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

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Old July 15 2014, 02:00 PM   #16
Cap'n Claus
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
"Spock's Brain" is by far the most underrated episode. It's got good action, good pacing, good guest stars, and great music. Yet vast numbers of fans have dumped on it over the years.
Spock’s Brain will always have the stigma of “worst episode of the series,” but there are far worse in my mind. This one has the distinction of being the episode fans were “rewarded with” for all of their writing and picketing efforts to save the series. I can imagine fans gearing up for the premiere of their favorite show were expecting a triumphant return. Instead, they probably said, “all of that work…for THIS?!” Had the season premiered with Spectre of the Gun or The Enterprise Incident (if they were ready), Spock’s Brain may have been regarded as a wacky, just “not good” episode.

For me, it’s a ton of fun and a guilty pleasure for many of the reasons you mentioned, Zap. You and I are spot on target for the appreciation of the sets and music.
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Old July 15 2014, 02:26 PM   #17
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

BillJ wrote: View Post
"The Omega Glory"

Interesting story with great performances by Shatner and Woodward. I don't even mind the American flag and don't believe it is all that hard to explain.
+1.

The episode was a fine mix of the eerie (the fate of the Exeter), the brutal (every physical conflict played realistically), and as you note, Shatner and Woodward delivered great performances--well matched as strong, leading personalities.

No matter what one thinks of the parallel earth part of the story, the plot is grim with no easy "out" for the heroes.
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Old July 15 2014, 06:48 PM   #18
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

"Underrated" = forgotten/overlooked, to me. This Side of Paradise seems overlooked on this BBS. The ones people hate just don't seem right for an "underrated" thread, since they're so often thought of and discussed. YMMV.
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Old July 15 2014, 07:31 PM   #19
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

One for me is "A Taste of Armageddon". It seems to get overlooked quite a bit, but the acting is strong by all in that episode (including some great moments with Scotty) and a great message about machines running a civilization to the point of obeying whatever they say (registering "hits" on cities, etc.)

It also has a great balance of wanting to preserve your life or blindly follow what generations before have done, just because that's what they did.

For me, it's one of the best TOS episodes, actually one of the best in all of Trek. It would also have made a great feature film, given a good amount of material to show how much more the machines were in the Eminians' culture.
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Old July 16 2014, 12:49 AM   #20
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

^ Ditto on "A Taste of Armageddon"; a seriously underrated TOS outing. I enjoyed the conflicts between Fox and Scott, Kirk and Anan 7, and even got a chuckle out of the brief confrontation between the regal-but-suicidal Mea 3 and Yeoman Tamura. "Taste" was one of those first-year stories that showed that while the Federation has high principles and they want to "try to take it easy", if you mess with them, they take care of business.

I also feel the same way about "Dagger of the Mind". My mother used to work in the dietary department of a local state mental hospital. She knows many of the patients there are not capable of caring for themselves, yet the de-institutionalization of the last 50+ years is putting more and more of those patients out on the street. "Dagger" seemed to speak to me about man's inhumanity to man, about how our generation is mistreating some of our weakest, most marginalized citizens. By showing Kirk being subjected to the Neural Neutralizer, it was like a microcosm of what was wrong at Tantalus, which itself was a statement on how we neglect or abuse the mentally ill. And the image of Noel kicking the agressor-security goon back into the electric substation to be burned to death was powerful; like she became a proxy for the infirmed patients of "Devil's Island", defending herself to stop their criminal enterprise. And I always loved the way Spock took charge and started ripping the place apart and even the redshirts were cornering the henchmen at gunpoint. (I'm looking forward to STAR TREK: NEW VOYAGES/PHASE II's adaptation of the 1970's prose short-story "Mind Sifter" with great anticipation, BTW.)

I think all of TOS' second year is seriously underrated. Some people trash it because it used levity, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. "Metamorphosis" was one of the best stories of TOS, and I'm shocked at how underrated it is; the story goes directly to what TOS intro-monologue said it was all about. "Bread and Circuses" is my all-time favorite TOS story. Again, Kirk and company must deal with hostile aliens, but even while at gunpoint they keep it cool and do not overreact. Kirk even commends Scotty for the harmless EMP blackout. The story's cleverly layered religious message resonates with me to this day. "Obsession" remains outstanding as the best "the captain has issues" stories of any of the STAR TREK series. The story, the acting and the "creature" concept still blow me away! And "The Ultimate Computer" is still relevant in its subject matter, over 45 years after it first aired.

Of all the "Kirk's girlfriend comes calling" stories, "Elaan of Troyius" is the best. At least there's a sci fi plot mixed in with the captain's dalliance this time. And yes, I enjoyed the disarm-the-bomb/restore-the-engines/deal-with-the-Klingons subplot as well. Not as richly layered and dramatic as the excellent "A Private Little War", but still an outstanding Cold Warrior's story.

"Is There in Truth No Beauty?" is a romantic tale on many levels that seems to get recognized by the fans, but only sparingly. This never fails to amaze and disappoint me. Both "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" and "The Tholian Web" deal with the very sci fi notion that deep space is a place far removed from humanity's conventional three-dimensional thinking, forcing the Enterprise crew to "think outside the box" in order to survive. Fans seem to want to concentrate on some "transwarp" angle, or casting the Tholians as scheming villains, but that wasn't what those stories were about. They were about confronting the unknown (both within and the Great Beyond) and having to use their intellect to cope in a place far removed from their previous experience.

"That Which Survives", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", "The Lights of Zetar" and "Requiem for Methuselah" all had romanticized themes that seemed the characterize TOS' third year. They also exhibited the show's growing range of subject matter and story types. Despite obvious lapses in production values in these shows, they still seem underrated.
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Last edited by Wingsley; July 16 2014 at 01:32 AM. Reason: typo correction
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Old July 16 2014, 12:52 AM   #21
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

"A Taste of Armageddon" is my favorite episode of Star Trek. Any series.
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Old July 16 2014, 01:15 AM   #22
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

I'm going with "Elaan of Troyius" as the most under-rated.
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Old July 16 2014, 05:16 AM   #23
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

BillJ wrote: View Post
"A Taste of Armageddon" is my favorite episode of Star Trek. Any series.
I agree with everyone here about A Taste of Armageddon. This episode showed us that, in addition to being a great engineer, Scotty was also a great command officer, even better than Spock in many ways.
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Old July 16 2014, 01:36 PM   #24
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

I’m gonna say “Bread and Circuses.” It’s never in anyone’s top ten lists (except Wingsley's ) and it’s a great story, my favorite of the parallel-Earth tales. Roddenberry hated the “son of God” reveal (in later years he said the people involved were “cretins” which was damned harsh), but I didn’t mind it. I’m not religious by any means, but I know religion exists and people follow it. Why ignore it and the effects it played on society? And it truly would be amazing to see it “happen all over again.”

The characters were really well drawn; I loved Flavius. Captain Merik was the poor loser who got more than he bargained for but redeemed himself in the end, giving the Big Three their closest scrape as they get beamed up. While Claudius Marcus was easily one of the series’ most vile villains. Kirk gets to score, McCoy and Spock have their most revealing conversation to date and Scotty got to be bad-ass again instead of panicky. Not to mention there was some pretty sharp network satire. This episode was full of treasures.

It’s a really great episode that deserves more attention than it usually gets.
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Old July 16 2014, 03:26 PM   #25
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

ssosmcin wrote: View Post
I’m gonna say “Bread and Circuses.” It’s never in anyone’s top ten lists (except Wingsley's ) and it’s a great story, my favorite of the parallel-Earth tales. Roddenberry hated the “son of God” reveal (in later years he said the people involved were “cretins” which was damned harsh), but I didn’t mind it. I’m not religious by any means, but I know religion exists and people follow it. Why ignore it and the effects it played on society? And it truly would be amazing to see it “happen all over again.”

The characters were really well drawn; I loved Flavius. Captain Merik was the poor loser who got more than he bargained for but redeemed himself in the end, giving the Big Three their closest scrape as they get beamed up. While Claudius Marcus was easily one of the series’ most vile villains. Kirk gets to score, McCoy and Spock have their most revealing conversation to date and Scotty got to be bad-ass again instead of panicky. Not to mention there was some pretty sharp network satire. This episode was full of treasures.

It’s a really great episode that deserves more attention than it usually gets.
Not sure if it's in my top-10, but "Bread and Circuses" is definitely in my top-20.
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Old July 16 2014, 07:37 PM   #26
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

I agree with everyone who mentioned "The Omega Glory". This episode had everything: suspense (the Exeter) action (the fight sequences) and a message (the constitution and the American flag). Also, third season episodes "Spock's Brain" and "Elaan of Troyus" had their good moments, as well as a good amount of humor for a season in which Fred Frieberger tended to shy away from comedy.
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Old July 16 2014, 08:22 PM   #27
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

I think "Omega Glory" is a good show, but it all falls apart for me as soon as the flag makes its appearance. It pushed my suspension of disbelief too far, even when I first saw it in the late 60s. The ritual fight between Kirk and Tracey is well done, and looks to be entirely Shatner and Woodward with no stuntmen.

If they'd found something to do other than have Kirk sing Yankee Doodle, it would have been a great show.
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Old July 16 2014, 08:42 PM   #28
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

I think 'The Cloud Minders' has underrated- a society split into two parts with both rationalizing who is right and wrong. The ST-R version shows the city better IMO but the best parts are in dialog. I do wish there had been a more interesting solution than just gas filters, but having a simple cause is a must when you have a hour to tell the story.
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Old July 16 2014, 10:01 PM   #29
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

"The Lights of Zetar" and "That Which Survives". Zetar is just so unusual, or at least i always felt it was. Survives has some interesting character moments. i also feel like Spock is purposefully being a bit of a jerk. plus, Lee Meriwether.

"The Omega Glory" is an episode that i saw too many reruns of to have any appreciation for.
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Old July 16 2014, 10:24 PM   #30
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Re: Most Underrated Episode?

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
I think Plato's Stepchildren is underrated and is one of my favourite episodes.

I know everyone complains about the 'horsey scene'. It doesn't worry me. They were supposed to be being tortured and embarrassed.
I thought there were some great performances in this episode and you could see how close Spock, Kirk and McCoy were.

Of course there were some bad parts as there are to all things - Uhura being frightened again, Kironide just being 'forgotten' after the end of the episode and aliens knowing about Plato. Sigh.

While I'm here I'll put in a vote for 'The Empath'. Again another great episode focusing on the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. McCoy was kick ass in this episode.
Why is the last a problem? They went to earth first from Sahndara. Although Philana doesn't say it, Kirk reveals in his log that "When their planet novaed, millennia ago, they transported themselves to Earth in the time of Socrates and Plato. After the death of the Greek civilization they idolized, they came to this planet and created for themselves a utopia patterned after it." So someone must have filled him in on the exact details, probably Alexander in privacy (Alexander says that ther philosopher-king at the time, who may or may not have been Parmen, liked Plato, but doesn't mention the initial escape to earth on screen).
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