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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 Galileo Seven (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.

It’s amazing to think that only now, almost half-way through the first year of Star Trek, the show is doing a Spock-centric episode. Spock is an iconic and instantly recognisable part of Star Trek lore, to the point that Leonard Nimoy’s version of the character served as the link between the classic series and JJ Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the franchise. The character appeared in The Cage, the very first episode of Star Trek ever produced. He is perhaps even more iconic than James T. Kirk himself.

So it feels slightly weird, then, that The Galileo Seven should serve as the first episode of the series completely devoted to Spock as a character, pushing Jim firmly to the background as we get a look at Spock’s first command experience.

Talk about carrying dead weight...

Talk about carrying dead weight…

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Star Trek – The Conscience of the King (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.

The Conscience of theKing continues the work of Balance of Terror in fleshing out the fictional universe of Star Trek. While the first few episodes of the show gave little thought to this universe’s shared history and our characters’ origins, The Conscience of the King offers us a glimpse into the past of Captain James T. Kirk. Like Dagger of the Mind, another episode borrowing its title from Shakespeare, it builds off the suggestion that humanity is still a long way from perfection, and that the fact we have reached the cold expanse of space does not mean that our troubles can be left entirely behind. In contrast to some of Roddenberry’s later decisions about the Star Trek franchise, it is clear that utopia is a path, and not a clear destination.

His mask is slipping...

His mask is slipping…

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Star Trek – What Are Little Girls Made Of? (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.

What Are Little Girls Made Of? is the first episode from a script written by Robert Bloch, perhaps best known as the author of Psycho. Interestingly, it wasn’t the first script Bloch wrote for the show. Apparently Bloch contributed Catspaw first, when the show asked him for a Halloween special, even though it wouldn’t be produced until the series’ second year. And, to be fair, you can sense that What Are Little Girls Made Of? is a bit more comfortable with the Star Trek conventions than Bloch’s other two episodes. An uncredited re-write from Gene Roddenberry probably helped.

With Bloch’s third script, Wolf in the Fold, serving as a loose adaptation of (or spiritual successor to) his celebrated short story Yours Truly, Jack the RipperWhat Are Little Girls Made Of? stands out among Bloch’s contributions to the show. It’s an iconic episode, one that has undoubtedly influenced the way that we remember Star Trek, serving as the source for all manner of Star Trek memes like Kirk overwhelming a hot android with his sexual charisma, and defeating a less physically attractive robot with a logic puzzle. It features some of the most iconic costuming of the original Star Trek show, and also serves as the root of the whole “what constitutes life?” philosophical strand that would find itself embodied by Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It helps that, like so much of this first season of Star Trek, it is just good pulpy fun.

A cold reception...

A cold reception…

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