Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TOS Season One Recap

Season One of TOS is in the books at Treknobabble. How did it fare?

Going boldly where many a nerd has gone before... but in blog form.

Kevin's Thoughts

The review for "Operation Annihilate!" has just posted, and with it, we have come to the end of the first season of The Original Series. As I type this, we are hip-deep in reviewing the second season, and before I get into a substantive review of the first season, I just want to say how much fun the blog has been so far. It's led to some fasicnating conversations. And, assuming they are who they purport to be, Mike Okuda and James Doohan's son Chris Doohan follow us on Twitter. I think that's genius.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Original Series, Season 1: Operation -- Annihilate!

The Original Series, Season 1
"Operation -- Annihilate!"
Airdate: April 13, 1967
30 of 80 produced
29 of 80 released
Click here to watch on CBS.com


The Enterprise crew travel to Deneva, a Federation colony and home to Captain Kirk's brother Sam and his family. When they arrive, they find most of the colonists dead, the few remaining alive are violently mad. The cause is quickly discovered, a plague of giant neural parasites that cause mass insanity and seem impervious to all attempts to stop them. Can Captain Kirk protect his ship from this latest threat?

Future playgrounds look confusing and dangerous! Look out, Jimmy!

This episode is a sad let down from the previous City on the Edge of Forever. Hokey effects and pacing issues drag this episode down to a 2 from both of us for a total of 4. The best part of this episode is the interesting typographic choices in the title. A whimper of an ending to an otherwise bang-filled first season. Our next post will be recapping some thoughts on the first season of Star Trek, but for now, enjoy the episode and the podcast.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lens Flare App for your iPhone allows you to ruin any Trek screenshot you like!

There's really nothing to say in this story that is not also said in the linked io9.com post right here.

"Abrams..." (facepalm)

The Original Series, Season 1: The City on the Edge of Forever

The Original Series, Season 1
"The City on the Edge of Forever"
Airdate: April 6, 1967
29 of 80 produced
28 of 80 aired
Click here to watch on CBS.com


After being accidentally injected with a powerful psychotropic medicine, Dr. McCoy beams down to a mysterious planet that is home to a powerful being that allows him to travel back in time. Kirk and Spock beam down to stop him, but find that history has been in some way altered. They follow McCoy back to Earth during the 1930s. There they must find McCoy and undo what damage he has done. Complicating matters is a beautiful and enlightened social worker that Kirk immediately falls for. Will Kirk be able to reset history and what will it cost him to do so?

Hey, Guardian, can we get color on this thing?

This is hands down, one of the best hours of Star Trek, maybe even one of the best hours of television ever. A strong science fiction story is bolstered by top notch writing and heart-wrenching performances by main and guest cast alike. This got an emphatic 5 from both of us for a well deserved total of 10. Enjoy the podcast and the episode.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Original Series, Season 1: The Alternative Factor

The Original Series, Season One
The Alternative Factor
Airdate: March 30, 1967
21 of 80 produced
27 of 80 aired
Click here to watch on CBS.com


The Enterprise encounters a strange effect while exploring an abandoned planet - space seems to "wink out" for a moment. They are shocked to learn that this effect is not localized, it seems to have occurred everywhere. Will the mysterious stranger they encounter on the surface help them solve the puzzle, or will he endanger everything, everywhere, for all time?
Lazarus' goatee threatens the fabric of spacetime...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Original Series, Season 1: Errand of Mercy

The Original Series, Season One
"Errand of Mercy"
Airdate: March 27, 1967
28 of 80 produced
26 of 80 released
Click here to watch on CBS.com


The Enterprise races to Organia, the focal point of a seemingly inevitable war with the Federation's hostile, expansionist neighbor, the Klingon Empire. Their mission is to prevent the Klingons from taking over the planet and using it as a beachhead into Federation territory. The Organians themselves, however, seemed oddly unconcerned by the threat, even when the Empire arrives and begins to slaughter them. Can the Enterprise repel the invasion? And why are the Organians seemingly uninterested in their own survival?
The Organians respond quite favorably to the Klingons' promise of free Muumuus for all... 

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Original Series, Season 1: The Devil In The Dark

The Original Series, Season One
"The Devil In The Dark"
Airdate: March 9, 1967
27 of 80 produced
25 of 80 aired
Click here to watch on CBS.com


The Enterprise is sent to a vital mining planet which supplies the needs of many colony worlds. People and equipment are being destroyed by some mysterious force below. Can our intrepid crew discover what is causing the destruction, and stop it?
No Kill I!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Original Series, Season 1: This Side of Paradise

The Original Series, Season One
Airdate March 2, 1967
26 of 80 produced


The Enterprise is sent to recover the remains of what it believes to be a failed colony on a planet subject to an invariably fatal form of radiation. Instead, they find the colonists alive and well. They seem perfectly happy, too happy in fact. As the mysteries compound, it becomes clear that not all is as it seems on this colony, and the secret of the colony's impossible survival may threaten the Enterprise.
Spock whips out Kiri-Kin-Tha's First Law of Metaphysics in a ploy to get laid...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Star Trek Poetry

I recently took a Creative Writing course where I discovered a poetry form I'd never heard of before--the double dactyl. It quickly became my favorite, and I've found it great for writing Trek poetry. One of the defining characteristics of double dactyls, in addition to the rhythm, is that each poem is about a person, real or fictional.

The first I co-wrote with Matthew. The rest are mine.

Treknobab Treknobab
James Kirk of Enterprise
Captain, explorer, set
Women to "stun."

To Starfleet principles
he took not lightly but
He still had fun.


K'lalatar prnak'lirli
Mister Spock, Half Vulcan
The Science Officer
On Enterprise.

Logical, Rational
Always dependable
He told few lies.


Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam
B'Elanna Torres, the
Half Klingon- half human
Chief Engineer.

Married to Tom Paris
Bites off the head of whom
Ever comes near.

More to come!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Great Footage of 1975 Trek Convention

Rich Portnoy has posted on YouTube some terrific footage he shot on 8mm film at a Star Trek convention in Chicago in 1975. There's no sound, but the images are just priceless. Nichelle Nichols with an afro is fantastic, and everyone looks legitimately happy to be there. I love the internet!

The Original Series, Season 1: A Taste of Armageddon

The Original Series, Season One
"A Taste of Armageddon"
Airdate: February 23, 1967
24 of 80 produced
23 of 80 aired
Click here to watch on CBS.com


The Enterprise is tasked with establishing diplomatic relations with a curiously recalcitrant world. Why are the inhabitants of Eminiar VII so isolationist? And when the Enterprise discovers their horrifying secret, will they be able to escape?
"PC Load Letter?" WTF does that mean?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Star Trek XI is an Oscar winner!

Congrats to Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow, Oscar winners for Best Makeup for Star Trek (2009)! Not that it's difficult to make an Orion girl look good, but hey, that green makeup was artfully applied.

The Original Series, Season 1: Space Seed

The Original Series, Season 1
"The Space Seed"
Airdate: February 16, 1967
25 of 80 produced
22 of 80 aired
Click here to watch at CBS.com


The Enterprise encounters a derelict space ship, launched from Earth in the 1990s.  Aboard they discover a group of people in suspended animation, among them Khan Singh, a violent and powerful tyrant from Earth's past. Now aboard the Enterprise, will Khan try to reestablish his empire?  Will Captain Kirk be able to stop him if he does?

Matt and I both gave this a 4, for a total of 8. This was a really good story with some really good acting. One guest character who suffers from some terrible writing and some terrible sexual politics is all that holds this one back from a 5.  But still, this one is great to watch, and its clear why this story line got brought back for one of the movies. Enjoy the podcast everyone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Original Series, Season 1: The Return of the Archons

The Original Series, Season One
"The Return of the Archons"
Airdate: February 9, 1967
23 of 80 produced
21 of 80 aired
Click here to watch on CBS.com


The Enterprise discovers a world where the people are euphoric zombies controlled by an unseen leader, Landru. Disobedience to this leader is met with swift consequences. Several Enterprise crewmen have been taken and apparently brainwashed. Can Kirk free his people and this planet from the mysterious Landru?
Are you of the body? Click "Read More" to find out!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Homosexuality and Star Trek

This is a bit of a touchy subject for me and I seriously debated whether I should delve into it in this forum. Ultimately, I decided that it would at least spur some interesting conversation, and that's why we are here. When you get right down to it, if you made a pie chart showing how my mental resources are apportioned by topic, that pie chart would look a little something like this:
The biggest two popular culture influences of my life are hands down watching endless reruns of Star Trek and endless reruns of The Golden Girls. Sadly, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty's passing makes the irresistibly charming crossover now impossible. But can't you picture it? Admiral Zbornak, the tough as nails bureaucrat, giving Captain Picard a hard time? Ambassador Deveraux sleeping her way through the crew? I digress, but it's safe to say that it's even odds on any given day whether "nerdy homosexual" or "homosexual nerd" is the most accurate description of me. So, it's sad that Star Trek has at best been silent on an issue of such importance to me. I've decided to structure this essay around a list of episodes and incidents that touch on this issue, discuss them individually, and then wrap up with some thoughts and conclusions. Structure is good. It will keep the post devolving into me loudly typing how I want to see hot guys making out on the bridge of the Enterprise. Though, for the record, I do. I really, really do. Anyway, first up is TOS...