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

View Poll Results: Rate "The Conscience of the King"
1 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 1 3.13%
4 0 0%
5 2 6.25%
6 2 6.25%
7 4 12.50%
8 14 43.75%
9 6 18.75%
10 3 9.38%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 17 2014, 06:22 AM   #1
Botany Bay
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Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

This week : double red alert! It's The Conscience of the King.
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Old April 17 2014, 08:09 AM   #2
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

I give it a 9. This is a great episode.

- It creates some future history to begin fleshing out the young Star Trek universe, including some Kirk history.

- It brings on two tremendous guest stars and gives them strong material to play.

- Lenore Karidian is high-class, lady-like eye candy, and she has about five costume changes. And they're good costumes.

- The music by Joseph Mullendore is one of my favorite ST scores. It plays exceptionally well as a standalone listen in the CD box set.

- Tom Leighton, with his masked disfigurement, and a built-in black mask at that, creates an eerie, discrete-horror atmosphere that's rare for Star Trek (and something "Catspaw" utterly failed to achieve). The feeling is further enhanced later by well-placed lines from Hamlet when the play is performed aboard ship.

- Karidian's metal mask as the ghost of Hamlet's father bears an abstract yet uncanny resemblance to Arnold Moss himself.

- Lenore's question about "the women in your world," and her quasi-poetic approach to beguiling Kirk, create a space in the Enterprise's workaday, military culture for traditional sex roles-- something men and women both enjoy but are often denied by modern equality.

Overall it's just a great episode. We get tasteful horror elements without the cheesy trappings of "Catspaw." Questions of law and justice are explored without stopping the plot to sit around in a courtroom. Tremendous passions erupt from Karidian, Kirk, Lenore, and Riley. If that's not enough, we get Star Trek's best use of Shakespeare.
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Old April 17 2014, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

I agree with Zap—really a wonderful episode. The confrontation between Kirk and Karidian struck me as especially "Shakespearean"; the blocking, the lighting, dialog infused with many meanings:

KIRK: You're an actor now. What were you twenty years ago?
KARIDIAN: Younger, Captain. Much younger.

LENORE: Captain Kirk. Who are you to say what harm was done?
KIRK: Who do I have to be?

Yet nothing is perfect. Like Tormolen with the itchy nose in "The Naked Time," sometimes flaws are needed, otherwise there would be no story.

Kodos was governor of a colony, yet supposedly only the "witnesses" know what he looks like? Or is this a matter of needing witnesses who actually saw him pull the trigger? Does that mean Kodos carried out the executions himself? He didn't have any lieutenants or henchmen who carried out the order? If he did, what happened to them? What happened to all the other colonists—those selected to live? They're not witnesses? Does that mean Kirk and Riley were among those chosen to die, yet somehow survived as other bodies fell over them?
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Old April 17 2014, 11:57 AM   #4
2takesfrakes
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

The only thing I hate is that guy's black bandage covering half his face. It just looks absurd and it leaps me out of the show. Fortunately, he's not around for long. Otherwise, I agree with the assessments made so far. The actress playing Lenore looks like she should've played Carol Marcus, instead! She almost looks a little ahead of her time, really. Exceptionally beautiful and when she starts acting like a Mad Cow, I find her performance is totally credible. She was a real find ...
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Old April 17 2014, 01:30 PM   #5
Joel_Kirk
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

As I mentioned in my review of this episode, Barbara Anderson is the reason I watch certain episodes from the 7th season of the original Mission:Impossible; I like her character, Mimi Davis.

Anderson is also the reason I will probably watch the first four seasons of the original Ironside(even though her character isn't written as strongly as it should be). And, the reason I might have watched the Night Gallery episode 'Fright Night.'
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Old April 17 2014, 02:12 PM   #6
mach7
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

8

I like it, The regulars are really getting comfortable in the roles.

Lots of drama, not a ton of action. A cerebral type episode.

This fits really well with Roddenberry's vision of the show being about drama, not
science fiction. The story could easily be told in any setting.

The last episode for Rand, And I think the last time we see Lt Riley.

The whole back story of Kodos is kind of weak.

And it gave us 1/2 the duo of Kodos and Kang on the Simpsons!
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Old April 17 2014, 03:55 PM   #7
ToddPence
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

They never explain just what DID happen to Leighton to cause his facial disfigurement.

This is the fourth episode in a row in which Scotty does not appear. Was James Doohan busy doing something else at the time, or was it just coincidence that these four straight stories have no role for the ship's engineer?
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Old April 17 2014, 04:42 PM   #8
Mr. Spook
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

Probably not enough reason to justify his involvement. It was usually cheaper to get someone else in if he wasn't going to have enough business to justify his pay. Although considering Riley was in engineering, Scotty should have at least been mentioned.
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Old April 17 2014, 05:49 PM   #9
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

I hated this episode as a kid. So much chit chat and too much Shakespeare. And no action at all. Well, that was the syndicated version in my area, which cut out the phaser overload sequence (jeez!). As I got older, I grew to appreciate it and then gradually wound up liking it a lot. It is a very dark episode with almost no humor at all. The script is very good, but the performances really bring this one up several notches. Arnold Moss, Barbara Anderson and William Shatner give us a slam dunk. Great work by all three. Spock is colder than usual here and McCoy is a little off his game, IMO. He’s more concerned about his cocktail than what Spock is saying at first and that just felt wrong. I found it amusing that Bones is bitching about being late for the play while adjusting his collar, as if he just got into his tux and bowtie. He was in his regular duty uniform! Dude, it’s just a shirt!

Awesome score by Mullendore, a fantastic song for Uhura (so much better this time than in Charlie X) and good, solid direction and performances. Some minor issues here and there (the squirt bottle), but a solid 8.
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Old April 17 2014, 08:07 PM   #10
RAMA
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

A top 10 favorite of mine
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Old April 17 2014, 09:24 PM   #11
Greg Cox
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

Okay, I can't resist pointing out that my next Trek novel, Foul Deeds Will Rise, is a loose sequel to "Conscience of the King," featuring the return of Lenore Karidian. It's due out at the end of the year.

And, yes, obviously, the original ep is a favorite of mine as well. I actually got the idea for the novel while rewatching the ep several months ago.

"Say, whatever happened to Lenore anyway? And what would happen if Kirk ran into her again, twenty years later?"
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Old April 17 2014, 09:28 PM   #12
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

Great episode, and ssosmcin (how do you pronounce that, anyway? ) touched on why I believe the series has endured:

As a kid I, also, didn't like this episode for the reasons he cited. With greater age and maturity, the episode gains more and more nuance than us dopey kids could have hoped to comprehend. When you can go back to a childhood show, and get more out of it than you did originally, how could it not endure? That's good writing, and I wish everything could have that special magic.

Having said that, the phaser overload scene is very good, due almost solely, in my opinion, to the exciting music.

Someone, somewhere, once noted that the alert from security about the missing hand phaser is interesting. Was it Lenore's phaser, or Reilly's?
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Old April 17 2014, 09:40 PM   #13
feek61
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

I too did not care for this as a kid but with age; I like it a little more, lol. As with every single episode there are things to love even in those episodes that you don't care for. In this one the music in particular is great and also we see the only appearance of the Hangar Bay observation deck which is very cool. Also, some good views of a hero phaser held by Riley. I only rated this one a 3; Sorry guys.
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Old April 17 2014, 09:44 PM   #14
LMFAOschwarz
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

feek61 wrote: View Post
I only rated this one a 3; Sorry guys.
The Governor of Tarsus IV hereby sentences feek61 to death that more valued members of the Trek BBS might live...
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Old April 18 2014, 12:54 AM   #15
Botany Bay
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Conscience of the King

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
feek61 wrote: View Post
I only rated this one a 3; Sorry guys.
The Governor of Tarsus IV hereby sentences feek61 to death that more valued members of the Trek BBS might live...
Immediately!

I'll give this one an 8.

A great episode, and one that I thank for making my high school battles with Shakespeare quite bearable - I would just play "spot the Trek reference" every time I had to read one in English

ToddPence : good pickup about Scotty. I didn't realise he had a stretch away from the show like this. I think one of the issues might have been money - Doohan was on $850 an episode, making him more expensive than the rest of the cast (except for the big three of course).

Greg Cox : very interesting. Looking forward to seeing where this goes. The TOS books just keep on coming at the moment
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