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1. Star Trek The Original Series
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20. Star Trek - The Original Series,

1. Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Seasons 1-3
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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The facts have become legend. Star Trek, the NBC series that premiered on September 8, 1966, has become a touchstone of international popular culture. It struggled through three seasons that included cancellation and last-minute revival, and turned its creator, Gene Roddenberry, into the progenitor of an intergalactic phenomenon. Eventually expanding to encompass five separate TV series, an ongoing slate of feature films, and a fan base larger than the population of many third-world countries, the Star Trek universe began not with a Big Bang but with a cautious experiment in network TV programming. Even before its premiere episode ("The Man Trap") was aired, Star Trek had struggled to attain warp-drive velocity, barely making it into the fall '66 NBC lineup.

The series' original pilot, "The Cage," featured Jeffrey Hunter as U.S.S. Enterprise captain Christopher Pike--a variation of the role that would eventually catapult William Shatner to TV stardom. Filmed in 1964, the pilot was rejected by NBC the following year, but the network made a rare decision to order a second pilot. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was filmed in 1965, and only one character from the previous pilot remained--a pointy-eared alien named Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy), whom Roddenberry had retained despite network disapproval. The second pilot was accepted, and production on Star Trek began in earnest with the filming of its first regular episode, "The Corbomite Maneuver."

Never a ratings success despite a growing population of devoted fans, Star Trek was canceled after its second season, prompting a letter-writing campaign that resulted in the series' third-season renewal. It was a mixed blessing, since Roddenberry had departed as producer to protest the network's neglect, and Star Trek's third season contained most of the series' weakest episodes. And yet, the show continued to "to explore strange new worlds…to seek out new life and new civilizations…to boldly go where no man [a phrase later amended to "no one"] has gone before."

There were milestones along the way. The first interracial kiss on network primetime TV (between Shatner and series co-star Nichelle Nichols) furthered a richly positive and expansive view of a better, nobler future for humankind. The series offered a timelessly appealing balance of humor, imagination, and character depth. And at least one episode (Harlan Ellison's "The City on the Edge of Forever") ranks among the finest science fiction stories in any popular medium. Beloved by long-time fans in spite of its cheesy sets and costumes, and the now-dated trappings of late-1960s American culture, "classic Trek" has aged remarkably well, and its sense of adventure and idealism continues to live long and prosper. --Jeff Shannon

The three 2004 DVD sets collect all 79 episodes of the show, including "The Cage" in both a restored color version and the original, never-aired version that alternates between color and black and white. Each set is supplemented by over an hour of featurettes incorporating new and old interviews with Shatner, Nimoy, other cast members, and producers, and there's also some vintage footage of Gene Roddenberry. Accompanying the 20-minute seasonal recaps ("To Boldly Go...") are a number of interesting featurettes: "The Birth of a Timeless Legacy" examines the two pilot episodes and the development of the crew; "Sci-Fi Visionaries" discusses the series' great science fiction writers; Nimoy debunks various rumors in "Reflections of Spock"; "Kirk, Spock & Bones: The Great Trio" focuses on the interplay among Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley); and, in what is probably his last Star Trek appearance, James Doohan (Scotty), slowed by Alzheimer's but still with a twinkle in his eye, recalls his voiceover roles and his favorite episodes.As they've done for many of the feature-film special editions, Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda provide a pop-up text commentary on four of the episodes filled with history, trivia, and dry wit. It's the first commentary of any kind for a Star Trek TV show, but an audio commentary is still overdue. The technical specs are mostly the same as other Trek TV series--Dolby 5.1, English subtitles--but with the welcome addition of the episode trailers. The plastic cases are an attempt to replicate some of the fun packaging of the series' European DVD releases, but it's a bit clunky, and the paper sleeve around the disc case seems awkward and crude. Still, the sets are a vast improvement both in terms of shelf space and bonus features compared to the old two-episode discs, which were released before full-season boxed sets became the model for television DVDs. --David Horiuchi ... Read more


2. Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Third Season
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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Saved from the brink of cancellation by its loyal fanbase, Star Trek's third and final season rewarded them with a number of memorable episodes.Tight budgets and slipping creative control, however, made it the series' most uneven season, though it did have some of the coolest episode titles ("For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky," "Is There in Truth No Beauty," "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield").Some of the best moments involved a gunfight at the OK Corral ("Spectre of the Gun"), a knock-down drag-out sword battle with the Klingons aboard the Enterprise ("Day of the Dove"), the ship getting caught in an ever-tightening spacial net ("The Tholian Web"), TV's first interracial kiss ("Plato's Stepchildren," and it should be easy to guess who participated), Sulu taking command ("The Savage Curtain"), and Kirk's switching bodies with an ex-love interest ("Turnabout Intruder").

Also appearing in the set as a coda are two versions of the series pilot, "The Cage," a restored color version and the original, never-aired version that alternates between color and black and white.Starring Jeffery Hunter as Captain Pike, Leonard Nimoy as a relatively emotional Spock, and Majel Barrett (the future Nurse Chapel and Mrs. Gene Roddenberry) as a frosty Number One, this pilot was rejected, but a second was commissioned, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," now considered the "official" beginning of the series.But "The Cage" is very recognizably Star Trek with its far-out concepts (telepathic aliens collecting species samples), sexy humanoid women, character development, and of course cheesy costumes and special effects.Footage was later reused in the season 1 two-parter, "The Menagerie."

The best of the 63 minutes of bonus material focuses on three of the actors: Walter Koenig, George Takei, and James Doohan.Koenig discusses how he was cast and shows off his various collections, one consisting of Chekov figurines.Takei speaks movingly about the Japanese American internment and, in what is probably his last Star Trek appearance, Doohan, slowed by Alzheimer's but still with a twinkle in his eye, recalls his voiceover roles and his favorite episodes.The Easter eggs are amusingly called "Red Shirt Files" in tribute to those poor saps who everyone knew were only in the landing party so they could die.--David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Third Complete Season in an 8-DVD Set! Fantastic!
When Paramount Home Video first started to release the original series of "Star Trek" in 1999, I was aghast at the fact that only one DVD with two episodes per DVD were being released one DVD at a time at a very high cost. The cost to own all 40 volumes (DVD's) was staggering. Of course, this doesn't even address the amount of shelf space required for all 40 DVD's.

Now, with this repackaged version, all 24 episodes of the third season are being released together on 8 disks. It will probably also include both versions (color and black-and-white) of the unaired original pilot "The Cage". This is the packaged version of the original "Star Trek" that I fully intend to purchase because even at full list price, the cost of owning the third complete season is less than half the cost of owning its earlier cousins on an equivalent 13 DVD's. Also, the packaging itself has been designed similarly to the packaging used for other "Star Trek" series released in complete seasons, meaning that it will only require a small amount of shelf space. It is also possible that extra documentary and commentary material not released originally will be included in this complete third season box set.

The original series of "Star Trek", that ran for three complete seasons between 1966 and 1969, started a franchise that has included six television series and ten big screen motion pictures. The main original characters of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Lt. Commander/Commander Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. Leonard H. 'Bones' McCoy (DeForest Kelley, 1920-1999), Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott (James Doohan), Lt. Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), Lt. Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Ensign Pavel Chekov (Walter Keonig from 1967-1969), Yeoman Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney from 1966-1967) and Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett) have become an inseparable part of Americana. Though series creator Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) was not able to keep the original series alive for five seasons as originally envisioned (it was cancelled after its third season), he, along with the countless series fans, was able to resurrect it in the form of six motion pictures beginning in 1979 and the first series spin-off, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in 1987, which ran for seven years and had spin-offs of its own. There was also a 22-episode animated version based upon the original series that ran from 1972 to 1974.

In spite of receiving five Emmy nominations during its life and several previously successful efforts (including letter-writing campaigns) that had saved the show from cancellation on more than one occasion, the combination of poor Nielsen ratings, a shrinking budget and too-often weak episode writing made the third season of "Star Trek" its last. The most memorable episodes of the third season include "Spock's Brain", "The Enterprise Incident" (using Klingon ships for Romulans), "The Paradise Syndrome", "Is There No Truth in Beauty" (with guest character Dr. Ann Mulhall as played by Diana Muldaur, who had previously guest acted in the second-season episode "Return to Tomorrow" and also played the unpopular character Dr. Katherine Pulaski in the second season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky", "The Tholian Web", "Plato's Stepchildren" (which had the first inter-racial kiss on televsion), "Wink of an Eye", "The Empath", "Elaan of Troyius", "Whom Gods Destroy", "The Mark of Gideon", "The Lights of Zetar", "Requiem for Methuselah", "The Cloud Minders", "The Savage Curtain" and "All Our Yesterdays". Arguably, the worst episode during the third season was "The Way to Eden", about a group of hippies searching for Eden (the probable inspiration for the worst-ever "Star Trek" film, "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" in 1989). Other particularly weak third-season episodes include "And the Children Shall Lead", "Spectre of the Gun" featuring a re-enactment of the old-West shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, "Day of the Dove", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" about racism, "That Which Survives" and the final episode "Turnabout Intruder" that showcased some of Shatner's worst acting abilities.

Ironically, six weeks after "Turnabout Intruder" aired on 6/3/1969, Neil Armstrong and 'Buzz' Aldrin became the first human beings to land and walk upon an extraterrestrial body, Earth's moon, on 7/20/1969. Shortly thereafter, interest in "Star Trek" grew considerably. Paramount Pictures nearly resurrected the television show in 1977 (called "Star Trek: Phase II") after all but Leonard Nimoy had signed on, but the project was abandoned shortly after George Lucas' 1977 film "Star Wars" blew audiences away. Fans had to wait another two years when the disappointing film "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was released. It is interesting to note that two of people (Jo and John Trimble) who started one of the successful letter-writing campaigns that had once saved "Star Trek" from cancellation in 1968, were the same people that started a letter-writing campaign to convince NASA to name the first space shuttle "Enterprise" in honor of "Star Trek".

Overall, I rate the 8-DVD set of "Star Trek: Original Series Season 3" with an anticipatory 4 out of 5 stars. Clearly, this is how Paramount should have released the original series to begin with. Though the third season suffered from more poor episodes than the previous two, I continue to thank Gene Roddenberry for taking all of us "where no man has gone before".

2-0 out of 5 stars Only a small handful of good shows.
Thrid Season of Star Trek was it's last and it was marked by both a feud between Gene Roddenbery and a new producer over the show's budget. Somewhat more cheaper production values, decreaaed visual effects work, and poore writing. The few Exceptions were "The Enterprise Incident, The Tholian Web, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, That Which Survies, The Lights of Zetar, and the Savage Curtain

4-0 out of 5 stars ST's final frontier
Barely getting renewed for a third season,Star Trek had two disadvantages when it returned.First was executive producer Gene Coon's departure from the series, as well Gene Roddenberry's decreased involvement.The other was a new timeslot on Friday at 10:00 PM, a slot known to bury flagging shows by the networks.
Over the years, many blamed the new producer Fred Frieberg for the lacking quality of the show. Freiberg's only sin was coming aboard a sinking ship which was suffering budget cuts as well as weak stories and it's creator's lack of interest due to the networks total disregard of the show.
Even with the few brilliant episodes (Empath, Paradise Syndrome,Enterprise Incident, Tholian Web, Requium Of Methuselah,All Our Yesterdays), season three is notorious with two of the worst ever in the history of Trek (The Way To Eden, and Spock's Brain).
By the end of season three,ST was finally cancelled after 78 aired episodes in 1969.Even fans couldn't save it, as NBC buried the show.But thanks to syndication, ST became even more popular than when it originally aired and build upon a growing franchise (Conventions, Saturday Morning cartoons,toys, etc,).The ten years after the end of the series,Star Trek The Motion Picture premired.And that was just the beginning. ... Read more


3. The Brady Bunch - The Complete First Season
Director: Leslie H. Martinson, Allen Baron, Jerry London, George Tyne, John Rich, Jack Arnold, George Cahan, Peter Baldwin, Irving J. Moore, Jack Donohue, Bruce Bilson (II), Richard Michaels, Oscar Rudolph, Herb Wallerstein, Hal Cooper, Robert Reed, Lloyd J. Schwartz, Russ Mayberry, Roger Duchowny, Norman Abbott (II)
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4. Wonder Woman - The Complete Seasons 1-3
Director: Leslie H. Martinson, Bob Kelljan, Don McDougall, Dick Moder, Charles R. Rondeau, Stuart Margolin, John Newland, Alan Crosland (II), Jack Arnold, Leonard Horn, Barry Crane, Alexander Singer, Michael Caffey, Herb Wallerstein, Ivan Dixon, Gordon Hessler, Seymour Robbie, Richard Kinon, Bruce Bilson (II), Ray Austin
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5. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 40, Episodes 79, 99 & 1: Turnabout Intruder/ The Cage (B&W/Color Version) / The Cage (Full Color Version)
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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"Turnabout," Ep.79 - A female scientist, jealous of Kirk's career, uses an ancient alien device to trade places with him and take command of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The series' final episode! "The Cage," Ep.99 (B&W and color) - The two versions of Star Trek's rarely seen pilot star Jeffrey Hunter as captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. On an earlier voyage of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise, Kirk's predecessor Captain Christopher Pike tries to rescue an Earth crew that disappeared eighteen years earlier. But it's a trap! Pike is imprisoned in a zoo-like cage and studied by a mysterious higher life-form. "The Cage" Ep.99 was reconstructed with black-and-white footage from Gene Roddenberry's work print and color footage from "The Menagerie" Ep.16. "The Cage" Ep.1 (Color) - This episode includes the long-lost color footage (believed to have been destroyed) from Gene Roddenberry's pilot episode. 185 minutes. ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bowing In/Bowing Out
In 1964 Gene Roddenberry pitched his Star Trek idea to NBC executives as "Wagon Train to the Stars." Expecting a western set in space, they gave Roddenberry the go-ahead and set him to work. When they viewed The Cage in early 1965, they must have been surprised. After complaining it was "too cerebral," the suits issued a litany of other complaints: the female second in command (Number One) was unacceptable, and there were too many females in general on the ship ("people will think there's a lot of fooling around going on up there"); the presence of minorities would offend NBC affiliates in the South, who would refuse to air the program; and "that guy with the ears" had to go. Roddenberry was willing to concede the female second in command, but thereafter he dug in his heels: minorities and aliens continue to be a presence in Star Trek to this day.

Watching The Cage from a 21st Century perspective, one wonders what the NBC suits were in a ringer about. The episode is not appreciably higher in concept than many original series episodes, and the whole affair has an appealing "New Frontier" Kennedy-esque flavor.

Somewhat like an Ed Wood movie, Turnabout Intruder is unintentionally humorous. The story idea is ludicrous, the dialogue cringeworthy, and the acting has to be seen to be believed. William Shatner's realization of Kirk's body under the control of Janice Lester (which includes filing his nails and walking with a mincing gait) is the single most over the top performance in all of Trek. He comes across as Joan Crawford on Psilocybin. How his intensely homoerotic moments with guest actor Harry Landers got past the network censors will forever remain a mystery. This story is the greatest camp masterpiece since Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?.

How does this DVD look? The full color version of The Cage is a true restoration, not merely a remastering. The print has been carefully cleaned and color corrected, and various sound elements (dialogue, music, and sound effects) have been remixed from the original sources. Generally it wears its age well, although portions of the dialogue sound fuzzy. The Black & White/Color amalgamation of The Cage is also included. This version has had no rework done, which makes the restoration of the all-color version all the more stunning. Gene Roddenberry's introduction from 1986 is also included, a nice touch.

4-0 out of 5 stars Saving the first and last for last... um, yeah.
As a final treat for the Trekkies, we see Shatner display Kirk's feminine side in the series swan song, 'Turnabout Intruder', as an old flame takes revenge-- and control of the Enterprise-- by trading bodies with our esteemed starship skipper! Granted, it's sortuva psycho 'Fatal Attraction'-style feminine side, but at least he finally got a role with some real acting range... heh. Sadly, Uhura's absent from the final go-round, and Nurse Chapel has suddenly become a brunette (which I believe is Majel Barrett's natural hair color)! Fortunately, Spock is as logical as ever in this not-half-bad third season eppie. True, it still has a certain degree of hokiness & cheese that makes Star Trek's final year so memorable, but I think it holds up fairly well. It's definitely worth a watch!

Then there's most-anticipated eppie on this platter: the original pilot that didn't quite make the cut. 'The Cage' features a crew of completely-different folks, save for a certain pointy-eared individual. In this adventure, retro-Spock displays a small bit of emotion-he cracks a smile when he touches some vibrating plants, and shouts in surprise when the Talosians steal the women away from the stranded landing party. Nimoy's Boston accent also pokes through on occasion-- listen for his pronunciation of "can't" at the beginning right after the opening credits. This little linguistic characteristic would pop up from time to time in the first season, but eventually waned as the series went on.

Both the black-and-white and full-color versions of 'The Cage' are available here. Although the full-color show is the one I prefer to view, the B/W eppie includes an intro by Gene Roddenberry. I found his anecdotes regarding his early struggles with the networks regarding the pilot to be amusing and informative. His spoken memories kinda reminded me of grampa tellin' the young'uns stories of the good ol' days. It's also interesting to see what 'Star Trek' might have been like had NBC given the series a green light with the first pilot. Oh, the unrealized possibilities...

'Late

3-0 out of 5 stars STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES ENDS WITH A WHIMPER!
The final DVD of The 40 volume Star Trek DVD series contians the series incredibly weak and uneven finale and special treat: the unaired original pilot that NBC rejected which is what really sells this one.

It's a real shame that the Star Trek series couldn't have ended a little better than TURNABOUT INTRUDER but sadly it's this awful episode that ends a TV series that still had a ton of promising aspects left in it. Looking back it's easy to say that Star Trek should never been cancelled so early. It's also easy to say that an episode this bad should have never ended the series. TURNABOUT INTRUDER does have to be one of the worst Star Trek episodes to go into production. The plot is simply goofy and weak. A deranged woman swapping her soul into Kirk's body in order for her to fufill her dreams on running a starship is a bad enough idea. However having William Shatner act like a lady trapped inside a man's body is just a sad joke. Shatner (who at the time was suffering from a severe fever during the filming of this episode) turns in perhaps his worst acting performance ever in the series. It's so bad that it's laughable but this episode is downright boring and I wouldn't doubt that poor William Shatner (who I feel is generally a decent actor) begged for another episode of Star Trek to end the series on a stronger note. Unfortunetly this never happend.

The real reason to buy this DVD is of course the unaired pilot THE CAGE. It's not really available anywhere else and has never been included in the TV reruns. It's interesting to watch and see Jeffrey Hunter as Cpt.Pike and a younger more emotional Spock. The episode is pretty good but is ment more for historical or cult purposes. Still it what saves this DVD from being awful.

In conclusion this DVD is still a must despite the awful sad finale. The pilot is essential for Trekkies and is a must see anyways for fans of the Original series like me. This is classic Trek despite the depressing ending of the series so it's recommended but mainly for the Pilot.

*I can't believe I reviewed all forty volumes!*

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the Price of Admission for Historical Value!
I'm just gonna go ahead & skip any kind of review of "Turnabout Intruder". More eloquent slams of this episode have been made by others, so there's no need to go into it again.

The primary reson to buy this DVD (whether you're a die-hard Trek geek or just a casual sci-fi fan) is to see the unaired, uncut 1964 pilot, "THE CAGE", and Roddenberry really had it on the money with this one.

Jeffrey Hunter's turn as Captain Christopher Pike exudes the stern, stoic demeanour that would become such a trademark of Jean-Luc Picard, yet he does manage to showcase a glimpse into his humanity, which he keeps hidden from most of the crew, as every good captain must. There are moments in this pilot that act as harbingers of things that audiences would take for granted some thirty years hence on other incarnations of TREK, but they'll more than likely fail to remember or appreciate that it ALL began here. Without this pilot, there would be no Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, or Archer.

The SPFX in this show, while cheesy by today's ILM-on-Steroids standards, were surprisingly good & still manage to impress, even today. This pilot, which was ultimately refused by NBC (Shatner's "WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE" was what finally sold the suits on the show), is TREK at its most distilled. There was really no guideline to go by, no Prime Directive, no purists' / revisionists' history, no continuity to adhere to, no writers' staff to make sure everything fit in the box -- just plain ol', good character-driven science fiction TV.

It's a shame that there wasn't an opportunity to see where Jeffrey Hunter & HIS Enterprise crew would have gone, but thank goodness he was there at all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not too bad
I only give this one four stars because the final episode--"Turnabout Intruder"--was pretty lame. Bad way to end the series. The inclusion of two versions of "The Cage" makes the DVD worthwhile, however, along with Gene Roddenberry's little featurette. One point of contention with Jared's review: "The Cage" has, in fact, aired during reruns. While I still have my "all-colour collector's edition" VHS copy, it was played at least once on the Sci-Fi Channel, back when Sci-Fi ran sort of a 23rd-century two-hour program block (Star Trek the first hour, and Babylon 5 the second, which is when I actually got into J. Michael Straczynski's television gem).

I only watched the the B&W/Color version of "The Cage," once for the novelty of it. ... Read more


6. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 38 - Episodes 75 & 76: The Way to Eden /Requiem for Methuselah
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
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"The Way to Eden," Ep. 75 - Kirk and crew must deal with the insane leader of a band of rebellious idealists who are searching for the fabled planet Eden. " Requiem for Methuselah," Ep. 76 - An outbreak of Rigellian fever aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise forces Kirk to find an antidote on Holberg 917-G, where he meets the mysterious genius Flint. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Enterprise encounters two wise men seeking paradise
Volume 38 in the Star Trek DVD series offers up a very uneven pair of episodes from the show's final season. "The Way to Eden" is probably the episode that most smacks of the Sixties in a blatant attempt to be groovy, hip, cool, whatever. The Enterprise intercepts a stolen spacecraft carrying Dr. Sevrin (think Timothy Leary) and his followers, all young futuristic hippie types. There are seeking the legendary planet Eden in an attempt to get away from it all and back to paradise. After Spock locates Eden on the ship's computer, Sevrin and his followers take over the Enterprise. However, when they arrive at Eden they find that the planet is as deadly as it is beautiful. The storyline in "The Way to Eden" is okay, it is the transplanted hippies following their guru that grates a bit. It was bad enough when Chekhov showed up with his Beatles/Monkees wig to cater to the younger generation. I do not see any reason to have these people be earnest seekers of a more pastoral lifestyle instead of anti-establishment types. At least they groove on Spock.

On the other hand, "Requiem for Methuselah" is one of my picks for Top 10 Star Trek episodes, although admittedly it might be my most idiosyncratic selection. Rigelian fever has broken out on the Enterprise and the crew discovers the necessary antidote, ryetalyn, on an uninhabited planet in the Omega system. However, the landing party discovers a man named Flint, his robot M4 and his ward, Rayna Kapec. Slowly but surely Kirk and Spock put together the pieces of the mystery--e.g., a "new" work written in the hand of Johannes Brahms--and Flint finally tells them his fantastic story. Born on earth in Mesopotamia in 3034 B.C., he was Akharin, a soldier who was pierced in the heart in battle but did not die because of instant tissue regeneration. Apparently immortal he has lived dozens of lifetimes as Brahms, da Vinci, Solomon, Alexander, Merlin and many others (he claims to have been both Methuselah and Lazarus, and let us just ponder the implications of the latter claim, which is probably the biggest gaff in Star Trek history). Having outlived countless female companions he has constructed a woman equal to himself: Rayna is an android. However, Kirk has fallen in love with this perfect woman and refuses to let Flint have her, with tragic results. The epilogue to this episode, in which Spock seeks to ease Kirk's pain, is one of the most touching of the original Star Trek. James Daly plays Flint and brings a nice sense of weariness to the role of a man almost 6,000 years old. I have always liked this episode and Flint is one of my favorite characters from the Star Trek universe. As much as I have ambivalent feelings towards "The Way to Eden," I hold "Requiem for Methuselah" in high enough regard to end up rounding this one up on my magic scale.

4-0 out of 5 stars Third-season 'Trek: good for geekin' AND goofin'!
If ever there was a nice, creamy (yet sharp), salaciously-melting, pleasantly-pungent-aroma-producing (whoa- for some strange reason, I've got a sudden hankerin' for clabbered & processed dairy products!) chunk off the cheese ball that was the third season of Star Trek, 'The Way To Eden' is it! Along with 'Spock's Brain', this little misadventure proves that even at its worst, classic 'Trek is pretty freakin' entertaining! Even the squarest 'Herbert' will enjoy goofin' on this one! Space hippies takin' over the Enterprise, and a 'paradise' planet that's not as idyllic as it seems is what awaits you in this cornball 'Trek!

Then there's 'Requiem for Methuselah', featuring yet another version of the "would-be-romance-between Kirk-and-the-show's-babe-of-the-week-going-tragically-awry" plot element. Speaking of tragic Kirkian romances, I heard rumors about William Shatner insisting on doing take after take after take of the kissing scenes until he felt he'd gotten it just right! Who knew the man behind Jimmers was a perfectionist with a strict work ethic? I tell ya, if it were me, I'm not sure I would've been able to endure that much punishment! But Shatner managed to take it like a man, and his extra effort really paid off!

'Late

2-0 out of 5 stars A Pale Flicker In A Dark Season
I'm not a big fan of Star Trek's 3rd season. Even when I saw the original broadcasts (I was barely a teenager) I sensed the degradation of the show. I was completely unaware of the 'back story' - the 'Save Trek' campaign. There were a rew exceptions.

The Way to Eden - One of the most 'dated' of episodes, it should have been down without the obvious bow to the 'sixties hippy movement'. Spock was definitely 'out of character'in this episode. Walter Koenig got a decent piece of on air time for Chekov, one of the few pluses in the episode.

Requiem for Methuselah - Another episode that had a lot of promise, the writers fell back on a 'mountain of cliche's' in this story. Extending the story by staging accident's while allowing Kirk to romance an android?

Side Note: The Star Trek Universe has a big flaw when it comes to androids. In ST:Next Generation they make it look like Data was the first sentient android? What? Come on fans, would could forget Rayna?

This only the 2nd time a Kirk romance had any substance. But Spock should have used his "Forget" mind meld with Kirk in "The Paradise Syndrome", Shatner's best performance of the series.

3-0 out of 5 stars More camp, plus one thoughtful show
The Way to Eden-The notorious hippie episode is-like many Treks-best watched with tongue-in-cheek. Few episodes offer stronger proof of just how stodgy many of the older white men behind the scenes must have been. Plenty of episodes are sexist, but this one is decidedly anti-youth. On the other hand, if these youths are representative of the 23rd century, who could blame them? There is hardly a tint of idealism present, and they are lead by a madman (although I have no idea how Spock came to this-ultimately correct-conclusion so quickly.

This is one of the most embarrassing examples of just how easy it is for an outsider to take control of the Enterprise. Equally implausible are Chekov's lack of loyalty to his insignia (although Irina was attractive), and Spock's participation in the jam session. Skip Homeier, who we last saw in Patterns of Force, is no more believable here as an insane Dr. Severin. The ending on the planet 'Eden' is also extremely rushed (and why? so many earlier scenes were begging to be snipped), although honestly I was ready for the episode to end.

One a positive note, this episode is different and it is campy, and those are both things that many of us look for in Trek TOS. Kirk's perturbation at being labeled a Herbert, and Spock's subtle enjoyment of the Captain's insecurity, also make for a few (hard earned) laughs. (2.5 stars)

Requiem for Methuselah-This episode, which features the immortal Flint, is one of the stronger late shows. The premise is interesting, and Flint's performance is nuanced and convincing. Reena is also a sympathetic character, and her conflict in the romantic imbroglio is the most plausible. Granted, love can do strange things to people, but both the otherwise-refined Flint and the always-vulnerable Kirk really act like cavemen here. Ri-talin certainly seems to be the furthest thing from Kirk's mind for much of the episode. Reena ends up being the most tragic and sympathetic figure (ironically enough), but it is Kirk who ultimately receives the salve from Spock in one of Trek's oddest scenes.

Tidbits: By looking closely at Shatner (not his face) you can tell that he enjoys the Waltz with Reena. (3.5 stars)

5-0 out of 5 stars "I'M TALKIN 'BOUT YOU!...I'M TALKIN' BOUT ME!..."
Volume 38 of The Star Trek DVD series contains one decent third season episode and one of the most infamous episodes in the entire Star Trek series.

THE WAY TO EDEN has to be one of the worst Star Trek episodes ever. By 1969 it was obvious that Star Trek's ratings had hit rock bottom. In order to appeal to the younger generation and the fast growing hippie culture. A bunch of very unhip network executives came up with the idea of bringing flower power to Star Trek. This was a blatant and weak attempt to try to make Star Trek hip. The results are completely laughable. This episode basically finds the Enterprise picking up a band of space hippies. Led by the mad Dr.Sevrin (played quite well by Skip Homeirer) these hippies basically run around the ship singing awful songs about the legendary planet they want to venture to called Eden. Eventually the hippies take control of the ship when their demands are not met but in the end Eden proves to be as deadly as it is beautiful. This episode is really bad. Chekov's relationship with his old flame is totally unconvincing and the acting is so bad it's laughable and the hippie songs will make you cringe. In fact this episode is so bad it's great. This may well be the (unintentionally) funniest Star Trek episode ever! Ungroovy people trying to make something groovy. This episode is a campy joke but that's what makes it a hilarious classic.

The other episode here, REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAH is actually better but it's overshadowed by the colourful campiness of THE WAY TO EDEN. This episode however has a plausible plot about control and the value of life in general. Good acting and nice plot twists and turns makes this episode a must. Somewhat of a tragic story brings out how serious this Trek outing actually is. This episode ends on a very low note, however it's incredibly effective showing us that (despite the production wos) the Star Trek series still had some life in it, even by 1969.

Overall a good pair of episodes definetly worth getting. WAY TO EDEN is so laughable it has to seen no matter what and if it disappoints you then REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAH can always compensate for it. Highly recommended! ... Read more


7. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 29, Episodes 57 & 58: Elaan of Troyius/ The Paradise Syndrome
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
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Asin: B00005KHK3
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 14423
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Description

Episode 57 - Elaan of Troyius - Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise are assigned to deliver Elaan, the beautiful Dohlman of Elas, to her rival planet Troyius. But her unruly behavior threatens to cost Kirk his ship.
Episode 58 - The Paradise Syndrome - The Enterprise's mission: to deflect an asteroid from colliding with a planet. But shortly after Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to survey the planet, Kirk vanishes.
... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars One standard action episode, one off-beat love story
Elaan of Troyius, which loosely follows the plot of Taming of the Shrew, is boosted by a strong acting performance from Frances Nguyen. She also brings out the best in Shatner; their scenes together, which run the gamut of emotions, are fairly convincing. The episode also features more action than average, including a dramatic ending, and there are no huge holes in the storyline (although at times it's tough to know exactly what Elaan's motivations are.) The episode is also boosted by a strong score and good costumes for the Dohlman (if not her guards!) One negative aspect is the implicit sexism behind 'the taming'. Overall, a slightly above average episode (3.5 stars.)

Tidbits: This episode, the second of the season to be produced, was the 13th to be aired. This ties Bread and Circuses for the longest lag of the entire series, and is probably mostly due to the 'high tech' scenes involving the 'Klingon' ship making rapid passes while firing on the Enterprise.

The Paradise Syndrome-While I agree that several 3rd season shows revisited plots from prior seasons, it's also true that the final season produced some unique offerings stylistically and substantially. The Paradise Syndrome, in which Kirk lives with an indigenous tribe, is one example. Two aspects in particular make this episode unusual. First, I can't think of an episode which spans a longer period of time (months). Second we have extensive cultural immersion, involving just one crew member who can't even remember he belongs on a starship. Other peculiar aspects are the funky score and some disturbing scenes such as the final violence which ultimately excuses Kirk's to return to his ship.

While the tragedy here is not as effectively conveyed as in say, The City on the Edge of Forever, the final, extreme events are emotionally involving. This is one of Shatner's richer performances, even as he ultimately remains wed to his ship. A less sappy romance, without the hackneyed 'spurned rival' subplot, and better acting from the beautiful Miramanee could have made this a truly exceptional episode. Also annoying are the gratuitous 'meanwhile, aboard the Enterprise' scenes so common in the 3rd season, where we usually see feckless and out-of-character bickering about zero-hours and the like. Still, a slighly above average episode, for its novelty primarily (3.5 stars).

Tidbits: This is the episode which should have closed with Spock
saying'forget.' Several aspects of the asteroid subplot, including
plot constraints that it introduces, fail to meet even the low
plausibility standards of Star Trek.

3-0 out of 5 stars Proper etiquette and false godhood
REVIEWED ITEM: Star Trek® Original Series DVD Volume 29: Elaan of Troyius © / The Paradise Syndrome ©

ELAAN OF TROYIUS © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: The advantages of proper etiquette; love versus duty

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: one dead

REVIEW/COMMENTARY:
Well, it ain't like you've seen this particular plot on the show before: Kirk falls for the babe-of-the-week, in this instance Elaan, an arrogant and ill-mannered alien princess who is betrothed to the ruler of a world that her people are at war with. Kirk falls for the babe, with the help of Elaan's pheromone-laden tears that the good captain wipes away. The babe attempts to take advantage of the situation by attempting to use Kirk to destroy her foes. Kirk becomes torn between his new romantic interest-who wasn't supposed to be his in the first place-- and his duty to his ship and crew. As expected, his devotion to his command wins out, though not without a little agonizing over what he'd given up. Spock and McCoy have a brief exchange of words over the proceedings right before the closing credits roll. Fade to black-or rather, black with white spots. Yep, just another day at the classic 'Trek script recyclery-whoops, I mean Gene Roddenberry's office at Paramount studios...
---
THE PARADISE SYNDROME © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: friendship versus duty; a complex man's desire to live a more simple life

Notable Gaffe/Special Defect: After uttering "I am Kirok!", Kirk pounds on the stone obelisk, causing one of the raised-relief hieroglyphics on the monument to fall off.

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: None

REVIEW/COMMENTARY: Keeping with this particular volume's theme, Jimmers once again falls for the hottie-of-the-week, a woman from a tribe of primitive American Indians apparently placed on some far-off globe by an advanced alien race. Throw in a bit of amnesia on the part of Kirk (with the help of a strange monument-like device), and a jealous medicine chief who is forced to give up the hand of the lovely lady to Kirk, and you have a somewhat different twist on the hackneyed 'James-Kirk's-Ill-Fated-Romance' formula. Not particularly original, to be sure, but at least you get to see a few memorable moments of sniping between Spock and McCoy as the former assumes command following Kirk's mysterious disappearance, and attempts to deflect an asteroid that is hurtling inexorably towards the planet. Will the Enterprise save the day again? Will 'Kirok' become Kirk once again? Well, apparently the answers are 'yes' and 'yes'-- if I recall correctly, this intrepid trio did do a couple eppies and half a dozen theatrical flicks after this adventure. Sorry if I ruined it for ya there. But hey, I gotta give it to ya straight up, ya know?

'Late

4-0 out of 5 stars ONE GREAT LOVE STORY WITH ONE TERRIBLE!!!
Volume 29 of The Star Trek DVD Series features two of the show's early episodes from it's haphazard third and final season.

Although it is not necessarily a terrible episode of Star Trek, to be honest I have never been to fond of ELAAN OF TROYIUS. The story is rather weak as is the totally unconvincing love story between Kirk and Elaan The Dohlman Of Elaas. The story basically has Kirk and the crew trying to get the two planets (who have been at war for many years) Troyius and Elaas to be at peace with one another by wedding the royal members. However of course the ship turns into a battelfield between Elaan and Petri the Troyan negotiator. Elaan and her guards act completely barbaric and Krik tries to teach her some disipline. Of course Kirk falls in love with Elaan after he touches her tears and they make him her love slave. It's pretty far fetched if you ask me and thats why this episode suffers. The love story is simply not realistic and in the end Kirk acts if he lost true love to the Troyan leader. Uhh? he was seduced and became a tool! There was no love! I'm sorry but I just think this episode was just downright lame besides Elaan isn't that attractive in my opinion. Still this episode is worth one view, you never know you may like it?
There is a good scene with The Klingon battle cruiser but other then that this episode is a dud to me.

On the otherhand THE PARADISE SYNDROME is one of the third seasons finest episodes. Kirk and the crew beam down to a planet that is being threatened by a collision by an asteroid. They find Natives American inhabitants as well as a strange Alien Obelisk. Kirk accidently gets trapped inside the Obelisk and triggers a device that gives him amnesia. Found by the natives Kirk states he is Kurok (from his damaged memory) and the natives believe he is a god from the Obelisk. He seems to settle in fine with the natives as he becomes the new tribe medicine chief and marries the priestess Miramanee. Meanwhile on the Enterprise Spock and the crew attempt to figure out how to stop the asteroid from colliding with the planet. This episode was extremely well written and the casting was superb. Some nice acting scenes between McCoy and Spock, and Kirk and Miramanee make THE PARADISE SYNDROME one of the best episodes from Star Trek's final season. The ending has a nice tragic effect to it as well. Superb!

Overall Volume 29 has some good and some bad in my opinion but it's all classic Trek so it is worth getting regardless. Besides PARADISE SYNDROME is a lcassic Star Trek episode that is well made especiallt for the third seasons stabdards. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two of my favorite episodes
My only problem is that with today's technology, noone from Paramount is going to go back to all of the previous Klingon episodes and digitally insert the Klingon Battle cruiser (like in Errand of Mercy, Friday's Child, A Private Little War, etc.). They've re-done all the Star Wars movies, why? Because the way they look now is what they originally wanted to do, but didn't have the technology back in the 70's.
Paramount has already altered the sound effects on the Star Trek DVD's (I have them all), I don't think re-releasing all the Klingon episodes before Elaan of Troyius with digital footage of the Klingon Battle Cruiser would be a big deal...

1-0 out of 5 stars Romance is Dead.
The lower budget and often rushed through production deadlines plauged Star Trek in it's Thrid season as seen in these two episodes, Elaan of Troyuis was a mess of a show with a boring love story and predictable outcome while The Paradise Syndrome was Star Trek's nod to the Monolith in 2001; A Space Odyssey, which was relased the year this episode was made. It was poorly written and directed, like almost all the shows of the thrid season were. ... Read more


8. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 21, Episodes 41 & 42: I, Mudd/ The Trouble With Tribbles
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000059XTZ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8682
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

"I, Mudd"
Lovable scoundrel Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) returns following his debutappearance in the first-season episode "Mudd's Women," this time as the leaderof a race of helpful (and leggy) androids. Mudd tries to take control of theEnterprise, but soon finds that the androids have plans of their own. This isone of Trek's few purely comic episodes, and it hits a nice level ofwhimsy as Kirk and the crew fight android efficiency with good old humanillogic. "I, Mudd" also sets a benchmark achievement for the Star Trek designcrew: It called not just for beautiful women in revealing costumes, but forbeautiful twins in revealing costumes. Truly a tough one to top, cheesilyforeshadowing the "Fembots" of Austin Powers infamy. --Ali Davis

"The Trouble with Tribbles"
It's time to face one of the great questions of the television age: Is "TheTrouble with Tribbles" really as good as everyone thinks it is? You bet. Whilethe story might be a little slower than many of us remember, the episode isdeservedly beloved for writer David Gerrold's witty, mildly acerbic script, andthe way the cast took to heightened comic possibilities against networkresistance. (Heavens! Comedy on a science fiction show?) Stanley Adams isdelightful as the huckster Cyrano Jones, who gives a trilling furball called atribble to Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), who brings it aboard the Enterpriseand watches it reproduce... and reproduce... and reproduce. Soon, hundreds oftribbles are in every part of the ship, making Captain Kirk (William Shatner),already grouchy about guarding a mere grain shipment from Klingons, evengrouchier. There's no question that Gerrold made a major contribution toTrek culture with this show, setting a tone that Star Trek hasvisited again and again, including the feature film Star Trek IV: The VoyageHome and sundry episodes of The Next Generation, Deep SpaceNine, and Voyager. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars They'll Be No More 'Tribble' At All! - Scotty
What can be said about these epsiodes that already hasn't been said before. The energy and comedy of the original cast and the comic timing of Shatner, Nimoy and Kelly are incredible.

I MUDD: This is a great showcase for the late Roger C Carmel. He was wonderful in playing the character Harcord "Harry" Fenton Mudd, that this was the one episode they wrote for him after his other stellar performance in MUDD WOMEN. Funny and excellent example of how Star Trek can take a serious subject and make it entertaining and funny.

THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES: Simply - David Gerold at his very best. Filled with Tribbles, Klingons and attitude this romp to save "Wheat" is histerical. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy shine in this one too!. William Campbell comes back (He was Trelane in THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS in an earlier epsiode) but this time as the Klingon Captain to yet again be at odds with Captain Kirk.

All the supporting cast get their shinging moments in each film. Espeically, Chekova nd Uhura. (Koenig and Nichols)

This is a must DVD to have for evry original Star Trek fan! Write me, tell me what you think.

5-0 out of 5 stars These are the 2 funniest Star Trek episodes
These two episodes are probably the funniest and most light-hearted of the original Star Trek show. The Harry Mudd episode really gets wild when Kirk and his crew act totally crazy to befuddle the androids holding them hostage. Scotty's "death" scene is also hilarious. Trouble with Tribbles is even funnier. One scene has a drunken klingon insulting the Enterprise space ship, much to Scott's fury. This klingon also refers to Capt. Kirk as a "tin plated, overbearing dictator with delusions of godhood" and "a Denebian Slime Devil." All this leads to a wild bar fight.

4-0 out of 5 stars Comedic space high-jinks, with mixed success
I, Mudd-This episode, which features Harry Mudd and a group of androids, must be one of the toughest to review if only because it is such a bizarre episode. This is one of the few episodes that undeniably means to be campy. None of the actors play this one seriously, and that's for the best given the material. Unfortunately, most of the humor falls completely flat. Nevertheless, I respect the episode for trying something different.

This show certainly helped set the carefree tone that would extend FAR more successfully into the next episode. (2 stars)

The Trouble With Tribbles-The episode with those furry little creatures was the apex of humor on Star Trek. By this point in the show's run, characters were well enough developed for the actors and brain trust to feel comfortable stepping out a bit. And they certainly step out in this one. Thanks to writer Gerrold, the episode actually has a fairly solid dramatic foundation that includes Klingon intrigue, and threats to both the food supply and the Enterprise itself. One could be forgiven for not realizing this though, since the tribbles
completely steal the show. Actually the enterprise crew (and Adams as Cerano)for the most part prove quite adept in the comedic roles, and the officious Schallert is a perfect straight man under the circumstances. A Starfleet official is even correct in his desire to reign in Kirk, for once!

Tidbits: The fight scene was supposedly pinched en masse from a prior film. Recognize the Klingon? He was Trelane from The Squire of Gothos, played by William Campbell. (5 stars)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate in Star Trek Silliness
REVIEWED ITEM: Star Trek® Original Series DVD Volume 21: I, Mudd © / The Trouble With Tribbles ©

I, MUDD © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: The Human Need for Challenge

Historical Milestone: Harry Mudd as the only recurring guest character in the original Star Trek series

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: Several incapacitated

REVIEW/COMMENTARY: What this episode lacks in drama-- or melodrama to be more accurate-- it more than makes up for in downright silliness, with what is quite possibly the goofiest 'jailbreak' ever seen on TV as the crew uses the wildly illogical 'performance art' to confuse their android captors. Even the titular guest star Harry Mudd gets into the act, even though he's responsible for getting our Enterprise™ stalwarts in this predicament in the first place! Top it off with Kirk giving one of his heavy-handed spiels about how humans must be presented with challenges to keep them from atrophying physically and spiritually, and you've got a big ol' slab o' ham to go with all that cheese!

THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Historical Milestone: Considered by many to be the original series' best episode

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: None

REVIEW/COMMENTARY: Continuing this volume's theme of Star Trek's most whimsical episodes, we now arrive at what most consider the most whimsical of them all! Although I do like this particular show, unlike most of the Trekkie nation I don't think it comes even close to being one of Star Trek's best efforts. Sure, there's quite a bit of good-natured fun and a nice dose of levity, but dramatically it doesn't hold a candle to City on the Edge of Forever © or Journey to Babel ©. But at least we get to see William Campbell again, this time 'round as the Klingon antagonist that Kirk must try to outwit. And you gotta admit the tribbles had more realistic hair than Shatner ever did...

If you're a big fan of The Trouble With Troubles ©, you may also wanna check out the animated series follow-up eppie More Tribbles, More Troubles ©, and the DS9 'wraparound' show Trials and Tribble-ations ©.

'Late

5-0 out of 5 stars TWO TREK COMEDY CLASSICS!
Volume 21 contains two classics from the original series that showcase the lighter side of the Star Trek universe. Both however are excellent classics.

I, MUDD features the return of space rougue Harry Mudd to the Trek universe. Kirk meets up with his old nemesis on an unknown planet when taken their by androids. On the planet thousands of androids do Mudd's every bidding however they won't allow him to leave! So Mudd lured the crew to the planet by placing an android on the Enterprise however the androids refuse to let Mudd leave even after the crew is trapped. Therefore it's up to the crew to team up with Mudd and blow the androids minds with illogical behaviour. This episode is definetly one of Star Trek's funnier moments. The whole acting illogical bit has to been seen to be believed especailly Spock's bit. Roger C Carmel does a great job as Mudd. I love the bit with his wife Stella it's hilarious. I, MUDD is a quirky yet comical outing for the crew of the Enterprise and it's one of season two's most beloved episodes.

THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES needs no introduction. It is an undisputed classic and by far the funniest Star Trek episode around. When the crew arrives at Space Station K7 to find out that Kirk's job is to watch over "wheat", things begin to get hairy especially when Cyrano Jones shows up with a handful of fluff balls known as tribbles that reproduce like mad and eat everything. And when you add Klingons to the mess you have Cpt. Kirk having a tough day. This episode is quite entertaining and really lives up to it's reputation as being a classic. The cast was really good in this especially Kirk, Scotty, Chekov, and Uhura. The supporting cast was great too. I always liked William Campbell's (the Squire of Gothos) klingon Cpt. Koloth. I thought he did a good job. Some scenes here are great especially the bar room fight between the crew men and the klingons. THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES is one of my favourite Star Trek episodes ever and it is a true classic.

Overall I highly recommend this DVD maybe even more so than the others. It contains to classics from the second season. I,MUDD is great but THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES sells this baby! Highly recommeded! ... Read more


9. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 35 - Episodes 69 & 70: That Which Survives/ Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005NVDI
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 17498
Average Customer Review: 3.45 out of 5 stars
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Description

That Which Survives, Ep. 69 - Kirk and company are stranded on a hostile planet where they are greeted by Losira, a beautiful woman whose touch means instant death. Meanwhile, a power surge has hurtled the U.S.S. Enterprise 1,000 light-years from the planet.
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, Ep. 70 - Kirk beams aboard two warring half-black, half-white beings, named Lokai and Bele. When Kirk tries to intervene, Bele gains control of the U.S.S. Enterprise and threatens to destroy it.
... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Collection of The original Series
"That Which Survives" is the reason I am adding Vol.35 to my collection. There are a lot of episodes I could not stand and will not purchase. I will purchase one or two more as they become available. Video quality of these episodes is incredible. They must have produced the original series in 35mm film.

5-0 out of 5 stars HOLY GUEST STARS!
Volume 35 of the Star Trek DVD series features two good episodes from the third season with guest appearances from stars of the recently cancelled Batman TV series.

Lee Meriwether plays Losira in THAT WHICH SURVIVES, the last of a long extinct alien race on a deserted planet. When the Enterprise arrives at the planet, crew men are being fatally assaulted by Losira, who keeps appearing and disappearing from the Enterprise to the planet's surface. To make matters worse The Enterprise runs into technical problems leaving Scotty to try and sort them out. In the end it turns out that Losira is nothing more than the planet's defence system which is still runnning long after she and her entire race died out. This ending is somewhat strange and leaves the viewer scratching their head. None the less THAT WHICH SURVIVES is still a good episode. The story is pretty good despite the confusing ending and ee Meriwether has always been top notch eye candy. Strangely Mr.Spock is rude to almost everyone in this episode which makes the viewer wonder......

Frank Gorshin plays Bele in LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD a Charonian Police Officer tracking down an outlaw named Lokei (played by Lou Antonio). His search brings him to The Enterprise. Bele insists that Lokei has committed some terrible crimes nad must pay the price. However Lokei pleads that his kind on Charon are treated like this by authority regardless of what they have done. Essentially this episode tackles the racism issue head on. Bele and Lokei are both Charonians but Bele has black skin on the right side and white on the left while Lokei is the reverse. The entire conflict seems to be a big joke but thats what the producers wanted to get across. That racism was ridiculous and pointless. The problem with this episode is it is way too preachy. The story is basically Bele and Lokei screaming at eachother about morals throughout. Thus the message is crammed down viewers throats. Still this is a great Star Trek episode despite the lack o developed plot. Good casting and a stragnely effective episode that deals with this issue that plagued the 60's.

Overall this is one of the better third season DVD's. There are flaws but it's not terrible. These are two goods episodes with great guest stars. Highly recommended!

2-0 out of 5 stars Trekking with Catwoman and the Riddler
Actors from the then recently cancelled Batman TV series turn up in Volume 35 of Paramount's complete reissue of Classic Trek.

Lee Meriwether (one of three actresses to portray Catwoman) appears, and disappears, in a severely underwritten guest role in That Which Survives. Poor pacing, weak dialogue, and out of character behavior by the crew all but ruin an interesting premise. Spock, in particular, acts rather snippishly throughout the episode, being downright rude to Scott, McCoy, and Chekov. Leonard Nimoy was so distressed by some of his dialogue he sent third season producer Fred Frieberger a lengthy memo in protest. It was of no use, as Frieberger had little grasp of what made the first two seasons' best stories so noteworthy.

Let that Be Your Last Battlefield is a very obvious allegory on America's black/white conflict. Too obvious, really. As with Patterns of Force, the parallels are so upfront that the story loses its effectiveness. Star Trek's social conscience worked best when The Message was integrated into an entertaining story (as in The Undiscovered Country) rather than being shoved down the viewers' throats. The ridiculous overacting by guest stars Lou Antonio and Frank (The Riddler) Gorshin makes William Shatner's performances look like paragons of subtlety.

As with most of the rest of this series, picture and sound are fine.

1-0 out of 5 stars Holy Pork Fat, Batman!
These two episodes are so bad that fans are looking for something to say and find the "Batman" connection with the guest stars (Meriwether & Groshin). Yechh!!! Holy Pork Fat, Batman!

But on a postive note, "That Which Survives" could have been so much more if they only bothered to do a few more rewrites. The stark cheap sets on that episode didn't even stick out! Well, maybe when Kirk told Spock to fire at the 'computer' and the unnamed Lt. fired at the 'cube' hanging from the ceiling, which made no sense at all! And that's with the full-length original episode. It looks like they edited something important out of the story, or more probably just ran out of time.

On a negative note, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield was a poor excuse of a 'moral story' about prejudice. The plot had some stupid points (left side, right side skin color) while it clobbered you over the head with the lesson, the home planet destroyed itself! Long gone are the 'morals' being nested in a good story.

p.s. Will Amazon ever allow us to give out a zero rating?

2-0 out of 5 stars One true lemon, one thought-provoking show
That Which Survives-Only the Sulu fan club (he features prominently here) could disagree that the best thing about this episode is Lee Merriweather-and she plays an automaton! A lot of the old tricks are here, like Kirk outsmarting a computer (come to think of it, even the computer console looks familiar!).
Basically, this should have been a half-hour show (actually it shouldn't even have been a show). Senseless dialogue is contrived, both on the planet and on the Enterprise, just to pass the time until the next commercial. Hard to find a worse episode, in my opinion.
Tidbit: For the remainder of the show, the final credits would
feature the 2nd season theme music. While this is a very minor detail in itself, it seems symbolic of other changes. The episodes become more formulaic as the parties concerned begin to see the writing on the wall for the show. The absence of new music, as budgets draw tight, also contributes an increasingly stale and defeatist feel to the late episodes. (1 star)

Let that be your Last Battlefield-This episode, employing actors done up in half-black, half-white face makeup, is a none-too subtle statement about race relations. While Star Trek is to be commended for not ignoring controversial issues, the show's forays could be grossly oversimplistic; this episode is a case in point. Most viewers will have gleaned the difference between Lokai and Bele long before the crew becomes aware. This is also another talky episode, and while the actors do a good job expressing their choler through some truly acrimonious exchanges, the viewer gets the idea pretty fast.
The second half of the episode is not without its plusses though. The auto-destruct sequence was a nice touch, as were the montages of burning cities (which must have struck a cord in early 1969, as today). The conclusion leaves the viewer with much to ponder, both specifically about Bele and Lokai's fate, and more generally about hatred's powerful momentum. One other welcome aspect was the fact that the Enterprise and her crew were basically powerless here. This thankfully (in my opinion) spares us the need for a pat conclusion to such a complex problem. On the other hand, it is interesting to ask whether a first season episode would have been so pessimistic. The answer is almost certainly no. But a lot had changed in two years, and not just in the Star Trek universe. (3 stars) ... Read more


10. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 39, Episodes 77 & 78: The Savage Curtain / All Our Yesterdays
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars Star Trek on its last legs
The Savage Curtain-Another real tanker, this one is a sort of celebrity death match in which Lincoln and the good guys throw down with Genghis and the bad company. Everything about this episode feels dark and pessimistic, including the lighting. Even
the scenes with Lincoln are oddly cold and foreboding. Once on the planet, things become even more frightful. The rock aliens are some of the creepier and crueler of Star Trek creatures, particularly given their specious reasons for wanting to watch a battle between good and evil. The episode's dream-like feel makes the threats seem real, even though the plot is laughably simple. The episode is classic 3rd season in never even attempting to reach a firm conclusion about the philosophical question it poses as well.

Tidbit: Another gaffe occurs here. Not only is the negative reversed in one shot of Kirk and Spock during the fight sequence, but there seems to be an unintentional speed change of some sort. Very bizarre. (2 stars)

All Our Yesterdays-This Salem witch trial/ ice age time travel episode fares pretty well in comparison with its neighbors (although not its projenitor, City on the Edge of Forever). Which is to say, there is some drama and some semblance of a plot. In that inimitable 3rd season way, even the first minute of the teaser is somehow menacing. We sense that something is a little off, and that the Triumvirate is in for trouble, even before we meet the extra librarians. Part of it is the dramatic music played at the very start of all these late 3rd season shows. Part of it is that they were relying almost exclusively on early introduction of the "Kirk/ Enterprise in danger" crutch at this point in the show's run. In any event, Kirk, like a curious and courageous dog, bolts off into the great unknown, triggering a cascade of misfortune. By this point in the show, the stars were often no wiser than the guest characters; why did they ignore Mr. Atoz in the first place? As the Triumverate grows colder, less idealistic, dumber, and less faithful to their characters, we care less about their fates (see That Which Survives, Whom Gods Destroy, The Way to Eden, and Requiem for Methuselah for nearby examples).

But back to the episode. While the library idea is interesting, much more could have been done with it. Both time travels end up being pretty banal. And the rationale for Spock's personality change is weak at best. On the other hand, its an interesting change from his normal behavior. The conclusion of this episode, with the enterprise outpacing the fireball, has the now characteristic rushed feel, as though the bags were packed for the next flight even before the director said, 'that's a wrap'. Gone are the short little wrap-ups on the bridge; oh well, they were often hokey anyway.

Tid bit: The librarian's name is Mr. Atoz (A to Z) (3 stars)

5-0 out of 5 stars STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES' LAST GASPING BREATH!
We must be reaching the end, because Volume 39 of The Star Trek DVD series contians two of the last great episodes producedin the series three season run.

At first look THE SAVAGE CURTAIN may be considered a ridiculously silly episode. This is the infamous episode where 'Abraham Lincoln' makes an appearance. True that this episodes plot is way too far out to ever actually occur but still you have to give the writers credit for their creativity even if this is too cheesy. Basically the story goes that the Enterprise crew are abducted by a friendly alien entity who takes the form of Lincoln. Lincoln insists he is who he actually is and requests that Kirk and Spock accompany him to the molten planet where (unbeknowst to our heroes) the rock like aliens, the Excalbians have organized a battle between good and evil. Pitting (good) Kirk, Spock, Lincoln and the greatest Vulcan philosopher Surak against (evil) Genghis Khan, Kahless the Unforgettable (founder of the Klingon Empire), Col.Green (someone who supposedly is a Tyrant in our future) and Zora (some fairly forgettable experimental witch tyrant here). The story has essentially an anti-war message. Some people consider this to be one of the worst episodes. I actually greatly disagee with that thought on this show. Of course it's nowhere near the best but it's effective and creative, especially considering that (by this time) the Star Trek series was on life support. Not the best but good for third season standards. Hey, at least they didn't credit Abraham Lincoln played by himself!

ALL OF OUR YESTERDAYS was the last great Star Trek episode to ever make it into production. Being only an episode away from the end of the series' three year run, in retrospect they should have ended with this one. The story essentially deals with time travel. The Enterprise journeys to Sarpeidon and Kirk, Spock and McCoy meet a peculiar old librarian (played by Ian Wolfe). It's a really effective time travle episode since this story has three settings: Present day Sarpeidon, Kirk in Sarpeidon's Victorian age, Spock and McCoy in Sarpeidon's ice age. The last setting really steals this episode. Partly because we see Spock's barbaric nature take him over. There is no doubt why Nimoy is on the front of the DVD case. He even gets an effective love interest in this story (played by Mariette Hartley). An interesting plot, great acting and a somewhat tragic ending make tihs episode one of the more memrable episodes from the tail end of the Star Trek series.

Overall this is another must. One of the better pair of episodes from the end Star Trek's wildly uneven third season. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ying And Yang
The Savage Curtain is one of the strangest and most absurd episodes of the 3rd seaon. While providing some more background on Vulcan it parades through a lengthy battle scene that is sure to put the most dovish people to sleep. I'm not advocating violence for violence sake but it wouldn't have hurt here.

All Our Yesterdays has its share of stupidity as well. Kirk and Spock haven't learned anything from all their previous voyages by they way they act in this story. 'Leap before you Look' is the theme here. Maybe Spock's behavior is poorly explained but this story led to one of my favorite Trek novels Yesterday's Son and its follow up Time For Yesterday. 4 stars on that alone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good N' Plenty
"Savage Curtain" An alien decides to test Kirk & Spock on their concepts of "good" & "evil" by creating duplicates of Abraham Lincoln & Surak.

"All Our Yesterdays" Kirk, Spock & McCoy are lost somewhere in the past. How will they get back? NOTE: Shatner, Nimoy, & De Kelley are the only 3 people from the original cast to be in this story! There are no shots of the inside of the Enterprise whatsoever!

3-0 out of 5 stars Weak Classic trek
These DVD's normally pair episodes with some deep shared meaning - in this one, the idea is that peoples of past eras are largely ignorant and prone to find superstitious answers to solve life's msyteries (In "Trek" lore, the inhabitants of the future are the technologically and ethically advanced descendants of savage and greedy fools - us).

In "All Our Yesterdays", the Enterprise comes across the planet Sarpeidon - home to an advanced civilization that appears to have disappeared. Their planet about to be destroyed by a supernova, the Sarpeidons left no hint of their escape. Instead, Kirk, McCoy and Spock find a huge library cataloguing thousands of generations of the planet's existence (the best of times, the worst of times). Perusing, though not entirely understanding the significance of the library and its strange librarian, Mr. Atoz, all three learn too late that the library is actually the navigation center of a huge time machine through which the Sarpeidons have escaped to the past. Unwittingly leaping into one such portal, Kirk finds himself trapped in a pre-industrial era in which he is branded a witch by typically ignorant natives of the time. Spock and McCoy have it worse - vanishing into the planet's ice age (an era kept on catalog for prisoners) where they meet the lovely Zarabeth (Mariette Hartley - later to return as a sexy Terranian in Roddenberry's short-lived "Earth2" series, and also immortalized in a generation of Polaroid commercials). In Spock's case, the metaphor for time travel is reversed - Zarabeth is a caring and loving person, but Spock's journey to a time before his ancestors cast out their emotions and their meat-eating diet has caused him to become a passionate savage. (McCoy, however, does not revert to the primitive state of pre-20th century country doctors). Falling in love with Zarabeth - also a future Sarpeidon sent to the past as a prisoner - he is willing to do anything to remain in the past with her (a special safeguard ensures her death should she try to return to the present). The episode was later sequelized in the novel "Yesterday's Son" in which Spock returns to Sarpeidon for the son born of his union with Zarabeth, and confronts another sign of his wild days - Sub Commander Tal from "The Enterprise Incident".

"The Savage Curtain" was a more overt jab at those foolish primitives of our past - pitting the crew not only against simulacra of the evil past (barbarian warlord Genghis Khan, the warmongering Kahless who set the Klingon race into their bellicose ways, and Colonel Green, guilty of more recent crimes against humanity) but also against the naivete of our more noble ancestors - Abe Lincoln and the vulcan Surak. Trapped on the world of Excalbia, the crew are subjects for that world's inhabitants to test the strength of good over evil. Unsurprisingly, Lincoln and Surak aren't big on fighting at all, and are good's biggest liabilities. The message of this episode is vague - is goodness stronger than evil because it does not measure itself according to strength? Or perhaps the moral is that the lines between good and evil aren't so clear -but that was handled better in the episode "Errand of Mercy" in which both Humans and Klingons are kept from warring against each other by godlike Organians who play no favorites. (Unsurprisingly, the Organians and Excalbians would meet years later in DC Comics's "Star Trek" monthly, in an issue titled "Errand of War".) Either way, these episodes are Classic Trek at its weakest. ... Read more


11. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 37 - Episodes 73 & 74: The Lights of Zetar / The Cloud Minders
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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"The Lights of Zetar"
A planetoid called Alpha Memory is chosen to become the Federation's official library, and Lieutenant Mira Romaine (Jan Shutan), charged with transferring records to the site's computers, is en route to that destination aboard the Enterprise. Along the way, she acquires a new beau in the adoring Scotty (James Doohan), and big trouble when the collective consciousness of the Zetars, a lost and disembodied race, attack the Alpha Memory project and take possession of her and her voice.Not surprisingly, the story was written by someone who knew a lot about projecting personalities and voices into hapless third parties: puppeteer Shari Lewis and her husband Jeremy Torcher, both big fans of Star Trek. Typical of the original series' troubles with ever-shrinking budgets, the Zetar entities are represented as mere colored lights, an adequate effect improved immensely by the scary-dramatic context in which they appear and by a good vocal performance by Barbara Babcock (lately of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) as the merged creatures. Shutan is just fine as the comely librarian, and Doohan is great in his impassioned-Scotty mode.

"The Cloud Minders"
All the signs that Star Trek was creatively strained late in its third season (following the departures of key creative personnel and the absence of Gene Roddenberry's full attention) can be seen in "The Cloud Minders." David Gerrold, author of the hugely popular "The Trouble with Tribbles," conceived an almost Dickensian story about the exploitation of miners, called Troglytes, on the planet Ardana, and the way Troglyte labor enriches the lives of an aristocracy that literally lives in the sky, above the fray. Third-season producer Fred Freiberger wanted fewer ideas and more action, and he had another writer deeply revise Gerrold's notion that Captain Kirk (William Shatner) should broker positive change on behalf of the have-nots. The finished production finds Kirk more irritated than anything that a domestic problem is slowing his mission to retrieve zienite, a medicinal mineral. Meanwhile, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) uncharacteristically sniffs around an Ardanian cutie who flirts with him, and a ridiculous torture-the-space-babe scene belongs in a midnight movie from the 1950s. "The Cloud Minders" is like a junk-food snack: chunky in its organization and cheesy in its production values. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars A real lowlight, followed by a reprieve
The Lights of Zetar-Yet another dull and pointless episode, this one sees Scott's love (Mira Romaine) possessed by an alien life form represented by flashing lights. Scotty's romance plays only slightly better than McCoy's earlier in the season; whereas McCoy's romance seemed flat, Scotty is over the top, acting
completely irrational and out of character. At least Jan Shutan's stiff performance provides some counterpoint to Doohan's overacting! The episode has few highlights, and no ultimate message. It also lacks the quirky style of many 3rd season shows; there is no original music (although revisiting the Where no Man has gone Before soundtrack was an interesting decision, and they were running out of money after all), and the close up shots of the eye were kind of interesting. When such
minutiae are the best thing going for an episode, you've got problems. (1.5 stars)

The Cloud Minders-This episode, concerning a socially and
vertically stratified society of mine and cloud dwellers, temporarily staunched the haemorraging occurring at this point in the 3rd season. While not exactly action-packed (not many 3rd season shows were) this episode has an ebb and flow lacking from many of its contemporaries. The premise is also interesting enough, with obvious implications for our own society. The decision to take on the nature vs. nurture question was all admirable. While they were of course correct to pick nurture, the zenite quick fix was a copout. Obviously those deprived of knowledge for generations will require some time to get up to speed (the same could be said of Uhura's experience in the Changeling).
While the Spock romance was out of character, I didn't find it totally implausible or regrettable. They did seem to have a rapport, at least. The episode is hurt by weak performances from the other two guests though.

Tidbits: Production was getting really sloppy by this point. For example, after the crew have been corralled on the planet's barren surface, Kirk is heard to utter through totally unmoving lips, "Who are you? What is the meaning of this attack?" (3.5 stars)

3-0 out of 5 stars 2 EPISODES THAT POINT OUT THE LOW POINTS OF SEASON 3!
Volume 37 of The Star Trek DVD series contains two of the lesser episodes from the show's third and final season. This collection points out the low points of the third season because both episodes are quite weak.

THE LIGHTS OF ZETAR is the better of the two here. However that's not saying much. An evil alien entity invades the body of Lt. Mira Romaine (Jan Shutan) Scotty's new love interest. The alien is from Zetar and threatens the crew that Mira will die. Essentially this episode is a blue print for the famous horror film 'The Exorcist' however this episode lacks any distinct depth. The episode isn't the worst in the series and Jan Shutan makes a nice acting appearance here. However the story is weak, Scotty's love interest is completely unconvincing (like all the others he had), and the ending of this episode is completely lame. I don't think evil possessive aliens can be defeated so easily by a pressure chamber!

It's gets worse though. THE CLOUD MINDERS has to be one of the weakest Star Trek scripts ever to make it into production. The episode try to tackles the discrimiantion issue between upper and lower class people, but ends up flopping over and the message is not only vague but incomplete. The budget (which was really low at this point) was spent entirely on set and costume design. Therefore we have a really weak script and some pretty mediocre and shoddy acting. Although this episode may have been good had the budget been spent better and the plot developed more. Even a double serving of eye candy with Diana Ewing (who plays Droxine, a rich Stratos girl who becomes a totally unbelieveable love interest for Spock) and Charlotte Polite, cannot save this episode from the depths of humilation. It's bad but there has been worse so this is still watchable.

Overall not the best thing to come out of the Star Trek production crew but this is still classic Trek and worth picking up. Recommended to fans of the Original series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Scotty's Fey Lassie; Kirk's Gotten Brassy
'The Lights Of Zetar' is an episode that plays by it's own rules and the result is one of the poorest efforts of the original series. The story was written by Shari Lewis, of "Lamb Chop" fame, and her husband Jeremy Tarcher, with the thought that she would be the female lead. Thank goodness clearer heads prevailed! The idea of a conscious body of interstellar beings traveling the galaxy looking for an escape from their incorporeal state isn't really a bad concept at all. It's the way that they are defeated that's the problem here.

In the beginning we are introduced to Lt. Mira Romaine who the Enterprise is taking to Memory Alpha, an immense library sanctioned by the Federation and open to all. The starship encounters an unusual phenomenon just before reaching their destination. It appears onscreen as a multi-colored cloud that gives no discernible readings when scanned. It soon penetrates the hull and disables the crew in various ways; the cloud assaults Lt. Romaine momentarily and later she has what she believes is a disturbing premonition concerning the Memory Alpha facility. Within time the true identity of the mysterious cloud is discovered - and the crew also learns that Lt. Romaine has been chosen by them to fulfill a sinister and costly purpose.

What really hurts this episode is that Kirk, Spock and McCoy devise a way to defeat the Zetars that isn't quite plausible. How will this method defeat the beings? While you are watching this keep in mind they penetrated the ship's hull with no problems in the beginning of the show and also they have existed in zero gravity for millennia. I'm going to guess that the episode may have had an earlier solution that wasn't practical in view of budget concerns; this ending was written as a substitute and was certainly easy for the special effects crew to pull off. The result: It Stinks! Any reasonably educated person isn't going to buy this explanation as presented. The romance between Scotty and Lt. Romaine is a limp-legged plot element as well and it only gets in the way of the story, bogging it down with sappy and unlikely dialogue from the normally levelheaded engineer.

'The Cloud Minders' fares much better and introduces the city of Stratos that floats on a cloud, one of the most memorable fantasy elements created by Star Trek. Upon arrival Spock meets an attractive and intelligent woman whose beauty so impresses him that he gives brief consideration to a romance. But as you might have guessed something "sours" the milk for the first officer.

The Enterprise goes to the planet of Ardana to pick up a shipment of zenite, the antidote to an epidemic that has struck a Federation planet's vegetation and may destroy it all. On the surface of Ardana Kirk and Spock are attacked by terrorists known as Disrupters; they are rescued within seconds by the ruler of Stratos, Plasus, who has come to the surface with two guards. Returning to Stratos with Plasus, Kirk and Spock receive the explanation that the miners who live on the surface of Ardana are rebelling against their superior counterparts who live in the city of Stratos. Kirk and Spock see the clear distinction between the classes of citizens and attempt to negotiate an understanding of their differences, running afoul of both of the warring parties, leading to several complications.

The mutual attraction between Droxine and Spock develops nicely; their conversations are believable and revealing, adding necessary insight to the two cultures depicted here. Kirk takes the dire matters into his hands breaking all rules of diplomacy and shooting from the hip. It's hard to believe that the Federation would tolerate Kirk's actions in this case despite the severity of the situation. Apparently the creators of Trek realized this as you'll note by the final line of dialogue between Plasus and Kirk. Another unintentional comical moment happens when the elegant and refined Droxine tells Spock that she will go to the surface to work in the mines. Yeah, right! She wouldn't last 30 seconds in the completely foreign and harsh environment of the underground caverns. Obviously she wishes to continue to further impress the intrepid Mr. Spock.

3-0 out of 5 stars Where All Plots Have Gone Before...
Star Trek had grown remarkably flaccid during its third season, the result of the production crew realizing that their diminished budget and weak new time slot had already all but spelled out the series' end. The season had moments of rallying, putting forth some of the best scripts the show ever had - but the majority were pretty weak. These two are of the latter category.

"The Cloud Minders" is a pretty piece of fluff with nice sets, costumes and matte shots, a reasonably good cast, and a terribly trite "socially progressive" script that is just a cheap retread of the classic silent sci-fi film, Metropolis: the title characters are effete socialites, whose wealth is derived entirely from the exploitation of a permanent mining underclass. Can Captain Kirk demonstrate to them the ethical folly of their ways, before the end of the hour? (What do you think?) The episode does have Jeff Corey, who is never less than stellar, and a generous helping of eye-candy in the form of Diana Ewing and Charlotte Polite, one of whom has an entirely unconvincing romantic subplot with Mr. Spock.

"The Lights of Zetar" fares little better, but is at least a serviceable semi-horror story, rather like a sci-fi version of The Exorcist. Scotty's new love, Lieutenant Mira Romaine (Jan Shutan), becomes the target of a number of celestial space-lights that have already destroyed a planetary outpost. The lights are the surviving personalities of the long-dead planet Zetar, seeking a host body in which to live. Can the Enterprise find a way to exorcize the evil invading lights from poor Lieutenant Romaine, before the end of the hour? (What do you think?) Jan Shutan is pretty and genuinely likeable, but you have to pity poor James Doohan being saddled with yet another of Star Trek's third season absurd love-interest roles.

You could do worse than these two, but they're pretty unimpressive overall.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lights of Zetar/Cloudminders - The Mindless Trek
With the possible exceptions of Spock's Brain and Way to Eden, The Lights of Zetar is arguably THE worst Star Trek episode ever made. Even though Spock's Brain and Way to Eden are rediculous, they are often humorous, sometimes unintentionally, but somehow entertaining, none the less. Zetar just bores me to tears and James Doohan's character is simply wasted on another fruitless love interest. Cloudminders is melodramatic Trek at it most mediocre but exceeds Zetar, marginally. However, if you are a Trek fan, you simply have to possess every episode in the collection and watch them over and over like myself! Paramount's DVD quality, in my humble opinion, is excellent regarding the Trek series and I hope they continue. It would behoove them to add some commentary tracks or deleted footage/bloopers for extra interest. ... Read more


12. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 8, Episode 16: The Menagerie, Parts I and II
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Star Trek Episode
"The Menagerie" has consistently scored as one of the top ten most popular episodes of the original series. Both the flashback and wraparound plotlines are among the best Star Trek had to offer. Spock is willing to sacrifice his career--and perhaps his life--to ensure that Christopher Pike, his former Captain--horribly disfigured by a recent space disaster--can spend his remaining years in comfort and happiness. If that is not an act of love, I don't know what is.

Paramount has simply outdone itself in the remastering of this episode. The flashback elements date back to 1964, yet they look so fresh they could have been filmed yesterday. It is also interesting to see the great care the original cinematographer took with lighting--most of the compositions are simply beautiful--and far superior to today's more flatly lit approach. The sound has been remarkably enhanced, with both the sound effects and score in stereo.

It is interesting to compare "The Cage" with the original series. Although it is very impressive as science fiction, there is very little chemistry between the characters (similar to "The Next Generation"). Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and the consistently underrated William Shater made a far more effective team in that respect.

This is a must for all Star Trek fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Menagerie hasn't been Caged
The only two part episode of the original series. Takes place on Talos IV, recounts the mission of Captain Christopher Pike . 13 years later, Spock kidnaps the now crippled Pike and returns him to Talos IV. Spock is court martialed for his actions and faces the death penalty. (This episode is a remake of the original pilot "The Cage")

Illusions and Perceptions - two words that summarize this episdoe. When is a cage a cage? When is prision no longer prision?

These questions not only won the episdoe a Hugo Award, but put the show ahead of schedule and budget by reusing used footage. A great episdoe showing how creative Roddenberry was and how well the current TOS crew interacted vs. Pike.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just Too Much Perry Mason
I'd give this episode(s) 5 stars except for the reason the main story (The Cage) got incorperated into it, the Trial of Spock. Not only was it a sad excuse to re-view Capt. Pike's adventure but uses something a more perfect future should be done with - lawyers!

I realize that the story needed a context for the present Enterprise crew to contemplate Pike's story but Spock could have kidnapped Pike and explained the back story to audience in flashbacks during the trip (as an example). Even a battle scene where Kirk has to stop Spock from landing on Talos IV would have been great (oops! sorry, no decent special effects then).

Only the confrontation between Kirk and Spock should have been left alone.

p.s. ST:TOS also played the lawyer card in Court-Martial, a lame excuse for a story. ST:TNG had at least four court-cases, played out to predictable endings.

Among them:
1) Data is saved from a scientist who wants to dis-assemble him.

2) Riker is falsely accused of murder.

3) In The Drumhead an out of control witch hunt is stopped when the lawyer looses it!

4) A Society is freed from an alien posing as "their god".

Each case (no pun intended) was a better excuse than in "The Menagerie".

3-0 out of 5 stars I would recommend watching The Cage first
The Menagerie-This two part episode based on pilot #1, in which Spock is in the hot seat, is difficult to evaluate separately from 'The Cage.' Overall, the team did a good job of generating an episode 'without' another episode. On the other hand, the main thing going for the episode is The Cage. And it is better just to watch The Cage as it was intended, without all the artificial breaks. As noted by another reviewer, it isn't just the breaks in The Cage that are awkward; the need for breaks in The Menagerie also made for some awkward moments. So ultimately this episode was a clever way of presenting 'The Cage', and not a lot more. The two exceptions: 1) it is interesting to see the extent of Spock's loyalty, and 2) the return of Pike to Talos IV was a nice touch. (2.5 stars for the Menagerie components alone, 3.5 overall)

5-0 out of 5 stars Spock on trial
The only two part episode of TOS in which Spock goes on trial for kidnapping his old captain Christopher Pike to take him to the forbidden world of Talos IV. ... Read more


13. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 27, Episodes 53 & 54: The Ultimate Computer/ The Omega Glory
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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"The Ultimate Computer"
Kirk reluctantly agrees to play along with a Federation test of a new supercomputer, designed by the brilliant Dr. Daystrom (William Marshall, the booming baritone stage actor most famous for Blacula) to run a starship almost single-handedly. It does its job too well, locking the human crew out of ship operations and using deadly force during the Federation war games. Spock and McCoy continue their now-legendary banter about man versus machine while Kirk muses over the obsolescence of his own command. Marshall is excellent as a former-boy-wonder genius banking his reputation on this breakthrough, treating his creation like a son. That's not too far from the truth: designed after his brain pattern, this thinking, reasoning, learning machine carries with it the insecurities and desperation of its creator. The fears of the emerging digital revolution explored in The Ultimate Computer in 1968 remain today: what is the fate of man in the face of technological efficiency? Films from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Colossus: The Forbin Project to Demon Seed and The Matrix have echoed these themes, and this Trek episode--primitive special effects, zero-budget sets, and all--stands up to them quite nicely. --Sean Axmaker

"The Omega Glory"
What is it with Starfleet captains? So many of them become wildly grandiose. Witness "The Omega Glory," in which another starship commander, Ronald Tracey (Morgan Woodward), tramples the Prime Directive by interfering in a long-running conflict between primitive societies, in this case the Yangs and Kohms of planet Omega IV. Siding with the Kohms, Tracey creates an imbalance of power that Kirk works to adjust by arming the Yangs proportionately.The script by series creator Gene Roddenberry is one of his not-so-subtle allegories for the state of the world in the 1960s, specifically our own cold war between nuclear superpowers. So bluntly drawn is Roddenberry's parallel between Omega IV and 20th-century Earth that this is one of the few Star Trek episodes that risks becoming completely absurd after a point. William Shatner (Captain Kirk) takes the biggest risk of all with a passionate, lengthy speech of the sort pranksters like comic actor Kevin Dunn are wont to imitate today. But the fact is that Shatner pulls off such chancy material very well, and certainly does so here. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Two interesting variations on standard Star Trek plotlines
Some interesting variations on a couple of standard Star Trek plotlines are offered up on Volume 27 of the DVD series. "The Ultimate Computer" finds Kirk confronting another dangerous super computer, albeit one actually created by an Earthling rather than an alien. Dr. Richard Daystrom is not only the inventor fo the M5, but the "father" of all the computer designs on the Enterprise. Daystrom hope is that the computer can run an entire starship, saving humans from the dangers of exploring deep space. Kirk is not happy with this idea, especially when Starfleet decides the Enterprise should be the vessel for this test. Of course things go nicely at first and then M5 destroys a freighter and then wipes out four ships that were supposed to engage in a simulated battle. However, the ending is the same as with most of these episodes (e.g., "The Changeling") as Kirk uses logic to stop the crazy machine, while Spock watches from the sidelines. You would think just once Spock would be the logical one to employ such a weapon, but you should not hold your breath.

"The Omega Glory" is far and away my favorite Star Trek episode involving a parallel Earth, mainly because the similarity is saved until the thrilling conclusion of the episode (cf. "Miri," where the planet looks just like Earth in the teaser). The Enterprise discovers the USS Exeter in orbit around Omega IV with everyone dead on board. On the surface Kirk, Spock and McCoy find Captain Tracey, who explains that some biological agent on the planet killed his crew, except for those few who stayed on the surface. However, it becomes clear Tracey has violated the sacred Prime Directive, uisng his phaser to aide the Kohms against their ancient enemies, the Yangs. However, the Yangs overwhelm the Kohms in a final battle and the Starfleet officers are all stunned to learn that the Yangs worship the flag of the United States of America. I have to admit, the first time around this one had me completely fooled. Realizing that Kohms and Yangs are corruptions of Communists and Yankees, Kirk is able to recognize the garbled words of the Pledge of Allegiance. But then the Yangs bring out their most sacred Holy Words, which also sound so familiar to Kirk. But before he can supply the answer Kirk has to fight Tracey, thereby proving the ancient dictum that good will always triumph over evil. "The Omega Glory" is one of my personal favorites. I think it has something to do with all that time spent in college studying "ideographs," what Cloud William and Kirk would call "worship words." Certainly it is the most pro-American episode from the Star Trek universe.

3-0 out of 5 stars Jim Kirk's Voice: The ORIGINAL Computer Virus!
REVIEWED ITEM: Star Trek® Original Series DVD Volume 27: The Ultimate Computer © / The Omega Glory ©

THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: The Series' Umpteenth "Man-Versus-Machine" Scenario

Historical Milestone: The first and only time the term 'Captain Dunsel' (defined as 'a component that serves no useful purpose') is brought up on the show.

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: One dead

REVIEW/COMMENTARY:
If you're familiar with the episodes 'Nomad' and 'Return of the Archons', you'll probably feel a sense of déjà vu while watching 'The Ultimate Computer'. Once again, a computer goes haywire (in this case, one that's been installed & patched into the Enterprise's systems, in preparation for ship-to-ship battle simulations), and it's up to the resourcefulness of our gallant crew to save the day once again. As expected, Kirk manages to talk the computer 'to death', but not before he shares his feelings of self-doubt, fear of losing his job to a machine, and a stiff drink with the always-sympathetic Doctor McCoy. Nothin' like a nip of the hooch with your chief medical officer to get yourself back on track, I always say...

THE OMEGA GLORY © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: Allegory of the Cold War; The true meaning of freedom and liberty

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: One dead

REVIEW/COMMENTARY:
This particular show features the return of Morgan Woodward, one of my all-time fave Star Trek guest stars. As the mentally-tormented Dr. Simon Van Gelder in 'Dagger of the Mind', Woodward's unbelievably overdone facial expressions of pain and anguish were really fun to watch. His mush undergoes further manipulation-- this time showing off his 'angry' faces-- in his second Star Trek go-round as he fills the role of rogue Starfleet Captain Ronald Tracey.

But if that ain't enough of a laugh, there's Jimmers' "lesson-of-the-day" that manages to milk a few more yuks outta me. His "we the people" spiel where he discusses the spirit of the United States Constitution to the planet's natives, while heartwarming to the average patriotic American Trekkie, is also quite cheesy when it's done in that unique Shatnerian delivery that has become a component of every modern two-bit standup comic's repertoire of backup gags. Throw in the unintentionally ironic fact that William Shatner is Canadian, and the guffaws don't die down 'til the closing credits roll!

'Late

3-0 out of 5 stars Two episodes suffering from the late 2nd season doldrums
The Ultimate Computer-This war games episode, in which command of the Enterprise is handed over to a computer (with predictable results) is a solid offering. The episode has it's share of action, and touches on important issues such as human obsolescence, pratfalls (to put it mildly) of technology, and the risks inherent in putting too much into your work. But the episode ultimately suffers from being both two predictable (you'll never guess who outwits a computer!) and too talky.

It should be noted that this is one of the most prominent roles played by an African-American on Star Trek TOS. While one is initially frustrated by the character's fate, further reflection suggests a lack of prejudice in this episode. Rather than walk on eggshells, the brain trust gave him the same fate (collapse of some sort) that (almost) always befell all Federation elite. (3 stars)

The Omega Glory-This patriotic episode, in which the Yangs (American whites) are oppressed by the Colms (Communist Asians), is a real stinker, no matter what your political philosophy. The Roddenberry-written episode starts strongly enough with an intriguing and disquieting teaser, but despite plenty of action it's a downhill ride once we reach the planet's surface. I can see the appeal of the 'what-if' stories; they allow us to imagine other possible historical trajectories on earth, and they are cheap to make. But the second season really overloaded us with them. Worse, this episode is in my opinion totally biased, presenting Asians as savages and Americans as heroic. A more measured approach with some heterogeneity would have been nice; on the other hand it wouldn't have made for as viscerally-gripping an episode. I guess what I'm saying is, I don't mind simplistic, but this goes too far, and it's too offensive along the way. By the time we get to Old Glory, we feel almost embarrassed for Shatner. I give him credit though for being professional enough to play the scene seriously.

Tidbit: Morgan Woodward, who plays Tracey here, was also Dr. Van Gelder in Dagger of the Mind. (2 stars)

3-0 out of 5 stars Another parallel-development world & another killer computer
Not the very best episodes among the original series offerings; they're weighed down a bit by, respectively, too much heavy allegory ("The Omega Glory") and excess preachiness ("The Ultimate Computer"). Both episodes, however, showcase some good character moments and humor. And, like all the original series Treks on DVD, the picture is sharp and clean. One could do worse.

3-0 out of 5 stars WE'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE!!!
Volume 27 of The Star Trek DVD series contains two of the second season's typical plots. Both episodes are watchable and entertaining However neither of these episodes are not the most successful variations of these blueprint plots.

THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER is one of those man v.s. machine episodes of Star Trek. Only this time Kirk must sit and watch the Enterprise be contolled by a computer called the M-5 rather than his crew. At first the M-5 seems as flawless as it's creator Daystrom says. Of course the computer goes haywire and begins destroying Starfleet ships. Sure this episode is written ok and all but we've seen this a thousand times before and it's been done better. Still this episode's story is entertaining and worth at least one watch but it is at best a standard Star Trek episode.

THE OMEGA GLORY follows a similar pattern as THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER. This is a typical second season Star Trek episode but it is by far one of the worst varaitions of the whole "journey to an unknown planet run by a cruel race or empire" plots. In a somewhat patriotic episode where the planet is run by Comms (chinese communists) led by a insane Starfleet Captain (Morgan Woodward from DAGGER OF THE MIND). When the Comms are excuting violent slaves called Yanks (as in Yankee) this episode gets a little far fetched. A few suprises here and there, but other than that THE OMEGA GLORY is a below average episode of Star Trek in my opinion. Partly because it's story is pretty far fetched and disappointing in the end. Also because this plot has been done to death in Star Trek and far better other times.

Overall a decent collection of standard Star Trek shows. There is really nothing super special here but if you love classic Trek then you probably will want to get this DVD. Mildly recommended. ... Read more


14. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 33, Episodes 65 & 66: For The World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky/ Day Of The Dove
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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"For the World is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky," Ep. 65 - Oracle, an unrelenting computer, has control of the Yonada planet, which is really a spaceship. Kirk and crew must free up control or all Yondans will die. "Day of the Dove," Ep. 66 - The only episode with a female Klingon has the aliens battling Kirk's crew aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Who is controlling this fight where even fatal wounds heal instantly? ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars More amazing third-season Trek megacheese!
After finally seeing the "For The World Is Hollow..." for the first time ever, all I can say is: it's about time! After two-and-a-half seasons featuring either Captain Kirk baggin' the babe or Mister Spock playing 'hard to get', ignoring the advances of would-be love interests (the tease!), it's about time McCoy got a bit of romance thrown his way! Even Scotty got a few dates in before Bones' love connection! Unfortunately, I discovered the reason why Cupid hasn't been too kind to the good doctor: he's a cold fish when it comes to kissing! His two lip-locks with Natira were about as romantic as taking your date to see the latest 'Friday The 13th' sequel. But, on the bright side, his one brush with couplehood is one more than most Trekkies could ever hope to attain... heh.

Then there's "Day of The Dove", a showcase of Star Trek's third-season production budget cutback woes. This is especially apparent with the Klingon makeup- the swarthiness is uneven, and a bit too shiny. And the destruction of Kang's abandoned ship is cheesier-looking than the usual silly outer space FX one has come to know and love about the series. But, on the upside, if you're looking for some of that infamous over-the-top Kirkian halting dialogue full of heavy-handed moralizing, this particular eppie's got it in spades!

'Late!

3-0 out of 5 stars One classic schmaltz, one classic action episode
For the World is Hollow and I have touched the sky-This episode, featuring an oracle and a McCoy romance, is fairly weak.
The episode has a schmaltzy, soap opera feel, and not much happens. The predictable, Oz-like ending doesn't help. Don't call me a hater, but one of the biggest problems-along with the dialogue and lack of action-is Deforest Kelley's passionless performance as a man in love. (2 stars)

Day of the Dove-This action-packed and creepily atmospheric episode concerns a fight to the death (and beyond?) aboard the Enterprise against the Klingons. We are dropped right into the episode, with immediate violence, which pulls us into the episode's urgency and ominousness. The parties really appear quite powerless to stop their decent into total warfare. We are given our richest depiction of Klingons here, most notably in the thoughtful Kang (played by Michael Ansara). The lighting and nervous score contributes to the sense of doom and insanity aboard the ship.

This episode also has a stronger moral foundation than many 3rd season shows. We see people forced to set aside their differences and mutual suspicion in order to break the cycle of violence. Also present are the ideas that some entities thrive on hate, hate corrupts absolutely, and that laughter is sometimes the best medicine. One of the few negatives to be said about this episode is that the conclusion is ho-hum, convenient, and rushed. Better handled, it could have been one of the few 3rd season episodes to end on an uplifting note. By this point in the show, however, momentum was starting to build, as opportunities were allowed to slip away. more on this in reviews of later episodes.

Tidbits: A fraction of the scene in the corridor between Chekov and Kang's daughter shows up in the movie Koyaniskatsi. (4 stars)

4-0 out of 5 stars DECENT STAR TREK THIRD SEASON DVD!!!
Volume 33 of the Star Trek DVD series contains two of the third season's flawed yet decent episodes. Both episodes suffer from Star Trek's third season syndrome but nonetheless are classics.

FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW AND I HAVE TOUCHED THE SKY finds Kirk, Spock and McCoy venturing to the Yonada planet (which is really a space ship on a collision course with an asteroid). The oracle which is a relentless computer controls the ship and it must be stopped to save the good people of Yonada. Meanwhile McCoy discovers he's suffering from a disease and only has a year to live. Upon arrival on Yonada, McCoy meets up with Natira (Kate Woodville) and falls in love. This episode marks the first time McCoy ever brushed with romance really. You would think it would be more of a landmark episode but it isn't really. Mainly cause this plot was done before and way better on THE PARADISE SYNDROME. A nice enjoyable episode but nothing to special here. Average at best.

DAY OF THE DOVE probably should have been a terrible episode of Star Trek because of it was one of the cheapest Star Trek episodes ever produced. However strangely it ended up being one of the third season's most popular episodes. Probably cause of the presence of Klingons and the fact that most of the episode is packed with action and fighting scenes. The appearance of Mike Ansaras as Kang the Klingon Commander also boosts this episode's status. However DAY OF THE DOVE suffers from a weak plot line. The idea of a bizarre entity feeding off the hatred of Humans and Klingons is kinda far fetched and the ending of this episode is utterly weak. Although it is a classic and a enjoyable show with Klingons and action and all, but when you get down to the nitty gritty this is an average episode of Star Trek at best.

Overall a nice collection but not really classic. Both episodes are totally watchable though and DAY OF THE DOVE is actually a favourite of many. The appearance of Klingons almost always set the stage for a good Star Trek episode. Highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars Meanwhile, Unbeknownst to Our Principal Characters...
"For the World Is Hollow..." is a hackneyed plot - a Star Trek staple plot, for that matter - but well done. The Enterprise encounters an asteroid that isn't an asteroid - it's a hollow, artificial planet, carrying the descendants of a distant race to their eventual new home, run by a computer that overdoes its protective job of caring for them and has gone a little megalomaniacal. The high priestess of the artificial planet - who, like her people, does not know she is inside a hollowed out asteroid, or that her god is a computer - takes a fancy to Dr. McCoy, who has recently discovered (will the cliches never end?) he has only a few months left to live, and as a result accepts her proposal of marriage and retires from Starfleet service to spend his final days with her. Needless to say, Kirk and Spock have to rectify the entire situation. The episode is nicely produced, for how [inexpensive] it is - the entire third season was [inexpensive] - and Kate Woodville is endearingly naive and regal as Natira, the asteroid-planet's priestess/McCoy's new bride. The sets and costumes are quite attractive and colorful.

"Day of the Dove" is great fun, more for its cast and the gusto with which they perform their roles than for the story itself. Kirk and Co. find themselves lured by a fake distress signal to a planet where only a half dozen Klingons survive. The Klingons blame the Federation for having lured them to the same planet with a fake distress signal, and killing most of his crew. After Kirk gets them safely rounded-up and under guard aboard the Enterprise, all hell breaks loose: an unseen power hijacks the ship outside the solar system at Warp 9, in circles, and releases and arms the Klingons and the Enterprise crew with swords; the two rival races fight to the death, over and over again, since the same unseen third party seems also somehow to keep repairing their injured bodies. Kirk, one way or another, has to gain the trust of the Klingon leader to identify and eliminate the alien invader responsible for the carnage, before they are trapped in eternal warfare with each other.

"Dove" is a real scenery-chewer, and one of the [least expensive]-ever episodes of the series. Only the Enterprise core cast and a handful of Klingons are ever seen - everyone else, we are informed, has been sealed off (conveniently and cheaply) below decks - leaving them to roll their eyes and gnash their teeth in artificially induced fury for most of the hour. Michael Ansara, who never disappoints, is ideal as the Klingon captain, Kang, and Susan Howard - in one of her final performances before permanently retiring from acting - is appealing and interesting as his emotionally torn wife, Mara.

5-0 out of 5 stars 2 More great episodes from season 3
Those who exnay Star Trek's 3rd season obviously didn't watch all the episodes thoroughly. "World is Hollow..." is a great story with McCoy falling in love after being diagnosed with a fatal illness. "Day of the Dove" is one of the best Klingon related stories in Trekdom...with Michael Ansara as Kang. Great SFX thoughout the story, plus our first look at the Klingon women. ... Read more


15. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 24, Episodes 47 & 48: Obsession/ The Immunity Syndrome
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
list price: $19.99
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Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Description

"Obsession," Ep. 47 - A "vampire" cloud, which Kirk failed to destroy 11 years ago, has returned to stalk the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. "The Immunity Syndrome," Ep. 48 - Kirk, Spock, and McCoy frantically try to devise some means of stopping a gigantic single-celled creature that has destroyed an entire solar system. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Subpar second season shows
Obsession-This below average show concerned a hemoglobin-seeking space cloud from Kirk's past. The episode certainly has a couple things going for it; like The Doomsday Machine the episodes explores obsession with past mistakes and the quest for redemption. Evidence of Kirk's fallibility and capacity for introspection are always welcome, and his humane decision to give Garrovick the second chance he never received himself is poignant. Unfortunately, the story itself is not terribly engaging. Call me shallow, but it's hard to get excited about these gaseous clusters! (see/don't see Metamorphosis and the Lights of Zetar as well) (2.5 stars)

The Immunity Syndrome-The giant amoeba episode has less going for it than its companion on this disk. While the hook is probably slightly more intriguing than Obsession's, this is really a 'face value' episode. It doesn't pack any subtle messages. If the episode were more engaging, I'd say no problem, but unfortunately this one is pretty dull. McCoy fans will appreciate his prominent role in this one though. (2 stars)

3-0 out of 5 stars Problem: Killer Clouds & Giant Germs. Solution: Anti-Matter!
REVIEWED ITEM: Star Trek Original Series DVD Volume 24: Obsession / The Immunity Syndrome

OBSESSION PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: Obsession (no, really...); dealing with guilt; priorities; Making the right choice when caught in a dilemma

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: Four dead, one injured

REVIEW/COMMENTARY:

Oh, what to do: destroy a gaseous vampire-cloud that has killed half a starship crew and will doubtless kill endless more beings in the future, or transfer and deliver a highly-perishable vaccine to a world stricken with a deadly plague that could claim millions of lives? As might've guessed, that's the little dilemma ol' Jimmers has to turn around in his head here. Throw in his guilt over hesitating to destroy the same creature years before-- a seeming error that claimed the lives of several shipmates-- and the son of one of those crewmen, and Kirk is firmly entrenched in the stickiest of wickets! Fortunately, ol' Jim manages to overcome his single-minded obsession towards the deadly cloud-being, and saves the day once again! But not before he has that obligatory moment of self-doubt over the course of action he's taking, which naturally is chock-full of that Shatnerian method acting that you all know and love! McCoy's confrontation with Kirk following this precious moment adds a bit more meat to the ham sandwich with one of the series' most memorable bits of character-developing dialogue!

Also thrown into the mix: Thanks (once again) to his differing half-Vulcan physiology, Spock manages to survive the vampire cloud's shipboard attack with narry a missing red corpuscle (mainly 'cuz he doesn't possess any)! And there ain't many just-in-the-nick-of-time transporter rescues that are more suspenseful than the one that puts the final punctuation on this eppie's climax! Tricky stuff, that anti-matter...

THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: A Macrocosm of the Immune System

Notable Gaffe/Special Defect: The shadow of the camera man can is just noticeable as he pans/dollies in for a close-up on Kirk's reaction to McCoy's intercom statement that the crew is "all dying".

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: none

REVIEW/COMMENTARY:
Continuing this disc's "killer-parasite-creatures-that-must-be-stopped-at-all-costs" format, the Enterprise enters and must destroy a giant space amoeba that threatens to destroy life on other worlds. Thanks to a little shuttle-bound research from Mr. Spock and a dollop of anti-matter, the Enterprise endeavors to act as a galactic antibody to keep the horrible cosmic disease from spreading even further out through the ether!

This particular show highlights the advantages of DVD technology: the high-pitched whining sound that pops up when the Enterprise enters the amoeba's outer membrane caused me to react in a similar manner as the crew did when the noise hit their ears- a bit annoyed, and a tad nauseous. Now, THAT'S interactive TV!

'Late

4-0 out of 5 stars TWO STAR TREK EPISODES WITH A SCI-FI TWIST!...
Volume 24 of the Star Trek DVD series contains two episodes that deal with the second season's ...plot. Unlike some of the less successful attempts at this kind of story in the second season the two episodes here have their moments and are quite good.

OBSESSION deals with Kirk's past and one of his greatest fears that has somewhat haunted him over the last 11 years. A mysterious vampire cloud, that feeds off the red bloods cell of humans, attacks the Enterprise crew. With it's distinct sickly sweet smell Kirk realizes it is the same monster that attack and killed his crew mates years ago when he was a Lieutendant. Upon realizing that this monster is alive Kirk drives himself into obession (hence the title) in an attempt to destroy this creature. He even disregards his orders to deliver greatly needed drugs to another planet. Kirk also punishes Ensign Garrovick (played by Stephen Brooks) (which Kirk sees a younger version of himslef in him) after the Ensign attempts and fails to kill the monster when disobeying Kirk. This episode really developes Kirk character and how (at times) he can be so self critical. OBSESSION is a slightly above average episode of Star Trek but barely. Without the nice dramatic moments between Kirk and Garrovick, plus Spock and McCoy's confronting of Kirk's actions, this episode wouldn't be so special.

THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME has stood up suprisingly well over the last thirty years. The story was very well written and scientifically accurate. The concept of The Enterprise discovering a single celled organism of massive size in the body of space is a really creative idea. To think that space is a body, that single cell is a virus and humans are mere antibodies in the whole thing is such a diverse concept. As the Enterprise encounters this massive cell that drains energy out of everything (including humans), the crew gains information of the cell and realizes it begins to reproduce like a virus, and pretty soon it will plague the depths of space unless it is destroyed. THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME is another one of those Star Trek episodes that would've been average had it not had a few special moments. This episode is actually very good the acting is well done and the story was well written and concieved.

In conclusion Star Trek Volume 24 has two good episodes with a few special moments. This DVD is worth getting but you may want to check out other more classic Star Trek episodes before this. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Immunity Syndrome: Best Episode?
"Obsession" is a great episode (particularly for those interested in the origins of the Matt Decker character in the first movie). However, for my money, "T.I.S." is among the very best episodes in the original series. Why? One of the most compelling sci-fi statements of all time coming from the mouth of Dr. McCoy: that humans are mere anitbodies in the organism that is our galaxy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another couple of episodes offering ST twists on Moby Dick
"Obsession" is another of those Star Trek episodes inspired by Melville's "Moby Dick" with Kirk in the Ahab role this time around. Three members of a landing party are killed on Argus X by a gaseous creature that drains all the red blood cells from their bodies. Kirk abandons the Enterprise's mission to deliver desperately needed drugs to another planet, claiming this same creature attacked the crew of the USS Farragut 11 years earlier. Kirk had been a member of the crew and holds himself somewhat responsible for the deaths of 200 crewmates. However, he neglects to share all relevant information with the crew, which makes Spock and McCoy doubt the captain's judgment. Of all the episodes where Kirk goes over the deep end, this is the lamest of the bunch. The air of mystery which makes his every deed look suspicious is too contrived, as does the ending when he finally comes to his senses. But there is a nice scene when Spock and McCoy confront Kirk about his actions, so this episode does have some nice moments.

While "The Immunity Syndrome" does not offer anyone acting like Ahab we do have a giant amoeba playing the symbolic part of the great white whale. The Enterprise encounters a massive area of darkness and discovers the giant single-cell organism inside. When the always-curious Spock investigates in a shuttlecraft, he ends up inside and discovers the creature is about to reproduce. Since one of these things is a threat to the galaxy, two would probably be a lot worse, so Kirk takes the Enterprise inside the amoeba (I mean, come on, that is obviously what they have blown up here, an amoeba) in an effort to save the universe. The magnified amoeba is certainly interesting looking, but the tension in this episode is equally artificial. But it sure is amazing what you can find out there in deep space. "The Immunity Syndrome" is, at best, an average Star Trek effort. ... Read more


16. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 4, Episodes 8 & 9: Charlie X/ Balance of Terror
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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4-0 out of 5 stars Balance of Terror one of the best ST:TOS; Charlie X OK
I saw with some disappointment that Balance of Terror had been bundled with Charlie X. A better match would have been a more action-oriented episode, such as Amok Time. Still, Balance of Terror is worth the price of the bundle. In my opinion, it is one of the top 5 ST:TOS eps, and also one of the most "adult." The nobility, professionalism and skill of the two soldiers (Kirk and the Romulan captain) are admirable as the story twists and turns through basically a 45-minute battle. The opening and closing, with the married couple who suffers a loss, is a final dramatic touch. Along with City on the Edge of Forever, Balance of Terror is classic, classic Trek. I have to say, though, that the lack of DVD extras is extremely disappointing. The clarity is nice, but when you are talking about 30+-year-old TV shows, the DVD package should include extras to add value for the many loyal Trek fans. Paramount goofed on this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two Outstanding Episodes of Classic Trek
Volume 4 of Paramount's reissue and refurbishment of Classic Trek contains two outstanding stories which provide continuous entertainment and enlightenment.

Charlie X is a remarkably frank and moving study of adolescence, with a supernatural twist. Robert Walker, Jr's. awkward Charlie Evans may well be the most sympathetic "villain" in the Trek canon. Anyone who has ever embarrassed himself during adolescence (who among us hasn't?) will feel for Charlie and the agonizing loneliness he endures. William Shatner has some surprisingly subtle moments as Kirk tries to explain the facts of life to Charlie. This episode also contains a glaring continuity error: When Kirk enters the turbolift en route to the bridge, he's wearing his standard gold tunic, but when the turbolift doors on the bridge open, he's wearing his green v-necked pullover!

Balance of Terror consistently winds up on nearly every Trekker's top ten list. This story gets a lot of its flavor from the classic submarine film Run Silent, Run Deep. Viewers who have also seen the recent U-571 can also see the influence of this episode on that movie: Both stories contain an "enemy alien," Spock in this episode, Wentz in U-571. Kirk's forthright confrontation with prejudice ("Leave any bigotry in your quarters. There's no room for it on my bridge.") should be part of a training manual for company managers. Mark Lenard's scenes aboard the Romulan ship have an almost Shakespearean gravitas.

The picture is remarkably clean, considering the source elements are over 35 years old. The sound has been enhanced with stereo effects, although this has not been overdone.

4-0 out of 5 stars The youth from hell and "The Enemy Below."
Star Trek: The Original Series Volume 4 presents two episodes originally aired in 1966:

"Charlie X:" A troubled adolescent with powerful telekinetic abilites comes aboard the Enterprise and horrifyingly subjects the crew to his undisciplined, torturous powers. Writers Gene Roddenberry and Dorthy Fontana serve up a mature and utterly captivating yarn of space horror that further explores the "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" theme, which was well presented in the (second) pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (episode #2). Highly memorable. GRADE A+

"Balance of Terror:" The Enterprise plays cat and mouse with a cloaked (i.e. invisible) Romulan ship in this space version of "The Enemy Below." This is Mark Lenard's first role for Star Trek as the Romulan commander. He is much better known as Spock's Vulcan father Sarek, who first appears in the second season episode "Journey to Babel" (episode #44). Interestingly, Lenard would also go on to play a klingon in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." He thus holds the distinction for being the only actor to play a Romulan, a Vulcan and a Klingon on Star Trek. Bottom Line: Okay, but generally boring; ridiculously overrated by some. Grade: B- (I'm being generous)

5-0 out of 5 stars One very good, and one great episode
Charlie X-This strong episode is about an awkward and lonely young man with exceptional powers. The episode explores the transition from boyhood to adulthood, as well as the subtleties and arbitrariness of much of interpersonal interaction. The twist is that Charlie has the power to force adults, and the viewer, not to trivialize his plight. This episode also devotes attention to personality development through casual, leisure scenes including chess and music. Unfortunately, later shows almost completely got away from trying to give us a full portrait of life on the starship, as the episodes became more formulaic. But here, a simple, tight script, augmented by the fleshing out of details, generated a strong show. The solid writing and attention to human detail allows us to feel empathetic towards Charlie at the end, despite all the harm he's caused. You wouldn't see such subtlety in later years. (4 stars)

Balance of Terror-This Romulan battle episode was one of Star Trek's best shows. This episode demonstrates that while science fiction expands the range of possible stories, generally some of the best stories are the most universal. This episode could easily have been transported to the deep, and renamed Das Boot. The basic premise is simple enough, but the story is divided into discrete sections, each of which contains a surprise. I can't think of an episode which more often faded to commercial with actual drama. We are allowed right inside the Captains' minds, so we feel both their uncertainty and fear about encountering each other, and see them reformulating their strategies and estimations of each other as the chess match unfolds.
The episode is further assisted by Mark Leonard's acting (he's even better here than in Journey to Babel) and a dramatic score. The wedding scene also does not detract, since it reminds us that everything is affected by war. Kirk also is at his best here. Over the course of the episode he shows brilliance, compassion, and forgiveness. He also consoles, mediates, accepts criticism, is decisive, and stands up to injustice. Other pluses here include the stance taken on racism, and the fact that the brain trust, even at this early stage in the show, was not afraid to give Kirk a worthy adversary. (5 stars)

5-0 out of 5 stars Only the best from TOS!
Next to SPACE SEED and THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, both episodes included on this DVD are by far two of the best ever. Both are extremely well written and directed, and feature great and memorable guest star appearances. The first episodes in 1966 were understandably and predictably introductory compared to the later episodes around 1967, 1968, and 1969. What made these two work so well is they revolve around a realistic story.

WARNING - POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!

CHARLIE X: Robert Walker Jr. guest stars as Charles "Charlie" Evans, a boy with special powers who is welcomed aboard the Enterprise during a routine space flight from the vessel Anteres. Things become complicated when Charlie develops a crush on Yeoman Rand, and begins to display feelings of hostility towards any crewmembers who get in his way. After the Anteres vessel is destroyed, Kirk becomes suspicious of Charlie.

The theme of parental responsibility. Charlie illustrates an example of a young boy, who is confused and frustrated. He tries to be nice to those he encounters, especially women who he has a flame for, yet has a hint of anger and danger about him just beneath the surface. As adolescents we all grew up this way, and naturally many of us who grew up watching this show can view as more than a classical entry. It serves as an episode to educate. There are many extreme moments when Charlie induces crewmembers to freeze, spout poetry, turn into lizards, have their faces erased, or simply disappear. There are also moments of heartbreak when Yeoman Rand disciplines Charlie for overacting his emotions. A truly classic episode.

BALANCE OF TERROR: An important episode for three reasons. 1) The debut of the Romulans, and Mark Lenard (later played Sarek) guest starring as the Romulan Commander. 2) An episode focusing on the grim reality of war. 3) An episode also focusing on prejudicial behavior. The wedding ceremony of crewmembers Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine is interrupted when Federation Outposts fall under attack. The Enterprise moves into investigate, but they find themselves intruding into the Romulan Neutral Zone. When Earth Outpost 4 is destroyed, it is evident Romulans are behind the attack. When transmissions are able to be made, the crew is astounded (us as viewers likewise) to discover Romulans resemble Vulcans, which causes Crewman Andrew Stiles to display feelings of distrust and bigotry to Spock. The Romulans perfect a cloaking device on their ship, which they must deactivate in order to attack. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues.

Under Paul Schneider's screenplay this episode is a true classic. It has moments of mystery as before crossing Romulan Space, they are believed to be a race bent on war and destruction. Yet no one has seen or knows anything about them. There is also the footnote of Crewman Stiles, who had a Father killed during a Romulan battle. No doubt he has a personal vendetta to settle. There are elements of who is the more tactical. The Romulans possessing weaponry much superior to Kirk and the Enterprise, and who is the more clever with sneak attacks and evasive maneuvers.

I personally like the moments when the Enterprise is badly hit, and is forced to shut off power to avoid detection. When Spock is repair phaser thrusters, he accidentally triggers the reactivation button. Also when the Enterprise crew helplessly watches the destruction of Outpost 4, they see an illusion of a laser fired from the Romulan ship to destroy the outpost. Later when the Romulans fire the very same laser at the Enterprise, it cleverly echoes the Outpost 4 destruction - only this time it is no illusion.

Lastly there is the theme of war fatalities. When a phaser coolant overheats, Stiles and Tomlinson are rendered unconscious leaving them wide open for the Romulans to fire for full destruction effect. Spock heroically enters the room and presses the firing button, and the Romulan ship is disabled. Kirk communicates with the Romulan Commander through a transmission asking him to beam aboard to safety. The Commander refuses and self destructs his ship. He unforgettably states "You and I are another kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend." Every time I see it, I can't help but shed a tear.

The Enterprise crew is victorious, unfortunately one crewman was killed: Tomlinson - the boy who was going to marry! BALANCE OF TERROR ends with a tearjerking scene when Kirk consoles a grieving Angela Martine.

Truly unforgettable classic episodes - BUY THEM! ... Read more


17. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 28, Episodes 55 & 56: Assignment: Earth/ Spectre of the Gun
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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"Assignment: Earth"
The final broadcast episode of Star Trek's second season was this clever and funny story in which the Enterprise travels back in time to 1968 (the year this program aired) to discover how the nuclear arms race came to an end. Captain Kirk (William Shatner) encounters a strange fellow named Gary Seven (Robert Lansing), who claims to have been trained by extraterrestrials in sabotaging the escalating nuclear threat. With the ambivalent aid of a nervous secretary (Teri Garr), Seven (yes, there was a Trek character with that name before Voyager) attempts to carry out his assignment, but Kirk isn't sure if he can be trusted.Lansing's droll and somewhat imperious performance is nicely counterpointed by Garr's cute confusion, and the eerie presence of his familiar--a black cat named Isis--adds a hint of hoodoo exotica. (Don't blink at the end or you'll miss the really exotic creature Isis briefly turns into.) "Assignment: Earth" was actually the pilot for an intended Gene Roddenberry-produced TV series that never happened. Too bad... But speaking of eerie, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) at one point refers to an important assassination that will soon take place. A week after this episode's original airdate, Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered.

"Spectre of the Gun"
In this taut, exciting episode, the Enterprise trespasses Melkotian space and is punished in a unique fashion. Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Scotty (James Doohan), and Chekov (Walter Koenig) are all transported to the planet's eerie surface, where they are trapped in a re-creation of 1881 Tombstone and mistaken for the Clanton brothers, doomed principals in the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral.Despite their efforts to avoid trouble, Kirk and company can't seem to avoid their fateful duel with the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday (Sam Gilman). When Chekov is shot dead by Morgan Earp (Rex Holman), the danger is all too clear. The strange Twilight Zone look and atmosphere of this episode--tumbleweeds and Old West facades popping up in a black void--grips one's imagination and doesn't let go until the very end. Fans of Captain Kirk's street-fighting style will especially enjoy the thrilling climax. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Star Trek episodes burdened with overcoming weak premises
Although each is interesting in its own way, I must admit I have never been particularly enamored of either of the Star Trek episodes included on Volume 28 of the DVD series. "Assignment: Earth" features Robert Lansing as Gary Seven, who I used to watch on "Twelve O'Clock High," my favorite show as a kid. Seven suddenly pops up on the Enterprise, claiming to be a human being who has been living on a distant planet. He is now heading to Earth to help humanity survive a dangerous situation. Now what is sort of strange about this episode is that this is all happening in 1968, where the Enterprise has gone back in time (remember, they learned how in "Tomorrow is Yesterday") to do historical research. Really? The Federation is risking the time continuum just to do data gathering? Did Kirk and Spock not tell anybody about what happened in "The City on the Edge of Forever"? I like Lansing, and who does not like Terri Garr, but this is just too wild a set up to accept. By the time I get around to being willing to suspend my disbelief, the episode is pretty much over.

DeForrest Kelly played Morgan Earp in the 1957 film, "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," which provides an interesting level of irony to the third season episode, "Spectre of the Gun." The Enterprise ignores the warnings of a Melkotian space buoy and orbits the planet. Apparently he has orders to establish contact at all costs. Well, the costs might be pretty high because the Melkotians order the execution of the landing party, taking the infamous gunfight at the O.K. corral from Kirk's mind as the setting for their deaths. Of course, the Enterprise officers are the Clayton gang and they are about to be gunned down by the Earps and Doc Holliday. There is a nice sense of "unreality" to the entire affair, somehow reminiscent of the dream ballet from "Oklahoma." Ironically, the Earps are actually portrayed rather realistically as the pistol-whipping thugs they were in Tombstone way back when. Again, there is a weakness in the premise, what with Kirk being order to force contact with the Melkotians, which is not exactly enlightened behavior on the part of the good guys (think Commodore Perry being ordered to "open" Japan). But strange situation is played out well and the best part of this episode is that it is Spock who effectively saves the day. "Specter of the Gun" ends up being an above average episode of Star Trek.

5-0 out of 5 stars AN ODD PAIR OF EPISODES BUT STILL WONDERFUL!!!
Volume 28 of The Star Trek DVD series may be the most bizarre DVD in the series. Partly because it contains the last episode of the second season and the first epiosde of the third. These two episodes differ greatly and it is interesting to compare and contrast between them however both of these episodes are above average Trek tales despite their strange differences.

ASSIGNMENT: EARTH was the season finale of the second season. Essentially it was a pilot for a proposed series by the same name. At the time Star Trek was going to be cancelled and it was quite apparent that Roddenberry developed this to have something to fall back on once the network had made their decision. I'm assuming Roddenberry was planning to have Robert Lansing and Terri Garr as the main charcters in this new series and have the Star Trek cast make various guest appearnaces. Anyways as it turned out Star Trek managed to stay on for a further season and Roddenberry and the network ditched the whole 'Assignment:Earth' idea. All we were left with was this strange episode of Star Trek (which makes you wonder if the show had been cancelled and Assignment:Earth had been accepted by NBC). The episode finds the Enterprise crew travelling back to 1968 (at the time this was aired: modern day earth). Upon arrival they cross paths with Gary Seven (Robert Lansing) and he has come to earth in order to slow down it evolutionary process to put a stop to destroying themselves. He does this by sabotaging U.S. rockets and Kirk feels he will change the course of time. However Seven insists he is doing this for the good of mankind. The episode is rather strange and complicated as most of the screen time is given to Lansing rather than Shatner which is quite a change. The rest of the episode involves Kirk and Spock chasing Seven around trying to stop him. In the end everything turns out fine as usual and the course of time is not affected but many viewers may be left scratching their heads after this episode is over. It is good but rather hard to follow. Terri Garr makes one of her first appearances as Roberta Lincoln a hip chick who applies for a secretary job for Mr. Seven. The casting was great in this one (Both Lansing and Garr are excellent) and perhaps Roddenberry should have salvaged the Assignment: Earth idea after Star Trek was cancelled in June of 1969? Sadly this was never done.

The other episode here is SPECTRE OF THE GUN which kicked off Star Trek's inconsistant third and final season. There is such a big change between this and ASSIGNMENT:EARTH. It's amazing that Star Trek was able stay on for a third season but it's obvious that the production budget was way tighter (which explains the true reason why there are incomplete sets in this episode). Still this is one of the better episodes in Star Trek's haphazard final season.
The Enterprise is abducted by a mysterious alien race called the Melkotians Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov beam down to their planet only to end up in a situation where they are the Clampetts in the middle of the historic 'Gun Fight At The OK Corral' against the Earp's. This episode is ironic because Deforest Kelley did play Morgan Earp in the classic 1957 film. Despite being another bizarre Star Trek outing SPECTRE OF THE GUN is an awesome episode of Star Trek in my opinion especially for the majority of lackluster scripts submitted in the third season. Besides the casting of the Earps is impressive and the gunfight at the end is kinda cool.

Overall a bizarre pair of episodes but both are wonderful and interesting in their own ways. SPECTRE OF THE GUN is more enjoyable to watch than ASSIGNMENT:EARTH in my opinion but they are both special. Highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Two unusual episodes bridge seasons 2 and 3
Assignment: Earth-This episode, which featured the crew returning to Earth in 1968 to observe a rocket launch, was certainly unusual. it becomes much more than an observation once they are forced to decide whether Seven's role is a positive or negative one in the prevention of nuclear war. Any viewer unaware that this was a pilot episode of a proposed spy show would be forgiven for wondering how the crew ended up in a such a mundane setting. While Robert Lansing and Terri Garr are a big step up from your average Trek guest stars, there is a reason the show was not picked up. Nevertheless, the plotline is entertaining enough to yield one quirky episode.

Tidbit: Kirk was never any rounder than he was right here; well, not until the Trek movies anyway. (3 stars)

Spectre of the Gun was the first third season episode to be produced, and one need watch no more than the teaser to sense that the show would have a very different feel during the 1968-1969 season. First off, those shiny, synthetic-looking uniforms that replaced the corderoys of the first two seasons. A minor point, yes, but perhaps a metaphor for other changes. The third season shows have a slick quality about them, an emphasis of style over substance. There is a sense that everyone is somehow in the know, no longer willing to invest themselves in the simple morality tales so common in the first season. This process was certainly well underway by the midpoint of season 2, when we began to see action (and high camp in the seminal case of I, Mudd) episodes that were light, devoid of moralizing, and somewhat tongue in cheek. By the third season, it could no longer be reigned in. Gone was the moral foundation of the show, but also gone was the feeling that the actors were having fun. What's left is highly formalized episodes.

It should be added though that stylistically season was 3 was by far the most developed season. Musically, scores became more florid and psychadelic, unusual camera angles and cuts became more common, and character' actions became less predictable. I for one enjoy the fluidity, trippyness, and dark tone of the third season. I know I'm in the minority (to say the least) here though.

But this is supposed to be a review of Spectre of the Gun, in which the crew are forced to participate in the events leading up to the gunfight at the OK Corral. Overall this is a pretty good episode, with more action than most 3rd season shows. Better though is the fact that this episode is very atmospheric, with a stong score, wind, and effects contributing to the sense of unreality and futility. But this too is an illusion. We end with the positive message that the crew were tested, and found worthy, for not killing. They are not judged on the basis of wanting to kill, but rather for not killing (although upon scrutiny even this worthiness is undermined somewhat by the fact that at that point the crew knows the Earps are unreal).

This episode doesn't hammer the moral theme as earlier seasons did. Surprising is the extent to which the crew must focus on their own survival, even to the extent of accepting demeaning abuse the Earps.

This episode has it's flaws though. Most notably, only Kirk seems phases by Chekov's death; of course the others were no doubt constrained by the new production team. (3.5 stars)

3-0 out of 5 stars "I can't just kill them!!!"
REVIEWED ITEM: Star Trek® Original Series DVD Volume 28- Assignment: Earth © / Spectre of the Gun ©

ASSIGNMENT: EARTH © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into the Ground: Messin' with the space-time continuum; trusting the motivations of complete strangers

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: Three incapacitated

REVIEW/COMMENTARY:

Was 'Assignment: Earth' just another rip-roaring Star Trek adventure, or was it the teaser for a possible spinoff show? Well, let's see now... the guest stars (Gary Seven and his not-so-trusty receptionist Roberta Lincoln) are given an extensive amount of screen time and character development, much more than what most other guests have been granted on classic 'Trek. The screen time that Kirk, Spock and company use up is minimal, with most of the celluloid dedicated to Gary Seven embarking on and completing his mission, and Roberta getting in the way in a supposedly humorous fashion. And if those two bits of evidence don't seal the deal for ya, there's Mister Spock's statement at the end of the show where he predicts "interesting experiences in store for them (Seven and Lincoln)". I dunno 'bout the rest of ya's but it definitely looks like a set-up to me...

Sadly, 'Assignment: Earth' didn't grab me as a show that would've had much promise if it were made into a series. Robert Lansing's portrayal of Mister Seven could have used a bit more charisma, especially during his bizarrely comic exchanges between himself and the rookie receptionist. Speaking of which, Teri Garr didn't impress me as the young and slightly dense Roberta Lincoln, whose personality consisted of an annoying meld of ditzy naivete and "whoa, far out, man"-style hippiness. She also has way-too-easy access to her new boss' hi-tech equipment, which she always seems to discover by accident. The addition of the shape-shifting feline Isis and her pathetically fake meows (what, they couldn't record a real cat meowing and dub it in where needed?) adds the final death knell to any hope of seeing these folks venturing beyond the confines of the original Star Trek series. Which is probably just as well...

SPECTRE OF THE GUN © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:

Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: Reality versus unreality and illusions that kill; Humans dealing with and overcoming their instinct for violence

Historical Milestone: Star Trek's second temporary death of a core cast member (Mr. Chekov). This is also one of the small handful of eppies where a crew member other than Kirk (Chekov again) bags the babe-of-the-week. Hah, take THAT, you overacting, starship-commanding horndog!

Notable Gaffe/Special Defect: During the climactic scene at the OK Corral, the lightning strikes cause the trees to cast shadows on the "sky" (back wall) of the indoor set where the scene is being shot.

Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: None

REVIEW/COMMENTARY:

The Melkotians told ya to stay away, but no-o-o-o-o, that wasn't acceptable to you, was it Jim? You just had to butt in where you weren't welcome! I guess "boldly going where no man has gone before" includes disrespecting the wishes of other beings, as well as trespassing on their territory! And then you had your three head specialists and Chekov beam down with you on the Melkotians' home planet so they could share your punishment! It's a good thing Mr. Spock had special abilities that helped save you and your fellow crewmen's sorry hides from certain death in the end (except for Chekov of course) or else you'd have been-- well, dead I guess. Or would the death have been merely an illusion? Wow, man... that's kinda deep. I gotta sit down and think that one through...

Taking into consideration all of the other historical eras and characters the Enterprise has encountered during its three-year run (Nazis, mobsters, a modern-day Roman empire, the Great Depression, hippies, 19th-century American Indian tribes, an angry Greek god), it was only a matter of time before the wild west got its day in the Star Trek spotlight. Throw in Gene Roddenberry's past work as the self-proclaimed "head script-writer" of the classic western series 'Have Gun, Will Travel', and the status of this episode goes from "destined-to-happen" to... um, "destined-to-happen-and-then-some" I guess. I wish I could describe the whole thing better, but I'm still tryin' to wrap my mind around that whole 'illusionary death' thing I brought up at the end of the previous paragraph...

'Late

5-0 out of 5 stars Teri Garr on Star Trek? You betcha!
See the planned spin-off of "Star Trek" called "Assignment: Earth"...a blatant Dr. Who rip-off...it's a miracle Gene Roddenberry didn't get sued! The story is good, however..."Spectre of the Gun" is better...Kirk gets to play "cowboy" by being a part of the shootout at OK Corral. ... Read more


18. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 9, Episodes 17 & 18: Shore Leave/ The Squire of Gothos
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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3-0 out of 5 stars The Lighter Side Of Trek TOS
Both of the Episodes on this DVD (Vol. 9) display the lighter side of the original series' cast members. In "Shore Leave" you see definite character expansion for the doctor, the navigator and the captain. Dr. McCoy shows more of his "country doctor" persona as he strolls along a lakeside path, Sulu displays his special interest in weaponry, taking the time to shoot of several rounds, while Captain Kirk reveals his long held desires to "get even" with a past star fleet academy classmate. You indeed see Kirk become a wild adolescent on this planet, when level headed Spock raises a concern about a pending crisis and Kirk shouts, "Go warn the others, I've got a score to settle!" and then bolts off to do some long overdue backside kicking! I think you'll enjoy watching both of these episodes again when your focus is on what these characters do to handle themselves in curious situations.

5-0 out of 5 stars two of the best
Theodore Sturgeon only wrote two Star Trek episodes (a treatment for a third was novelized recently) but his influence on Star Trek was great, since it was his daring that introduced the idea of Vulcan sexuality, in an era when television was almost devoid of any mention of sex. In fact, a lot of the Vulcan backstory comes from his episode "Amok Time". On this DVD we get "Shore Leave", which in 52 minutes pins down the characters of several Star Trek regulars were were just shirts before this. "The Squire of Gothos" is another pivotal episode in the Star Trek mythos.

Rick Norwood

5-0 out of 5 stars dvd order
Great! Would buy from this seller again. Rec'd order in reasonable time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Two above average, if bizarre, episodes
Shore Leave-I find this episode, in which anything that pops into one's mind is almost immediately realized, to be funny, entertaining, and original. Certainly much of the material is very hoaky, but it's never good to watch Trek with too critical an eye. This episode's premise also introduced a flexibility which helped flesh out some of the characters. Examples include the look at Kirk's academy days and McCoy's waggish ways with the ladies here. Overall, an off-beat and upbeat tone prevails, despite the episode's substantial (if temporary) negative twist. (4 stars)

The Squire of Gothos-Another bizarre and campy episode, this one features a spoiled child who has designed himself a baroque castle. Like the former episode, this one presents us with a phantasmagoria of seemingly random, if stereotypical, scenarios. The tone is more ominous here, however, thanks in large part to some well-conceived shots (such as the shadow of the noose during Kirk's trial). The castle's blend of gilded glitz with incomplete realization increase the sense of unreality.

Unlike later shows (most notably 3rd season ones), the unreality here is not dreamlike however. There is a sharpness about this episode; the dialogue is literal and more crisp than in most 3rd season shows, which often felt more detached non-commital and ambivalent, while being softer-edged and more atmospheric.

Campbell, who later returned for The Trouble With Tribbles also gives a strong performance. After a while the gags start to lose their novelty though, and the episode seems to struggle to fill time. Another possible critique (although it doesn't really bother me) is that the episode ultimately doesn't have a lot to say. Still most of us, at some point in our lives, have had the experience of having to jump through hoops at another's whim; there isn't always a lot of meaning behind that either. (3 stars)

4-0 out of 5 stars Appealing episodes
"Shore Leave" The crew visits a planet in which your very thoughts become reality...no matter how deadly they are.

"Squire of Gothos" Kirk confronts Trelane, an alien who thinks that the crew of the Enterprise are his toys to play with. ... Read more


19. Wonder Woman - The Complete Seasons 1 & 2
Director: Leslie H. Martinson, Bob Kelljan, Don McDougall, Dick Moder, Charles R. Rondeau, Stuart Margolin, John Newland, Alan Crosland (II), Jack Arnold, Leonard Horn, Barry Crane, Alexander Singer, Michael Caffey, Herb Wallerstein, Ivan Dixon, Gordon Hessler, Seymour Robbie, Richard Kinon, Bruce Bilson (II), Ray Austin
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"In your satin tights / Fighting for your rights / And the old Red, White, and Blue!... / Wonder Woman!" Could anyone who grew up in the '70s ever forget that super-catchy theme song? Originally packaged as the female version of the Batman TV show (producer Stanley Ralph Ross penned 32 of the caped crusader's episodes), Wonder Woman ended up redefining the campy, comic book genre. The primetime show immediately became a social and cultural phenomenon, attracting a wide audience that continued to tune in to America's favorite socially progressive superheroine.

Looking back on it now, it is easy to see the attraction of this unique show that oozed '70s culture, but was set in the 1940s. While trying to stop a Nazi plane from reaching the U.S., Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner) is shot down, landing on mythical Paradise Island.The uncharted island is the hidden home to the lost tribe of eternally young Amazon women. The Amazons take in the Major and nurse him back to health. During his recovery he attracts the sympathy and interest of Princess Diana (Lynda Carter, former Miss USA 1973) who is intrigued by the man from the mainland and his tales of the evil Nazis.She decides she must follow the Major back to the U.S. and join the forces of good against the tyranny of evil.So begins the saga of the beautiful Amazon Wonder Woman, armed with super strength, bulletproof bracelets, and the unbreakable, "truth-telling," golden lasso. What sets season 1 apart from the two subsequent seasons is that the pilot and each of the 13 episodes take place during World War II, corresponding to the original comic stories.In this season we see Wonder Woman battle spies, uncover Fausta the Nazi Wonder Woman, stop thieves trying to steal the secret substance of Amazonian power (Feminum), wrestle a Nazi-trained circus gorilla, and rescue an interplanetary visitor held captive by the Third Reich--all of which are priceless.

With World War II coming to an end, what will Amazonian Diana Prince do for Wonder Woman's second season?Sporting the biggest continuity jump in TV history, Wonder Woman's new network (now on CBS from ABC) decided to catapult the show 35 years into the future into "modern day" Los Angeles, 1977.Not surprisingly, the 35 years haven't aged the immortal one bit. In fact, she seems to have gotten stronger, her super powers have increased, and her mind is sharper and focused on fighting the evils of the modern world: nuclear weapons, terrorists, aliens, and the mind controlling influences of rock music. Season 2 kicks off with the awesome hour-and-a-half season premiere, "The Return of Wonder Woman."Returning once again from Paradise Island, Diana Prince teams up this time with former colleague Major Steve Trevor's son (still played by Lyle Waggoner) to protect humankind and to keep Paradise Island hidden from the free world.In the 21 episodes that follow, Wonder Woman will take on a nuclear facility planning to build near Paradise Island, a mad scientist plotting against the super heroine with telekinesis, mind-stealing aliens from outer space, an evil toymaker's demented androids, and a rock star (Martin Mull?!) who is using hypnosis to control the minds of his fans. In this new millennium, Wonder Woman may seem a bit cheesy to some, but to others this show and Lynda Carter represent the pinnacle of '70s television culture.Wonder Woman: The Complete Second Season is a completely satisfying guilty pleasure for those who want to indulge. --Rob Bracco ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Series
I admit it.Even as a kid, I always like Wonder Woman the best.And for the silliest reason.I love her ability to change from Diana Prince to Wonder Woman by spinning.I always thought that was so cool.Naturally, this was one of the few shows I was going to buy if it ever came out on DVD.

So my list of shows I'm allowed to buy has grown, but this show remains a great one to have on DVD.This set is for the first two of the three seasons.As of today, that's all that's been released.

Season one finds Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) leaving Paradise Island to help America fight the Nazis in World War II.The set includes all 13 of the WWII episodes, including the extended pilot.I'll admit to never having been a super fan of this season.To this day, it seems cheesy to me.I think one problem is that they give Wonder Woman too many "love will solve everything" lines.

Season two finds our heroine on a new network and in a new decade.Wonder Woman is called to the world of men once again to fight the evils of the "modern" 70's.Teaming up with the son of the original Steve Trevor (still played by Lyle Waggoner), she joins the Inter Agency Defense Command and finds plenty of danger to keep her busy.I much prefer the modern episodes because they allow Diana and Wonder Woman to develop a personality.I find her a fun character to watch.And she takes on the bad guys head on, more concerned with catching them then transforming them.

These DVD sets are great for fans.Both sets are two sided discs to keep the price down.With three episodes per side, you get a sharp picture and clear sound.Presented like they were on TV 30 years ago, there's nothing here that will blow you away, but there doesn't have to be.Season 1 has a commentary on the pilot and then a "how the series came to be" documentary.Season 2 has a documentary as well.

So the series is slightly (ok, greatly) dated.It's still fun for the nostalgia crowd.And Lynda Carter will always be Wonder Woman to me.I'm thrilled to have these, and can't wait to get my hands on season 3.Long live Wonder Woman! ... Read more


20. Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 32 - Episodes 63 & 64: The Empath/ The Tholian Web
Director: James Goldstone, Murray Golden, James Komack, Don McDougall, Robert Butler, Marc Daniels, John Meredyth Lucas, Leo Penn, John Erman, David Alexander, Michael O'Herlihy, Jud Taylor, Herschel Daugherty, Ralph Senensky, Gerd Oswald, Lawrence Dobkin, Marvin J. Chomsky, Joseph Sargent, Herb Wallerstein, John Newland
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Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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"The Empath"
"The Empath" is an absolute must for fans of Star Trek's recurring shirtless-Kirk-being-tortured motif. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are taken to a strange laboratory and tortured by powerful aliens while a mute woman is forced to watch--a woman whose empathic abilities are being put to the test. There is, of course, a broader scheme to it all--this is one of the early manifestations of Trek's eternal conflict between the needs of the many and the needs of the few, or the one. Keep an ear out for one of the all-time great Bonesisms ("I'm a doctor, not a coal miner!") and hang on to those fragile but oh-so-important human emotions. --Ali Davis

"The Tholian Web"
"The Tholian Web" was conceived when writer Judy Burns went looking for a new angle on ghost stories. A physics student suggested she somehow use the theory of infinite dimensions, and out of that came Burns's script, which finds Captain Kirk (William Shatner) trapped between different kinds of space, floating in and out of view of the Enterprise crew. Adding to the dilemma are time constraints (Kirk's oxygen supply is running low), an effort by the arachnid-like Tholians to trap the Enterprise in a gigantic web, sub-space dementia affecting the crew, and rising hostilities between Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), the latter none too happy with the way the Vulcan is running the ship in Kirk's absence. Burns's original conception was to make Spock the spectral Starfleet officer locked in interspace, but the show is quite effective in the way various characters mourn the presumed death of their leader and figurehead. The Tholians don't make another appearance in Trek lore until The Next Generation, but this particular episode won the original series its first Emmy for special effects. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Two Thought Provoking Treks
Volume 32 of Paramount's complete reissue of Classic Trek contains two outstanding third season episodes.

The Empath is a sensitive story written by Joyce Muskat. The Vians, like the Talosians from The Cage, are an advanced race possessing superior intellect, but seemingly lacking a moral center. Since most of this episode's budget was spent creating the Vians' makeup, the producers used a minimalist setting--so nearly the entire episode is shrouded in black. Guest Star Kathryn Hays does an excellent job in what is essentially a mime role.

The Tholian Web is another great story. The script is scientifically plausible, and features fine dialogue and character conflict. It's interesting to see how the crew interracts in the absence of Captain Kirk. It's equally interesting to observe how, no longer having to compete with William Shatner's broad performance style, the cast alters their performances. James Doohan, in particular, has some subtle moments here. The Tholian Commander's appearance, along with the "web" effects, are some of the best of the series.

The picture restoration is excellent here, with deep blacks during much of The Empath, and clear reproduction of the visual effects from The Tholian Web. The sound has been tastefully enhanced for multichannel systems.

1-0 out of 5 stars I'm givin' ya fair warnin' here...
I was planning on reviewing this and four other 2-episode original Star Trek DVDs I hadn't yet gotten to before I heard the news. And what news would this be, you're askin' yourself? Well, I'll tell ya: I've discovered that Paramount will be re-releasing the original series in full-season DVD box sets, complete with a shebang of extra features, some time later this year. It's yet another sad example of what I call "the dreaded DVD double-dip ploy" (read about this annoying phenomenon at www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/guides/guide-display/-/3CVFIEG84F2PF/ref=cm_aya_av.sylt_sylt/002-5334556-6482418 ) that the major Hollywood studios like to pull on videophile consumers. #ell, they've already got the full-season box sets out in parts of Europe already, so you know they'll be comin' stateside fairly soon as of this writing. BTW why do parts of Europe get to have the old-school Trek season box sets before we do (U.S.)?! Shouldn't the country where the show was shot in be the first to have those discs?! That's kinda like Honduras getting "Monty Python" on DVD before the UK does! Or Brazil gettin' "Akira" before Japan! It's just not right I tell ya...

Anyhoo: if you wanna get alla' the eppies of old-school Trek on DVD (well, perhaps all but the last season, anyway), I recommend you wait 'til the full-season sets come out later this year, or some time next year. I'm sure your gradually disintegrating Columbia House Collector's Edition VHS tapes will last a few months longer. In the meantime, I gotta find a way to palm my own collection of classic Trek platters off on some unsuspecting Trekkies!

Wish me luck...

'Late

Post Script: I know some folks will read this and think of me as some whiny, ungrateful little fiend who doesn't appreciate the fact that Paramount at least bothered to put the show out on DVD. All I can say is... do you people own stock in the company or something?! What are you, members of their sales and marketing department?! Yeah, I should REALLY be grateful for them tryin' to hose me and all the other Trekkie DVDphiles by gettin' us to buy (pretty much) the same stuff twice! Hey, they did it with the Star Trek movies, why NOT the classic TV show?! Howzabout puttin' the best possible product out the first time out, huh?! Buncha avaricious, money-hungry jerks...

'Later

3-0 out of 5 stars A Little Too Late...
Both The Empath & The Tholian Web could have been much better scripts.

In The Empath the flaws center around the cheesiness of the sets (no backgrounds? what set?) and the repeating S&M theme. Even in late '60's TV sadism & masocism had a place.

The Tholian Web had a great new adversary, just enough hard science to hold the story together (the Tholian Web stands out as well as the subspace jump the Enterprise uses to escape it) and a great emotional ride with the disappearance of Kirk. This would have been my favorite over-all episode (yes, despite its' being part of a terrible 3rd Season) if Spock only used his 'logic' and left Kirk 'floating in sub-space hell'.

Yes, you read that right.

Shatner's thirst for power took Star Trek away from the 'ensemble cast' that it was trying to develop, as seen in some of its' best episodes. I wonder what would have happened in an "Alternative Universe" without Kirk? Maybe Kirk should have been strung up and whipped in 'The Empath', he would have gotten the girl-of-the week again, and again...

4-0 out of 5 stars One unusual episode, one classic Trek
The Empath-Here is another off-beat and dark 3rd season offering, in which the triumvirate spend their time in the dark with a mute 'named' Gem. We meet the Vians, some of the most frightening and sadistic aliens every encountered in the original series. Yet the refreshingly innocent Gem provides a wonderful counterpoint, giving a light to the episode despite the most minimalistic sets ever seen in TOS. Nothing is as it seems in this episode, and the most creepy and dreamlike scenes actually occur in the light (Kirk running in slow motion to Scottie). While the episode ultimately suffers from a thin plot and shaky motivations for the aliens, it is, like many episodes from the first half of the third season, refreshingly unique and stylistically more advanced than earlier episodes. (3 stars)

The Tholian Web-This episode, in which Kirk disappears and a web is built around the Enterprise, in many ways belongs in another season. It has a lot of action and a straightforward plot. However, it also has some signatures of the third season, such as the trippyness of a winking-out Kirk floating through space, as well as a subtle pitting of illusion vs. reality. Plus it's always nice to meet new aliens--the Tholians even have a visible ship!(4 stars)

5-0 out of 5 stars TWO WONDERFUL EPISODES FROM STAR TREK'S FINAL SEASON!
Volume 32 of the Star Trek DVD series includes two of the finest episodes from the third season. Both these episodes are extremely well written and are different in there own ways.

THE EMPATH is one of Star Trek's most sensitive episodes ever. The Vians are a superior race with a lack of morals who use inferior beings in their tests of the mute empath who can heal. They torture the beings (sometimes to death) and they put the empath's healing abilities to the test. Kirk, Spock and McCoy however end up being the next subjects for the test! This episode is probably the most intimate Star Trek story ever. A well written plot overshadowed the obvious tight budget. There is no doubt that most of this episode's budget went to the Vian's costumes and make-up which ends of leaving the set almost always a completely black background. However the acting in this episode is excellent especially the guest star Kathryn Hays who plays Gem the mute Empath (somewhat of a mime role).

THE THOLIAN WEB is another excellent episode. The Enterprise ventures into unknown space territory in search of a fellow starship The Defiant. They find the ship but Cpt.Kirk is lost in space when the crew attempts to return to their own ship. This episode is different cause we get to see the crew function without Cpt.Kirk. William Shatner only appears in the beginning and the end, so he takes a back seat and allows Leonard Nimoy and Deforest Kelley to have most the screen time. We also see character development in the rest of the crew members, particularily Scotty. A great episode, good story, nice effects, great acting and scientifically plausible. Definetly one of the third seasons best.

Overall Volume 32 is definetly one of the DVD's from this series to get. Containing two different but both excellent episodes fro Star Trek third season (which is hard to come by, since most of the third season epiosdes were fairly weak). Nonetheless this one is definetly worth a look. Highly recommended! ... Read more


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