Thursday, June 19, 2014

Star Trek: S1E3 Where No Man Has Gone Before review

I can appreciate that this was a really early roll of the dice that just got scrambled in release order, but that doesn't really excuse how much it isn't very good at all. It's my own fault, though.

So this episode dwells far too much on the two characters we're probably never going to see again. That's a flaw. Obviously the red uniforms haven't come in yet, so no help to me on the solutions count there. The episode claims that Mr. Spock is part human, and I don't know if that's going to stick. I see that they managed to keep the interest in Ridiculous Space Chess going, though. Also, for the record, the whole purple border of the galaxy thing is really quite stupid.

No McCoy and no Uhura means no good. The fellow who's substituting for McCoy has neither character nor charisma and I'm pretty sure we're never seeing him or the other useless "department heads" again. Except Sulu, who got a promotion to Not Background Character. Good on him, I say. Also Janice wasn't here, even though they had another blonde basically standing in her spot.

I should really learn to be less specific; I did say super-powerful aliens, so I kind of brought that on myself, but really they did two of the same sort of thing in one season and didn't think it would be a problem? Someone's got to get their head examined. I'll give them the silver eye effect, that was pretty cool. In the end, though, it seemed like an episode devoted to forcing the Captain into an artificially hard choice and then getting part of his shirt ripped off to show that science fiction can appeal to the ladies as well. Seriously, he wrestled a psionic god. He's nuts.


  1. Yeah, this should have been the first one watched. It was after this episode that Bones joined the crew. The uniforms and doctor in this episode were hold-overs from the original Star Trek pilot, which had a different captain as well. (This episode was basically the 2nd pilot and start of the 3 year run of the show.) There's an episode coming up that references the original pilot and uses clips from it, which you may or may not watch. (Honestly, I recommend Balance of Terror, then Space Seed, then Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan to continue your Star Trek viewing).

    1. My fault for going in the order from the disc. I'm going to switch to the list Roomie gives me as soon as I run aground of a real stinker.

    2. I'm told the third season had most of the real stinkers--was this the reason it was the final season instead of the five years promised in the intro? So you might find yourself jumping to the movies from there. Of course back when I watched this show, I wasn't very critically-minded and didn't have access to reviews like this, so I was sometimes shocked to learn what was considered a stinker by the Internet in this past decade. That fifth Star Trek movie? Seemed pretty cool as a kid! Spock's Brain? Such an intense brain operation!

  2. Basically Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy are the main characters of the show and are guaranteed to be in every episode. Other crew members like Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, the blonde Yeoman woman in the blue dress with the funny weaved updo, and (later) Chekov are side characters who never leave the show but aren't guaranteed to make an appearance.

    Mr. Spock is indeed half human and half Vulcan, though he identifies far more strongly with his Vulcan side. The 60's show focuses much more on his Vulcan side, but movies and later material tend to shift the focus to his internal struggles with just how human he is, particularly regarding whether or not he feels emotions (some episodes of the show bring up this question, but it's much less of a focus overall).

    The shirt/dress colors are loose categories of crewmember. Blue is science/medical. Red is engineering/security/communications. Yellow is command. If you look closely, the three colors also have different symbols inside the arrow insignia on their chest. The Red Shirt jokes spring from the fact that if a landing party is sent to the planet, any male character with a red shirt (except Scotty) is guaranteed to die at some point in the episode.

    I would say don't count on Star Trek to be anywhere near scientifically accurate. It's much more of a philosophical exploration show than a realistic science show.

    Also, it's an episodic series, which means that (except in the case of a couple two-part episodes) you can watch them in literally any order. None of the episodes reference each other and they don't occur in chronological order. Although release order seems like a reasonable way to go about it.