Latest Headlines

Star Trek: The Animated Series Re-Watch: “Beyond the Farthest Star”

Beyond the Farthest Star
Written by Samuel A. Peeples
Directed by Hal Sutherland

Season 1, Episode 1
Production episode: 2204
Original air date:  September 8, 1973
Star date: 5221.3

Mission summary

The Enterprise is on a star-charting mission near Questar M-17 when strange radio transmissions persuade Kirk to investigate. Since no good deed goes unpunished, a hypergravitational mumblemumble draws the tiny ship full speed into the dead star’s surface. The ship manages to change its trajectory enough to avoid impact and achieve a standard orbit, but once in orbit our heroes are surprised to find another ship orbiting with them. This new ship isn’t sleek and modern, but tentacled and organic-looking–a kind of pod ship. It’s the source of the radio transmissions. Spock discovers that they’re much too late to help. The pod ship has been there, drifting, for over 300 million years.

Read the rest of this entry »


Star Trek: The Animated Series Re-Watch: Introductory Post

Though I knew of the existence of an animated Star Trek series almost since I began following the original series as a kid, I didn’t get a chance to watch it until college.

That might have been too late.

Don’t get me wrong. I love cartoons even more than I love Star Trek, so an animated series should have been the perfect thing for me, especially since it features the voices of most of the original cast. Several writers returned, and even Gene Roddenberry was back at the helm! But just as the live-action show was a product of its time, its animated incarnation is a product of the early 70s, budget constraints, and the Saturday morning wasteland for which it was designed. Sadly, the weakest aspect of the animated series is… its animation. If the first feature film can be called Star Trek: The Motionless Picture, this show could best be described as Star Trek: The Barely-Animated Series.

And yet, the animated series was a rare second chance for the franchise on network television. The moniker “Star Trek: The Animated Series” (or the slightly clunkier “The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek“) is merely used for convenience; the show’s title is simply Star Trek, and it is very much a continuation of the original series. Despite attempts by the creators and studios to exclude the show from canon over the years, most people view it as the continuing voyages of the Enterprise’s first five-year mission. It even used the same writers’ bible, and many plot elements and aliens are referenced in the films and later series, including J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek film.

Read the rest of this entry »


Just say nay!

One thing I keep telling people about my experience with TOS is that the highs are so very high, but the lows are so very, very low.

You can’t win ’em all, but Star Trek sometimes loses so badly. Here’s the rundown of the worst episodes.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Top Eight

One of the reasons we did the rating system is because people like to rank things. Okay, I like to rank things. We had toyed with fractional warps but in the end, the rating system is less about scientific accuracy than it is about putting episodes in the same general group/pool as each other. Is “Obsession” better than “By Any Other Name”? Well… maybe. But we can at least agree they’re both better than “The Empath.”

You understand.

So let’s see the top tiers. Out of 79 episodes, only eight managed to get both Eugene and my unequivocal admiration.  Can you guess which ones?

Read the rest of this entry »


Star Trek Series Wrap-Up

Torie: For the past two years, Eugene and I have written about 50,000 words–each–about Star Trek, not including plot summaries, comment threads, and trivia. All week I’ve wondered, is there anything left to say about the series that hasn’t been said already?

Read the rest of this entry »


Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Cage”

The Cage
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Robert Butler

Original Pilot
Production episode: 1
Original air date: October 4, 1988
Star date: Unknown

Mission summary

Without any helpful narration over the opening credits, or even some kind of “captain’s log,” it’s hard to tell just what’s going on here. This ship, which is called U.S.S. Enterprise, seems to be on a mission in space. The duration of its voyage and its purpose is unclear, but my instincts tell me the crew is seeking out new life and new civilizations, or vice versa, as the case might be. But they’re certainly going where no one has gone before.

Read the rest of this entry »


Star Trek Re-Watch: Season 3 Wrap-Up

The third season over, we present our summarized ratings and reflect on that which was:

Read the rest of this entry »


Remastered Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Man Trap”

The Man Trap - in 3D!The Man Trap
Written by some dude with lady issues
Probably directed by Marc Daniels

Season 1, Episode 1
Production episode: First!!111
Original air date:  The ’60s
Star date: April 17th.2

Mission summary

4 $4L7 \/4/\/\P1r3 7|-|r3473|\|$ 7|-|3 3|\|73rPr1$3, 4774(|<1|\|9 1|\||\|0(3|\|7 $4L7 $|-|4|<3r$ 4|\|D (r3\/\//\/\3/\/\B3r$ 4L1|<3. [*]

Read the rest of this entry »


Announcing the Remastered Star Trek Re-Watch!

The biggest obstacle in re-watching a show like Star Trek is that it’s, well, old. Forty-five years old. It’s hard to believe anyone was even alive back then. And while the show deals with timeless themes of identity, loneliness, moral responsibilities, and the yearning for a better future, it looks and feels about as slick and cool as your grandparents’ answering machine. This unfortunate truth breaks our hearts. We love the show so much and we want to bring it to our peers: a younger, hipper audience, who aren’t so inclined to pick up musty-smelling ’60s television.

But it’s not just that. Our re-watch is quickly aging out of the desirable demographic. At nearly two years old, the early posts just didn’t have the advantages of the amazing new technologies we have today. How do we attract new readers, who like explosions and snark and Twitter, when all we have to offer is boring academic and cultural analysis? And then we realized, the fount of all knowledge is still in Star Trek. What would Star Trek do?

So starting today, we’ll be remastering the re-watch. The proprietary, obscure remastering process will make our re-watch more relevant and more modern. But chillax, dinosaur fans: we want to do it with class and with style.

What you have to look forward to:

  • NScan me!ew and improved episode reviews!
  • Exciting bells & whistles!
  • Commentary tracks by the creators!
  • Modern special effects!
  • Contemporary pop culture references!
  • Behind-the-scenes gossip!
  • Correction of anomalous canon!
  • More accurate warp ratings!
  • Seamless social media integration!
  • More exclamation points than ever before!

The best part is that we’ll be bringing this to you at no charge.

Technology has come a long way since 2009. We are absolutely thrilled to say, definitively, that now you can see our Re-Watch as it was truly meant to be seen.



Further frontiers at The Viewscreen

Like all good things, our intrepid voyage through Star Trek has come to an end. But why let that stop us? The Enterprise has a continuing mission, and so do we: to watch even more Star Trek. I know, I know, we’re crazy. But we kind of love it. We’re nerds.

Next week we’ll be posting our usual Season 3 Wrap-Up. Then, due to popular demand, we’ll be reviewing “The Cage.” Finally, we’ll close the book on TOS with a Series Wrap-Up. We’ll probably do some post-series statistical number crunching to find out which episodes were the best and worst based on our warp system, and compare that to what our gut says.*

Next up: The Animated Series, of course! Eugene suggested we do this very early on in the process and I agreed, mostly because it’s short and it’s easy to rag on Filmation. But because the episodes, too, are short, and because no one wants to spend 5 months on TAS, we’ll be doing two posts a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I’ve wanted to do the movies since we started, since I love them so, and we’ll eventually get to those and wrap up the TOS canon, as it were.

Now many of you know that Eugene and are I both, at heart, TNG fans. (I can hear the boos through the internet, I know.) But we’re not interested in re-watching all 176 episodes, because a) I want to finish this before I retire; and b) not all of them are worth re-watching, let’s be honest here.  So we’ll be doing a limited re-watch of TNG. Each season we will pick between us a few of the episodes we’d really like to cover–our favorites or our least favorites–and the rest of the season we’ll leave up to a poll, and let you folks choose the 5 or 10 episodes to add to those. Details are hazy; ask again later. But we hope this is the best system for skipping the mediocrity and going straight for the very good and the very bad, i.e. the episodes most worth talking about.

Over the past two years you’ve been our constant companions and for that we are so very grateful. We hope we’ll continue to see you all in the weeks and months to come. Bring your friends! Drinks are on us.**

*All I know is, my gut says maybe.

** If by “drinks” you mean “episode reviews.”