Archive for April, 2009

1

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Miri”

“Miri”
Written by Adrian Spies
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 1, Episode 8
Production episode: 1×11
Original air date: October 27, 1966
Star date: 2713.5

Mission summary
The Enterprise picks up an S.O.S. and follows it to a planet eerily similar to Earth, as it was in the mid-twentieth century. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Janice, and two red shirts beam down to the surface. They find the planet is a desolate wasteland (that looks remarkably like a late ’60s Hollywood lot…), uninhabited for at least 300 years. Doctor McCoy bends down to examine a tricycle sitting atop a huge heap of garbage, and a disfigured humanoid creature leaps out at him. The creature claims the tricycle is his, and in the broken thoughts of a child whose toy has been seized, he attacks the landing party. A brief skirmish breaks out until the boy-creature succumbs to seizures and dies. McCoy, somewhat stunned, takes a few readings and realizes: “Its metabolic rate. It’s impossibly high, as if it’s burning itself up, almost as if it aged a century in just the past few minutes.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
6

Star Trek Re-Watch: “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

“What Are Little Girls Made Of?”
Written by Robert Bloch
Directed by James Goldstone

Season 1, Episode 7
Production episode: 1×09
Original air date: October 10, 1966
Star date: 2712.4

Mission summary
The Enterprise arrives at planet Exo-III in search of Dr. Roger Korby, a famed archaeologist who disappeared there five years ago after discovering underground caverns on the freezing planet. More importantly, he’s Nurse Chapel’s fiancé, which is why she’s on the bridge anxiously awaiting word from the surface. They don’t expect to make contact with Korby because two other expeditions have already failed to locate him, but the third time’s the charm; he answers their hails with an odd request. He asks Captain Kirk to beam down alone, as he has an important discovery to discuss with him. Spock is puzzled, but Kirk is willing to give the “Pasteur of archaeological medicine” (which means he translated some old Orion medical records) the benefit of the doubt. When Korby finds out Christine Chapel is on board, he agrees to let Kirk bring her along.

Things get off to a rocky start. Kirk and Chapel beam down, but Korby isn’t there. Worried about the change in plans, Kirk orders some decoys beamed down from the Enterprise. Security officer Rayburn stays behind at the landing site, while Matthews tags along as they explore the extremely well-lit underground caverns. Instead of taking the lead, Matthews falls behind the others, looking around him nervously as though he expects something to happen to him at any moment.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
2

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Mudd’s Women”

“Mudd’s Women”
Teleplay by Stephen Kandel
Story by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Harvey Hart

Season 1, Episode 6
Production episode: 1×03
Original air date: October 13, 1966
Star date: 1329.8

Mission Summary
The Enterprise is chasing down a small cargo ship that refuses to respond to hails or identity itself. The mysterious ship, despite its own failing engines, enters an asteroid belt (where the Enterprise must inevitably foll0w). Since asteroid belts are, yanno, full of asteroids, Kirk attempts to save the men onboard the doomed vessel by extending the Enterprise’s shield-thingy to encompass it. Just as they’re able to beam aboard that ship’s crew, the tiny cargo vessel is destroyed by an asteroid.

The first man to beam over is Leo Walsh.  Sweaty, mustached, and dressed in a weird pirate shirt and hammer pants, he looks like some kind of space gypsy. That coupled with the Irish brogue make it clear he’s hiding something. Walsh claims that he avoided the Enterprise because he wasn’t sure if they were friendly. A likely story! Scotty is finally able to lock onto the three others, and beams over…

…three beautiful woman.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
5

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Enemy Within”

“The Enemy Within”
Written by Richard Matheson
Directed by Leo Penn

Season 1, Episode 5
Production episode: 1×04
Original air date: October 6, 1966
Star date: 1672.1

Mission summary
On a routine survey mission on planet Alfa 177, geological technician Fisher injures himself and beams up to the Enterprise covered in a strange yellow ore. The transporter suffers technical difficulties while he materializes. Chief Engineer Scott is worried enough to order that the equipment be checked out, but not worried enough to ask Captain Kirk to kindly wait five minutes before beaming back. When Kirk arrives on the transporter pad, he looks a little woozy. Scotty helps him to his quarters, leaving the room unattended, and a few seconds later, the transporter activates by itself. A hunched figure appears, facing away from us. He turns and we see…it’s Captain Kirk! The extreme close-up, dramatic music, and lighting on his face—not to mention the eyeliner—tell us immediately that he’s evil.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
6

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Naked Time”

“The Naked Time”
Written by John D.F. Black
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 1, Episode 4
Production episode: 1×06
Original air date: September 29, 1966
Star date: 1704.2

Mission summary
The Enterprise is in orbit around the planet Psi 2000, an ancient world in its “death throes” that has frozen over into an inhospitable wasteland, sort of like Hoth. The ship’s mission is to recover the science crew on the surface and observe the final disintegration of the planet. Mr. Spock and LTJG Joe Tormolen beam down to the surface and find that all of the scientists are dead: one woman strangled, another frozen at his post, and another frozen standing in the shower—fully clothed. (Note: If it looks like they’re wearing shower curtains instead of hazmat suits, it’s because they actually are.) Joe, in a moment of truly inspired stupidity, removes one of his gloves to scratch his nose. He bends down to take a reading and when touching the surface of a workstation comes into contact with some kind of red liquid. None the wiser having been infected with a space contagion, he replaces the glove and they beam back to the Enterprise.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
3

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Where No Man Has Gone Before”

Where No Man Has Gone Before
Written by Samuel A. Peeples
Directed by James Goldstone

Season 1, Episode 3
Production episode: 1×01
Original air date: September 22, 1966
Star date: 1312.4

Mission summary
On the outskirts of the Milky Way, the Enterprise discovers the recorder marker of the S.S. Valiant, a ship that has been missing for over 200 years. The disaster recorder contains a wealth of exposition, which Spock haltingly “interpolates” from its memory banks. It seems that the Valiant ran into “some unknown force,” which badly damaged the ship and killed six crew members. Another crewman was injured but recovered, after which there were urgent requests for information on extrasensory perception. Then the ship apparently self-destructed by order of its captain, which Spock finds hard to believe.

Kirk decides to resume his mission to uh, probe, where no man has gone before (aside from the dead crew of the Valiant, of course), hoping that they will find answers to the mystery ahead. The Enterprise soon encounters a strange force field at the edge of the galaxy, an unknown force, if you will, which may or may not actually be there—the ship’s deflectors and sensors disagree. The only way out is through, so they head straight for the barrier. A pretty light show blows some fuses in the ship—and in Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, a visiting psychologist, and Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, the chauvinistic navigator. Dr. Dehner seems fine after her little shock (fortunately, Dr. Piper, the chief medical officer, was standing right next to her), but when Mitchell regains consciousness, his eyes have turned bright silver. To make matters worse, nine of the crew are dead and the Enterprise has lost warp power. Could they be about to suffer the same fate as the Valiant?

Read the rest of this entry »

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
1

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Charlie X”

Charlie X
Teleplay By D.C. Fontana
Story By Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin

Season 1, Episode 2
Production Episode: 1×07
Original air date: September 15, 1966
Star date: 1533.6

Mission summary
The Enterprise rendezvouses with the Antares, a trade (later, survey) ship that has picked up an unusual passenger: Charles Evans. Charlie is a seventeen-year-old boy who was the only survivor of a crash into the planet Thasus, fourteen years ago. He’s been living alone on the planet for as long as he can remember, until he was rescued by the Antares. Captain Ramart and Tom Nellis of the Antares beam over with Charlie to pass him off to the Enterprise, which is headed in the direction of Colony Alpha 5, the location of Charlie’s only living relatives. In between sweating profusely and otherwise looking incredibly sketchy, the two men swear up and down that Charlie is the greatest thing since sliced food cubes. They then get the hell out of there, refusing even an offer of Saurian brandy!

Read the rest of this entry »

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
3

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Man Trap”

The Man Trap
Written by George Clayton Johnson
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 1, Episode 1
Production Episode: 1×05
Original air date: September 8, 1966
Star date: 1531.1

Mission summary
The Enterprise is in orbit around M-113, a planet so boring they didn’t bother naming it. Dr. McCoy is making a house call on his old flame Nancy Crater and her husband, who have been studying ruins on the surface for five years. Captain Kirk joins McCoy, seemingly for no reason, along with “Crewman Darnell.” Three beam down, two will beam up—you know the drill.

It turns out that Nancy is not what she seems, and she seems to be a lot of things: McCoy sees the woman he loved, exactly the way she appeared twelve years before; Kirk sees a woman of advancing years (which is why he doesn’t immediately call dibs); and the crewman sees a blond and busty woman from Rigley’s Pleasure Planet (truthfully, she seems more to Kirk’s taste). The blond lures the crewman away, and the next thing we know, the guy is dead with some mysterious splotches on his face, almost like…suction cups. The sucker has been sucked—of salt!

Read the rest of this entry »

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
0

The Star Trek Re-Watch: Introductory Post

3 seasons. 79 episodes. 1,771,561 tribbles.

Torie Atkinson and I will be covering one episode per post, in air date order, from “The Man Trap” to “Turnabout Intruder.” (No use arguing about the “proper” episode order, but if you must, fire away in the comments.) As fascinating as those new HD CGI effects are, we’re watching this series in its original format, cheesy special effects and all, the way the Great Bird of the Galaxy intended. We won’t even skip the bad episodes, because those are the most fun to talk about.

Each post will have a brief summary of the episode, followed by commentary and often interesting bits of trivia. And since Star Trek fans are nothing if not vocal and opinionated, we’ll ask some questions and raise points of debate for everyone to discuss. We also hope you’ll watch along with us, since all the episodes are freely available online at CBS.com, and let’s face it, you probably still have all those VHS tapes, laserdiscs, DVDs, HD-DVDs, and soon Blu-Ray discs that Paramount has issued and re-issued at exorbitant prices.

Torie and I will be alternating episodes and commenting on each other’s posts. Since I’m a card-carrying Trekkie (really, my credit card is sanctioned by the United Federation of Planets), and Torie’s watching many of these episodes for the first time, we think this will provide an interesting look at the series from a Star Trek veteran and someone with a fresh perspective—making our reviews suitable for existing fans and people new to this whole phenomenon.

In case you’re wondering what makes me qualified to talk about Star Trek (as if my credit card weren’t proof enough): I’ve been a huge fan of the show for 18 years (I’m 30 now, but not living in my mother’s basement). I came to the franchise late, beginning with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country on HBO. I had previously not only ignored the show but went out of my way to avoid it, until that film showed me just how smart and complex it could be. (Thank goodness I sampled one of the even numbered movies first.) That set me off and I soon went after everything I could get my hands on: Collector’s Edition VHS tapes from my Latin teacher, media tie-in novels, The Next Generation reruns (still my favorite series) and pretty soon thereafter, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

I gave up on Enterprise. Didn’t you?

Perhaps my strongest qualification is the fact that my name is Eugene, just like Gene Roddenberry! That’s like, fate.

Basically, I love Star Trek, but it’s been a long time since I’ve re-watched it; my tapes were in storage, one of the compromises of living in NYC. I recently panicked when the non-Lucased (can that be a word?) DVDs went out of print, so I bought them all and have just been waiting for an excuse to watch the show again. So far I’m really enjoying this project, and I hope all of you do, too. It should be an interesting voyage.

Torie Atkinson: I’m not even going to try to compete with the Federation credit card, but I assure our readers that I’m well-qualified for such a mission. I’m a long-time Star Trek fan—my first movie was Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which I caught on TV as a kid (in my whale biologist phase, no less). I’m pretty sure my parents only watched because it took place near our home town. (Extra credit! Where was ST:IV actually filmed? No Googling, people!) It was kind of history from there: the first series I caught on-air was Voyager, and I worked my way backward. My re-watch of choice tends to be TNG, so I’m a little ashamed to admit that while I’m familiar with a good many of these episodes, this will be my first real sit-down watch-through of the whole shebang.

We’ll start next week with our first episode: “The Man Trap.” Play along at home by watching it free at CBS.com.

I hope I won’t be the only one new to this series, and that you will have fun watching these with us!


A version of this post originally appeared on Tor.com.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks