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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 6:02pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I know Hedford consented, but given that she would die unless she did so, I didn't feel like it was an entirely free choice.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 6:03pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

By the way, "The Empath" was apparently DeForest Kelley's favorite episode, which I find rather fascinating. I presume that its focus on the Kirk/Spock/McCoy friendship (and their willingness to self-sacrifice for each other) had something to do with it.
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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 7:27pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Lights of Zetar was the one written by Lamb Chops, wasn't it?

Spock's Brain was one that I remembered liking as a small kid, but by the time my friend and I re-watched the entire series (without the cuts made for syndication) in the 90s I was taken aback at how awful some of the episodes were.  Spock's Brain was one one that definitely did not hold up. 
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 7:29pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I know Hedford consented, but given that she would die unless she did so, I didn't feel like it was an entirely free choice.

•••

You are working WAY too hard at missing the point.

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 8:00pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply


Yup! Apparently Ms Lewis had hoped to play the Mira Romain part herself.

********

Well, how ‘bout that?
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Charles Nelson
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 8:03pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Does anyone remember the Wonder Years episode that had Kevin's daydreams incorporating "Spock's Brain"? My family (kids and all) say "brain and brain! What is brain?" on a pretty regular basis.

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John Byrne

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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 8:14pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I remember that WONDER YEARS episode all too well. It confirmed me fear that civilians remembered TOS only for its failings.
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Charles Nelson
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 8:53pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

From my end, it's more like a beloved member of the family or close friend. You may tease him/her about the "failings" ,but that you had paid such close attention proved your goodwill and appreciation.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 January 2018 at 10:30pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The sequence in question:

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 08 January 2018 at 7:43am | IP Logged | 10 post reply


 QUOTE:
I'll take Charles Napier having a groovy time...

Indeed, Greg, and that brings up another factor that keeps me from rating "The Way To Eden" among my very bottom least favorites, since I grew up in those "groovy" times: nostalgia.
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Charles Nelson
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Posted: 08 January 2018 at 8:41am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Thanks, Greg! I haven't seen that in quite awhile.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 January 2018 at 12:21pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

For me, the criteria is simple: would you introduce a "rookie" to STAR TREK via this episode? I wouldn't. ("By Any Other Name" would be an episode, along with "The Gamesters of Triskelion", that I'd introduce).

And this applies to any kind of show. Never introduce a "rookie" to classic DOCTOR WHO by showing them something such as "The Romans" or "The Happiness Patrol".

If you don't think an episode would hook a "rookie", or bring them back to watch other episodes, then it's a no-no.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 08 January 2018 at 12:46pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I'd go for "The Corbomite Maneuver" as the ideal introductory episode.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 08 January 2018 at 1:43pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I introduced my then 6 year old son to Star Trek via "The Arena." The Gorn got him!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 January 2018 at 9:37pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I agree that "The Corbomite Maneuver" is probably the best episode show to a first-time viewer. It's STAR TREK boiled down to its most essential themes and style.

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John Byrne

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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 7:25am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

It's curious (as noted before) that one of the most popular episodes, if not THE most popular, is "City on the Edge of Forever", which is a fantastic story, as filmed, yet the least STAR TREK of any of the 79. It gives only a hint of what the series is really about.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 8:14am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

 "City on the Edge of Forever",

...

Although still very powerful after dozens of viewings, I wish I could see it for the first time once again.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 11:15am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

It's curious (as noted before) that one of the most popular episodes, if not THE most popular, is "City on the Edge of Forever", which is a fantastic story, as filmed, yet the least STAR TREK of any of the 79. It gives only a hint of what the series is really about.
+++++++++

I was just thinking about this very thing, the other day. "City" features time-travel (which sits outside the usual parameters of a STAR TREK story), and the Enterprise barely appears in it. Yet, it's a smashing success because of the depth of story and characters. The problem is that a lot of the usual elements are missing for the bulk of the episode. McCoy isn't himself. The ship and the uniforms barely appear in it. It's mostly set in the past.

It's also hard to find one great episode which balances out the three key elements that people associate with STAR TREK--shipboard drama, planetside drama/action, and space battles. Usually, it's either one or two of those elements contained within a single episode, but rarely all three. Off the top of my head, "Arena" probably comes closest to finding that balance.

"The Corbomite Maneuver" is fantastic, but is totally shipbound. "Balance of Terror" doesn't have any planetside action, either. "The Immunity Syndrome" is excellent, but has no guest-stars, and no planet action. "Space Seed" has no planet action. "Amok Time" features Spock acting wildly out of character for most of the runtime. "Mirror, Mirror" features evil versions of the ship and half of the main cast, and doesn't really represent what the show is about. Etc., etc.

It's hard to find one single episode which contains "all you need to know about STAR TREK"! TOS is more about a gradual accumulation of bits and pieces throughout a wide spread of stories and moments.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I would still put "Corbomite" at the top of the list for introducing a new viewer. It may be "missing" planetary action, but anyone not familiar with the usual dynamics would hardly miss that -- and would still find the most prominent features of Roddenberry's pitch well represented.

It's even one of the very few episodes where they really do go "where no man has gone before"!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 11:51am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Exactly. "Corbomite" blew me away as a kid, and it's very much a "gold standard" episode of TOS. Maybe even THE "gold standard" episode.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 12:30pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

 
 QUOTE:
"City on the Edge of Forever"

Great episode but not a great intro to the series. It's so much, much more powerful when you have spent two dozen episodes learning about, and, crucially, learning to care about, the characters. It's hardly that the episode would otherwise lack any impact if it was the first one viewed -- but with that background...!

For similar reasons, although I love "Shore Leave" and even more "Amok Time" and "Mirror, Mirror," e.g., I wouldn't ever chose those as the first episode ever to view.



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Doug Centers
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 12:57pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

You can't go wrong with "The Corbomite Maneuver" as your first episode.
I prefer the first episode I remember seeing. "The Man Trap", you get landing parties, dangerous alien, plenty of the bridge and other parts of the Enterprise. A nice introduction to the crew. Great Sci-Fi.

Then we can get to "Balance of Terror" next  :-)
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 3:27pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Worth mentioning - with any show - is that a really cracking episode may not necessarily be the best for introducing "rookies".

I mean, I love "Trial of a Time Lord" (DOCTOR WHO, Colin Baker era). It makes perfect sense and adds to the mythos when you have been following the show. But good though the dialogue is, and the storyline, it would be utterly impenetrable to a newcomer.

As far as STAR TREK is concerned, I like "The Menagerie". It works well if you've followed the show and watched many different kinds of episodes. But would it work as well to a Trek newcomer? I don't think it would.
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Charles Nelson
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I think "Devil in the Dark" makes a great introduction - suspense, "new life-forms", cool Vulcan stuff, the wonderful twist with the metal balls. It may have been the first one I showed my son. I know it was one of the first ones.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 11 January 2018 at 6:59am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Looking for a "perfect" episode to serve as an introduction to the series, there are several points of which one should keep aware. Remember, after viewing, the newcomer is likely to ask "Is every episode like that?"

This is why "The Devil in the Dark" -- one of my most favorite episodes -- falls short as an introduction. First, it's a "monster of the week" story, which was atypical for TOS (even tho NBC chose to launch the series with just such a tale). Second, that "cool Vulcan stuff" would be a distracting element for a brand new viewer.

Mort Weisinger, the (in)famous DC editor used to say "Every issue is the first issue for somebody." That same rule applies here. Finding an episode which introduces without overloading.

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