Welcome one and welcome all- if you haven’t read the post to boldly go where … you went when you were a kid you better do NOW!
For those of you that have already read the post here’s a nice little picture of the original series Enterprise)
Now that’s all done…
Since I’d already started the challenge before bringing it up as an idea for the blog I’ve already watched the first 15 episodes of the original series on the list:
97 TOS The Cage
98 TOS Where No Man Has Gone Before
99 TOS The Corbomite Maneuver
100 TOS Mudd’s Women
101 TOS The Enemy Within
102 TOS The Man Trap
103 TOS The Naked Time
104 TOS Charlie X
105 TOS Balance of Terror
106 TOS What Are Little Girls Made Of?
107 TOS Dagger of the Mind
108 TOS Miri
109 TOS The Conscience of the King
110 TOS The Galileo Seven
111 TOS Court Martial
So what are my impressions so far? Well… I like it more than I liked it when I was younger!
I grew up in the era of TNG (as I’m sure most of you will have done) and this is, of course, where my Star Trek allegiances really lie. I liked TOS, and I remember sitting riveted to each episode but, as a child, I always felt a little at odds with something I couldn’t perceive as being as relevant or as believably futuristic as TNG. Well, little me, you missed out on something GREAT!.
So to start a few things occurred to me whilst watching….
Every episode stands alone; I’d forgotten TV did that (not really, but it was still a shock to the system)! In our post-‘Twin peaks’/’Lost’ world, where ‘Game Of Thrones’ and ‘the Walking Dead’ scream at you to watch in order and, more importantly, are available in millions of ways and places to do so, it’s refreshing to watch something that is an adventure of it’s own. Yes I’m treating the series in a manner I would treat watching something that’s released today, but I could very well decide to watch whatever damned episode in whichever damned way I wanted even without prior knowledge of the show! That’s something wonderful, and in some ways makes me miss the simpler time we had before everything was available all the time and everywhere (again, not really. I wouldn’t be able to complete this challenge if we still lived in that time; but you get my nostalgic point). It might not have the same level of necessary commitment on the part of the viewer, or even the instant ability to hone very tightly in on characters and their progression in situations, but we need to forget that a bit; anachronism is not a pretty look!
It is, in some part, due to this ‘stand alone’ nature that the show is as much fun as it is; seriously, this series is loads of fucking fun!
It’s schlocky, it has bad special effects and sometimes the writing/dialogue feels like the product of a 12 year old, but all of this is part of it’s charm and it is not necessarily enough to distract from what happens when everything about the programme’s underlying mechanism works. Characters are far from two dimensional despite not having a meticulous through-story (well, in general. No doubt I’ll talk about things of this ilk in future posts). The writing can be visionary, drawing inspiration from such a wide array of sources that it cannot help but be rooted in greatness; of course sometimes it doesn’t work, it was trying to develop from it’s sources and be something radically different. Action abounds, it has too because of packing a story into a whole episode! Whether it’s on an un-earthly planet, in a fantasy world or even in the environ of an enclosed starship hurtling through space; shit is always going down, but don’t let all that action and adventure fool you (as I think it did young me); TOS is Philosophical.
Indeed, it’s WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY more philosophical than I remember; it focuses on a shed load of really interesting and poignant questions, playing them out in a grand extension of a thought experiment. I remember picking up on this with later series, learning about paradoxes, theories on the nature of time, the role of the individual and collective, various ethical questions, sexual liberation et al. I did not with TOS, and this is a shame, but it’s being rectified. Expect a crap load of pretentious jibber about this in my posts; these first 15 episodes have already thrown a huge amount of questions that I can’t wait to share and digest.
Thirdly, and I think focally for this post, I found myself in shock and awe at the portrayal of women aboard the Enterprise; this is a show credited with progressing the roles of women and different ethnicities on TV. It is seen as a cornerstone of a liberation and an acceptance, of grasping equality and thrusting it into collective consciousness… and yet…
You can see the majority of the female crew members’ underwear.
I’m not shitting you; case in point
That’s an extreme example- I’m too lazy to screen grab specific ones I’m thinking of (thanks internet land for providing this shot) but there are a plethora of scenes that are just female crew walking across the bridge, not doing anything in particular, and their underwear is there for all to see…
Sigmund Freud is judging 1960’s TV!