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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old May 14 2013, 05:16 PM   #46
LOKAI of CHERON
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

I guess it all comes down to how each of us responds to any given episode. I commented recently in another thread I was quite bemused at the level of vitriol heaped on this particular segment by fandom. I really wouldn't have thought of TAF in this manner pre-internet.

Regardless, TAF remains one of my favourite entries from S1 despite the eloquent arguments presented by previous posters. While I certainly understand the rationale behind many of the criticisms, I can still easily dismiss them and enjoy the show completely unburdened - like many other episodes from across the franchise. For me, it's all about the "vibe".

Personally, I find it absolutely astonishing TAF would come bottom in a grading of TOS episodes behind the likes of Spock's Brain, And The Children Shall Lead, The Way To Eden etc.
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Old May 14 2013, 06:06 PM   #47
feek61
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Christopher wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
"HERB: ...the morning he was scheduled to begin work, November 16, 1966, John Drew Barrymore disappeared, ignoring his role, his moral obligation, and his contract."

It is in accord. You can't disappear unless you have first appeared.
That's too narrow an interpretation. It's not like the studio defined the entire universe of discourse. He was out there in the world, and they'd contacted him before to arrange his guest spot. If he hadn't reported for work that morning, and they tried to locate him and there was no sign of him anywhere they looked -- if nobody, not even his agent, was able to locate him -- then it would be natural to say he had disappeared.

Besides, the first part of that sentence is the telling part. "The morning he was scheduled to begin work." Saying he disappeared in the morning means that he didn't disappear at lunch. And saying "he was scheduled to begin work" indicates that he never actually began work -- he was expected to, but didn't. The sentence is quite clearly stating that he never showed up at all.
Barrymore came in for a fitting previously but did not show up for the shooting at all: period. That is why he is said to have "disappeared" because he did show up prior to the first days filming but not ON the day of the filming.

Regarding TAF, it's def not one of my favorite episodes but as with most TOS episodes there are some cool things about it. The "only seen once" engineering section, the "only seen once" back / bottom view of the Enterprise and of course that cool ship little flying saucer looking ship with the Galileo's chair in it (and the dome that became the Gamesters habitat).
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Old May 14 2013, 06:14 PM   #48
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

scotpens wrote: View Post
At the time, though, I thought Lazarus's little one-man ship was kind of cool-looking. Pity it was missing a door!

Our resident fan art forum moderator Ptrope was kind enough to give it one.

http://fav.me/d56im2h

You can even download the digital model from here...

http://www.sharecg.com/v/63569/view/...zarus-TimeShip

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old May 14 2013, 06:45 PM   #49
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

LOKAI of CHERON wrote: View Post
I guess it all comes down to how each of us responds to any given episode. I commented recently in another thread I was quite bemused at the level of vitriol heaped on this particular segment by fandom. I really wouldn't have thought of TAF in this manner pre-internet.

Regardless, TAF remains one of my favourite entries from S1 despite the eloquent arguments presented by previous posters. While I certainly understand the rationale behind many of the criticisms, I can still easily dismiss them and enjoy the show completely unburdened - like many other episodes from across the franchise. For me, it's all about the "vibe".
Agreed. One of the reasons I like The Alternative Factor is that it deals (admittedly loosely) with the idea of a parrallel universe. I think the episode is still one of TOS' best shows. My only complaint was that we didn't get to learn more about the differences of this anti-matter reality. For example, if there were two Lazarus', where was the anti-matter Enterprise and her crew? In orbit around the anti-matter planet? That we didn't get to see THAT is the thing to be annoyed by, if anything is.

And I also agree with your assertion about how fans react to any given episode. While I'm in the minority in my liking for this one, I'm also in the minority for my absolute dislike for City on the Edge of Forever and The Inner Light, two episodes most fans seem to love, although what the hell for is anybody's guess. I personally think they were two of the worst things Star Trek ever did.
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Old May 14 2013, 07:36 PM   #50
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

LOKAI of CHERON wrote: View Post
Personally, I find it absolutely astonishing TAF would come bottom in a grading of TOS episodes behind the likes of Spock's Brain, And The Children Shall Lead, The Way To Eden etc.
I won't quibble about the others, but "Spock's Brain" is a much better episode than it's given credit for. I think the reason it gets so much attention as a bad episode is not because it's the worst episode, but because it's the most entertainingly bad episode. It's silly, yes, but it's fun, unlike some of the other "worsts." It maintains a good pace and the cast seems to be having a good time. It has good production values, particularly that great rear-projected graphic on the bridge viewscreen, something we almost never saw in TOS. It gave the supporting cast bigger roles than usual since Spock was absent for much of it; the scene of Kirk, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov reasoning out a problem on the bridge is just great stuff. And it has Fred Steiner's best, richest, grandest musical score of the entire series, as if to make up for the story's shortcomings.
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Old May 14 2013, 08:09 PM   #51
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Christopher wrote: View Post
LOKAI of CHERON wrote: View Post
Personally, I find it absolutely astonishing TAF would come bottom in a grading of TOS episodes behind the likes of Spock's Brain, And The Children Shall Lead, The Way To Eden etc.
I won't quibble about the others, but "Spock's Brain" is a much better episode than it's given credit for. I think the reason it gets so much attention as a bad episode is not because it's the worst episode, but because it's the most entertainingly bad episode. It's silly, yes, but it's fun, unlike some of the other "worsts." It maintains a good pace and the cast seems to be having a good time. It has good production values, particularly that great rear-projected graphic on the bridge viewscreen, something we almost never saw in TOS. It gave the supporting cast bigger roles than usual since Spock was absent for much of it; the scene of Kirk, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov reasoning out a problem on the bridge is just great stuff. And it has Fred Steiner's best, richest, grandest musical score of the entire series, as if to make up for the story's shortcomings.
All excellent points, I certainly don't disagree. In fact, I do enjoy Spock's Brain, and even the other two episodes cited to a lesser degree. As I mentioned, it's all about "the vibe", and I just find it extraordinarily difficult to get past the ridiculousness of remote control Spock - and the horribly annoying "clicking" sound effects to boot! I know there are other equally farcical contrivances elsewhere in the series, but for some reason, that one rankles me particularly!

Totally with you reference the score, it really is outstanding.
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Old May 14 2013, 09:18 PM   #52
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Christopher wrote: View Post
LOKAI of CHERON wrote: View Post
Personally, I find it absolutely astonishing TAF would come bottom in a grading of TOS episodes behind the likes of Spock's Brain, And The Children Shall Lead, The Way To Eden etc.
I won't quibble about the others, but "Spock's Brain" is a much better episode than it's given credit for. I think the reason it gets so much attention as a bad episode is not because it's the worst episode, but because it's the most entertainingly bad episode. It's silly, yes, but it's fun, unlike some of the other "worsts." It maintains a good pace and the cast seems to be having a good time. It has good production values, particularly that great rear-projected graphic on the bridge viewscreen, something we almost never saw in TOS. It gave the supporting cast bigger roles than usual since Spock was absent for much of it; the scene of Kirk, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov reasoning out a problem on the bridge is just great stuff. And it has Fred Steiner's best, richest, grandest musical score of the entire series, as if to make up for the story's shortcomings.
Actually it was the ONLY time we saw the rear-projected view screen (we saw a static version during "The Doomsday Machine" when Kirk walked in front of it) and we get a good view of that little shown defense station to the right of the view screen . I agree with you on the score which is fabulous except that annoying spacey sounding stuff. It's kind of what I was eluding to earlier; even the worst episodes had some unique and interesting elements to them.
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Old May 14 2013, 09:34 PM   #53
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

I know exactly what's wrong with it, and I would give my left nut to have the money/time to redo the effects. That cheesy shot of Andromeda spinning and the negative footage of two guys on a stage (walls clearly visible) and recycled fight music, didn't live up to what I think is a BRILLIANT concept as far as the story goes. Some day when I can afford the time I will take a stab at it. (Maybe Kickstarter is the answer
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Old May 14 2013, 09:38 PM   #54
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Christopher wrote: View Post
LOKAI of CHERON wrote: View Post
Personally, I find it absolutely astonishing TAF would come bottom in a grading of TOS episodes behind the likes of Spock's Brain, And The Children Shall Lead, The Way To Eden etc.
I won't quibble about the others, but "Spock's Brain" is a much better episode than it's given credit for. I think the reason it gets so much attention as a bad episode is not because it's the worst episode, but because it's the most entertainingly bad episode. It's silly, yes, but it's fun, unlike some of the other "worsts." It maintains a good pace and the cast seems to be having a good time. It has good production values, particularly that great rear-projected graphic on the bridge viewscreen, something we almost never saw in TOS. It gave the supporting cast bigger roles than usual since Spock was absent for much of it; the scene of Kirk, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov reasoning out a problem on the bridge is just great stuff. And it has Fred Steiner's best, richest, grandest musical score of the entire series, as if to make up for the story's shortcomings.
Great points. I read that the intention was for Spock's Brain to be a comedic episode like Piece of the Action, but Freiburger disagreed. Would be interesting to re-edit it with some comedic Trek music and see how it turns out.
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Old May 14 2013, 10:21 PM   #55
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

spockboy wrote: View Post
That cheesy shot of Andromeda spinning and the negative footage of two guys on a stage (walls clearly visible)...
It's actually the Trifid Nebula.


spockboy wrote: View Post
I read that the intention was for Spock's Brain to be a comedic episode like Piece of the Action, but Freiburger disagreed. Would be interesting to re-edit it with some comedic Trek music and see how it turns out.
No way. The music was the best part.
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Old May 15 2013, 12:36 AM   #56
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

I stand corrected (Ahh Trekkers)
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Old May 15 2013, 06:02 AM   #57
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Christopher wrote: View Post
spockboy wrote: View Post
I read that the intention was for Spock's Brain to be a comedic episode like Piece of the Action, but Freiburger disagreed. Would be interesting to re-edit it with some comedic Trek music and see how it turns out.
No way. The music was the best part.

Agreed. I always thought Steiner's score was good on TV, but the recent CD is a revelation.
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Old May 15 2013, 07:50 PM   #58
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Marsden wrote: View Post
My biggest problem with Alternative Factor, simply, is when the admiral (sorry I haven't seen it in a while) says the effect was felt all through out the galaxy and beyond. So, the Federation has instataneous communication through the whole galaxy and beyond? Did they switch long distance carriers? That just does not fit for me.
That's a fair gripe to have, however they also didn't seem to distinguish "quadrant" from "sector" on TOS. Also, the Enterprise was capable of traveling much faster than Warp 10, well before it was established that this was the unattainable speed that would you to "occupy every point in space at the same time." It doesn't surprise me that they would make an outlandish claim like being able to communicate throughout the galaxy "and beyond" since the Alpha/Beta/Gamma/Delta quadrant boundaries of the galaxy we're now quite familiar with were not being recognized at this point.
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Old May 15 2013, 08:18 PM   #59
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

To be fair, de Forest Research did advise the production that the line was ridiculous, but it was never changed:

It occurred in every quadrant of the galaxy and far beyond. -- Conceding the fact that technology is far advanced, the ability of the measuring devices to pinpoint the center of the disturbance begs explanation since it was so wide-spread and the distances involved so gigantic.
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Old May 15 2013, 08:45 PM   #60
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Christopher wrote: View Post
It has good production values, particularly that great rear-projected graphic on the bridge viewscreen, something we almost never saw in TOS.
That was cool.

It gave the supporting cast bigger roles than usual since Spock was absent for much of it; the scene of Kirk, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov reasoning out a problem on the bridge is just great stuff. And it has Fred Steiner's best, richest, grandest musical score of the entire series, as if to make up for the story's shortcomings.
All good points--especially Steiner's score. Lovely music during the 1st act.
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