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Star Trek – Space Seed (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

Following the commercial success (and lack of critical success) of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Paramount made a conscious decision to side-line Gene Roddenberry. Given that his plans for the sequel involved Spock travelling through time to assassinate Kennedy, we can likely all agree that was probably a good thing. Harve Bennett was tasked with producing the sequel, and took to the task of researching what would become the second Star Trek film. Demonstrating considerable respect for the source material, Bennett locked himself away and screened all three seasons of the show, looking for inspiration.

Apparently he only needed to reach the tail end of the first season, because he had found the basis of his film by the closing credits of Space Seed.

You Khan do it...

You Khan do it…

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Star Trek – The Corbomite Manoeuvre (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

Again, The Corbomite Manoeuvre is one of those early episodes of Star Trek that was shuffled around in the broadcast order. Not that there’s too much internal continuity to mess up or anything like that, but it is particularly noticeable when episodes at the start of a television show get shuffled around. The writers are establishing characters and concepts, so it feels strange to watch the first episode written with McCoy after we’ve already seen him established as the ship’s doctor.

(The first episode aired, The Man Trap, centres around McCoy, which makes it strange when the ship suddenly has a different Chief Medical Officer in the Where No Man Has Gone Before.)

Fortunately though, The Corbomite Manoeuvre is the last time that this really becomes a concern, as Star Trek seems to iron out all the difficulties and the nuances on a new television show. Effectively the first regular episode of the show produced after two pilots, a large part of the charm of The Corbomite Manoeuvre is really watching it all come together.

What a dummy...

What a dummy…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Lonely Among Us (Review)

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also next year’s release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, I’m taking a look at the recent blu ray release of the first season, episode-by-episode. Check back daily for the latest review.

Lonely Among Us actually embodies quite a few of the problems with these early episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. While it’s hardly the worst episode of a season, it is certainly not among the stronger episodes. It’s a story that doesn’t really have a centrally defined conflict, and plays into the worst of the smug “humans are special” subtext that pervades episodes like The Last Outpost. At one point, possessed!Picard observes, “The search for knowledge is always our primary mission.” Based on episodes like this and The Last Outpost, it seems more likely the ship’s primary mission is lording it over alien cultures they deem inferior.

However, more than that, Lonely Among Us simply lacks a compelling narrative drive to make it entirely worthwhile. The ideas here aren’t half-bad, but the execution is downright dull.

Has Picard’s judgement been clouded?

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