The Conscience of the King (Star Trek: The Original Series) Review

I am so obviously not paid enough for this shit.

I am so obviously not paid enough for this shit.

Episode: The Conscience of the King – Season 1, Episode 13 (1966)

Director: Gerd Oswald

Writer: Barry Trivers

The Enterprise is diverted to Planet Q after receiving a message that Dr. Thomas Leighton (William Sargent) has discovered a new synthetic food source. Upon arriving, Kirk learns that the message was a ploy to bring him to the planet to determine if the leader of a troupe of Shakespearean actors, Anton Karidian (Arnold Moss), is actually the nefarious Kodos “The Executioner.” Like a Glee episode with more fabulous clothes — it’s time to throw your hands in the air and get meta!

Leighton and Kirk share a past: they are both survivors of the inhuman excesses of Kodos on Tarsus IV, and are two of the only three people left alive who can identify him. Soon enough, Dr. Leighton is murdered. Then an imperfect attempt is made on the third witness, none other than Lt. Kevin Thomas Riley. Riley! You remember him: he nearly destroyed the ship via Irish stereotype in “The Naked Time.” Watch him spill his poisoned milk into the engineering console and induce another uncontrolled matter/anti-matter intermix explosion.[1]

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The Menagerie Parts 1 & 2 (Star Trek: The Original Series) Review

star_trek_spock_menagerie

“Siri. What’s the nearest transporter with proximity to a self-serve fro-yo?”

Episode: The Menagerie, parts 1 & 2 — Season 1, Episodes 11 and 12 (1966)

Director: Marc Daniels (1) and Robert Butler (2)

Writer: Gene Roddenberry[1]

Spock abducts his former captain, leaves Kirk behind at Starbase 11, puts the hijacked Enterprise on a course for the forbidden Talos IV, and then turns himself into McCoy (of all people) for court martial! The only two-part episode in the early franchise, “The Menagerie” keeps the audience wonderfully blindfolded for most of the first half, making us wait for the trial to hear Spock’s peculiar explanation.

By late 1966 production complications were resulting in a situation where Desilu studios was always behind in delivering new episodes to NBC. Roddenberry had the genius idea to spill the first unused Star Trek “The Cage” pilot[2] out of the can and incorporate it into a current-cast frame. Shooting only took a week – two episodes for the price of one!

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The Corbomite Maneuver (Star Trek: The Original Series) Review

Jim, you magnificent bastard.

Jim, you magnificent bastard.

Editor’s note: This review is part of an ongoing series by blogger, Joshua, who is reviewing the Star Trek Original Series.  

Episode: The Corbomite Maneuver — Season 1, Episode 10 (1966)

Director: Joseph Sargent

Writer: Jerry Sohl

On a routine mapping expedition in previously unexplored space, the Enterprise encounters a massive craft that sentences the crew to death for a border infraction.  Kirk talks his way out of it, then learns that the aggressive alien persona is just a charade. The “Corbomite Maneuver” is a nearly perfect example of the old school franchise running on all cylinders.

Lt. Dave Bailey (Anthony Call) and Captain Kirk frame the primary dichotomy in this episode. Bailey is your classic overly excited loose cannon type, and Kirk has promoted him too rapidly. Don’t blame the Enterprise’s lawsuit-worthy HR department; Kirk sees a little bit of the ol’ Jim Junior in Bailey, what with all his foaming at the mouth in panic and wanting to disintegrate everything. The audience is meant to identify with Bailey early on, and when he cracks under pressure, to ask ourselves Could I do better? “Corbomite” is an exploration of this grand question: How shall we face fear and death? In this context, Bailey’s panic and subsequent exile from the bridge is a moment of maximum shame.

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Dagger of the Mind (Star Trek: The Original Series) Review

Editor’s note: This review is part of an ongoing series by RR blogger, Joshua, who will view and review the Star Trek Original Series.  

Everyone put your keys in the bowl and help yourself to a cocktail and a robe. This party's about to get rocking.

Everyone put your keys in the bowl and help yourself to a cocktail and a robe. This party’s about to get rocking.

Episode: Dagger of the Mind – Season 1, Episode 9 (1966)[1]

Directed by: Vincent McEveety

Written by: S. Bar-David[2]

The Enterprise drops by Tantalus V to resupply a rehabilitation colony for the criminally insane. One of the inmates, Dr. Simon van Gelder (Morgan Woodward), sneaks aboard and demands asylum. Once subdued, his rantings about the colony convince Dr. McCoy that something is rotten down on the surface, so Captain Kirk and ship’s psychiatrist Dr. Helen Noel (Marianna Hill) transport down to investigate.

Noel and Kirk have something of a history, having enjoyed a flirtation at the last Enterprise Christmas party.[3] Granted, the good doctor is a Lieutenant, but for some reason this rubs me wrong. Like Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce should be painted on the hull or something. Anyway, charming Dr. Tristan Adams (James Gregory) leads them on a tour of the facility, taking special time to explain the neural neutralizer – the device that caused Dr. van Gelder’s accident.

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What the World Needs Now is a Film About How We Are All Connected (And That Racism is Bad)

Another theme should probably be that peace is a good thing. (Credit: ion-bogdan dumitrescu)

Another major theme should probably be that peace is a good thing. (Credit: ion-bogdan dumitrescu)

OPINION/COMMENTARY – By a Hollywood Producer

It’s been an emotional week. Not gonna lie. What, with all the joy — and sadly, vitriol — surrounding the SCOTUS decision to knock down DOMA (Hooray for Chad and Brian! Cannot wait for the invite) and Wendy Davis’ courageous stand in Texas, it’s almost like something out of a Hollywood movie.

Speaking of, I believe what the world needs most — in this exact, powerful moment — is a film about how all of us are interconnected in some way. Also, it should say something about racism. More specifically, it should convey that racism is bad.

Let’s face it, in a world where everyone’s favorite saucy Southern Aunt Paula gets caught throwing around the N-word, we need more films that show the interconnectivity of all of our lives. This is true whether you’re a woman who made millions off of selling an image of wholesome butter, or whether you’re a low-wage food service employee from the suburbs of Atlanta. We are all connected.

That’s basically what this film will be about. That and the racism thing.

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Amanda Bynes’ Public Breakdown Affords Opportunity to Feel Better About Yourself

ANY TOWN, USA, June 21, 2013 — The continued public meltdown of actress Amanda Bynes — who starred in that one movie that you refuse to admit you saw in the theater and enjoyed enough to illegally burn to DVD at a later date — affords the perfect opportunity to feel better about yourself, sources confirmed this week. “That poor girl. Someone really ought to help her,” you mumbled as you clicked on a gossip website link titled “Naked Amanda Bynes Caught Snorting Coke Off Surface of I-5 During Rush Hour [VIDEO].” The starlet’s overt signs of mental collapse in recent months provided a fleeting moment of satisfaction with your own personal choices, according to bystander reports. “It really is disgusting how the media is taking advantage of this poor girl,” you said, as you wrote “Can you believe they printed these photos?” in the subject line of an email containing a link to a photo gallery of a semi-nude Bynes pouring ketchup on a wig and smoking crack with an ostrich. “I just don’t get why the press is exploiting her illness for their own personal gain,” you said, before looking at an 800-word photo essay titled “Amanda Bynes: 15 Shades of Crazy Bee-otch” that appeared on the home page of empowering feminist website Jezebel. “I just hope somebody will help her before it’s too late,” you said, before posting a Buzzfeed link “15 Lemurs Wearing Astronaut Pajamas” on your Facebook wall.

 

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Miri (Star Trek: The Original Series) Review

"It's Miri -- with an 'M.' Stop asking me about the weather and where the closest Arby's is. That's Siri, you dolt."

“It’s Miri — with an ‘M.’ Stop asking me about the weather and where the closest Arby’s is. That’s Siri, you dolt.”

Episode: Miri — Season 1, Episode 8 (1966)

Director: Vincent McEveety

Writer: Adrian Spies

The Enterprise receives a “planetary distress call” summoning them to a post-apocalyptic Earth-like planet. When I say “Earth-like,” I mean identical to 1960s Earth in nearly every detail.[1]  Upon beaming down, Kirk is attacked by some kind of shambling hobo while examining a broken tricycle, so of course the captain beats him to death. Real schoolyard stuff, too, with Spock pinning the guy’s arm back while Kirk knocks him in the head a few times. When the assailant turns out to have the mind of a grieving child it’s all pretty awkward.

They meet a young girl named Miri (Kim Darby), one of a handful of pre-adolescent “Onlies” who are the planet’s last inhabitants. Soon it becomes apparent that the landing party has contracted the same disease that has already killed-off the planet’s adults.[2]  After a conniving scamp named Jahn (Michael J. Pollard) steals their communicators, it is up to the landing party to find a cure for the disease on their own before it kills them.

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