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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...

View Poll Results: Rate "Balance of Terror"
1 1 2.08%
2 1 2.08%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 0 0%
6 0 0%
7 1 2.08%
8 4 8.33%
9 18 37.50%
10 23 47.92%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 10 2014, 08:38 AM   #31
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Ugh.

And yet it happened.
Yes. Plenty of other mistakes were made by the writers, too.
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Old March 10 2014, 05:18 PM   #32
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

9

Great episode.

Who gave it a '1'?
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Old March 10 2014, 06:31 PM   #33
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Damned fine episode, one of the best in the series. Amazing music, performances and effects of the day. The comet was a really nice piece of SFX work. Kirk'stalk with Bones was a really good example of the flawed, self-doubting commander Roddenberry wanted Kirk to be.

The whole "submarine" conceit stands out because it was hardly ever used again. The only real remnants of it would have to do with phaser control. Here it was very literal: "Phaser one....FIRE!" "Phaser one, fire!" Later, Sulu would bark a fire order, but then push the button himself.

Hardly a misstep taken, this is classic Trek. Solid.
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Old March 10 2014, 09:32 PM   #34
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

I too ding the episode for being too close a knockoff of The Enemy Below in its particulars. If any Trek episode teeters on the verge of plagiarism it's this one. Excellent otherwise, despite the dumb "science".
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Old March 11 2014, 02:33 AM   #35
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Maurice wrote: View Post
I too ding the episode for being too close a knockoff of The Enemy Below in its particulars. If any Trek episode teeters on the verge of plagiarism it's this one. Excellent otherwise, despite the dumb "science".
This episode can capture and hold my attention for the full hour or so even today. I agree about the dumb science and the continuity problems, but the story is so good I don't even notice.
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Old March 11 2014, 02:38 AM   #36
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

^^ What continuity problems?

If you're referring to ENT, uh remember TOS was made forty years before ENT. So if there is a continuity problem it's with ENT and not "Balance Of Terror."
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Old March 11 2014, 12:00 PM   #37
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Regarding Kirk's "weary Captain" scenes with Rand and then McCoy, I like the way the set was lit. Jerry Finnerman painted the foyer of Kirk's quarters with red light. It didn't just look great on color TV. It created a darker, moody ambiance that fit the dialog perfectly.
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Old March 11 2014, 09:59 PM   #38
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Warped9 wrote: View Post
^^ What continuity problems?

If you're referring to ENT, uh remember TOS was made forty years before ENT. So if there is a continuity problem it's with ENT and not "Balance Of Terror."
I'm referring to nit picky stuff like the phaser sfx and the inconsistency of the descriptions of the Romulan drive system. Stuff like that. Nothing at all in reference to Enterprise.
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Old March 11 2014, 10:19 PM   #39
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

There's only one moment that bothers me in 'Balance of Terror', and it's bothered me ever since reading the grandaddy reference book The Making of Star Trek, back in the 1960s.

In the sections reprinting bits from the original Writers' Guide, a hypothetical scene is presented to illustrate the kind of realism the show was aiming for. In the example, with the ship crippled and another attack sure to destroy it, the Guide points out that Kirk would not hug a comely yeoman on the bridge as that final salvo heads for them.

But in 'Balance of Terror', when the Romulans fire the plasma torpedo right at Enterprise, just before it hits, Kirk grabs hold of Rand, holding her tight as they wait for the inevitable. I never understood how that moment made it into the script, when the Guide said that was exactly the kind of stuff they would not do.
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Old March 12 2014, 12:12 AM   #40
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Melakon wrote: View Post

But in 'Balance of Terror', when the Romulans fire the plasma torpedo right at Enterprise, just before it hits, Kirk grabs hold of Rand, holding her tight as they wait for the inevitable. I never understood how that moment made it into the script, when the Guide said that was exactly the kind of stuff they would not do.
The thing that bothered me was Kirk handing Spock a physical book during the briefing room scene.
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Old March 12 2014, 12:19 AM   #41
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

^ There's a good moment in that scene though, as Scotty sort of smirks when Spock pushes the book aside and quotes the comet's statistics from memory.
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Old March 12 2014, 12:46 AM   #42
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Melakon wrote: View Post
There's only one moment that bothers me in 'Balance of Terror', and it's bothered me ever since reading the grandaddy reference book The Making of Star Trek, back in the 1960s.

In the sections reprinting bits from the original Writers' Guide, a hypothetical scene is presented to illustrate the kind of realism the show was aiming for. In the example, with the ship crippled and another attack sure to destroy it, the Guide points out that Kirk would not hug a comely yeoman on the bridge as that final salvo heads for them.

But in 'Balance of Terror', when the Romulans fire the plasma torpedo right at Enterprise, just before it hits, Kirk grabs hold of Rand, holding her tight as they wait for the inevitable. I never understood how that moment made it into the script, when the Guide said that was exactly the kind of stuff they would not do.
It's a minor point for me, Kirk was often grabbing his crew, although usually to snap them out of some kind of funk or from being infatuated with some villain of the week. I found it more frustrating that Rand (or any of the yeomen) rarely got to show that they were actually qualified to be in space so in that respect it is a bit irritating. From what I recall, Rand doesn't really notice.

Rand did take the helm in the Naked Time but was replaced in the next scene and Landon got to show off some judo moves because the actress had some training but mostly the purpose of the yeoman was to look pretty and ask obvious questions.
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Old March 12 2014, 01:53 AM   #43
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

I know this episode is loved and even more in some cases, but try as I might I have no "ohh-aah" feelings about it. I give it a solid 9-rating simply because it hits the ball out of the park on a number of levels regarding the characters and the story and its objective.

Mark Lenard was brilliant. The interaction between he and his immediate command crew was well crafted and the dialogue exchanged gives us insight into what they as Romulans were all about. I liked the spartan control bridge and the "all or nothing" feel lent by their ship's limitations, all for the sake of the big KO punch it packed.

Also of note was the phaser control team aboard them Enterprise. We get more than just some voices over the intercom, we see a dedicated team behind the decisions made on the bridge and the key nature of their responsibilities. All of this good stuff is framed by the initial joy and promise of a rare shipboard wedding between two key crew members only to have it all fall to tragedy.... the singualr death aboard the Enterprise in this one tumultuous episode...the groom-to-be. Kudos to Shatner and Kelley for giving us many well delivered scenes.

Balance of Terror is no doubt one of the most well polished gems in all of Trek. I do appreciate it and have grown to really like it. I just don't love it.
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Old March 12 2014, 04:36 AM   #44
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Melakon wrote: View Post
But in 'Balance of Terror', when the Romulans fire the plasma torpedo right at Enterprise, just before it hits, Kirk grabs hold of Rand, holding her tight as they wait for the inevitable. I never understood how that moment made it into the script, when the Guide said that was exactly the kind of stuff they would not do.
Easy. The draft of the writer-director guide you're thinking of was written after "Balance of Terror" was written, produced, and broadcast.

I've scanned all three versions of the guide; at some point I'll have to write an article going over the differences.
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Old March 12 2014, 04:42 AM   #45
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

I much prefer the original silent f/x of the "phaser bursts" which gelled with the description given in The Making Of Star Trek.

Apparently those bursts were originally supposed to have a sound effect, but they either overlooked it or never got around to it in post-production. Nonetheless for decades we saw them as soundless phaser bursts until they "fixed" it much later for DVD with the inappropriate photon torpedo sound.

I wish they'd just left it alone.
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