LB-FI: Star Trek TOS s01e04 — Mudd’s Women

Boring Intro Section: If you hadn’t read the first in this series, check it out here. I’m posing a few comments about how terribly corny ST:TOS is from the perspective of a Trek fan who has seen a bunch of the later series episodes but not really much of the original — and liveblogging my experience, incredulously watching the originals for the first time.

So here we go.

A potato chip is moving in a weird pattern across the viewscreen. The stars are speeding by as if they are traveling at warp, but the potato chip seems to be moving as if it sliding across a flat surface.

Somehow there is “an asteroid belt” way out in space. Not a cloud of asteroids, not a debris field — an asteroid belt. Yeah. As the camera cuts back to the viewscreen between remarks, the same three asteroids (same in shape, direction of movement, and identically lit by some mysterious source from the middle of nowhere) swoosh by.

The main title comes up, and it’s the first time the 5-year mission line comes up. Nifty.

A light bulb above the bridge goes out, and after a long pause, Sulu says that a “lithium circuit” has gone out. Not what made it go out or anything, just that it did. The light comes back on somehow with no explanation, and periodically goes out again with Sulu repeating every time that “another lithium circuit” has gone out. I think we get the idea, but Sulu insists on explaining it each time.

The potato chip starts to explode, as the same three asteroids swoosh by.

The Spock-Scotty-Bones trio are in the transporter room with Grinny McMoustache (whom they’ve just beamed aboarD) and the new guy doesn’t seem at all phased that his ship has blown up, or the fact that they nearly lose the transporter signal for the three babes. Spock seems to stifle a reaction to the babes. The trio exchanges peculiar glances with the babes. Spock crosses his arms, and Kirk’s intercom inquiries go unheeded.

As the babe trio walk down the corridors, a heavy swaying trombone tune plays and all the guy crewmen are going bug-eyed. Even a guy who is climbing up a ladder (and couldn’t have even seen them coming) climbs back down for a second to sneak a gander. The babe trio and Moustache McEarring enter Kirk’s quarters.

Kirk: Well it’s about time… what the.. is this your crew?
Smirking Tubby Man: No, cap’n, this be me cargo!
Kirk: *bites fist*

Spock sure seems to make a lot of emotional facial gestures, for all his drab about being so keen with the compartmentalization. I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised if he started doing the Cabbage Patch while plainly stating that the engines are overheating.

Leo Walsh (the Moustache guy), a reject from the tryouts for the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, smirks as he’s being sent away to quarters and confined there.

The quarters are actually just some old storeroom with a conference table, and the girls are there and start asking questions. The one in the frilly dress probably wanted to ask where her pants were.

So apparently the light bulb bit from earlier occurred a zillion more times off camera, and now the ship will barely be able to function without that particular light bulb. It’s off to Rygel-something to get more lithium bulbs for Sulu’s amusement.

There’s a hearing for Leo, and the computer rejects Leo’s name when stated. How the computer knows this? No idea. Leo tries to explain himself in a rapidly changing accent. The computer brings up a “police record” of Leo, whose real name is Mumbledymumbledy Mudd, and as the screen brightens with the data, the computer voice even says what it’s doing, “Full record appearing on screen.” Oh really? Is that what this is? Captains of a freaking space ship somehow need to be told instead of just figuring it out.

While Mudd is murmuring his defense, the crew and the babes sneak glances as chimes go off and bells ring.

When scanning the females, the computer decides, on its own, just to mention, by the way, however, that the federation males are getting sweaty. I thought we were scanning the babes here? What kind of computer is this, offering data on unrelated topics?

Crewperson: Computer, scan hallway for my date. She was supposed to be here 10 minutes ago.
Computer: Not found. And those shoes don’t go with those pants. And the lasagna tastes terrible anyway.

The last lithium crystal goes out, and the ship is running on battery power. Fatso Mudd props his feet up on the desk and we see that his boots are too short, but he’s still hopeful.

Meanwhile, the dark haired babe strolls into the medical bay, whereby Bones turns into a seven year old. She walks past a medical scanner that Bones just turned off, and the lights begin flashing as the xylophone and flutes play in the background.

Bones: Whoa! Blinking lights! I just.. what?
Babe: Hmm?
Bones: Walk back over there.
Babe: *walks*, *lights flutter*
Bones: Why lights go blinky? Are you wearing radioactive perfume?
Babe: Nope, *walks out*
Bones: WHY LIGHTS GO BLINKY?

Meanwhile, Talkative Blondie just so happens to be lying down when Kirk enters a room.

Blondie: Oh, my bad.
Kirk: HURF DURF DURF
Blondie: It’s just that all those guys were gawking at me.
Kirk: I.. er.. it’s just.. uh.. heh.. I.. umm..
Blondie: You’re so brave! Look at you, all captainy.
Kirk: ^_^;;
Blondie: Oh, poo! I can’t keep this act up! *storms out*
Kirk: Aroo?

The frilly blonde with no pants walks temptingly down the hall to the storage room quarters and gives Mudd some details. Mudd rubs hands together and nearly breaks out into full-blown MUAHAHA when Talkative walks in and is all something about “nearly time.”

Cut to the bridge, where Bones whispers about the scanner blinking, even with a falsetto “bloop!” noise, and Kirks is like, what? Bones just shrugs and doesn’t explain himself. Next scene.

Mudd is somehow able to communicate with the lithium colony on the planet, and seems to work out some kind of deal, without Kirk knowing about it.

The ship enters orbit around a blue-ish Palantir, and Spock notes that they can only stay in orbit for three days. Come again? It doesn’t take power to stay in orbit, Mister Science Officer. It was my understanding gravity keeps you there, no?

Cut to the store room, and the babes suddenly don’t have makeup and look older for some reason. The babes are all, “we’re turning ugly again! give us the precious!” Er.. I mean, “give us pills so we can be pretty again!”

There’s actually a clever transition here, where Talkative blondie is clutching the red crystal pill, with a rough jump to Spock handing over a broken lithium crystal.

The lithium dealers enter and talk business. They want only to trade them for the gals, and will trade them only to Swindles McGee. Kirk says NO WAI and then Fakers McAccent enters with the recently pilled ladies. He mutters something and is on the verge of MUAHAHA before we break for commercial.

Cut to the interior of the mining cave, which strangely has a window cut into the side in the shape of a square, but with nothing covering it. They had to dust themselves off when they came in, and there’s dust blowing outside, but ladies seem to repel dust.

Frilly Blonde: Dance with me, random person!
Random Person: HURF DURF DURF

Talkative Blondie rejects an offer to dance and coughs from dust inhalation. Rejected dude cuts in on Random Person’s dance, Random says NO WAI and a fight ensues. Talkative runs out into the dust storm currently ravaging the paper mache planet. Someone offstage lights a bunch of road flares that FSSSSHHH loudly, which means there’s an electrical storm.

Talkative trudges along in close-up view past the same paper mache corridor a few times, gagging ambiguously over either the dust storm, or the fact that more was spent on costume design than sets. The miner who was bargaining earlier pauses for some dramatic squinting.

Kirk decides, forget this, I’ll just beam aboard our ship that is low on power, and use our ship that is low on power to scan with sensors that have trouble detecting stuff through the dust storm, making the computer work harder on our ship that is low on power. Scottie states the obvious, eliciting a smarmy remark from Kirk.

Negotiator miner finds babe, lugs her into random low-ceiling cave with a bed in it. Lies down on a bench somewhere else.

Cut to Enterprise, with 40-something minutes left. Kirk facepalms (and I take a screenshot to use on 4chan later). Spock finds something, and Kirk hops to it.

Cut to sub-cave, where Talkative is cooking stuff. They exchange ungrateful remarks, and Talkative suggests a very terrible idea for cleaning pans, and Dooftard Negotiator tries it. Clearly trying to fill up the timeslot here.

Negotiator comes back in to find that the Mascara Pill has worn off, and Talkative is trying to play “double jack” with circular playing cards. Negotiator offers a solitaire move, to no effect. He mentions sidelong, “why are you ugly now?” and just before he draws a punch the cave door swings.. wait. CAVE DOOR? SWINGS OPEN? So it swings open, and a throughly unfair conversation takes place with the ugliness of the woman in question while the woman is sitting there within hearing range. Moustache McLiarpants explains about the Venus drug, and Negotiator mutters, “You mean the others… look like SHE does?” HELLLLLLLLO. She’s RIGHT THERE.

Something is mentioned about the other miners now already being married to the other two babes, and nothing is really explained about this “subspace radio marriage,” especially during a magnetic dust storm. The philosophical implications of having to register marriages over subspace radio while you’re on your own separate planet are almost too staggering to contemplate and don’t progress the story, so we just cast it aside as if it were nothing, but binding.

Woman stands up, grabs drug, gulps a few, suddenly has mascara and long lashes, freshly arranged hairdo, and sultry voice. Is this what you want? IS IT?

Kirk’s turn for MUAHAHA. We’ve secretly replaced your regular Venus drug with new Folger’s Chewables. “You believed in yourself, and you did it! *insert happy music, and possibly Captain Planet theme song*

Kirk hails Enterprise, which is still somehow running, to beam him and Handlebar McMoustache aboard, and to send a different landing party to get the crystals. I seem to recall in future TNG eps where a ship on low power (much less a ship that should have run out of power ages ago) can’t use the transporters. Hmmm..

Kirk pulls open the SWINGING CAVE DOOR that is over a foot thick, as if it were as light as say, paper mache — using THE HANDLE, and the two walk out, even though there’s a magnetic dust storm and they could have just beamed through the window.

Show wraps up with a friendly round of jokes between Kirk and Bones, into which Spock adds a remark, while smiling, that his internal organ arrangement, different from humans, “pleases me to no end.”

WHAT

Advertisements

LB-FI: Star Trek TOS s01e03.. Corb-Ugh-Might!

I consider myself a fan of the Star Trek universe, but I could just never get “in” to the original series. I’ve taken it upon myself to watch the entire first season, and unable to find good enough discussion about it online, I’ve opted to just liveblog my impressions. I’m already halfway through the third episode, though.

As a little backstory, I first began watching TNG when it first aired and I was hooked. I couldn’t get into DS9 much at all, and I caught the VOY bug only after Kes left. ENT was decent, if we exclude that shart of a final episode. ST:ENT’s “Twilight” episode (s03e08) is quite possibly one of my most favorite Star Trek episodes ever, series-wide. I like complicated story lines, and time-related episodes, and Q is my favorite Star Trek character (good or bad) of all time. I’d seen a few episodes of TOS before this, but pretty much only the popular ones like Mirror, Mirror and Amok Time — maybe 6 total.

I began watching the first season after seeing a parceled out version of some first-episode special on YouTube where Gene Roddenberry was hosting and explaining a little about it. “The Cage” was in black and white and partially snipped into color for bits that were used from “The Menagerie,” or so he explained. It seemed cool enough at the time from the pilot, but now I’m not so sure. I’m only up to half of episode 3 and I’m already feeling like this was a rotten idea.

I’m watching these episodes with a significant amount of Trek trivia in tow, largely from watching the later episodes and movies. I’m not really at all taking into account that TOS is anything (new/amazing/cool/etc) “for the time in which it was produced” but almost purely upon the idea of how neat/dumb it is in comparison with the rest. As of now, the 2009 “Star Trek” movie hasn’t come out, but I’m thinking that if people are going to watch TOS then go see the movie, they’re in for a treat because frankly, Hee-Haw might be a pinch more fun to watch. It’d be like watching a Rockem Sockem tournament for days, then seeing Robot Jox afterward.

A few notes from the third episode, “The Corbomite Maneuver” so far:

(a) How is it that, 18 hours later, their first plan of action is to move away? Shouldn’t that have come up in like, the first hour?
(b) I was unaware the Enterprise could enter warp going backwards. There’s this wretchedly unimpressive probe buoy thing blocking them, and they go to move away from it, so it starts chasing them. I presume they’re traveling in an orientation with the saucer section ahead of the nacelles, but as the buoy-thing nears closer and chasing them at warp speeds, Kirk finally (after an absurdly length dramatic pause) orders phasers to shoot it, but the phasers come out the front. If the buoy was chasing them, they must have been traveling nacelles-before-saucer. I knew they could go full reverse, but warp speed backwards?
(c) They seem to use the all-crew call way too much. I can imagine some random grunt crewman thinking, “Dude, shut up! I’m trying to reconfigure the starboard manifold array here, quit doing an all-call and telling me about your nonsensical updates. I’ll check your Facebook status if I want to know some stuff.”
(d) They’ve used paper for status reports on occasion. PAPER.
(e) The aliens, who can speak to you in English in an ominous voice, bother with saying things like, “we give you ten earth time periods you call minutes” when “minutes” should have just translated anyway.

Okay, now I’m watching, just when Bailey erupts into a tirade with 8 minutes left in the alien countdown.

I can’t really figure out what the purpose of the countdown is. Why give someone a timer until their doom, and not just doom them and be done with it?

They wasted an entire dial on just a countdown minutes/seconds timer? Couldn’t they have put that someplace else than right next to Sulu/random-helmsman? What’s Scotty’s purpose of being on the bridge — he’s just standing there grimacing. Isn’t there some dilithium crystal intake port that he could be scanning?

They just broke away from the miniature ship, and immediately Scotty pops in to say hello and that oh, by the way, the engines are jacked up. Where is engineering, just outside the door? Could he not have just intercom’d to the bridge instead of going up there? If they’re so jacked up, why did he go all the way up there?

The transporter sounds have somehow magically been replaced by the noise that the shimmying plants made back on the planet from the pilot.

We’ve secretly replaced your regular alien captor with new Folger’s child actor with an adult voice dubbed in. Let’s get their reaction. The reaction: zOMG TROLLED! Child-actor alien uses classic Internet troll defense when encountering actual reason: “Oh, you see, that was just a test of your reasoning! I see you can reason (better than me) so the test is over! Conflict over!”

So now we’re making a deal: “I’ll lend you one of my crewmen who could make some good conversation with Dub-boy, and who just so happened to have earlier flown off the handle and would actually make a terrible representation of our cultures. Would you happen to know any volunteers, Ensign Expendable?

And now, everything’s dandy.

WHAT