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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Catspaw


Episode: Season 2 Episode 7
Air Date: October 27th, 1967

When an away team member returns to the Enterprise alone, he dies as he re-materializes. His corpse speaks a warning, that the ship is cursed and must leave the planet immediately. Kirk's response is to beam down with Spock and McCoy to search for Sulu and Scotty. They are greeted by a projection of what appear to be three witches warning them to return.

A castle, black cat and dungeon later, they meet Korob who appears Korob has the ability to create illusions. Korob claims to have been testing humans in loyalty, bravery and integrity.

Of course the black cat leaves and a women, Sylvia, immediately shows up and talks about how they can control the minds of people. Kirk takes back his weapon and demands answers. Sylvia responds by putting a toy version of the Enterprise over a flame and the real Enterprise starts heating up too. Kirk surrenders his weapon to stop her from destroying the Enterprise.

Sylvia has a fight with Korob and Kirk uses it as an opening to seduce Sylvia to find out information of what give her power, a device. This convinces Korob that Sylvia must be stopped and he is killed helping Kirk and the away team escape. In the final showdown Kirk ends up with the device and destroys it which reverts all illusions and Korob and Sylvia die unable to survive on their own.

"He doesn't know about trick-or-treat" - McCoy

The Doomsday Machine


TOS Season 2 Episode 6
Air Date: October 20th, 1967

This episode reminds me of the TNG episodes involving the crystalline entity. A space creature that goes from planet to planet destroying all life. Only this episode is about a creature that eats planets.

When the Enterprise enter a system where all the planets are missing, they discover the USS Constellation (I presume the first of the Constellation class star ships) destroyed and adrift. It has minimal life support so they beam over to investigate. They find the ship abandoned, well almost.

They find the captain Commodore Matt Decker in a state of shock. He said that they were attacked by some kind of weapon when investigating solar systems that have been destroyed. In a last effort to survive the crew beamed down to the third planet but before the Decker could beam down the weapon attacked again and damaged the transporters leaving him stranded. Then it destroyed the planet.

"Bones, did you ever hear of a doomsday machine" - Kirk
"No, I'm a doctor not a mechanic" - McCoy

The doomsday machine seemed to be going system to system, destroying planets and consuming them for fuel. It reminds me of Stargate Universe where the ship goes from galaxy to galaxy using stars to replenish its fuel storage. Spock plots the doomsday machines course directly into the most densely populated part of the galaxy.

The doomsday machine makes an appearance and strands Kirk, Scotty and two other crew on the USS Constellation. The Commodore Decker of the Constellation takes command of the Enterprise and chases the doomsday machine, his own Moby Dick. Like Ahab, Decker attacks the doomsday machine and almost gets the Enterprise destroyed. Scotty was able to get the Constellation impulse engines and a phaser bank working and Kirk distracts the machine long enough for the Enterprise to get some distance.

After re-establishing communication with the Constellation, Kirk tells Spock to relieve Decker of command. On his way to sickbay to be examined he attacks his escort and escapes on a shuttle craft. Decker flies the shuttle craft directly into the belly of the beast hoping to do some damage. Sulu detects that there was a power drop when the shuttle craft blew up. This gives Kirk and idea. Set the Constellations self destruct and "ram her right down that things throat".

I don't know what the general opinion on the remastered effects that they made in 2006, but I personally feel they did a great job. The effects look good while sticking with the art direction of the series. Here is an example of the doomsday machine before the remaster.


"Vulcan's never bluff" - Spock

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Apple


TOS Season 2 Episode 5
Air Date: October 13th, 1967

Imagine a world where the entire planet maintains a temperature of twenty one Celsius even at the poles. The land is fertile and can grow anything. Oh and the flowers shoot you with poisoned seeds.

The Enterprise arrives at this planet and quickly discovers that beauty is only skin deep. After losing a security guard they start discovering other hazards from explosive rocks to . Even the Enterprise is being effected by something coming from the planet that is draining it's antimatter making it impossible to transport back.

Spock gets hit by the flowers too saving Kirk but his Vulcan physiology and some medicine from McCoy brings him back to full health. Two other security guards get killed by a sudden lightning storm and an exploding rock.

They then discover a primitive society known as the Feeders of Vaal. Akuta their leader has an antennae installed in his head so he can communicate with Vaal. The away team notice that there are no children and they find out that children and physical affection is forbidden by Vaal. McCoy also notices that they don't age or have any disorders.

Two of the locals see Chekov and Yeoman Landon acting affectionate and copy them. Akuta finds out and Vaal tells him to kill the away team. The away team are trained fighters and easily dispatch the locals but they lose the last of the security officers. In a last ditch effory, Kirk orders the Enterprise to fire phasers at the structure that they believe contains the energy source causing all the problems which causes it to overload and destroy itself.

The episode is called The Apple because it shows how people living in what resembles the Garden of Eden worshiping their God fall from grace, give in to lust and murder. In parallel Kirk blames himself and gives into self pity thinking he will be the reason the Enterprise will be destroyed. With Vaal destroyed, the planet will stop being a paradise which is a parallel to Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden.

In the end Spock hints that Kirk filled the role of Satan in that he tempted the people to sin making them leave paradise.

"Trying to get yourself killed. Do you know how much Starfleet has invested in you?" - Kirk
"One hundred twenty two thousand two hundred and ..." - Spock

"Scotty you're my chief engineer. You know everything about that ship that there is to know. More than the men who designed it. If you can't get those warp engines working, you're fired." - Kirk

"Doctor, you insist on applying human standards to nonhuman cultures. I remind you that humans are only a tiny minority in this galaxy." - Spock

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Mirror, Mirror


TOS Season 2 Episode 4
Air Date: October 6th, 1967

This episode sets up a series of future episodes of an alternate reality where the development of human civilization closely matches our own development with the exception that everyone is more aggressive and selfish.

When the away team consisting of Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and Scotty beam back to the Enterprise an ion storm causes them to appear on an alternate Enterprise. It is immediately clear that things are different. For one, Spock has a goatee and the uniforms are different. Spock also indicates that he is ready to destroy the population below for not agreeing to give them dilithium crystals. The funny part is the Kirk from the alternate universe was caught right away and put in the brig.

When Kirk refuses to destroy the population on the planet, Spock is given orders to kill Kirk if he doesn't comply with orders which leads to a final showdown in sickbay (which has more bad stunt double fight scenes). After winning Sulu shows up to kill both Kirk and Spock to take command of the Enterprise, but Kirk's mistress in this reality uses a secret weapon to kill Sulu's accomplices and Kirk knocks out Sulu.

McCoy decides to treat Spock's wounds instead of letting him die, compassion from our universe. Spock learns about the two realities and decides to help them get back so he can get his captain back. Kirk was able to convince Spock to try to take control of the Enterprise and change the Empire to be better then it is.

Three red shirts died this episode, and even though it is in another reality I am going to count it. Two crewman with yellow robes died but I have been refraining from counting them.

"It's called blood" - Kirk to McCoy
"In every revolution there is one man with a vision" - Kirk

The Changeling


TOS Season 2 Episode 3
Air Date: September 29th, 1967

The responds to a distress call and when they arrive in the sector, four billion people over four planets are gone. The Enterprise is then attacked with a weapon they can't avoid and after only a handful of hits risks destruction. The Enterprise tries to communicate with whomever is attacking and the response is digital. Eventually communication works and they discover it is from an old Earth probe called Nomad that was damaged and repaired by some other beings.

Nomad's memory banks were corrupted and it mistook Kirk for his creator. His mission is finding perfect life and it appears destroying imperfect life. Kirk is able to keep Nomad under control for a while but it does wipe Uhura's mind and kills Scotty for a short time (almost 2 red shirt deaths, if not for the fact they are main characters). Kirk allows Spock to try to mind meld with the machine, which indicates it is sentient and not just mechanical parts. It ends up taking over Spock's body for a moment during the meld.

After this Nomad decides to go exploring and kills some security officers that tried to shoot it. It heads to engineering and starts fixing parts of the Enterprises engines considering them imperfections. He gets the warp engines to go faster then warp ten. On his way back to the brig he kills two more security guards.

Kirk tricks Nomad into realizing that making mistakes is part of imperfection and then shows Nomad that it made a mistake in who it's creator is therefore it must destroy itself.

This episode saw a record four red shirts die.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Who Mourns for Adonais?


TOS Season 2 Episode 2
Air Date: September 22nd, 1967

As the Enterprise approaches an pretty standard class M planet, a giant hand emerges from the surface and grabs the Enterprise. Then a disembodied head appears in front of the Enterprise and tells them that he is the god Apollo and demands that they go to the surface. Once there he demands that the crew worship him. Kirk refuses of course and Apollo uses powers to punish him. Eventually they regain communication with the Enterprise and Spock is able to fire phasers at the source of Apollo's power.

The overall plot to the episode is simple but there are things happening on the side. At the beginning of the episode Scotty was hitting on Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas, a historian specializing in myths and legends. Not sure why the Enterprise has officers with these skill sets. When they get to the planet, Apollo sets his sights on her and Scotty feels the need to defend her from Apollo by using violence. Multiple times Scotty gets hurt trying to attack Apollo and even breaks Kirk's orders to not attack Apollo unless told to.

Palamas does fall in love with Apollo but Kirk convinces her that her duty is to the ship and the crew and that they don't want to live lives as farmers worshiping Apollo for the rest of their lives. She follows her orders and tells Apollo that she was just studying him which makes him use up most of his power. This prevents him from stopping the Enterprise from destroying the source of his power.

In the end, he realizes that humans have evolved beyond the need for the gods like they did in ancient Greece and asks his father Zeus and his brothers and sisters to come get him.

Amok Time


TOS Season 2 Episode 1
Air Date: September 15th, 1967

Spock with emotional outburst, hands shaking, memory loss, erratic behavior. It can be only one thing, Pon Farr, a condition that occurs to an adult Vulcan male every seven years . I had never seen this episode before but a similar episode occurred in Voyager where Lt. Tuvoc experiences the Pon Farr and he needed to have a telepathic experience with another Vulcan. Effectively he needs to have sex every seven years or he dies.

The Pon Farr is a very private matter among vulcans. Spock asks Kirk to immediately change course to Vulcan but he doesn't explain why. The Enterprise is on a tight schedule and Kirk refuses until McCoy discovers that Spock will die if he doesn't resolve whatever it is he needs to resolve. Kirk finally gets Spock to confide in him and disobeys orders and goes to Vulcan. When they arrive they learn that Spock has a wife, kind of.

They transport down and perform a marriage ceremony, Spock wife T'Pring doesn't want to marry Spock and challenges Spock in a fight where she chooses champion. She chooses Kirk. Midway through the fight, Kirk is winded due to the thin air and heat so McCoy says he will give a shot to help. The fight continues and Spock wins and kills Kirk. Spock tells T'Pring that he doesn't want her and returns to the Enterprise. He then discovered that Kirk was alive and briefly shows joy before regaining his composure. Turns out McCoy gave Kirk a paralytic instead of a steroid.

This episode has a few of Star Trek firsts. Other then the Pon Farr we finally we get Pavel Chekov in the navigator chair and we see the vulcan hand symbol for "Live long and prosper" as well as the phrase used.

"The birds and the bees are not vulcans Captain." - Mr. Spock

The Original Series: Season One


This was a first. I have tried in the past to watch a full season of Star Trek: The Original Series and each time I usually tap out around the sixth or seventh episode. I can now say I have seen all of season one. It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it would be but I have found it hard to binge watch. After watching an episode I have needed a break. I would say that one third of the episodes I have never seen prior to this viewing. Another one third I vaguely remember watching on TV with my father as a kid and the last one third I have strong memories of either because I really enjoyed it on first viewing or I had seen when I was older. Here are some interesting observations I made watching the season

Pavel Chekov

I didn't realize that Chekov wasn't in season one at all. The position of navigator was always filled by random characters, sometimes important to the story line and other times just fillers. I am looking forward to seeing him in season two. Please say he is in season two.

Spock

It seems that most episodes end with Kirk and McCoy making fun of Spock. It is almost at a bully level. If it wasn't for Spock's lack of emotions I don't think Kirk and Spock would have been friends. 

Overall I felt the best acting came from Leonard Nimoy. The final episode where he is fighting pain that would put most people into a frenzy, his ability to act like Spock but give slight indications that all was not well was really well done.

I didn't realize how often they used the Vulcan neck pinch. It seemed at least once or twice an episode Spock was subduing someone using it. It might seem like it was a crutch but I felt it was a really good way to prevent a long fight scene and it gave some extra depth to Spock.

Kirk

I always new Kirk was the womanizer of the series who always liked getting his shirt torn off in a fight scene but I didn't realize how much this was so. There is almost always a new female character that Kirk has his eyes on that distracts him from his overall objectives. The few times where the love interest is with another character such as in This Side of Paradise, Kirk seems doubly focused to accomplish his objectives.

I also didn't realize that the first season was almost exclusively a show about Kirk and Spock with a little McCoy mixed in. All other reoccuring characters had nothing more then bit roles. I didn't learn anything about the Scotty or Sulu and all I got from Uhura is that she can sing and play the lute.

Time Travel

I won't get into my gripes about time travel now, but the season had three episodes involving time travel meaning that 10% of the stories were time travel related.

Red Shirts

Season one had a tie. Blue and Gold shirts each five deaths each while Red shirts only got four. Maybe other seasons will fair better but so far it isn't looking good for the Red shirt meme.

Week Four


This week I was able to watch thirteen of the required fourteen episodes excluding what I needed to catch up for the past three weeks. I should be almost finished season two but just finished season one. I will try to watch three episodes a day this week to see if I can get partially caught up though it has been tough.

This week gave me some good episodes to watch. Space Seed, the episode that introduced Khan. One of my favorite episodes from when I was a kid A Taste of Armageddon and the final episode of the season Operation: Annihilate! are all worth watching. I would give an honourable mention to Devil in the Dark and The City on the Edge of Forever. This week I also saw the fight scene between Kirk and Gorn, subjectively listed as the worse fight scene ever in Arena.

Two red shirts died and one blue shirt this week which brings things very close.

TOS S1E10: The Squire of Gothos
TOS S1E18: Arena
TOS S1E19: Tomorrow is Yesterday
TOS S1E20: Court Martial
TOS S1E21: The Return of the Archons
TOS S1E22: Space Seed
TOS S1E23: A Taste of Armageddon
TOS S1E24: This Side of Paradise
TOS S1E25: The Devil in the Dark
TOS S1E26: Errand of Mercy
TOS S1E27: The Alternative Factor
TOS S1E28: The City on the Edge of Forever
TOS S1E29: Operation: Annihilate!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Operation: Annihilate!


TOS Season 1 Episode 29
Air Date: April 13th, 1967

The final episode of season one. The Enterprise is tasked to study a trend of mass insanity that has been sweeping along an area of space spanning hundreds of years. It is a bit odd that they are only investigating it now.

They arrive at the planet Deneva, a Federation colony to discover they can't communicate. They do find a space ship heading to the sun but they couldn't get to it in time before it gets destroyed. They do get a message from the ship saying "We're free". It turns out that Kirk's brother Sam was part of the colony.

They beam down to discover that everyone is staying inside and are attacked by people who are telling them to leave the planet. They stun them and then try to find Sam. They find Sam's wife hysterical and Sam is dead. His son unconscious. They take his wife and son to the Enterprise and discover that they are in tremendous pane which is what is causing the insanity. Sam's wife tries to explain what happens but the more she talks to more pain she is in until she eventually dies.

They go back to the planet and discover these small slime like things that seem to be able to fly short distances. They shoot one with a full phaser blast and it merely stuns it. When they go to leave, one of them flies onto Spock's back and injects him with a toxin.

McCoy discovers that the toxin is actually an extension of the alien nervous system and it grows inside the host causing extreme pain. Once it is in you, there is no getting it out as it is all over. Spock eventually uses his Vulcan abilities to overcome the pain and goes down to the planet to capture one of the creatures.

Studying the creature shows it is almost indestructible. It turns out that each creature is a single cell and that they work together was on giant consciousness. Kirk eventually realizes that the reason the sun helped free the others was due to the bright light it emits and then they use light to free Spock from the creature. They then set up satellites to save the people on the planet, though commits genocide on these creatures.

The City on the Edge of Forever


TOS Season 1 Episode 28
Air Date: April 6th, 1967

Another time traveling episode. This time it is due to a sentient gateway on a post-apocalyptic planet.

A time distortion causes McCoy to accidentally inject himself with a hundred doses of a drug he was using to help Sulu. The drug causes him to go insane and escape to the surface. When they find McCoy on the surface he jumps through a time travelling gateway that calls itself The Guardian of Forever that sends him to 1930s New York. After McCoy disappears, the Enterprise also is gone. It seems that history changed.

Kirk and Spock have the gateway to send them back shortly before McCoy does so they can stop him from doing whatever it was he does that changes the future. They arrive a few weeks before McCoy and befriend a lady, Edith Keeler, who runs a mission/soup kitchen. Spock eventually discovers that Edith has one of two futures. In one future she starts a movement to keep peace which causes the US to not enter WWII until much later which gives Germany the time it needed to get to the atomic bomb first. The axis wins the war and history is changed. The other future is where Edith is hit by a car and never starts the movement.

When McCoy finally arrives, he ends up finding his way to the mission and befriending Edith too. Though he doesn't know Kirk is here and he starts to feel better from the drug he had taken. When Edith is with Kirk and mentions Dr. McCoy, Kirk runs back to the mission and sees McCoy. But then Edith goes to walk across the street and a car is coming. Kirk realizes that she has to die and stopped McCoy from rescuing her.

This was hard on Kirk as he had fallen in love with her and he had to let her die. I am curious if this will come back in future episodes as he truly seemed to be affected by her death more so then other women he has been interested in.

Overall I enjoyed this episode in spite of it being about time travel. Sometime in the TNG or Voyager series I will write a piece about time travel and the problems I have with it. It seems to be a cliche that Star Trek uses a lot and while they are fun episodes there are things that tend to irk me in them.

The Alternative Factor


TOS Season 1 Episode 27
Air Date: March 30th, 1967

This episode was probably the worse writing wise in the season. The Enterprise arrives in a system and are scanning a planet that appears void of life. Then the Enterprise is rocked. Spock determines that the cause was the universe had "wink" out of existence for a second. There were reports from Starfleet that the effect had occurred across the whole galaxy, but not as strong.

When they check the planet again, it turns out it was the origin of the "wink" and now there is a life form on the planet. When they get to the planet they find a humanoid named Lazarus. Lazarus claimed there is a being on the planet that threatens to destroy the universe and that he needs dilithium crystals to stop him.

It turns out that after a bunch of deceptions and Lazarus acting like he has two personalities, Kirk finds out that there are two Lazarus. One from an alternate dimension made completely of antimatter. The other Lazarus claims that if the two meet, they would destroy both universes, unless they met in the doorway between dimensions. So Kirk sends his Lazarus into the doorway and the antimatter Lazarus holds him there while Kirk destroys the doorway effectively leaving both Lazarus stuck for eternity.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Errand of Mercy


TOS Season 1 Episode 26
Air Date: March 23rd, 1967

The first episode with Klingons. The Klingons declare war on the federation and the borders are quickly reinforced. The Enterprise is sent to the planet Organia which would provide a strategic advantage to whatever side holds it. The Enterprise arrives first and tries to convince the local population, a small civilization that appears to be in the medieval ages technology wise, to join the federation and they will be protected. The town elders refuse claiming they are safe.

Kirk tries to convince them that the Klingons are an agressive race and won't show mercy, but that doesn't sway the elders. Then the Klingons show up and the Enterprise has to retreat leaving Kirk and Spock on the planet. They pretend to be locals and the elders promise they would keep them safe. They accept the Klingons in their town and promise not to interfere.

Kirk eventually gets discovered and captured by the Klingons, but when the Klingon threatens to kill kirk, the elders step in and prevent it. Turns out they are a very advanced civilization that chose to not rely on their technology. They prevent the Klingons from killing Kirk and make them both agree to non violence while in their system. They even predict that one day the Klingons and the Federation will work together in peace.

The Devil in the Dark


TOS Season 1 Episode 25
Air Date: March 9th, 1967

This episode I was expecting a large number of red shirts to die and bring the red shirts into the lead as they are expected to be. But surprisingly only one died.

The episode is about a mining colony that is suddenly being attacked by a being that is immune to phaser fire deep in the mines. The Enterprise is called to the colony to investigate and help hunt this creature. Kirk brings six security guards (red shirts) to hunt this creature and when he loses one, he brings down three more.

When they find this creature called the Horta, it turns out to be a silicon based life form who is protecting its eggs, which are these spherical balls of silicon. The miners didn't know that they were eggs and the Horta was killing to protect, not out of malice. Kirk convinces the minors to let the Horta(s) live and they could help them get to hard to reach mineral deposits since they are natural tunnelers.

The episode was fun to watch as it had Spock mind melding with the creature and Doctor McCoy trying to heal the creature after Kirk and Spock wounded it with their more powerful phasers. The Horta is a highly intelligent creature. Eventually they all die off leaving just one to care for the eggs and the young before it passes and the next generation of Horta take over.

"I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer" - Doctor McCoy before curing the Horta
"It won't die. By golly, Jim, I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day." - Doctor McCoy after curing the Horta

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This Side of Paradise


TOS Season 1 Episode 24
Air Date: March 2nd, 1967

They should have named this episode Spock In Love.

The Enterprise arrive at an Earth colony that they expect to have failed with all colonist lost due to some form of radiation that they didn't know about when they colonized. But when the Enterprise gets there, they are all still alive. McCoy notices that they are all also in excellent health and one even had their tonsils grow back.

There is a space fungus (they traveled through space and found this planet. They are attracted tom the radiation) that is on the planet whose spores help keep people alive on the planet but it also makes them docile and carefree. Spock is the first to get infected by an old work colleague who has feelings for him. They fall in love. The fungus is brought up to the enterprise and infects everyone else. Only Kirk seems to be unaffected by the spores. It is never explained why. When Kirk is the only one left on the ship he gets a second dose of the spores which this time seems to sink in, but before beaming down to the surface he gets angry and the spores dissipate from his system.

Now he knows that the effect can be broken with anger he first makes Spock angry then they work on the rest of the crew.

A Taste of Armageddon


TOS Season 1 Episode 23
Air Date: February 23rd, 1967

This is one of my favorite original series episodes. I remember it from when I was a kid. I really liked it because it shows how absurd the concept of war is. The episode was made during the height of the Vietnam war where US citizens were being drafted into a war they didn't believe in.

In this episode the Enterprise is on a diplomatic mission to Eminiar VII. When they arrive they are warned that it is not safe for the Enterprise to be there, but the Federation diplomat Ambassador Robert Fox insists to continue with the mission. Kirk convince the Federation diplomat to let him beam down first to make sure it is safe. When they arrive, they are greeted and brought before the planets representatives and are warned that it isn't safe since they are at war with the neighbouring planet Vendikar.

The Enterprise shows no signs that there is a war. The planets infrastructure is undamaged and modern. Shortly after, Vendikar attacks Eminiar VII and millions are killed. But still the Enterprise shows no signs of an attack. The away team then discovers that the attacks are all simulated and the computer decides who died in the attack. When someone is marked as dead they have 24 hours to get to a disintegration pod.

While this sounds absurd, normally the Federation would look the other way due to the Prime Directive. But in this case, the Enterprise was listed as one of the casualties and Eminiar VII gives Kirk 24 hours for the crew to beam down and report to their disintegration pods. Kirk of course refuses and they are taken captive.

Eventually they escape and find a way to destroy the computers that perform the simulations. When the 24 hours are up, the treaty between Vendikar and Eminiar VII would be broken and real bombs will fall. The leader of Eminiar VII is scared and accuses Kirk of creating pain and bloodshed. That their cities will fall and hundreds of millions will die instead of just a few million. But they estimated that three million people died each year to the war, and for five hundred years. That is one hundred and fifty million people that died from the war.

This is the part that stood out to me as a kid. War is bloody. It is messy. Cities get destroyed and many people die needlessly. It is this that makes war something that we strive to avoid and if we are in it, we strive to find a way to peace. The people of Eminiar VII and Vendikar had gotten comfortable with war. So comfortable that they were at war for over five hundred years and had no real reason to make peace. Sure enough, as soon as the 24 hours was up, no bombs fell. Both sides were scared of the prospect of a real war. The people that started the war five hundred years earlier were long dead and the people today accepted it as part of life. Now, there is a reason to make peace.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Space Seed


TOS Season 1 Episode 22
Air Date: February 16th, 1967

Finally, Khaaaaaaannnnn!. Oh wait, too soon.

Space Seed is the episode that introduces the character Khan. Khan, a product of the eugenics war, the third and final world war. Khan was one of a group of supermen genetically engineered. Due to his superiority he felt the world should be ruled by him. He was known as a fair dictator and there is a scene where Kirk and McCoy were joking with Spock over admiring Khan.

The Enterprise finds Khan's ship, The Botany Bay, where Khan and his people are in cryostasis. Khan ends up charming a federation historian, Lieutenant Marla McGivers, using her loyalty to him to take over the Enterprise. Khan then threatens to kill Kirk unless the crew of the Enterprise joins him. This causes McGivers to betray Khan (a double betrayal) since she doesn't want Kirk to die. Once Kirk beats Khan (in another battle in engineering with an obvious stunt double), Kirk decides to free Khan and strand him and his people on a planet where they could build a life for themselves. McGivers joins Khan.

The writing of the episode itself was kind of weak. Kirk gives Khan access to the ships technical specifications as reading material, which seems like a security risk. It also felt it weird that Khan could take over the Enterprise and McGivers committed mutiny but then be given full pardons at the end.  Ricardo Montalb├ín who plays Khan does give a great performance. I kind of wish we would have seen more of him before Star Trek II.

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Return of the Archons


TOS Season 1 Episode 21
Air Date: February 9th, 1967

The Enterprise is investigating a planet where they believe the USS Archon was lost almost over a century prior. Sulu returns from an away mission, the sole survivor, but he is acting weird. Almost as if he were drugged. He starts spouting out stuff about the will of Laundru.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to investigate and find a very peaceful civilization. Everyone is in this euphoric state. But when the clock strikes six, everyone changes into a wild almost violent state. The away team learns about the history of the planet through a local that seems to be unaffected but we don't really learn why the people go violent at night.

They all get captured, McCoy gets brainwashed to follow Laundru. Kirk and Spock discover that there is a computer which contains the downloaded consciousness of a being from long ago called Laundru.

The part of the episode that is interesting is how Kirk convinces the computer that it is the cause of evil, something it is trying to prevent causing the computer to self destruct. Spock first informs Kirk that it is against General Order 1, aka the Prime Directive, to interfere with another's societies development even when it might improve that society.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Court Martial


TOS Season 1 Episode 20
Air Date: February 2nd, 1967

The episode centers around Kirk under trial for the death of one of his crew, Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Finney. The reason for the court martial is the computer says he ejected a pod which resulted in the death before he declared red alert but Kirk's report says he waited until the last possible moment and after he declared red alert.

The case against him involved two points. One, proving the computer is most likely accurate, including some video evidence that the ship was in yellow alert when the pod was jettisoned. Two, that Kirk and Finney had a bad relationship stemming in Kirk filing a report of Finney's incompetence when they served aboard the USS Republic. This caused Finney to be passed up for promotions while Kirk eventually got command of the Enterprise.

In the end, Kirk's lawyer discovers that Finney isn't dead but hiding on the ship modifying evidence. They find Kinney by evacuating the Enterprise crew to the starbase and then use acoustic sensors to listen for heart beats, using a microphone to remove the hearbeat of everyone who is left.

The episode ends with Kirk and Finney fighting in main engineering. The fight scene is one of many fight scenes where you can obviously tell that they used a stunt double. Many scenes shows the face of the double and with the HD remaster it is even more noticeable.

Tomorrow is Yesterday


TOS Season 1 Episode 19
Air Date: January 26th, 1967

This episode is the accidental version of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The Enterprise is discovered over the skied of the United States in the mid 1960s. They accidentally went back in time when avoiding a black hole. There isn't much to the episode. A US fighter jet goes to investage, the Enterprise accidentally cause the fighter to break up so they transport the pilot aboard. Then they have to figure out a way to get rid of any film of the Enterprise that the fighter recorded in it's black box.

Once they get it back (though not on the first try) they figure out they can do a time warp around the sun and transport the pilot back at the exact time he left, with no memory of what happened while they fly past earth going through time.

The science is silly in this one though it does pave the way for my second favorite Star Trek movie.

Arena


TOS Season 1 Episode 18
Air Date: January 19th, 1967

Arena is one of the most ridiculed episodes of any TV show. It is the episode where Kirk fights the Gorn. It starts with the Enterprise being called to an Earth colony but when they beam down the colony is destroyed. They are then attacked from the hills and take cover and return fire. After winning the land battle the attackers beam to their ship and fly away. The Enterprise pursues.

After pushing the engines to it's extremes (Warp 8) the enemy ship suddenly comes to a halt. Kirk tries to use this to his advantage and arms weapons but then the Enterprise also comes to a stop, all weapons dead. Then a voice says that both races are barbaric and to solve the dispute, the captains of each ship will fight each other to the death.

Then Kirk and the Gorn appear on a planet and fight. During the fight Kirk learns that the Gorn was just defending their space and saw the Federation as the intruders. Kirk eventually builds a make shift canon and uses it to disable the Gorn. When he goes for the killing blow securing the win he decides against it. When the alien asks why, he said that it was a misunderstanding and peace was still possible. This was the answer the alien was looking for and returns both captains to their ships.

Two crew members died in this episode. One was a red shirt and the other was a blue shirt.

The Squire of Gathos


TOS Season 1 Episode 17
Air Date: January 12th, 1967

Imagine if you had absolute power. Now imagine you were only 5 years old.

The Enterprise while travelling through a space desert (an area with very little interstellar objects) come across a toxic planet without a star. When they try to avoid it, Sulu and Kirk disappear off the bridge. The Enterprise start scanning the planet and decide to send down a search party using respirators. When they arrive the air is breathable and there is vegetation.

They quickly discover a castle and when they enter they find Kirk, Sulu and an alien named Trelene. Trelene seems facinated with Earth history, or well as he thought it was, Earth present. He is 900 light years away and was watching Earth's development but that means he is seeing earth as it was 900 years ago. He thinks humans are barbaric creatures that are constantly going to war (kind of accurate). And it turns out that Trelene is all powerful. He can make things appear out of thin air. He made Uhura play the harpsichord even though she never played before.

Kirk surmises that while Trelene is powerful he also makes mistakes and therefore can be beaten. He tricks Trelene into a pistol duel and uses it to destroy a machine that they suspected gave Trelene his powers. But it turns out not to help. Finally Kirk convinces Trelene to let the Enterprise go if they have a fight to the death (which Kirk can't win). But Trelene was dishonest and didn't let the Enterprise go. Just when you think Kirk is done for, two energy forms appear out of know where and scold Trelene as parents would scold a child. Trelene has a temper tantrum and is taken away.

This episode appears to be a common theme in The Original Series. The Enterprise regularly encounters aliens that have powers that appear godlike to us. In 1994 Peter David wrote a novel called Q-squared that proposed that Trelene was actually a member of the Q continuum.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Week Three



Fell behind this week as well. Wasn't expecting to have four hockey games schedules in the same week which ate up most of my viewing time. I was able to get through 7 episodes this week. This weekend was a long weekend which will give me some time to catch up but I am around 20 episodes behind schedule so I am going to have to do a few weekend marathons to get back on track.

My favorite episode was Balance of Terror. It was a cat and mouse game played between the Enterprise and a cloaked Romulan Bird of Prey. Some compare it to the film The Enemy Below which is a similar story about an American destroyer that was tracking a German U-boat. While a U-boat is able to mask itself by being quiet under the vastness of the sea, the Romulans have a cloaking device that when they are not moving is almost completely undetectable.

This week no one died which keeps the Red Shirts still behind in the tally.

I started playing Star Trek the 25th Anniversary, a point and click adventure game in the same vein as Kings Quest. I played for three hours and finished two of the seven chapters. The game is clunky due to it's age but overall still was fun. I recorded the session but part of it didn't come through very well. At the end of the game I will try to post the video to youtube.

TOS S1E10: The Corbomite Maneuver
TOS S1E11 & S1E12: The Menagerie
TOS S1E13: The Conscience of the King
TOS S1E14: Balance of Terror
TOS S1E15: Shore Leave
TOS S1E16: The Galileo Seven

The Galileo Seven


TOS Season 1 Episode 16
Air Date: January 5th, 1967

This episode was about Spocks first command. It was of a shuttle craft. While on their way to Makus III to deliver medical supplies, The Enterprise discovers a quasar and decides they have time to investigate. Spock, McCoy, Scotty and 4 other crew take a shuttle craft to a planet near the quasar but some ionic interference causes them to crash. The Entperise doesn't know where they ended up so it becomes a needle in a haystack search with a deadline as they have to get the medical supplies delivered.

On the planet they get attcked by something that appeared apelike and through giant spears. As they are fixing the shuttle craft Spock and Scotty estimate that at least one person would have to be left behind if they hope to make orbit. It is this that create the controversy of Spocks command in that each person wonders who he will chose to stay behind. The issue becomes mute though in that two are killed and they run out of fuel anyway.

Using the phasers as a replacement fuel source they are able to get into orbit but the Enterprise is already leaving. Spock makes an emotional decision to dump the fuel to make a bright trail behind the shuttle craft which does get seen by the enterprise.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Shore Leave


TOS Season 1 Episode 15
Air Date: December 29th, 1966

In a five year mission being cooped up on a star ship will effect people psychologically. Imagine living on a cruise ship and not being able to go to land for five years. This episode the Enterprise finds a class M planet but with only plant life. Not even fish or insects. Kirk orders the crew to have some shore leave. Spock of course refuses but insists that Kirk take some leave himself. The initial team that goes to the planet to make sure things are safe start hallucinating, seeing things like knights in suits of armor, or old friends and loved ones. At one point a Japanese Zero does a strafing run shooting at the away team.

Spock was able to break through the interference that suddenly occurred and transport down. Funny how interference always just happens to prevent the away team from communicating or getting away. They try avoiding then fighting and eventually realize that whatever they are thinking of is appearing. They all clear their minds, I half expected the Stay Puft Marshmallow man to show up. Then a person shows up and identifies himself as the caretaker of the planet and that the planet is designed to being whatever you can think of to life for the purpose of pleasure and that nothing that happens on the planet can really hurt them.

The crew then accepts this and has shore leave and comes back relaxed and happy. Everyone except for Spock who spends his shore leave on the Enterprise.

I started playing Star Trek: The 25th Anniversary, a point and click adventure game. There is a comment that spock makes about Kirk fighting with Finnegan which happened in this episode.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Balance of Terror


TOS Season 1 Episode 14
Air Date: December 15th, 1966

It is a widely known fact among Star Trek fans that Vulcans and Romulans shared a common ancestry. This was the episode where this was discovered. Spock reveals that nothing is known about the Romulan people as when the Earth-Romulan war occurred there was no video communication so the peace treaty that eventually was fostered and the neutral zone was all done using audio. This means that nobody has really seen Romulans.

The Enterprise responds to a distress call from the Federation outposts, three of which were destroyed and the fourth under attack. When the Enterprise arrives they see a Romulan bird of prey fire a weapon that completely destroys the outpost and then the ship disappears. The first practical cloaking device as in the past the power cost would make it unusable effectively in a starship. The power requirement does allow the Enterprise to track it while cloaked but not accurate enough to shoot it.

The Enterprise was able to tap into a communication feed from the Romulan ship and finally see what the Romulans look like. The crew was shocked to learn they looked like Vulcans and some of the crew became suspicious of Spock's allegiance. Kirk and the Romulan commander play a game of cat and mouse eventually leading to the Romulan ship being disabled with a critical reactor. Kirk offers to rescue the Romulans but the commander refuses and activates the self destruct. The commander is played by Mark Lenard who later plays Sarek, Spock's father.

The episode ended on a sad note. The opening scene was a wedding with Kirk as the marriage officiant but the wedding is interrupted by the distress call. During the battle with the Romulans, the groom ends up getting killed. The episode ends with Kirk telling the news to the bride.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Conscience of the King



TOS Season 1 Episode 13
Air Date: December 8th, 1966

You are a leader of a colony of eight thousand people and your food supply was mostly destroyed by a fungus. You only had enough supplies left to keep the people alive and new supplies won't arrive in time? This was the dilemma that Kodos had to solve when he was governor of Tarsus IV twenty years prior. He chose to have half of his people put to death so the other half could survive long enough to get the new supplies. He chose who would live and who would die based on eugenics, basically the stronger people would live and the weaker would die. After he had the four thousand killed, the replacement supplies arrived early which meant that nobody had to die, but only in hind sight. Kodos ended up dying by being burned and only a handful of people ever saw his face.

Twenty years after this massacre, Thomas Leighton, one of the people that had seen Kodos' face was watching a play and the lead actor was Kodos. He calls Kirk using a ruse as Kirk also had scene Kodos' face and he wanted Kirk's help. When Kirk arrives, Thomas is killed leaving only two people that had seen Kodos' face alive. Kirk and Lt. Kevin Riley whose parents died on Tarsus IV.

After some investigation Kirk callenges the actor who finally admits he is Kodos but denies killing anyone since. It turns out he wasn't the monster everyone thought he was and that he was put into a scenario with an impossible choice and even though he made the wrong one, he was trying to save lives. They soon discover that it is Kodos' daughter that was killing the ones that knew what Kodos looks like and in trying to kill Kirk, Kodos jumps in front of the phaser blast.

This episode was the last one that Grace Lee Whitney starred in as Yeoman Janice Rand. There was a lot of speculation why she was removed from the cast. Some say it was that they didn't want Kirk to have a love interest though in her autobiography she says that she was sexually assaulted by an executive of the show. She never says who but she feels that is why she was fired.

It isn't the last time we see her character though. She reprises the role of Janice Rand in the Star Trek movies, and even in a flashback episode of Star Trek Voyager.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Menagerie


TOS Season 1 Episode 11 and 12
Air Date: November 17th and 24th, 1966

When Gene Roddenberry first approached NBC with Star Trek and he made a pilot where Captain Christopher Pike was the main character on the Enterprise. NBC didn't like the pilot saying that they felt the Pike wasn't the right character. So Roddenberry went back and did a second pilot with William Shattner as Captain Kirk "Where no man has gone before" which became the 3rd episode of the series.

But instead of throwing away the footage he re-cut it into a two part episode where Captain Christopher Pike was seriously wounded and living his life as a vegetable but with an active mind. Much like ALS but a much longer lifespan. Spock hijacks the Enterprise with the goal of bringing Captain Pike back to Talos IV, a forbidden planet with aliens that can implant illusions into your mind.

I won't get into the contents of the pilot as I will watch it when I get to the late 80s when it was officially released, but the parts specific to the episode were around Spock being tried for mutiny and threatened with the death penalty. The trial has footage of Captain Pike going to Talos IV, from an angle that no camera could have seen. Turns out they were all illusions that were used to get Captain Pike to Talos IV where he could live a life in an illusion instead of the painful reality he was living.

The Corbomite Maneuver



TOS Season 1 Episode 10
Air Date: November 10th, 1966

If an alien were to appear in front of you today, how would you know if he were peaceful or have an ulterior motive? Many TV shows and movies deals with this plot, showing an alien coming to Earth in peace when they really want to take over or exploit our resources. Now imagine the roles are reversed and you are approaching an alien on their world. How would they know that we are peaceful?

In The Corbomite Maneuver, the Enterprise enters into an area of uncharted space and is encountered by some kind of rotating cube where each face is glowing a different color. The cube plants itself in front of the Enterprise preventing forward motion. The Enterprise tries to go around it but it stays planted in front of the Enterprise. They turn around and go to warp backwards (not sure that was ever done in Star Trek again) and the cube stays in front of the Enterprise, but it starts spinning and emitting radiation. Before the radiation gets lethal the Enterprise is forced to destroy the cube.

Moments later a large sphere over a mile in diameter approaches and tells the Enterprise that humans are a violent species and they will destroy the Enterprise in 10 minutes. Some of the crew start panicking and any attempt to escape including diplomacy fails, except one. Kirk decides to bluff. He tells the alien ship that every Starfleet star ship has a defensive device called corbomite that will reflect any attack back onto the attackers destroying them. When the count down hits zero, the sphere doesn't attack but they decide to tow the Enterprise deeper into their space to board and destroy them there. They use a smaller ship to do the towing.

Spock discovers that when the Enterprise tries to break free it causes stress on the other ships engines so they start doing erratic maneuvers eventually disabling the other ship. They soon discover that the other ship is floating adrift with life support failing and if the Enterprise leaves it means the crew will die. Kirk decides to beam over and try to help, even though the alien threatened to kill everyone on board. When they get there they discover the alien is not as threatening as it seemed and they were testing the Enterprise to see if human's were a violent or compassionate race.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Week Two


Second week down. I was still recovering from illness and Tuesday was reserved to travel. I got through an episode on the plane but was pretty much sleeping the entire time. On Friday I have a friend staying at my place for the weekend which takes away my catch up opportunity. Next weekend I plan to go through 5 episodes a day hoping to catch up and I get MLK day off.

This week a few red shirts did die, all in one episode leaving the count at Red: 2, Blue: 4, Gold 3.

I only got through 4 episodes this week but I do want to recommend two for viewing. Mudd's Women is an ok episode but I have seen articles saying that Harry Mudd will be in Star Trek Discovery so it might be good to watch this one just to see how they are different. My favorite episode of the 4 was What Little Girls Are Made Of. It was the first introduction of androids in the Star Trek universe and it was Majel Berret's first episode as Nurse Christine Chapel.

TOS S1E6: Mudd's Women
TOS S1E7: What Little Girls Are Made Of
TOS S1E8: Miri
TOS S1E9: Dagger of the Mind

Friday, January 11, 2019

Dagger of the Mind


TOS Season 1 Episode 9
Air Date: November 3rd, 1966

If someone is a violent criminal, is it better to incarcerate them or just use mind control to change them to remove violent tendency and turn them into law abiding citizens?

Dagger of the Mind starts with the Enterprise bringing supplies to a high security prison for the criminally insane. During the transfer of supplies, the Enterprise gets a stowaway who successfully gets to the bridge with a phaser. After subduing the stowaway they learn that there is something preventing him from talking about the prison. The prisoner actually experiences pain when trying to talk about it. This episode was the first one where we see the Vulcan mind meld. Spock melds with the stowaway to try to find out what is causing the pain he was experiencing.

When Kirk and the ships psychologist transports down to the prison to investigate they discover that the prisoner was actually one of the staff of the prison and not actually a prisoner. Doing some investigation they learn that the facility is using a mind control system to subdue violent tendencies. In the end, the Warden/Doctor running the facility gets stuck in his own mind control chair and ends up getting his mind altered to the point that he dies.

Miri


TOS Season 1 Episode 8
Air Date: October 27th, 1966

The enterprise enter into a solar system that perfectly matches Sol. They 3rd planet from the sun is a planet that perfectly resembles earth. Land mass, oceans, even when they beam down the buildings are the same. Spock estimates that it is mid 1960s architecture (convenient). Turns out the episode has nothing to do with any of this and is just a red herring.

The actual story is based around the people that are left on the planet. McCoy gets attacked by a teenager with scar tissue all over his body. When Kirk stuns him, he ends up dying. After some research they find out that hundreds of years ago the people were researching a way to prevent aging and accidentally released a virus that kills anyone who hasn't gotten to a certain point in puberty. For the children, the virus does what they were planning it to do, it prolongs their life allowing them to age very slowly.

The question the episode tries to tackle is, does age have to do with maturity. The children on this planet are 300 years old, but they haven't gone through puberty. They are smart, but they still act like children. Eventually bones finds a vaccine for the virus and risks injecting himself to see if it works, which it does.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

What Are Little Girls Made Of?


TOS Season 1 Episode 7
Air Date: October 20th, 1966

Many think of Data when thinking androids in Star Trek. But this episode was the one that first introduces them. The Enterprise is tasked to find Dr. Roger Korby on a planet that has been slowly dying, turning into an ice planet. Dr. Korby was researching the remnants of a civilization that used to live on the planet. Kirk beams down to the planet with Nurse Christine Chapel, played by Majel Barrett before she was married to Roddenberry, and discovers that Dr. Roger Korby has been able to use the technology found on the planet to make near perfect duplicates of anyone, right down to memories and personality. All of his expedition had died and he recreated them as androids. Except for Ruk, one of the few remaining androids that survived.

Kirk was able to fool Dr. Korby who created a copy of Kirk by implanting a false memory while his memories were being copied that alerted Spock to the threat. The androids were defeated but they discover that Dr. Korby himself was also and android.

This episode reminds me of the TNG episode "The Schizoid Man" where a scientist uploads his consiousness into Data in an effort to live forever. I also found an interesting similarity between Ruk and Homn, Lwaxana Troi's assistant.

This was the first episode where a red shirt died, but not just one but two. Red shirts are still behind at this point but at least they are on the board now.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Mudd's Women


TOS Season 1 Episode 6
Air Date: October 13th, 1966

Mudd's Women is an episode that deals with the superficial way we view women in society, expecting features that are difficult if not impossible to naturally obtain and putting value on those features as the most important part of attraction.

The Enterprise chase down a smuggler named Harry Mudd who smuggles women to farming communities to become wives for frontier farmers. My first thought was "Is this human trafficking?" but it seems like the women are there by their own free will. What we do discover is that the women are taking a drug that makes them appear irresistible to any man (except maybe Spock) who lays their eyes on them. This is certainly true of the men on the Enterprise who spend half of the episode gawking at the women.

The tension in the episode comes from the Enterprise damaging their lithium crystals which regulates the power and they need to get to a mining outpost to get replacement crystals before the last crystal runs out. Mudd uses this opportunity to make a deal with the miners to trade crystals for the girls to be wives and his freedom who was arrested at the beginning of the episode. The miners agree and the Enterprise is forced to give in to Mudd's demands in order to survive.

I recently saw an article pass by my Google Now feed mentioning Harry Mudd. It appears he will or is going to be in Star Trek Discovery which takes place before TOS. I believe he makes another appearance in TOS too.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Week One



I am at the end of the first week of the Year of Trek. It has unfortunately been a rocky start. First challenge is finding the time to watch the epsiodes while also being on vacation in Paris. After 12+ hour days I tend to be tired. I also got pretty sick and had slept 30 hours in a 36 hour stretch (missed my chance to go up the Eiffel tower, but at least it would have been my second time). As of today, I have watched 5 episodes out of the planned 10 so I will have some catch up to do. I should be able to catch up to most of it on the plane back.

So far there have been no red shirts that have died. One episode didn't have red shirts at all (pilot). So far the count is Blue:4, Gold: 3, Red 0.

My two favorite this week were "Where no man has gone before" and "The Naked Time".

TOS S1E1: The Man Trap
TOS S1E2: Charlie X
TOS S1E3: Where No Man Has Gone Before
TOS S1E4: The Naked Time
TOS S1E5: The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within


TOS Season 1 Episode 5
Air Date: October 22nd, 1966

What happens if you take away you separate your aggressive more primal side from your compassionate and passive side. A transporter malfunction causes Kirk to spit into two versions of himself, effectively the good and evil side. While Scotty is trying to find a way to fix the transporter to put Kirk back together and rescue the away team (shuttles aren't a thing yet), the crew has to deal with the issues of having two Captain Kirk.

As a warning, this episode does have a scene where the evil Kirk tries to rape Yeoman Rand which I wasn't expecting in a 60s show. The episode deals with the idea that every person has a good and evil side and even though we may not want to be evil, that side does give us useful traits such as the ability to make decisions or to defend ourselves when attacked. In the end they were able to fix the transporter, get Kirk put back together and rescue the away team. I wasn't a fan of how after merging the two Kirks they blew over the impact on Yeoman Rand and even tried to suggest the idea of a future romance.

There was an alien dog with a horn that was obviously a dog dressed up in a costume. It was also split into two with one side being vicious and the other being docile. It died when they tried to put it back together. I never forgive movies or TV shows for killing dogs.

The Naked Time


TOS Season 1 Episode 4
Air Date: September 29th, 1966

The Enterprise is being tasked to evacuate some researchers before a planet breaks apart. When they get to the planet, they find the researchers all dead and frozen (the planet has turned into an ice ball before falling apart). The cause of death of the researchers was due to odd reasons. One was strangled, another was taking a shower with clothes on when things got cold. 

One of the Enterprise crew, Mr. Tormolen broke quarantine protocols and exposed himself to some blood from one of the dead researchers. He was then infected with a complex molecule found in the water on the planet below that creates the effects of drinking alcohol. For some it makes them sad, others violent. Most just become silly. Eventually it will cause death.

The urgency created in the episode is that the Enterprise gets put into a decaying orbit towards the planet that is falling apart below due to drunk crewman messing with the engines. In the end they were able to create an antimatter implosion to kick start the warp core allowing them to escape the planet. It also put them into a time warp where they started going back in time, 3 days in this case. At the end of the episode Spock says that with this, they could travel back to any time and any planet should they need to, and Kirk says "We might risk it someday, Mr. Spock."

TNG has an episode at the beginning of the first season called The Naked Now which was almost the exact same theme. Unlike McCoy who finds the issue and cure by himself, the crew of the Enterprise D use historical records to find McCoys logs to discover his cure. Overall this one was the better of the two. Watching Sulu run around the Enterprise shirless with a epee alone made it worth watching.

Where No Man Has Gone Before


TOS Season 1 Episode 3
Air Date: September 22nd, 1966

This was the official pilot of the series. The original pilot (The Cage) was not aired until the 80's, and was rejected by NBC. They asked Roddenberry to go back and create a second pilot as they did see merit in the show but didn't see the show succeeding with the main character, Captain Christopher Pike. The role was recast and James R Kirk was the new captain of the Enterprise.

The episode starts with the Enterprise getting a distress signal of a ship from 200 years ago that had left our galaxy, something no Earth ship had done yet. The Enterprise heads to the galactic edge and follows the path of the ship where they meet an energy band. This energy band kills 9 crew members and incapacitates 2 others, Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell and Dr Elizabeth Dehner. They were able to escape the energy band but the warp engines were severely damaged.

Lt. Cmdr. Mitchell ended up with silver eyes, and starting showing signs of ESP. Being able to read thoughts, move objects with his mind and even withstand phaser fire. As the old saying goes, "Absolute power corrupting absolutely" and so was true for Mitchell. Eventually Dr. Dehner started gaining these powers too and helped Kirk kill Mitchell before he became too powerful. She died in the conflict herself.

The episode had a high cheese factor but the story was interesting. There were a few things though that felt out of place. There were no red shirts in this episode. Everyone wore gold except for medical staff that wore blue. Though I did notice there were different styles of gold uniforms so there may have been more to it but it is the only episode except the Menagerie that used these uniforms. Also, in all of Star Trek there has never been any indication that the Federation were close to the galaxy edge in any direction. Also, I didn't make a typo with Kirk's name. In the episode, Mitchell creates a grave for Kirk and the tombstone read James R. Kirk.


One part that was interesting is Mitchell makes a comment that during his time at the Academy he had Kirk as a teacher and in order to distract Kirk enough to help him get a good grade, he secretly set him up with a girl. Kirk mentions that he almost married her. I don't know if this gets mentioned again before Star Trek Generations.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Charlie X



TOS Season 1 Episode 2
Air Date: September 15th, 1966

Charlie was a teenager found alone on a planet by the ship Anteres and was transferred to the Enterprise to be taken to an colony planet. The episode follows Charlie as an adolescent that grew up alone, learning everything about life from recordings and books and only now finally seeing other people. Where the story takes a turn is that Charlie has super powers, and can make anyone disappear or control the ship remotely. He does end up killing everyone on the Anteres shortly after he transfers to the Enterprise.

As a kid, we are told what to do all the time and at a young age we just listen because we don't know any better. When we become a teenager, our brains have almost fully matured and we feel that we should have the right to do what we want because we can rationalize as any adult can. But what a teenager doesn't realize is they don't have the wisdom that comes with age and they are more controlled by their hormones then any other point in their lives. Mix this with super powers and you get Charlie.



Eventually the alien race that gave the powers to Charlie to help him survive show up and take Charlie away as well as return any crew members that were killed. Unfortunately they couldn't save the Anteres (don't know why).

Green Uniforms?


I was watching the second episode of The Original Series and noticed that Captain Kirk was wearing a green uniform. I have seen him do this before but it always seemed odd. In Star Trek, the uniform colors gives an indication of the role the officer has on the ship. In The Original Series and Enterprise red was for security, engineering and operations, blue was for science and medical while olive green was to represent command. In The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager red was for command and gold was for security, engineering and operations.

So why do we only on occasion see a green uniform usually only worn by Captain Kirk. It turns out the material that was used to make the original uniforms showed up as gold when filmed or photographed, while the alternate uniform we sometimes see Kirk wear was made of a different material so it would show up in the color it was originally intended to be. In later seasons, there is dialog which mentions gold uniforms which put it into canon from that point forth.

Another interesting uniform tidbit. The pants they wore was dark grey but on film it shows up black.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Man Trap


TOS Season 1 Episode 1
Air Date: September 8th, 1966

First episode aired to the public. The Enterprise is making a stop to resupply a research station at a planet where the indigenous population went extinct. The research station consisted of two people Professor Robert Crater and his wife Nancy Crater. Turns out that Nancy was McCoy's old girlfriend and the doctor was eager to see her again. When he did though she appeared as three different people to each of the landing party. To Dr. McCoy she appeared just as she did when he last saw her, young woman with dark brown hair. To Kirk she looked like she would have if she aged normally and to Darnell she appeared as a young women with blond hair.

After a few crew members die with mysterious marks on their face and no salt content in their bodies, the creature posing as Nancy finds her way on the enterprise and finds a few more victims. Using McCoy's love for Nancy he makes McCoy make a hard choice, but he finally does kill her, effectively killing the last of her kind. The real Nancy had died a year ago and the professor was giving the creature salt in exchange for a false relationship.

The First Day



Things got off on a rocky start, but it was a success. I had loaded up my old Amazon Fire HD with 16 episodes of The Original Series in preparation for my trip to France. Before I left home, I was searching for my headphones so I can watch it on the plane as planned, but I couldn't find them. My wife gave me her Apple earbuds that came with her last iPhone still in the package as a replacement, but when I got on the plane I found out that the headphones were not 3.5mm but instead a lightning connector. Air France provided headphones for the flight but when I tried to use them, the audio was at a whisper. The Fire HD doesn't seem to output that much volume and the videos I had were quiet to begin with. Thankfully I was able to get my wife to part with the Bose headphones she was using which were powered and was able to watch the first episode on time.

So, at 12:00am PST on January 1st, 2019 I watched Man Trap, the first episode of Star Trek aired. The episode was interesting. It involved a creature that was the last of it's kind that survives by eating salt. Their species had consumed all the salt on their planet leaving them with no food. They have an interesting ability where they can read your thoughts and make you think that you are somebody else. The overall story was enjoyable but there were tropes that today just seemed hard to watch that today wouldn't fly.

There is a meme in Star Trek where if you go on an away mission, and you see a character wearing a red uniform, they would probably die as they were the expendable character. John Scalzi even wrote a comedic novel called Red Shirts that made fun of this. In my spread sheet I created new columns to keep track of which color shirts died in each episode, and Interestingly in the Man Trap, two blue shirts and one gold shirt died.