Sam

What was the last Star Trek episode you watched?

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ST: TAS, "One Of Our Planets Is Missing."

oneofourplanetsismissing070.jpg

Very reminiscent of TOS' "Immunity Syndrome" but with an interesting sentient twist...

 

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More Star Trek: The Animated Series, "More Tribbles, More Troubles" (with audio commentary by writer David Gerrold).

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Star Trek TAS, "Bem" (with audio commentary by David Gerrold).   

Bem was originally going to be a live action episode of TOS until S3 producer Fred Friedberger nixed it.  But Bem is a perfect example of a character that was much easier to do in animated form; "Bem" is a conjoined life-form; with the ability to separate into pieces when necessary.   The TOS version Gerrold originally wrote had the character being played by a pair of little persons who could separate in two; which would've been awkward and probably quite unconvincing at best.  

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Tried to watch some 7th season episodes that I honestly can't remember if I'd ever seen before now ("Natural Law" & Repentance").   I'm sure I saw them at some point after the show ended, but I honestly can't remember seeing these two before now (I had a season and a half period where I 'fell out' with VGR; but I thought I'd caught up later on).   

Neither one really changed my overall opinion of the show (still not a fan), but "Repentance" had its moments... some interesting commentary on the penal system.   

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Last night, I tried to give "Mudd's Women" (ST-TOS) another chance.  Hadn't seen it in years and I wondered if time would be any kinder (or crueler?) to it.

muddswomen290.jpg

Well, I'm sad to say that "Mudd's Women" is every bit as bad as I remember.
About the only positives I can say is that it has some great music on the soundtrack (in fact, it was listening to the TOS soundtrack that made decide to give it another chance).  Some of the tracks were very iconic and were used in many other episodes (most notably "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" and other S1 highlights).   And like him or loathe him, the late Roger Carmel gave a helluva performance as Harry Mudd.   He's certainly memorable, if not at all likable.   

As for the rest of the episode?  It's unworthy of Star Trek.   Ironically, the idea of selling wives to settlers would've made a much better episode of the long-defunct "Firefly" series, which had outer colonies of humankind reverting to more barbaric 'frontiersman-like' existences.  Maybe it was tied in to Roddenberry's initial pitch to the network that ST would be nothing more than a "wagon train to the stars" (a space western).   But in ST?  The idea of selling wives to settlers is just hopelessly outdated and wrongheaded for this show.  

Here's my list of why I can't stand this episode:

*  Harry Mudd.  
Yes, Roger Carmel plays the hell out of the role, but I hate the character.  Basically he's a pimp and slave trader.  This is the kind of thing that happens with Orions, but not humans.   Yet his playful theme song and chuckle-filled banter with Kirk makes him come off more like a shady used car salesman or 'rogue swindler' than a peddler of human flesh.  If he looked and acted like a Klingon or a Talosian, I doubt he'd be so sympathetic.

muddswomen087.jpg

*  The women.
What is WRONG with these women??  Seriously, they live in the Federation (granted the concept hadn't been ironed out yet, but still...) and yet they seem intent on settling on a life of servitude and male dominance.   And leaving Eve in the 'care' of a stupid brute on Rigel 12 was a 'happy' ending??

* Lt. Uhura's lack of a role in an episode where she should've been front-and-center.
Weren't ANY of Mudd's women inspired by the sight of another woman in a position of rank & authority aboard the very ship they found themselves on?   Uhura's commentary on the situation was SORELY lacking in this episode.   In fact, there could've been a scene or two where she (and other female officers aboard) needed to take command of the ship, seeing how the men were so derelict in their duties due to the effects of "Mudd's women."    Luckily, TAS would rectify that situation with "The Lorelei Signal", which had Uhura & Chapel seize command of the Enterprise when the men of the ship were under the spell of the titular signal.   A missed opportunity in TOS...

theloreleisignal_124.JPG << Much better.

* The Venus drug.
So the Venus drug also applies blush, lipstick, eyeliner and soft gel-lighting as well?   Not to mention that the 'miracle' Eve had in the episode's climax was just a placebo effect; which is a medically validated phenomenon.  It doesn't mean that the Venus drug didn't work on her, it only meant that her body was so used to responding to it that she fooled herself into letting a placebo do the same.   It also works on painkillers, too (trust me... hehe).

* The miners on Rigel 12.
OK, I wouldn't expect miners to be the most enlightened group of people, but really; they don't even know how to clean their own pots and pans?  Don't they have automated dishwashers for goodness' sake (a 20th century invention, I might add)?   These guys are (allegedly) filthy rich; so why the hell do they still live like the f--king Flintstones?  Granted, Rigel 12 is a harsh environment but wouldn't the Federation TAKE CARE of these guys?  Their job is so critical to the success of Starfleet, right?   We see archeologists like the Craters (Nancy & Robert) later on in "The Man Trap" (or earlier, if you watched in broadcast order) having all of their provisions and med checkups annually tended to by starships.   Don't the miners get the same?   Or at the very least, nicer quarters and a damn dishwasher?   Hell, spring for the full package and get these guys some memory foam mattresses and free wi-fi.    Speaking of free... these guys keep talking about wealth and money and bartering, etc.   This is the same future that supposedly abandoned currency and material wealth, right?  And the miners' jobs couldn't be automated by the 23rd century?

*  The miners threatening the crew's lives.
Seriously now; the Enterprise is due to spiral in (and burn up) without engine power, and Ben Childress (the lead miner) tells Kirk he'll get the crystals "later" (WTF??!).  I mean, you'd think Kirk would deliver a nice haymaker or two across his chops.   Or maybe the Enterprise could've simply scanned for the crystals from orbit, using that same scanning technology used to locate Childress' cooking stove from orbit (when they were searching for Eve) and beamed them aboard; or threaten to stun the miner's camp using the same phaser stun tech in "A Piece of the Action"; sure, it would've taken a lot of power to do so, but they'd have gotten their crystals with a LOT less bulls#!t from the miners...

muddswomen213.jpg

*  The Enterprise not going green.
If the Enteprise's power were that low on energy (half-battery power or whatever), you'd think Kirk (and the entire crew) would be in massive power conservation mode; lower lights, maybe?  Or how about turning off a few dozen non-essential systems?  I guess the lessons of Apollo 13 were still a few years away when this one came out.   Just a thought...

*  Lithium (or dilithium) crystals.
I'm not going to nerd-pick too much about the terminology or nature of the crystals.  It was early on in the show, so I give that a pass.  What I have a bit more trouble with is that they only have a handful of these oh-so-vital minerals aboard the damn ship!   Six or so burn out and the entire ship is paralyzed.   They don't have a giant storage locker somewhere filled with these things??   We see later (in the oh-so-lousy "Alternative Factor") that they later amended that situation, but here it seems like a ridiculous oversight to send a ship out "where no man has gone before" with only a handful of vital, mission-critical crystals.    

*  And the sexism that fills every pore, nook and cranny of this damn episode.  It's so thick and irritating it literally makes my head hurt.  
It's a shame this episode has such a great musical soundtrack, because every other thing about it just makes me angry...

hulk-o.gif

I needed my whole body to hate this episode.  

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TNG's "The Pegasus".   I keep waiting for Riker to suddenly put on weight and go to the Holodeck to think things over.

Or Troi to change her hairstyle several times during the episode... :giggle:

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Sim   

Last night, I tried to give "Mudd's Women" (ST-TOS) another chance.  Hadn't seen it in years and I wondered if time would be any kinder (or crueler?) to it.

muddswomen290.jpg

Well, I'm sad to say that "Mudd's Women" is every bit as bad as I remember.
About the only positives I can say is that it has some great music on the soundtrack (in fact, it was listening to the TOS soundtrack that made decide to give it another chance).  Some of the tracks were very iconic and were used in many other episodes (most notably "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" and other S1 highlights).   And like him or loathe him, the late Roger Carmel gave a helluva performance as Harry Mudd.   He's certainly memorable, if not at all likable.   

As for the rest of the episode?  It's unworthy of Star Trek.   Ironically, the idea of selling wives to settlers would've made a much better episode of the long-defunct "Firefly" series, which had outer colonies of humankind reverting to more barbaric 'frontiersman-like' existences.  Maybe it was tied in to Roddenberry's initial pitch to the network that ST would be nothing more than a "wagon train to the stars" (a space western).   But in ST?  The idea of selling wives to settlers is just hopelessly outdated and wrongheaded for this show.  

Here's my list of why I can't stand this episode:

*  Harry Mudd.  
Yes, Roger Carmel plays the hell out of the role, but I hate the character.  Basically he's a pimp and slave trader.  This is the kind of thing that happens with Orions, but not humans.   Yet his playful theme song and chuckle-filled banter with Kirk makes him come off more like a shady used car salesman or 'rogue swindler' than a peddler of human flesh.  If he looked and acted like a Klingon or a Talosian, I doubt he'd be so sympathetic.

muddswomen087.jpg

*  The women.
What is WRONG with these women??  Seriously, they live in the Federation (granted the concept hadn't been ironed out yet, but still...) and yet they seem intent on settling on a life of servitude and male dominance.   And leaving Eve in the 'care' of a stupid brute on Rigel 12 was a 'happy' ending??

* Lt. Uhura's lack of a role in an episode where she should've been front-and-center.
Weren't ANY of Mudd's women inspired by the sight of another woman in a position of rank & authority aboard the very ship they found themselves on?   Uhura's commentary on the situation was SORELY lacking in this episode.   In fact, there could've been a scene or two where she (and other female officers aboard) needed to take command of the ship, seeing how the men were so derelict in their duties due to the effects of "Mudd's women."    Luckily, TAS would rectify that situation with "The Lorelei Signal", which had Uhura & Chapel seize command of the Enterprise when the men of the ship were under the spell of the titular signal.   A missed opportunity in TOS...

theloreleisignal_124.JPG << Much better.

* The Venus drug.
So the Venus drug also applies blush, lipstick, eyeliner and soft gel-lighting as well?   Not to mention that the 'miracle' Eve had in the episode's climax was just a placebo effect; which is a medically validated phenomenon.  It doesn't mean that the Venus drug didn't work on her, it only meant that her body was so used to responding to it that she fooled herself into letting a placebo do the same.   It also works on painkillers, too (trust me... hehe).

* The miners on Rigel 12.
OK, I wouldn't expect miners to be the most enlightened group of people, but really; they don't even know how to clean their own pots and pans?  Don't they have automated dishwashers for goodness' sake (a 20th century invention, I might add)?   These guys are (allegedly) filthy rich; so why the hell do they still live like the f--king Flintstones?  Granted, Rigel 12 is a harsh environment but wouldn't the Federation TAKE CARE of these guys?  Their job is so critical to the success of Starfleet, right?   We see archeologists like the Craters (Nancy & Robert) later on in "The Man Trap" (or earlier, if you watched in broadcast order) having all of their provisions and med checkups annually tended to by starships.   Don't the miners get the same?   Or at the very least, nicer quarters and a damn dishwasher?   Hell, spring for the full package and get these guys some memory foam mattresses and free wi-fi.    Speaking of free... these guys keep talking about wealth and money and bartering, etc.   This is the same future that supposedly abandoned currency and material wealth, right?  And the miners' jobs couldn't be automated by the 23rd century?

*  The miners threatening the crew's lives.
Seriously now; the Enterprise is due to spiral in (and burn up) without engine power, and Ben Childress (the lead miner) tells Kirk he'll get the crystals "later" (WTF??!).  I mean, you'd think Kirk would deliver a nice haymaker or two across his chops.   Or maybe the Enterprise could've simply scanned for the crystals from orbit, using that same scanning technology used to locate Childress' cooking stove from orbit (when they were searching for Eve) and beamed them aboard; or threaten to stun the miner's camp using the same phaser stun tech in "A Piece of the Action"; sure, it would've taken a lot of power to do so, but they'd have gotten their crystals with a LOT less bulls#!t from the miners...

muddswomen213.jpg

*  The Enterprise not going green.
If the Enteprise's power were that low on energy (half-battery power or whatever), you'd think Kirk (and the entire crew) would be in massive power conservation mode; lower lights, maybe?  Or how about turning off a few dozen non-essential systems?  I guess the lessons of Apollo 13 were still a few years away when this one came out.   Just a thought...

*  Lithium (or dilithium) crystals.
I'm not going to nerd-pick too much about the terminology or nature of the crystals.  It was early on in the show, so I give that a pass.  What I have a bit more trouble with is that they only have a handful of these oh-so-vital minerals aboard the damn ship!   Six or so burn out and the entire ship is paralyzed.   They don't have a giant storage locker somewhere filled with these things??   We see later (in the oh-so-lousy "Alternative Factor") that they later amended that situation, but here it seems like a ridiculous oversight to send a ship out "where no man has gone before" with only a handful of vital, mission-critical crystals.    

*  And the sexism that fills every pore, nook and cranny of this damn episode.  It's so thick and irritating it literally makes my head hurt.  
It's a shame this episode has such a great musical soundtrack, because every other thing about it just makes me angry...

hulk-o.gif

I needed my whole body to hate this episode.  

Great review! Agree with every sentence of it ... I'd love to add something, but you said it all. :P

"Mudd's Women" and "The Alternative Factor" are the two (only) clunkers in an otherwise extraordinarily strong first season, IMO (hope I didn't forget another episode, but I guess... no, just these two really suck).

Oh wait, there is one little thing I can add: Notice how this episode and "Corbomite Maneuver" are the only two with Uhura wearing a yellow uniform? Guess these two were the first two episodes shot after the pilot(s).

Edited by Sim

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Star Trek, "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" 

After all these years, still a very creepy attempt at balls-out horror for Star Trek.   Written by "Psycho"'s Robert Bloch, no less (!).  Roger Korby (played by actor Michael Strong with all the 'charm' of Ted Cruz) creeped me out long before his 'big reveal.'   Ruk is still pretty spooky even if his padded costume makes him look like he's shoplifting pillows from his local Walmart...


And ST-TNG, "The Child"

Haven't seen this one in awhile; after I'd watched it I remembered why.   Worth it more for Pulaski and the Guinan/Wesley scenes than anything else (Guinan & Wes' moments in Ten-Forward were charming; they belonged in a better episode).  The titular 'child' Ian was never sufficiently developed as a character for us (the audience) to truly mourn his passing (a better example of this kind of story is S3's, "The Offspring"; where we really got to know and care for Lal before her 'deactivation'). 

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I binged on Season 4 of TNG:

  • Family
  • Brothers
  • Suddenly Human
  • Remember Me
  • Legacy
  • Reunion
  • Future Imperfect
  • Final Mission
  • The Loss
  • Data's Day
  • The Wounded
  • Devil's Due
  • Clues
  • First Contact
  • Galaxy's Child
  • Night Terrors
  • Identity Crisis
  • The Nth Degree

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Redemption Part 1/2.

redemptionpartone003.jpg

Not a big Klingon fan, but I decided to give this one a revisit.  And I still think Part 2 is waaaay overstuffed (it's about 4 episodes in one) and kind of all over the place, but part 1 is both streamlined and takes its time.  Love Picard and Worf's scene in his quarters in the teaser.   

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CaptPapa   

As part of the anniversary celebration, I'm watching each of the episodes and movies (original crew of course), in production order.  The other night was Arena.  Pretty good, and it brought up a question; does anyone remember the Gorn commander blinking in any other version of the episode?  This happens in a close-up shortly after he and Kirk are sent to the Metrons' planet.  I'm watching my remastered (not Blu-ray) DVD.  I don't have my VHS, LaserDisc, or original DVD editions anymore to check for comparison.  I don't recall it from previous versions, but I don't trust my memory too much anymore.

ME

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As part of the anniversary celebration, I'm watching each of the episodes and movies (original crew of course), in production order.  The other night was Arena.  Pretty good, and it brought up a question; does anyone remember the Gorn commander blinking in any other version of the episode?  This happens in a close-up shortly after he and Kirk are sent to the Metrons' planet.  I'm watching my remastered (not Blu-ray) DVD.  I don't have my VHS, LaserDisc, or original DVD editions anymore to check for comparison.  I don't recall it from previous versions, but I don't trust my memory too much anymore.

ME

They added the blink for the remastered version; that included the remastered blu rays and DVDs. 

I have the early 2000s DVDs (the two episodes per disc volumes) and the 2007 remastered versions and yes, I noticed the blink too. 

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CaptPapa   

As part of the anniversary celebration, I'm watching each of the episodes and movies (original crew of course), in production order.  The other night was Arena.  Pretty good, and it brought up a question; does anyone remember the Gorn commander blinking in any other version of the episode?  This happens in a close-up shortly after he and Kirk are sent to the Metrons' planet.  I'm watching my remastered (not Blu-ray) DVD.  I don't have my VHS, LaserDisc, or original DVD editions anymore to check for comparison.  I don't recall it from previous versions, but I don't trust my memory too much anymore.

ME

They added the blink for the remastered version; that included the remastered blu rays and DVDs. 

I have the early 2000s DVDs (the two episodes per disc volumes) and the 2007 remastered versions and yes, I noticed the blink too. 

Thank you kind sir.

ME

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As part of the anniversary celebration, I'm watching each of the episodes and movies (original crew of course), in production order.  The other night was Arena.  Pretty good, and it brought up a question; does anyone remember the Gorn commander blinking in any other version of the episode?  This happens in a close-up shortly after he and Kirk are sent to the Metrons' planet.  I'm watching my remastered (not Blu-ray) DVD.  I don't have my VHS, LaserDisc, or original DVD editions anymore to check for comparison.  I don't recall it from previous versions, but I don't trust my memory too much anymore.

ME

They added the blink for the remastered version; that included the remastered blu rays and DVDs. 

I have the early 2000s DVDs (the two episodes per disc volumes) and the 2007 remastered versions and yes, I noticed the blink too. 

Thank you kind sir.

ME

You're very welcome. 

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For the first time in too long awhile, I was (once again) inspired to revisit an episode based on a Mr. Picard review:

LSTIW:

Star Trek-TNG, "Conspiracy" 

conspiracy157.jpg

^  "Some bovine urine with your maggots, captain?"

Despite some lingering traces of S1 awkwardness (mostly in dialogue, tech and character inconsistencies), this one is genuinely creepy and effective.
It's really the closest TNG has ever come to doing an outright horror story (and yes, I'm including "Sub Rosa" too... that was horror of another kind; the kind of horror where I realize I just wasted an hour of precious life energy watching it).  

And that signal chiming outward into space at the end... eerie as hell.  

Wished "Conspiracy"'s parasites had been revisited on one of the other spinoff shows (or even one of the TNG movies...).  Would've made for a perfect DS9 episode (esp. considering that show's already paranoid, slightly uneasy base setting).

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Sim   

 

Wished "Conspiracy"'s parasites had been revisited on one of the other spinoff shows (or even one of the TNG movies...).  Would've made for a perfect DS9 episode (esp. considering that show's already paranoid, slightly uneasy base setting).

They did in the DS9 relaunch novels.

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Wished "Conspiracy"'s parasites had been revisited on one of the other spinoff shows (or even one of the TNG movies...).  Would've made for a perfect DS9 episode (esp. considering that show's already paranoid, slightly uneasy base setting).

They did in the DS9 relaunch novels.

I need to make a bucket list of ST books to read before I croak... :laugh:

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Sim   

 

Wished "Conspiracy"'s parasites had been revisited on one of the other spinoff shows (or even one of the TNG movies...).  Would've made for a perfect DS9 episode (esp. considering that show's already paranoid, slightly uneasy base setting).

They did in the DS9 relaunch novels.

I need to make a bucket list of ST books to read before I croak... :laugh:

My plan is to read them all in my lifetime, and considering the number I've read already, and the ratio by which I read them, that's not unrealistic. ;)

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Star Trek TNG, "Yesterday's Enterprise" (1990)

Still one of my favorites; it's such a solid episode that it's hard to believe it had such a troubled production history; at least according to "The ST TNG Companion" book by Larry Nemecek.   It was a spec script that the entire writing staff had taken shots at trying to make work; I'd say they definitely succeeded.   And even though Klingons are a menacing force in the episode, Worf has a wonderful scene with Guinan in the teaser.    Not a big Worf/Klingon fan, but Guinan steals the moment, "Drink your prune juice..." 

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