It’s the end of Star Trek The Original Series First Season
All right folks, this one’s a biggy, but also a bit weird; I’m plunging through the entire Star Trek Ouvre in star date order, as curated by these guys here (as you should know… no?) which means, well, technically the notion of ‘seasons’ of a show have been eradicated, in theory. The thing is, though, whilst we’re rolling in TOS land there isn’t really anything that messes around with the notion of season; this period of watching has been entirely made up of the first stretch of TOS, albeit in a different order to air date. So I can comfortably say… well, I’m sure you’ve figured it out, but I may as well yammer it home… I have now watched the entire first season of the first EVER series of star trek.
UH HUH. That’s right mother fuckers.
So, this post is going to cover the last four episodes of the season (again, albeit out of order) and then I’m gonna bash my head together with Bif’s and figure out some fancy post-TOS-season-one-super-special-thing; I haven t entirely figured out what that is yet. Maybe a bumper post philosophique, a simple waxing lyrical about perception thus far, a pod cast (with BIF?) or, well, who knows what other ideas we could come up with. For now, LET’S GET ON WITH THE EPISODIC DISCUSSIONALS!
123 TOS Devil in the Dark
This is one of those episodes where I’m sort of thinking in two minds. What exactly does that mean? It means I really enjoyed this episode. I enjoyed the narrative, I enjoyed the use of cinematograpy to produce an intense, darkly thrumming, episode full of desolation and fear. That’s cool.
That second mind though, it ain’t too happy.
That second mind is the one which compares what it’s watching to other episodes within the same series; it’s the mind which screams out against the lack of deep, questioning, philosophical notions. It’s the mind that watches Leonard Nimoy act ABYSMALLY when he has proven that he is a fucking BOSS. It’s the mind that doesn’t know whether it is happy that the other mind is thoroughly enthralled with this episode.
Dichotomous or what folks.
The storyline of this one is pretty cool an evil beasty has been burning up miners on a mining colony. It lurks in the dark and we don’t get to see it right until the clamx of the episode. That’s smart camera work; not only because it enables the viewer to generate an inflated sense of the horror of the beasty, but also because the effects in this episode are FUCKING TERRIBLE. Seriously, when the point comes where you see this thing you are incredibly underwhelmed. Honestly, I’ve done so well staving off the anachronism throughout this challenge but this is a step I simply cannot take. UGH.
I don’t really want to spoil the episode too much, so I have to avoid discussing Nimoy’s awful acting .. I can say, however, that when you see it you are definitely going to know what I mean.
124 TOS Errand of Mercy
This one is a step above the last and it does involve the beginning of the Klingons!… I’m wondering, should that have been THE KLING-FUCKING-ONS!!!!!… yeah, it should’ve. Cool.
So this one has some freaky planet full of pacifistic do gooders that ain’t worried about the warlike nature of the Klingons and continually refuse Cap’n’ Kirk’s offers of help against an impending Klingon invasion… The main plot point here is that while Kirky boy is down on the planet (wth Spocky Wocky, ‘cos, who else) the Klingons invade and our federation hero is stuck… (Bifur – I feel that Dwalin may be getting too familiar with the characters. Dwalin, stop it. You’ll scare the actors.)
Again, this is one where I can’t really say much as it’ll completely ruin the plot line for you.
What I can say is that the episode is pretty weak, but the seeds of the Klingon/Federation relationship are a complete dream to watch The final statement about the “will-they-wont-they?” enemies / lovers is pretty spot on (see above on the left… smouldering wannabe lovers OR WHAT?!?); the reactions of all involved are pretty nifty.
This episode makes me reallllly want to watch Undiscovered country, but I can’t because what’s up next is…
125 TOS The City on the Edge of Forever
This one is another “oh shit, time’s all fuddled” episode… I have big problems with it. Problems which I can explain away, but I find myself not wanting to. Seriously, explaining them away makes me feel like a dirty fan-boy that will say and do anything to forgive the object of his affection. I’m not that. (Bifur – Yes you are Dwalin) Yes, I love Trek, but it’s fuck ups need to be pointed out ‘cos without that Sci Fi ain’t moving forward…
So whats my problem? McCoy goes back in time after getting all fucked up on some drug he’s administered to Sulu to wake him up – how’d he get fucked up on it? Simple accidental space shaking leads to jabbing the hypo into his own tummy… awwwww. Poor McCoy.
Anyway, batshit McCoy thinks everyones coming to kill him so he transports down to the surface of the planet the Enterprise is near. Turns out there’s a time portal down there; Kirk and an away team (oh, guess what, Spock’s there too) beam down to follow him but are too late… McCoy then goes back in time and fucks the continuum up enough to mean that the enterprise no longer exists (Well, at least in the orbit it’s in)… SO WHY THE FUCK ARE THE AWAY TEAM STILL ON THE PLANET?
Yeah, maybe the planet emits an anti-time field that protects those within the pull of said field from disappearing from time; effectively creating a multiverse omni-layer that allows parallel time slips to exist concurrently… but FUCK YOU that feels like a cop-out.
You know what’s worse about this episode though? IT’S REALLY FUCKING GOOD.
That’s right, the rest of the show has such a weighty slab of beautiful, human, emotion that I feel like a complete dick for questioning the time issue. Seriously.
Kirk falls in love and Shat-face really does a damned fine job at displaying this. (Bifur – Shat-face?!? You’re really no happy are you Dwalin?…)
The ending is heart rending, and thought provoking.
Fuck You star trek. Fuck You.
126 TOS Operation: Annihilate!
I better get on with a discussion of this episode… it’s, alright. I guess.
Honestly there are some ace parts of this episode; the theorising about the procession of mass insanity throughout the universe is interesting, but ultimately leads nowhere.
It turns out there are this freaky beasties that are an aspect of a mighty mega brain that survive by latching onto human hosts and, basically, drive them insane through agonising pain; this pain means the ugly little fucks can control the humans. As such they do weird things like… threaten to beat intruders and…. that’s about it actually.
What’s more is that , ooo its scary freaky skin parasite brain monsters doing it, but why are they doing it? Why the route theyre taking? Is that the natural route they would take? Do they have designs on something more? Is the route the cerebellum of the universe?
That’s a big reaction I have to this episode, but again it does something; it throws out raw human emotions. Shatner acts his balls off, so does Nimoy (you are forgiven for the first episode in this post) and, you know what, this forms a really nice ending to the arc. Not because it’s the best episode, but because it sets up a nice set of paradigms for the next season… and hey, who doesn’t like mindless phasoring of ugly freaky snotty looking things.
There we have it folks; see you next time on Star Trekkin’!