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

View Poll Results: Rate "The Corbomite Maneuver"
1 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 0 0%
6 1 3.13%
7 5 15.63%
8 10 31.25%
9 7 21.88%
10 9 28.13%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 21 2014, 06:18 AM   #1
Botany Bay
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Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

Each week we're having a look at an episode, going through the series in production order. Please rate the episode out of ten, and have your say below. I'll record the scores each week and save them so we can rank TOS in order of popularity.

If you're new to TOS, please watch along with us and ask anything you like about the episodes. TOS veterans, feel free to add any bits of trivia, or stories about the production of the episode as well. Some key websites :

Memory Alpha
Episode transcripts
Unseen elements of the Original Series
Star Trek Fact Check

Happy watching and reviewing!

This week : The Corbomite Maneuver
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Old January 21 2014, 08:28 AM   #2
Maurice
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

An almost perfect episode except for a 2nd act slump. Really gives you the sense of a navy ship in space. Too bad the optical FX mess prevented it from being the premier instead of The Man Trap.
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Old January 21 2014, 08:39 AM   #3
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

This may, all things considered, be my favorite episode. Like Maurice, I think this would have made an ideal premiere episode. At times it almost does seem as if it was written that way, what with lines like, "What's the mission of this vessel, Doctor? To seek out and contact alien life."

Also I like how in these early episodes, you get the feeling of a Captain grooming new crew members. Here with Bailey, and in Dagger of the Mind, with the transporter officer.
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Old January 21 2014, 08:57 AM   #4
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

So, the crew is together, and they're pretty great. Still a little tweaking left to go, but they're basically set now.

The overall premise and story outline are intriguing, intelligent, and highbrow science fiction. It's one of the few episodes to maintain that level of quality in the intrinsically SF elements throughout almost the entire episode, by which I mean that it really only gets cheesy when they have some tranya.

This episode drags in the middle for sure, and that hurts it.

I think it also drags near the end of trying to break free from the pilot vessel. That part starts off very dramatically when he pulls out ahead and Spock says he's sneaked power down, but I'm always telling them to break free already, and I find the ascending tones both unnecessary and really annoying.

Heck, it also dragged while trying to escape the cube at the beginning, so to me it really drags all over.

I don't buy Bailey as a character unfortunately, either. I think his incompetence is exaggerated for effect from the beginning.

A few lines are cringeworthy, "Must be a mile in diameter" being one of them.

So, good, but not great, though getting there. In between the first two pilots. For all its faults and since I don't enjoy rewatching it a whole lot, I'm rounding down.

Seven.
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Old January 21 2014, 01:05 PM   #5
Lance
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

Overall the tone is almost in place now. Only a few blips in the characterization of Spock left to iron out, but the regular crew, as well as the series' format, really come together in this one. The ending is pure 'Star Trek' -- an apparent antagonist turns out to be merely a curious alien looking to friendship.

I love that briefing room scene too, with the table littered by coffee cups, etc. Really gives a sense of realism to the scene which is somewhat lacking in other scenes of a similar nature -- or, maybe it is to imply that they crew have been deliberating over the problem for a while without solution?

Oh, and a mention here for Fred Steiner's awesome score -- easily one of Star Trek's most memorable, IMO. Some terrific tension raising going on during the early scenes encountering the mysterious probe. Steiner's score always carries me along with it when I watch this one, gets me in the right mood. Excellent stuff.
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Old January 21 2014, 02:58 PM   #6
mach7
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

I give it a 6.

A very good first production episode.

I think the script and direction rob Shatner and as a result Kirk is
a little flat. Just a very subtle issue for me. I felt the Kirk of WNMHGB
was a bit truer to the character.

Spock's coming along nicely.

I never liked the Baily character. Your on one of the premier star ships in the fleet and
he seems too flawed of an officer. On the Enterprise you would expect the best of the
best.

The regular cast does a fine job on this 1st outing.

Very nice production values! Great music and SFX.

A nice introduction to one of Star Treks continuing themes:
Things are not always as they seem.
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Old January 21 2014, 03:04 PM   #7
BillJ
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

The episode: another solid 8.

mach7 wrote: View Post

I never liked the Baily character. Your on one of the premier star ships in the fleet and he seems too flawed of an officer. On the Enterprise you would expect the best of the best.
But isn't that more of something that was established in the spin-offs about the Enterprise? In TOS, it seemed that there were many character types and not all of them were perfect officers.
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Old January 21 2014, 04:48 PM   #8
Warped9
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

For me a solid 10. Yeah, there are some quibbles, but they're minor at best. This or WNMHGB should have been TOS' premiere episode. Indeed "The Corbomite Maneuver" is really an ideal pilot for TOS and perfectly represents what the series would be.

This is absolutely one of my very favourite of TOS episodes.
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Old January 22 2014, 03:24 PM   #9
mach7
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

BillJ wrote: View Post
The episode: another solid 8.

mach7 wrote: View Post

I never liked the Baily character. Your on one of the premier star ships in the fleet and he seems too flawed of an officer. On the Enterprise you would expect the best of the best.
But isn't that more of something that was established in the spin-offs about the Enterprise? In TOS, it seemed that there were many character types and not all of them were perfect officers.
Yah, I never liked Barclay either. One of the worst part of NG in my opinion.

Also the mission of TOS was different than NG, DS9, or VOY.
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Old January 22 2014, 04:47 PM   #10
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

I give it an 8.438562.

For the first episodic production, the characters are already remarkably spot on. This series was very well cast and the actors grasped their respective characters well.

It's a shame the post-production took soooooooo long (5 months). This episode would have been a much better introduction for the series than "The Man Trap" was (even though Stan Robertson would have screamed because there was no 'strange new world' depicted).

And the wait ended up being worth it; for the time, the sfx were first class.
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Old January 22 2014, 05:11 PM   #11
Harvey
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
This episode would have been a much better introduction for the series than "The Man Trap" was (even though Stan Robertson would have screamed because there was no 'strange new world' depicted).
Robertson was also concerned that the script dragged and too technical (it would receive a re-write after this letter, of which I've quoted only in part, and is dated May 5, 1966). In some places, I think, the revised version still drags. Still, it's a classic episode, and would have been a superior premiere to "The Man Trap."

As we discussed yesterday afternoon, although there is a very decided improvement in this draft of the above script, on paper at least our story still seems to drag somewhat. Particularly this is true in Act I. It appears that our writer has become so involved in detailing the technical aspects of the operational procedures of our Starship that he has placed technology ahead of dramatic progress.

We realize that in a series of this nature it is most important to give reality and believability to the tools we must live with. However, excepting for the “science fiction buffs” in our audience, which it is logical to assume will be in the minority, the broad segment of our viewers will be attracted to our stories by the action-adventure and dramatic qualities they contain. Technical data or details should, we would think, never interfere with or replace and of the above-mentioned ingredients.
Given these comments, it's a shame Robertson wasn't around some of Star Trek: The Next Generation!
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Old January 22 2014, 06:08 PM   #12
Warped9
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

Harvey wrote: View Post
CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
This episode would have been a much better introduction for the series than "The Man Trap" was (even though Stan Robertson would have screamed because there was no 'strange new world' depicted).
Robertson was also concerned that the script dragged and too technical (it would receive a re-write after this letter, of which I've quoted only in part, and is dated May 5, 1966). In some places, I think, the revised version still drags. Still, it's a classic episode, and would have been a superior premiere to "The Man Trap."

As we discussed yesterday afternoon, although there is a very decided improvement in this draft of the above script, on paper at least our story still seems to drag somewhat. Particularly this is true in Act I. It appears that our writer has become so involved in detailing the technical aspects of the operational procedures of our Starship that he has placed technology ahead of dramatic progress.

We realize that in a series of this nature it is most important to give reality and believability to the tools we must live with. However, excepting for the “science fiction buffs” in our audience, which it is logical to assume will be in the minority, the broad segment of our viewers will be attracted to our stories by the action-adventure and dramatic qualities they contain. Technical data or details should, we would think, never interfere with or replace and of the above-mentioned ingredients.
Given these comments, it's a shame Robertson wasn't around some of Star Trek: The Next Generation!
Bonus.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:11 PM   #13
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

That's the thing. Even though it's a superior episode than, say, the Man Trap, it didn't seem to fir the "strange new worlds" concept Robertson and the network preferred. So, even if it was complete on time, I don't think it would have been a lock for the premiere. It was a bottle show. For all of the reasons given by Justman, The Man Trap was probably always going to be the one to kick it off. However, he and/or Solow also said WNMHGB was too heavy on the exposition to be the premiere, which I totally disagree with. I think it would actually have been a great kick off episode. Only the surface details and cast differences would be a valid reason, but since it was run in the third week anyway, would starting the series like that have been less confusing or misleading to the audience?

At any rate, Corbomite Maneuver is another great early episode that introduces the series proper and the new regulars. It also has a fine philosophical thrust. Very, very solid stuff.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:16 PM   #14
Harvey
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

I could be wrong, but I believe the only reason "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was run third (as opposed to much later in the run) was because it was finished and ready to go, while other episodes (that they wanted to air) were still in various stages of post-production.

I just looked through the airdate paperwork at UCLA yesterday, actually, so the answer is probably in there (although I know the issue is also discussed in the Solow/Justman book).
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Old January 22 2014, 09:21 PM   #15
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

I give it a good strong "8"

I really love how the cast even in this first episode seem to have established believable relationships and know their character; particularly McCoy
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