker, I still feel that some things could have been done in far less screen time. But as it is, the episode keeps growing on me.
You just gotta love how Kirk is playing poker with Balok, not knowing that he's the one being played. Even more so: by a "child", because Balok himself is the big bluff. Vintage Star Trek.

In that regard, "Maneuver" is an interesting character study complete with important message and "Wizard of Oz"-like twist at the end.

"Maneuver" marks the first appearance of Uhura and Yeoman Rand, who gets told to stop hovering. First thing Kirk says to her. This is in essence just a variation of last episode's "Get out of here!" Kirk's really not having his best day, so even McCoy gets an angry reminder in mid-episode.
One possible in-universe explanation for this? Erratic costume changes. Starfleet is a little slow delivering the right uniforms, so everyone's wearing whatever's available. You sure can't blame Kirk for getting agitated fast with all this confusion.
But not just Kirk, no; McCoy and Spock too seem to suffer under the circumstances.


McCOY: I'm a doctor, not a moon shuttle conductor.
Oh my, what a start! Did the person responsible for this inspired example of screenwriting actually try speaking this? What is a "moon shuttle conductor" anyway?
Also: Spock tells Bailey it is (quote) "not necessary to raise your voice". The last two episodes render this somehow unintentionally funny.

We are only at day #3 of our marathon, but I'm pretty convinced that "glowing orange cubicle mystery theme"(TM) might just be the single most iconic and/or memorable tune in the franchise. Only thing is it tends to get old a little fast.
Every time we the audience are supposed to be on the edge of our seats, we are told so by a sudden flare of "cubicle mystery theme".


KIRK: Kirk here. What's going on?
SPOCK: Have a look at this, captain.
Spock pushes button.
In any case, I really like this one. In the key moments, it's Kirk as we know and love him: full of optimism, willing to take risks and absolutely sure of himself. Through his actions and passionate assertion near the end of the episode, he reminds us that the Enterprise and her voyages are ultimately about just the ideals that we got (today for the first time) introduced to in the opening narration.

On a sidenote: Even though we don't see Chekov until Season Two, it is goodbye to Bailey at this stage. So for how long did Bailey stay with Balok (played by the then seven year-old brother of film director Ron Howard)?
Well, for quite a considerable amount of time, it seems. The Voyager short story "Ambassador at Large" (published as part of the anthology "Strange New Worlds I") mentions a century of exploring the Alpha and Delta Quadrant alongside Balok before running into Captain Janeway's crew at the dawn of the Dominion War.

Favorite Quotes:
  • BAILEY: We've only got eight minutes left!
    SULU: Seven minutes and forty-five seconds.
    BAILEY: He's doin' a countdown!!
  • BAILEY: Raising my voice back there doesn't mean I was scared or couldn't do my job. It means I happen to have a human thing called an adrenaline gland.
    SPOCK: It does sound most inconvenient, however. Have you considered having it removed?
  • "I know, I know. A thousand questions. But first, the tranya" (Balok)

erastus25 January 4 2011 12:24 AM

Re: The 2011-12 Trek Marathon
Best of luck to you! I'm in the middle of doing that myself. Part way through the 6th season of DS9. I had to do a lot of thinking for the intertwining series/movies. I used a mix of stardate and airdate to determine in what order to watch them. The toughest decision was where to put Nemesis - I'm going to watch it after DS9 concludes.

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