Star Trek Christmas round 2

When two of my favorite things come together.

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Star Trek the animated series-The Practical Joker

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The Enterprise is attacked kapow by some Romulans near an asteroid. Kirk decides to pull away because they out numbered and their shields have been hurt awwwww. When they establish communication the Romulans claim that Kirk entered their space. The Romulan says he’s going to kill Kirk and pursues the Enterprise zoom zoom. Sulu reports an identified energy field up ahead. Having no fear and little sense Kirk says full speed ahead with the goal of losing the Romulans being in his mind. They lose their pointy eared pursuers, but the cloud gets into the computer system and screws it up. Jokes begin to be played on the crew by the computer including dribble glasses, Spock’s new microscope smears black around his eyes, the food dispenser pelts Scotty with food and Kirk gets a name written on his shirt. Spock figures out the computer is doing this. Around this time Sulu, Uhura and McCoy get trapped in the rec room but the computer which starts to get mean. Spock and Scotty work to free the others from the rec room. They manage to get the computer to stop some things, but now the ship is heading into the neutral zone oh , no!. The Romulans of course attack. The computer plays a joke on the Romulans and makes a balloon resembling the Enterprise and it’s gets shot kapow! The distraction allows the real Enterprise to escape but Roumlans are still coming. Kirk makes another pass through the energy field and it fixes things woohoo. All is good and roll the animated credits.

The negatives-The solution of passing through the energy field seems a bit too simple and feels like a bit of a cheat for an otherwise decent episode.

The positives-The plot isn’t terribly creative, but it’s the decent. The early pranks are quite funny. Glad to see the Romulans for a change. Good to see Uhura and Sulu get more to do.

The was one of the very first episodes I saw of this show and it has stuck with me. It has very much the feel of the original series which is something the animated series didn’t always. Overall a decent episode.

Nimoy and Spock

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We’ve all heard the stories of Nimoy butting heads with directors and others in Star Trek over Spock’s character and what he would and wouldn’t say. I think that played into Nimoy wanted to bond with this role and really make it consistent with how it began. Spock always had the push to stick to logic and stay in control of his human half. There were times when the emotions came through. We liked Spock because we can identify with the struggles of trying to be better, but having to learn as a person and adjust as needed. I think Nimoy brought those touches to the role. For me Spock was the one character on the original series who likely grew the most over the course of the three seasons and we began understand more about him as the show went on. Early in the series we see Spock as more of just the outsider, but his relationship with Kirk and even McCoy grows as the first season rolls along. Spock was often different is his approach to problems and his cool and logical manner, but when McCoy would call him out on it or ride him over it he would just shut them down with logic or shrug it off and move on. That last part is probably definite part of why so many fans identified with him. It was okay to be different even if others didn’t always approve. Nimoy wrote “I am not Spock” in the 70’s talking about wanting a career beyond Trek. We understood that, but Trek fans loved him. That book was before the films so those brought Trek back. When Spock died in the Wrath of Khan fans were upset. We loved Spock and Nimoy gave a fantastic performance in that film, we weren’t ready for life without Spock. Fortunately he came back and Nimoy directed the next two films. The movies were hit and miss but again in Spock we saw him working out his two sides becoming a bit more comfortable with his position in Starfleet and relationships with the others. Gene Roddenberry pushed early on to keep Spock around when they went into the second pilot and thank goodness he did. While Leonard Nimoy struggled with being Spock and how he thought Spock should be portrayed, his legacy as that character has affected fans for decades and will continue to impress us as we re-watch his work. Mr. Nimoy will be greatly missed, but fondly remembered for what he brought to this role and how much he impacted not just the Trek universe, but how we approach our lives and how we deal with others.

The Galileo seven

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1967

A group of seven crewmembers lead by Spock are out in the Galileo shuttlecraft in a quaser like area when they run into trouble and crash land on a planet. They have ship problems and need to get rid of some weight and need repairs just to have a chance to get out of there. Good thing there aren’t any giant sword flinging goons on the planet to effect their chances of leaving-oh wait there are. Things start going wrong and rather quickly two crewmembers are killed by giants and they weren’t even redshirts. McCoy and sourpuss Lt. Boma ride Spock about things going badly. Spock and Scotty still try to figure out if they can get the ship off this rock or not. Meanwhile back on the Enterprise Kirk and the crew are trying to find Spock and the rest, but it’s tough and a sour butt  named Commissioner Farris is breathing down Kirk’s neck to take him to his destination if Kirk doesn’t locate the Galileo and it’s crew soon. With two people dead Spock and the rest are almost down to the weight they need to take off, but not quite. These giants aren’t going to make things easy so they attack the shuttle, but Spock has Scotty shock them and they get the ship off the ground. has Kirk leave because his searching time is up. The Enterprise is leaving and heading away from the planet. The shuttle doesn’t have enough fuel left to pursue very far so Spock jettisons it and the others freak out. However Spock didn’t just do it take a pretty blast, he was attempting to do it as a flare with the hope that someone on the ship would see it. Kirk and Sulu spot it and go to try and beam the shuttle crew back before the shuttle burns up. They get the five back on the ship. Kirk and McCoy try to get Spock to break and admit that he jettisoned the fuel in desperation as a burst of emotion, but he won’t admit it and the others have a laugh at his stubbornness wahahaha. Roll the credits.

The negatives-I didn’t care for Lt. Boma at all with how he rode Spock.

The positives-This is a great episode for Spock as he struggles to understand why his logical moves are failing and eventually he takes risks when he realizes logic isn’t always the answer. The story and action are strong. The planet sets are one of my favorite in the entire series.

A classic Trek episode and a top ten in my book.

Ten things to like about Spock in Star Trek 2: The wrath of Khan

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1-He’s finally Captain of the Enterprise even if it’s just for a little bit.

2-Spock would be and was great training young officers.

3-It’s just minutes into seeing Spock that was know he is back to being the Spock we knew from the show (unlike STTMP).

4-Not everyone looked good in that uniform, but Spock did.

5-Spock isn’t bothered by much of anything or at least he acts that way.

6-He was an excellent mentor for Saavik.

7-He manages to rile up McCoy without even trying.

8-The “by the book” part was classic.

9-He sacrificed himself to save the ship.

10-Leave it Spock to think enough ahead to save his being and put something rough on McCoy for the next film.

Easily the best Trek film ever this one followed up the mediocre STTMP and managed to capture the spirit of the show as well.

 

*Up on Thursday it will be an episode with Kirk and Spock both be bullied by grumps, giants with big nasty spears and pretty much everything going wrong for the crew. That’s right it’s the first season classic The Galileo Seven where Spock is put to the test.

Star Trek- All our yesterdays

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1969

Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a planet to tell them that their sun is soon going to go supernova and take out their planet. They find a library with a guy named Mr. Atoz and his clones but no one else. He says the people went to the place they selected and urges the landing party to do the same. He instructs them to look at these discs. Kirk plugs one in that looks like 17th century Earth. When he hears a woman scream aieeee he darts through this machine and goes to the time he was looking at. McCoy and Spock follow and vanish only to end up in an ice age place because that’s what McCoy was looking at. Thanks a lot, Bones. Kirk wonders where the others are, but he jumps into action and knocks down some guys wearing puffy clothes and sporting swords. Unfortunately for Kirk he just defended a thief and ran off some lawmen who have gone for help ooops. Kirk tries to find his way back, but the puffy pants wearing guys come back with help and march him off to jail. Meanwhile McCoy is freezing his bottom off and Spock tries to help him, but then a hooded figure shows up and leads them into a cave. Spock turns to say “thank you, sir” only to find that it isn’t a sir. She introduces herself as Zarabeth and says she was sent to this frozen wasteland by a mean dude. She helps McCoy to get better-oh how nice. Spock explains what happened to them and she says they can’t go back. Meanwhile Kirk is in deep poo. He’s already in jail for assaulting lawmen, but the person he helped and the lawmen accuse him of witchcraft because he tried to talk to Spock and McCoy back in the alley. The people of this time think he was trying to talk to spirits ahhhhewwww. Back in snow city McCoy has recovered, but feels down when Spock says they are stuck there. Then Spock starts getting weird. No I mean even weird for Spock. He starts to fall for Zarabeth, he eats meat and threatens to kill McCoy. What the heck? Hold that thought and let’s go back to Kirk. He talks to a prosecutor who reacts oddly when Kirk mentions how he came to this time by the portal. He realizes this guy came that way too. The man tells Kirk since he did not have his body set for the travel that he needs to hurry on back or he’ll die. The guy helps Kirk get back to the library, but Mr. Atoz thinks Kirk is a looney and he tries to push him back in time. Meanwhile in a frozen cave McCoy questions why Spock is acting different and they realize it’s because it’s a long time ago and Spock is acting like his primitive Vulcan ancestors did. McCoy also pins Zarabeth down and she admits that she can’t go back but they can. Spock and McCoy find their way back to the spot where they came in and hear Kirk directing them back. Spock says goodbye to Zarabeth, they get back to the library, Mr. Atoz hustles off to his time, the landing party get back to the ship, the planet is destroyed kaboom and roll those credits.

The negatives-My only real gripe is that if Spock acts in a primitive way because it’s back in time then wouldn’t McCoy have been effected in a similar way?

The positives-This is one of the few really good 3rd season episodes. Kirk gets a problem solving part, but Spock gets to let down his hair a bit whether he wanted to or not. He may not have wanted to, but fans certainly had to be intrigued by seeing Spock falling for someone while not under the influence on alien plants or being driven crazy by Vulcan mating rituals. There’s certainly a bit of sadness to the events when Spock returns from the past and realizes that those events did happen, but Zarabeth has now been dead for centuries.

Mariette Hartley was perfectly cast as Zarabeth. You likely know her most from the Polaroid commercials she did with Jim Garner. She has been in everything from Gunsmoke to the Mentalist. No stranger to sci-fi she has been episodes of Twilight Zone, Logans Run, The Incredible Hulk , a couple of Gene Roddenberry run pilot episodes and the 1969 space film Marooned.

Ian Wolfe was Mr. Atoz. He had a career that spanned seven decades. You probably saw him in the second season Trek episode Bread and circuses. He was in tons of movies like Mad Love and the Raven through to his last appearance in 1990’s Dick Tracy plus he was  in many TV shows and was in everything from the Andy Griffith show to Cheers.

 

 

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Star Trek-Mirror, Mirror

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1967

Down on the Planet Kirk is talking to the Halkin council trying to convince them to join the Federation. They are peaceful and don’t really want to join, but Kirk leaves it open. A storm comes up and the landing party consisting of Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura decide to beam back up to the ship. When they do some flip flopping happens and the landing party are in different uniforms on an Enterprise with a bunch of meanies. Spock has facial hair, Sulu has a scar and everyone is really mean. Our landing party isn’t sure what has happened so they go along with it and pretend to be their evil counterparts. Kirk is supposed to destroy the planet below for not giving into them, but he puts it off and has the rest of the wicked crew wondering about his actions. Bad Chekov and some others try to kill Kirk to move up in position, but they are stopped and Chekov is thrown into something called the Agony Booth which I think means he has to watch the “Spock’s Brain” episode over and over. Bad Spock tells Kirk he has orders to kill him if he doesn’t destroy the planet below. Meanwhile the rest of the landing party is working on setting a way to rig the transporter so they can attempt to beam back to their Enterprise. Kirk has a consort and a device that kills people with a touch of a button-wait so where’s the down side of being this Kirk? Bad Spock is just as sharp as good Spock because he knows that something is up with the landing party and he’s keeping an eye on them. He stops Kirk and takes him to the others, they attack bad Spock and eventually knock him out. Scar face Sulu and some red shirts show up to kill the good crew members, but they get some help, red shirts die and Sulu is stopped. McCoy tries to give medical attention to bad Spock (dumb) while the others go to the transporter room to wait. Kirk’s consort tries to force them to take her, but they stop her. Bad Spock wakes up and gets McCoy, but he takes him to the others and offers to beam them back to there ship. Kirk talks to bad Spock about considering trying to change the way things are on this ship and bad Spock says that he will considers it. The landing party gets back to their ship and find out their evil counterparts were there but are now gone. Kirk runs into a new officer who looks like his consort. Roll the credits.

The negatives-We only see a tiny clip of what the mean Kirk and landing party are like on the Enterprise we know. I would have liked to have seen more of them.

The positives-We see the “bad version” of a character on different shows, but Star Trek plays it out a little differently with Kirk trying to talk Spock and Marlena into changing how things are done in their world. The basic idea may not be anything special, but how it plays how and our characters respond to the situation is what makes this episode so good. Seeing Sulu and Chekov being mean is pretty cool too. We actually see another Vulcan on the ship (even though it’s the bad ship) when we see Spock’s bodyguard with him.

For Spock this is an important episode despite the fact that it’s his counterpart we still see that even this Spock has a strong sense of logic and the part of him that is striving or at least thinking about improving himself and his situation.

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Star Trek-The Savage Curtain

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1969

The Enterprise goes to the Excalbia to conduct a geological survey. Spock detects some life on the planet below which he says shouldn’t be. Then on screen an image of Abe Lincoln pops up -boing- and says he will be beaming aboard soon. The crew thinks this is either craziness or just another wacky third season script. Lincoln (who is Kirk’s hero) comes aboard the ship and seems real despite you know having been dead for centuries. He invites Kirk and Spock to go to the planet and they accept because there is lots of time left in the episode. When they beam down their phasers and tricorders don’t go with them. Don’t you hate when that happens? They run into Surak who created much of the way that people on Vulcan follow. He also is long dead so Spock greets him as “image of Surak”. Then a rock changes into an alien called Yarnek who says Kirk and their idols will be the good team and they will battle an evil team consisting of Genghis Khan (him we know), Colonel Green who lead a genocidal war in the 21st century, Kahless who started the Klingon Empire and Zora who did nasty experiments on tribes on another planet. Yarnek vanishes poof. Colonel Green talks to Kirk likes he’s a buddy, but hey he was supposedly known for doing this as a  distraction back in his day and yes the others attack. Kirk and his allies fend off the evil doers and they flee to fight again later. Kirk, Spock, Abe and Surak go find a place over by a paper mache rock and talk plans. Kirk, Spock and Abe begin making weapons. Meanwhile Surak wants to talk peace with the other side and eventually they let him go do his thing. Later they hear Surak’s voice calling for Spock and Spock says a Vulcan would not cry out like that. They still begin to battle the others and Abe tries to sneak to the other camp to free Surak. He finds him, but hey he’s dead…I mean dead again. Lincoln gets back to Kirk and Spock with a spear in his back and yeah he’s dead…again. So now it’s two against four, but the baddies are kind of cowards so when Kirk kills Green the others run away and the battle is over. Yarnek comes back and says hey the good didn’t fight any nicer than the baddies. Kirk says their motivation was different as they fought to save their ship and the other crewmembers while the rotten people were promised power. Yarnek says okey dokey and lets them go. Roll the credits.

The negatives-The plot is a bit basic as an alien wants to learn about good and bad so Kirk and Spock get to perform. As usual it seems like maybe this would have been a good chance to throw one of the lesser characters (Sulu, Uhura, Checkov) in and give them some more to do, but nope let’s just focus on Kirk and Spock.

The positives-To me the battle and the conclusion are not as important as what we learn about Kirk and Spock through their “heroes”. Seeing Abe and Surak and hearing their thoughts and seeing their actions in the situation shows us some of why Kirk and Spock respected these two individuals from history. To me that’s the thing that this episode did the best, it gave us at least a little more insight into Kirk and Spock. Also the villains other than Genghis Khan offered us a brief view into what horrors will happen in the future.

This isn’t a great episode nor is it a totally bad one. I think it’s an average one with some very decent parts. Plus it allows me to have a sci-fi offering to review for President’s Day.