Author Topic: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS  (Read 14902 times)

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Offline RottingCorpse

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RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« on: November 30, 2010, 02:40:58 PM »
Last night, I finished the last major item on my slate cleaning list. I still have a bunch of little things to take care of as well as prep for Helena's 2011 show, but for the first time in a long time, I'm essentially open to do whatever the hell I want to.

My TV watching habits are as such: I have five more episodes of 'True Blood' to watch which Missus RC and I may marathon tonight. I have 'Walking Dead' to catch up on though the more I hear about it, the more it starts to feel like a chore. (Missus RC fears zombies and won't watch it with me which makes it doubly hard to sit down for. Crap is so much easier to digest when you're sharing the pain.)

One thing on the docket is to rewatch both seasons of Twin Peaks. Missus RC has never seen it and I haven't watched it since Bravo ran the whole series while I was in college. It's due for a re evaluation.

The other culture goal was been to watch all three seasons of Star Trek, The Original Series. I've only seen about half of the episodes. It ran in syndication when I was like fourteen, and I watched it fairly regularly. I wasn't obsessed with the show, but I always seemed to catch it. My memory is that I wanted it to be more like Star Wars and yet I never turned it off.

The Red Letter Media/Plinkett reviews have sort of reawakened my interest in Star Trek. I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture a couple weeks ago and was struck by a) how much of it I'd forgotten and b) how much I really enjoyed it. Even more surprising was how much Missus RC liked it.

Anyway, we've both agreed to try to tackle TOS, despite each episode being a stand alone story rather than the continuity based format of modern TV. (I seem to remember a two-parter somewhere in there though, don't I?)

Nacho wants RC to return to the front page and do reviews of each episode a'la this dude:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Torcom/Frontpage_Partial/~3/q2kC7OV2ur0/star-trek-re-watch-for-the-world-is-hollow-and-i-have-touched-the-sky

My writing time is precious these days. And the prospect of having time to explore different writing projects makes me wary of committing to a project  like that. (If I'm going to commit to a culture column, I'd rather work on my long gestating expansion of my Horror 101 pieces. )

I think what I'm going to do is more along the lines of the "suffering Through" threads Nacho has done with TNG, Stargate, etc: Little short blurbs about each episode. We'll see how it goes, and whether or not everybody deems it front page worthy.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 03:09:17 PM by RottingCorpse »

Offline nacho

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 03:20:15 PM »
A Suffering Through thread is fine!  And it'll be fun.  I'm inspired to do it myself, now... But I think I'm still recovering from TNG.

There is one two-parter, yes -- The Menagerie. Which is more-or-less a clip show. Roddenberry was forever trying to air the unaired pilot with Captain Pike and no Shatner and bad uniforms and female uniforms that were actually pantsuits instead of just underwear. And big fuck-off phasers! So The Menagerie uses all the footage from The Cage, and the effect is like you're watching events from decades ago... It's also a big wow episode because you learn that Shatner is third or fourth to command an already old ship.

When starting Star Trek, I highly suggest you start with that unaired pilot. The Cage isn't on the box sets, so I'll see if I can steal it from somewhere. It's a weirdly good episode (much better than the very boring official pilot -- Where No Man Has Gone Before) and also fascinating to see the direction that the show was meant to take.

There are some very thin through-lines.  The occasional group of Klingons who mention past encounters, the recurring (twice) bad guy Harvey Mudd.

Hot spots along the way include Assignment: Earth and Gary Seven, who features prominently outside of the TV universe.  It was meant to be a jump-off for a spin-off series.  Ultimately, the Gary Seven storyline is unearthed and updated as one of the main plotlines in Enterprise -- the Temporal Cold War.  So now you'll see what that was supposed to be like in the hands of, you know, the master. Or whatever Roddenberry was.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 03:23:24 PM by nacho »

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 03:23:21 PM »
When starting Star Trek, I highly suggest you start with that unaired pilot. The Cage isn't on the box sets, so I'll see if I can steal it from somewhere. It's a weirdly good episode (much better than the very boring official pilot -- Where No Man Has Gone Before) and also fascinating to see the direction that the show was meant to take.


Definitely let me know if you find it.

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 03:25:14 PM »
When starting Star Trek, I highly suggest you start with that unaired pilot. The Cage isn't on the box sets, so I'll see if I can steal it from somewhere. It's a weirdly good episode (much better than the very boring official pilot -- Where No Man Has Gone Before) and also fascinating to see the direction that the show was meant to take.


Definitely let me know if you find it.

I'll search tonight.  You'll see most of it in The Menagerie as flashbacks, so no worries if I come up dry.

Offline nacho

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 03:28:26 PM »
Hey!  I found it!  I'll dropbox it tonight.

This is dangerous... I'm 10 episodes away from finishing my Stargate marathon and now I'm downloading some uber collector's edition of The Cage...

I hate you RC.

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 03:29:58 PM »
Do you hate me more that I'm not even likely to start my TOS marathon for at least a week and maybe not until X-Mas?

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 03:32:10 PM »
Do you hate me more that I'm not even likely to start my TOS marathon for at least a week and maybe not until X-Mas?

Yes!  Because now I'm all a-flutter.

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2010, 03:35:13 PM »
I'm going to buy season one with the next paycheck and pull it off my wishlist.

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 09:39:23 PM »
Well, I hate to steal RC's thunder... But I managed to get my hands on some super fancy version of The Cage that's complete and predates the remastering they did a few years ago (where they cut some of Spock's more emotional scenes, changed the titles, and took away the quaint mid-60's charm  :sign4:  of the effects shots.)

I'd forgotten that Majel Barrett was a proto-Riker, and other little things that didn't see the light of day until TNG. I'd also forgotten how much of a fag Captain Pike was.  He calls his doctor buddy, then splays out on his bed in a seductive pose when he comes in.

Also -- ceiling shots! The Enterprise sets seem somehow more fleshed out and complicated, thanks mainly to low angle shots.

I also like how some technology is clunky and stupid (like the communicators and the phasers) but some is more advanced than in the series proper (such as Spock controlling the display with a wave of his hand). I hadn't seen that scene before! What a cool trick... Why not keep it for the series?  I mean, sure, we have the whole hand-controlled super screens on every show these days (and I have one in my pocket right now), but in the 60's? It's, like, wow...  
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 09:52:58 PM by nacho »

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2010, 09:44:05 PM »
God... Pike's martini-fueled conversation with Dr. Boyce (extended in this version) is the same scene from Star Trek II on Kirk's birthday!

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2010, 12:03:13 AM »
I really want to go into detail about 'The Cage,' but I just had an extremely exhausting conversation with Missus RC about the time-space continum and how Star Trek '09 is not a prequel, but an alternate timeline that exists alongside the TOS/TNG/DS9/etc timeline.

Will riff on 'The Cage' tomorrow.

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2010, 12:06:58 AM »
I really want to go into detail about 'The Cage,' but I just had an extremely exhausting conversation with Missus RC about the time-space continum and how Star Trek '09 is not a prequel, but an alternate timeline that exists alongside the TOS/TNG/DS9/etc timeline.



There's, like, a five minute scene where they all pull up stools and directly address the camera explaining all that.

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2010, 01:21:08 AM »
I know.

Here's the deal: Missus RC doesn't really accept time travel, even fictional time travel. It pisses her off. She especially has major issues with alternate realities/timelines. Our 'Sarah Connor Chronicles' sojourn was cut short by that as much as the show sucking. (I've tried to explain that the Time Travel Paradox of 'Terminator' doesn't reflect true quantum physics and theoretical manipulation of time/space, but she's having none of it.)

Anyway, after watching 'the Cage' we got into a conversation about how Star Trek '09 related to TOS . . .  and now I have to sleep.

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2010, 07:49:54 AM »
Dude...don't watch Star Trek with her.  Jesus, like 20% of the episodes involve time travel. Hell, there's a whole time travel movie later on.

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Re: RC Boldly Goes - Star Trek TOS
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2010, 09:41:03 AM »
Well, she told me that she'll just tune out if the time travel gets ridiculous. And really, if SCC is the standard then she'll be fine. After all, the time travel in Harry Potter she accepts as she did in that weird little Malcolm McDowell movie, Time After Time. There's other time travel stuff she enjoys too. It's just the alternate timeline stuff that makes her surly. (Her main problem is that there's another Missus RC in another dimension who's a blond-haired, meth addicted pole dancer.) My whole argument is just accept time travel  as fiction the same way she does magic and vampires in Harry Potter and True Blood respectively.

Anyway, off we go!

The Cage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cage_%28Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series%29

The original pilot to Star Trek in which the only character from the Enterprise we know is Spock. The Enterprise, helmed by Captain Pike, receives an eighteen year old distress call and beams down to investigate. Once there they find the whole "crash party" is a telepathic illusion set up by  these big headed aliens who need a race of "durable" creatures to rebuild their civilization which was wiped out by war. They already have a swinging hot blond chippy who likes living in the illusion world and capture Pike to mate with her.  The Enterprise works to rescue him, but can't overcome the powerful illusions created by the telepathic aliens.

First thing that struck me: about five minutes in Pike is walking down the hallway in uniform and two kids in shorts and summer beach clothes walk past him looking like their headed down to a weiner roast with Dick Van Dyke. "Hey Daddy-o, let's head down to the malt shop in Engineering!" I think they were trying to show that it's a community, but knowing what we do about later Trek, it looks really silly.

Second, Nimoy looks so young! I was struck by how good a job Abrams did with the casting of Spock in the reboot. Quintos really does capture that young Nimoy vibe. The character is interesting too. They hadn't really developed Spock's Vulcan persona yet, so he actually has a wee bit of personality.

Nacho mentioned Majel Barrett as "Number One" a pre-Riker Riker. I was sort of interested in how that dynamic would have worked out on the show. She's set up at a possible love interest for the captain who was also a crew member.. They also seemed to set up this possible love triangle with her , Pike, and a poorly acting red-headed yeoman. In retrospect, it's probably good they jettisoned the idea and focused less on soap opera elements. (And haven't these soap opera elements ruined some great genre fare of late?) Still it's interesting to see.

The story is part of Trek canon, but the whole affair feels like an off-brand version of my favorite shampoo. It's kind of the same and yet it's totally different.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 01:23:02 PM by RottingCorpse »