50th Anniversary Rewatch Thread

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by dodge, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Wow, just like watching it for the first time...struggling to retain consciousness while trying to wrap my addled mind around the random story elements.

     
  2. NicholasM79

    NicholasM79 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Oy vey, what a mess of an episode.

    More here.

    It goes without saying that we go from this mess this week to what is arguably the best episode of the whole season, if not the whole series (at least in my opinion).

    (EDIT: I won't be able to do the trailers anymore for copyright reasons, I don't want to go back and remove all of the links in past posts, so they just won't work.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  3. dodge

    dodge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What just happened?

    The last time I did a full rewatch the only thing I remember is I fell asleep during this episode, in the middle of the day, while drinking coffee, so this time I was determined to stay awake and pay attention.

    And I managed it, but... it's even worse when you actually pay attention to what is going on.

    Alien invasion, universal annihilation, time travel, parallel worlds, alternate universes, evil doppelgangers... the plot is essentially a loosely stringed together sequence of science fiction catchphrases while they beam down, walk around, beam up, talk a bit, beam down, walk some more, beam up, talk a bit some more, beam down...

    Their idea of spicing things up with action is consistent of disco wrestling and repeated falling of a cliff in a manner about as convincing as a Monty Python sketch.

    Everyone acts like an idiot, nobody trust Lazarus at any single point, he's recognized as a liar, he declares intent to steal the dilithium crystals yet nobody thinks to put him in the brig, or at least have a security guard follow him, and the one time a security guard is there, McCoy says he shouldn't be there(?) because Lazarus isn't going anywhere(??), and then they just leave him alone(???) and he walks away again(????). What the actual what?

    The final confrontation is the stupidest thing ever...
    In the clunkiest bit of exposition in an episode full of crappy exposition the bad Lazarus, who's really the good Lazarus(a wonderful twist! good sci fi needs a twist!) explains the hurt Lazarus, who's really the mad Lazarus needs the dilithium and his ship to open a passage to cross over to another universe where he somehow already was before and managed to destroy an entire planet except the one guy he really wanted to destroy and instead of just shooting the other Lazarus what he actually wants to do is grab him which would destroy two universes, unless they touch in the corridor in which case it's fine, but then you have to destroy one ship which will destroy both ships and close the entrances to the corridor.

    Because apparently the corridor isn't yet open, all the previous blinking out is never really properly explained, nor why the Lazaruses sometimes switch places, sometimes they don't, sometimes everyone feels the blinking, sometimes it's just Lazarus...

    Anyway the gist of it is, the two Lazaruses can't touch.

    Fine.

    How about one of the security officers or Spock shoot him with a phaser, take away the crystals, destroy the ship that's necessary to open the passage thereby ending the threat and just take the crazy fella to the mental institution?

    Nope, bit of Kirk wrestle and eternal torment for both Lazaruses, that makes total sense!
    Because it's poignant, and real Sci Fi needs to have a poignant ending!

    (Sidenote: if you look at the background during that final fight, one of the security guard extras is grinning at just how silly all of this is).

    Basically the only thing missing for this episode to make perfect sense would be if they beamed down at some point to play american football in tuxedos.

    As for positives... it felt like a brand new episode because I've managed to forget most of it.
    I also liked lieutenant Masters.
    That's pretty much it.
     
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  4. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Commodore Commodore

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    ^ But, but... the "disco wrestling" was the highlight of this episode! :p

    That, and the reflective speech Kirk gave at the end of this episode.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    So it's not just me!

    Anyway, you did a much better job of getting into the blow-by-blow WTF of this episode than I could've summoned up the effort for.
     
  6. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    I guess my policy now is just to bow out of the discussion when this episode comes up.
     
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  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    ^ Ooh, are you a fan? I knew there were a couple of you around from past threads about the episode.

    Please feel free...anything to shake the rest of us out of our somnambulistic stupor.

    The deck was really stacked against me last night...been under the weather, so it was all I could do to stay awake for the entire episode, never mind coming up with any sort of insightful commentary.

    If I had to summon up some positive points about this episode:
    1. In the pre-TOS-R days, it was noteworthy for the unique shot of the Enterprise firing its phasers on the planet.
    2. It has a somewhat trippy quality to it...I wish I could say they were going for deliberate surrealism, a la The Avengers...that might have saved the episode.
    3. The many concepts it throws out there for consideration without tying things together into any kind of a neat package...while most of us just consider those to be great, big plot holes, they could lend themselves to being filled in by the imagination, if one is so inclined.
     
  8. dodge

    dodge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I too would really like to hear if anyone likes this episode. Contrary to most people on the internet I actually do like to read about what people liked about the stuff I didn't like :)

    And so far even when people disagree it's been pretty civil in this thread, so have no fear :techman:

    Thanks, I figured if I didn't really have that much fun watching the episode I might as well enjoy making fun of it :D
     
  9. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    I suffer from battle fatigue concerning this one. It has been a favorite since I first saw it first-run. I wish more people could see past the rough edges and production problems. I'm not in a good state to take the subject on again.
     
  10. Korusan

    Korusan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    It's a weird episode and I always forget which Lazarus is the "good" one except when it's really obvious (the identifying scrape). I remember it was packaged in one of those collections back in the day with the Alternate Realities discs. I was excited I'd get another Mirror Universe-esque episode but instead I got this trash.
     
  11. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    With regard to "Alternative Factor" - for me at least, it just goes to show that even a "horrific" TOS episode is still fantastic. I'd watch AF over 75% of anything else in the Trek television franchise (and 85% of anything else available on all of television). Same goes for "And the Children Shall Lead" and "Way to Eden."

    But, I guess that's why I'm a huge TOS fan. The stuff is just THAT good.
     
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  12. wayne66

    wayne66 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, this is a very confusing episode. Who is the good Lazarus and who is the bad one? Yet, a bad Star Trek episode is still worth watching for me at least. I like to hear McCoy say," I am just an old country doctor" I remember Robert Brown from the television series Primus. Mr. Leslie got to say something in this episode. I also like the analogy that somebody said up thread about the timing of this episode. Sticking it right before the last episode was a brilliant maneuver. I like listening to albums and the art of creating an order for your songs goes like this. You start off the album with a great song and end the album with a great song. If you have a bad song in there, it is best to hide it in the middle or near the end of the album. You bury it so people will not remember it. You make sure that the last song/episode is a great one that people will remember.
     
  13. 3D ChessMaster

    3D ChessMaster Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I was shocked when I feel asleep during Alternative Factor as this is about the only TOS episode this would happen in. Looking way back 40 plus years as a kid I found this episode quite memorable with the psychedelic fights in the tunnel and the concept of anti matter which was new to me then.I find 'what of Lazarus' a haunting final line.

    The episode did raise to th younger me a moral question about what one would sacrifice for the sake of other people. Recall back in 1967 people were being drafted to risk their lives in war which was presented as being for a greater good. While others were putting themselves in danger while campaigning for social change. Rodenberry and others in the Star Trek team had seen dangerous active service in WW2.

    The defence rests.
     
  14. Miss Lemon

    Miss Lemon Commodore Commodore

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    That's actually a very valid argument, you're right of course. It's one of characteristics that make Star Trek great.

    The delivery of the final lines by William Shatner is still cringe, though.
     
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  15. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Last week's other 50th Anniversary Viewings.

    _______

    50 years ago this week:

    New on the U.S. charts:

    "Break on Through (To the Other Side)," The Doors

    (#126 US)

    "When I Was Young," The Animals

    (#15 US; #45 UK)

    "Here Comes My Baby," The Tremeloes

    (#13 US; #4 UK)

    "The Happening," The Supremes

    (#1 US the week of May 13; #12 R&B; #6 UK)


    And airing Thursday night:

    Star Trek
    "The City on the Edge of Forever"
    Stardate 3134.0
     
  16. EnsignHarper

    EnsignHarper Captain Captain

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    A little late AF question - does anyone think that the whole John Drew Barrymore fiasco had anything to do with it being a whole pile of Saurian S***?? r was it doomed from the start?
     
  17. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Harvey's superlative Star Trek Fact Check blog pretty much shows the episode had problems before Barrymore's involvement, let along his defection.

    http://startrekfactcheck.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-alternative-factor-what-hell.html

    Personally, I never held the same hatred for this episode that other have. While not Trek at its best, it is - for me - time well spent. It's classic Trek, it stars William Shatner, so there's always something to like. I love the concept and the cosmic winking out stuff.
     
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    "Hatred" is perhaps too strong a word...I pity the poor, pathetic wretch of an episode...which is perhaps why I didn't have the heart to tear into the miserable thing.
     
  19. dodge

    dodge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I definitely don't hate the episode, I just think it's very poorly done. Science of it makes less sense than usual(matter and antimatter react only if it's the same people touching each other?), all the characters act only according to the needs of the plot(crew just lets Lazarus roam, "good" Lazarus waits until the last moment to explain everything), it's not consistent within itself("blinking out" has random scope and effect).

    I wouldn't even mind the story being overcluttered with random tangents if they actually lead somewhere, but most of those elements are dropped sooner than they're introduced...
     
  20. Korusan

    Korusan Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The added history tidbits really sell the thread I have to add. They're great for a bit of a temporal displacement if you catch my drift. ;)
     
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