Episodes you love until.....

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Grant, May 2, 2020.

  1. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    The other thread about saying something good about episode you hate made me think how I liked the first 5 minutes of "And the children shall lead."

    It made me think of episodes that I absolutely love until something happens.

    The contenders that come to my mind for this characteristic are....
    Wolf in the fold -- absolutely loved it until they beam back aboard the ship for the purpose of using the ship's computer to figure out who the Killer is. In my opinion the only reason dramatically they do this is so that the creature can now threaten the entire ship as opposed just to the people in Jaris's Residence or Arguilia.
    To me it would have been much better to play it as a "Ten Little Indians" scenario where Jaris could simply have refused to allow the Enterprise people back onto the ship stating that after the death of his wife it was indisputable that the killer was in the room with them and that they should logically try to figure out who the killer was. The lack of any other potential female victims if the writer would have deemed such a thing necessary could have been taken care of by having jarus have female employees or whatever. Once they go to the ship it just becomes another entity that wants to take control of the ship which happens all too often anyway.

    Next is "the changeling" which I absolutely love notwithstanding it's since become a cliche about the probe that returns to earth in search of its creator.
    The moment Kirk blurts out he's not Nomads Creator and that Nomad has made a mistake kind of ruins the episode for me but I'm sure I'm in the minority of that opinion. Either don't have Kirk be in command of nomad until much later and then have Kirk dispose of nomad immediately once he does have control or never have Nomad in his control at all. I'm not saying Kurt should be infallible but for him to have trick The Entity into thinking he was its creator and would follow his instructions and then just blurt out in a fit of anger that he's not just messes the episode up for me.

    Third one that pops into my head is "Obsession".
    I love it until the point where the creature somehow has multi warp capabilities and decides to leave the planet and then we get the usual space battle where some how the creature is invulnerable to all their weapons and can penetrate their Shields and they have conveniently left open a hatch so that the creature can get into the ship. Man it's figured out how to avoid photons phasers and deflector Shields but when you press "reverse" on the ventilation system -- man that creature can't handle that.
    And once again it's seems to me simply just the fact that they want to put not just Kirk in danger or his career or the landing party in danger but the entire crew of the ship! And then by the end we basically have Spock and McCoy falling on their knees in begging forgiveness at how wrong they were and how right Kirk was.
    Giving the creature the ability to fly at warp speeds to other planets and that it's planning to spawn and that it is invulnerable to Starship attacks makes Kirk so completely justified in his obsession that there's no ambiguity as to whether he was right about staying in the first place. And of course the standard ending where despite the fact that six to eight of his crewman have died he's happily going to tell Garrovick about Tall Tales concerning his father.
    I'm not saying I hate those episodes -- in fact I like them but they're knocked out of my top tier because of those particular issues.
    Does anybody have their own episodes that in their opinion go astray?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  2. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My biggest case of this is ST: TMP. I'm in the wrong forum for it, but I absolutely love this movie right up until Kirk steps aboard the Enterprise. Things go down hill from there. Kirk's ethics and competence come under attack. Spock starts out obnoxious. Spock later mellows, and Kirk ends up back on top, but still, it was far from what we were hoping for after ten years of waiting for the movie.
     
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  3. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Well I understand your points but Kirk steps onto the bridge 15 minutes into a 2 hour and 10 minute movie. So the movie went South pretty fast for you! I like the movie a ton until they reach Vger I think it was a half-decent attempt to bring the team back together under emergency circumstances but they really did need to find a better mission than Vger
     
  4. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I like the teaser and the first few minutes of Act 1 of “I, Mudd”, but once Harry Mudd appears I really begin to dislike this episode.
     
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  5. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Yes. Good call. Another episode that the very first time I saw it I liked it until I saw him.
    This one and And the children shall lead, prove a teaser does not an episode make.
     
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  6. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Mudd episodes were both a bit too whimsical for the series I've always thought! Especially the second one!!!
    JB
     
  7. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, JB. The premise was good to start with, but then even the cool, logical Spock turned into a silly Vulcan.
     
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  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I can handle the first Mudd episode, but “I, Mudd” and later TAS’ “Mudd’s passion” I could do without.

    “Spock’s Brain” is fine until we learn the women underground are airheads, accentuated with, “Brain and brain, what is brain?” Of course having a remote control Spock along with him actually helping McCoy operate on his own brain doesn't help either. :wtf:
     
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  9. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    Actually Spock's brain isn't completely terrible until they beam Spock down from the ship. Then it goes completely off the rails for me. The idea that his body could be controlled with a little remote with four buttons it's just absolutely absurd. And please don't anybody feel the need to write a 14 paragraph reason how actually that remote control makes some kind of sense.
    I guess if we were going to accept the fact that his brain could be removed we could accept the fact that it could be put back. But the episode as soon as they start marching Spock around like a zombie and encounter the women just becomes hopelessly stupid in my estimation. But once again it's an episode that starts off fine the mystery about the girl the mystery about what they wanted with Spock's brain the mystery of which planet of the three possible candidates his brain might have been taken to to -- the point where they beam down and meet the Neanderthal type men all works perfectly fine for me. After that I just pay no attention when I'm watching that episode.
     
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  10. Tribble Threat

    Tribble Threat Commander Red Shirt

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    I loved the mystery in Wolf in the Fold, until it was revealed that the killer was Jack the Ripper, and that he is a magical ball of energy that's been traveling from planet to planet just to kill people.
    I also didn't like the lines near the beginning about Scotty needing to recover from a hatred of women he picked up, but I was able to ignore those lines until everything else in the episode started to be ridiculous.
     
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  11. Grant

    Grant Commodore Commodore

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    The lines about the accident being caused by woman and Scotty having a resentment is just ridiculously bad and has to be ignored to have any kind of enjoyment of the episode at all. It wasn't logical or sensible in any way in 1960 7 and it's just garbage at this point. For a show that was about equality between the races and the sexes to have to make the linchpin of Scotty's motivation be a resentment toward women that will be healed by him looking at a belly dancer is bizarre. It's a shame that that wasn't removed even back then.
    The fact that the killer turned out to be an alien never presented a problem for me because if it had just been a man then it's just a murder mystery inside of a Star Trek episode which seems like a waste to me. As I stated earlier the change of the setting to the Enterprise just turns it into a bore for me in the second half
     
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  12. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    The two things tha tKILL my enjoyment of ST:TMP:

    1) The 10 minute 'fly around of the 1701 refit model - yes, I understand you want to 'show the ship' but do it During the film, and give us some action with it...not 10 f-ing minutes of Kirk and Scotty gaping at the things.

    2) The 20 minutes of them 'flying into/through V'Ger's 'cloud'. It obvious that for whatever reason (probably because the film was a 45 million+ remake of TOS S2 - "The Changeling' which ran 51 minutes uncut back in the day) they needed to 'pad' the film to be 2 hours running time so Star Trek fans didn't feel gipped; but my god that sequence is sleep inducing.
     
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  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The problem with TMP today is partly of context. In 1979 fans were really hungry for new live-action Star Trek after an absence of ten years. Showing off the refit Enterprise was a love letter to the ship. If you ever get the chance you have got to see that sequence in an IMAX cinema—the Enterprise looks thunderously huge! It is mindblowing! Not even the 1701D ever conveyed that sense of size even in the TNG films.

    Another problem is that while I don’t believe they intentionally remade “The Changeling” the similarities are too blatant to overlook. Up until they chose to produce this story the studio couldn’t make up their damned minds what they wanted to do. Remember, too, at this point no one was thinking of a series of films, but rather just one singular spectacle. I think in some respects they were aiming too high and lost sight of what really drew people to Star Trek. Exploring a science fiction idea is fine—TOS certainly did that—but they needed to ground that in a way the characters could relate to.

    Also there isn’t enough drama between characters in the film. Both “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance Of Terror” amongst other TOS episodes nicely illustrate the Heightened tension between characters who otherwise like and respect each other. A good example of how this could have been done is another film Robert Wise directed more than twenty years earlier—Run Silent, Run Deep—that illustrates the conflict of duty, respect and resentment between an older submarine commander (Clark Gable) who replaces a younger officer (Burt Lancaster) for a dangerous mission. That could have worked perfectly to flesh out the Kirk/Decker conflict as well as some newer crewmembers favouring Decker and others confident in Kirk above anyone else.
     
  14. Tribble Threat

    Tribble Threat Commander Red Shirt

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    Grant, you said it perfectly about Scott's resentment of women.
    Now what I'm bothered about with the ending isn't that the killer was an alien. It's that the killer was a magic alien ghost thing, and that Jack the Ripper was a magic alien ghost thing. Jack the Ripper was a human being, which I find more chilling than a magic alien ghost thing. And a good mystery should surprise the viewers, while having an ending that logically builds on what the viewers have seen in the mystery. A good mystery doesn't come out of left field with magic alien ghost things that by the way are also real historical people from Earth. Mystery stories need to have constraint and logic to them.
     
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  15. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

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    On the subject of Mudd
    He really was an insufferable dick
    He only became mildly amusing, and somewhat dangerous in Discovery
    He's grown on me
     
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  16. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be honest if we have to have a Mudd, then I prefer the original! Having another actor play such a significant role proves to me that the entire series is another reality!
    JB
     
  17. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

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    Mudd always fascinated me, Kirk's Enterprise couldn't go two days without encountering a hostile alien in space yet the bold Harry fucked around all over the place and never broke sweat, always had a scam, yet never encountered a Romulan or a Klingon, or a Doomsday Machine, or a big fuck off amoeba, never seemed phased by the threat of any intervention, and after all this, he was an insufferable dick.
    I think I mentioned that.
     
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  18. scotpens

    scotpens Professional Geek Premium Member

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    The flyaround of the refit Enterprise was a barefaced, unapologetic set piece. It was spaceship porn. Maybe it seemed like 10 minutes to you, but I loved all four minutes and forty-five seconds of it.
     
  19. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I guess I had a lot of pent up feelings as a teen, this was Dec 1979, because Kirk's tour of the re-fit exterior, combined with Goldsmith's stirring music for it, literally had tears of joy coming down my face. It wasn't just spaceship porn, although that was part of it [but non-sex things wouldn't be called porn for decades to come].

    It was also Kirk and the Enterprise symbolizing man's greatness, his worthiness to venture out into the galaxy and be a match for those challenges. I'd been reading Ayn Rand as a kid, and TMP's first 15 minutes was hitting me as straight-up philosophy porn. I was enraptured. It was intoxicating. And then of course Will Decker came in and let a lot of air out of that balloon. Kirk was weirdly cut down to size by this nobody, and the film's thematic jumble was underway.

    BTS, they say the sequence ran so long because the fx footage came in so late that they didn't have time to cut it down. They just threw the whole flyaround package into the film and intercut it with Kirk's reaction shots. And Jerry Goldsmith did a godlike job of making it work.
     
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  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My cutoff point? "You can't do absurd - this is science fiction, damnit!" :p

    Lines about Scotty's resentment of women? That always appeared to be but a joke at Scotty's expense, being made chiefly so that Kirk and McCoy could excuse themselves for partaking in the shore leave antics. It's just that later on, much later on, we're supposed to go "Now waitaminit, remember that joke...? Uh, what if...?", like in any good courtroom show about the innocent guy being a victim of retroactively damning circumstance. Losing the line would take away something pretty central to the episode, as it sort of hinges on there being the nagging suspicion all along.

    And of course, the episode ends up more or less establishing that Scotty did do some of the stabbings, while McCoy would have been the one in position to stab Sybo, with neither one of them actually guilty of / culpable for what they factually did. Again like any good modern courtroom or scifi show, even though the writers obviously didn't think in those terms yet.

    What "Wolf in a Fold" does well is mutate as it runs, so that there's at least some element of surprise to the proceedings, and the suspense remains, even when we're handcuffed to the conclusion that Scotty must be innocent just because.

    Timo Saloniemi