Revisiting Star Trek TOS/TAS...

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Warped9, Mar 13, 2011.

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  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That painting is absolutely stunning. But it is a little "too crisp" for the episode. The crispness makes it feel out-of-place when matched with the live-action elements.
     
  2. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Yup, that's why I mentioned it gave the show some variety with it's locales.

    RAMA
     
  3. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, we have no way of knowing whether Atoz’s “replicas” are biological clones, android duplicates, cyborgs, or some bio-engineered construct that today’s science can’t even imagine.

    Half-dressed in another great William Theiss outfit. Never mind that there’s no practical reason why a woman living alone in a frozen wasteland should dress like a jungle girl.

    It’s specifically mentioned that Spock isn’t merely reverting to instinct; he’s regressing to the violent emotions of his Vulcan ancestors of thousands of years ago, who have now become his contemporaries. Perhaps staying in constant telepathic contact with the inhabitants of his home planet helps Spock keep his Vulcan cool — assuming that telepathy waves travel at warp speed.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    "Turnabout Intruder" **

    Kirk finds himself trapped in the body of a former lover.

    :lol: Even the description of this episode sounds loopy. And like some previous episodes there is a potentially interesting story to be told here, but it's marred by sloppy thinking.

    Watching this and seeing "Kirk's" erratic behaviour when inhabited by the persona of Janice Lester I can't help think of the second season episode "Obsession." There McCoy and Spock seemed much more assured of challenging the Captain's authority when his behaviour was far less extreme than seen here. And for me this really undermines how far Lester/Kirk is allowed to go before things get really messy. I also find it wholly ludicrous that McCoy's tests show nothing psychologically wrong when Lester/Kirk's blatant behaviour is out there for anyone to see.

    Shatner does an interesting job of portraying his body possessed by the erratic Janice Lester. He's comes across as soo self-conscious and affected. His body language as well as mannerisms and speech are so different from the familiar Kirk's. Sandra Smith also does a respectable job of portraying Kirk trapped in Lester's body with just the right touches of speech patterns and mannerisms.

    Another bit of nonsense in my opinion is Lester/Kirk's reference to "months of preparation" to take over the real Kirk's position. :wtf: It takes years for someone to be ready to command a starship yet Lester has prepared for only months??? It's really just another bit of evidence showing that Janice Lester is beyond being just bitter and definately crossed over into mentally unstable. Or in more plain language she's fucking crazy. :lol:

    I also think it's pretty damned clear that Lester left Starfleet and that command wasn't possible for her because even way back then she just didn't have the temperament for it. Indeed Kirk/Lester actually states she wasn't suited for command because of lack of training and temperament. It has nothing to do with women not being able to command. Unstable women (or men) is another thing entirely.

    While it's interesting to watch Shatner's performance I also found it unsettling even while understanding it was supposed to be. It's just so out there. :lol: But ultimately it taints the rest of the story for me.

    This is TOS' last episode production wise as well as broadcast wise. Pity it couldn't have gone out on a better note. Or to quote Kirk's last line: "If only..."
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Five stars all the way. This is one of the most 'fun' episodes of TOS and Shatner is chewing some serious scenery here. I really think TOS goes out on a memorable note with this one. :techman:
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    So how have things shaped up?

    Season 1 scored 127 of 145 = 87.5% = an episode average of 4.37 of 5.
    Season 2 scored 97 of 130 = 74.6% = an episode average of 3.73 of 5.
    Season 3 scored 79 of 120 = 65.8% = an episode average of 3.29 of 5.

    ***** Excellent = 4 episodes = 16.6%
    “Elaan Of Troyius”
    “The Enterprise Incident”
    “Is There In Truth No Beauty?”
    “The Tholian Web”

    **** Good = 8 episodes = 33.3%
    “Spectre Of The Gun”
    “The Empath”
    “Day Of The Dove”
    “Plato’s Stepchildren”
    “That Which Survives”
    “The Cloud Minders”
    “The Way To Eden”
    “Requiem For Methuselah”

    *** Fair = 6 episodes = 25%
    “The Paradise Syndrome”
    “For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky
    “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”
    “The Lights Of Zetar”
    “The Savage Curtain”
    “All Our Yesterdays”

    ** Poor = 3 episodes = 12.5%
    “Spock’s Brain”
    “The Mark Of Gideon”
    “Turnabout Intruder”

    * Bad = 3 episodes = 12.5%
    “And The Children Shall Lead”
    “Wink Of An Eye”
    “Whom Gods Destroy”


    Breakdown by Season
    Good to Excellent - Season 3 slips about ten percent from Season 2. But even so half of its episodes are respectable and can stand with the better episodes of the previous two seasons.
    Season 1 = 82.7% (24 episodes)
    Season 2 = 61.5% (16 episodes)
    Season 3 = 50% (12 episodes)

    Fair - Interestingly Season 3 stays pretty close to same as Season 2 in terms of watchable episodes.
    Season 1 = 17.2% (5 episodes)
    Season 2 = 26.9% (7 episodes)
    Season 3 = 25% (6 episodes)

    Poor to Bad - Here is the swing. What Season 3 lost in top tier episodes it dropped to disappointing efforts.
    Season 1 = 0% (0 episodes)
    Season 2 = 11.5% (3 episodes)
    Season 3 = 25% (6 episodes)

    In the end Season 3 isn't as bad as what seems to be the generally held perspective. At least half of the episodes are respectable and if you include the watchable ones as well that's three quarters of the season is at least acceptable. That is still a damned good batting average. And while I don't have the hard numbers compared yet no TNG season did much better than that.

    It's also interesting that Season 3's budget constraints didn't really make itself apparent as often as might be believed. Even under budgetary constraints quite a few episodes still put on a good show. And there was sufficiently abundant creativity and resourcefulness apparent throughout much of the season.

    Where Season 3 fell down was in terms of careless thinking and careless execution. Things went south when ideas weren't thought through enough and the general execution felt rushed just to get the show in the can. A little more attention and overall polish could have gone a long way.


    Series Breakdown:
    Good to Excellent = 65.8% (52 episodes)
    Fair = 22.7% (18 episodes)
    Poor to Bad = 11.3% (9 episodes)

    TOS certainly doesn't follow the "one third" results of my TNG revisit where I found about one third of the episodes Good-Excellent, one third Fair and one third Poor-Bad. For TOS I find nearly two thirds of the series to be Good-Excellent, a bit less than a quarter of it Fair and a little more than a tenth of it to be Poor-Bad.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Seasonal comparisons:

    Good to Excellent - TNG never really gets close to TOS in terms of batting average here.
    TNG Season 1 = 16% (4 episodes)
    TNG Season 2 = 40.9% (9 episodes)
    TNG Season 3 = 42.3% (11 episodes)
    TNG Season 4 = 42.3% (11 episodes)
    TNG Season 5 = 34.6% (9 episodes)
    TNG Season 6 = 30.7% (8 episodes)
    TNG Season 7 = 15.3% (4 episodes)
    TOS Season 1 = 82.7% (24 episodes)
    TOS Season 2 = 61.5% (16 episodes)
    TOS Season 3 = 50% (12 episodes)

    Fair - TNG picks up here where it loses in the better ratings. Whether that's win or lose is a matter of perspective. The closest equivalent is TNG's Season 4 with TOS' Seasons 2 and 3. In terms of numbers in any given season then it's pretty damned close.
    TNG Season 1 = 36% (9 episodes)
    TNG Season 2 = 22.7% (5 episodes)
    TNG Season 3 = 30.7% (8 episodes)
    TNG Season 4 = 26.9% (7 episodes)
    TNG Season 5 = 34.6% (9 episodes)
    TNG Season 6 = 34.6% (9 episodes)
    TNG Season 7 = 34.6% (9 episodes)
    TOS Season 1 = 17.2% (5 episodes)
    TOS Season 2 = 26.9% (7 episodes)
    TOS Season 3 = 25% (6 episodes)

    Poor to Bad - The closest comparison is TNG's Season 3 with TOS' Season 3, but throughout the rest TNG has a poorer batting average.
    TNG Season 1 = 48% (12 episodes)
    TNG Season 2 = 36.3% (8 episodes)
    TNG Season 3 = 26.9% (7 episodes)
    TNG Season 4 = 30.7% (8 episodes)
    TNG Season 5 = 30.7% (8 episodes)
    TNG Season 6 = 34.6% (9 episodes)
    TNG Season 7 = 50% (13 episodes)
    TOS Season 1 = 0% (0 episodes)
    TOS Season 2 = 11.5% (3 episodes)
    TOS Season 3 = 25% (6 episodes

    Of course, one can argue that TNG ran longer than TOS and so the odds for more Fair-Poor-Bad episodes was likely greater. But even if you compare only the first three or four seasons of TNG with TOS then TOS still has a better batting average.


    Series comparisons:
    Good to Excellent - TNG produced more than twice as many episodes as TOS and yet the difference in the number of quality episodes is negligible.
    TNG = 31.4% (56 episodes)
    TOS = 65.8% (52 episodes)

    Fair - With a longer production run it's understandable TNG would have greater odds for putting out more average episodes.
    TNG = 31.4% (56 episodes)
    TOS = 22.7% (18 episodes)

    Poor to Bad - TNG had more than twice as many episodes and more than three times as many disappointments.
    TNG = 37% (66 episodes)
    TOS = 11.3% (9 episodes)


    After all is said and done TOS was/is a dynamic and incredibly creative series. At times it faltered, but overall it accomplished pretty much everything it set out to do. And it did it with unapologetic style. It's easy to see how much of it became so iconic and how its better efforts can easily stand with the best SF ever put on television.


    Next stop: TAS
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Another question gets raised here. I think part of it can be blamed by few people understanding what a star going nova means. As I understand it a nova is usually a white dwarf star that accretes hydrogen or solar matter from a larger companion star until it flashes and thus producing a nova. I think something like this was shown in TNG's "Evolution." The thing is, though, that such an event is often recurring because the small star blows off very little of its mass and so the process can repeat itself numerous times. As such there's no way an intelligent race and civilization could evolve or even inhabit a planet in such a star system.

    A supernova is a one time event (and, yes, a white dwarf could eventually supernova), but it's usually relegated to large stars exceeding a certain mass I believe. Such stars are highly unlikely to have a habitable planet and one with an advanced civilization evolving upon it since the star's life is so short lived.

    Our own sun will not supernova because it is too small (thankfully). But eventually it will swell into a red giant as it nears the end of its life about five billion years from now. At that time it could conceivably swell beyond Earth's orbit and consume the planet. Of course, long before that the Earth will have been scorched to a burnt, and lifeless cinder.


    The other question raised is if Federation science can time a sun going "nova" almost to the minute then how long had they known that Sarpeidon's sun would flash? It's possible they had only recently discovered this because there is no mention of any potential plan to inform the planet's population or to help evacuate them. And that is certainly something the Enterprise couldn't do alone.

    My impression of some of the unspoken backstory here is:
    - the Federation knew of Sarpeidon's existence and the civilization there. Later long range scans indicate the star will go nova.
    - Sarpeidon's people did not have any evidence of space travel and it was ignorant of life on other worlds beyond their own.
    - the Enterprise perhaps was meant to observe the nova from a distance even while powerless to aid any of the population, by context of practicality and perhaps also because of the Prime Directive. If the Prime Directive is invoked here then it's an obvious case of letting an entire civilization die rather than allowing any intervention to try to save some portion of the population. Of course, it could also be a matter of practicality in that it's only recently learned the star will nova and there simply isn't time to enact any sort of evacuation plan.
    - the Enterprise arrives in the area for its observation of the event and long range scans detect no remaining life on the planet or at least intelligent life.

    And then that's where the episode picks up.
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Methusela: One of my favorites, warts and all, and I really can't say why. I just really like it.

    Apart from Kirk's whirlwind romance :lol: I also hate that they made Flint almost EVERY notable genius from human history! What, he was the only one ever born who could be smart and creative!? They could have made him just one or two notable men and still made the point.

    I saw Louise Sorrel at Chiller a few years ago and she has aged quite gracefully, and was still quite lovely.
     
  10. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Eagerly awaiting TAS :):):)
     
  11. Brian

    Brian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Requiem is worth the watch if only for Spock's ultimate moment of compassion for his friend and captain.
     
  12. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not only that, but the premise is absurd on its face. We have records documenting the lives of these men from the time and place of their births to the time and place of their deaths. Did Flint somehow manage not only to assume various identities throughout history, but to fake entire biographies? It boggles the mind.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I thought of this when listening to Flint speak. Spock says, "You knew some of the greatest minds in history." And Flint replies with a list of names. It could be interpreted that Flint wasn't necessarily asserting he had been all those he mentioned, but perhaps that he had actually met some of those historical figures.

    I've always assumed Spock was helping Kirk forget the pain of the experience rather than the actual events.


    A question I've always wondered about. When McCoy gives Spock the report that Flint is no longer immortal and that he will devote the remainder of his life to improving the human condition, I've always wondered whether Flint remained in seclusion on his planet or if he was traveling back aboard the Enterprise.
     
  14. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe my favorite moment in all of Trek.
     
  15. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    To even suggest season 3 of TOS with 50% excellent episodes is better than any other season of STNG is absolutely loopy. Only a masochist would even ruminate about whispering such a thing to an inanimate object in a soundproof room, and probably with lots of padding. My question to you is...how thick is the padding on your walls where you write this? :lol:

    RAMA
     
  16. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    One of those episodes that I inexplicably enjoy...sometimes too fanciful, it also gets a bit slow at points. I suppose I still like the idea of a hi-tech library like this from when I saw this as a kid. None of the science makes sense, but going back in another planet's history was a bit unusual for the time. The acting is probably one of the reasons why I still think of this episode as a good one. **** stars


    Upon some further reflection this may well be the very worst episode of TOS. Others vie for it, but there is far less to make up for it's awfulness in this episode than say "Spock's Brain". The subject matter is irredeemably sexist...one doesn't have to look far back in TOS to see when the mere presence of women is uncomfortable to men (The Cage, Where No Man Has Gone Before, et al). The science is non-existent...and comes off as a lurid horror episode...where's Rosie Greer when you need him? The performances are sub-par from almost everyone. * star

    At this point, TOS's ratings had fallen by half, and although there are numerous excuses, by any measure, the last season would have probably signed it's death warrant, demographics or no.

    RAMA
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  17. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes that closing scene really is the highlight.
    From McCoy's conversation with Spock about love, until Spock's final gesture for his friend. Great stuff.
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I simply went by the ratings I gave. The numbers don't lie.
     
  19. evilnate

    evilnate Commodore Commodore

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    It really comes down to what you enjoy though. TOS, even at it's worst is rarely dry or boring, something that TNG, even at it's best could be.
     
  20. Ubik

    Ubik Commodore Commodore

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    That's only if you consider, say, a bunch of ten year-olds running around a dining room table while throwing cutlery all over the place "entertaining", while the adults, meanwhile, having a quiet, dignified, and mature conversation around the dinner table is "boring." Sure, TOS, even when terribly written and conceived, seems more "entertaining" because it is colourful and loud and brash and entirely juvenile (when it's bad, I mean.) TNG is quieter, less colourful, less bombastic, more sedate, and more thoughtful - and that may, to some, seem boring, I suppose. And yes, when a TNG episode is mediocre, it doesn't have the crazy TOS incidental score to keep us entertained, or William Shatner's awesome flying kicks, or all those cute girls wearing practically nothing - agreed. Without those silly, juvenile, but effective crutches to fall back on, I guess a mediocre TNG episode would seem more....boring.

    But I agree with Rama's sentiment - if your numbers are claiming that Season 3 of TOS is superior to, say, Season 3 or 4 (or 6) of TNG, then your numbers are, in fact, lying. TOS season 3 is a huge, huge letdown after the first two mostly fantastic seasons, except for a handful of great episodes. When it's bad, it's really, really bad, while, again, still seeming very "entertaining" - 'cause, again, of all those colours and lights and nifty sounds and overacting and fist fights and silly costumes and girls in sexy short skirts and things. It always seems like a lot of cool stuff is happening, though, sure, even when the writing feels like it was written by a 6 year-old.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
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