Episode of the Week : The Corbomite Maneuver

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Botany Bay, Jan 21, 2014.

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Rate "The Corbomite Maneuver"

Poll closed Jan 28, 2014.
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  1. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Each week we're having a look at an episode, going through the series in production order. Please rate the episode out of ten, and have your say below. I'll record the scores each week and save them so we can rank TOS in order of popularity.

    If you're new to TOS, please watch along with us and ask anything you like about the episodes. TOS veterans, feel free to add any bits of trivia, or stories about the production of the episode as well. Some key websites :

    Memory Alpha
    Episode transcripts
    Unseen elements of the Original Series
    Star Trek Fact Check

    Happy watching and reviewing!

    This week : The Corbomite Maneuver
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    An almost perfect episode except for a 2nd act slump. Really gives you the sense of a navy ship in space. Too bad the optical FX mess prevented it from being the premier instead of The Man Trap.
     
  3. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This may, all things considered, be my favorite episode. Like Maurice, I think this would have made an ideal premiere episode. At times it almost does seem as if it was written that way, what with lines like, "What's the mission of this vessel, Doctor? To seek out and contact alien life."

    Also I like how in these early episodes, you get the feeling of a Captain grooming new crew members. Here with Bailey, and in Dagger of the Mind, with the transporter officer.
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    So, the crew is together, and they're pretty great. Still a little tweaking left to go, but they're basically set now.

    The overall premise and story outline are intriguing, intelligent, and highbrow science fiction. It's one of the few episodes to maintain that level of quality in the intrinsically SF elements throughout almost the entire episode, by which I mean that it really only gets cheesy when they have some tranya.

    This episode drags in the middle for sure, and that hurts it.

    I think it also drags near the end of trying to break free from the pilot vessel. That part starts off very dramatically when he pulls out ahead and Spock says he's sneaked power down, but I'm always telling them to break free already, and I find the ascending tones both unnecessary and really annoying.

    Heck, it also dragged while trying to escape the cube at the beginning, so to me it really drags all over.

    I don't buy Bailey as a character unfortunately, either. I think his incompetence is exaggerated for effect from the beginning.

    A few lines are cringeworthy, "Must be a mile in diameter" being one of them.

    So, good, but not great, though getting there. In between the first two pilots. For all its faults and since I don't enjoy rewatching it a whole lot, I'm rounding down.

    Seven.
     
  5. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    Overall the tone is almost in place now. Only a few blips in the characterization of Spock left to iron out, but the regular crew, as well as the series' format, really come together in this one. The ending is pure 'Star Trek' -- an apparent antagonist turns out to be merely a curious alien looking to friendship.

    I love that briefing room scene too, with the table littered by coffee cups, etc. Really gives a sense of realism to the scene which is somewhat lacking in other scenes of a similar nature -- or, maybe it is to imply that they crew have been deliberating over the problem for a while without solution?

    Oh, and a mention here for Fred Steiner's awesome score -- easily one of Star Trek's most memorable, IMO. :bolian: Some terrific tension raising going on during the early scenes encountering the mysterious probe. Steiner's score always carries me along with it when I watch this one, gets me in the right mood. Excellent stuff. :)
     
  6. mach7

    mach7 Commander Red Shirt

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    I give it a 6.

    A very good first production episode.

    I think the script and direction rob Shatner and as a result Kirk is
    a little flat. Just a very subtle issue for me. I felt the Kirk of WNMHGB
    was a bit truer to the character.

    Spock's coming along nicely.

    I never liked the Baily character. Your on one of the premier star ships in the fleet and
    he seems too flawed of an officer. On the Enterprise you would expect the best of the
    best.

    The regular cast does a fine job on this 1st outing.

    Very nice production values! Great music and SFX.

    A nice introduction to one of Star Treks continuing themes:
    Things are not always as they seem.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The episode: another solid 8.

    But isn't that more of something that was established in the spin-offs about the Enterprise? In TOS, it seemed that there were many character types and not all of them were perfect officers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    For me a solid 10. Yeah, there are some quibbles, but they're minor at best. This or WNMHGB should have been TOS' premiere episode. Indeed "The Corbomite Maneuver" is really an ideal pilot for TOS and perfectly represents what the series would be.

    This is absolutely one of my very favourite of TOS episodes.
     
  9. mach7

    mach7 Commander Red Shirt

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    Yah, I never liked Barclay either. One of the worst part of NG in my opinion.

    Also the mission of TOS was different than NG, DS9, or VOY.
     
  10. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    I give it an 8.438562.

    For the first episodic production, the characters are already remarkably spot on. This series was very well cast and the actors grasped their respective characters well.

    It's a shame the post-production took soooooooo long (5 months). This episode would have been a much better introduction for the series than "The Man Trap" was (even though Stan Robertson would have screamed because there was no 'strange new world' depicted).

    And the wait ended up being worth it; for the time, the sfx were first class.
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Robertson was also concerned that the script dragged and too technical (it would receive a re-write after this letter, of which I've quoted only in part, and is dated May 5, 1966). In some places, I think, the revised version still drags. Still, it's a classic episode, and would have been a superior premiere to "The Man Trap."

    Given these comments, it's a shame Robertson wasn't around some of Star Trek: The Next Generation!
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Bonus. :techman:
     
  13. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's the thing. Even though it's a superior episode than, say, the Man Trap, it didn't seem to fir the "strange new worlds" concept Robertson and the network preferred. So, even if it was complete on time, I don't think it would have been a lock for the premiere. It was a bottle show. For all of the reasons given by Justman, The Man Trap was probably always going to be the one to kick it off. However, he and/or Solow also said WNMHGB was too heavy on the exposition to be the premiere, which I totally disagree with. I think it would actually have been a great kick off episode. Only the surface details and cast differences would be a valid reason, but since it was run in the third week anyway, would starting the series like that have been less confusing or misleading to the audience?

    At any rate, Corbomite Maneuver is another great early episode that introduces the series proper and the new regulars. It also has a fine philosophical thrust. Very, very solid stuff.
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I could be wrong, but I believe the only reason "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was run third (as opposed to much later in the run) was because it was finished and ready to go, while other episodes (that they wanted to air) were still in various stages of post-production.

    I just looked through the airdate paperwork at UCLA yesterday, actually, so the answer is probably in there (although I know the issue is also discussed in the Solow/Justman book).
     
  15. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    I give it a good strong "8"

    I really love how the cast even in this first episode seem to have established believable relationships and know their character; particularly McCoy
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    It still amazes me that this was the first regular episode of a new Science Fiction TV series. It's outstanding, I will give it a "12".

    But I agree that the Bailey character doesn't look very credible (- 1.5) and I'm still annoyed that I find myself unable to rationalize the first turbo lift ride in my deck plan drafts (- 0.5), therefore I'll settle with a "10". ;)

    Bob
     
  17. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    I've always loved this episode. Its what Trek was all about without any forays over the top (not that I didn't love THAT).

    For me, the scene where Kirk's rushes off out of sickbay shirtless in his slippers, carrying his boots with a towel around his neck, amongst crew in a busy corridor as the bridge announcement reverberates, is a very well done and in a few ways, powerful scene. Its how I expect a busy starship to look in a moment of alert. It lends itself to size and power. We have the impression Kirk is a serious man, an important man with a unique function that belies unusual experience and merit.

    Contrast all of that with the 3rd season corridor scenes.

    I gave it an 8 though in reality it deserves maybe a little more.

    BTW - why do I like the way Uhura looks in command gold/olive?
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I loved Uhura in gold, That and seeing her man navigation once or twice suggested diverse knowledge and experience. In Seasons 2 and 3 I always thought Kirk should have handed her the con rather than Chekov. Uhura is a Lieutenant of more experience and greater rank while Chekov was a green Ensign---never made any sense.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm really struggling to remember a time where Chekov was in command? (Probably just old age catching up to me. :lol:)
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Chekov was never actually in command for any extended period. But near the end of "Journey To Babel" when Kirk leaves the bridge after the Orion ship is destroyed he says, "Mr. Chekov, take over." and effectively handing him the conn. Meanwhile Lieutenant Uhura, with greater rank and experience, is siting right there and by rights should have been the one given the conn. I think this happened at least once or twice more in Seasons 2 and 3.