I’ve finally done it, watched all the Star Trek episodes in The Original Series. A gap in my nerd knowledge has finally been filled.
In completing this feat (especially watching so many episodes back to back) there are a few things I’ve noticed. Many of things may just be signs that I’m watching a Sci-Fi show from the 60’s. Others might be observations that the creators have also noticed and have fixed in subsequent series. Since I still need to watch the remaining Star Trek movies and TV shows I apologize in advance for anything you might read and feel the need to start nerd raging at your computer screen saying “But they fixed that in ……”
Keep an Eye On Everyone
For as frequent as things go wrong to key members of the crew of the Enterprise you would think that everyone would be watching each other carefully to make sure they weren’t being controlled by some superior being, or infected with some sort of space disease, or body swapped with somebody else. If someone I worked closely with has acted out of the ordinary more than twice with extraneous circumstances I feel like I would always be watching that person rather closely for anything out of the ordinary. It seems that the crew of the Enterprise is always caught with their pants down when these types of situations occur. Even though this happens with some frequency there is in an instance in the episode “Mirror Mirror” where I’m proven wrong. In this episode there is a transporter malfunction (big surprise) and certain members of the crew are transported to a parallel dimension. In this dimension they come face to face with evil versions of themselves. This includes the iconic “Evil Spock” complete with goatee. The audience finds out at the end of the episode that Spock (from the “good” universe) was able to notice the radical change in the crew members when they arrived on the ship. I have to say that I was impressed that the writers thought of this enough to put it in the story.
As a viewer of the show anytime there is some visitor to the ship I immediately distrust them. Especially if it’s somebody who outranks Kirk. This usually ends up with the superior officer throwing around his weight and forcing the crew to do the opposite of what Captain Kirk had previously ordered them to do. Granted this make for good drama, but if you watch the show often and possibly back to back you earn an immediate distrust for all superior officers of Starfleet Command. This also rings true for any officers that have been stranded or left for dead on alien planets, but later discovered to be alive.
Send The Highest Ranking Officers
Keep in mind I haven’t really watched any other Star Trek, but in The Original Series the highest ranking officers on the ship are most likely the ones to be in the landing party. Now I’m not an expert when it comes to military protocols or tactics, but I would think that sending the Captain, the Second in Command, and the Cheif Medical Officer down to an alien planet knowing not much more than that the air is breathable is a smart idea. The landing party usually consists of Kirk, Spock, often McCoy and most likely a few security officers. These red shirts are obviously there to show the danger that the new planet poses. I would think that the combination of lack of knowledge and remaining crew not being trained to command a star ship would make the choice of landing party a little different.
Recurring Show Stories:
There are quite a few types of stories that show up a lot in the course of three seasons. If you were watching these episodes randomly or even when they originally aired you would most likely not even think about it. If you watch all three season pretty much back to back the patterns start to arise. Here’s my list:
The crew meets with characters that seem to have god-like powers.
Some member of the crew acquire god-like powers themselves.
Either most of the crew or a few select members become infected with some sort of disease.
A computer/robot has been programmed to help the universe but at the same time has become too powerful/destructive and Kirk has to destroy it with a logical paradox.
There are quite a lot of things I’ve noticed while watching this amazing series. Some of these observations are the show being victim to 60’s sci-fi, but others I can’t explain:
It’s amazing how many different sentient gas beings there are in the universe.
Everyone is easily knocked out. Mostly by being karate chopped in the back of the head/neck.
Doctor McCoy likes to hang out in the bridge often for no apparent reason
The away team more often than not doesn’t wear any sort of suits on strange planets. I know there are sensors to tell them about the atmosphere, but what about alien diseases.
Man cannot be happy and blissful. He needs to have challenges, pain and something to live for.
Even though a planet is supposedly “uninhabited” they always seemed to beam down in the one place that does contain life.
Phasers are only useful about half the time. One part due to them being taken away, one part they aren’t effective on the enemy and one part being powered down by some greater force.
Future clothes are shiny!
The entire show is a bit sexist. (Especially if you watch the episode entitled “Turnabout Intruder”)
In order to work for Starfleet you need to be able to read a lot of information by looking at a bunch of blinking lights.
It’s alright to make fun of what makes one species different from yours especially when it comes to being Vulcan.
Personally, I don’t know why anyone joins Starfleet in the first place. Unless the Enterprise is the one ship in the fleet that just happens to have the craziest stuff happen to it. If that was case I would transfer to another, less dangerous ship.
Now that Star Trek: TOS has been finished onto Classic Doctor Who episodes. To the T.A.R.D.I.S.!!!!