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.