Watching Star Trek for the first time (again)

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Neopeius, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    That's an odd definition of main characters, particularly when comparing to the regular casts of other shows. In a series context, Vina and the Keeper would have been guest characters; while the others were meant to be series regulars. And not counting Spock as an alien is downright bizarre and confusing.
     
  2. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    I'm taking "The Cage" as a self-contained entity, a short feature film, if you will. Again, the point is that this hour-long SF production from 1964 had tremendously progressive representation of women.
     
  3. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    But you were comparing to the regular casts of other TV shows. If you're treating "The Cage" as a film, that's apples to oranges.

    Also, the progressiveness of three women who shared scenes in the context of serving as potential baby machines is...debatable.
     
  4. The Haunted Toilet

    The Haunted Toilet scotpens Premium Member

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    I guess your daughter hasn't seen King of Kings, or she would have exclaimed "It's Jesus!"

    I don't think it was really Vina's idea. The Talosians were calling the shots and creating the illusions. Yes, Vina says "A person's strongest dreams are about what he can't do," etc., but I'm sure the Talosians were writing the script.
     
  5. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    That was certainly my thought!

    I got the impression she was making the cues for that one.
     
  6. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    K. It's good for movies of the time, too.

    Well, we're certainly debating it. :)
     
  7. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    Today was WNMHGB. Have to say that this was not nearly as impressive an episode (and it felt more like a TV show episode) than "The Cage". Much more like "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" -- indeed, it could have been adapted for that show. The pacing was both too fast and too slow (missing critical emotional beats but also dragging elsewhere). Shatner displays more range than Hunter, but shows little grasp for the character (the script is not his friend this show). I feel like someone like Robert Lansing would have been the best of both worlds, conveying the jaded weariness of Pike but having greater ability than Hunter.

    Nimoy comes off as the wise Indian sidekick. More likeable and interesting than he was in "The Cage" but stuck within rather cliched lines.

    Women fare much worse in this episode, though at least Dehner saves the day in the end.

    Everything looks just a bit cheaper even if the sets are the same or similar.

    Had I not seen "The Cage" I'd be quite tepid in my anticipation for the regular season. Indeed, at this point, I'd have to wonder if the crew will change dramatically every episode!
     
  8. T'Boo

    T'Boo Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Agreed. This makes sense. If the pre-watch is done, the thread can be closed.
     
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  9. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    To nitpick: If you're channeling the Tricon experience, WNMHG was shown first--showing it was the scheduled event. Roddenberry arranged for an unscheduled showing of his black & white work print of "The Cage" the next day, after the enthusiastic audience response to WNMHGB.

    Well, the prime directive of the pilots was to get the show on the air.

    "Little grasp for the character"? He made the character! The show found its dynamic, man-of-action lead, and the Shat finally found the perfect foam scenery to chew!

    I liked Lansing on 12OCH, but Trek would have sunk like a stone with him as the lead.

    That pesky ol' prime directive again.

    You shouldn't have seen "The Cage" yet...and Gene would have explained the casting differences.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  10. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    I see.


    I'm disappointed with this decision. I had made it clear that I had planned to keep the thread going through Trek and beyond. If the issue be the name, that could be changed. The thread has been popular. Please reconsider.
     
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  11. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I found this out afterward. Ah well. I was going off fanzines and personal recollections. This explains why Asimov wasn't that impressed with what he saw, though (the second pilot).

    That's obvious in hindsight. In context, he's new to the part and hasn't found his legs. This isn't just my opinion -- the dozen or so folks who watched yesterday felt that way, too.

    We'll never know. For us, 12OCH sunk like a stone when Burke took the reins.

    That's true.
     
  12. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Allan Asherman gave a first-hand account of the sequence of events at the convention in the introduction to his Star Trek Compendium.

    IMO, he rolled right into the role and took ownership, distinguishing himself immediately from Hunter's Pike.

    I won't disagree that in general the show went (gradually) downhill, which I think was in the writing in an attempt to make it less of a drama and more of an action/adventure show. But I was reminded of something since the last time Lansing vs. Burke came up. One of these actors had received two Emmy nominations for his lead role in a previous series...and it wasn't Robert Lansing.
     
  13. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you.

    In the end, all we have are our opinions. :)

    Bully for Paul Burke. :) I'm still on Team Lansing.
     
  14. The Return of Zombie Cheerleader

    The Return of Zombie Cheerleader Moar Nu Trek Pleeze Premium Member

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    Both the writers and the actor were trying to "find" Kirk at that point. TV is a collaborative medium. Nimoy and the writers, hadn't found Spock at that point either. The characters develop through a back and forth from all involved. Had Hunter remained, the Captain character would have developed differently and moved beyond what was seen in The Cage. Though I'm pretty sure "jaded weariness" was never going to be a permanent thing.

    Fun fact. Lansing and Hunter were both married to Emily McLaughlin.
     
  15. Mr. Spook

    Mr. Spook Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Honestly, I think Shatner was the only one to nail his character from the first moment. Kirk is energetic, warm, light but then commanding, concerned for his crew and then desperate and finally physically adept. He IS Jim Kirk from the first. Spock, Scotty and Sulu could be almost anyone (although Scotty is pretty close to the man we'll know).
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    I don't see why this thread was made at all instead of just asking for the (now locked) "Galactic Journey" thread to have been retitled to be this subject and discuss the episodes as if it were 55 years ago and they were being watched for the first time. :shrug:
     
  17. 1001001

    1001001 Pull Up a Groove and Get Fabulous! Moderator

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    Since the OP has apparently decided to find his bliss elsewhere, let’s drop it, shall we?
     
  18. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Hear, hear. And if the final captain had been Hunter, Lansing, or somebody else less dynamic than Shatner, we likely wouldn't have gotten Spock as we know him. Nimoy shaped Spock's personality to best contrast with Shatner.
     
  19. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    I have been a moderator on other boards, I know how hard and thankless it is, but . . . wow, I'm not really sure why Neopeius drew so much attention there. His idea seemed fun to me. I must have missed something (happens frequently). :)
     
  20. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you to the moderators for uniting these threads. Due to various issues, I have been unable to post for the past two weeks. I am back, however. :)

    We had quite a number of people over for "The Man Trap" on 9-8 and then "Charlie X" on 9-15. For many folks, it was their first time; it was great getting their fresh reactions. For the rest of us, it was all about forgetting 55 years of Trek fandom and approaching things fresh.

    This wasn't as hard as you might expect. Particularly for Lorelei and me, who have been watching period television as it comes out since 1959 (2014).

    [​IMG]

    It did strike me how much I enjoyed "The Man Trap" and "Charlie X" more than when I watched them a decade ago. Back then, I think I rated them the equivalent of 2 stars, but this time around, on a 5 star scale, the former got 4 and the latter 3. Part of that may be the inclusion of commercial breaks. Trek was written with a certain rhythm in mind, and it gets disrupted when the mini-cliffhangers at the end of each Act are immediately resolved.

    We noticed a similar phenomenon when watching Blazing Saddles in the theater after Gene Wilder died. There was a full crowd that night, and for the first time, we noticed that there were pauses in the movie after laugh lines to allow time for audience reaction. It made the movie all the funnier.

    (I also sang along with Frankie Laine at the opening -- I'm a professional singer, and it was appreciated. :) )

    [​IMG]

    Part of it may simply have been that, whatever the flaws those episodes have (and there are many), they are still head and shoulders over what was being done on TV at the time -- not just entertaining at the time but making one think long after the episode is over. Watching it once per week also gives each episode time to marinate. The lore gets built, one throwaway line at a time, until it becomes an edifice. Right now, the Enterprise, its crew, its universe are largely blank slates. I am really looking forward to reading the first fanzine in my collection (January 1967) in the context of what was known at the time.

    I complained after watching the second pilot (which airs as an episode next week) that I felt Shatner, in particular, and Nimoy, to a degree, really hadn't found their roles yet. By "The Man Trap" and "Charlie X", Shatner has really gotten into the role, playing it with nuance and effectiveness. Nimoy, too, is fun to watch, if a bit arch with his dramatic sighs in the crew lounge. Kelley nails his role from the outset, as might be expected of a professional actor. Way better than "Mark" from the second pilot, and as good as Boyce from the first.

    The show is featuring strong, professional women front and center, both with Nichols and Whitney. Again, an improvement on the second pilot, and welcome departures from the norm for 1966 and earlier TV.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I will probably be shifting my focus in this thread to 1) behind the scenes thoughts as we go through Trek and 2) spotting actors after they appear in Trek, but in other contemporary shows. My first will be this weekend.

    (If you're interested in our coverage of "The Man Trap", you can find it here.)

    Thanks for staying tuned!