Corylea

Most DISAPPOINTING TOS Episode

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Corylea   

On another site, someone started a thread asking which was the most "disappointing" TOS episode.  I thought that was an interesting question, something not as done-to-death as which is the worst TOS episode.  Only, it turns out that he actually MEANT the worst episode, not the most disappointing one.

But I still think that which is the most disappointing episode is an interesting question.  These are the episodes that had the potential to be a whole lot better than they were, if only X.

For example, I think the first two-thirds of "The Omega Glory" contains a really interesting idea, only they decided to do the labored Earth parallels (Yangs and Komms), and then they decided to do the laughable US parallels, down to a word-for-word reading of the Preamble to the US Constitution. :rolleyes:  But if they hadn't gone in that direction, if they'd actually considered the question about Tracey's breaking the Prime Directive in order to bring thousand-year lifespans to the Federation, that could have been interesting.  IF those people really HAD had the secret of longevity, would that have been worth breaking the Prime Directive?  And how could it have been brought to the Federation without causing chaos?  Or -- to take it in another direction -- what do you do when the captain of a starship goes crazy, a zillion light-years from anywhere?

Another example -- "The Alternative Factor."  As it stands, it's rather a mess, but I thought there were some interesting science fictional ideas in "The Alternative Factor," even though they were undermined by a lot of what was going on in the background.

First they decided to eliminate the romance between Charlene Masters and Lazarus, so they had to pad out the running time with endless scenes of Lazarus fighting himself. Then John Barrymore didn't show, so they had to get a replacement actor who didn't seem to completely understand what was going on (not his fault, since he didn't really have time to get oriented to the show or the script). Then the make-up team was inconsistent in putting on Lazarus' fake beard, so sometimes it looked as if he was Lazarus A when he was actually Lazarus B, adding confusion to an episode that already wasn't as clear as it could have been.

I think if they'd had time to do a real re-write on the script, after they decided to take out the romance subplot -- rather than just padding it out with more Lazarus-fighting-Lazarus -- and if they'd gotten a replacement actor in time to digest the script and to figure out how to play each alternate in a consistent way, this could have been turned into an interesting episode. As it is, I actually find it boring, the only TOS episode I can say that about. Even "And the Children Shall Lead" -- which I think is the worst TOS episode -- isn't actually boring, since we have Shatner chewing on the scenery to liven things up. :-)

So, which episodes do YOU find disappointing?  Which ones could have been a lot better, if only this one thing or these couple of things were different?  (These can be truly awful episodes that could have been adequate, or adequate episodes that could have been good, or even good episodes that could have been great, with just a few changes.)

 

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The first episode that came to my mind was "The Omega Glory" as well. It all starts out so nicely and interestingly only to de-rail into utter "huh?!" at the end (especially if you're not from the US, it leaves you with an "are they serious" feeling that something is rather out of place).

I still don't really get what "The Alternative Factor" is even supposed to be about, I'd label that one "confusing" but not "disappointing", lol. 

Another episode I can think of is "Catspaw". It all starts great and creepy and then it's all about alien bird things on strings and Kirk breaking a magic wand and... huh? (Might be a cultural thing again though, Halloween just ain't THAT big here.)

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Corylea   

The first episode that came to my mind was "The Omega Glory" as well. It all starts out so nicely and interestingly only to de-rail into utter "huh?!" at the end (especially if you're not from the US, it leaves you with an "are they serious" feeling that something is rather out of place).

And if you ARE from the US, it leaves you with a feeling of acute embarrassment and the urge to apologize to the rest of the world for the awfulness. :( 

 

Another episode I can think of is "Catspaw". It all starts great and creepy and then it's all about alien bird things on strings and Kirk breaking a magic wand and... huh? (Might be a cultural thing again though, Halloween just ain't THAT big here.)

Yes, you're right; that one also had some potential that was squandered.  The idea that the aliens were trying to play on the fears in the human unconscious could have been really cool -- and it would have been neat if they'd delved into Spock's mind, too, and showed us what fears are in the Vulcan unconscious -- but it seemed as if they kinda abandoned that idea partway through to have Sylvia try to seduce Kirk. :huh2: 

But then, they were making these episodes at break-neck pace, they never had enough money for what they wanted to do, and the special effects of the era weren't always up to what they would have liked to have shown.  The miracle of TOS is always that the episodes turned out as good as they did, given the constraints under which their makers were working. :inlove:

 

 

Edited by Corylea

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The first episode that came to my mind was "The Omega Glory" as well. It all starts out so nicely and interestingly only to de-rail into utter "huh?!" at the end (especially if you're not from the US, it leaves you with an "are they serious" feeling that something is rather out of place).

And if you ARE from the US, it leaves you with a feeling of acute embarrassment and the urge to apologize to the rest of the world for the awfulness. :( 

 

Another episode I can think of is "Catspaw". It all starts great and creepy and then it's all about alien bird things on strings and Kirk breaking a magic wand and... huh? (Might be a cultural thing again though, Halloween just ain't THAT big here.)

Yes, you're right; that one also had some potential that was squandered.  The idea that the aliens were trying to play on the fears in the human unconscious could have been really cool -- and it would have been neat if they'd delved into Spock's mind, too, and showed us what fears are in the Vulcan unconscious -- but it seemed as if they kinda abandoned that idea partway through to have Sylvia try to seduce Kirk. :huh2: 

But then, they were making these episodes at break-neck pace, they never had enough money for what they wanted to do, and the special effects of the era weren't always up to what they would have liked to have shown.  The miracle of TOS is always that the episodes turned out as good as they did, given the constraints under which their makers were working. :inlove:

 

 

And that many of them still hold up today due to the still relevant themes and issues they point out. Of course the show has episodes that make you go all *facepalm*, but then, so do all the other Trek series, no exceptions there. The fact that I actually had to go through a TOS episode list to come up with another example for a "disappointing" plot kinda proves that all in all it's a good show. ;) 

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Agree with the above examples. 

I would add Spock's Brain, And the Children Shall Lead as obvious choices of stories that really shouldn't have been done at all. 

A Piece of the Action gets a mention from me simply because McCoy has no business being in the story. 

Turnabout Intruder gets a mention because they ignored the whole thing of how in the future everyone of race and sex was equal and made it a point that women couldn't command a starship. Thankfully, Enterprise made it a moot point with Captain Hernandez.

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Locutus   

I'm going to go with the one about space hippies--"The Way to Eden."  I would be embarassed to show this episode to anyone.  It feels so dated and is an insulting, stereotypical portrayal of hippies--a bunch of dropouts with a crazy leader.  It doesn't ultimately say much if anything meaningful about the actual 60s countercultural movement.  The musical numbers are also cringe-worthy.  It's only saving grace is the ending because there is something oddly satisfying about seeing these characters suffer in "acid."

 

Or wait, was that supposed to be some veiled criticism about dropping acid?  If so, then the episode is even more off the mark, cause dropping acid before watching this drek is about the only thing that'd make the episode remotely interesting.

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I'm going to go with the one about space hippies--"The Way to Eden."  I would be embarassed to show this episode to anyone.  It feels so dated and is an insulting, stereotypical portrayal of hippies--a bunch of dropouts with a crazy leader.  It doesn't ultimately say much if anything meaningful about the actual 60s countercultural movement.  The musical numbers are also cringe-worthy.  It's only saving grace is the ending because there is something oddly satisfying about seeing these characters suffer in "acid."

 

Or wait, was that supposed to be some veiled criticism about dropping acid?  If so, then the episode is even more off the mark, cause dropping acid before watching this drek is about the only thing that'd make the episode remotely interesting.

I don't know if that episode 'disappoints' me per se, because what would one really expect from an episode about space hippies?   "Lost in Space" also did a space hippies episode ("The Promised Planet") and it was equally embarrassing, so I really had no expectations to be disappointed with.

 

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My big disappointments were two season 3 episodes - THE CLOUD MINDERS (written by David Gerrold who have his great script sabotaged by Fred Freinberger who hired Margaret Armen to re-write Gerrold script and turned it into a generic action episode) and of course, SPECTRE OF THE GUN, the first episode produced in the underrated third season, which was a great concept, a western Trek, again sabotaged by a very low budget and re-writes

Gus

Edited by GustavoLeao

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Sim   

Corylea, you already mentioned two episodes that came to my mind, too:

"The Alternate Factor" just makes no sense on screen. Or if it does, I don't understand it. I have no idea whatsoever what the story is supposed to be. But it's one of the episodes I read before I watched them for the first time (the James Blish short story adaption, 26 years ago). And while that was so long ago, I don't remember the details, I do remember that after reading it, I was not confused at all, but felt it was a pretty cool idea. So something on the way from first script to execution must have gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Like many others, I felt "The Omega Glory" was decent, even very interesting, until the flawed ending ruined it. An alternate ending could turn it into a pretty good episode.

And I agree with Gus on "The Cloudminders" -- I feel it already is a good episode. Great message, about social fairness and so on, perhaps even TOS' strongest comment on the "social question". But it's just good -- it could have been *great* if there had been less emphasis on action, and a bit more on the message.

But I disagree on "Spectre of the Gun" -- the bad sets add a lot of its creepy, surreal atmosphere. Had they had the money for real sets, that would have taken a lot from the episode, IMO.

Perhaps there are more examples that don't come to my mind right away...

Oh, and "Wolf in the Fold" could have been much better, if the last 10 minutes were less silly.

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I have to defend Spectre too, which is a third season ep I adore. For me, Spectre of the Gun is a great episode - eerie and enjoyable in all the right measures. It's still one of those I default to if I can't figure out what favorite episode to watch. I love everything about it - atmosphere, pacing, the story, the weird sets. 

Most TOS I watched as a small child and can't ever recall any were disappointing as such. Rewatching them as an adult, especially reacquainting myself with both favorites and less known eps, was an interesting experience, one that continues to this day. This is the amazing thing about TOS - even now, it unpeels further layers. Apparently Whom Gods Destroy was banned in the UK, so I didn't see that until it was released on video in the 80s. I still find it very talky and slow. In comparison to everything I've said above about Spectre, I find this one lacks all the same qualities. To be fair, this one reaches for the heights, but where it wants to be grand and meaningful, it just seems a bit pompous and overwrought. 

Who Mourns For Adonais, considered a classic by many, runs aground for me towards the end. Even though I actually really like it, I'd call it disappointing. It's literate, bombastic (in all the right ways), romantic and entertaining, until the god is overcome by technology and simply fades away. This bugged me as a kid, bugs me now. It's really quite poetic and seems appropriate, but I still can't help feeling disappointed that he seemingly accepts his fate in so meek a fashion. He's like a tree falling over in the woods - if no-one hears him, then he doesn't exist? Dude, find another race of gullible primates to appear to! It's a big galaxy...

Assignment Earth is also an episode that disappoints thanks to its focus on Gary Seven, who I don't really care about. I know all the production reasons why this episode exists and that's it's actually a backdoor pilot but I find it all sort of charmless because it usurps our usual heroes to concentrate on this guy. I like Roberta and I like his cat which is about the only moment as a kid I remember thinking, "I'd like to see more of her" but I also want them to take up less screen time. Still an episode I'll "bleep" over if there's a preferable one to watch, and there always is.

And The Children Shall Lead disappoints all the way through. It's actually a pretty good idea if you reduce it to the plot; it's just really poorly realized. Other S3 eps that are poorly realized somehow are still entertaining, like The Way to Eden, which is a tonal nightmare and never fails to crack me up. Almost all of them, even Turnabout Intruder, have some sort of merit so I couldn't call them disappointing, although the latter episode I'll avoid for other reasons. It's dated and wrong-headed, but somehow not disappointing except in the sense that it rides roughshod over TOS stated forward thinking and open-mindedness. (Which is something that would later exasperate me about TNG, too.)

That also holds true for The Omega Glory - this is an episode I really don't like and I think it's also wrong-headed in so many ways, even though Roddenberry's idea of parallel development was potentially an interesting one. It got forgotten in Miri, then was reintroduced here in the most hamfisted, ludicrous way. I think it's one of TOS' worst and it makes me exasperated. But somehow I can't call it disappointing, because it invokes in me an emotional reaction. 

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Sim   

Oh yes, "Turnabout Intruder". As a kid, I never understood why a woman isn't supposed to be a Captain, and just assumed this particular woman is crazy.

And I think this episode, which IMO is barely watchable because of this sexism, could be decent if just a few lines were changed -- skip all the "women cannot be captains" stuff, and instead say that this particular woman failed the tests because she was unstable. Et voilà, the episode would be somewhat okay.

 

And I just love "Spectre of a Gun" as well, just as it is. Certainly it's at the top of my season 3 favorites.

This surreal creepiness works very well for me. Quite nightmarish and feverish -- like in "Is There in Truth No Beauty" or "The Empath" as well. But "Spectre" is the best. :)

Edited by Sim

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Corylea, you already mentioned two episodes that came to my mind, too:

"The Alternate Factor" just makes no sense on screen. Or if it does, I don't understand it. I have no idea whatsoever what the story is supposed to be. But it's one of the episodes I read before I watched them for the first time (the James Blish short story adaption, 26 years ago). And while that was so long ago, I don't remember the details, I do remember that after reading it, I was not confused at all, but felt it was a pretty cool idea. So something on the way from first script to execution must have gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Like many others, I felt "The Omega Glory" was decent, even very interesting, until the flawed ending ruined it. An alternate ending could turn it into a pretty good episode.

And I agree with Gus on "The Cloudminders" -- I feel it already is a good episode. Great message, about social fairness and so on, perhaps even TOS' strongest comment on the "social question". But it's just good -- it could have been *great* if there had been less emphasis on action, and a bit more on the message.

But I disagree on "Spectre of the Gun" -- the bad sets add a lot of its creepy, surreal atmosphere. Had they had the money for real sets, that would have taken a lot from the episode, IMO.

Perhaps there are more examples that don't come to my mind right away...

Oh, and "Wolf in the Fold" could have been much better, if the last 10 minutes were less silly.

I agree all around. I "get" Alternative Factor. Lazarus and Anti Lazarus. Lazarus is insane over the existence of anti-Lazarus and wants to kill him, but to do it would destroy everything. But, ultimately, its failing is that it's too big a sci-fi bite to take for a '60s show. There's no sense of scope or peril. There's nothing to REALLY drive home that everything will die if the two meet.

So the viewer doesn't care like they are supposed to.

"Omega" would be good with one more rewrite that eliminates the Yangs and Khomes. The story about a plague-ridden ship and a captain now insane for immortality  is actually not bad. Kirk leaves happy after the chief swears the words will be obeyed. Ummm...he doesn't even UNDERSTAND the words.

And "Spectre" works for me, if for no other reason than it has one of the finest Spock moments in the series at the OK Corral.

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Kegg   

"The Alternative Factor" is a mess, but it's a loopy, intense, oddly sad kind of mess, I'm quite fond of it. But what of Lazarus... indeed.

 

"And The Children Shall Lead" is a dull episode about kids taking over the ship using jerk-off motions until Kirk summons a glowy green lawyer and makes them feel sad. It's my top bottom pick.

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Locutus   

I'm going to go with the one about space hippies--"The Way to Eden."  I would be embarassed to show this episode to anyone.  It feels so dated and is an insulting, stereotypical portrayal of hippies--a bunch of dropouts with a crazy leader.  It doesn't ultimately say much if anything meaningful about the actual 60s countercultural movement.  The musical numbers are also cringe-worthy.  It's only saving grace is the ending because there is something oddly satisfying about seeing these characters suffer in "acid."

 

Or wait, was that supposed to be some veiled criticism about dropping acid?  If so, then the episode is even more off the mark, cause dropping acid before watching this drek is about the only thing that'd make the episode remotely interesting.

I don't know if that episode 'disappoints' me per se, because what would one really expect from an episode about space hippies?   "Lost in Space" also did a space hippies episode ("The Promised Planet") and it was equally embarrassing, so I really had no expectations to be disappointed with.

 

It's a dissapointment because other Star Trek episodes hit upon 60s countercultural themes much more effectively without resorting to hippie stereotypes.  The episode was too literal and relied on hippie tropes.  

For instance, I thought "A Private Little War" or "This Side of Paradise" did a better job hitting upon the countercultural 60s pacifist, peace, and love movement than "The Way to Eden" without hitting you over the head with a hippie parody.  

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Sim   

I don't find "Way to Eden" disappointing either. Sure it's totally silly and dated, but I don't see how this episode could have been saved easily, neither does it show a promise capable of disappointing me by narrowly missing the mark. It's silly and dated, but very coherently so. :P  It's a pretty bad episode, but not disappointing.

Like other rather bad episodes, I even like it a lot. In all its silliness, it IMO has a couple of strong moments. For example, I like that Chekov finally gets something to do, genuinely so. And I just love the fact that Spock, of all people, kind of sympathizes with the hippies. His admission of being "familiar" with their feeling of alienation is a strong Spock moment, IMO.

So on the contrary, "Way to Eden" is even positively surprising, insofar as there are surprisingly nice moments in a really bad episode.

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I like Spectre of the Gun as well. The only problem I have with the story is why does the Federation need to make contact with that race, especially if they have a buoy sitting in space telling others they aren't welcome? Same goes for A Taste of Armageddon. If you're told to leave someone alone, leave them alone.

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But Kirk would just say "I'm in command. I could order this, but I'm not because Doctor McCoy is right in pointing out the enormous danger potential in any contact with life and intelligence as fantastically advanced as this, but I must point out that the possibilities - the potential for knowledge and advancement - is equally great. Risk! Risk is our business. That's what this starship is all about. That's why we're aboard her !!!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toG6aSQFF7Y

Gus

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I like Spectre of the Gun as well. The only problem I have with the story is why does the Federation need to make contact with that race, especially if they have a buoy sitting in space telling others they aren't welcome? Same goes for A Taste of Armageddon. If you're told to leave someone alone, leave them alone.

That's when the Prime Directive has no meaning. Kirk tells people that their world is theirs and will always remain theirs, yet, in "Armageddon," the Federation is damn well going to get its treaty port and in "Spectre" we are damn well gonna have first contact. If their high-sounding words mattered they would accept that not everyone in the galaxy loves them or wants to be like them or wants to meet them.

It's so easy to imagine one of these places being generations ahead of the Federation in technology and decide to unleash it on an aggressive Federation that refuses to take no for an answer. 

The Alternative Factor" is a mess, but it's a loopy, intense, oddly sad kind of mess, I'm quite fond of it. But what of Lazarus... indeed.

Welcome to the board if I haven't said that already.

But...only the one Lazarus...the crazy one can go rot. :) 

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The Alternative Factor always seemed to me like it could have been more of an epic story and with a bigger name guest star, some more time to write a little better, and maybe a half a million more budget, it could have been. But because what it is (a 1 hr drama in the 60's) it just falls short.

I'm surprised they didn't make use of an existing outdoor old west town for Spectre of the Gun (as with A Fistfull of Data's), but to be honest having it on the soundstage with red lighting just gives it that creepy effect it has and I think makes it work better. 

Having just watched Taste of Armageddon recently it just baffles me what was so damn important for Fox and the Federation to get to Eminar 7 to make contact with a race who didn't want contact (and for that matter, they weren't warp capable yet, so wasn't that a no-no too?).

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Sim   

Corylea, you already mentioned two episodes that came to my mind, too:

"The Alternate Factor" just makes no sense on screen. Or if it does, I don't understand it. I have no idea whatsoever what the story is supposed to be. But it's one of the episodes I read before I watched them for the first time (the James Blish short story adaption, 26 years ago). And while that was so long ago, I don't remember the details, I do remember that after reading it, I was not confused at all, but felt it was a pretty cool idea. So something on the way from first script to execution must have gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Like many others, I felt "The Omega Glory" was decent, even very interesting, until the flawed ending ruined it. An alternate ending could turn it into a pretty good episode.

And I agree with Gus on "The Cloudminders" -- I feel it already is a good episode. Great message, about social fairness and so on, perhaps even TOS' strongest comment on the "social question". But it's just good -- it could have been *great* if there had been less emphasis on action, and a bit more on the message.

But I disagree on "Spectre of the Gun" -- the bad sets add a lot of its creepy, surreal atmosphere. Had they had the money for real sets, that would have taken a lot from the episode, IMO.

Perhaps there are more examples that don't come to my mind right away...

Oh, and "Wolf in the Fold" could have been much better, if the last 10 minutes were less silly.

I agree all around. I "get" Alternative Factor. Lazarus and Anti Lazarus. Lazarus is insane over the existence of anti-Lazarus and wants to kill him, but to do it would destroy everything. But, ultimately, its failing is that it's too big a sci-fi bite to take for a '60s show. There's no sense of scope or peril. There's nothing to REALLY drive home that everything will die if the two meet.

So the viewer doesn't care like they are supposed to.

If I remember correctly from the short story adaption -- and it may well be my mind is playing tricks on me, after 26 years --, in that version, Lazarus is one and the same, but has been chasing himself with his time machine for ages, and gone crazy over crossing his own timeline time and again.

Perhaps I should read the short story again some day. :)

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Corylea   

Oooh, lots of interesting posts since I was last here!  I want to talk about all of them, but I'll restrain myself. :biggrin:

 

 I agree with Gus on "The Cloudminders" -- I feel it already is a good episode. Great message, about social fairness and so on, perhaps even TOS' strongest comment on the "social question". But it's just good -- it could have been *great* if there had been less emphasis on action, and a bit more on the message.

Yes, I agree.  The distance between the haves and have-nots -- and the disdain and dehumanization of the haves for the have-nots -- has only gotten worse since this episode was first made.  With a tighter focus on that message, it could have been great, instead of pretty good.  But NBC wanted action-adventure, so we needed to have captains fist-fighting. :rolleyes: 

And then there's the whole thing where Spock casually talks to Droxine about pon farr, even though he could barely choke out the words to his best friend, last season.  I've seen a lot of people wonder why on earth Spock is flirting with Droxine, given that he's not under the influence of spores or 5000 years in the past or something like that.  And while I know the behind-the-scenes reason, my own personal in-universe explanation is that Spock has watched Kirk get them out of trouble by flirting for a long time now.  And Spock's a smart guy.  This particular woman seems drawn to him for some reason, so it's probably up to him -- rather than Kirk -- to flirt with her enough to get her on their side or to get information out of her or something.  I should start a thread someday about those little internal explanations we all make to ourselves -- what the fan fictioneers call "head canon" -- because I bet a lot of people have come up with a lot of explanations that we'd all enjoy hearing. :laugh:

But I disagree on "Spectre of the Gun" -- the bad sets add a lot of its creepy, surreal atmosphere. Had they had the money for real sets, that would have taken a lot from the episode, IMO.

Yeah, I think the half-finished buildings add a dreamlike quality to things that supports the notion that this is all an illusion, taken from Kirk's half-remembered history and stories.  I think it would have been a much worse episode with full-fledged sets.

Oh, and "Wolf in the Fold" could have been much better, if the last 10 minutes were less silly.

You mean about the time the entity leaves Hengist's body onwards?  I actually love stoned Sulu -- we so rarely get much Sulu, but Takei took full advantage of any opportunity they gave him -- and I love the idea that there are unsolved problems that could fully occupy the computer, leaving it unavailable for the entity.  Of course, I think that idea should have come from Spock, rather than from Kirk, but ... Shatner. :rolleyes:

On the other hand, I agree about the very end, where Kirk wants to go down to the planet to watch exotic dancers but can't bring himself to go alone.  Though it is a priceless Spock moment. :)

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Corylea, you already mentioned two episodes that came to my mind, too:

"The Alternate Factor" just makes no sense on screen. Or if it does, I don't understand it. I have no idea whatsoever what the story is supposed to be. But it's one of the episodes I read before I watched them for the first time (the James Blish short story adaption, 26 years ago). And while that was so long ago, I don't remember the details, I do remember that after reading it, I was not confused at all, but felt it was a pretty cool idea. So something on the way from first script to execution must have gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Like many others, I felt "The Omega Glory" was decent, even very interesting, until the flawed ending ruined it. An alternate ending could turn it into a pretty good episode.

And I agree with Gus on "The Cloudminders" -- I feel it already is a good episode. Great message, about social fairness and so on, perhaps even TOS' strongest comment on the "social question". But it's just good -- it could have been *great* if there had been less emphasis on action, and a bit more on the message.

But I disagree on "Spectre of the Gun" -- the bad sets add a lot of its creepy, surreal atmosphere. Had they had the money for real sets, that would have taken a lot from the episode, IMO.

Perhaps there are more examples that don't come to my mind right away...

Oh, and "Wolf in the Fold" could have been much better, if the last 10 minutes were less silly.

I agree all around. I "get" Alternative Factor. Lazarus and Anti Lazarus. Lazarus is insane over the existence of anti-Lazarus and wants to kill him, but to do it would destroy everything. But, ultimately, its failing is that it's too big a sci-fi bite to take for a '60s show. There's no sense of scope or peril. There's nothing to REALLY drive home that everything will die if the two meet.

So the viewer doesn't care like they are supposed to.

If I remember correctly from the short story adaption -- and it may well be my mind is playing tricks on me, after 26 years --, in that version, Lazarus is one and the same, but has been chasing himself with his time machine for ages, and gone crazy over crossing his own timeline time and again.

Perhaps I should read the short story again some day. :)

The screenplay adaptation from James Blish? Been years since I've read any of those. Indeed, that might have worked better.

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Corylea   

I don't find "Way to Eden" disappointing either. Sure it's totally silly and dated, but I don't see how this episode could have been saved easily, neither does it show a promise capable of disappointing me by narrowly missing the mark. It's silly and dated, but very coherently so. :P  It's a pretty bad episode, but not disappointing.

Like other rather bad episodes, I even like it a lot. In all its silliness, it IMO has a couple of strong moments. For example, I like that Chekov finally gets something to do, genuinely so. And I just love the fact that Spock, of all people, kind of sympathizes with the hippies. His admission of being "familiar" with their feeling of alienation is a strong Spock moment, IMO.

So on the contrary, "Way to Eden" is even positively surprising, insofar as there are surprisingly nice moments in a really bad episode.

Some parts of TOS are as fresh and relevant as the day it was made, and some parts are very dated.  But I think even the dated parts can be extremely interesting, if one thinks of them as a time capsule from fifty years ago, telling us what people where thinking back then.  Think of it as a way to mind-meld with our parents. :)

I figure any episode that has Spock playing the lute isn't a TOTAL loss. :inlove:   But even beyond that, I see this episode as kind of a time capsule from 1968.  In 1968, young people were taking over public buildings by sitting down and singing.  The authorities had no idea how to handle this, and people were Very Concerned About What This Means For Our Civilization.  Of course, from the perspective of 2016, the sit-ins of the 60's are ancient history; we know that civilization managed to survive young people sitting down and singing. :P  But at the time, it was a big deal, and I like this episode because it reminds us of how things were seen at the time.  What do we DO about young people who sit down and sing?! :laugh:

(Personally, I think the world would be better off if young people were sitting down and singing more today; I loved the "We CAN change the world" vibe of the late 60's and early 70's.)

And as Sim says, I LOVE it that someone as duty-struck and restrained as Spock is the one who connects with the space hippies and who seems to understand them at least somewhat; it lends quite a bit of a sympathetic vibe to the character.

I'm (just barely) old enough to remember 1966, and SO much has changed in that time; you wouldn't believe it if you hadn't lived through it.  Although this is far from my favorite episode, I do value it because it so faithfully recaptures the era.

 

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Sim   

I don't find "Way to Eden" disappointing either. Sure it's totally silly and dated, but I don't see how this episode could have been saved easily, neither does it show a promise capable of disappointing me by narrowly missing the mark. It's silly and dated, but very coherently so. :P  It's a pretty bad episode, but not disappointing.

Like other rather bad episodes, I even like it a lot. In all its silliness, it IMO has a couple of strong moments. For example, I like that Chekov finally gets something to do, genuinely so. And I just love the fact that Spock, of all people, kind of sympathizes with the hippies. His admission of being "familiar" with their feeling of alienation is a strong Spock moment, IMO.

So on the contrary, "Way to Eden" is even positively surprising, insofar as there are surprisingly nice moments in a really bad episode.

Some parts of TOS are as fresh and relevant as the day it was made, and some parts are very dated.  But I think even the dated parts can be extremely interesting, if one thinks of them as a time capsule from fifty years ago, telling us what people where thinking back then.  Think of it as a way to mind-meld with our parents. :)

I figure any episode that has Spock playing the lute isn't a TOTAL loss. :inlove:   But even beyond that, I see this episode as kind of a time capsule from 1968.  In 1968, young people were taking over public buildings by sitting down and singing.  The authorities had no idea how to handle this, and people were Very Concerned About What This Means For Our Civilization.  Of course, from the perspective of 2016, the sit-ins of the 60's are ancient history; we know that civilization managed to survive young people sitting down and singing. :P  But at the time, it was a big deal, and I like this episode because it reminds us of how things were seen at the time.  What do we DO about young people who sit down and sing?! :laugh:

(Personally, I think the world would be better off if young people were sitting down and singing more today; I loved the "We CAN change the world" vibe of the late 60's and early 70's.)

And as Sim says, I LOVE it that someone as duty-struck and restrained as Spock is the one who connects with the space hippies and who seems to understand them at least somewhat; it lends quite a bit of a sympathetic vibe to the character.

I'm (just barely) old enough to remember 1966, and SO much has changed in that time; you wouldn't believe it if you hadn't lived through it.  Although this is far from my favorite episode, I do value it because it so faithfully recaptures the era.

 

Yes, very good point (about the time capsule)! :)

I guess that's the reason why this episode doesn't appear on my "worst episodes" list (not a favorite, but none of the worst either). When I rewatch it, it immediately comes to my mind that this episode is from 1968, and as something made in that year, I don't think I can blame it for its lack of distance to the hippie phenomenon.

That, and I have a soft spot for hippies and civil disobedience. Making fun of authority, or making it look silly, is a thing I sympathize with very much... even moreso when it happens in a friendly and peaceful manner. What did they call Kirk? "Otto"? :P Hehehehe...

Edited by Sim

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Corylea   

Yes, very good point (about the time capsule)! :)

Thanks!

That, and I have a soft spot for hippies and civil disobedience. Making fun of authority, or making it look silly, is a thing I sympathize with very much... even moreso when it happens in a friendly and peaceful manner. What did they call Kirk? "Otto"? :P Hehehehe...

Yeah, me, too, as I guess you could tell.

You're just winding me up with that "Otto," right? :ohmy:  You know that the hippies called Kirk "Herbert" as an in-joke, using Herbert Solow's name.  Right?

 

Edited by Corylea

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