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 Post subject: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:52 pm 
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So I've recently downloaded the entire original Star Trek series. I'm not sure yet what my motive is for doing so. The Undiscovered Country was on HBO a couple weeks ago and I can't help but feel like there's something I need to see in the tv that started it all. It's like when you reread Mark Twain as an adult, only, you know, more Shatner. Anyone else seen any of it lately maybe have some idea of the wisdom I can expect?

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:21 am 
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I've been going through Next Generation on Netflix after some nightly indulgences. They've got plenty of Trek on their instant catalog if you've got the means.

For the record; while Picard is my favorite; Kirk is clearly the better captain.

There. That should start a nerd shitstorm.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:13 am 

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Could never really get into it. TNG will always be "my" Star Trek, I guess.

I haven't seen DS9. It's something I've been procrastinating fixing for too long.


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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:19 pm 

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Bullio wrote:
I haven't seen DS9. It's something I've been procrastinating fixing for too long.


DS9 starts out slow but by the 3rd season it really starts being good. You should check it out.


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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:53 pm 
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I'm four or five episodes into the first season now. Last night watched the "space madness" episode, which was badass and reminded me of Blueboy from Dragnet. I said the same out loud and no one I was with got the reference. Another forgotten classic:




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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:37 pm 

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The original Star Trek is awesome. If you take it for what it is, and remember when it was filmed, its pretty damn good.


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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:51 pm 
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Last night was the episode with Harry Mudd and his hypnotic '60s hotties. I have absolutely no regrets at having downloaded this series. I'm seven plus hours in, with nearly 10 times that much still to go, but no regrets whatsoever.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Never got into TNG, the original series was the one I watched as a kid with bated breath every Saturday. And then came Star Wars.


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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:36 am 
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I think I quit DN9 before it started getting really good (it's a very highly rated series among the Trekkies), but TOS and TNG after it's first couple of seasons are unfuckable. The TOS movies are pretty spotty, but the first couple of TNG movies were great. The Abrams thing was okay. Impossible to build a serious lore/devotion as not being a multi-hour serial type of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country are unfuckwithable. Love those movies. As for the series, I can watch it in spurts. Could never do a marathon of 'em. Same deal with TNG. First Contact's a good flick, although the space battle at the beginning with halfassed and about as epic as iceburg lettuce.

I thought the Abrams' reboot was quite good, save for the "Hey, the writers and/or director are dating themselves by inserting a Rage Against the Machine song" bit. Looking forward to the next one all the same.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:00 pm 
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The latest episode was "Miri." Some classic Jim Kirk mackin' it in this one, with Kim Darby who grew up to play John Cusack's sister (?) in Better Off Dead.

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Also, I was not at all surprised to see this show up as an internet meme:

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:55 pm 
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A two-episode night tonight, with "The Corbomite Maneuver" and the first part of "The Menagerie."

Still awesome to see the source of references I hadn't picked up on before. Christopher Pike in his weird wheelchair/blinking light thing recreated with Frye in Futurama and the little kid in "The Corbomite Maneuver" (who was apparently Ron Howard's brother, Clint, with a crazy voiceover) that Mr. Show took directly for Lucian, Who Watches All of Television. Good fun.

Balok from "The Corbomite Maneuver"

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Christopher Pike in "The Menagerie"

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Also an excellent move on someone's part to take the footage from the pilot, which never aired, and basically turn it into "The Menagerie" by writing the frame of the story around it. "Well, we've got the pilot, what the hell should we do with it?" and there you go.

Trekking on.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:12 am 
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I watched it all last year and while I really enjoyed the first series some of it was pretty hard going. Some of the episodes become irrelevant as every story seems to revolve around Kirk sorting out an argument between Spock and the Doc.

I love watching tv shows like this where they're so different from today's telly though. The production, direction etc. is so different it's really cool to see.


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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:05 am 
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Westy wrote:
I watched it all last year and while I really enjoyed the first series some of it was pretty hard going. Some of the episodes become irrelevant as every story seems to revolve around Kirk sorting out an argument between Spock and the Doc.

I love watching tv shows like this where they're so different from today's telly though. The production, direction etc. is so different it's really cool to see.


Yeah, I figure there's tough times ahead, but what the hell. It's a fun project to watch, and it's like reading a book with some crappy chapters. Still worth it for the overall study of the form and formula.

I think it's interesting how similar Star Trek actually is to what's on tv, though. All those procedural shows we get in the States -- CSI, Law and Order, etc. -- they basically follow the same kind of formula, where by the end of any given episode, some basic stasis needs to be either attained or regained, so next week starting off in the same position can be tenable. Watching the first season of Star Trek, there's a lot of that, where the episode ends with them moving on to the next adventure. I think it's fascinating in terms of how episodic television developed.

And even more fascinating in how this kind of episodic television has led to the growth and development of the current serial television, thinking of HBO dramas and things of that ilk. Even shows like Breaking Bad or, maybe a more apt comparison, the Battlestar Galactica revival wind up owing an inadvertent debt here in terms of the structure of the writing. Knowing nothing about the process of how a television show is written, I think that's really cool.

Sorry for the long post, but I've been nerding out on this for a while, and it's fun to think about while watching the buttheads:

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:08 am 
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Yeah that's a good point with how the episodes start and end.

It's also a very positive show. The original series was more about overcoming obstacles but it was still very optimistic in its outlook. The crew constantly encounter some force or power far greater than they've ever met before and then they work out how to defeat it. I'm sure the political landscape and recent history played a part in this and there was always a positive vibe. Good guys beating bad guys, all in a single episode.

It's one of the reasons I really like TNG is because they've created this (insanely) idealistic civilisation where money has been done away with and the people focus on personal development for happiness.


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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:55 pm 
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I think you bring up some cool things about how a procedural (which the original Star Trek basically was) can still set the foundations for plenty of serial television series. Not be ause of format, but because of subject matter and using that genre as a procedural was a new thing in the US.

The procedural gets a bad wrap. There's good reason for that reputation because there are way more awful ones than bad ones and only a handful of truly great ones. The trouble is in Televison land, great usually translates to how long you've been on the air. But if done correctly, the procedural is a great mode of storytelling for television. But networks will always play it safe. The riskiest I saw a network go these days and to have that risk pay off for them was Lost (even though that show really got away from them the longer it went on).

Honestly, The Good Wife is the best network procedural on the air these days. It's still pretty formulaic (they literally never lose a case, and when they win they usually dont have to lose anything in order to do it) but each of the situations are still relatively unique and fresh.

I don't think any network these days would have risked something like Star Trek in contemporary wisdom. It would have to go on cable or one of the premiums. It's a different world today.

I dunno. Tv rant.

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 Post subject: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:59 pm 

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Crutch wrote:
I think you bring up some cool things about how a procedural (which the original Star Trek basically was) can still set the foundations for plenty of serial television series. Not be ause of format, but because of subject matter and using that genre as a procedural was a new thing in the US.

The procedural gets a bad wrap. There's good reason for that reputation because there are way more awful ones than bad ones and only a handful of truly great ones. The trouble is in Televison land, great usually translates to how long you've been on the air. But if done correctly, the procedural is a great mode of storytelling for television. But networks will always play it safe. The riskiest I saw a network go these days and to have that risk pay off for them was Lost (even though that show really got away from them the longer it went on).

Honestly, The Good Wife is the best network procedural on the air these days. It's still pretty formulaic (they literally never lose a case, and when they win they usually dont have to lose anything in order to do it) but each of the situations are still relatively unique and fresh.

I don't think any network these days would have risked something like Star Trek in contemporary wisdom. It would have to go on cable or one of the premiums. It's a different world today.

I dunno. Tv rant.

it would by syfy material no doubt.


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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:58 am 
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Crutch wrote:
The procedural gets a bad wrap. There's good reason for that reputation because there are way more awful ones than bad ones and only a handful of truly great ones.


Both true. I haven't seen the Good Wife, but I've heard good things from a few sources now, probably getting on time I checked it out. Maybe after this.

Tonight was s01e13: The Conscience of the King. Kirk trying to chase down Kodos the Executioner (there literally is not an episode of this show yet that pop culture hasn't borrowed from somewhere along the line; The Simpsons in this case) for a genocide he committed 20 years earlier that Kirk witnessed.

Another episode, some poisoned space-milk and another space-hottie for Shatner to work his magic on. This time it's Kodos' daughter, Lenore Karidian, all of 19 according to the story.

At first she was all
Image

But then she was like
Image

The episode did give me, among other joys, the phrase "Cesar of the Stars," which pretty much sums up everything I've ever wanted to hear in psychedelic stoner rock.

Some good McCoy/Spock stuff too. Can really kind of see the characters beginning to emerge to what they later became. Also a killer scene of Spock going through Kirk's drawers and throwing everything on the floor looking for a phaser that's about to explode and some righteous lip-synching action from Uhura.

Overacting in Shakespeare plays too. Overall a pretty good episode. Pressing on...

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:10 am 
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Tonight was s01e14: Balance of Terror. First intro to the Romulans and some cool McCarthy-type weirdo racist shit involving Spock. Also thought it was funny that the dude who plays he Romulan commander later played Spock's dad:

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Thought he looked familiar. Some good Sulu in this episode too with him as the sensible voice opposite the other navigator's jingoism. Fun stuff in terms of the kind of hinting at political leanings on the part of the writers -- the other navigator, opposite Sulu, seems crude -- but their concern is still the characters and telling the story. In the end, they still get back to stasis so the next episode can begin at ground-floor normality.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:55 am 
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s01e15: Shore Leave. A bit of fluff. I was thinking this was an episode that hadn't been referenced by popular culture outside of the Star Trek sphere, but apparently the planet was called Omicron something, which Futurama of course took up. I have the feeling I'm going to gain a whole new appreciation for Futurama from watching Star Trek. Not that I needed one, but anyway.

A landing party that eventually includes Kirk beams down to a planet that winds up bringing whatever they're thinking to life. Kirk is thinking about space-hotties. Bones is thinking about Kirk's shortskirt yeoman. Some dude named Rodriguez is thinking about a tiger, and the female crew member whose fiance died in the episode prior is thinking about nothing at all. Not her dead fiance, anyhow. At the beginning of the episode, she seems to be hitting on someone else. Nothing sacred in space, I guess.

After putting the moves on Kirk's yeoman, Bones got in on the action with two fuzzy-boobed space-showgirls:

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Anyway, a fun episode with all the hallucinations and whatnot, and definitely lighthearted after all the battling with the Romulans in the episode before. It's incredible though that for how enlightened the show was in terms of dealing with race how when it comes to gender, it does nothing but reinforce traditional roles. Sure, you have Uhura as the lieutenant, and even in the episode before this one, she took the navigational post for a bit, which seems higher than answering the call signals, which is what she's usually doing, but by and large, it's just one disposable space-hottie after another.

The thing about it too is, in the pilot, which later became "The Menagerie," Captain Pike's second in command was a woman. So at some point, someone must have had the thought of putting women on an equal plane to men and backed off from it. So you have this seemingly post-racial world that's still complete male-centered. Fascinating in what it says about the politics of its time.

Still, more good Sulu stuff here. They seemed to be dedicated at this point to developing him as a character, having already established Bones, Spock, Kirk and a few others. I'm waiting for Scotty to have a real character moment.

I guess you could take your time to develop characters though when you had 30 episodes in a season to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:13 am 
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I fell asleep for most of s01e16, "The Galileo Seven," but woke up toward the end and didn't feel like I'd missed much. Tonight was s01e17, "The Squire of Gothos," which I was thinking should be the title of an Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats song. Classic example of an episode where things get totally fucked up and seem totally insurmountable and then, blamo, all of a sudden everything is fixed again.

Trelane was excellent though. A kind of interstellar Liberace who could convert matter to energy and vice versa:

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Played by William Campbell, who unfortunately doesn't seem to be any relation to Bruce. If only.

By now the formula of the show is well established: While adventuring, the crew of the Enterprise encounters a being or situation that leads to a conflict. Conflict requires creative resolution involving a variety of characters, is ultimately resolved (generally either by battle or deus ex machina), and order is restored. Along the way, mainstay characters are introduced and developed.

The fun continues.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Your dedication to this is commendable.


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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:04 am 
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Meh, it's fun so far. It's not like I'm beholden to it or I have to watch it if I don't want to, and it's a good bonding activity with the wife. Moving a little slower than I might prefer, but so it goes. Gives me a little time to savor each episode.

A big Friday night was capped with s01e18: "Arena." I guess this was the point where the show got a budget, because it opened with a bunch of explosions and then brought in the Gorn -- a big dude in a foam-rubber lizard costume -- to fight one-on-one with Kirk.

The further I get though, the more bummed I am with these versions of the episodes. The ones I have are apparently the 2006 remasters, so a bunch of the "exterior" shots of the Enterprise and other stuff has been cleaned up digitally. Seems arbitrary, I know, but I kind of wish I had the original versions to go from instead. It's like listening to a remastered album that's really loud now and has lost some of its dynamics.

Anyway, here's the Gorn:

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Not sure why they felt the need to put him in that mini-dress, but they made it work. Funny that they made him incredibly strong but slow. It must have been hell to move in that costume in the California sun. I'd probably want a general lack of physical exertion written into the script too.

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:41 am 
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Quote:
I'd probably want a general lack of physical exertion written into the script too.


I like how you view everything through a stoner rock prism. Go sloth!

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 Post subject: Re: The original Star Trek
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:49 pm 
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No getting away from the stoner rock thing, I guess. Lethargy in riffs, lethargy in life. Either way: Yawn.

Some comic relief in s01e19: "Tomorrow is Yesterday," in which the Enterprise, whoops, hit a time warp and ended up back in 1969. Kind of an awesome scene in which Kirk says something tossed off about the late '60s being when man first landed on the moon, which was cool because the episode first aired in 1967, two years earlier, but by and large, it was kind of a lighthearted thing. Nobody fought to the death, nobody had to make an impossible decision.

Also pretty clearly a lot of stuff in this was remastered. They slingshot around the sun and in the episode it looks like it did later in whichever movie it was, which there's about no way it would. And there's a scene where the Enterprise is being chased by an Air Force jet and that had been cleaned up. Meh.

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Not the greatest episode, but interesting as a precursor to some of the more cutesy ones that come later in the series. Also really came down to the last second as to putting things right so that next week starts from point A. Some great shaky cam stuff though and people on the bridge falling out of their chairs as they came out of the timewarp at the end. Uhura is the best at that stuff:

Image

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