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

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Old May 21 2014, 08:49 PM   #31
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

For me The Paradise Syndrome is a marvelous episode that could have been a second season offering. It was perhaps the greatest effort made in S3.....beyond Spectre of the Gun (a work of art that beautifully and creatively utilized its deficits to add to its surreal quality). The Enterprise Incident is an excellent episode marred by the S3 shortage of budget. Oh if they could have given us a better, more original ship interior....a bird of prey, and a perhaps a torture chamber to go with the Romulan Commander's thigh-high boots!
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Old May 23 2014, 06:51 PM   #32
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

scotpens wrote: View Post
I have to disagree there. Sol Kaplan, Gerald Fried, Fred Steiner, and especially George Duning composed some of TOS' best music for third-season episodes. In fact, the quality of the music frequently outshone the scripts and the acting.
Sol Kaplan didn't compose any music for the third season. His second and final score was for The Doomsday Machine. However, it was tracked in The Lights of Zetar.

I also agree that the music for the final year was excellent.
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Old May 24 2014, 03:51 AM   #33
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" could easily fit in earlier seasons with a more polished script. Frank Gorshin is perfect, the actor who plays Lokai does very well with what he is given, and there is aa kernel of the great allegory that TOS did so well. The episode also has some of the better cinemetography of the third season. Yes, the Batman homage with the red alert is dumb, but the entire self destruct sequence is shot at least ambitiously, though not perfectly (teeth closeups eesh). In particular, I love the reaction shots, they contribute mightily to how tense the sequence turns out.
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Old May 24 2014, 02:12 PM   #34
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

Honestly not a big fan of "LTBYLB" It is too contrived and was a left over script from the beginning of the series that never really got polished enough IMO. I do find interesting the episodes that people like.
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Old May 24 2014, 03:25 PM   #35
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

The closeup of Scotty's teeth skeeves me out.

Not to mention Gorshin's package. But at least that wasn't in closeup.

I think the black/white makeup in Battlefield might have been a bit more believable if it wasn't so hard-edged. Maybe an irregular transition, a fade, or even or a pinto-pony kind of thing ("He is black with white blotches; I am white with black blotches!").

Or maybe there was just no good way to do that.
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Old May 24 2014, 07:46 PM   #36
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

Forbin wrote: View Post
....Not to mention Gorshin's package. But at least that wasn't in closeup.


Forbin wrote: View Post
I think the black/white makeup in Battlefield might have been a bit more believable if it wasn't so hard-edged. Maybe an irregular transition, a fade, or even or a pinto-pony kind of thing ("He is black with white blotches; I am white with black blotches!").

Or maybe there was just no good way to do that.
Why not with different colors? How about red aliens vs. blue?

Hmmm... red vs. blue.... on second thought that sounds a little too close to contemporary political strife. How about red/blue vs. blue/red?
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Old May 24 2014, 08:36 PM   #37
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

feek61 wrote: View Post
Honestly not a big fan of "LTBYLB" It is too contrived and was a left over script from the beginning of the series that never really got polished enough IMO. I do find interesting the episodes that people like.
Plausibility aside, the iconography of half-black/half-white was indelible, especially to impressionable kids who grew up with Trek in reruns, and they even made a rare Mego figure of them. And in the movie-era, the episode gained renewed importance due to the homage to the self-destruct sequence.

So what's true about Trek is that even some of the lesser stories have something really memorable about them. I can't say the same about the lesser-quality TNG-era shows. Some of them are so forgettable and if you ripped them out of canon, nobody would notice.

BTW, here's a cat that's half black on one side. A rare mutation to be sure, but nature is nothing if not varied.
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Old May 24 2014, 10:00 PM   #38
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

mos6507 wrote: View Post
Some of them are so forgettable and if you ripped them out of canon, nobody would notice.
The same goes for Ds9's Ferengi-centered episodes.
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Old May 24 2014, 11:51 PM   #39
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

I don't know, the blatant make-up in Battlefield is actually part of its great appeal for me! Quirky Star Trek Sci-Fi "coolness" at its best. As others have said, Gorshin's turn as Bele is superb, as was Lou Antonio's Lokai!!!

I pretty much love everything about the episode, I couldn't care less if it's "too obvious". It's super enjoyable and entertains the heck out of me - that's all I really care about.
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Old May 25 2014, 12:41 AM   #40
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

CrazyMatt wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post
I think the black/white makeup in Battlefield might have been a bit more believable if it wasn't so hard-edged. Maybe an irregular transition, a fade, or even or a pinto-pony kind of thing ("He is black with white blotches; I am white with black blotches!").

Or maybe there was just no good way to do that.
Why not with different colors? How about red aliens vs. blue?
Or star-bellied vs. plain-bellied?

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Old May 25 2014, 01:06 AM   #41
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

The thing with Battlefield for me has always been that somewhere in the back of my mind while watching it, were these guys...

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Old May 25 2014, 09:10 PM   #42
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

ToddPence wrote: View Post
mos6507 wrote: View Post
Some of them are so forgettable and if you ripped them out of canon, nobody would notice.
The same goes for Ds9's Ferengi-centered episodes.
Wait! What about "House of Quark" and "Little Green Men"? Those are great episodes!
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Old May 25 2014, 10:12 PM   #43
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

Here’s my attempt to rank all twenty-four episodes of the third season.

1. THE EMPATH - When I compiled my exhaustively researched list of the sixty greatest television episodes of the 1960‘s, I selected “The Empath” for a slot (along with “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Journey to Babel”. I realize that this is a polarizing episode which usually winds up at either the top or bottom of other people’s list, and probably the series’ most misunderstood. I’ve always felt that it was an inspiring tale of self-sacrifice and the triumph of emotion over logic that made effective use of the most minimalist of sets. Also, George Dunning’s magnificent score is doubtless a major factor in my ranking this one as high as I did.

2. IS THERE IN TRUTH NO BEAUTY - A magnificent script with a memorable premise, characters, conflicts and scenes. Another great musical score which elevates the episode. The scene where Spock channels Kollos and experiences human feeling and sensation for the first time is one that I feel is one of the most defining moments of what makes the original series great, and is the kind of meaningful, humanistic scene you’re sure to never see in an Abrams Star Trek film. Interesting that both my top two choices were written by amateurs with no previous sales.

3. THE THOLIAN WEB - Yeah, don’t really feel the need to defend this choice (except maybe for ranking it so low!) The title of this thread is “Third Season Episodes Which Have the Quality of the First Two Seasons”, but I honestly feel that some of the earlier episodes in season three actually display a vigor and confidence not seen in the first two seasons. Sadly, this would change drastically in the latter half of the season. “Web” is one of the original series’ genuinely spooky and eerie shows, and has fantastic special effects to boot. The episode is marred only by it’s behind the scenes ugliness which led to the firing of popular director Ralph Senensky and his replacement with the extremely unpopular Herb Wallerstein, a man who inspired the “Herbert” in-joke jab which later featured in “The Way to Eden”.

4. THE PARADISE SYNDROME - An epic story which features spectacular location shooting (the last to be employed in the series). Yet another memorable musical score. The ending still tears me up after all these years. Still a major story flaw - in “A Taste of Armageddon” we’re told the Enterprise has the capacity to destroy an entire planet, but here they can’t destroy one lousy asteroid?

5. ALL OUR YESTERDAYS - Penultimate TOS episode, memorable guest appearance by Mariette Hartley, compelling and suspenseful storyline. Great scenes between Spock and McCoy. Incidentally, the only episode of the original series to make use of no Enterprise interiors.

6. DAY OF THE DOVE - Terrific entry featuring maybe the most memorable Klingon ever to appear on TOS. Intense in tone and highly influential on later Trek series.

7. THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT - Another influential segment and another example of the quality of the early part of the season.

8. ELAAN OF TROYIUS - If you’re gonna steal plots, steal from the best (Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew). Nuanced and rich script. Features arguably the best space battle of the original series.

9. FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW AND I HAVE TOUCHED THE SKY - Another epic story which might have worked better as a two-parter.

10. REQUEIM FOR METHESULAH - An episode whose reach exceeds its grasp, “Requeim” has some serious story flaws (mainly that the story’s motivator, a shipwide plague that threatens to wipe out the entire crew, never appears to be as grave as such a thing should be) but is elevated by the magnificent performances of James Daly and Louise Sorel. A poignant final scene, but I can’t help feeling that it probably would have been more poignant if it had been used at the end of “The City on the Edge of Forever” instead.

11. WHOM GODS DESTROY - And again, a story which is enhanced by outstanding guest star performances. Taut little thriller with overtones of horror and one of the series’ great villians. Climactic “which is the real Kirk” scene became iconic, being replayed in both the motion picture Star Trek VI and the DS9 episode “The Adversary”.

12. THAT WHICH SURVIVES - A lot of people do not like this episode. I think it’s a neat little fast-paced thriller. Spock inexplicably acts like a supercilious, sarcastic jerk throughout the episode. Kudos to the anonymous redshirt who saves the day at the end.

13. THE WAY TO EDEN - I don’t hate this episode as much as most Trek fans. I can overlook the cheesier elements and see the good points, such as Skip Homier’s performance and the fact that it is probably Chekov’s best show from a character standpoint. The relationship between him and Irina is really well handled. Also, the idea that there are malcontents within the supposedly utopian society of the Federation is an interesting one.

14. THE CLOUD MINDERS - Cloud cities are cool. A somewhat cliched storyline of class warfare competently executed.

15. WINK OF AN EYE - Hampered by some logistic story flaws, nonetheless an enjoyable action episode.

16. SPECTRE OF THE GUN - Essentially a poor man’s “Arena”, but it’s fun to send Kirk and company back into the old west. I have to question the historical stance of portraying the Clantons as the good guys and the Earps as the bad guys, however.

17. TURNABOUT INTRUDER - The idea of a female villain possessing Kirk’s body is a good one, but this episode never does as much with it as it should. The big problem for me is that the rest of the crew don’t do anything or solve any problem to get Kirk back in his body at the end, Janice’s transference simply wears off at the end of the hour. Nonetheless, this episode seems to get an inordinate amount of hate, far more than it deserves. I wonder if that has to do with the fact that it was the last episode, and fans expected something more spectacular. Would TI be as reviled if it had aired in the middle of the season as opposed to being the finale. Kirk’s final line “If only . . . if only . . .” always struck me as a coincidentally appropriate epitaph for the show.

18. PLATO’S STEPCHILDREN - Routine trope tale of the Enterprise crew being captured by superior aliens until they discover their weakness and escape is augmented by Michael Dunn’s performance and the pathos of the character of Alexander.

19. THE MARK OF GIDEON - What could have been an interesting and thought provoking story is totally sabotaged by a ridiculous central plot device, major plotholes, and a hopelessly muddled storyline.

20. THE LIGHTS OF ZETAR - This gets an A+ for creepiness and eeriness, although the story isn’t very compelling. The romance between Scotty and Mira doesn’t ring true despite several nice character moments between the two.

21. LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD - This is about as heavy handed as the original series got. And they really could have come up with a better make up job than that done for Gorshin and Antonio.

22. THE SAVAGE CURTAIN - I said earlier that “Spectre of the Gun” was a poor man’s “Arena”, well this is a really poor, poor man’s “Arena”. One major pro of the episode was introducing figures to Trek lore such as Sarek, Kahless and Green. Major con is that it’s depressing to watch. In many of these episodes made towards the very end, there’s a weariness and a tiredness that comes across in them, as if the series’ stars know the end is in sight and are just going through the motions.

23. AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD - As goofy as all get-out. “Children of the Damned" taking over the Enterprise is a cool idea but ineptly executed. Melvin Belli as your guest star? Seriously, Melvin Belli? Horrible acting overall in this one - perhaps Shatner’s most embarrassing performance of the entire series. Trivia note - the child cast featured three future Brady Bunch guest stars.

24. SPOCK’S BRAIN - Inarguably the worst episode of TOS. Contractual obligation script which Gene Coon doubtlessly never intended to go before the cameras. Obtained an iconicity for its badness, with tributes paid by the series The Wonder Years as well as the Tom Cruise-Sean Penn movie Taps. Seems to worsen upon each viewing.
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Old May 28 2014, 11:35 PM   #44
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

"The Enterprise Incident"
"Day of the Dove"
"For the World is Hollow. . ." (Another statement on religion that I like)
"The Tholian Web"
"Elaan of Troyius"
"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"
"That Which Survives" (this one is just weird in a way that's cool)
"The Cloud Minders"
"All Our Yesterdays"

Some good social commentary there, circa 1969! There was the height of the Cold War going on and some good commentary on religion.
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Old May 29 2014, 01:50 PM   #45
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Re: Third season episodes that have the quality of the first two seaon

Very well thought out reviews, Todd, and while I don’t agree with them all, a few comments motivate me to respond a little…

ToddPence wrote: View Post
4. THE PARADISE SYNDROME - An epic story which features spectacular location shooting (the last to be employed in the series).
Not quite true. It is the last extensive location shooting of the series, but apparently the street scenes in All Our Yesterdays were shot outside. They were so badly lit and shot they LOOK like interiors.

9. FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW AND I HAVE TOUCHED THE SKY - Another epic story which might have worked better as a two-parter.
Like so many others, this was another “out of character” love story this season. Scotty got one, McCoy got one, Kirk got one, Spock got one and so did Chekov. This is my main problem with the season. Far too many of these “head over heels in love” plots that have to be resolved in 49 minutes (gotta save room for the credits and previews). Some worked better than others, but piling a “disease of the week” on was just too much this time. Requiem for Methuselah was the one what needed to be two parts if they wanted us to buy Kirk’s sudden devotion to Rayna.

17. TURNABOUT INTRUDER - Nonetheless, this episode seems to get an inordinate amount of hate, far more than it deserves. I wonder if that has to do with the fact that it was the last episode, and fans expected something more spectacular.
Nah, it gets a bad rap because it’s lousy. Yeah, it’s a crappy way to end the series, but it’s a sloppy script with bad characterization. It’s a guilty pleasure and a lot of fun, but it deserves its rep.

24. SPOCK’S BRAIN - Inarguably the worst episode of TOS.
Actually, it’s very arguable. Now THIS is an episode that I feel gets a worse rap because of its position in the run. After all of the hard work and sweat to try to keep the show on the air, the Network rewards the fans with THIS? Not one of the other better episodes, but this one? Whatever their reason (for all I know, it was the only one ready to go), fans must have been aghast and very disappointed. However, I see a number of episodes being a lot worse than this (And the Children Shall Lead, The Way to Eden, Mark of Gideon, etc.). But it’s all opinion anyway.

Again, nice post.
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