Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Cap'n Claus, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm actually watching all the shows in airdate order pretty much for the first time. I usually just pick whatever episode I'm in the mood for, but after awhile, I found I was falling back on the same dozen favorites. So now I'm just staring from the premiere and following the network run (the original versions, not TOS-R). We'll see how long this lasts before I'm distracted by something else ("Oo, piece of candy!").

    I'm only two episodes in, but man, it's funny how wacky some of the editing choices were. I credit all of them to the production being under the gun and getting the bugs worked out. I'm not faulting them. It's just amusing:

    1) to hear Scotty responding to Kirk on the communicator when he's not in the episode (Man Trap), or Sulu doing the same thing (Charlie X).

    2) Seeing close up shots of actors whose expressions don't match the master shot (Kirk, Spock and McCoy on the bridge in Charlie X - Spock says "out of the question" with a different haircut and totally different tone of voice and mood).

    3) "When I came aboard!"

    4) Uhura's close up looking like she's about to cry a full second after she was giving Charlie a thoroughly nasty look. And the close ups of McCoy and Spock and then Kirk standing in totally different positions on the bridge than in the master.

    It's also interesting to note that Charlie X has no shots of the "series version" of the Enterprise miniature. It is the only regular episode to use only shots from the pilots. Which means it's the only regular episode to be relatively consistent when showing the Enterprise. No spinning nacelle lights, no glowing ball, different impulse engines and the taller bridge dome.

    Lots of interesting sound effect choices in The Man Trap as they get things worked out. When Spock expands his sensor search radius, we get an awesome but stereotypically sci-fi sound effect I don't believe is ever used again. The tricorder sounds different (and Kirk carries it!), as do most of the landing party equipment. It's all a lot of fun watching this stuff evolve.

    They eventually get the glitches ironed out (although the third season had more than a few 'reverse shots" of Shatner close ups to fill in some holes), but in the beginning, some of these things were just weird. Mudd's Women will also be fun on this level (vocal inflection changes, mismatched close up shots, etc.).

    Beyond that, I'm happy to be seeing some episodes I don't normally revisit. Man Trap I've seen too often, but Charlie X was one I usually skipped. Too much time spent on Uhura singing ("Charlie's our new DAHHHHH-LING!"), but the story is a great update of Twilight Zone's "It's a Good Life." Same "kid with powers who wishes you away when he's mad" but this one picks up when the kid is a few years older. It starts off as an awkward and uncomfortable coming of age story, but switches into horror when Charlie's powers are outed. The blanking of the girl's face is extremely chilling, very Twilight Zoneish. Yet, for all that, Charlie's fate is still sad. Never a favorite episode of mine because of the singing. I remember liking it more as a kid, but that was probably because the rec room scenes were cut for syndication.

    As far as The Man Trap, it's a weird episode to kick off the series with; actually this and Charlie X are odd ones to start things off. But MT is fun, I like monsters and this one is handled pretty intelligently. I still think Kirk was a little over the top in killing it when it could easily have been reasoned with. Killing the monster stalking the corridors was Irwin Allen territory, but the extra dimension of sympathy for the creature makes this different. Considering the creature was simply trying to survive, and knowing that giving it a supply of salt would keep it in check, killing should have been a last resort. Gene Coon would have handled this episode differently (he did, actually, in Devil in the Dark).

    One thing I'd like to have confirmed; some of the dialog makes it seem as if the creature was physically changing its form, but in the teaser, it looks different depending on who is looking at it. In fact, it seemed somewhat telepathic. So was it actually changing its shape or was it making people see what they wanted to see? Seems a little fuzzy and the telepathy wasn't touched on really, which is a shame; it's an interesting tidbit. I'm more in line with it fooling people rather than being an actual shape shifter. Which means McCoy wasn't being hugged by a Nancy replica. He was hugging a hairy, suction cupped, fanged monster. That's pretty creepy.

    All in all, two good, if weird, hours of Trek.

    Scott
     
  2. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Also a couple of interesting bits not seen in syndication, unless they run the DVD prints: both The Man Trap and Charlie X sport main titles that carry the "created by Gene Roddenberry" credit, the "Star Trek" title shrinkage and all. Only these two episodes carry it and the "in episode" credits only shows Gene as producer. The prints used in syndication in the 80's as well as the VHS and laserdisc don't have this version and the in episode credits list Gene as creator and producer. I wonder why only these two episodes had this opening and not all of them? Especially considering the up front created by credit would be used in the second and third seasons.

    And for some odd reason, for The Man Trap only, Sick Bay is called the Dispensary.

    You guys all know this stuff, but it's fun (for me) to note.
     
  3. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Where No Man Has Gone Before: kind of a chore if only because I've seen this episode SO many times. And recently. But I didn't want to skip it.

    This is a huge step up from the first two episodes and really, IMO, should have been run first. Justman and Solow had gone on record about this one, saying it was to expository to be aired first and a pilot is made to sell the series, not necessarily to air. This, frankly, is ridiculous. You don't pour that much money, work and talent into a TV pilot with no intention of airing it. Even The cage intended to either air or be expanded into a feature. As for exposition, it's no more so than any other episode. It sets of the story, not the series premise. It doesn't spend a half hour introducing every single main character, it actually moves very quickly from the start to the main action and conflict. It's an excellent sci-fi story with lots of theatricality and an an awesome fistfight at the end.

    I can only imagine how viewers felt about the sudden changes three weeks in. Costumes, casting, the lack of main title narration all probably took a few people by surprise. Did people know it was the pilot episode? Would they have gotten than info from, say, TV Guide or something? It's a smashing episode with some extremely strong work by Bill Shatner. On his performance alone, I would have bought the series.

    The Naked Time: another classic. It's interesting how the series starts off with episodes strongly featuring the supporting cast. It's good for fleshing out the people on screen, but little did the audience know, this practice would end very quickly. Later episodes would focus more on plot, while these early episodes have a feel of "let's take a few minutes for charactwerization."

    Even with some humor, this is a tense and fairly grim story, with lots of physical action and a ticking clock that works extremely well. Leonard Nimoy shines in this one, with his one-take breakdown in the briefing room and subsequent recovery as Kirk deteriorates. There's a nice bit where Kirk slaps Spock a few times to get him to snap out of it. One slap, two, three - Spock catches the fourth. Kirk whales him with a fifth, only this time Spock backhands him in reply sending Kirk flying over the table onto the floor. This is the first real example of the superior Vulcan strength and it is not spoken of, only demonstrated. Shatner goes a little over the top in the briefing room, but it is that kind of disease, so he gets a pass. Unintentional humor as McCoy rips Kirk's tuning to give him the shot. Nobody else is standing around with bared shoulders.

    More great moments:

    "No dance tonight…."
    "I can't change the laws of physics!"
    "Please, not again."
    The brief trip back in time. Amazing how that is just one last plot point at the end of the episode, setting up the possibility of more time travel (which didn't really happen this way).

    All in all, a solid, fun, exciting episode. The series was doing very well finding its footing.

    Is anyone finding these observations interesting? I know dozens of people have done episode reviews (Warped9 most recently and The Laughing Vulcan did some great reviews) and I may not be bringing anything new to the table. I'll stop if it's boring to folks. Like I said upthread, I have no idea how long I'm gonna go before my ADD pushes me off track anyway.
     
  4. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    "Let's take a few minutes" is an apt phrase for early S1. Later, and fo sho by S2, they were cranking out more efficient Star Trek plot-shows. Wonder why. The demands of the weekly grind? GR leaving the story-rewrite end?
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    One of these days I'm going to watch the series in stardate order. :D
     
  6. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you ever get that worked out, please forward me a list.

    :bolian:
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I actually worked it out some years ago. I'll dig it up tomorrow and share.
     
  8. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    On another board I frequent we watched each first season episode on the anniversary of the original airdate, and then commented on them as if it were the 1960's and we were seeing them for the first time.

    A lot of wink-wink nudge-nudge stuff like "Too bad they killed that Romulan commander. Now we'll never see that guy again."

    But it was a lot of fun. Hmmm, almost time for season 2.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't understand how airdate order came to be considered the authoritative one. For decades, at least from the time The Star Trek Compendium came out in 1980, production order was the universal standard. Reference books listed them in production order, they were stripped in syndication in production order, the first home video and DVD releases were in production order, and The Star Trek Chronology listed them in production order. For a generation, it was universally, officially accepted that production order was the correct order. Yet for some reason, when the first box sets came out in 2004, they were done in airdate order, and somehow the standard that was universal for a quarter-century has been completely reversed in the past 8 years. That's just weird. (Well, not completely. The Pocket Books timeline and the novels still assume the episodes occurred in production order.)

    Especially since production order makes more sense. There wasn't enough continuity for there to be any huge discrepancies in airdate order, but a few show up, like the second pilot with its different sets, props, and uniforms being aired third, or "The Corbomite Maneuver," with Kirk reacting to Rand as if she's only just been assigned to him, coming tenth. And you can follow the gradual development and refinement of characters, sets, and concepts better in production order. There aren't any advantages to airdate order that I can see.

    Oh, and if you want a list of the episodes in stardate order, there's one on pp. 12-13 of the Ballantine edition of The Star Trek Concordance. It doesn't really make sense, though, since the lowest stardate goes to the animated episode "The Magicks of Megas-tu," among other oddities.
     
  10. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My guess is because airdate order is the standard for DVD season sets (at least in the US) and since that's the way the series was originally run, etc. blah yadda. Of course, there are exceptions (Firefly and so on), but in the long run, how much does it matter? Do the majority of people actually sit down and watch the series from beginning to end, or do they pick and choose episodes? This is the first time I can remember watching them in this order intentionally.

    For stardate order, let's travel back to the glorious days of the Columbia House releases where they actually put them in that awful order. You think airdate order makes no sense?
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's just strange, that's all. That something could be a universally accepted standard for a quarter-century and then be all but completely reversed within a few years.

    Plus there's the fact that I spent most of my life as a Trek fan experiencing TOS in production order -- seeing it in that order countless times in syndication, reading about it that way in all the references, getting the re-releases of the Blish novelizations published in that order, etc. So it's really jarring to have those decades of consistent precedent suddenly overthrown. Airdate order will never feel right to me.

    And the "it's the way it was originally run" argument may work for a lot of series -- like TNG, where they shot "Unification" out of order due to Nimoy's schedule, or M*A*S*H, where the production-order syndication run totally screwed up the chronology of when B.J. and Potter arrived at the 4077th. But it doesn't work for TOS, because the airdate order was not chosen for story reasons. It was sometimes because the network wanted to lead with strong episodes -- they chose "The Man Trap" to open season 1 because it was a monster story, and chose Spock episodes to open the other two seasons because he was the most popular character by a huge margin -- and sometimes just because of production logistics, some episodes' special effects taking longer to complete than others and thus having to air later. There are certainly shows where airdate order is preferable, but for TOS it's completely arbitrary and has no benefit to the viewing experience. So I think it was a mistake for the makers of the DVD set to apply that "standard" in this particular case.
     
  12. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree, I think it works better in production order myself. Just because of how everything evolved. Land of the Giants is the same way.
     
  13. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Did a three episode marathon last night. I find myself noticing more and more tech things now that the plots are moldy and old in my brain after 42 years of watching the series.

    The Enemy Within - Fantastic episode, one I don't go to as often as I would think. Shatner's great here and the cast is quite good, even of the personalities are still wobbly. A couple of bits stood out as bothersome, one because of the era, the other because it just seemed wrong.

    1. Janice is nearly raped and she never once stands up for herself afterward. She wouldn't "have even mentioned it." In other words, if not for Fisher seeing it, she would have let "Kirk" get away with his assault (leaving him to explain the scratches, I imagine). "…and he IS the captain." Does this mean she feels he can take certain liberties? I think they were trying to play up loyalty to the captain and she obviously has attraction toward him. Also, rape was always a taboo subject back then, so even touching it is amazing, but the post-rape attempt really puts Janice in a very submissive light. Spock's joke at the end is legendary in its inappropriateness.

    2. McCoy's dismissive line about "they'd die anyway" is bothersome to me. I get that Bones is trying to keep Kirk from putting himself at risk and yes, the landing party would die either way if the machine wasn't fixed, but the way it's delivered makes it sound like McCoy has written them off and doesn't care. A doctor?

    As is the norm with Leo Penn's TV work, a few scenes seem to have been switched around seem off. Kirk and Spock being told by Scotty about the two dogs should have been later - after Spock decides there is an imposter aboard. The reveal of the malfunction should have followed this and THAT should have been the fade out to commercial. This would fix a few lines between Spock and Kirk which seem odd now ("I've been here since you left me - alone Mr. Spock" would work better if Kirk and Spock weren't walking the ship in between the rape attempt and this scene).

    When Fisher falls and slashes his hand, he very gingerly opens the communicator grid with his hurt hand. Poor guy, if he just would have flipped it with the other, he wouldn't have had to suffer through that. And the "chirps" are absurdly long. There are like 9 of them.

    We hear Uhura on the intercom, but she's not in this episode. A standard problem in the early episodes. When we first see Farrell at the climax, his short is missing its insignia. Much like Kirk's at the beginning.

    Minor but interesting hiccups in an otherwise fine, legendary episode.

    Mudd's Women - Hard to believe this was one of the three candidates for second pilot, it's not that good. Roger Carmel is annoying at times with his over the top bluster and handlebar mustache, but he gets better as he drops his "Leo Walsh" façade. Lots of technical issues and a TON of dubbing in the teaser. Every time Spock is off screen, his voice is poorly looped. He is somewhat tense in the looping and WAAAAAAY laid back in the on camera delivery ("and his engines arrrrrrrre super heating"). Close up shots of Kirk are from The Naked Time and the expression doesn't match the master shots again. The transporter scene, once the women show up, is do badly edited, it's the stuff of legend. Before the women move from the pad, a close up shows them standing in a row; the dark haired girl's close up is from or used in the sick bay scene, and Bones' close up is also from that point. I'm surprised at how sloppy the editing was in the early episodes. Were they THAT under the gun?

    Mudd notes that Spock is part Vulcanian. Never mind the abandoned name for the people of Vulcan, what made him deduce Spock was not a FULL Vulcan?

    Kirk, Spock, and Mudd beam down to Rigel and walk toward a metal housing complex. Inside it looks like it's made out of rock, like the carved out interior of a cave. Which is weird, especially the rock on hinges which acts as a door. At the end, Childress says Kirk is welcome to the crystals (which are "here") and Kirk tells Spock he's beaming aboard with them. Yet Kirk and Mudd leave without taking any. The Enterprise, at this point, is minutes from plummeting into the atmosphere. After the "throw away the key" line, Kirk must have turned around after realizing he forgot something.

    The climax is just too much, asking us to swallow Eve, merely by believing in herself, can have perfectly done hair and makeup out of nowhere. How any of the speech making amounted to them being blissfully in love is a mystery. Eh, now I remember why I don't watch this one that much.

    What Are Little Girls Made Of? - this is an interesting, Spock-lite episode, when Kirk was the main character. Spock is in so little of this, it's a wonder Nimoy is listed in the opening credits. An interesting story, done somewhat better on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (The Cyborg), this is a claustrophobic episode. Technically, it's a winner; the split screen and makeup effects are top drawer. The penis rock, though, cracks me up and ruins the tension. Kirk convinces Ruk to betray Corby a little too easily, but Ted Cassidy's performance makes up for it.

    Somehow putting a half sized blob of molded paper mache on a lazy Susan makes androids. I really need to try that.

    Not much to say about this one, it's not BAD, but it's not great either. It's bland and relies too much on Majer Barrett, who was never that great as Nurse Chapel. Sherry Jackson, however, is wonderful to look at and her final scene is weirdly touching.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Weird in retrospect, sure, but for the network schedulers -- for which ST was something brand new and undefined -- their touchstones for what science fiction was on TV were The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, plus the Irwin Allen shows you mentioned. You cited "Charlie X" as a TZ-like episode; well, "The Man Trap" was basically an Outer Limits monster-of-the-week story. It fit their expectations for sci-fi TV -- thrills, suspense, weird monsters -- better than the more character- and idea-driven episodes that preceded it in production sequence.


    Oh, definitely. The teaser makes that quite clear, and I'm not aware of anything in the episode that suggest it's physically shapeshifting instead. There are a few lines about how it can "assume any shape" or "take other forms," but that's ambiguous enough that it could mean "project the illusion of other shapes." Or maybe the speakers, Kirk and McCoy, didn't know enough about the nature of its powers and assumed it was physically morphing when it was really illusion-casting.


    Actually, yes, a lot of TV pilots have not been aired. It's a nice bonus when you can air the pilot as part of the series, but it's not guaranteed, especially not in the '60s. Back then, pilots really were intended more as demo reels to sell a show to networks, and it wasn't a given that they would ever air on TV (which is why "The Cage" was over 60 minutes long and couldn't possibly have fit into a standard broadcast time slot). You pour money into the pilot because it's what will get the series on the air if it's good enough. It's an investment that you're hoping will lead to a bigger payoff.

    Yes, often, when it's feasible, the pilot will be shown as part of the series, or if a lot of changes are made, will have portions of it recycled in various series episodes (as with "The Cage" and the pilots of shows like Gilligan's Island, Lost in Space, and more recently Dollhouse). You do want to recoup that investment if you can. But sometimes pilots are never broadcast at all, like the original pilots of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Avatar: The Last Airbender.


    Well, leaving aside production order concerns and thinking only about which episode would be the best introduction to the show and its world, I'd say "The Corbomite Maneuver" would be a better intro than "Where No Man." WNM lacks McCoy and Uhura, it focuses heavily on characters who don't survive the episode, and its "look and feel" are different from the series. TCM is a good, solid introduction to the ensemble in their familiar roles, and most importantly it's a great introduction to the meaning and purpose of the Enterprise's mission and what the characters believe in and stand for.


    I'm not sure the general public of the day would've been as savvy about the TV production process as we are today. The book The Making of Star Trek was a seminal work in the behind-the-scenes/"making-of" genre. I think it and the books and TV specials that followed it created a lot more public interest and understanding about the production process than had existed before. And just three weeks into a once-a-week series, viewers might not have remembered the exact details of sets and costumes all that well. I know that when I was watching the show in reruns as a child, it took me a few years before my nebulous sense that something was different about "Where No Man" blossomed into an understanding of what it really was.

    And it's not like there weren't other changes between early episodes -- changes in Uhura's and Spock's costumes, an evolution of Spock's makeup and personality, ongoing alterations to the engineering set, and so on. Not to mention the tendency of '60s shows to have different supporting characters week to week and not bother to explain the change. ST's sister show Mission: Impossible changed its team composition all the time and never bothered to give any explanations for a cast change until the seventh season. So '60s viewers would've been somewhat accustomed to such week-to-week variations, and a lot of them wouldn't even really have noticed.


    TOS was originally meant as an ensemble drama, which you can really see in the early episodes. But Spock swiftly became the breakout star, and the network wanted everything to revolve around him. Roddenberry and Shatner resisted that, but still the show ended up centered overwhelmingly on Spock and on the two characters most closely connected to him, Kirk and McCoy.

    And yes, there was a shift from a more dramatic emphasis early on to a more action-oriented emphasis later, probably due to network pressure.


    Yeah, the completely pointless trip back in time. This was originally meant to lead directly into "Tomorrow is Yesterday," but then it was decided not to have inter-episode continuity, so it was rewritten. They should've just removed the time travel element altogether, since without the lead-in it served absolutely no purpose and was just a weird non sequitur.



    Welcome to 1966, a place where folks like Todd Akin apparently still reside. I don't think rape was really that unusual a subject matter at the time, and in fact it was often a source of what was considered light comedy, like the stock gag of the lecherous boss chasing his secretary around the desk. (I once came across an old hardcover book collecting material from Playboy in the 1950s, and it had a number of "cute" cartoons involving rape or sexual victimization, like a nude rape victim lamenting to a friend, "And then the police arrived and re-enacted the crime," while looking more exhausted than traumatized.) What we'd consider sexual harrassment was seen as normal, playful flirtation, and the idea that men should defer to women's rights and wishes in a sexual interaction, rather than the other way around, just didn't exist until the sexual revolution came along a few years later.


    Well, it was cheaper to pay them for just the voiceovers, which were probably recorded when they came in to shoot other episodes. Actually it's impressive that the producers of TOS were as loyal to their recurring cast as they were.


    Well, maybe they thought it would work out better than it did. It's the one that comes closest to fitting the "Wagon Train to the stars" pitch line Roddenberry used, since it's basically a Western plot transposed into space -- Harry actually refers to his scheme as "wiving settlers," an Old West practice featured in the TV series Here Come the Brides.


    As I remarked in an earlier thread, the original series pitch document explained Spock's alien features by saying he was "probably half-Martian." I suspect that originally, the idea behind making Spock half-human and half-alien was that his features -- mostly humanlike but with a few alien attributes -- would represent a mix of the two races, and that a full member of Spock's father's species would look less human than Spock did. (I.e. kinda like B'Elanna Torres vs. a full Klingon, or Farscape's Scorpius vs. a full Scarran.) Although that assumption went out the window when "Balance of Terror" gave us Romulans who looked exactly like Spock and were thus assumed to be related to Vulcans, and particularly when we finally saw other Vulcans in "Amok Time."
     
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I think they wanted to have a sense of continuity of personnel. And, with the exception of Nichelle Nichols, they weren't day players. Kelley, Whitney, and Takei were all guaranteed to be in 7 of the program's first thirteen episodes and Doohan was guaranteed to be in 5 of the first thirteen.
     
  16. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You always have good feedback, Christopher.

    The Outer Limits comparison totally slipped by me. Indeed it was very much in that vein.

    That's probably what threw me off as a kid and then stuck with me forever.

    I hear ya and sure, a lot of pilots didn't air in the series themselves without some major editing (you mentioned Lost in Space and Gilligan, etc.). The Cage does very much fall into that category. It just seems odd that, being this was the second time around, they made sure it was roughly airing length with commercial breaks. And with an eye on airing it, that would bring down the overall budget for the season ("we have this pilot we already paid for that we can slot in"). Which is probably what they eventually said. I agree, Corbomite Maneuver could very well be the better choice, but the opticals weren't ready in time, I believe. Where No Man was already a done deal, it just needed some trims and changes to the opening and closing credits. Also agreed about the cast situation. Actually that would be a better reason to me to hold it back. Otherwise, the stated reasons of being expository seem off center. Maybe it's me, but it just seems hard to believe they would make a feature quality pilot, formatted for network airing, with at least four of the regular cast on board without expecting to run it. Eh, I'm just a guy watching it after the fact. Just because I have issues with the explanation doesn't mean I'm right. :)

    True, and it wasn't as drastic as The Cage was, which needed the framing sequence to make it fit.

    Was it, though? I know George Takei thinks so, but that wasn't the norm for the period. It felt initially more like a show about Captain Kirk and his crew (Shatner was the only actor listed in the opening credits of the unaired version). Nichelle was a day player, Takei came and went, and even Jimmy Doohan was missing for a bunch. I agree the crew was a lot more prominent and it helped solidify the reality of the world they were creating. It seemed more like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea with the two leads and their backup characters (and a stand out - Sharkey/McCoy), but that wasn't an ensemble series either. You need characters to populate the world. The regular background guys and the guest stars who die or show up for an episode or three (Riley, DeSalle, Kelowitz, etc.).

    It would have been more meaningful if they actually used this method to travel in time, but they wound up using the slingshot effect. I felt it was kind of a cool, exciting conclusion to the episode, if ultimately pointless.

    Yeah, but this was a brutal attack on a then regular character by the dark side of the series hero. Considering The Fugitive had to totally dance around the subject a couple of years earlier, I think this was a stronger attempt than usual. I know my modern brain is reacting to it, which surprised me because I usually watch these shows in context. It just seemed odd that Janice was more concerned over Kirk's rep than her own safety working for a man who tried to forcefully have his way with her. Today, the whole "imposter" thing would be seen as a massive cover up.

    Agreed, it's just odd that they didn't use, say, Roddenberry or some male staffer (as they did for the background bridge chatter), since Uhura wasn't in the episode. This is the 3rd time it happened so far (Scotty in Man Trap, Sulu in Charlie X and now Uhura in Enemy Within). .

    That's a good point which makes sense to me. Vulcan, as it turned out, was the "let's all look as similar to each other as possible" planet. But, all Trek was full of that "one government, one language, one society per planet" thing. It was expedient.
     
  17. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

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    Did you notice that Kirk's green tunic debuts in "The Enemy Within"? My theory is that this was done so that we could tell the difference between the two Kirk's.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, as you said before, Solow just said it wouldn't necessarily air. Of course they want to air the pilots if they can, so they're generally structured with that in mind, but it's not an absolute given. It can go either way, is the point. The primary function of a pilot is to convince the network that it's worth making the series. Actually broadcasting it is a secondary priority. And they have no way of knowing for certain whether they'll get to air a pilot as part of the series, since (aside from not knowing whether the series will be made at all) they don't know how many changes the network will insist on if they do buy it.


    I'm not aware of anything Mr. Takei has said on the subject. I'm just saying that based on what's actually there in "The Corbomite Maneuver," "The Man Trap," "Charlie X," and other early episodes where there's a lot more emphasis on the interplay and community dynamics of the crew. There's a feeling pervading those early episodes that this wasn't a show about larger-than-life cosmic heroes, but a show about a community of professionals doing a day-to-day job... that just happened to be in outer space in the future.


    But credits are ultimately about pay and contracts. There were other shows that often featured regular or recurring ensemble members who weren't billed in the main titles. In the first season of Gilligan's Island, Dawn Wells and Russell Johnson were just "the rest," relegated to the end titles. The Time Tunnel only billed James Darren and Robert Colbert as main-title regulars, but Whit Bissell, Lee Meriwether, and John Zaremba were in every episode.

    Ultimately it comes down to money. Getting main-title billing means you're entitled to residual payments from reruns (or home video, these days). Shows with higher budgets can afford more main-title players than shows with lower budgets. But it's not about how prominent the characters are in the scripts.


    Well, it's not the only time TOS went to that well; see "A Private Little War" (the villagers attacking Nona) and "Day of the Dove" (Chekov assaulting Mara).

    I found a Google Books result for a book talking about sex in '60s and '70s TV, Wallowing in Sex by Elena Levine, and it mentions mid-'60s rape storylines on three major soap operas of the day, The Guiding Light, General Hospital, and Another World -- although it says they "were not typically labeled as rape." In all three cases, the wives were raped by their husbands and impregnated, but in only two cases were the husbands villainous characters.
    The morning after he rapes Julie, he apologizes, and she replies, "You don't have to apologize, Michael, I am still your wife." Implying that as her husband he was entitled to it, which was the attitude back then.

    The book goes on to mention later TV storylines about rape motivated by love, where drunk men refused to take no for an answer from women they loved and desired (or in one case, another woman that he drunkenly mistook for his wife); it was treated as a sexual act rather than an act of violence or control:
    I think the same went here -- what Evil Kirk tried to do to Janice wasn't perceived by the writer or producers, or viewers, as a "brutal attack" as we would understand it today, but merely an expression of Kirk's desire for Janice let free of his discipline and inhibitions as a captain. That's why Janice was written afterward as being almost flattered by the attention, and why it wasn't considered shockingly creepy and insensitive for Spock to tease her about it at the end.


    As I said, maybe they just happened to have those actors in doing other episodes when the time came to record the voiceovers in post-production, and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to acknowledge the continued existence of the recurring cast members.


    I have no doubt of that.
     
  19. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Outer Graceland
    "Welcome to 1966, a place where folks like Todd Akin apparently still reside." Ha! Christopher, you're usually Spocklike in your answers!
     
  20. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
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    ssosmcin
    Excellent points all; gives me more things to think about. Scraping the moss off the brain. Thanks for the book quotes, Christopher. Very illuminating and, frankly, frightening.

    Nice observation, something I didn't give much thought to, but makes perfect sense.

    Of course, to the people watching it at the time, it first appeared in Charlie X (like the Klingon battle cruiser model debuted as a Romulan ship in the third season). This, of course, does nothing to alter your theory. That damned network order...

    Just saying he feels the same way, having said in at least one interview that Trek was originally an ensemble piece but changed to focus on specific characters.