Revist of UNfavorite Episodes

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ssosmcin, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    Watched ATCSL today and yes its still a clunker.
    Still watched it though. Avidly.
    Prefer it to a few others. But still I suppose a bottom 10 for me.

    But I agree maybe if the Gorgon was played by a better actor or even better not even have an appearance just be a spooky apparition it would have been a lot better to me . Less embarrassing.

    I think if they should have ramped up the horror and had the kids look as if possessed rather than being obnoxious spoiled brats with power and played up the mystery. I kept thinking phasers on stun, phasers on stun to stop the kids then finally it turned to phasers on kill just to get rid of the brats smirking.

    Just to defend the kida a bit I suppose they didn't realise the beam down would happen being just kids. Perhaps transporter guy should have checked something.

    They should just have cut out Uhura's and Sulu's beasts. They were just stupid.

    Was it the Gorgon or the children who caused the parents to commit suicide?
    And then the Gorgon hid it from the kids or made them not care?

    I think the episode had potential but had too many cringy bits
     
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  2. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, you and Methuselah Flint are in a distinct minority, to really like ATCSL. It's always been my 79th favorite.

    But I will say, I like various aspects of "Plato's Stepchildren", as long as I'm watching it in private and don't have to defend it to non-Star Trek fans.
     
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  3. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    I don't think it's campy, but otherwise that's a perfect description of the scene. And WOE is in my top three overall. Amazing dialogue, interesting premise, very good acting, and one of the more interesting endings in all of Star Trek. Starfleet doesn't save everyone. It's highly thought-provoking to say the least.

    What's interesting is that the lack of female roles in DID was almost certainly unintentional, and arose mostly from the combination of only two scenes on the Enterprise plus the governing story idea of the miners on the surface, including women and children who happen to be unseen. The observation is also inaccurate. Not only is there a shot of a redshirt woman on the bridge in the closing scene, but the most important character in the story is female. The Horta. And no one makes any sort of sexist comment about her whatsoever.
     
  4. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lol good point. Does that count as Smurfette Syndrome? Mama Horta had no chance to pass the Bechdel test ;-p
     
  5. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    She totally has agency throughout the episode.
     
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  6. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I find myself frustrated a lot watching this episode as the brats get a lot of time to stand there unhindered pumping their fists making bad things happen and no one thinks to take them out. I realize they don't want to show adults beating up kids on tv, but you can't just let them stand there hurting the crew.
     
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  7. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What Are Little Girls Made Of?

    This is another of those episodes I don’t return to often. Upon revisiting, it’s actually quite good. It feels very “early” Trek. No McCoy at all, Spock is very much in the background and Kirk takes center stage. While most fans prefer production order to air date, I think this one would have worked if programmed VERY early on. Say the second or third episode in the run. It would introduce Chapel before The Naked Time, which would flow better since knowing Korby is long dead (especially the one she knew) would have her lonely heart open to being in love with Spock.

    The penis rock is too noticeable. That really takes me out of the episode.

    Without the usual two to bounce off of, Shatner gets the spotlight. He’s great. The split screen with the two Kirk's is flawless. Also great: Sherry Jackson and Ted Cassidy. They are very effective as Andrea and Ruk, respectively. I love the entire final conversation between Kirk and Ruk. The iconic music by Steiner is also a major plus.

    Working against this episode, and the reason I don’t revisit this one as much, boils down to Majel Barrett and Michael Strong. While this is one of Majel’s strongest performances, she still doesn’t wow me with her personality or style. Her character is always based around her love of some guy, whether it’s Korby or Spock. However, when she finds out he’s alive and she’s leaving to beam down, the moment between Uhura and Chapel is very sweet. Michael Strong is, honestly, just awful in everything. He never convinces me of anything he says. I would have enjoyed someone like Arthur Hill in this.

    Side note: the “original mono” sound mix on the blu-rays is f’n terrible – and all wrong. The engine rumble is too loud when it shouldn’t be there at all and the finale music is pieced together from the opening theme instead of being an edit of The Man Trap.

    Overall, I like this one more than I used to.
     
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  8. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What frustrates me about WaLGMo is that it's Chapel's big story and she's like a sack of spuds. She does almost nothing - no plucky investigation, no scientific method, no active decision making. She does order Ruk to save Kirk at least but that's it. If she'd had a bit more gumption in her big episode it might have given her some more direction in later episodes.

    I love the notion of medical archaeology. Chapel could have used that niche in several episodes per season and it could have given her a more enquiring mind. You often feel that the lights are but no-one's home.

    The episode is quite good as the first robot episode. I think it suffers because the other robot episodes repeat some of the same themes but are not linked to it in any way and the crew make no use of their accumulated knowledge.

    Shatner really hams it up at times and I like the crack about Kirk's sense of humour. Kirk's use of humour is a well defined trait even at this early stage.
     
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  9. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I think they wanted to show that Kirk was that good he didn't have to resort to attacking children but because the children were so obnoxious we didn't care if he did. We actually wanted him to. Perhaps they should have had the children show some compassion, worry about their parents or something. Or possessed. They just seemed to be spoiled brats to me revelling in their new-found power like CharlieX. Its the production direction or script that went wrong here for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  10. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've never heard of anyone hating Cecil Natapoff before! It should be added to the Olympics as an official event if they ever return!!! :lol:
    JB
     
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you. I struggle to understand camp, so I'll admit that perhaps I did not use it correctly.

    It struck me that there were quite a few things going on in that scene that were over the top, including Deela's costume itself, so that's the term I went with.
     
  12. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    .
    You also have to wonder why after generations of doing this how much of the Scalosians are still Scalosans. What genetic identity is worth saving?
    There's so many questions. Say they're unfreezing 3 guys at a time and saying there's 300 men aboard the Enterprise then there's a 100 generations of Earth mixed up with the Scalosian genes so what's the point.
    How do the Scalosians get enough food or are the plants accelerated too? The Scalosians don't seem to be farmer types. What do they do with the captive men after they've used their um donations ? Dispose of them? What do they do with the captive women? Are they just a bunch of murderers?
    So the Scalosians are probably in some way worse than the Platonians.

    While the physics is dodgy, the speeds are inconsistent and motivations are suspect overall I agree that this is a fun episode despite all this
     
  13. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have been noted as someone who tends to defend the less regarded episodes of the franchise. TNG's "Masks", DS9's "MOVE ALONG HOME", others.

    For TOS, I think I can do the same. So here goes...

    "BREAD AND CIRCUSES" - I've never understood why people don't like this one. Love the concept of a planet where Rome never fell. The scene in the cell with Spock and McCoy by themselves alone makes the episode worth it. And we see Scotty make a great command decision in how he got the planet's power shut off, giving Kirk and the others the chance they needed. Scotty was a good leader when he got the center seat, and this episode was proof of it.


    "AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD" - It's actually a great idea. An entity is using children as his new army and giving them the ability to make people's perceptions altered. And having to take on suicide as a subject, particularly in that era of tv, is a bold choice. I do rank it at the bottom of the series, but it's really because of a couple of factors.

    1. Who they cast as Gorgon.

    2. The children, particularly their hand motions when using their power... it is unintentionally funny, not menacing.


    "PLATO'S STEPCHILDREN" - I liked Alexander. And it was great watching Kirk and Spock do their damnedest to defy Parmen. And watching Spock controlling his anger... that was actually well done, and the crew should be very grateful he is not a violent man. It's still a klunker and ranks near the bottom for me, but it does have redeeming scenes.


    Are there any other episodes that are considered by many to be terrible?
     
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  14. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    Assignment Earth: Don't really like this episode.
    I guess its our heroes looking like fools most of the time. And maybe Spock's old man hats.
    I do like Kirks jump in the transporter room to phaser Seven. Shatner's just so energetic.
    Its good a few good things. The NASA shots. The cat. The groovy women outfits.
    Wow police come within a minute of calling them in the US. I'm impressed
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
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  15. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    No, no, it wasn't that - I think you did use it correctly! I just absolutely love that episode; that's why I disagreed. There's hardly a thing about it I would change (maybe the Scalosians' costumes - the shower curtain material for the men is particularly unfortunate). When I was a kid I'm reasonably sure I was first drawn to it because of Deela. But in one of life's pleasant surprises, as I grew up I found that not only was I right about Deela (for me, Star Trek's most nuanced woman antagonist and guest star, and Kathie Browne had remarkable chemistry with Shatner), but the Scalosians' plight is fascinating and dark. About 80-85% of the lines are classics. And this is, by far, the most realistic takeover of the Enterprise, with interesting and appropriate security and military responses and tactics by the Scalosians and Kirk. Then there are the little things, like Spock bringing Kirk a phaser and communicator, and later, in the same corridor (in-universe), that wordless smile when Kirk sees Spock and realizes he figured it out and came to rescue him and save the ship. To top it all off: what is pretty close to the darkest ending in the entire series, with a bit of poignancy.
     
  16. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I also like when Spock shows up, Kirk knows Spock so well that he just assumes that he has a plan to get back to normal, which is the case. :techman:
     
  17. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Right!! Good call, very good call. And when Deela points out that Kirk & Spock are trapped too, after Kirk defeats them, Kirk looks at Spock and Nimoy gives a little wordless look down with his eyes, silently communicating, "Yup - covered." It's another great moment, relying on the actors to pull it off without dialogue. Which they do. On top of everything else the ep has top-notch direction.
     
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  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, that was a lovely moment.
     
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  19. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Bread And Circuses is an episode that quite a few people dislike due to the overuse of the parallel earth syndrome! But speaking for myself I've always loved it, with it's hostile Roman style planet, lost merchant ship and crew and the television arena entertainment and finally of course the great second season fight music!!!! :D
    JB
     
  20. Methuselah Flint

    Methuselah Flint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, if you take each of the season two parallel Earth stories individually, rather than clumping them together, they each have merit. It's when you look at the season and group them under the same umbrella that they tend to get pushed to the back and not given as much attention as they should.
     
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