Alternative Factor - Worst Episode Ever?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Komack, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Komack

    Komack Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Just watched Alternative Factor for the first time in about 20 years. While it seems like many point to Spock's Brain as the worst episode in the series I think Alternative Factor has it beat - at least I can understand the plot of Spock's Brain (as absurd as it may be). I couldn't explain the plot of Alternative Factor if I had a gun to my head...
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    As long as And the Children Shall Lead... exists, it is no contest. :lol:
     
  3. Rulius

    Rulius Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I tried to watch the Alernative Factor the other night and just stopped in the middle. It is if not the worst episode of Trek, it's in the top 5.
     
  4. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    No, most boring, perhaps, but not the worst, by a long shot.
     
  5. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Word.
     
  6. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Weird is better than boring. Thus I nominate That Which Survives as worst. It's like a 10-minute premise stretched to 48.

    Boring: bad. Quirky: good.
     
  7. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given that The Empath has never once failed to put me literally to sleep, I must say that for me The Alternative Factor is not the most boring. Nor have I ever had trouble understanding its pathetic shoestring of a plot.

    My candidate for worst, though, would be Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, Frank Gorshin's mythical award notwithstanding. That Which Survives, a close second.
     
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    This.

    I don't mind "The Alternative Factor." I'll watch it before a lot of other things.
     
  9. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    Yes.
     
  10. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There is no bad Star Trek. There is only Star Trek.

    If you were to remove every episode that people think is bad, just because it doesn't fit the template of "perfect" Trek, there would be about 14-1/2 hours of watchable Trek left.

    Me? I accept all of it for what it is.
     
  11. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Nah, it has the Angel chant. Like "brain and brain" from Spock's Brain or the Eden song from Way to Eden, that puts it above the Alternative Factor.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    There is a ton of bad Star Trek. I just love it all anyway! :techman:
     
  13. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What the dog said.

    The cheese is all part of the classic pizza that is Star Trek.
     
  14. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I really enjoy "Spock's Brain" and "Requiem for Methuselah" for their music scores and beautiful women.

    I kind of enjoy "Whom Gods Destroy" and "The Way to Eden" along those lines as well.

    "Assignment: Earth", "The Mark of Gideon", and "The Cloud Minders" are almost good.

    But everyone has a different list of clunkers. The lower-tier episodes I'm less fond of, from least bad to most awful, are:

    "Friday's Child" - Love-it-or-hate-it music score for the planet-side scenes is too heavy for me; men wearing carpets.

    "The Alternative Factor" - Confusing and dumb.

    "Plato's Stepchildren" - Embarrassing.

    "The Savage Curtain" - Give me a break.

    "And the Children Shall Lead" - The worst.
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    "The Alternative Factor" suffered a lot of backstage problems. The actor originally hired as Lazarus failed to appear on the first day, saying he forgot, resulting in the studio and/or production filing a grievance against him with the Guild. Robert Brown had to be hired at the last minute and the already built costume refitted. Then there's a questionable change in the script where a love story subplot between Lazarus and Lt. Masters was cut entirely because they'd hired a black actress for the role and were worried about offending parts of the United States.
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I'll watch "The Alternative Factor" over most of contemporary Trek particularly anything from ENT or VOY.
     
  17. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't know about it being the worst, but it was certainly poorly written, poorly executed, and confusing as hell. As with all of TOS, there are elements of it that are good. For example, I loved Lazarus's little ship, a nice retro-throwback to the golden age of sci-fi. It also had a unique from-behind f/x shot of the Enterprise firing its phasers at the ship on the planet surface below.

    It was still better than most of the Voyager episodes that I've seen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  18. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We need a Like button for posts like this.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Speaking of the Lazarus ship, has anyone figured out what it was? I mean, Star Trek recycled everything, and while I know the dome from the ship appeared as set dressing for other episodes, the ship only being used once makes me think it was something rented or borrowed, since otherwise I'd have expected to see it reused.
     
  20. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    Not to dis the OP, but we just recently had a thread that went around the block a few times regarding this episode.