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Scott Atwell Star Trek Discussion thread (Series and Films)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ockeghem, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Oh please don't misunderstand, I wasn't throwing Freiberger under the bus. I generally defend him because anyone coming into the series under those circumstances would produce a different series. I was just saying that there were only two guys left on staff and neither of them were there from the start and so had a different view of the series and a different relationship with the network. Gene Roddenberry was gone by this time and even Bob Justman was out the door. Not even Stan Robertson, the NBC story guy, was doing it anymore. So considering the slashing in budget and schedule, Fred Freiberger did the best he could. Some of my favorite episodes are from the third season and I particularly like the truly "alien" aliens, the overall spooky tone and the dead sersiouness of the stories, Also, get this, no more parallel Earth planets. No Space Gangsters, no Space Nazi's, No Space Romans, no Space American Flags. As much as any of those episodes could be good individually, the general sameness of the Coon era sometimes gets forgotten in the effort to bash the Space Hippies. Was Miri's "Bonk Bonk" really any better?
     
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  2. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Screenwriter

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    Very serious tone at times. Two episode deal with torture. In the physical form for "The Empath" and psychological in "Plato's Stepchildren". Spock is really disturbed by the latter. (The BBC refused to air "The Empath" until the 80's.)

    "Plato's Stepchildren" contains some of the best interaction of Kirk, Spock and McCoy ever on screen IMHO.
    vlcsnap-2019-12-30-08h51m39s421.

    Kirk and McCoy help Spock deal with the emotions brought on by the mental violation he just endured.
    vlcsnap-2019-12-30-08h51m58s506.

    And their concern for each other, and for him bring Alexander to the point of tears.
    vlcsnap-2019-12-30-08h59m03s501.

    Scenes like these are why Star Trek became one of the most important TV shows in my life. And why I enjoy the third season so much.
     
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  3. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    agreed!
     
  4. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    That looks like yet another repackage of that set. Amazon's also selling it at that price. Makes me wish I'd waited as I purchased mine a couple of years ago for ~$60 and still haven't opened it. In all fairness I *did* start with a very low priced S1 to test the waters so know I'll enjoy it again (saw some of it during original airings) once I start.
     
  5. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    I like most of the episodes of year three and would sooner revisit those than some first season episodes. I don't find Charlie X or What Are Little Girls Made Of? to be all that amazing and would rerun The Tholian Web or Day of the Dove more often. Although I do like the early first season more than the latter portion. I felt like there was more energy and experimentation.
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    You guys reminded me of another aspect of the third season that I’ve been thinking about. It does have a more serious tone where the crew is facing a lot of danger and nearly each crew member was beaten up, tortured, and nearly killed or killed.

    And nearly every landing party in the third season was Kirk, Spock and McCoy. More so then in earlier seasons. Which made me wonder if that was how the legend of the big three was cemented.
     
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  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Josh, that was an interesting point of view, that you were not overexposed to the third season.
     
  8. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    There was an old stand up routine I saw on television before Star Trek movies, or Star Trek TNG premiered. The comedian said he had seen each episode of TOS so many times that he had to focus exclusivity on things happening in the background. It ended with “Oh Look! There is a run in Ohura’s stocking”!
     
  9. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Screenwriter

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    Three reasons come to mind why these three went on each mission. The most likely one, for budgetary reasons. Guest stars with speaking roles and extras cost money. Having a science, security or medical specialist standing in the background holding a phaser or tricorder isn't cheap. It's easier to give all that business to Spock and McCoy. Secondly, fans want to see the big three on screen. And lastly, Spock was written as a bit of a jerk when left in command of the ship. Being around Kirk help make him likeable. At least to me.

    I like the episodes were there is a large landing party. I believe "The Apple" had the largest. "That Which Survives" is a rare third season episode with some specialist given a bit of business to do. But it does help cement the relationship of the big three when they share the same danger.

    I will point out an instance from a third season episode that makes no sense what so ever except to advance the plot. In "The Mark Of Gideon", Kirk beams down alone, without a communicator. When did anyone every do that? It works here because if he had one he would use it to call the ship and beam back aboard. Story over.
    How did he plan to signal the ship when he wanted to return? A simple line of dialogue stating the Gideon's didn't allow personal communication devices would have solved that bad bit of writing.
     
  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Just watched The Tholian Web. I noticed something I never paid attention to before, during the memorial service, the chapel set pieces are the same as those used for Balance of Terror. So they obviously saved the set for the altar and podium. And someone in the production crew remembered those sets. It must have been Justman. The other interesting thing is in The Galileo Seven, McCoy told Spock it was his place to say a few word when they buried Gaetano. In this case, Spock tells McCoy his place is in finding the cure to the space madness, but McCoy wasn’t going to miss the service for Kirk. So it was an interesting Symmetry there.

    Also the ending, after all these many times of watching the episode, I still am not quite sure what McCoy is doing. Is he and Spock pretending to not have seen Kirk’s final orders? Did they not want Kirk to think they declared him dead? Trying to spare his feelings? That’s how I’ve always interpreted it.
     
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  11. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Screenwriter

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    Kirk was asking if his taped message help them work together in his absence. I always assumed they were trying to impress upon Kirk the idea that his taped message urging them to get along was unnecessary without admitting they watched it. They idea being that they were working so well together that Kirk never needed to record it to begin with.
    vlcsnap-2020-01-03-18h05m14s081.
     
  12. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    One of the two new animated Short Treks from December is loaded with original crew Easter eggs. I thought it was a delightful romp through the life of Kirk’s Enterprise.
     
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  13. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hi Darin, thanks for your interpretation of the final scene of The Tholian Web. That’s makes sense that McCoy wanted Kirk to think he and Spock could work together while he was gone. It still feels kind of odd how Spock went along with it. But at that point in the series, Spock is shown to be more and more sensitive and shows more affection towards his crewmates and his two good friends, Kirk and McCoy.
     
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  14. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Josh, thanks for the heads up on the new animated Short Trek. I’ve been holding back and I have not watched any of the Short Treks and only the initial trailers for Discovery and Picard. If the dates have not changed, Picard is not going on-line until January 23rd, and I don’t think the date for Discovery is known yet.

    My plan has been to wait until the premiere for Picard is on-line until I watch any of the Short Treks. Is it fair to say the Short Treks out now are made with broader stories, not specifically aimed at Discovery anymore? Part of my reticence is it feels a little mixed up right now. Not to say it’s a mess by any means. What I am partly troubled by is how confusing this can be. If these Short Trek films are just as you’ve said in the past, simply stand alone stories, then I could feel better watching them on that basis. It’s odd for me to say this as I saw the first crop of Short Trek films and I know they were partly tied to the upcoming Discovery season story arc.

    I have not watched the earlier Short Trek with Spock and Number One yet. It looks like a good one and it’s nice to see more Captain Pike era material. So I’m saving that one until the Discovery premiere I think. Though I’m pretty sure you and others will say this is a stand alone story. So yes, my patience in waiting is probably misplaced. :). It sounds like it’s not necessary to wait. I guess it will be more fun to have a big Star Trek binge when the new season premiere time comes.

    The other Short Treks sound like stand alone stories. On the Picard thread, I saw a post about an upcoming Short Trek with a premiere date on January 9th that is described as a prequel to Picard. It’s good to know which series specific Short Trek will be.

    At any rate, I am looking forward to seeing them!
     
  15. Message #14335 of 14479 Jan 5, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
    DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've been intermittently watching Star Trek the past year or so. I'm now in Season 3, having watched this weekend Day of the Dove and For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

    To my surprise, on the whole, I've had a really hard time getting into classic Trek. It's like when I try to re-read Asimov: all the foundational ideas have been incorporated and become old hat, so going back to the original source isn't as interesting.

    Part of it is I'm now accustomed to long-form story telling, character development, and more complex plots in modern scifi. The "density" of classic Trek shows is much lower. For example, with Day of the Dove felt like a setup that gave the audience the complete story, an hour of filler fight scenes waiting for the characters to catch up, then rapid conclusion. These shows would be 20-min episodes today. Or as an hour, they would be much more packed with plot development and character interactions. As is, they feel bloated and slow by current standards.

    I thought And the Children Shall Lead one of the more interesting ones I've seen this season, but it's rated poorly on IMDB. I think the general creepiness of the kids made it start apart from the normal aliens. And dealing with kids processing grief a more interesting conceit than many of the other episodes in S3.

    I've got another 16 episodes to watch the next few months, to check Star Trek off the viewing list.

    I'm unfair comparing nearly 60 year old TV to modern production abilities and budgets. And maybe I'm not in the mood for classic TV right now. I'll eventually revisit again, when I'm more in the frame of mind to focus on classics.


    So I guess: do you have to be in the right frame of mind to watch ST:TOS? Is there anything you do to get oriented into the style and pacing of 1960's TV vs 2010's TV?
     
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  16. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    I find when I try to watch the series I tend to skip episodes. Sometimes my watching is it’s on while I’m doing work too.

    deep space nine on the other hand I’m on season 4 and I wait so that I can watch without distraction.
     
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  17. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I grew up with 1960s TV and generally prefer its pacing over 2010s TV. For some things I enjoy the "long form" story method but in general I'd much rather have single episode stories. The long form, to me, often feels much slower than 60s TV sometimes taking several episodes to "get to the point."
     
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  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Dave, interesting post. Like Howie, I grew up on 196-‘s TV when these shows were aired daily in the syndication, so in my youth, I watched all the shows, from sitcoms to dramas and my favorite Star Trek. I’ve also been on board with the newer long form TV shows as you call it. Like Howie said, to me sometimes the long-form feels padded as we wait to get to the penultimate episode. That said, I really enjoyed Mad Men and Battlestar Galactica. Though those shows could drag out a bit here and there. I’m having trouble with Westworld’s second season. I don’t watch those shows as I never subscribed with the services, so I watch on blu ray. I’ll eventually finish th second season of Westworld.

    I don’t know how to answer your question Dave about getting in the mood. It’s about knowing what to expected in these single story episodes that has a beginning middle and end. The original Twilight Zone had great short stories each week. They were all morality plays and Star Trek similarly tried to tell a morality tale each week by using allegory. I still think it’s great stuff when the episodes are the strong ones. Maybe the key is to think of them as Short Stories.

    I’m OK with the new CBS All Access Star Trek Discovery and that is a totally different thing. It is long form. They’ve managed to keep it tighter with an overall season story arc. But in looking back at the second season, it feels like a lost opportunity to tell more stories. Maybe the third year of Discovery can expand more. Not sure how Picard will work, but probably the same long form.
     
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  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That's a real part of it for me: this is "dinner" viewing, so I'm eating and catching up on news and email while watching. And if an episode doesn't grab my attention, I'll start tuning it out to pay more attention to forums, etc.
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I watched the complete Twilight Zoner series a few years ago (TiVo'd the annual marathon, and then watched it the following year). It was a similar experience insofar as: all the greatest stories have been redone and fully incorporated into modern genre fiction subsequently, and so they suffer in comparison. But in contrast, I found the handful of superbly timeless episodes of Twilight Zone are far greater than the best classic Trek, for me, presently.

    That's a good observation. I just finished The Expanse S4 (currently the best sci-fi show I've seen on TV in a few years, since perhaps S1 of The 100 or the short-lived Defiance.). And I noted to my wife that 20 years ago, that entire season would have been a single episode of ST:TNG. So the build can be much slower, the complete reveal taking 10 hours instead of one. But it can be that much richer: characters actually develop and evolve; the story has complexity and nuance. I think too, my patience for "filler" in a one-off episode is currently lower than for a slow paced episode that has spent seasons earning the right to meditate on its characters. (Final season of The Americans, I spent 20 minutes watching people dig a hole in silence. And it was amazing, because it was built on four seasons of story work and performances, and itself spoke to the characters. It was utterly mundane and yet riveting.)

    So, definitely depends if you're in a procedural mood or a long-arc mood.

    On the flip side, there are new anthologies out. Dark Mirror, of course, which I've yet to watch. But also "Love Death Robots" on Netflix and "Electric Dreams" on Amazon Prime. These are not nearly as great as Star Trek, of course. But, standing on the shoulders of giants, these anthologies have a few great episodes that continue on the path revealed by Star Trek and The Twilight Zone.
     
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