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Old August 24 2012, 03:11 PM   #13
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Did a three episode marathon last night. I find myself noticing more and more tech things now that the plots are moldy and old in my brain after 42 years of watching the series.

The Enemy Within - Fantastic episode, one I don't go to as often as I would think. Shatner's great here and the cast is quite good, even of the personalities are still wobbly. A couple of bits stood out as bothersome, one because of the era, the other because it just seemed wrong.

1. Janice is nearly raped and she never once stands up for herself afterward. She wouldn't "have even mentioned it." In other words, if not for Fisher seeing it, she would have let "Kirk" get away with his assault (leaving him to explain the scratches, I imagine). "…and he IS the captain." Does this mean she feels he can take certain liberties? I think they were trying to play up loyalty to the captain and she obviously has attraction toward him. Also, rape was always a taboo subject back then, so even touching it is amazing, but the post-rape attempt really puts Janice in a very submissive light. Spock's joke at the end is legendary in its inappropriateness.

2. McCoy's dismissive line about "they'd die anyway" is bothersome to me. I get that Bones is trying to keep Kirk from putting himself at risk and yes, the landing party would die either way if the machine wasn't fixed, but the way it's delivered makes it sound like McCoy has written them off and doesn't care. A doctor?

As is the norm with Leo Penn's TV work, a few scenes seem to have been switched around seem off. Kirk and Spock being told by Scotty about the two dogs should have been later - after Spock decides there is an imposter aboard. The reveal of the malfunction should have followed this and THAT should have been the fade out to commercial. This would fix a few lines between Spock and Kirk which seem odd now ("I've been here since you left me - alone Mr. Spock" would work better if Kirk and Spock weren't walking the ship in between the rape attempt and this scene).

When Fisher falls and slashes his hand, he very gingerly opens the communicator grid with his hurt hand. Poor guy, if he just would have flipped it with the other, he wouldn't have had to suffer through that. And the "chirps" are absurdly long. There are like 9 of them.

We hear Uhura on the intercom, but she's not in this episode. A standard problem in the early episodes. When we first see Farrell at the climax, his short is missing its insignia. Much like Kirk's at the beginning.

Minor but interesting hiccups in an otherwise fine, legendary episode.

Mudd's Women - Hard to believe this was one of the three candidates for second pilot, it's not that good. Roger Carmel is annoying at times with his over the top bluster and handlebar mustache, but he gets better as he drops his "Leo Walsh" fašade. Lots of technical issues and a TON of dubbing in the teaser. Every time Spock is off screen, his voice is poorly looped. He is somewhat tense in the looping and WAAAAAAY laid back in the on camera delivery ("and his engines arrrrrrrre super heating"). Close up shots of Kirk are from The Naked Time and the expression doesn't match the master shots again. The transporter scene, once the women show up, is do badly edited, it's the stuff of legend. Before the women move from the pad, a close up shows them standing in a row; the dark haired girl's close up is from or used in the sick bay scene, and Bones' close up is also from that point. I'm surprised at how sloppy the editing was in the early episodes. Were they THAT under the gun?

Mudd notes that Spock is part Vulcanian. Never mind the abandoned name for the people of Vulcan, what made him deduce Spock was not a FULL Vulcan?

Kirk, Spock, and Mudd beam down to Rigel and walk toward a metal housing complex. Inside it looks like it's made out of rock, like the carved out interior of a cave. Which is weird, especially the rock on hinges which acts as a door. At the end, Childress says Kirk is welcome to the crystals (which are "here") and Kirk tells Spock he's beaming aboard with them. Yet Kirk and Mudd leave without taking any. The Enterprise, at this point, is minutes from plummeting into the atmosphere. After the "throw away the key" line, Kirk must have turned around after realizing he forgot something.

The climax is just too much, asking us to swallow Eve, merely by believing in herself, can have perfectly done hair and makeup out of nowhere. How any of the speech making amounted to them being blissfully in love is a mystery. Eh, now I remember why I don't watch this one that much.

What Are Little Girls Made Of? - this is an interesting, Spock-lite episode, when Kirk was the main character. Spock is in so little of this, it's a wonder Nimoy is listed in the opening credits. An interesting story, done somewhat better on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (The Cyborg), this is a claustrophobic episode. Technically, it's a winner; the split screen and makeup effects are top drawer. The penis rock, though, cracks me up and ruins the tension. Kirk convinces Ruk to betray Corby a little too easily, but Ted Cassidy's performance makes up for it.

Somehow putting a half sized blob of molded paper mache on a lazy Susan makes androids. I really need to try that.

Not much to say about this one, it's not BAD, but it's not great either. It's bland and relies too much on Majer Barrett, who was never that great as Nurse Chapel. Sherry Jackson, however, is wonderful to look at and her final scene is weirdly touching.
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