Is The Way to Eden *really* that bad?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Dale Sams, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, growing up we all saw it as a silly 60's topical piece, but I think there's some resonance with:

    1) The dangers of cult leaders.

    2) Disaffected youth and their "first world problems".

    Not to sound like an Herbert, but I have little sympathy for what appear to be spoiled brats making up problems, just to find an identity for themselves different than that of their parents.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  2. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You mean like "Occupy"?
     
  3. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Like almost all of Trek's dogs, it had some nice character moments. Kirk's sympathy for the hippies, Spock's identification with them, and even Scotty's intolerance for them, were particularly noteworthy.
     
  4. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes. Next question?
     
  5. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, the singing is.

    The rest of the episode is perfectly fine third-season TOS.
     
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    The best thing about 'The Way to Eden' is being able to see Charles Napier early in his career, and then see him 30 years later with DS9's 'Little Green Men'.

    Oh. And Skip Homeier's in it.
     
  7. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just rewatched it. Slogging through the Chekov scenes hurts it for me. At least the singing is entertaining in a "WTF" way...the only thing worse than being cheesy is being boring.
     
  8. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It was good enough to use again in TFF.
     
  9. gottacook

    gottacook Captain Captain

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    As I noted on some other thread a year or two ago, "The Way to Eden" arrived around the same time as the Broadway original cast album of Hair became popular - we had it on 8-track in early 1969 and would often listen to it in the car (my parents were liberal about words being only words and not dangerous in themselves; I was 12). They had recently gone to NY to see the show, and I'd recently seen the episode first-run.

    It seems to me self-evident that the episode as filmed - although presumably not in its early "Joanna" version, as mentioned in Gerrold's The World of Star Trek - would not have been made if not for the popularity of the Hair songs at the time.

    [In addition to the cast album, versions of at least three songs from Hair were often heard on the radio: "Hair" (the Cowsills), "Easy to Be Hard" (Three Dog Night), and "Good Morning Starshine" (Oliver). Not to mention the number-one hit of 1969: the medley of the show's first and last songs, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" by the Fifth Dimension.]

    I've never undertaken a study of (for example) the Hair costumes versus those of Dr. Sevrin's gang, but perhaps one influenced the other there as well.

    What irks me about the episode is that it's slapdash in the small details - not only the reversed shot of Kirk watching Adam in the tree in the 4th act, but the three (four?) different pronunciations of Irina's surname, the poorly directed line readings (Adam's "Like he said now..."; the absurd matter-of-factness of Spock declaring "Dr. Sevrin is insane"), the sheer tiredness of the device of having an enemy-of-the-week taking or attempting to take control of the Enterprise, Sevrin's very convoluted ears with no explanation whatever (how would the character have been different with Earth-average ears?), etc.
     
  10. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, personally, I don't think it's bad. "The Way to Eden" has always been one of my favorite episodes. I love the songs and I adore the campiness. And I appreciate that it's a somewhat Chekov-centric episode; he's my favorite of the supporting characters.

    Boy, I'm so glad that after all these years the songs are finally available in a clear form. The Complete Soundtrack box is a wonderful gift to the fans!
     
  11. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    Although I can still watch it and derive some level of enjoyment - TWTE does remain the worst episode of TOS for me.
     
  12. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    yes it is. One of the worst episodes of TOS and in all of Trek, and a surprisingly conservative a commentary coming from the show at the time.
     
  13. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It isn't that bad. I think And the Children Shall Lead is a lot worse. The 3rd season still had some good and entertaining episodes.


    -Chris
     
  14. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    It's pretty solid. It is nowhere near as bad as its reputation. The irritation of the senior officers with the kids is convincing (because we viewers are irritated too). It's important that the kids are misjudged in terms of their ability: they are able to take over the ship, which is something no one anticipates.

    There is one awesome moment: after the sonics have incapacitated the crew, and Adam's "Yay-ayyy brother" echoes over the limp bodies as we break to commercial. That is terrific.

    There are easily 10 worse episodes in s3. It's not bad at all. It only makes us squirm because of the costumes and singing.
     
  15. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Its reputation notwithstanding, Trek was not nearly as liberal at times as people make it out to be.
     
  16. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It could have been worse. Yes, the message is kinda, "See? We warned you. Time to grow up now." And frankly that's realistic. You can't dance in torn sheets in the rain forever. Growing up doesn't mean selling out.

    But at the same time, Kirk remains remarkably restrained...Spock is sympathetic and gives that bit at the end about finding Eden.
     
  17. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's horrendous. It's amazing I can watch it without vomiting. It's just awful.
     
  18. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Is it that bad ? Yes
    Redeeming values ? It did give us Pavel Andreyvich Checkov's full name.
     
  19. sbk1234

    sbk1234 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    At its worst, bad Trek still had something of value there to be found.
     
  20. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I'm wondering... are the people who don't like it and hate the costumes those who were born in the '80s or later?