Production Order Group Viewing 2018

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Archivist13, May 8, 2018.

  1. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I, MUDD

    I’ve always had mixed feelings about the 3 blatantly “comedy” episodes of Season Two and this one especially, although it’s been a few years since I last watched it. I imagine it will be a few more before I see it again. :mad:

    The first 9 minutes are quite suspenseful. Norman does an excellent job of taking over the ship!
    Then Mudd turns up, the tone takes a dramatic turn and all the characters seem to stop taking anything remotely seriously. Kirk’s initial attempt at confrontation with Mudd come across as just hammy, even by stereotypical Shatner standards. The attempt to switch between light hearted banter, Carmel's outrageous performance and genuine tension fall flat on their face.
    This part of the episode is like a fast written comedy skit and Mudd steals the show with his well timed and performed back and forths.
    Then there's padding.
    Then the final act begins and it’s like a series of bad improvisations put on by first year high schoolers. And it goes on FOREVER.
    And the solution that the crew come up with is the old trope of “Kirk talks a computer to death” dialled up to ELEVEN.
    All in all the presence of this episode feels jarring and out of place in Star Trek. And next week is another comedy! :barf:

    Other thoughts:
    • Kirk’s back in the green wraparound again! (I know I mention this a lot, but I’m honestly surprised at how often he wears it)
    • Couldn’t they have moved Norman to a less awkward position on the Bridge?
    • So…can Harry not choose to leave with Kirk once he learns about the Stella line? Was the choice Kirk initially offered him (to stay or go) a one shot only?

    Spock and McCoy start the episode quite chummy, strolling along the corridor together. One can well imagine them hanging out a bit off duty, debating the human condition from their different perspectives.
    Then McCoy accidentally disparages Spock but immediately attempts to make amends. Spock though takes it really personally and hits back with a cutting insult that has nothing whatsoever to do with their previous conversation. What’s eating the first officer?
    McCoy and Spock’s final barbed exchange at the end of the episode is not bad, but feels entirely unearned. Normally their witty banter offers a little light humour at the end of a perilous mission, but here there was no peril and the mission was chock full of over the top humour!

    It seems to have been something that James Doohan invented. https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/borgas-frat.128340/

    I don't think the claim that Vulcans cannot lie has yet been established in the series. If memory serves, it stems from The Enterprise Incident where Spock spends a great deal of the episode...lying! :biggrin:
     
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  2. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Plaid Lensman Premium Member

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    “The Menagerie, Part I”
     
  3. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    McCoy might be wrong or buying into common knowledge that is wrong.
     
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  4. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    I believe, in general, that Vulcans make a point of not lying so that that common knowledge has a basis in fact, but there is nothing physically stopping them from lying if the situation is serious enough. Or maybe Spock can lie more because he's half human? Maybe other Vulcans look at him and go "damn, that boy lies like a rug."
     
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  5. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oops! Forgot about that. Shall I fetch my agonizer? ;)

    So, the concept originated in The Menagerie...another tale where Spock is revealed to have spent a good chunk of the episode lying!
     
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  6. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Plaid Lensman Premium Member

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    We'll overlook it this time, mister, but carelessness with the canon cannot be tolerated.

    As for the rest, well, deceit and ironing is the very flower of episodic television, isn't it?
     
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  7. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I, Mudd

    This was always one of my favorites when I was a youth watching on tv. I still like it but it's not as enchanting as it was.

    I am 100% convinced the only reason Harry Mudd was even a thing was Roger C Carmel being so good in the part. His intonations and expressions make the character. How he says "d d death" when talking about the Denebians or how he smiles and nods the second time he's talking to the Stella android, he is wonderful in the part.

    Even though the comedy aspects of this one are it's main feature, there is a credible threat of the androids subverting and taking over the galaxy, although I do wonder how far they can get with only 208,000 of them, wouldn't they need billions?

    I used to complain they dumbed Chekov down in the movies, but watching these last few episodes, I'm not sure they did anymore.

    I'm starting to think like JoJo Kracko watching this episode. With the addition of Scotty, the original landing party is all that's shown on the planet. Where are the other 422 of them? Including Sulu who's there in the beginning but disappears completely. Are there over 400 people actively messing with the androids or just the "group"

    I do wonder, after Norman went to pieces how did they get the androids moving again. I'm especially wondering because if all of them went down, who was running the Enterprise? And I guess the remedy was by remote control because if they were all conked out on the ship, who beamed up to fix them?

    I'm not against comedy but I don't like it forced in. In The Apple and The Changeling, it seemed forced, for some reason it doesn't seem forced here, just much more overt. And Spock is just too damn funny not to like. Just about every scene he is in is gold. I especially like his explanations of logic to Norman and the preceding scene with the two Alices. .

    "Is there some significance to this action?"
     
  8. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Good point about Sulu here! Was George nipping off to film The Green Berets at this time or was he just filling in on other jobs at the time? Either way it's odd that he's absent from Kirk's team in their quarters!
    JB
     
  9. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Deleted scenes in "Star Trek The Lost Scenes" show other crewmembers enjoying the delights of the android planet (and the page in question is in the Amazon preview!) Without them, it does make the show feel much more limited (and much more stage play)

    This episode answers the question - "what if Star Trek was a sitcom?" It's OK on its own merits (and there's good comedic timing on the delivery) but overall feels very out of place as a full episode, when compared to the rest of the series so far.
    The shoehorned "funny" moments in the other 2 episodes you mentioned do feel shoehorned in, but they are just odd moments and don't affect the overall story in the same way as I, Mudd
     
  10. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    The Trouble With Tribbles

    I didn't realize Kirk wore the green wraparound in so many episodes.

    It's a space station! Cool!

    Hmm, an emergency was declared, but no emergency exists. Sounds familiar somehow...(American political humor. Couldn't help it.)

    How does Kirk not know about the quadro...the quadro...the wheat? Wasn't he briefed on the Federation's whole plan to develop Sherman's Planet and claim it as their own?

    "What are you trying to do, ruin the market?" Actually, the tribbles' own prolific reproduction will ruin the market. Things are more valuable the rarer they are. How can you sell any tribbles when they're about to take over the station? How does Jones get to K-7 without a shipful of tribbles? Or does he have a ship full of tribbles?

    It's funny how the viewscreen has a sense of drama. We don't see Koloth sitting next to Lurry until the dramatic moment when the viewscreen all by itself pulls back to show him.

    Is Koloth saying Klingon ships have no female crew members? That will come as a surprise to Mara. Is that why Koloth wants shore leave? The Klingons want to get laid?

    I'm watching an episode with the original FX. Why didn't they show a Klingon ship orbiting K-7? Money? Do the new FX show one?

    Haha, Spock likes petting the tribble. And he likes cats. He likes small fuzzy critters.

    Kirk: "Pipe it down here." Here's where Sisko and Dax are watching Kirk and Spock.

    Since when does Scotty not like shore leave? He had no problem in Wolf In The Fold.

    Scotty actually throws the first TWO punches in the fight.

    It's an old Western-style barroom brawl.

    The scene with Kirk asking Scotty how the fight started is always fun.

    Spock going on about how tribbles have no practical use, but he liked petting one.

    Kirk sat on a tribble! It could have exploded!

    How did tribbles get on the bridge consoles? I guess they climb walls.

    It'd be interesting to compare Mudd with Jones since we saw them in back to back episodes. I use to think of them as similar when I was a kid, but now I see Jones as much more harmless. Mudd has a sinister side.

    It seems so exciting to be an Enterprise crewmember, but I bet there are long periods of boredom. How would you like to be a transporter tech and have your whole shift be staring at the transporter pads? And Spock will demand your agonizer if you mess up. Or something. No wonder the guy was playing with a tribble.

    Oh, shut up, Trelane. Aren't your parents calling?

    Wouldn't it be funny if it actually was Trelane? He escaped his parents and decided to play Klingon ship captain and pay his old pal Kirk a visit.

    Why would Jones's penalty be 20 years? Couldn't he just sit under a neural neutralizer for a few minutes?

    It's really unrealistic to expect Jones to pick up all the tribbles himself. It would take a large crew to do that. And is K-7 supposed to just put up with all the tribbles for the next 17 years? As with Khan and Mudd, here's Kirk dispensing justice again.

    The ending is funny. I always thought it was funny as a kid. But I think we all know what happened to the tribbles. For all of Kirk's shock that Scotty might have beamed them into space, he has to know they ended up dead anyway. I'm sure the Klingons would immediately vaporize them unless they wanted to chop them into pieces with their bat'leths. I like Odo's line: do they still sing songs of the Great Tribble Hunt?

    In a REAL Star Trek ending, McCoy would have found a way to stop them from reproducing, the Enterprise would have found the tribble homeworld and would have deposited them back home.

    How did Scotty manage to beam all the tribbles out at once anyway? It's like he was able to set the transporter sensors to locate all tribbles anywhere in the ship and beam them all simultaneously from everywhere to the Klingon ship. Amazing bit of work there.

    AND...if Scotty can just beam all the tribbles off the ship at once, can't he do that with the ones on the station?

    I always found this a fun episode, and I always liked DS9's tribute as well.

    Alien Watch! Tribbles!
    Season 1
    Talosians
    That big ugly Rigellian guy Pike fought in illusion
    Vina as an Orion girl in illusion
    Glimpse of other aliens captured by Talosians
    Ron Howard's brother
    That dog from Enemy Within
    Salt monster
    That hand plant...Gertrude
    Spock (duh)
    Charlie's parents (Thasians)*
    Romulans!
    (Ruk)
    Miri's planet kids (bonk bonk)
    Giant ape creatures of Taurus II
    Shore Leave Caretaker guy
    Trelaine and his folks*
    Gorn
    Metrons*
    The Lazerii
    The remarkably human-looking aliens of Beta 3. (RotA)
    The remarkably human-looking aliens of Emineminar VII (AToA)
    The Triffids of Omicron Ceti III (TSoP)
    The refreshingly non-human-looking Horta
    Organians*
    Klingons! (Remarkably human looking).
    (The Guardian of Forever)
    Flying pancakes

    Season 2
    Sylvia and Korob
    The Companion
    The remarkably human looking (though tall) Cappellans.
    Native Pollux IV-ians (Apollo and his gang)
    Full-blooded Vulcans
    The remarkably human looking citizens of Argelius II (WitF)
    Redjac
    The People of Vaal (Gamma Triangulians)
    Crew of the ISS Enterprise
    The remarkably human-looking** (except for maybe a dot on their forehead) Halkans
    Tribbles (not at all human looking)

    *Alien Watch sublist: omnipotent aliens!
    **By request
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    There was not Klingon ship model at this point, and they couldn't afford to build and photograph both a space station and a Klingon ship.

    The flat cats don't reproduce when they're not fed. Jones probably knew just how little he could feed his stock and keep them alive without them having litters left and right.
     
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  12. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Koloth was in deep space on military maneuvers so probably didn't need any female officers (or more likely makeup hadn't been devised to show what a Klingon woman looked like yet) while Kang was on a scientific mission so he needed science officers and women fulfilled that role in Klingon society? He was just lucky that Mara, his wife was able to join him on the ship! :klingon:
    JB
     
  13. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES

    After last week’s OTT comedy I wondered what to expect here! I have to say I am pleasantly surprised.
    The lighthearted approach seems more justified in this episode – the crew are essentially on shore leave, with the Klingons more of a pest than an actual threat. This mood is fairly consistent throughout the episode and is even carried through to the final unveiling of Darvin who (while a menace to the immediate situation) isn't built up as a threat to the entire galaxy.
    Koloth shows a different face to the Klingons – hostile but civil at the same time
    The gradual invasion of the Enterprise by small fluffy creatures is well handled and pretty funny, largely because the characters don’t react goofy to it.

    The opening scenes with Chekov at the mission briefing are pretty good – Chekov tries his usual brand of humour and is shot down by Spock; Kirk mediates
    The comedic banter is better integrated into the script this time, but Kirk’s word repetition of “storage compartments, storage compartments” is not convincing.
    Other thoughts:
    • I like that 2-person transporter unit on board K-7. Just like the one at Starbase 11 :techman:
    • Straight out of Lurry’s office, Kirk heads for the bar!
    • Should Cyrano Jones and the Barman really be negotiating their prices right in front of the customers?
    • Now that I have the series in HD, I noticed all the bruises and other signs of fisticuffs on the officers during Kirk's dressing down of them later. Very nice attention to detail!
    • Who designed those overhead storage bins? How is anyone supposed to load let alone inspect the contents without being covered by the contents?
    The usual mix of “Kling’uns” (Kirk in the mission briefing) and “Kling-Gons” (Manager Lurry).
    Captain Koloth also uses the pronunciation “Kling’un” so I guess that's the correct way to say it?

    I take it you are unfamiliar with the animated series? ;)

    The final solution to the endemic on board the Enterprise utilises an interesting game of semantics:
    KIRK: You didn’t kill them, did you Scotty?
    SCOTT: No, I beamed them over to the Klingons, who’ll kill them for me.​

    It actually echoes an earlier scene:
    McCOY: Can I have a Tribble to study?
    UHURA: Sure, feel free to dissect it but just don’t tell me the gory details​
    IOW, ignorance is bliss! :devil:

    I know, right? :beer:
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TTwT is a fun episode although I've always found some of its humour to be a bit forced. Kirk's rudeness and petulance feel like they are a notch too high. I can see how the comic tone would have suited Grace Lee Whitney and it's a shame that idea was nixed. We can also see the beginnings of movie Chekov here as a sort of educated idiot for comic effect but it does work well. The brawl scene and debrief are great scenes.
     
  15. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    I forgot to mention Charlie Brill, Darvin, who would go on to play Capt. Lipschitz in Silk Stalkings. Remember that show? Was he ever mentioned in the "Trek guest actors in maybe surprising roles" thread?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  16. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The last act of I, Mudd is extremely embarrassing to say the least! Especially when you have non Trek fans in the room with you!!! :scream:
    JB
     
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  17. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's odd because Charlie Brill was called Lipschitz in an episode of Sliders in the fourth season!!!
    JB
     
  18. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I can't recall the exact anecdote, but when they made "Trials and Tribble-ations", DS9's producers realized that Charlie Brill was still working. I think one of them had recently run into Brill at a restaurant. Anyway, they jumped on the idea of writing him in as his old character.
     
  19. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I remember rightly they were discussing options for the anniversary episode in a restaurant when the matter of whether Charlie Brill was still working or even alive (and thus be available to feature in the episode) was raised. Someone else answered "sure, he's over there!"
    However, they couldn't talk to him right away as all offers had to go through his agent etc.
     
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  20. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah. I think it's funny, especially Spock, but if you're watching with a non-Star Trek fan you've honestly got a lot of explaining to do here, almost as much as during a watch of Plato.
     
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