The Savage Curtain - Like it, love it or hate it?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by BlueStuff, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. BlueStuff

    BlueStuff Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I found this episode to be fun, if clearly flawed, and not bad for season 3. However I've seen it on a lot of "Worst Trek Episodes Ever" lists. What's your stance on this episode?
     
  2. johnnybear

    johnnybear Commodore Commodore

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    Savage Curtain is a good episode! It's the Arena category of episodes even if this time it's the monster who is arranging the contest rather than the unseen/Angelic alien! We get to meet both Surak and Kahless, the Unforgettable, who were like the figureheads and instigators of both Vulcan and Klingon cultures! Have we ever seen Surak since? I know we've seen Kahless the clone but...? Abraham Lincoln turns up as he is Kirk's idea of a hero and it is he that persuades Kirk and Spock to visit Excalbia, the mysterious planet hostile to carbon based life forms, until an island opens up on the surface....
    JB
     
  3. Desert Kris

    Desert Kris Commander Red Shirt

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    I like it. It does some clever, casual world building that has inspired later ST writers. Particularly introducing Surak and Kahless. They may not be accurate interpretations of those historical figures, but it opens up the thought process on the history of their respective cultures. And there's still one that we haven't learned more about in any novel or comics that I'm aware of: Zora. So even after all this time, there's still untapped inspiration to draw on.

    The Excalbians are interesting, with their great power yet alarming naivete. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I remember liking the design of the rock-creature that interacts with the landing party. The flashing light in-time with it's speaking pattern maybe doesn't make sense, but I like the visual.

    The episode has an interesting idea in terms of exploring which is going to be a more effective set of guiding principles to live by, good or evil. The episode doesn't delve into a more nuanced examination of it, but it makes the episode more interesting to reason that the Excalbians really are lost in terms of conceptualizing this dichotomy, they can't design an experiment very effectively, and (to my mind) they end up coming to a conclusion that is simplistic and wrong.

    There's a lot of fun cat-and-mouse kind of stuff; so the episode doesn't stick with just fighting all the time. The deaths of the participants on Kirk and Spock's side I remember being effective, and a little disheartening.

    I think it's a pretty decent episode. It's not a great one, but there really isn't anything wrong with an average episode that still manages to entertain.
     
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  4. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    In my head canon Excalibans are the Sheliack from TNGs Ensigns of Command
     
  5. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    It's an semi-interesting story of Good versus Evil, but that's the only good thing I can say about this Trek episode.
     
  6. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    The final run of episodes in S3 is far from TOS's best, but this story is among the better ones of those - it's such a fun romp!
     
  7. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like it but would have loved more time spent on the personalities of the characters on the planet, possibly even a wider cast with more varied tactics.
     
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  8. Herbert

    Herbert Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always liked it. It's a bit silly but as Mytran says above, it's a fun romp.
     
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  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Mediocre outing with some interesting bits sprinkled in. Like much of the original Star Trek.
     
  10. Vger23

    Vger23 Commodore Commodore

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    I always liked this one. Action/adventure, dodgy sci-if, aliens testing the crew,stuntmen fighting, "Help meeeeeee Spooooock!" What is not to like?

    I could give a shit what the prevailing critical opinions or majority fan feelings are. Strangely, I find myself mis-aligned with those measures about 80% of the time. In fact, I love MOST of the S3 episodes.
     
  11. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    It added Surak and Kahless to the Star Trek mythos.

    Other than that, it's not an episode I particularly enjoy revisiting very often.

    Kor
     
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  12. alensatemybuick1

    alensatemybuick1 Captain Captain

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    It's fine.
     
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  13. Draculasaurus

    Draculasaurus Commander Red Shirt

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    Fun but flawed. Indispensable Trek though.
     
  14. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    One of the few things I like about this episode is Kirk's closing line to Yarnek, "We came in peace."
     
  15. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Commodore

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    ^ Good thing he never said that to a Klingon, it seems to piss them off.
     
  16. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mediocre episode. Like it as stated in another thread to see Abe Lincoln kicking ass and taking names. I have a feeling that part of the fight was not really choreographed and that the actor playing Lincoln simply got carried away.
     
  17. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I thought the episode was good.
    I wish the 'bad guys' and 'good guys' had more depth. I suppose there wasn't enough time.
    Th bad guys didn't appear bad enough IMO, but maybe thats because they weren't.
    I thought the initial scene with Lincoln was quite cringe worthy. It was dramatic but embarrassing
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

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    Surak plays a major part in the Vulcan arc on Enterprise.
     
  19. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    I thought Lee Bergere was great as an idealized Lincoln. I always associated Lincoln with his portrayal and I guess I still do. In retrospect I also see a bit of Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart Night at the Museum 2 in this episode as far as the virtual characters being semi-aware of their own artificiality and yet still behaving as if they were actually plucked from history. I found that fascinating to ponder. Are they robots, illusions, or other Excalabians in disguise? I'm glad we never found out as it leaves you guessing.

    I also think more than almost any other Trek episode this is the sort of plot that appeals to kids. I remember it being a favorite of mine when I was a kid. I guess it's because the walking simulacrums or whatever they are kind of feel like a bunch of historic action figures. It's basically "playtime" with famous good guys vs. famous bad guys with Yarnek just watching the show. Similar to Arena, but more entertaining by having two groups instead of just Kirk vs. the Gorn. As an adult, it has a certain campy naivete to it that I find utterly charming.

    It asks us to examine the importance of our role-models, and by extension, what they believed in, which I think is a positive thing to do.
     
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  20. johnnybear

    johnnybear Commodore Commodore

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    I remember the storyline but can't recall Surak in the episodes! Spock refers to Surak as though he lived two thousand years before, during the Romulan/Vulcan split I would guess and not just a century earlier!
    JB