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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 6:47am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Let's get this done in one...

Spock's Brain - We fought to have the show renewed, and this was our reward. Essentially another Super Spock episode, wrapped in disjointed storytelling and a heaping teaspoon of sexism.

The Enterprise Incident - "Ripped from the headlines," with hammy acting and Spock "falling in love." Bookmark that as a theme this season!

The Paradise Syndrome - The best thing to be said about this episode is that it does no harm. I don't suppose the Native American population would be too thrilled if it was made today.

And The Children Shall Lead - There's not a whisper of redemption in this one. The stunt casting of Melvin Belli just pulls it further down. Mostly a bottle episode.

Is There In Truth No Beauty? - Pretentious title for a pretentious concept. Also, here comes the theme of the crew meeting "historical figures" (here, one of the designers of the Enterprise, who seems much too young for that job). Bottle episode.

Spectre Of The Gun - Super Spock again, and a mangled meeting of historical figures.

The Day Of The Dove - Really? All the world's ills were caused by this alien? And the solution is to... chase it away? Pretty much a bottle episode.

For The World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky - Winner for longest, most pretentious title -- and one that doesn't really make sense. There had been much talk in scientific circles at the time about hollowing out asteroids to make gigantic spaceships, but the writer of this episode seemed to have missed on just how the technique would work.

The Tholian Web - Much fuss at the time about the stop-motion animation, but the acting is hammy again, and the characters are not themselves. Bottle episode.

Plato's Stepchildren - Controversy!! But only if you're a racist ass. And, ultimately, a storm in a teacup. Heavy handed and hammy, again. (Coincidentally, while I had been amusing myself writing my own TOS fanfic the summer before, I'd had the idea of Michael Dunn playing a giant, which is how he briefly appears at the beginning of this episode.)

Wink Of An Eye - Kirk gets laid, and a metaphor is created. But the story cannot seem to stay internally accurate. If the aliens are accelerated as much as would be necessary to create what we see, their whole lives would pass before the crew could really get involved. Plus, if even a tiny bit of cell damage causes rapid aging and death, just how DID Kirk have sex? Bottle episode.

The Empath - An episode that felt distinctly as if it was being made up as they went along, not helped at all by an absurd premise.

Elaan of Troyius - Winner for worst title of the whole series, and another load of malarkey. Bottle episode.

Whom Gods Destroy - Hammy, hammy, hammy! And the first appearance of an off-scale Orion slave girl.

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield - Most absurd premise of the whole season. Ham acting. Seriously lame "special effects." Bottle episode.

The Mark Of Gideon - "We're overcrowded, but we can afford the space and resources to build a full-scale replica of the Enterprise!" Worst example of a bottle episode. And, seriously, Spock doesn't immediately notice when different landing co-ordinates are given??.

That Which Survives - This one left so little impression on me that I do not even remember the actual story. Seemed like the whole thing was written to support one new special effect.

The Lights Of Zetar - Jan Shutan floating in that pressure chamber is literally the only thing I remember of this story. Oh, and Scotty falls in love. Mostly a bottle episode.

Requiem For Methuselah - Let's cram in as many historical figures as we can - and make them all the same guy!! Some stones needed to make Flint once having been Lazarus, but the rest…? Jame Daley did a nice job on Flint's memories of his immortal life, but the rest is poppycock. Another episode where we're okay having sex with robots. At least she matched Kirk's established "type."

The Way To Eden - One of the most painful things about the Third Season was the intrusion of the Sixties into hairstyles and costumes, and this was the worst. Also, NEVER GOOD WHEN PEOPLE SING ON STAR TREK!! Bottle episode.

The Cloud Minders - One of those stories that really has no proper beginning. Try to figure out how this society could have existed for centuries without anybody figuring out what was going on, yet the crew does it in about ten minutes. Spock falls in love again.

The Savage Curtain - Historical figures, real and imagined, and again we have aliens who can read minds but apparently not well enough to understand their subjects without "tests."

All Our Yesterdays - Perhaps the only salvageable episode of the whole season, but heavily flawed, and decades later stepped on by fanfickery. Spock falls in love again, as well as being Super. The premise is absolutely absurd, with the entire population of a planet "escaping into the Past." Hope they were all neutered before they went!

Turnabout Intruder - Last episode broadcast, last episode filmed. One can almost hear the sets being torn down around the actors. Sexist plot, and everyone seems SO tired. TV GUIDE singled out this episode to praise Shatner's acting. Bottle episode.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Yep, that about sums it up!
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Came across these...

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 12:04pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 2:47pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Ah, more of the "red shirt" mythology.

As I have noted before, the "red shirts" are generally members of the security team. They are the soldiers, effectively, and their position is on the front lines. To make a fuss about how it's "always the guys in the red shirts who get killed" is one of those fannish things that annoy me -- like snickering about how Kirk is such a womanizer. And it's a lot like complaining that in the modern army it's "always the guys in camo who get killed."

Lots of people died on TOS who were not wearing red shirts. And lots of people who wore red shirts DIDN'T die.

grumble grumble

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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 3:02pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Damn, reading through that list really made me think even considering watching Season 3 is already wasting precious time.
But of course we all have to decide for ourselves what we enjoy or not, though I have to say I am not definitely convinced never to watch certain episodes ever again.

A question, did the "Kirk is a womanizer", and "Everyone wearing a red shirt is basically a dead man walking" memes originate from Season 3?
I get the feeling the first one did come from S3 seeing how often characters fell in love.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 July 2016 at 4:04pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

A question, did the "Kirk is a womanizer", and "Everyone wearing a red shirt is basically a dead man walking" memes originate from Season 3?

••

They didn't really come from ANY season. Rather, they came from after the fact fan foolishness -- "We don't have STAR TREK any more, so let's laugh at it!"

And, of course, once a meme starts, there is little chance of stopping it, short of bloodshed!

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 25 July 2016 at 6:17pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

JB: All Our Yesterdays - Perhaps the only salvageable episode of the whole season, but heavily flawed, and decades later stepped on by fanfickery. Spock falls in love again, as well as being Super. The premise is absolutely absurd, with the entire population of a planet "escaping into the Past." Hope they were all neutered before they went!

**
They were mysteriously "prepared" for their trips into the past, so if neutering were important, it would be part of changing people's "biological structure". Outside of that notion, I couldn't quite grasp why the biological structure needed to be changed. (It became clearly important, I just didn't believe it made good sense).

But I like the notion of sending the present population into the past to escape an exploding sun. In such a case, I wouldn't really care what they do to history. Even some paradox that prevents us from being born does no worse than the exploding sun, right?

And I REALLY liked Mariette Hartley.

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Josh Goldberg
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Posted: 26 July 2016 at 11:01am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I think Eddie Murphy's observation in BOOMERANG was accurate.  It's not so much the red shirt that puts you at risk, but whether or not you're a regular cast member.  You don't wanna be the one guest star in the landing party.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oltfeDY4X7g
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 July 2016 at 11:10am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

And where are the complaints that it's never Matt or Festus or Doc or Kitty getting killed on GUNSMOKE? How one the main team doesn't lose members on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE?

This is just one of those dumb things that ennui-engorged fanboys have blown out of proportion so they can pretend they're not addicted. And then civilians pick up on it....

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Josh Goldberg
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Posted: 26 July 2016 at 11:43am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

As far as MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, I certainly remember remarks to the effect of: "Why does Phelps look through all those dossiers at the beginning of every episode when he just picks the same four guys every week?"

Or, "How come no one ever gets shot on THE A-TEAM, with so many bullets flying all over the place?"

But even GUNSMOKE's twenty-year, six-hundred-plus-episode run pales in comparison to the phenomenon that is STAR TREK.  So I wonder if these silly complaints aren't amplified commensurate with the immense longevity and popularity of STAR TREK.
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Josh Goldberg
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Posted: 26 July 2016 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

On the subject of Third Season TREK:

Spectre of the Gun will always have a special place in my heart because it was first broadcast on the very day I was born.

I also like:

The Enterprise Incident  Why?  Romulans.

The Day of the Dove  Why?  Klingons.

The Savage Curtain  Why?  Abraham Lincoln on the Enterprise.  Plus learning a little bit about the history of the world our characters inhabit through meeting their historical figures (Colonel Green, Kahless, Surak).

Turnabout Intruder Why?  It's the final live-action television voyage of the starship Enterprise.  And that's gotta count for something.

Boy, that's pretty slim pickings from a 24 episode season...
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 26 July 2016 at 12:15pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

There isn't any valid defense that I can think of to support my liking of certain episodes in the third season. For whatever reason I have a fondness for these episodes.

The Enterprise Incident
The Day of the Dove
Spectre of the Gun
The Tholian Web
All Our Yesterdays
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 July 2016 at 12:36pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Boy, that's pretty slim pickings from a 24 episode season...

••

And none of your choices are based on the actual QUALITY of the episode!

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Josh Goldberg
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Posted: 26 July 2016 at 12:45pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I kinda' noticed that myself, JB...
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 31 July 2016 at 11:21pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Passing through Kitrkman's suggested Season Three and pleased to
find it never dipping below amusing. Just finished "One of Our Planets
is Missing" and just loved the quiet way everyone assumed their duty to
die for the sake of the threatened planet.

Surpringly, I am still haunted by the death of Zarabeth in "All Our
Yesterdays". It was powerful that I hadn't realized she was (of course)
dead as soon as Spock appeared at the Library. So Spocks line about
it had resonance. Plus, it was Mariette Hartley (Noooo!)
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 12:00am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

She's also the best thing in "The Return of Count Yorga." Unsurprisingly...

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James Woodcock
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 6:03am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Re the red shirts thing - it's been repeated with the old Stormtroopers can't shoot straight in Star Wars. Did no one see the opening to that film? The Rebels got pasted! And in Empire.

It's just complete tosh.

And while we are on it, the guy in the 2009 reboot who won't open his chute on the way down to Vulcan - what the heck is that actually about? I cannot believe that such a guy would exist in a unit.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 6:08am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

And while we are on it, the guy in the 2009 reboot who won't open his chute on the way down to Vulcan - what the heck is that actually about? I cannot believe that such a guy would exist in a unit.

••

TOS, special effects in support of the story.

AbramsTrek, "story" in support of the special effects.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 6:14am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Meanwhile, watched a couple of episodes from the first season of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., which as I have noted before is like watching a casting call for STAR TREK. In one, the female guest star was making the pointier parts of my brain itch, until I had a moment of clarity. "Holy Cow! It's Gem!" After all these years, I now know what the voice of the Empath sounds like.

Not that I consider my life particularly enriched by this!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 6:21am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

But I like the notion of sending the present population into the past to escape an exploding sun. In such a case, I wouldn't really care what they do to history. Even some paradox that prevents us from being born does no worse than the exploding sun, right?

••

Explore that a little in your own mind. Sit for a moment, and think about what your life is like, right here, right now. Modern conveniences. Modern modes of transportation. Modern medicine.

How would you feel about finding yourself in the 17th Century?

And remember, we are talking about a whole population, so they would have to be spread out over a lot of centuries to avoid major impact. Part of the "preparation" for sending them back might even include selectively wiping specialized knowledge. Can't drop a guy who knows how to build an atomic bomb into the equivalent of the 11th Century. Sure, he might not be able to do all that much, but he could leave information for later generations that might eliminate the need to escape the exploding star -- the whole planet was consumed by nuclear fire centuries earlier!

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

And time paradoxes galore. One family sent back to (for example) the year 2300. Another sent back to the year 2200 and making changes so that the history the 2300 family expected to find is completely changed, and far worse than being destroyed by a nova.

Also, if one wants to consider further, a world's population - let's say three billion - is sent back in time. Now that many more people have created families, and when that planet gets to the nova time, there are SIX billion who have to be chronally displaced. The disaster this presents is left as an exercise for the student.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 10:29am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Also, if one wants to consider further, a world's population - let's say three billion - is sent back in time. Now that many more people have created families, and when that planet gets to the nova time, there are SIX billion who have to be chronally displaced. The disaster this presents is left as an exercise for the student.

••

Time travel is hard to write. That's why I love it so much! STAR TREK has pretty much always got it wrong. Most variants in movies, TV, comics, get it wrong. And usually because they think of time travel as being like going from one country to another more primitive one.

But the ripples! Oh, the ripples!

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Marten van Wier
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

And time paradoxes galore. One family sent back to (for example) the year 2300. Another sent back to the year 2200 and making changes so that the history the 2300 family expected to find is completely changed, and far worse than being destroyed by a nova.

Also, if one wants to consider further, a world's population - let's say three billion - is sent back in time. Now that many more people have created families, and when that planet gets to the nova time, there are SIX billion who have to be chronally displaced. The disaster this presents is left as an exercise for the student.

*******

Wouldn't that result in rewritten timelines in which the population keeps increasing every time the people of Sarpeidon go back to escape the nova?
At some point the population must have exceeded way more than the planet can handle.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 August 2016 at 11:16am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Which is why that "preparation" would have to include some kind of sterilization.
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