Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Botany Bay, Jul 8, 2014.
I voted 9. I really wanted to vote 10, but I haven't voted ten for any, yet. If I didn't miss the Balance of Terror poll, I would have voted 10 for that one.
Even so, this is easily in my top 5 favorites. My 5 year old self watching Captain Kirk fight the monster loved it and I still love it.
There's much more to it than that, now that I'm over 5 .
So in no particular order, I'm just going to list things I like:
The running battle in space and Sulu in command including the first use of photon torpedoes.
The battle between the officers and Gorn at Cestus 3
The big fight for most of the episode, especially the rock throwing part.
Captain Kirk's most consistent way of handling things is perfectly exhibited here; talk to your opponent, if he doesn't listen beat him up and then talk again.
SPOCK: We're being held in place, Captain, apparently from that solar system.
KIRK; This far out? That's impossible.
SPOCK: We are being held.
While I love how Nimoy emphisised that last line without actually being "emotional" I was disappointed at how excited he sounded when he saw the ingredients for the gunpowder. I think that last part and Uhura screaming was my only disappointments for this episode. Uhura didn't scream last week when Trelane nabbed the Captain, why this time? And why at all?
I want to watch this one again, now. I have to wait til I'm home with my discs and tapes.
I really like this one and I really like seeing "blood-thirsty" Kirk. Even after the Gorn ship was dead in space, he ordered phaser crews to the ready, he was getting ready to dispatch a helpless opponent. I like that these characters weren't perfect and needed to learn lessons along the way. I think that is why I keep coming back to TOS as opposed to the spinoffs.
Favorite scenes are all at the ruins of Cestus III. I wasn't too thrilled with the scenes against the Gorn captain on first airing, as it reminded me too much of The Outer Limits' "Fun and Games" only a couple of years earlier.
8; Can I change to a 9?
It's awesome PLUS Kirk's NOT gonna kill today ethos. If someone wanted the TREK-iest ep, I'd seriously think this one in part BECAUSE of the rubber suit and rocks. Viva Kelowitz, the Donnie Kelly of Star Trek.
It's my favorite TOS episode, so obviously I rated it a 10. The initial big battle with the grenade launcher and stuff might be the best action scene on TOS. The first confrontation with the Gorn is campy in the best sense of the word, and an absolute classic TV moment, and the rest of the fight is very clever. The ending pretty much epitomizes what Star Trek is all about, and Kirk refusing to kill the Gorn is maybe his finest moment. Agree with the above poster that it represents the spirit of TOS better than any other show.
From the "tricorder" thread, my favorite part of this episode:
Spock: They've locked on to my tricorder!"
I posted this over on another thread (link), but will share here as well since it's a fun factoid:
ARENA Final Draft November 3, 1966
The script specifies that the Gorn ship is never inside visual range. There is nothing to indicate it should ever be shown (as was added in the TOS-R version).
Also, the "bamboo" isn't really bamboo. It's described this way:
The production failed to convey that detail. That'd change the Mythbusters test a bit.
Spock also rattles off the proportions of the elements of the gunpowder as Kirk mixes it. "75. 15. 10."
Orion Press article on "Arena" (link)
10. BRILLIANT entertainment.
I’m the douche who accidentally rated it a 1 instead of a 10. Ugh, I wish you could go back and change votes (or that the ranking went from best to worst instead of worst to best). I love this one; it’s classic, quintessential Star Trek.
If I had a gripe, it’s with Spock’s ongoing narration of what Kirk is doing. It smacks of “not trusting the audience.” It’s also a tad annoying. Oh and “rolling the boulder uphill” thing. A boulder. Of course, maybe the rock density is less and it’s not Earth and….
That's what I was trying to say about Spock sounding "excited" at seeing the minerals.
And Shatner really does try hard to sell it with the fake rock, he's really making the effort to try to say, this is really a rock.
I should have voted 10.
Thanks for letting us know, ssosmcin.
Anyone who votes Arena a "1" with intent is probably dead inside!
I gave it a 9. I almost went full 10, but I have to save room for the few episodes that I consider tens without reservation. "Arena" was the first episode I saw that made me squee, well before I'd heard of squeeing.
The largest problem I have with the episode is that the beam-down segment in act one doesn't stand up to scrutiny. If the redshirt can get vaporized, then I don't expect Kirk and Spock could make their runs through no-man's land under fire. In retrospect, the segment could have been improved by having redshirt O'Herlihy standing a ways away from Kirk and company when he yells out that he sees something, then firing his phaser just as he's vaporized, as if he kills the Gorn(s) who are up close when they kill him too, all in a way that doesn't immediately threaten the rest of the party.
The sound effects were a bit muted, and the phasers looked different as well.
The Enterprise's three double phaser bursts, which Sulu says constituted a full discharge of phaser banks, fire from an unusual location in this episode – not from near the glowing dome at the bottom of the saucer, but from much higher up, closer to where Matt Jefferies originally located the main phaser banks in his early diagrams of the ship. These schematics appeared as display diagrams in other episodes and also on the sides of the early AMT Star Trek model kits.
I gave it a 10. It embodies everything a good Star Trek should have.
I too voted 9. Terrific perspective.
I didn't vote on earlier post, so now I'll make it 10 to help out ssosmcin.
A question I have about the episode.
How did they lure the Enterprise there?
I know they said it was a faked message but I'm thinking the Gorn lack the sophistication of faking a message like that. And wouldn't a Federationship require confirmation codes or something?
10. A classic transcending its episode, an ENT episode, a Mythbusters special and a videogeme commercial feat. Shatner himself.
^You forgot Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
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