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The Alternative Factor

Favorite Overall Trek Series/Movie   194 votes

  1. 1. What is your overall favorite Star Trek series?

    • Star Trek: Enterprise
      16
    • Star Trek: The Original Series
      45
    • Star Trek: The Animated Series
      0
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation
      55
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
      45
    • Star Trek: Voyager
      33
  2. 2. What is your overall favorite Star Trek movie?

    • Star Trek - I: The Motion Picture
      8
    • Star Trek - II: The Wrath of Khan
      39
    • Star Trek - III: The Search for Spock
      6
    • Star Trek - IV: The Voyage Home
      22
    • Star Trek - V: The Final Frontier
      4
    • Star Trek - VI: The Undiscovered Country
      26
    • Star Trek - VII: Generations
      11
    • Star Trek - VIII: First Contact
      62
    • Star Trek - IX: Insurrection
      6
    • Star Trek - X: Nemesis
      10

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

10 posts in this topic

Posted

The Alternative Factor

TOS Season 1, Episode 27

WRITTEN BY

Don Ingalls

DIRECTED BY

Gerd Oswald

First Aired Mar 30, 1967

Stardate 3087.6

After a disconcerting period of "nonexistence", Kirk finds a man called Lazarus who claims to be the cause of the distortion and is chasing an enemy with the aid of a time/space craft. However when he demands the Enterprise's dilithium crystals to continue his search, Kirk is left with a dilemma.

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Okay, I was completely lost with this episode. When I finally realised what was going on, I'd lost all interest.

I give it a 2, just because I thought the visual effects were creative.

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Posted

I give it a 4 just for the effort. I can sort of see what they were trying to do with this episode, but it's one of the worst ones of all the series for me. I must say, I enjoyed "Spock's Brain" more than I did this one.

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Posted

I must say, I enjoyed "Spock's Brain" more than I did this one.

I second this. Hell, "Spock's Brain" is at least FUNNY (even though it's not supposed to be funny, but that's exactly why it's funny *confuses everyone*).

But this episode? Ugh. I still don't get it, actually. It's one of the worst episodes ever IMO. It's just confusing, nothing more. I give it a 2 as well, I can't bring myself to give any TOS episode a 1, I like the show too much for that.

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Posted

Neat premise and liked the ending. :thumbsup2:

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Posted

I gave it a five. It wasn't an interesting plot really, and it didn't make any sense. I didn't understand the action at the end. Once they realized that one of the men was a mad man, couldn't have they just killed one or confined him? Also they tried to be too profound. Lazarus wouldn't have a madman at his throat for all eternity. It's more likely that one will kill the other, or that they will both die of thirst and hunger in a couple of days. I don't like the solution for this episode

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Posted

Oh, I know it's fiction and we'll probably never be able to hit warp 1, but the science in this one was complete and utter nonsense. The first ep I'm going to give just a 2 to. I didn't like the effects either.

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Posted

I'm glad to see that other's thoughts reflect my own on this one. I've seen it twice in a year, and I still don't entirely understand what they were getting at with this mess. To be honest, I don't want to know either. It'll give me a headache. The rating of a 1 seems fitting to me.

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Posted

TOS, "The Alternative Factor"; after many years of avoiding this episode, I decided to give it a revisit.

Wow; still pretty bad.  

The_Alternative_Factor_303.JPG

Though I have to admire the thematically ambitious story; if anything, the concept of parallel matter/anti-matter universes was very ahead of its time.  However, the episode stumbles in both the execution and the acting (Robert Brown's mad-Lazarus is so over-the-top he makes Caesar Romero's Joker look downright sedate).   If his madness were not so overplayed, it might have made for a more interesting 'guessing game.'  There also seems to be a scene or two missing in editing; the red shirt whom Lazarus renders unconscious in the dilithium energizer room is perfectly OK (without explanation) in his very next scene.   Did he (or Lt. Masters) even REPORT the fact that he was mysteriously rendered unconscious?  

The_Alternative_Factor_169.JPG

And moments later....

The_Alternative_Factor_266.JPG

And what the hell is up with Lazarus picking the highest local peak... to fall off of?  Twice (?!?).   Seriously, Lazarus; it's called 'gravity'... you might want to look into that. 

The_Alternative_Factor_224.JPG << Gravitationally challenged...

There are also some weird 'out-of-character' moments; like Bones berating a hapless security guard by derisively referring to him as a 'muscle man.'  Given that his patient was a raving maniac, the guard's presence was hardly uncalled for.    And McCoy also does a Beverly Crusher by seemingly not giving a s#!t where his patient goes when he leaves the sickbay. I can understand Lazarus' getting a clean bill of health, but given that Kirk & Spock thought he might very well be 'dangerous'?   You'd think McCoy, at the very least, should've ordered Lazarus confined to quarters after his discharge (esp. since NOTHING was known about who/what he was).  

If McCoy had only taken this ONE simple precaution?  Much of the crap that happens in this episode wouldn't have happened.   McCoy, in this episode, feels like 'the unreal McCoy.'  

The_Alternative_Factor_238.JPG << McCoy; being a bit of a d!@k.

And even in the remastered version of the episode, the 'winking out' effect of the universes is still pretty lame; a telescopic image of the Triffid Nebula, with what appears to be a rapidly spinning newspaper (!?) that'd look more in place in a 1950s Superman TV episode than Star Trek.   Again; an ambitious concept, undone by both the limits of the FX technology of that era (that the remastered version should've addressed) and clumsily rendered even with the means available (the acting, editing, and 'out-of-character' moments).  

Such a story, with a bit more meat on its bones, could've been more interesting.

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Posted

This IS a terrible one!  On the other hand, there are good reasons for that. 

The Charlene Masters subplot was taken out at the last minute, leaving the plot thinner than it was supposed to be, so they had to pad it out with endless scenes of Lazarus fighting himself.  And I guess you know that Robert Brown was cast at the VERY last minute, since John Drew Barrymore -- who was supposed to play Lazarus -- simply didn't show up for work the first day, and they had to film the scenes that didn't include Lazarus that day, while they scrambled to find a replacement.  Robert Brown seemed kinda confused, but it's no wonder -- the poor man barely had time to READ the script, much less understand it.

I do give them credit for trying an interesting science fictional idea.  If they weren't making these episodes at breakneck speed, maybe they could have done a somewhat better job using that idea.  As it is, I think this is the second-worst TOS episode ("And the Children Shall Lead" gets my vote for worst-ever TOS episode).

 

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Posted

I've avoided watching this for five years, it's still terrible.

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