"The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Caligula, May 12, 2013.

  1. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some series are all "Alternative Factor" with brief moments of "sane Lazarus." (Also known as the "Critic's Corollary.")
     
  2. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    It's not us who are dumb [looks at episode]....
     
  3. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's not only poorly written, directed, and acted, it's just plain BORING. Other notoriously bad episodes like "Spock's Brain" were at least entertaining on an absurd level. "The Alternative Factor" is just flat out dull with nothing really standing out. It's the worst kind of bad, a forgettable kind of bad.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Which gets me to thinking about someone else who should have done a Star Trek but never did. . .Albert Salmi. Veteran of The Twilight Zone, countless bad guys in westerns, and even a space pirate on Lost in Space.

    He'd even been in The Brothers Karamazov along with Shatner.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    It's the kind of episode that you nod off during the first time that you watch it. You think it's not making sense because you missed something, so you make a point of watching it again while fully awake...and realize that it made more sense when you were half-asleep.
     
  6. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which reminds me of something to caution you all on: do not watch this episode if you're in bed running a temperature. I did once, and it only enhanced the sense of delirium!! :ack:
     
  7. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sorry to double-post, but it occurred to me that it would be interesting to see one of those fan productions (i.e. Star Trek Continues) to remake The Alternative Factor, trying to get it to make sense this time! :)
     
  8. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love this episode! The guest star's performance is so over the top ... Even the wrap-up by Shatner, at the end, is strangely overacted - even for Shatner!
     
  9. SignGuyHPW

    SignGuyHPW Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think it's so universally hated just because it keeps contradicting itself. Star Trek fans can normally accept things as long as they are somewhat established in the Star Trek universe. When an episode goes against what they've established then it makes it hard for the fans to accept it. It's one thing for continuity errors going from season one episodes to season five or whatever, but to have them happen in a single episode makes it hard to follow.
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I may have first seen it in syndication, because I was sure at the time some important scene had been cut out. But surprise, surprise, surprise, it wasn't.
     
  11. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What established lore in Star Trek did it contradict?
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Mudd's Women" established that (di)lithium crystals channel ship's power, while "The Naked Time" established that matter-antimatter reactions are the source of the ship's power. Virtually all later Trek has followed these principles. But "The Alternative Factor" claimed that dilithium was itself the ship's power source and that a matter-antimatter reaction would destroy the entire universe.

    But I believe the contradictions mentioned above were those within the episode itself. Sometimes the dimensional shift is felt across the universe, but at other times it happens without anyone noticing. Sometimes Lazarus has to be at the rift site on the planet surface to switch with his other self, but sometimes it happens on the ship.
     
  13. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Does anyone happen to know how TV Guide in the old days hawked this episode? You know, the old "Due to a malfunction in the transporter, Kirk is split into two beings, one meek, the other violently animalistic." blurbs.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I don't know if this is the original blurb, but the description on TV Guide's website now is:

    http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/star-trek-1967/episode-27-season-1/the-alternative-factor/100408
     
  15. alchemist

    alchemist Commander Red Shirt

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    The original 1967 TV Guide blurb:
     
  16. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    I remember some of those original listings. A PIECE OF THE ACTION opened something like: "Kirk and his boys come on like gangbusters..."

    Sir Rhosis
     
  17. alchemist

    alchemist Commander Red Shirt

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    Good memory for a guy your age! ;)

    Here's how the original blurb started:

     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which is a phrase that was probably better understood in the '60s. Gang Busters was a radio series broadcast from the '30s through the late '50s, a show that dramatized real FBI cases like Dragnet did with police cases. It was infamous for its jarringly loud opening sequence, so the phrase "to come on like Gang Busters" was coined to mean coming on very forcefully. There was also a Gang Busters movie serial in the '40s and a short-lived TV series in '52.

    Gang Busters is probably also the inspiration for more recent titles like Ghostbusters and Mythbusters.
     
  19. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  20. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's fascinating, Christopher! Word and phrase etymology is an interest of mine! :techman: