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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

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Old August 29 2012, 01:50 PM   #46
ssosmcin
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

In this episode, you can plainly see Kirk's communicator and phaser on the outside of the belt.

I never knew about the pouches, which would make a quick draw of his phaser difficult if not impossible. When he sees the Balok puppet, he whips his phaser out easily because it's on the outside. You don't see Bailey being handed anything except the belt (there are no cuts from his being handed the belt to his putting it on and walking to the platform). So, he is never carrying any props. When Kirk draws his phaser, Bailey does not because he's unarmed.

In The Man Trap, Kirk's communicator is also quite visible on the belt. As he's crawling along the ground on M-113, the communicator opens and closes as he moves. If there's a pouch for it, he's not using it.
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Old August 29 2012, 01:54 PM   #47
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Maybe Bailey hadn't been phaser qualified yet.
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Old August 29 2012, 03:06 PM   #48
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

They never had pouches. The phasers and communicators were attached by Velcro in order to suggest a futuristic technology holding them in place. But after the first few episodes, they dropped the brown belts and instead just sewed black Velcro patches on the uniform trousers.
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Old August 29 2012, 03:23 PM   #49
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Christopher wrote: View Post
They never had pouches. The phasers and communicators were attached by Velcro in order to suggest a futuristic technology holding them in place. But after the first few episodes, they dropped the brown belts and instead just sewed black Velcro patches on the uniform trousers.
Back in the day I thought this looked so cool even as I wondered, just how in hell does that work? I hadn't yet known of Velcro's existence then.
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Old August 29 2012, 03:31 PM   #50
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

^Velcro was still a fairly new technology in the mid-'60s. It was patented in 1955, but didn't really catch on until NASA started using it in spacesuits, but it was still seen as a specialized, high-tech, futuristic kind of thing, not the everyday convenience we see it as today. So it was a pretty clever thing for ST to use Velcro patches to hold on the equipment; a lot of viewers probably found it as mysterious and futuristic as you did.
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Old August 29 2012, 04:18 PM   #51
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Before they attached the Velcro to the pants, they had the solid black belts during the first season. Didn't they also had hanging fabric with Velcro hanging to the side to hold phasers in the second season for some of the time? They kept evolving how to secure the equipment.
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Old August 30 2012, 08:17 PM   #52
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Whether or not the series was an "ensemble" show has been debated in this thread a bit, and it's been suggested that Coon moved away from this trent. I stumbled across this (excerpted from a Roddenberry memo to John Knuebuhl concerning "Bread and Circuses," dated March 14, 1967) and thought it might be of interest.

We would like to use a continuing cast member instead of “Henry” to play what is essentially that function in the story. Understand of course, that a regular character cannot be killed off or did you intend that “Henry” be killed? At any rate, lets discuss that since visual SF very much needs as much use of continuing characters as possible, i.e., the familiarity that leads the audience by the hand into the unfamiliarity of that branch of visual literature.
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Old September 7 2012, 02:32 PM   #53
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Moving on, finally.

Balance of Terror. I love this one, even though it is a mash up of Run Silent, Run Deep and The Enemy Below, there are a lot of great character bits in there to flesh it out beyond its source material. Compare this to the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode Killers of the Deep. Same basic plot (Voyage even used stock footage from Enemy Below thoughout), but nothing by way of character. Good acting, definitely and it was suspenseful, but otherwise no real great shakes. Balance of Terror's action touches characters, generates emotional responses and gives us three dimensional characters - even the enemy.

Everyone is spot on here. Shatner plays Kirk with self doubt and quiet resolve (proof that he wasn't the 24/7 ham actor hack people like to call him). I love this Kirk - probably the purest version of the "Hornblower" inspired Kirk that Roddenberry was going for. He was not the larger than life hero; this Kirk is a real person.

Nimoy plays Spock a little more alien than usual, a trifle colder. This works to set him apart from everyone else once we see the Romulans look like Vulcans. When the Enterprise is passing through the comet's tail, Spoxck makes his report and clicks his heel in stiff military fashion - something he never did again (it drowns out the last work of his dialog too). He makes decisions on his own (hitting the beeper thing when everyone is on "silent running") and is stil the Spock who responds sharply to criticism.

De Kelley gives out his most complex speech to buck up the Cap'n, and here you can see the Pike/Boyce type interaction. This episode would have worked well in the original "Pike and crew" format.

Stiles is our unenlightened bigot guest star and Paul Comi is quite good. He does have one questionable piece of dialog:

These are Romulans! You run away from them and you guarantee war. They'll be back. Not just one ship but with everything they've got. Now you know that, Mister Science Officer. You're the expert on these people, but always left out that one point. Why? I'm very interested in why.

I can see him calling Spock an expert - it's a dig at his resemblance to Romulans. But "always leaving out that one point" makes no sense to me. This is the first time it came up, there have been no prior discussions. Stiles is so talking out of his ass it's nonsensical. Unless I missed sumpin.

Mark Lenard is outstanding at the Romulan Commander. He's just as doubt plagued as Kirk and is an extremely well written character. He's not a villain in the slightest and his final fate is regrettable.

All in all, one of the top 5 episodes of the series. Great work.
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Old September 7 2012, 02:53 PM   #54
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
Spock... makes decisions on his own (hitting the beeper thing when everyone is on "silent running")
That wasn't a decision, it was an accident. He tried to grab the console edge to pull himself up from where he'd been working underneath the console, and his hand accidentally pushed a button. He then shut it off as quickly as he could once he realized what he'd done. Stiles suspected him of deliberately activating whatever it was in order to tip off the enemy, but of course he wouldn't have done that, so it was just a mistake.

Still, the idea of Spock making a clumsy error like that does seem different from how he was later characterized.
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Old September 7 2012, 03:10 PM   #55
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

But "always leaving out that one point" makes no sense to me. This is the first time it came up, there have been no prior discussions.
There are two different points Spock might be leaving out in Stiles' opinion... "I'm an expert on Romulans" or "They'll come back if we show weakness". The latter point could have come up several times already even if the former one obviously did not. It's just that the episode doesn't show Spock advising the other heroes on Romulan issues in any manner before the briefing scene, save for his introductory PA. It could have happened off screen, of course - and even the briefing clearly began some time before the camera entered the scene. But it does sound funny.

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Old September 7 2012, 03:15 PM   #56
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Stiles and Boma ("The Galileo Seven") were bigots and like many bigots a lot of stuff comes out of their ass.
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Old September 7 2012, 03:26 PM   #57
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

How so? Stiles' concern that Spock might be a traitor from a race of traitors was quite appropriate, given the circumstances. And his view of the Romulans as irredeemable villains better dead was also supported by facts, as well as embraced by Spock himself. Bigotry tends to be much more rational than other extremes of human behavior...

However... Boma was a bigot? He hated Spock's guts, but as far as we know, not his pointed ears. Although of course much of Spock's objectionable personality did derive directly from his biology, or from the unfortunate juxtaposition of his biological and cultural past. McCoy felt pretty much the same way, at any rate.

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Old September 7 2012, 04:13 PM   #58
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Christopher wrote: View Post
Still, the idea of Spock making a clumsy error like that does seem different from how he was later characterized.
Which is why I never saw it as an accident. I watched these in syndication order growing up (i.e., "in no order at all"), so I didn't have the character build up to live through. It never looked like an accident to me, because Spock was always too "together" to goof up like that. It ultimately turned out to be the right decision, prompting Kirk into making the connection that it would make a perfect lure and bring his foe out of hiding. That seems like the sort of logical move Spock would make, but making that decision without consulting the captain is just as bad, I guess.

But, if it was supposed to be a clumsy goof on his part at that point in the run, I'll withdraw my objection and call it an observation on his evolution.
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Old September 7 2012, 04:27 PM   #59
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Stiles reacted without hard facts. He made assumptions based on circumstantial evidence. He wasn't just calling out Spock, but all Vulcans by inference. And he was unprofessional about it.

It's no different than since many people come from the same part of the world and/or have the same skin colour then they must all be the same in character and viewpoint. It's monumentally stupid and ignorant given how many of us look alike and some of us are real bastards while many others are not.

Boma could well be a bigot given his whole attitude. We'd already seen McCoy take jabs at Spock yet we quickly learned that between them it's more simple needling to get under each other's skin rather than actual hostility. McCoy and Spock's behaviour toward each other is something we see everyday between relations, friends, acquaintances and coworkers. Boma didn't have that kind of relationship with Spock and his subsequent manner was completely different. His dig at Spock being a machine was too close a reference to Vulcans being unfeeling by human standards. Granted their situation might have also contributed to the hostility---that they were all but convinced they were goners. Aboard the relative safety of the Enterprise in a hostile situation that stress might not have surfaced so openly.

If Boma and the rest were following McCoy's lead in needling Spock they were off base because they didn't have a similar relationship with the Vulcan. If I see someone needling another and being apparently disrespectful I'm not going to automatically join in until I'm more sure of my status with the individual in question. Otherwise I'm begging for trouble.
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Old September 7 2012, 04:38 PM   #60
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Re: Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Aren't you being awfully bigoted against Finns there? I mean, you're debunking my claims and all - surely that's indication of you harboring broad racial animosity.

Boma might not have been entitled to trade barbs with Spock with the impunity guaranteed by a long relationship. But factually, he was quite entitled to trade barbs with punity. There'd have been nothing wrong with him punching Spock for his inhuman incompetence, and then getting court-martialed for it. That'd drive some sense into the half-Vulcan who clearly was in grave need thereof.

Stiles reacted without hard facts. He made assumptions based on circumstantial evidence. He wasn't just calling out Spock, but all Vulcans by inference.
And that inference was justified. Spock personally would not have been particularly suspect or culpable, not even having been born back then when the war was fought - but his entire species now was. Somebody had been hiding this "long lost colony" possibility from the public for a century now, so there'd be plenty of blame to spread, and until more specific inquiries could be made, it would be better to be safe than sorry. Logically, Spock might well feel obligated to kill all his comrades there and then to preserve the secret.

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