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

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Old March 19 2014, 03:39 AM   #46
Dr. Sevrin
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

I only have 7 third season titles in my library, and the only one I can think of with any lighthearted moments other than a feel good final fadeout is "Elaan of Troyius".
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Old March 19 2014, 04:32 AM   #47
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

There is contextual humour and then there is getting evermore jokey. An episode like "I, Mudd, "A Piece Of The Action" or even "The Trouble With Tribbles" would not have been done in the first season and certainly not the third. It's a matter of overall tone.

First season's most humorous episode is "Shoreleave," but it's not an all out comedy. There are dramatic beats to it and even some dark moments. I don't dislike "The Trouble With Tribbles," but I do find it a bit too light. The Klingons have no sense of menace whatsoever. There's no sense that this could be a real problem for the Federation. But I could let "The Trouble With Tribbles" go as a one-off swerve into more overt humour.

"I, Mudd" is different. It totally erases any slight measure of menace Harry Mudd might have once had and makes him a complete buffoon. The androids are depicted in a totally C grade sci-fi cliche manner. This belonged on Lost In Space and most likely its second or third season. What is sad is that "I, Mudd" has a genuine story with elements of threat and darkness to it that's completely ignored for the sake of a laugh. It pales in comparison to "What Are Little Girls Made Of" and "Requiem For Methuselah."

"A Piece Of The Action" is a genuine oddball because at its heart could well be a very daring story, but it's dressed up in such a way it is very easy to miss. On the surface it's "the gangster planet," a thoroughly absurd concept. What makes it even more absurd is that these are spoofed gangsters and not the more realistically dangerous variety. But what is easy to overlook is how this society is based all an a book. And look how enshrined "The Book" is. "The Book" is essentially the society's Holy Bible. The Iotians based their entire society on a book without even understanding its context. They took it as "truth" in entirety without questioning it in any way.

While on the one hand I can dismiss "A Piece Of The Action" as over-the-top absurdity I can't help but see a profound commentary underneath it. And the more I think about it how else could they possibly comment on this subject in all seriousness unless it was couched as absurdity? Presented as more straightforward drama NBC would never have let it happen.

In full disclosure I never truly realized this before until listening to a podcast discussion regarding this episode (re: Mission Log Podcasts). This issue was raised and a light came on for me the more I thought of it. Holy shit! Are you kidding me? It works that way, too.

Now that said it is still hard to take the rest of it seriously. But the underlying idea is wild especially for the 1960s.
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Old March 19 2014, 02:56 PM   #48
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

I think "Spectre of the Gun" could be said to have some funny moments, especially with Chekhov, and the whole "fish out of water" aspect of our heroes in this weird Melkotion trap. And "Day of the Dove" ends lightheartedly and with some humor, at least (Kang slapping Kirk very hard on the back).
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Old March 22 2014, 02:32 AM   #49
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

Vandervecken wrote: View Post
I think "Spectre of the Gun" could be said to have some funny moments, especially with Chekhov, and the whole "fish out of water" aspect of our heroes in this weird Melkotion trap. And "Day of the Dove" ends lightheartedly and with some humor, at least (Kang slapping Kirk very hard on the back).
But the backslappery at the end of "Day of the Dove" was forced: They had to behave that way to eject the alien from the ship. As for "Spectre," to me it was more weird than amusing; the only characters that seemed to be having fun were the illusory Earps and Doc ("Your emergency sure is real!"). However, there's some fun to be had in the music by Jerry Fielding - such as the bitonality (each hand playing in a different key) of the honky-tonk piano in the saloon scene.

(I saw both on NBC as a pre-teen.)
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Old March 22 2014, 02:46 AM   #50
Delta Vega
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

"All Our Yesterdays" and primarily Spocks interactions with Zarabeth, is one of my favourite Star Trek episodes of all time.

"The Savage Curtain" is up there with the worst.
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Old March 22 2014, 08:27 AM   #51
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

Delta Vega wrote: View Post
"All Our Yesterdays" and primarily Spocks interactions with Zarabeth, is one of my favourite Star Trek episodes of all time.
I think I've suffered from "Third Season episode post traumatic syndrome" (3SEPTS) for many years as I almost never watch the final handful of episodes of the season. It's almost like watching the TOS version of a death march or the last days of a loved one with a terminal illness. It's a shame as I bet there are a few good moments mixed in there as well.

The exception might be "Turnabout Intruder," which I do watch on occasion as it has some quirky parts I like (as well as a interesting guest star).

But even that is sad.... the last line spoken in the series is delivered by Shatner, and it is the perfect epitaph for TOS:

"If only.... if only...."
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Old March 22 2014, 04:41 PM   #52
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

Warped9 wrote: View Post
"A Piece Of The Action" is a genuine oddball because at its heart could well be a very daring story, but it's dressed up in such a way it is very easy to miss. On the surface it's "the gangster planet," a thoroughly absurd concept. What makes it even more absurd is that these are spoofed gangsters and not the more realistically dangerous variety. But what is easy to overlook is how this society is based all an a book. And look how enshrined "The Book" is. "The Book" is essentially the society's Holy Bible. The Iotians based their entire society on a book without even understanding its context. They took it as "truth" in entirety without questioning it in any way.
I've wondered what the Iotian baseline-culture was truly like. You couldn't even judge where their technological levels were at, though they must've been wizards to be able to duplicate automobiles, weapons, etc. of a distant and unknown culture. Maybe they were energy beings similar to Organians? The Shore Leave planet was a playtime paradise for an advanced race, after all.

At the very least, the Iotians may simply have been a people who had no patent laws, and no notion of intellectual property rights whatsoever, Hence, imitation would be the order of the day.
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Old March 22 2014, 04:47 PM   #53
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

The Iotians could well have been at an early industrial level to be able to replicate the contents of the book.
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Old March 22 2014, 05:40 PM   #54
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

It doesn't explain however, how they all got exaggerated accents mimicking old gangster movies and The Untouchables. Some of those cars were probably featured on Untouchables as well.
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Old March 22 2014, 06:44 PM   #55
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

Melakon wrote: View Post
It doesn't explain however, how they all got exaggerated accents mimicking old gangster movies and The Untouchables.
Perhaps "Chicago Mobs Of The Twenties" had an appendix with a precise guide on the correct phonetics and appropriate colloquialisms!
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Old March 22 2014, 06:52 PM   #56
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

Maybe the Horizon left them so old movies as well.
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Old March 24 2014, 03:32 PM   #57
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

gottacook wrote: View Post
Even the first season had moments of levity within some of the most serious episodes; this isn't strictly a matter of changes between seasons 2 and 3. For example: Spock's various statements of what the odds against them were (and Kirk's reactions to them) in "Errand of Mercy"; the Chinese rice-picker story in "City on the Edge of Forever." And the less heavy episodes were full of moments that could raise a smile: "I'm going to have a son" in "Tomorrow is Yesterday"; "I'm about to start devoting my whole life to it" in "Mudd's Women"; etc. (I'm leaving out "Shore Leave" and "Squire of Gothos" as they were often overtly comic.) There is, as far as I can remember, no such moment in any season 3 episode, assuming again that "Spock's Brain" is unintentionally funny.
Well, there were moments of humor, but no out and out comedies. These bits were usually at the end of the episode, where you’d see them exchanging some light comments. Some examples:

Spock’s Brain: “I never should have reconnected his mouth.” And the resulting yuks with music helping out.

The Enterprise Incident: Kirk not wanting to have pointed ears, making everyone but Spock smile.

Whom Gods Destroy: Kirk’s comment of “Mister Spock. Letting yourself be hit on the head, and I presume you let yourself be hit on the head, is not exactly a method King Solomon would have approved,” wasn’t all that funny, but it was meant to be light and airy.

The Lights of Zetar: “Well, this is an Enterprise first. Doctor McCoy, Mister Spock and Engineer Scott find themselves in complete agreement. Can I stand the strain?”

Otherwise, I agree, there are few to no real “humorous schemes” during a tough moment, like in COTEOF and so on. There was a real effort to keep the show very grim. I think that actually helped during the more weird episodes, much like the approach helped the Irwin Allen series, like Voyage and Time Tunnel. If the characters aren't winking at us, it's easier (for me) to take it seriously.
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Old March 24 2014, 10:57 PM   #58
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Re: Season 3 is a great season

Warped9 wrote: View Post
The Iotians could well have been at an early industrial level to be able to replicate the contents of the book.
They're said on-screen to have been at ``the beginnings of industrialization''. All that's said about their pre-Horizon culture, though, is that they were ``extremely intelligent and somewhat imitative''.

So I'm sure I can say without crashing this thread that this sketch was not in any way meant to suggest old-fashioned American stereotypes of the Japanese culture, which, from the beginnings of industrialization a century before the 1960s rose up to become, 1931 - 1945, one of the world's leading gangster states.

In a non-impish way I can point out that Kirk and company seem to assume that the Horizon must have interfered with the Iotian's culture. They have some kind of report from the Horizon, according to their own statements on-screen, but apparently one that doesn't indicate exactly what the Horizon did, or why.
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