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

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Old September 22 2013, 03:28 AM   #1
WisTrekFan
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"Spock's Brain" Observation

As yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the first airing of "Spock's Brain," I decided to watch the the episode last night. I had recently seen the episode on MeTV, but I was dismayed at the editing of the show to make it fit today's time slot. Watching the original version in its entirety for the first time in quite a while was interesting. Just an observation after watching the show. I realize the official story why this episode was chosen to open the third season was that it was the only episode in the can ready to go, but I also wonder if it was chosen because it featured all the members of the cast. The scene on the bridge where Kirk is conferring with Sulu, Chekov and Uhura as to where Spock's brain may have been taken really gave the show a more ensemble feel, although it ended up featuring a Chekov and Kirk exchange with the other two looking on. I had forgotten that later in the episode, as the show came back from commercial, the captain's log was given by George Takei with a shot of Sulu in the command chair. I wonder if it was the intent of the creators to give the show more of an ensemble feel similar to what had been the situation in the early episodes of the series. When I think about it, the secondary characters were given their moments from time to time in the third season more that they had been given previously.
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Old September 22 2013, 03:32 AM   #2
Mycroft Maxwell
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

Hmmm...thats a good question. I remember reading that giving equal air time was very hard to do In all the incarnations of star trek . As for the MeTV (love that channel) edits, I find the current state of television in such a bad state, that commercials are now up to 45% of a given time slot in some cases....thats just not acceptable.
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Old September 22 2013, 02:58 PM   #3
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

WisTrekFan wrote: View Post
As yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the first airing of "Spock's Brain," I decided to watch the the episode last night. I had recently seen the episode on MeTV, but I was dismayed at the editing of the show to make it fit today's time slot. Watching the original version in its entirety for the first time in quite a while was interesting. Just an observation after watching the show. I realize the official story why this episode was chosen to open the third season was that it was the only episode in the can ready to go, but I also wonder if it was chosen because it featured all the members of the cast. The scene on the bridge where Kirk is conferring with Sulu, Chekov and Uhura as to where Spock's brain may have been taken really gave the show a more ensemble feel, although it ended up featuring a Chekov and Kirk exchange with the other two looking on. I had forgotten that later in the episode, as the show came back from commercial, the captain's log was given by George Takei with a shot of Sulu in the command chair. I wonder if it was the intent of the creators to give the show more of an ensemble feel similar to what had been the situation in the early episodes of the series. When I think about it, the secondary characters were given their moments from time to time in the third season more that they had been given previously.
The inclusion of the supporting cast in this episode makes me still want to watch this episode despite its many faults.
In fact if you exclude any scene with Spock in it its an OK episode. I can't say good because you can't just get over "Brain brain, what is brain".
The episode has some good parts where the bridge crew consult with Kirk over the best planet to investigate, Kirk calling Scotty Spock, the native calling Kirk a "little man" or something like that.

I'm not sure that Season 3 was any better than the other two seasons for the secondary characters. I think there were more Kirk, Spock, McCoy episodes in Season 3 but I could be wrong.
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Old September 22 2013, 05:52 PM   #4
T'Girl
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

Mycroft Maxwell wrote: View Post
I find the current state of television in such a bad state, that commercials are now up to 45% of a given time slot in some cases....thats just not acceptable.
Years ago, the sci-fi channel started running Star Trek TOS for the first time, and ran them without edits. In order to do this and have Shatner dishing up short bits of trivia and still have enough commercial time to pay the bills, each episode ran in a 90 minute slot.

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Old September 22 2013, 06:35 PM   #5
The Old Mixer
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

^Even in that case, everything was there, but they were adding new commercial breaks in clumsy places.

Possibly the only time it's been shown uncut and unedited on television since the original airings was when PBS ran them in the mid-80s (as a promotion for the video release, I believe).
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Old September 22 2013, 06:48 PM   #6
Greg Cox
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

I always assumed they ran "Spock's Brain" as the season premiere because the title had the word "Spock" in it. As far as NBC was concerned, Spock was the show's big draw; I doubt they cared or noticed that the entire cast was showcased in that episode.
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Old September 22 2013, 06:49 PM   #7
Christopher
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

WisTrekFan wrote: View Post
I realize the official story why this episode was chosen to open the third season was that it was the only episode in the can ready to go, but I also wonder if it was chosen because it featured all the members of the cast.
I've never heard that "official story," and I don't see how it can possibly be true. Given that the rate of completion of episodes of a TV series is generally slower than one per week, a show needs to have a fair number of episodes in the can before the season premiere. If they only had one episode ready to go when the premiere date came, then they'd be horrifically behind schedule and would have to go into reruns by the third or fourth week in order to catch up. But the third season didn't take a week off from debuting new episodes until 12 weeks after "Spock's Brain" debuted.

Besides, the production schedule shows that it completed filming over 2 months before its airdate, and the recording of its musical score -- one of the last things done in the post-production process -- took place nearly a month before its airdate. And it was the sixth episode produced in the season. So there's simply no way it could've been the only episode ready to go.

The reason it was aired first was the same reason "Amok Time" aired first in season 2: because it was about Spock. Spock was the breakout star of TOS. He got more fan mail that the rest of the cast combined. The network wanted him to be featured as heavily as possible, and so they chose to open both the second and third seasons with Spock-centric episodes.


I wonder if it was the intent of the creators to give the show more of an ensemble feel similar to what had been the situation in the early episodes of the series. When I think about it, the secondary characters were given their moments from time to time in the third season more that they had been given previously.
Again, the decision of what episode to open with was made by the network, not the producers. And an ensemble flavor was the exact opposite of what they wanted. They wanted The Spock Show.
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Old September 22 2013, 09:08 PM   #8
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

Christopher wrote: View Post
The reason it was aired first was the same reason "Amok Time" aired first in season 2: because it was about Spock. Spock was the breakout star of TOS. He got more fan mail that the rest of the cast combined. The network wanted him to be featured as heavily as possible, and so they chose to open both the second and third seasons with Spock-centric episodes.
As was only logical . . . .
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Old September 23 2013, 02:13 AM   #9
BoredShipCapt'n
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
^Even in that case, everything was there, but they were adding new commercial breaks in clumsy places.

Possibly the only time it's been shown uncut and unedited on television since the original airings was when PBS ran them in the mid-80s (as a promotion for the video release, I believe).
The syndicated reruns in the 70's were uncut. I know this because I recorded the sound from an episode around 1976 and nothing was left out.

There was no need to cut them until 1981, I believe, when commercial time was deregulated by the FCC.
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Old September 23 2013, 02:30 AM   #10
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

When Space in Canada began running TOS in the '90s it was uncut. I'm pretty sure they did they same when they aired the remastered (for dvd) episodes later on.

I should add the other nice thing about those broadcasts was that Space put in commercials only where the original commercial breaks went and often not longer than two minutes.
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Old September 23 2013, 04:03 AM   #11
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
The syndicated reruns in the 70's were uncut. I know this because I recorded the sound from an episode around 1976 and nothing was left out.

There was no need to cut them until 1981, I believe, when commercial time was deregulated by the FCC.
I dunno, I'm pretty sure the reruns I was watching from 1974 onward were cut. Because many years later, when I saw the uncut version of "The Conscience of the King," there was a lot of material with Spock digging into Kirk's actions and talking to McCoy about them that I had no memory of ever having seen before. And by that point I'd seen every episode dozens of times. There are probably also a few other bits I don't remember having seen when I was younger. Though I can't be sure, of course.
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Old September 23 2013, 04:06 AM   #12
CommishSleer
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

Sorry this question is also off on a "cut" tangent. I was watching the remastered "Deadly Years" on TV and they said they were going to count the votes of who found Kirk to be incompetant. Then the next shot was in Kirk's cabin when Spock revealed that Kirk was stood down - the vote went against him.

They didn't show the vote on screen. I'm wondering if this was "cut out" or perhaps it was never in it. The Chakotay script says it was never in it. Now with talks of episodes being cut I'm getting paranoid.
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Old September 23 2013, 04:14 AM   #13
Christopher
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

^I don't see why they would've shown the vote onscreen. It's more dramatic to cut away before the vote, in order to build suspense, and then let us discover the result along with Kirk. Heck, that's a standard technique for scenes involving votes or jury verdicts.
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Old September 23 2013, 05:23 AM   #14
WisTrekFan
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
WisTrekFan wrote: View Post
As yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the first airing of "Spock's Brain," I decided to watch the the episode last night. I had recently seen the episode on MeTV, but I was dismayed at the editing of the show to make it fit today's time slot. Watching the original version in its entirety for the first time in quite a while was interesting. Just an observation after watching the show. I realize the official story why this episode was chosen to open the third season was that it was the only episode in the can ready to go, but I also wonder if it was chosen because it featured all the members of the cast. The scene on the bridge where Kirk is conferring with Sulu, Chekov and Uhura as to where Spock's brain may have been taken really gave the show a more ensemble feel, although it ended up featuring a Chekov and Kirk exchange with the other two looking on. I had forgotten that later in the episode, as the show came back from commercial, the captain's log was given by George Takei with a shot of Sulu in the command chair. I wonder if it was the intent of the creators to give the show more of an ensemble feel similar to what had been the situation in the early episodes of the series. When I think about it, the secondary characters were given their moments from time to time in the third season more that they had been given previously.
The inclusion of the supporting cast in this episode makes me still want to watch this episode despite its many faults.
In fact if you exclude any scene with Spock in it its an OK episode. I can't say good because you can't just get over "Brain brain, what is brain".
The episode has some good parts where the bridge crew consult with Kirk over the best planet to investigate, Kirk calling Scotty Spock, the native calling Kirk a "little man" or something like that.

I'm not sure that Season 3 was any better than the other two seasons for the secondary characters. I think there were more Kirk, Spock, McCoy episodes in Season 3 but I could be wrong.
I think that Scotty or James Doohann did get more screen time in the third season though.
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Old September 23 2013, 05:35 AM   #15
WisTrekFan
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Re: "Spock's Brain" Observation

Christopher wrote: View Post
WisTrekFan wrote: View Post
I realize the official story why this episode was chosen to open the third season was that it was the only episode in the can ready to go, but I also wonder if it was chosen because it featured all the members of the cast.
I've never heard that "official story," and I don't see how it can possibly be true. Given that the rate of completion of episodes of a TV series is generally slower than one per week, a show needs to have a fair number of episodes in the can before the season premiere. If they only had one episode ready to go when the premiere date came, then they'd be horrifically behind schedule and would have to go into reruns by the third or fourth week in order to catch up. But the third season didn't take a week off from debuting new episodes until 12 weeks after "Spock's Brain" debuted.

Besides, the production schedule shows that it completed filming over 2 months before its airdate, and the recording of its musical score -- one of the last things done in the post-production process -- took place nearly a month before its airdate. And it was the sixth episode produced in the season. So there's simply no way it could've been the only episode ready to go.


The reason it was aired first was the same reason "Amok Time" aired first in season 2: because it was about Spock. Spock was the breakout star of TOS. He got more fan mail that the rest of the cast combined. The network wanted him to be featured as heavily as possible, and so they chose to open both the second and third seasons with Spock-centric episodes.


I wonder if it was the intent of the creators to give the show more of an ensemble feel similar to what had been the situation in the early episodes of the series. When I think about it, the secondary characters were given their moments from time to time in the third season more that they had been given previously.
Again, the decision of what episode to open with was made by the network, not the producers. And an ensemble flavor was the exact opposite of what they wanted. They wanted The Spock Show.
If the intent was to feature Spock, particularly to start the season, I think "The Enterprise Incident" would have been the better show to debut with and it too featured Spock.
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