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Old September 1 2013, 09:21 PM   #1
MikeH92467
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Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

Each series has some outstanding episodes and some real clunkers. However, I'm wondering if anyone has given thought to the episodes that had the kernel of a good idea, but didn't quite live up to the premise.

I'll start off with TOS's "The Way to Eden". The very idea of space hippies is ridiculed by some, but I think that it makes sense. I can't imagine that any society would be so conformist and universally self-satisfied that it wouldn't develop some sort of counter-culture. GR himself hinted at that in the novelization of ST:TMP with his references to the "New Human" movement.

I certainly acknowledge that there are plenty of cringe-inducing moments, but I think those could have been mitigated with skilled re-writing. I do think the final scene where Spock says "His name was Adam" as he and Kirk look at the body of a hippie poisoned by an apple, carries an impact despite the hokiness that led up to it.

What say all of you?
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Old September 1 2013, 10:21 PM   #2
The Old Mixer
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

I always thought the premise of the space hippy movement was very valid for the setting. It wasn't just "a" counterculture, it was specifically a back-to-nature movement in a society that had become too sterile and dependent on technology. It might not have been as well-realized as it could have been, and I was never sold on the idea of there being a specific "Planet Eden", when we saw other primitive paradises on TOS.
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Old September 1 2013, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

Gotta agree there were plenty of "primitive paradises" that we saw and we can certainly guess that there would have been places that chose to live relatively simple lives despite having advanced technology.
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Old September 1 2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
I do think the final scene where Spock says "His name was Adam" as he and Kirk look at the body of a hippie poisoned by an apple, carries an impact despite the hokiness that led up to it.
I'm with you. That final scene moved the episode from a 1 to a 3 out 5 for me. It was very well done, if only the rest of the episode had been done nearly as well.
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Old September 2 2013, 12:22 AM   #5
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

Were I a writer, it would be my professional goal to write only Star Trek episodes that were almost, but not quite, "good" episodes. I think that's a hell of an excellent category to be in. I think per series this could be a very large category.

For TNG, I nominate "Eye of the Beholder." You had me, then you lost me, then you had me again. I liked it better when Troi turned into a cake.
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Old September 2 2013, 12:41 AM   #6
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

Every episode of Enterprise.
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Old September 2 2013, 01:35 AM   #7
Gojira
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

I do not get into the good vs bad dichotomy in movies or tv show eisodes. Either good or bad, that is something purely subjective and leads to arguments from people on both sides.

To avoid that game I do not speak of whether or not amovie is either good or bad, I speak about my level of enjoyment. I can say to what degree I enjoyed or did not enjoy a movie and that can lead to a discussion with people. Once you get into the good or bad dichotomy it creates an adversarial relationship with the person you're trying to chat with.

Having said all of that the episode The Way to Eden is on of my all time favorite and enjoyable episodes.
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Old September 2 2013, 02:07 AM   #8
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

I would have liked "The Way to Eden" a lot better if it didn't have those songs. They use up minutes that could have become additional scenes or dialogue. I thought Doctor Sevrin's frustration and anger with the Federation restricting his free movement was a valid complaint.
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Old September 2 2013, 02:10 AM   #9
Gojira
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

Melakon wrote: View Post
I would have liked "The Way to Eden" a lot better if it didn't have those songs. They use up minutes that could have become additional scenes or dialogue. I thought Doctor Sevrin's frustration and anger with the Federation restricting his free movement was a valid complaint.
I wouldn't have minded the song if I had enjoyed them but I didn't. I did like seeing Mavig, the blonde, sing with Spock so that was ok.
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Old September 2 2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

Chekov's girlfriend was smokin' hot as well and if you've seen Phase II's "To Serve All My Days" you know that the years have been very kind to her!

I thought that "Encounter at Farpoint" fell into that range. Once you've created an omnipotent opponent what do you do with him/her? I thought "Tapestry" was superb, but the rest of the Q stories just didn't quite work and they kind of contaminated the whole continuity, since there never really was a satisfactory answer as to what their origins were.
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Old September 2 2013, 06:47 PM   #11
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
Once you've created an omnipotent opponent what do you do with him/her? I thought "Tapestry" was superb, but the rest of the Q stories just didn't quite work and they kind of contaminated the whole continuity, since there never really was a satisfactory answer as to what their origins were.
I thought Q, Who was one of the best TNG episodes and the best of the Q episodes.
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Old September 2 2013, 06:54 PM   #12
The Old Mixer
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

"Deja Q" was a gem, IMO. Q was losing any sense of menace that he originally had, but that was happening anyway.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:00 PM   #13
MikeH92467
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

True on both counts, but the writers had to back away from the "omnipotent" angle to make Q a workable character. He went from being a menacing, all powerful figure to more of a pain-in-the-ass, somewhat bored, Loki figure.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:03 PM   #14
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
I thought that "Encounter at Farpoint" fell into that range. Once you've created an omnipotent opponent what do you do with him/her? I thought "Tapestry" was superb, but the rest of the Q stories just didn't quite work and they kind of contaminated the whole continuity, since there never really was a satisfactory answer as to what their origins were.
This was sort of the problem the Borg faced from the very beginning too. You create an unbeatable foe -- so unbeatable that you only escape because an omnipotent being happens to save you at the last minute -- and then what do you do with them?

In TNG, I think they were wise to keep the use of the Borg to a minimum. We only saw them four times, I think. And, really, the only time they truly faced the Borg head-to-head was in Q, Who? and The Best of Both Worlds. In I, Borg they were dealing with a single drone and in Descent they were dealing with a group who had left the collective.

Even then, as great as The Best of Both Worlds was, it had already begun to show flaws in the Borg concept. The thing that made them so frightening in Q, Who? was that they operated as a single hive mind. By BoBW, the writers already started trying to give us a single individual to deal with. From Locutus to Hugh to Lore to the Borg queen, we never again dealt with the Borg as a true faceless hive mind.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:14 PM   #15
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Re: Almost, but not quite, "good" episodes

Likewise, bringing it back to Q...it's scary at first that this guy can snap his fingers and do anything to the crew...but because he doesn't, it quickly becomes evident that he doesn't intend to.
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