Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by dodge, Aug 29, 2016.
Romulan Kirk begs to differ>
For Amok Time? He dies in that one, right?
In case you don't know, Trek was preempted 50 years ago this week, instead you would have seen this:
I would have flipped over to another network. Just saying...
8:30 on ABC
9:00 on ABC
8:30 on CBS
9:00 on CBS (First half-hour of The CBS Thursday Night Movie)
I have a soft spot for That Girl, so I probably would have gone with ABC.
Now my nuclear family in 1967 (pre-me) might have actually been watching NBC, as my dad liked Roy Rogers. My big sister wouldn't have had a preference, she was less than year old then.
The closest Trek equivalent to that would be Voyager's The Thaw...
I have been following the Avengers series 5 too, have not heard much attention given to it despite it being the 50th Anniversary of the best series of the Avengers, Emma Peel and in Colour
^ The popular culture in general might make a big deal about a significant anniversary of when a series started, but not of specific seasons.
Watching for the first time myself. I've also been watching the previous season as a side thing.
So with only a handful of episodes left this season, this week off seems like a good time to touch base and make sure we're all on the same page for Season 2. We're sticking with 50th anniversaries of airdates, and thus going on hiatus and coming back in September, correct? That's what I plan to do, anyway.
Assuming that is the case, I was thinking of moving my "50 years ago this week" posts to The Classic/Retro TV Thread during the hiatus, as this thread is liable to go inactive for awhile, and weekly posts without any other activity would seem spammy.
Yep, that's the plan.
That also gives plenty of time for people to catch up through "reruns" if some want to join in on the fun next season
I'm toying with the idea of doing a rerun binge at some point during the hiatus myself, maybe in production order and with remastered effects(heresy, i know) just to mix it up.
I'll be doing a 50th anniversary viewing of part of Dark Shadows while the other 50th anniversary shows I've been watching are on hiatus. The episodes I've got on my DVR start in June.
And when we get to it, everyone remember that next season we're moving to Fridays!
Last Week's 50th Anniversary Viewings
50 years ago this week:
New on the U.S. charts:
"I'm a Man," The Spencer Davis Group
(#10 US; #48 R&B; #9 UK)
"Close Your Eyes," Peaches & Herb
(#8 US; #4 R&B)
"A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You," The Monkees
(#2 US; #3 UK)
And airing Thursday night:
"Errand of Mercy"
"Errand of Mercy", Episode 26, March 23rd
Tonight's Episode: War is declared! The Enterprise encounters another crappy "alien of the week" species intent on starting a conflict with the Federation, with a bunch of primitives stuck in the middle of the escalating hostilities. Cling-on? That will never catch on...
This episode ranks pretty high as both my favorite and least favorite Star Trek.
It's a terrific yarn, entertainingly told. Obviously Colicos knocks it out of the park. He's a full on mustache twirler, but there is something frighteningly real about him. He's ruthless, but never against his own aims. He's certainly not a Bond villain. I don't believe he's ever stupid. And (most interestingly) he doesn't consider himself at the top of the heap.
Here's the thing: The moral of the story is that the war is bad, just as a thing. If the Klingons and the Humans (Federation) would just put down their guns then everything would be fine.
The problem is (and this is where Star Trek and I apparently part ways) is that the Klingons will apparently continue to take over planets. What Kirk describes as Klingon subjugation is quickly demonstrated to not be mere propaganda or hyperbole or even a misunderstanding. It is exactly as Kirk described it.
We can (and do) debate what Kirk means in A Taste of Armageddon by General Order 24. But Kor literally has at least two hundred people killed to quell dissent. The Organians get to be OK with the Klingons because they can't be harmed. It's OK, because they're super intelligent light bulbs. But there are other worlds where the hostages killed by the Klingons and put into camps are not hyper intelligent shades of the color blue. They're now in a bad spot.
But hey, we're all just two sides of the same coin and the sooner we realize that then the sooner we'll all get along.
Spock has his clever line at the beginning of the episode when Kirk says that they don't want war. "Curious how often you Humans manage to obtain that which you do not want." (Again, why is Vulcan not a part of this? Or the other not yet created races of the Federation? I know, I just answered my own question.) What would be the consequences of not having the war? (For that matter what ARE the consequences of not having it after the Light Bulbs mess with them?) Who will suffer for it? Have we gotten to City on the Edge of Forever yet?
But like I said, it's one of the more entertaining episodes. If Star Trek has to be preachy (and it does, it's Star Trek) then it needs to be entertaining. If only more of it was as good as this.
My thoughts on "Errand of Mercy"
I like this episode. One of the better shows of the season.
Next week: A not so good episode...
Klingon gunners know their stuff, aiming their volleys just the right way to get those shots up Uhura's skirt.
You can see in this episode where the Klingons really were created to take the place of the Romulans. What we see of the Klingons here isn't irreconcilable with what we know of the Romulans at this point. Some like to say that TNG Trek switched their roles, but I think that it just gave Klingons a more distinctive one. The Romulans never changed.
After the Organians free them, why do Kirk and Spock go back to the council chambers if they're bugged...and why don't the Klingons listen in, or go there before they start executing hostages?
Somebody's watching TOS-R.
The thing is this...
From the Organians' perspective, humans, Vulcans, Klingons, Klingon subject races...all amoebae. How worked up would you or I get if those amoebae were doing something bad to those other amoebae? It's all a matter of perspective. Much like the effect that pictures of the Earth from the moon are said to have had, making people realize that we're all sharing one small planet in a much larger cosmos.
The flip side of this is that if the Federation/Klingon conflict is supposed to be a Cold War parable, then the Organians, by the end of this episode, effectively become the nuclear deterrent...quite in contrast to their pacifistic facade.
Who's saying they aren't? This is framed as the Federation vs. the Klingon Empire. Vulcan is stated to be a member of the Federation more than once in the episode. And Kor describes Spock as an enemy alien.
One of this episode's contributions to popular culture...
I'm a production order man at heart, but I'll say this for airdate order: It manages to put off that steaming turd for another seven episodes.
To play the Klingon devils' advocate here, they didn't actually do anything against the Organians until they were attacked. Sure they occupied the planet and posted their rules punishable by death, but the Federation was planning to do the same thing, the only difference is Federation used the carrot, and the Klingons used the stick.
Kirk isn't exactly an innocent party here, he repeatedly tries to draw the Organians in a conflict with the Klingons against their express wishes all for the benefit of the Federation because they need Organia for their war against the Klingons.
When it comes down to it both were willing to let the Organians die just for being in the way of their conflict...
While we're on the subject of Organians, some stray observations...
Organians have evolved beyond physical bodies, but not beyond the patriarchy, considering all the ruling council members are old men.
Spock rates them as D minus on a cultural scale, which I guess means "totally lame".
He does not offer a revised grade once they reveal their true form (A doubleplus?)
They stop the war by heating everything up, if only the secret of making oven mitts survived World War III...
Oh, and Kirk says "I'm a soldier, not a diplomat", does that mean Starfleet is military?
I wouldn't jump to conclusions, I'm sure they used the extra time in post production to really make the episode shine and be the bestest possible!
Yeah, that too. There's a lot of attempted manipulation/using of the Organians on Kirk's part, and his attitude toward them borders on "If you're not with us, you're against us."
Perhaps giving Kirk...or whoever was there before the Enterprise to assess the culture...what they expected to see. Which brings up the question of why they chose to look exactly like humans. Was that their old corporeal form, or did they make themselves look like that because the earlier expedition was from Earth?
(ETA: Granted, lots of aliens in TOS look exactly like humans, it's the show's default setting. But they underscore the issue here when Kirk can conveniently pass as an Organian and Spock can't.)
They are as far above our grading scale as we are above...oh, somebody used that already?
Yeah, you try hitting the right gumdrop button on the helm console with oven mitts on...!
I admire TPTB for being downright artful about its placement in the season: Let's bury it as far back as possible, but not so far that it's the last thing that people remember about the show. And they directly follow it up with what many consider to be the strongest episode in the series, to wash away the foul taste.
More likely an assessment of his own personality/preferred way of handling things. Kirk'd rather knock aliens/ships into next week with weapons/fists/feet than throw paperwork at them.
If there was just one slightly more heat tolerant officer like Data on one of the fleet ships, he could have single-handedly annihilated the entire Klingon fleet right then and there.
But remember the episode is a product of and commentary on its own time: Yes the "other side" was totalitarian, inhumane and all that, but the choice for war was a choice to wipe out most human life and civilization on both sides.
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