TOS Revisited - New Revelations

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Mutai Sho-Rin, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Shatner is uniformly terrific in early season 1. He's the viewpoint character, and he really carries the show, during the period before they fully flesh out Spock's character and before they establish the Bones banter.

    I think Shatner's early excellence is often forgotten by fans because of the direction he went in later – he starts doing his readings in a really broad way, sometimes using Spock & McCoy as straight men. This is very much true in the movies, also true in some of s3. A lot of fans hate his performance in Turnabout Intruder. Ok: but Shatner is serious business in s1, and he's a badass. It's almost a different show in s1, given the focus on Shatner and his intensity.
     
  2. Timewalker

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

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    Coincidentally, I'm currently reading some fanfic dealing with Kirk's psychological issues in the aftermath of "Turnabout Intruder." Quite interesting take on it.

    From what I read in the book Star Trek Lives!, Shatner was quite ill during the week they filmed "Turnabout Intruder." That could have had some negative effect on his performance, but there were parts that were just stupid - like filing his/Janice's nails on the bridge, going over the top with his notion of "feminine" gestures and speech, etc. The actress was much better at playing Kirk than Shatner was at playing Janice.
     
  3. Grant

    Grant Commodore Fleet Captain

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    i watch the episodes in order and every time I roll back around to season 1, I am re-reminded how great Shatner was in the first season. Besides the "I want to live." alternate evil Kirk-I can't think of too many over the top moments.

    He is nearly perfect in first half of the season and right up until 'This side of Paradise'

    He then, in the last few episodes Devil, Errand, City, starts to relax just a bit too much. His banter with Spock, more than McCoy in those last few episodes, becomes a little too playful and jokey in some places, but still really solid.

    I think if the series had been cancelled after season1 or if Shatner had been hit by a truck (like edith :lol:) he would have been remebered as a terrific actor instead of the parody of himself he slowly but surely became.

    I wish the writers, directors or Roddenberry could have said, "pull it back to a slightly more serious tone" and TOS wouldn't be laced with those roll your eyes acting moments.

    I almost think if TOS had been cancelled sooner--it would ironically have been remebered more fondly and held in higher esteem.

    No Spock's Brain, no Spock riding Kirk like a pony, no Kirk trying to act like a 'female', no pounding his fists on the ground as 'Garth', no reciting/reading the US constitution, no nonsense from I, Mudd, etc.

    As a fan I can enjoy those moments somewhat but they once you go down those paths--you can never come all the way back.

    Look at the movies, progressivly less serious until TFF falls on its face trying to be funny and they try to pull it back for TUC, but they still felt compelled to have the idiotic book translation scene and Chekov as a doof instead of a competant officer.


    long live season 1
     
  4. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, it's true about Shatner's acting early Season One. Top notch. All those early eps, really... very dramatic, theatrical, and quite deadly serious drama. Very little light-heartedness. I get the sense that they were making a serious dramatic program about these people and their jobs and oh yeah, it happens to be in space in the future.

    It's only later on in the series do we see Shatner lighten up. And of course, then came in the adventure and fun which is a large part of TOS appeal.

    But sometimes, I still would have liked to see more eps played in the more serious dramatic tone of those early Season One eps.
     
  5. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    You're noticing the Gene Coon shift, as much as any Shatner-acting shift.
     
  6. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    I disagree with most about Shatner's performance in TI, I feel like he was doing effective visual shorthand, like you might see from a stage actor at the time. More on that episode here:

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=6359632&postcount=26
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I always liked Shatner's performance in this episode. He played mental breakdown well. :techman:
     
  8. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    indeed they are
     
  9. Myko

    Myko Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It seems plausible that both Peeples and Fontana based their stories around that pitch idea by Roddenberry.
     
  10. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A lot of what makes the second season great to me is the familiarity and banter between the characters. Shatner didn't really go sailing over the top regularly until the third season when bad directors failed to keep him in check.


    When wasn't Trek fondly remembered? It was "the show that would not die," which never left the air after it entered syndication. It became the template for every SF tv series in the 70's (until Star Wars came out), the comparison they had to live up to ("will Space: 1999 inherit the Star Trek crown?" "it lacks the personalities of Star Trek..." etc).

    It was already held in high esteem. The third season didn't drag it down, in fact much of the third season provided concepts and character which were greatly loved by fans, especially in the 70's.

    It survived quite well with three seasons and I'm happy to have even the crummy episodes. Yes, indeedy.

    The only time I remember TOS getting dissed was when TNG was at its peak. Then TNG went away and the original series regained respect. It's a fickle public.
     
  11. Grant

    Grant Commodore Fleet Captain

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    Of course it's fondly remembered! I just meant, if it had ended sooner it may have been held in even higher esteem.

    As a Trek fan--I'm glad we got season 3, but I was just curious if it had less mockable moments--if it would have been held higher as classic sci-fi rather a 'culty' tv show.

    I think it is classy sci-fi, but I think in general maybe to the non-fan who sat down to watch it in the 1970s and was unlucky enough to see "And the Children shall Lead'---it's a WTF moment and he/she thinks "those people are crazy--this is junk."
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  12. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I get what you're saying, but that can happen with show that has bad episodes. The first seaosn had its share of eye-rollers. The average viewer coming in partway into Charlie X (the rec room scene) or Mudd's Women (any part of it) might change the dial to Lawrence Welk. The Alternative Factor would probably send some people into fits of laughter. Taken out of context, Kirk vs the Gorn is laughable to some people.

    I really don't think the lesser episodes hurt the enjoyment of the series in the long run, there were more than enough great episodes to cement its place. I'm just having a hard time thinking one of the most popular shows in TV history could have been more well regarded than it was. It's already classic TV sci-fi. I mean, I got my parents into it in the early 70's and they weren't what you'd call sci-fi fans. Not until much later, anyway.

    But hey, what do I know? I wound up loving it, warts and all. That will always color my preceptions.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Without the third season, I don't think there would've been enough episodes for it to thrive in strip syndication.
     
  14. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, it's Shatner.
     
  15. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    1. Watch MeTV on Saturday evening.

    2. Watch the show that comes on 1 hour before Star Trek.

    3. Watch Star Trek.

    4. Universally agree that Star Trek is a television science fiction masterpiece.
     
  16. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    Absolutely.

    And what's more, people tend to parrot what they are told. They talk about Shatner being over-the-top, like he was the only big name of that period to perform that way? Have they seen Jack Klugman go at it? I could drop ten more names from that period that loved to ham it up and go loudly over-the-top and really, the difference is Shatner is known more for it because he was in an ATG television show that blazed a trail - and a VERY BIG part of the reason that show went down that way, arguably the way of entertainment genius, was because of what he [Shatner] added to it.
     
  17. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Jack Klugman on Twilight Zone. I like over the top. And meaty, weighty, overactable words like Serling and Roddenberry wrote. Ymmv.
     
  18. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    I am with you all of the way on that.
     
  19. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh God.
    I accidentally watched MeTV this past Saturday night. The alien of the week on Lost in Space looked like it came from a Bugs Bunny/ Daffy Duck cartoon. Thank God for Netflix and Mythbusters.
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Do you mean Lemnoc? Didn't you just love how, in his secret lair, he had a sign with his name in English hanging over his chair?

    http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111004023116/irwinallen/images/f/ff/Lemnoc_chair.jpg