Season 3 of TOS was not received well by the fandom at the time. There was a perception of a reduction in quality from the previous two years (in particular season two, which was seen as almost uniformingly stellar), and that the series petered out in a very flat way. And a lot of that got blamed on new producer Fred Freiberger at the time (and sometimes still does to this day). On the other hand, we know there were outside factors for some of this. In particular a reduction in budget. The inability to go out on location as much as they had done did definitely result in a season where more and more episodes seemed to take place on the Enterprise itself, which felt constricting. It reached it's nadir with "The Mark Of Gideon", where the need to place the script on the regular sets resulted in a glaring plot hole that has been rightly criticized over the years (how could an overpopulated planet build a replica of a ship the size of the Enterprise anyway?). But again, one feels some sympathy for Freiberger. I don't think he would have chosen to have the story written that way if he had any other choice. Having only a few pennies to rub together means desperate measures must be taken sometimes. As to the charge that the quality of the stories went down, well, I've *never* really seen this. Oh sure, something like "Spock's Brain", "Turnabout Intruder" or "The Way To Eden" aren't the greatest things TOS ever gave us. But offsetting this, we have IMHO some of the strongest scripts in all of Star Trek: "The Enterprise Incident", "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield", "All Our Yesterdays", "Whom Gods Destroy", "Day of the Dove"... I'd place all of these in the top episodes of TOS any day of the week. "Elaan Of Troyus" and "The Empath" have got strong characterization, "The Wink of an Eye" an excellent sci-fi concept. And most, if not all, of the scripts remain indeliably Star Trek to the core. They remain true to the themes of Roddenberry's universe, some of them more so than others I'll admit. Yes, Frieberger brought his own take on things. Yes, it didn't sometimes match up to the high standards of previous seasons. But on the other hand, some of TOS's best hours did happen on Freiberger's watch. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" in particular gets held up as one of TOS's best instalments, but Freiberger doesn't get credited for that. It's almost as if some people think season 3 "sucked", and that any moments where it didn't were just the exceptions rather than the norm. Whereas in my view, I often wonder if Freiberger achieved some great things in Season 3 despite a crippling lack of money and a network that was basically less than supportive of Star Trek by that point anyway. A lot of it falls down, but I think it falls down due to factors outside Freiberger's control Is it time season 3 was finally more fully embraced by fandom?