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HTF REVIEW: Star Trek: The Complete Third Season (Recommended)

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#41 of 64 Scott Kimball

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Posted December 19 2004 - 12:36 PM

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Mine, too. It's these types of stories that I pine for when I read or hear modern "fans" of shows bearing the Star Trek "brand" calling for more Klingon or Vulcan stories or raving about the pretender sci-fi programs (like [cough!] Firefly [cough! cough!])

But, there is the possibility that one could be a fan of both.

I love Star Trek, despite the fact that it too rarely depicts hard SF. As for Klingon and Vulcan stories - I accept them when they explore the anthropological issues - but I abhor them when they are just a modern day Commies vs Yanks setup. In any case, the shows that really capture my imagination are ones like "Devil in the Dark" and "Wink of an Eye" and "City on the Edge of Forever" - which is, perhaps, the only time that Star Trek truly succeeded with a time travel story.

I love Firefly, but I don't even try to equate it with SF. It's a comedy frontiersman show, which is only set in space because the west is no longer the frontier. It has great entertainment value - but more for the characters and comedy than for any relation to science fiction - as there really is none to be found on the show.

#42 of 64 Eric Paddon

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Posted December 19 2004 - 12:56 PM

"Actually that's a prime example of imaginative producing. Stretching the budget in every way you can."

It's not imaginative from the standpoint of series creativity, though I concede the point it is from a budgeting standpoint. But an episode like "A Piece Of The Action" is ultimately no different than an episode of "Lost In Space" dealing with a silly theme just to utilize props in the Fox department, but the difference is that when one show is aspiring to be so high and mighty above the other, I think someone creatively should have drawn a line and said, "I'm not going to make a silly story like this." "Trouble With Tribbles" is a better comedy because it springs up from the political intrigues of the futuristic society it takes place in, but "A Piece Of The Action" falls strictly into the unimaginative category of being a funny gimmick.

#43 of 64 Joseph Bolus

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Posted December 19 2004 - 10:37 PM

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I love Firefly, but I don't even try to equate it with SF. It's a comedy frontiersman show, which is only set in space because the west is no longer the frontier. It has great entertainment value - but more for the characters and comedy than for any relation to science fiction - as there really is none to be found on the show.


While I mostly agree with this description of Firefly, the bottom line is that you have to call a show "Sci-Fi" when one of the main characters is obviously a mutant of some kind. This was really displayed in "Objects in Space", the last episode of the abortive series, which I consider to be a fine example of what good episodic sci-fi TV can and should aspire to. (Of course, then it was cancelled!)

In any event, I'm continuing to really enjoy these Star Trek: TOS season boxes. My only complaint is that I would have liked to have had at least six of the Okuda text commentaries per season. (Mebbe' in two years for the first HD-DVD set? Ah: Just imagine: The entire three years packed into one 5 disc box!!)
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#44 of 64 paul_austin

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Posted December 20 2004 - 12:43 AM

Yeah more Okuda pop up commentaries would have been welcome
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#45 of 64 Dave Scarpa

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Posted December 20 2004 - 12:47 AM

Hey I understand that there was motives behind stories Like Piece of the Action, but what makes those episodes classics is the writing a performances by the actors. I can't tell you the amount of times friends will quote the fizzbin game "Except at night on tuesday" or other memorable lines. I don't think the comedy in APOTA is forced at all but extends from the characters.

If there is one thing I did'nt like about season 3 is the Characters did things that were Anti-their characters. Kirk willing to give up his ship and crew to fight for the love of Android Rena i n "Requiem for Methusalah" when it was shown in season 1&2 that the Enterprise was the woman in his life. Spock in "Cloud Minders" talking with that little Hussie Druxilla about his mating cycle when a year prior Kirk could'nt even Pry it out of him. It's like they took established character traits and threw them out the window.
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#46 of 64 paul_austin

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Posted December 20 2004 - 02:22 AM

I dont want to look like I'm just bashing the third season because I really do love all three seasons and grew up on them when there was no other trek...so i know them inside and out. I dont want to nitpick but there are times watching the third season i cant help but wonder what the hell was the deal with Shatners toupee'? Seasons one and two toupee's looked amazing...nearly invisible but season three at times seems greasy and didnt look very well blended into his own hair. Dont misunderstand me I'm not a TOS basher...TOS is the only trek series that I have bought on dvd (due to the expense).
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#47 of 64 Jerry R Colvin

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Posted December 20 2004 - 02:28 AM

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I am noticing more now how James Doohan as Scotty more then ever as a temporary character and used when needed.


This is also my first time in 30+ years that I'm noticing that Scotty hides his right hand in nearly every episode. That is because James Doohan lost his middle finger on that hand during combat in WWII. (You can see the hand, though in "Catspaw" and a very fast upclose shot in "Wolf in the Fold" verifying that the finger is gone... maybe others, but I'm only halfway through Season 2).

"Plato's Stepchildren"... ugh... during the past 20 years, sometimes I'd go a year or two without seeing the original Star Trek. But it seems like every single time I did happen to catch an original episode, it was always "Plato's Stepchildren"! Gets my vote for the most over-broadcast episode of the entire series... don't know if that's actually true, but that's been my experience.

#48 of 64 Kevin L McCorry

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Posted December 20 2004 - 03:08 AM

I have no objection to a romantic storyline as long as it's handled tastefully and emerges naturally from the storyline presented. In "All Our Yesterdays", Spock sympathizes with Zarabeth's plight, her being all alone in a frozen wasteland, and from that sympathy and also from Spock's regression through time, a romantic spark is ignited between himself and Zarabeth. I find this a far more believable relationship for Spock than I do his spores-induced, happy romp with Leila in "This Side of Paradise". In both, something happens to Spock to facilitate expression and full embracing of his emotions, but in this case it's handled more eloquently as a consequence of both going back in time and meeting a veritable kindred spirit. When Zarabeth asks Spock if he knows what it's like to feel alone, really alone, Spock answers that he knows what it's like.

Scotty's relationship with Mira in "The Lights of Zetar" is more platonic kind of love, it seems to me, than a physical one. In any case, I don't find it problematic. Rather, I think it essential to the story that Mira have a connection with an experienced member of the Enterprise crew during her ordeal. For her to have no attachment at all with an established space traveller would make what she's going through almost unbearable when one endeavors to relate to it.

As for Spock's interest in the aristocratic Droxine in "The Cloud Minders", it always seemed appropriate somehow. She could well remind Spock of Vulcan women in manner and appearance (ear formation excluded, of course). And Spock's attraction to her is really quite guarded. More an intellectual admiration of her beauty of body and mind. With Pon Farr being some time away, Spock may be only able to admire women with no sexual connection.

As for Kirk, I believe it's actually in a Season 3 episode, "Elaan of Troyius", where it's said that the Enterprise is his lady. But he's not above routinely bedding the latest dish, is he? And this impulse transcends seasonal barriers. Kirk can be rather impulsive when he meets a pretty girl. I've never really seen his reaction to meeting Rayna in "Requiem For Methuselah" as being much different, at the outset, at least.

"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is not of the same ilk as the replication of Earth on alien planets for preachy purposes in Season 2. It presents us on the Enterprise with aliens of a fantastic kind of different appearance in skin color. Aliens whose powers and knowledge are far from primitive. They have telekenisis. There's a science fiction element right there. The episode goes beyond the portrayal of primitives on an Earth-like planet and shows us what race hatred could eventually lead to in a futuristic setting: a world ravaged by fire. Yes, it is a parable, but far more interesting as a sci-fi prospect. And it remains a timeless message for as long as dislike of the unlike persists.

Mind you, I balk at the portrayal of the shuttlecraft coming aboard the Enterprise at start of the episode. Why would a shuttlecraft stolen from a Starbase have Enterprise markings on it?

#49 of 64 paul_austin

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Posted December 20 2004 - 03:40 AM

Well Kirk does regurlary bed his latest dishes however the love presented in "Requiem For Methuselah" is much more desperate, especially for him. And I have always bought Spock falling for Leila in "This Side of Paradise" because there was a history with her. While its ok for Spock to fall for Zarabeth in "All Our Yesterdays" out of sympathy...I have never believed it was from time travel...thats just a convieniant stretch, a Vulcan from the 23rd century IS a Vulcan from the 23rd century nomatter if time travel is involved or not, it just doesnt ring true especially if you look at all the other times they have travelled back in time. It's a fine episode none the less.
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#50 of 64 Tony Whalen

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Posted December 20 2004 - 03:41 AM

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This episode really creeped me out when I first saw it.

I had the same reaction when I saw "Lights of Zetar" as a kid. Creeped the hell out of me. Posted Image

Some great discussion here guys. Really enjoying reading it all! Posted Image

I had no idea that "Patterns of Force" was so disliked. I'm almost hesitant to admit it, but I've always enjoyed that episode. Posted Image

Quote:
This is also my first time in 30+ years that I'm noticing that Scotty hides his right hand in nearly every episode.

Jerry, as far as I know, there is only one other place where you can see James Doohan's missing finger. "Trouble With Tribbles", when he enters the Rec Room with an armload of the little furry buggers and says something about them being in the airvents. It's pretty much the most obvious shot to my knowledge...although I didn't notice for YEARS either. Posted Image

#51 of 64 Tony Whalen

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Posted December 20 2004 - 03:44 AM

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While its ok for Spock to fall for Zarabeth in "All Our Yesterdays" out of sympathy...I have never believed it was from time travel...thats just a convieniant stretch, a Vulcan from the 23rd century IS a Vulcan from the 23rd century nomatter if time travel is involved or not, it just doesnt ring true especially if you look at all the other times they have travelled back in time. It's a fine episode none the less.

Paul, while naturally it was a convienient stretch, I believe they DID try to address that in the episode. (It's been years since I've seen it, so I'm going on memory here.)

Didn't they establish that the "Atavachron" somehow altered the beings that passed through it, and that was the "cause" of Spock going all emotional? Granted, it was a cheap way to explain the change, but they did attempt to address it. Posted Image

#52 of 64 Scott Kimball

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Posted December 20 2004 - 04:05 AM

From what I have heard, Spock's emotions in "All Our Yesterdays" originally had no explanation. Nimoy complained to Fred Frieberger and Gene Roddenberry that there were some "illogical" things happening to his character - that were out of character - and some explanation was written into the episode.

I think I read that in Shatner's "Star Trek Memories".

-Scott

#53 of 64 paul_austin

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Posted December 20 2004 - 05:14 AM

I havent gotten that far in the set but I'm sure theres some line about the atavachron changing them...but still. And btw I had resisted buying the individual dvd's because I dont think the wife had quite forgiven me for purchasing the entire run on laserdisk, plus they were so pricey. I thought the first and second seasons looked incredibly fresh but from what I've seen of season three so far its just amazingly crystal clear.
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#54 of 64 Eric Paddon

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Posted December 20 2004 - 09:12 AM

Actually it wasn't the Atavachron because Spock was not "prepared" through it to make his life natural in the past like Zarabeth was. The explanation was that Spock was reverting to the emotional, barbaric behavior of Vulcans of 5000 years ago ("What's happening on your planet right now at this very moment?" McCoy asks him) suggesting that Spock's ability to bond with fellow Vulcans over great distances (witness his ability to "feel" the deaths of those from far away in "Immunity Syndrome" in Season 2) is more complex than we realized.

But even with the emotionalism brought out by being in the past, I tend to think that Spock also felt attraction to Zarabeth on the intellectual level as well that a "normal" Vulcan could appreciate given her resourcefulness in being able to survive. So ultimately, there is a lot more plausibility on a lot of levels IMO for the Spock-Zarabeth romance than there is for Kirk's overly emotional falling for Rayna in "Requiem For Methuselah".

#55 of 64 Eric Paddon

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Posted December 20 2004 - 09:17 AM

"I had no idea that "Patterns of Force" was so disliked. I'm almost hesitant to admit it, but I've always enjoyed that episode."

My problem with "Patterns Of Force", much like "A Piece Of The Action" stems from the fact that it carries the whole duplication of Earth culture thing way too far IMO. "The Omega Glory" is consistently bashed for having its own American flag, Constitution etc. but I actually found this much less intrusive than the too perfect recreation of a Nazi society brought about by one dumb historian who should have known better. McCoy's ability to get a Nazi uniform made for him on short notice also was too much of a stretch.

The best "Patterns Of Force" moment for me is on the Trek blooper reel that circulates when Kirk and Spock in Nazi uniforms are signaling the Enterprise and a deep male voice from off-screen says, "Enterprise, Lieutenant Uhura here." Nimoy closes the communicator and then he and Shatner double over in laughter.

#56 of 64 Rex Bachmann

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Posted December 20 2004 - 10:14 AM

Kevin L McCorry wrote (post #48):

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"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is not of the same ilk as the replication of Earth on alien planets for preachy purposes in Season 2. . . . And it remains a timeless message for as long as dislike of the unlike persists.

And "beware lest your 'help' make matters worse for your neighbors" doesn’t ("A Private Little War", "Friday's Child")? One message is just as "timeless" as the other, as far as I can see. Nevertheless, they are still presented in all too obvious and heavy-handed a form. And that's the real strike against them on dramatic grounds.

"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#57 of 64 Nelson Au

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Posted December 20 2004 - 01:05 PM

Eric- Don't forget the set-up line in that Patterns of Force blooper. Spock warns the Captain that the communicator is not 100% operational, which results in Uhura to answer in the male voice. :b

#58 of 64 Jay Pennington

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Posted December 20 2004 - 05:03 PM

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The best "Patterns Of Force" moment for me is on the Trek blooper reel that circulates when Kirk and Spock in Nazi uniforms are signaling the Enterprise and a deep male voice from off-screen says, "Enterprise, Lieutenant Uhura here." Nimoy closes the communicator and then he and Shatner double over in laughter.


I found it funny for that reason as well the first time I saw it as a kid, but as I became more aware of film/TV production I realized that it was quite common for someone on the set, regardless of gender, to read the lines of characters offscreen (there would be no reason to call Nichelle to the set that day for a couple of offscreen lines).

What cracked them up was that Nimoy accidentally "hung up" on Uhura. Posted Image
-Jay

#59 of 64 Tony Whalen

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Posted December 21 2004 - 02:47 AM

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McCoy's ability to get a Nazi uniform made for him on short notice also was too much of a stretch.

See, now that never even occured to me. I just assuming "clothing synthesizer". They punch in what they want, and voila. Posted Image

Quote:
Actually it wasn't the Atavachron because Spock was not "prepared" through it to make his life natural in the past like Zarabeth was. The explanation was that Spock was reverting to the emotional, barbaric behavior of Vulcans of 5000 years ago

RIGHT! I'd forgotten. So it was somehow Spock's "connection" with his people that caused his emotions to come bubbling up. Pretty thin explanation, I must admit.

You know the terribly geeky thing? I think I may have gotten "All Our Yesterdays" confused with the novel/sequel to it, "Yesterday's Son". Posted Image

#60 of 64 Eric Paddon

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Posted December 21 2004 - 03:25 AM

"See, now that never even occured to me. I just assuming "clothing synthesizer". They punch in what they want, and voila."

Except it never occurred to Kirk and Sulu to get US Air Force uniforms done up for them for their stealth mission in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday". Posted Image

The explanation for Spock might be thin, but I think it at least builds off things we've seen established before. Watching "Requiem For Methuselah" and seeing Kirk lose his whole sense of perspective was another thing entirely.


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