Mutai Sho-Rin wrote:
Yesterday, I carefully watched Mantrap and Charlie X and came to some interesting conclusions.
1. Shatner isn't as bad as I remembered, at least not in these two eps.
Shatner is uniformly terrific in early season 1. He's the viewpoint character, and he really carries the show, during the period before they fully flesh out Spock's character and before they establish the Bones banter.
I think Shatner's early excellence is often forgotten by fans because of the direction he went in later – he starts doing his readings in a really broad way, sometimes using Spock & McCoy as straight men. This is very much true in the movies, also true in some of s3. A lot of fans hate his performance in Turnabout Intruder. Ok: but Shatner is serious business in s1, and he's a badass. It's almost a different show in s1, given the focus on Shatner and his intensity.
i watch the episodes in order and every time I roll back around to season 1, I am re-reminded how great Shatner was in the first season. Besides the "I want to live." alternate evil Kirk-I can't think of too many over the top moments.
He is nearly perfect in first half of the season and right up until 'This side of Paradise'
He then, in the last few episodes Devil, Errand, City, starts to relax just a bit too much. His banter with Spock, more than McCoy in those last few episodes, becomes a little too playful and jokey in some places, but still really solid.
I think if the series had been cancelled after season1 or if Shatner had been hit by a truck (like edith
) he would have been remebered as a terrific actor instead of the parody of himself he slowly but surely became.
I wish the writers, directors or Roddenberry could have said, "pull it back to a slightly more serious tone" and TOS wouldn't be laced with those roll your eyes acting moments.
I almost think if TOS had been cancelled sooner--it would ironically have been remebered more fondly and held in higher esteem.
No Spock's Brain, no Spock riding Kirk like a pony, no Kirk trying to act like a 'female', no pounding his fists on the ground as 'Garth', no reciting/reading the US constitution, no nonsense from I, Mudd, etc.
As a fan I can enjoy those moments somewhat but they once you go down those paths--you can never come all the way back.
Look at the movies, progressivly less serious until TFF falls on its face trying to be funny and they try to pull it back for TUC, but they still felt compelled to have the idiotic book translation scene and Chekov as a doof instead of a competant officer.
long live season 1