January 12, 2020: The End of Season 1 (29 – 30)

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

SeasonEpisode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 29, “The City on the Edge of Forever” and Episode 30, “Operation: Annihilate!”

Setting the Stage: I started at 5:00 pm on January 12, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. I had a special request from the husband that he be present to watch the first episode, but after that he disappeared. Thor and Professor Zoom were around, but Zoom was tuckered out. He had way too much birthday yesterday. He would, however, love to know if you think he’s the best pupper… so you should leave a comment on his birthday post.

Quick Summary with my reactions: “The City on the Edge of Forever” opens with Sulu’s panel exploding and McCoy having to do some dangerous medicine. The ship rocks and McCoy accidentally injects himself, goes crazy, and beams himself down to the planet (that’s having some weird time stuff). I love seeing Uhura in the landing party, glad to see her getting out and stretching her legs. The party finds a weird structure that begins talking and showing them Earth’s history, when McCoy suddenly jumps in, and the Enterprise vanishes because McCoy has changed time! Spock and Kirk jump into time a little ahead of where McCoy might be, they land in the 1930s, and Kirk falls in love. Turns out, Kirk’s lady love needs to die in order for history to go back to the way it was. Watching Kirk make the choice to not save a woman he is in love with is one of the saddest things I have watched. Not as sad as that scene in John Wick, but it’s up there.

from pedestrian.tv

“Operation: Annihilate!” is the season finale and it doesn’t disappoint with the drama of some ship making a beeline for the sun of that system and being excited about being “free”. The landing party finds Kirk’s brother dead, but his nephew and sister-in-law have survived the strange creatures that seem to have taken over the people of the system. While investigating, Spock gets attacked by a creature and is incapacitated until he can lean on his Vulcan side to avoid the pain. McCoy blinds Spock in trying to kill the creatures, but we find out that it could have been avoided! As McCoy and Kirk are all despondent, and the creatures on the planet are dying, Spock regains his vision due to Vulcan anatomy magic. A very bittersweet ending to Season 1.

from johnkennethmuir.wordpress.com

My Impressions: “The City on the Edge of Forever” is an episode I have been looking forward to because husband and work mom hyped it up. They were not wrong about it’s awesomeness, mostly because it had to do with time travel and didn’t make my head hurt! They corrected whatever McCoy had done and got back as if no time had passed with presumably nothing changed in their own past. It was quite funny to watch Kirk being absolutely terrible at improv when they ran into the police officer, and so terribly sad when Kirk’s lady love had to die. I also enjoyed watching Spock in total disgust at having to work with such “subprime” tools and materials, but also being able to put together what was needed.

Uhura and Scotty were both fantastic in “Operation: Annihilate!”. Uhura doesn’t take shit from Kirk when he’s being impatient and is able to explain that it just can’t be done. Scotty doesn’t take shit from Spock, even though Spock is his superior officer and gave a direct order. They may not have had many lines, but they were my absolute favorites.

Overall, I thought Season 1 of Star Trek: The Original Series had its ups and downs. There were some episodes that did not age well, did not sit well, and had some real strange choices made. There were other episodes that still ring true today, or were relatable in some way. To see what technology is still science fiction in the 2020s and what things we are maybe decades away from is interesting. I am absolutely “Team Spock”, it’s clearly the logical choice. Tomorrow, I’ll begin Season 2. Here’s to hoping there’s more Sulu and Scotty.

January 10, 2020: 2 Episodes (27 – 28)

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

SeasonEpisode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 27, “Errand of Mercy” and Episode 28, “The Alternative Factor”

Setting the Stage: I started at 8:00 pm on January 10, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. Professor Zoom, Tempura, and Thor were present for both episodes. My husband watched the first episode and then had some other things to do so he left me to the second episode.

I notice when I’ve had a long day at work, or I get a late start, that two episodes is more than enough for me. While I had hoped to get three and three done and thus have finished Season 1 tonight, it didn’t happen. I also am unsure if I’ll be able to watch any Star Trek on Saturday as we’re having a very delayed birthday party for me… so we’ll see if I am able to post tomorrow. I also think I might change the format up a bit for Season 2 and beyond. Is there anything you would like to see?

Quick Summary with my reactions:  “Errand of Mercy” is the first time I have heard the Klingons mentioned. They do not appear physically the same as the Klingons I have seen, my husband assures me I’ll find out why when I watch Enterprise… great. Kirk makes a big deal to Sulu about his duty to the Enterprise and not to Kirk and Spock before the latter two men beam down, only to be trapped on the planet with the strange Organians while the Klingons start their occupation. It’s the Federation versus the Klingon Empire, but wait… the Organians are essentially Vorlons! Okay so yes, Babylon 5 came after Star Trek and it’s the other way around, but since I watched Babylon 5 first and it’s my blog, you’ll just have to live with it. The Organians are opposed to violence and force a truce while Kirk realizes he was arguing for a war he was really against.

from pintrest.com

“The Alternative Factor” opens with two strange pulses that not only emanate throughout the galaxy, but also apparently create life on the planet below. This Lazarus dude is super weird, and we have the first of several ridiculously long fight sequences in a weird white light space. Apparently Lazarus is two people, matter and anti-matter. This reminds me a bit of Michael Korvac from Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but I don’t really know why I’m just instantly reminded of that particular episode. And now we get to it, Lazarus is a damn time traveler… calling Dr. Who (I have also never watched an episode of Dr. Who, maybe that will be my 2021 project). Is this a Crisis on Infinite Earths type thing? Kirk tries to help make sure that the two Lazaruses do not meet so as to avoid all of life exploding… so he traps the two men in the warp area and the Enterprise moves on to its next adventure.

from themoviedb.org

My Impressions: In “Errand of Mercy” I find it interesting how we again hear Kirk telling whoever he is leaving in charge that the duty is to the ship and not the landing party. Kirk completely understands how many people are under his command and he is unwilling to risk the lives of every person on board in order to save him or anyone else who goes to investigate their latest problem. It’s a theme I’ve noticed over the course of several episodes and it’s really highlighted here in the discussion between Sulu and Kirk. It’c clear everyone loves the Captain and would do anything for him, but his responsibility is so much larger. Also in full effect this episode is the “Shatner comma” with the speech pattern that he is best known for. The Klingons in this episode all look like they stepped out of Afghanistan and not an alien planet, or at least not the Klingons I am most familiar with. The only one who looks different is the leader, but I guess that was the point?

In “The Alternative Factor” Spock calls Lazarus a liar in the best way ever, and I’m still laughing about the exchange. I had also almost all but forgotten about McCoy, who wasn’t in the previous episode, until he was called on to care for Lazarus. He’s not really my favorite character, but he does give some good sassy dialogue. he ridiculously long fight sequences just seemed to fill up time and the pacing of this episode is SO SLOW. Kirk talks about leaping, and I’m instantly reminded that my husband needs to watch all of Quantum Leap with me, but I digress. Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow or Sunday with the last two episodes of Season 1!

from quantumleap.fandom.com

January 9, 2020: 2 Episodes (25 – 26)

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

SeasonEpisode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 25, “This Side of Paradise” and Episode 26, “The Devil in the Dark”

Setting the Stage: I started at 8:30 pm on January 9, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. Professor Zoom and Tempura were present for both episodes. My husband watched the first episode and then decided he was tired and went to bed like the old man he is.

Today at lunch, work mom and I had a great discussion about Uhura. Not only is she a woman of color and total badass, but she knows how to respect the chain of command. When the ambassador in “A Taste of Armageddon” orders her to do something, she only does so after Scotty gives her a nod. In “Space Seed” she absolutely refuses to cooperate, even after she’s been physically assaulted. She may not have a lot of lines in every episode, and she might be wearing a ridiculously short skirt, but she is simply fantastic. Here’s to you Lieutenant! 

Quick Summary with my reactions: “This Side of Paradise” starts with the landing party thinking their heading to an abandoned settlement, but instead find a medical mystery, strange plants, and a sassy McCoy. We also finally see a woman from Spock’s past! That’s right, Kirk is so damn confused it’s adorable. The plants have spores that take over the entire landing party and eventually the entire crew of the Enterprise, except Kirk. Kirk is the last man standing when it comes to the mystery spores and figures out that strong emotions are necessary, so he verbally spars with Spock until he gives into his baser emotions and attacks Kirk. They concoct a plan and help the folks down below get settled elsewhere.

from yahoo.com

“The Devil in the Dark” opens with the crew of a planet and some dude getting owned by an unknown entity. After the Enterprise arrives, the creature steals a part of the reactor that powers the planet and Scotty has to pull a “MacGyver” in order to give everyone some more time to figure out what is going on. Spock wants to try to save the life of the creature and Kirk is adamant it’s a killer and no more human life will be wasted. The creature corners Kirk and the two men reserve roles as Kirk wants to know more. Spock eventually does some Vulcan mind magic and we find out the creature is a mother who is wicked pissed the humans have been killing her eggs. McCoy pulls a “MacGyver” moment as well so he can heal the mother, Spock communicates with her, and Kirk helps negotiate a way for the humans and the creatures to cohabitate.

from mentalfloss.com

My Impressions: “This Side of Paradise” is a cute, interesting adventure of the week. A mystery that needs to be solved and it’s all up to Kirk because everyone else went bonkers. We get to see Spock play the leading man, which was quite interesting. I also think it’s the longest I’ve heard Uhura speak at once! I find it interesting that the stunt doubles are clearly visible in the Spock vs. Kirk fight, but that’s what happens when you remaster shit from the 60s. I really enjoyed this episode, except for McCoy’s bad (and weird) Southern accent and whatever he was drinking was NOT a mint julep.

“The Devil in the Dark” proves that Kirk should almost always listen to Spock because he knows what’s up. I love that we find a “mama bear” who goes into rage mode when the stupid humans destroy instead of trying to understand their surroundings. It’s another episode that still has grains of truth that are applicable today as Australia is burning and our climate is whacked out. I genuinely enjoyed this mystery that needed to be solved. These two episodes were good ones to watch and both kept me interested in the ending. It also gives us one of my new favorite exchanges between Kirk and Spock.

from pintrest.com

January 8, 2020: 3 Episodes

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

SeasonEpisode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 22, “The Return of the Archons”, Episode 23, “Space Seed”, and Episode 24, “A Taste of Armageddon”

Setting the Stage: I started at 7:00 pm on January 8, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. Professor Zoom and Tempura were present for all three episodes. My husband really wanted to watch “Space Seed”, so he joined in for that. We had finally finished Season 5 of Babylon 5 earlier in the evening (only a few movies and Crusade is left) – my first run through of that series as well. I get to pick the next TV Series we watch together, I’m thinking Scrubs since he’s never seen that. We’ve been heavy in science fiction and I think we’ll need some humor in our future.

Quick Summary with my reactions: “The Return of the Archons” opens with Sulu and O’Neil wearing weird outfits. They’re chased down by dudes in cloaks, Sulu is attacked and then beamed up. He’s acting strange… and where’s O’Neil? Wait, is Spock wearing drag? Oh he’s hiding his ears, but for a moment he totally looked like a Russian grandmother. The people in town are weird, then the clock strikes 6 pm, “the red hour”, and everyone freaks out. The landing party makes it to safety, and one of the old men in the room reminds me of one of the scientists in “The Cage”. At 6 am, the chaos stops,but the weird dudes in capes are back. This Landru guy takes over people, and some of the party, until we meet the third guy who is immune to Landru as he “changes” Spock and Kirk because he believes them to be the fulfillment of prophecy. Kirk decides that Landru must “die”, once he realizes that it’s a computer and “the man behind the curtain”. Kirk badgers the machine until it implodes and they leave a sociologist behind to help rehabilitate the society.

from tumbler.com
from monomakhos.com

“Space Seed” opens with the Enterprise encountering an old ship just chilling in space, so it goes on full alert. The Eugenics War apparently happened in the 1990s and was the last world war, and this is where the ship likely comes from. Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Lt. McGivers beam down to the abandoned ship and find 73 people in stasis, one of those wakes up; the infamous (to even non Star Trek folks like me) Khan. Looks like we’ve found the Slytherin of the Star Trek group! Turns out Khan is hell bent on taking over the world, and the universe, but first… the Enterprise. Kirk and Spock escape from Khan’s control and flood Khan’s location with gas. A fight ensues, we have to prove Kirk is a manly man after all, and he somehow overpowers Khan. Kirk chooses to strand Khan and crew on a planet, along with McGivers.

from tumblr.com

“A Taste of Armageddon” starts with an ambassador and Kirk butting heads over a diplomatic mission, as the planet they are approaching has a “do not approach” order. Turns out this planet is at war with a neighbor, but the war is virtual and the “casualties” are sent to a disintegration chamber in order to avoid physical damage to the planet. Scotty is left in control of the Enterprise and he knows whats up and doesn’t give one iota of a fuck when the ambassador tries to get him to back down. He really is one of the smart ones on the ship, and now we see why he’s fourth in command. There’s also some more Vulcan mind magic, and some more manly man Kirk fight scenes before Kirk is finally in control of the situation. He gives the planet an option – war or peace? They choose peace and Kirk and crew leave the mess they just made, or maybe they helped clean up?

My Impressions: In “The Return of the Archons” I wonder how they knew to beam down in local outfits? At first I had the impression that it was a weird cult, but then we find out that it’s a Matrix-like society that’s been taken over by the machines. I really liked that Kirk explained how freedom needed to be earned and then tried to help the planet be rehabilitated, but what the people really needed was a butt-ton of therapy. That’s just my professional opinion, but I did go to counseling school so there’s that.

“Space Seed” had the very best McCoy line, I use in the image above. He doesn’t take shit from Khan, and Khan approves. I’m not sure it makes up for McCoy’s other bad behavior to Spock and some of the female characters he has encountered, but it’s a pretty badass attitude. I was also super glad a non-White actor was used as the “superior specimen”. One thing I don’t understand is why the historian fell so damn hard for Khan. I mean I get the whole “man out of time” thing would be appealing to a historian, but get a grip girl! Apparently this is the only time I’ll see Khan until the second movie – which I find interesting given how I’d heard of Khan even though I’ve never watched Star Trek. Up until now, it’s been “adventure of the week”, and having just finished Babylon 5 with it’s whole series story arc, it’ll be interesting to see how some of these events play out in the grand scheme, or if they don’t matter at all.

“A Taste of Armageddon” has an intriguing premise of war without the actual physical damage, but having folks report to be killed is essentially enforced suicide and that’s not great. I don’t understand how they keep their population up enough to kill as many people as they have been for the last 500 years, somehow the math is not working out at all. I liked seeing Spock do his thing. My favorite line was when he says “I don’t approve but I do understand”. It shows that he understands the logic behind it but still thinks it’s a shitty practice and won’t go along with it. Just because something is logical does not mean it’s the best course of action.