The Original Series (TOS) Season 3 Guest Reviews
Stardate 5031.3: Synopsis in main TOS listing
As Bernd pointed out this episode is one that you remember being better than it actually is. There are some good ideas here, such as Kirk appearing to lose his sanity or the Enterprise being surrounded by three Romulan vessels. However, the writing lets the ideas down and we are left with a turgid mess of inconsistency, coincidence and improbabilities. Spock's liaison with the Romulan commander is really embarrassing, e.g. Vulcan food would tempt him to switch sides, the love making scene with the fingers is just cringe making, and the "would you like to hear my name" (whisper whisper) plain laughable.
The Romulan commander comes across as a weak woman who is infatuated and cannot command her ship or crew properly. That is a shame as a strong woman is what the commander should have been written as.
The escape of the Enterprise is all to easy, although the updated SFX do give the episode a bit of a lift. But even good SFX cannot rescue this. It also looks as if the production is also losing its way. Kirk and Scotty look puffy and sweaty, there is no care or attention here. Season 1's Kirk was dashing and properly groomed. Season 3's Kirk is past his sell by date. There is a lot more in the episode to pick at, right down to the horrible music.
It is a pity but this effort seems par for the course for season 3... shame...
Rating: 3 (Simon)
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main TOS listing
Hmm, reading Bernd's review sums this up well - it's so stupid it's hilarious for all the wrong reasons.
On paper it's an interesting idea - aliens steal a member of the crew's brain, and the crew have to get it back. In a way this is similar to VOY's "Phage" episode, only in that case the reason and the plot is so much better; unlike this.
The episode is like a kitbash of dreadful B-movies; the aliens - think "The Wild Women of Wonga"; said women traveling in a ship that bears a resemblance to a sex toy (in the original), the plot so Plan 9 from outer Space, Spock being the robot-zombie from so many such films like "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", or "The Creeping Terror", and Bones reattaching Spock's brain back into its body - by said brain; yeah...
Hmm, no wonder so many mock this. There is plenty here to enjoy for the wrong reasons, lots to scoff at, and if one is in the right frame of mind, it's so bad it's good.
Alas, episodes like this mock the intent of the franchise. It also proves that no matter the greatness of special effects in the re-mastered one, it still is rubbish, and thus I give it 1 point for entertainment value; for all the wrong reasons.
- Remarkable facts:
- This episode is regarded by many fans and those involved as one of Star Trek's worst and is forever remembered. In his memoirs Star Trek: Memories, William Shatner regards it as one of the worse he ever worked on - a later autobiography Up Till Now, he called the episode's plot a "tribute" to NBC executives who slashed the show's budget and placed it in a bad time slot.
- Leonard Nimoy, in his 1995 book I am Spock, writes that "frankly during the entire shooting of that episode, I was embarrassed – a feeling that overcame me many times during the final season of Star Trek." (see p.115)
- Star Trek co-producer Robert H. Justman is the one who came up with the idea for Bones to put Spock's brain back into Spock, by Spock's brain...
- In "The Wonder Years", this was mocked in a dream sequence where the males dressed like Star Fleet officers and the girls like the primitives on the planet.
Rating: 1 (Chris S)
Stardate not given: Spock loses his brain. Spock gets his brain. The end.
This episode is literally so bad that it's good. Yes, it has a mountain on flaws, scientific impossibilities, and plain silliness, but it still manages to entertain to some extent. "Spock's Brain" is one of the earliest episodes of TOS that I remember seeing as a child and I still have some sentiment attached to it. Nevertheless, I've looked past that in recent years and what I found was the craziest, most outlandish plotline in all of TOS.
- Remarkable quotes:
- "Brain and Brain, what is brain?!"
- "You are not Morg, or Eymorg."
- Remarkable fact: Women are the bringers of pain and delight.
- Nitpicking: Even though McCoy has obtained the knowledge that will help him reconnect Spock's brain to his body, it would probably take him days or even weeks to actually reconnect every individual stem and brain cell. Also, even though Scotty seems amazed by the alien's ion engines, claiming that "they could teach us a thing or two", ion propulsion is very slow and makes traveling from one star to another for our modern space probes a centuries-long journey.
- Remarkable censorship: The stone-age surface dwellers are wearing neatly-knitted sweaters for some reason.
- Unremarkable communication: Kirk continuously asks the Morg leader about Spock's brain, even though she doesn't know what a brain is.
Rating: 1 (David B.)
Whom Gods Destroy
Stardate 5718.3: An admired ex-fleet captain named Garth of Izar is the newest addition to a Federation funny farm, however he's learned a (unbelievably perfect, see below) shape-shifting technique which he uses to overrun the colony, draw the Enterprise to the planet, and declares himself king of the universe, intending to use the big E to take over everything.
Wow. Only a minor plot device and some good (and just humorous) acting try to save this crap.
First of all, even with cellular metamorphosis, how can Garth change his clothes, which are not part of his body? Not to mention his voice shouldn't sound exactly like the person he's impersonating. And even with how psycho he is, he should know he can't reach the entire universe, considering they can't reach the rest of the galaxy. And why can Garth not remember anything of taking over the asylum after getting his insanity medication?
However, it is refreshing to see for once, that there's some kind of a preventive measure for starship takeover. However, I wonder why it's put in place, since they had no idea of Garth at the time of arriving. Otherwise, a predictable episode.
- Remarkable acting:
- It's actually believable that Garth and Marta are nuts, without the acting being ridiculously stupid.
- Watching William Shatner as Garth throw a temper tantrum when he realizes that taking over the Enterprise will not be easy.
- (Un)remarkable special effect: Garth shapeshifting, it's just the camera going out of focus
- Continuity error: The medicine to cure insanity seems to be gone by "Star Trek III", as a Federation guard tells Kirk McCoy's going to an insane asylum.
Rating: 4 (Ako Widorn)
The Way to Eden
Stardate not given: Synopsis in main TOS listing
To be fair, "Way To Eden" is probably not as bad as you'd expect for an episode whose basic plot outline can be summed up as 'Space hippies take over the Enterprise'. But, really, that's not saying much. First of all, trying to 'take on' the issue of hippies was probably a bad idea to begin with; after all, the philosophy espoused by Roddenberry (and, by extension, the crew of the Enterprise) is almost the complete opposite of the basic hippy mindset. But, even so, it would still be possible to create an interesting episode, by contrasting exactly these two differing mindsets, with perhaps a few insightful comments about the pros and cons of such beliefs. To put it simply, "The Way To Eden" is simply not that episode. And the main problem, predictably enough is the hippies themselves. Almost by definition, for the hippies eventual tragic ends to have any meaning, the audience has to, on some level, sympathize with them and their 'quest'. But, at least in my case, this simply didn't happen. Almost the opposite, in fact; by the end of the episode, I hated everything about them. And this is partly the fault of the writer of this episode; when you're trying to make someone sympathetic, its generally not a good idea to have them immediately tick off the most popular regular character on the show. By the time Spock's ill-fated 'fascination' with the movement begins, the audience is already lost, and, as a result, this plot thread just comes off as plain weird. And all of this is not to mention the horrible, unbelievable way in which they overpower the Enterprise crew, making every single regular character look like an idiot, and, of course, Irina's atrociously fake Russian accent. Overall, not a great episode.
- Error: Strangely enough, a man-made bridge appears in the background of the supposedly primitive 'Eden' planet.
- Quote: "I reach." (Spock)
Rating: 1 (Nathan)