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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 20 2016 at 10:38pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Okay...


"The Paradise Syndrome" (Yeah, okay, not the worst.)

"Day of The Dove" (Sure, why not. Also, Kang.)

"Requiem For Methuselah" (Mostly kinda-sorta good.)

"All Our Yesterdays" (Comes within hailing distance of being a lower-tier second season episode.)

"Beyond The Farthest Star" (A solid first-contact/mystery story.)

"Yesteryear" (Well, DUH!)

"One of Our Planets is Missing" (Another solid story, even if a bit too much the vein of "The Immunity Syndrome".)

"More Tribbles, More Troubles" (Eh, why not?)

"The Survivor" (Pretty solid mystery/tragic romance story.)

"Mudd's Passion" (Because more Harry Mudd!)

"The Time Trap" (Interesting premise, and more Kirk vs. Kor!)

"The Slaver Weapon" (A great little Larry Niven story.)

"The Eye of The Beholder" (Derivative of "The Cage", but still fun.) 

"The Jihad" (A little more Saturday-morning cartoon than STAR TREK, but still interesting.)

"Bem" (Eh, why not. Points for having been originally conceived for the live-action show.)

"Albatross" (A decent McCoy-centric story.)

"How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth" (Perhaps a bit too reminiscent of "Who Mourns For Adonais?", but still fun.)

"The Counter-Clock Incident" (A backwards-running antimatter universe, and Robert April!)



Edited by Greg Kirkman on July 21 2016 at 2:01pm
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 12:33am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Thank you, Greg.

Having caught the original series in syndication growing up, I didn't know the 3 seasons account for the wild swings in quality. My mind just kind of jettisoned the lame episodes. As a result, I'm no longer really familiar with either s3 or the animated show. But "New Visions" has me hungry for what else might also be "good enough" to force my brain to remember, so Kirkman's Se3 is official enough for me!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 1:07am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I look at the third season as being akin to the 1960s BATMAN TV show.

As a kid, you're taken in by all of the razzle-dazzle of it: bright colors, adventure, etc. As an adult, you plainly see just how goofy it all is (intentionally in the case of BATMAN, not intentionally in the case of TREK), and just how off-model it is when compared to those stellar first two seasons of TREK.

As for TAS, I first caught a few episodes in reruns on Nickelodeon, in the mid-80s, but it wasn't until the DVD release in 2006(!) that I finally sat down and watched the entire series. It was like finding money on the street. NEW STAR TREK! With the original cast! Of course, the cartoon--by the very nature of the medium and the target audience--isn't quite up to the level of the first two seasons of the live-action show, but it's still (usually) very well-written (especially compared to contemporary cartoon shows like, say, FAT ALBERT AND THE COSBY KIDS), and feels authentic. 

 The biggest point against it is the oh-so-limited animation. But, the actual designs for sets and characters are quite good. There's that sense of unlimited budget and scope which the live-action show couldn't quite achieve. The core cast often feel more in-character than they do during the third season, although the depth of their characterization is more limited, due to the medium and the half-hour format.

Some episodes are quite good, and some are not so good. But, overall, I think it's a worthwhile addition to one's viewing list, even if I still can't quite decide whether it should be considered canonical! 


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Brian Hague
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 5:53am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The animated Star Trek is fairly amazing when you consider that we could easily have had unfamiliar voice actors in the roles (high, squeaky voiced Michael Bell as Kirk, anyone?) playing mentor to a small group of Brady Kids-style cadets or the bridge crew bubble-gum-rocking us out each episode on space-guitars and synthesizers, over a montage of being chased from left to right across our screens and then, of course, right to left...

As it was, Roddenberry insisted that something called Star Trek actually BE Star Trek. D.C. Fontana did her best to bring in real writers creating real scripts, and the actors themselves showed up and played it for real, even on those occasions when they were all but literally phoning it in. Nimoy put himself out there to ensure the parts would be played by the actual performers. Even Walter Koenig who was not in the regular cast contributed an episode.

I get that no one wants to include the episode where Kirk and Spock were turned into mer-people ("The Ambergris Element") or picture giant pink tribbles menacing the crew, but it's nevertheless as close to "real" Star Trek as you can get without being the original series itself.


Edited by Brian Hague on July 21 2016 at 5:54am
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Brian Hague
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 6:06am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"Counter-Clock Incident," by the way, provides one of my favorite anti-Next Generation arguments. In that series' final episode,* the crews of three different Enterprise-D's (D-Minuses, in this case) plus Beverly's ship, spend two hours utterly and completely befuddled and knocked out by the very concept of Anti-Time, something Q goes on to praise Picard to the heavens for even being able to grasp, going on and on about how in that moment, Picard's mind was open to possibilities he would never have considered before, how such understandings were the true future of mankind, the exploration not of space, but of mind... Um, guys, the original crew grokked backwards-running time on their own in less than half an hour and they were able to do it as cartoons. :-)

*And hey, Counter-Clock was the series finale to TAS as well... Anti-Time, man. It'll getcha every time...

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John Byrne
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 8:01am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

One thing that puzzled me about TAS is why they didn't use the music from TOS. If they had the rights to everything else. . . . ?
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Considering the fact that Roddenberry wrote lyrics to the live-action show's theme solely so he'd get a cut of the pie, I also wonder why the generic-TREK theme music was used, instead. 

I can only assume that Filmation decided not to pay for the license to use the music, perhaps as a way of offsetting the cost of hiring the original cast to perform the characters' voices. After all, Chekov was cut from TAS as a cost-saving measure, too.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on July 21 2016 at 9:21am
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John Byrne
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

After all, Chekov was cut from TAS as a cost-saving measure, too.

Does that mean Majel Barrett got a flat fee for her voice work, and was not paid as a separate character for M'Ress? And what about all those other characters James Doohan played?

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 9:30am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The animated Star Trek is fairly amazing when you consider that we could easily have had unfamiliar voice actors in the roles (high, squeaky voiced Michael Bell as Kirk, anyone?) playing mentor to a small group of Brady Kids-style cadets or the bridge crew bubble-gum-rocking us out each episode on space-guitars and synthesizers, over a montage of being chased from left to right across our screens and then, of course, right to left...
+++++++++

It really is sort of a miracle, isn't it? Aside from the cheap, limited animation, the generic music, and the slightly-kiddified writing and tone, it's almost shockingly authentic. The designs, writing, characters, and overall feel are extremely STAR TREK-y. Generally speaking (giant pink Tribbles, giant Spock-clones aside) it often feels more like a proper successor to the first two seasons of TOS than the third season does. We even get callbacks, cameos, references to established (and non-established) TOS characters, concepts, and lore, such as the Eugenics Wars, Bob Wesley, and McCoy's daughter, as well as genuine sequels to several episodes of TOS. There's even some rather adult content (deaths, subtle sexual references, etc.) slipped in, from time to time.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Does that mean Majel Barrett got a flat fee for her voice work, and was not paid as a separate character for M'Ress? And what about all those other characters James Doohan played?
++++++++

Probably. I get the feeling that they were happy to pay for Barrett-Roddenberry and Doohan precisely because they knew that the pair could perform a whole bunch of extra voices for the show. And, they certainly got their money's worth! Heck, even Nichelle Nichols and George Takei voiced a few extra characters, in several episodes.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 9:38am | IP Logged | 11 post reply


"Counter-Clock Incident," by the way, provides one of my favorite anti-Next Generation arguments. In that series' final episode,* the crews of three different Enterprise-D's (D-Minuses, in this case) plus Beverly's ship, spend two hours utterly and completely befuddled and knocked out by the very concept of Anti-Time, something Q goes on to praise Picard to the heavens for even being able to grasp, going on and on about how in that moment, Picard's mind was open to possibilities he would never have considered before, how such understandings were the true future of mankind, the exploration not of space, but of mind...
+++++++++

This, of course, being the same Picard who quickly admitted defeat, and had to call upon Captain James T. mutha****in' Kirk to bail him out in GENERATIONS...
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John Byrne
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Keeping in mind that that was Picard's vision of Kirk, behaving just as Picard wanted him to -- including conveniently getting killed, so Picard could finally step out of his shadow.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 9:49am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Sold!
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John Byrne
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 10:26am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Given the cascade of male-menopause fantasies that followed GENERATIONS -- Picard beats the Borg, rebels against Starfleet and the Federation (and gets laid), defeats his own YOUNGER self -- the conclusion that Picard's timeline is a Nexus induced fantasy is unavoidable.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 12:22pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Does that also mean we can chalk current TREK up to a Nexus fueled dillusion?
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John Byrne
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 2:14pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

...dillusion...

I think you may have just coined a very useful word. A combination of delusion and illusion. That would be when we compell others to believe our fantasies.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply


If I made a "combined" season of Third Season and TAS episodes, it'd probably look like:

("Favorite" Season 3 top 12, or half of the season):

SPOCK'S BRAIN (you heard me)
THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT
THE PARADISE SYNDROME
SPECTRE OF THE GUN
DAY OF THE DOVE
FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW AND I HAVE TOUCHED THE SKY
THE THOLIAN WEB
WINK OF AN EYE
ELAAN OF TROYIUS
THAT WHICH SURVIVES
THE WAY TO EDEN (you heard me)
ALL OUR YESTERDAYS

(Favorite TAS top 11, or half of the entire series):

BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR
YESTERYEAR
MORE TIBBLES, MORE TROUBLES
THE INFINITE VULCAN
THE MAGICKS OF MEGAS-TU
MUDD'S PASSION
THE TIME TRAP
THE SLAVER WEAPON
BEM
THE PRACTICAL JOKER
THE COUNTER-CLOCK INCIDENT


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John Byrne
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 5:11pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

The Magicks of Megas-Tu

Stardate 1254.4 placing it "chronologically" before any other broadcast episode!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that there are several episodes whose stardates put them way out of line with their air dates. "Patterns of Force," for instance, with 2534.0 falls between "The Squire of Gothos" and "What are Little Girls Made Of?". "Catspaw," 3018.2. lands right before "Shore Leave," and "The Gamesters of Triskelion," 3211.7, is ahead of the First Season coda, "Operation: Annihilate!"

Positioning them ahead of key episodes had made me use satrdates that drop some of my recent stories (published and unpublished) into the First Season. My most distant forward date, for the issue I am working on currently, still puts if a ways before "BEM," which, at 7403.5, had the highest date of any TOS/TAS story.

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 5:23pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Shaun: ("Favorite" Season 3 top 12, or half of the season):

SPOCK'S BRAIN (you heard me)...

**

To each his own, but this is serious! Someone needs to orchestrate a JBF intervention!
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 5:46pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply


(Don't worry, Mark... I should have been more specific, but I don't mean to imply that SPOCK'S BRAIN is my all-time favorite Third Season episode... I just picked them from their broadcast order.

But I can't think of the Third Season without it! I find it a riot... for all the wrong reasons, of course. Same with THE WAY TO EDEN.)


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 9:25pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Those two are undeniably both memorable and not-boring...albeit for the wrong reasons. Some episodes from the third season are legitimately boring and unmemorable.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: July 21 2016 at 11:40pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

They are not boring, that is true... And hey, maybe now I don't have to feel so bad about my ongoing appreciation of Let That Be Your Last Battlefield... :-)

"Way to Eden" has so many musical performances by Sevrin's band of followers that it is the closest Star Trek comes to having a musical episode, so there is that...* Scotty's line about "why a young mind has to be an undisciplined one" gets me every time. Charles Napier, as the "young, undisciplined" Adam was 35 or so at the time and visibly balding. I do like the girl with the bicycle wheel as a musical instrument, though...

* At least until Mad Magazine gave us one in the mid-70's. "Beam down to Pinkus East! That's where the budget-conscious spacemen feast! Where you get the most and pay the least!"

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: July 22 2016 at 6:08pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Having now begun watching "Season 3" in Greg Kirkman's suggested order -- I've seen "Paradise Syndrome", "Way of the Dove" and "Requiem for Methuselah".

There are a few scenes that simply GO TOO FAR in underlining what the episode is about, but I'm pleased. "Paradise Syndrome" sets the tone for a different kind of season, having Kirk get married and actually begin a life without the Enterprise. Not a great episode, but certainly a kind of "risk-taker" which I enjoyed more than some of the movies. Too bad that Kirk's "true love" is played once more in "Methuselah". However, that story brings a sort of "full circle" benefit by playing a lot like the Star Trek version of "Forbidden Planet". If I kind of ignore a bit here and a bit there, the episodes play better (For example, I am doing my best to forget the unnecessary and totally weird "forget..." coda to "Methuselah".)

So far, it mostly feels like the Enterprise facing lesser kinds of problems, but being led by Captain Kirk and the rest in character and for real. I hope these continue up to the standards set so far...

Edited by Mark Haslett on July 22 2016 at 6:39pm
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Peter Martin
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Posted: July 22 2016 at 7:56pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Oh, you poor soul.

:)


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: July 22 2016 at 10:15pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

It should be noted that there are a few other third season episodes which are reasonably well-made and entertaining, but for some rather specific and major flaws (like "Elaan of Troyius", which is pretty well-written, directed, and performed...but suffers from heavyhandedness and some majorly dumb contrivances), or are bad-yet-entertaining (such as "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", a terrible episode that is very watchable because of the greatness which is Frank Gorshin). 

Fan-favorites like "The Tholian Web" and "The Enterprise Incident" have some good visuals, moments, and ideas, but are dragged down by some majorly bad characterizations and over-the-top silliness.


Anyway, I was going for the ones that generally suck the least! May the Great Bird of The Galaxy bless your television and/or computer, Mark!
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