May 27, 2021 at 5:32 pm #205geektalkKeymaster
A while ago this channel started making Star Trek videos and a modest audience has been watching ever since.
However, those old videos don’t really hold up super well in my opinion so I’ve decided to make some new Star Trek Retrospectives. Part 1 covers the history and quality of Star Trek The Original Series, including in depth behind the scenes info. Enjoy 🙂
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a lot of people remember their firststar trek episodeor their first star trek movie but idon’tfor as long as i can remember it’s justbeen perpetually on tv in its variousformsi grew up watching the original seriesin the next generation and later in myteens watched all of deep space ninevoyager enterprise and then kept up withthe franchise through its more recentincarnationsstar trek helped jumpstart myimagination and helped me figure outwhat i wanted to do with the rest of mylifeit’s a franchise which means a lot ofthings to a lot of different peopleand it all started with one man[Applause]the concept for star trek was of coursecreated by gene roddenberryborn in el paso texas in 1921 his fatherwas a los angeles police officerfrom an early age roddenberry was anavid reader of pulp magazines he was anenormous fan of edgar rice borough’sjohn carter of marsas well as the skylark series by e.esmithin his college years he becameinterested in aeronautical engineeringwhich eventually led to him joining theus army air corpswhere he served during world war iiafter the war and a brief career as apilot for pan-american airwaysroddenberry followed in his father’sfootsteps to become a los angeles policeofficerall throughout his law enforcementcareer however he dreamt of becoming awriterand he would later cite his experiencesas a police officeras one of the major contributors to hismost famous creationwhile working in the police department’spublic information divisionroddenberry was brought in as atechnical advisor on a new televisionversion ofmr district attorney it was from thisrole as an advisor roddenberry was ableto land his first writing gig with thesame show under the pseudonymrobert weasley after successfullycontributing scripts to mr districtattorneyas well as highway patrol roddenberrysaw his chance to pursue his dream andsoonquit his job in the police departmentthroughout most of the 50s roddenberrywould write freelance contributing tonumerous westerns such as have gun willtravelas well as other cop andmilitary-focused showsit was during this time roddenberry metactor deforest kelly as well as actressmajor lee hiddick later known as majelbarrettat the start of the 60s howeverroddenberry set his sights on creatingwriting and producing his own originaltv showthe burgeoning idea for star trek firstentered his mind at this time he oftentalked with friends about the concept ofa racially diverse crewand an airship exploring the worldinspired by jules verne’s master of theworldhowever this idea wasn’t fully formedand instead roddenberry went on tocreatethe lieutenant the lieutenant was amilitary drama following the lives ofseveral personnel on a basewith the backdrop of the unfolding coldwar it was here roddenberry also metfuture star trek producer gene l kuhnas well as actors gary lockwood leonardnimoyand michelle nichols who landed herfirst television role on the lieutenantit was a well-received show but onewhich generated controversy behind thescenes when roddenberry’s goal of aprogressive racial equality messageclashed with the department of defensewhich was supporting the showthese clashes eventually led to thedepartment withdrawing its supportentirelyand with a suddenly much more expensiveseries on their handsmgm and nbc couldn’t commission a secondseasonwith his military drama off the airroddenberry revisited his original ideaof a racially diverse crew on a missionof explorationrather than the jules verne aesthetic hedrew from the pulps he grew up readingparticularly smith’s skylark seriesfor the overall look of the show he tooka heavy inspiration from the landmarkscience fiction film forbidden planetand for the captain of his ship he drewfrom cs forrester’s horatio hornblowernovels to craft the characterby march 11 1964 he had completed a16-page pitchon april 24th he registered the newseries with the writer’s guild ofamerica he titled this new showstar trek[Music]it’s hard to imagine just how differentthe tv landscape was at the timeamerican tv was dominated with thewesterns thrillers and dramasroddenberry had cut his teeth on in the50sthere was very little in the way ofscience fiction at least of the typeroddenberry was envisioning across thepond in the ukdoctor who had only just begun airingits first few episodesin the us the space opera adventureserials of flash gordon and buck rogershad long since passedsci-fi of the time was embodied by highconcept morality plays like the seminaltwilight zoneand the outer limits although they toowere winding down by the mid 60sin general there really was nothing likewhat rodenberg was proposing on tv atthe timewhile his pitch was well received at mgmwho had produced the lieutenantthey didn’t make him an offerroddenberry then took it to desiluproductionsthe company co-founded by actresscomedian presenter producer and writerlucille ballknown for her hit sitcom i love lucyroddenberry took his pitch to head ofprogramming oscar katzand the two began pitching to thenetworks funnily enough their first stopwas cbshowever they were already developingtheir own sci-fi show lost in space atthe timeand so they passed on star trek nextthey took it to nbcallegedly during the meeting roddenberrystruggled to convey his concept to theexecutivesand believed he was blowing it that isuntil oscar katz leapt into theconversationand pitched star trek as a space westerndownplaying the sci-fi elementsit was here the phrase wagon train tothe stars was coinedconvinced by katz’s exciting soundingpitch nbcagreed to greenlight a pilot withproduction at desilu now underwayroddenberry quickly set about assemblinghis team he brought on robert justmanwho was a produceron the outer limits at the time andherbert f solo joined the team from theboard at desiluwa chang was also brought over from theouter limits to supervise much of theproduction design and creature effectsworkfor the music of the show roddenberryapproached composer jerry goldsmithhowever due to other commitments he hadat the time he couldn’t join the projectinstead goldsmith recommended alexandercourage for the jobwhile mostly a music arranger at thetime courage’s work in creating theiconic star trek theme tune speaks foritselfhis work lends star trek an epicoperatic feelquite different from the atmospherictones or bombastic cues of other showsat the timefor the cast roddenberry had written therole of number one with majel barrett inmind and so she was the firstto be cast with the role secured it wasbarrett who recommended leonard nimoyfor the part of spockall three having had a good workingrelationship on the lieutenantroddenberry and nimoy were enthusiasticto collaborate on a new showthe character of james t kirk was yet tobe createdinstead jeffrey hunter was cast ascaptain christopher pikea name inspired by a characterroddenberry had created for the pilotthe wild bluethe cage originally named the menageriewas a costly venture with some accountsstating its price tag is over sixhundred thousand dollarsmore than three times what was normalfor a tv episode of the timeshooting began on november 27 1964and was completed by december 11th afterseveral weeks of post-production workthe very first episode of star trek wasdelivered to nbc[Music]it’s worth noting that for a franchiseknown for its sense of anoptimistic future the cage is a muchmoresomber and gritty story than today’strekkies may expectthe enterprise rather than the flagshipof a mighty fleetis a well-worn vessel staffed by askeleton crewcaptain pike rather than a heroic leadbegins the episode tired of command andthe responsibilities that come with itit’s also worth knowing how emotionalspock seems to be in this episode thecultural concept of the vulcans had notreally fully materialized and nimoyseeing the relatively low energy ofhunter’s performance sought to balancethe dynamic by lending more humorsarcasm and even passion to hisperformance overall the cage is a finesci-fistory with interesting themes and ideasthe enterprise responds to a falsedistress call from a ship long thoughtlostpike is soon kidnapped by a race ofpowerful telepathswho destroyed their world in a longforgotten war in his prison the alienswho name themselves as telosiansconjure telepathic visions to try andforce him into a romantic relationshipwith the only survivor from the crashedship vena in the hopes their union willbirth a slave racewhich could rebuild the telosians homeworld it’s well worn stuff in today’sstar trek but for the 60s this was quitea taboo-busting storymuch discussion surrounds notions of sexand relationshipspossibly threatening the legitimacy ofthe nuclear family of the timequestions are raised as to if humanbehavior despite its advancementcould still be manipulated like animalstrained in a zoojeffrey hunter is a compelling lead inan old west kind of waywhile his dialogue is full of cleverdeductive reasoning and hischaracterization depicts him as aresourceful and cunning man hunter stillembodies the gruff haymaker throwingchisel jawed hero seen in many othershows of the time susan oliver as vinagives a stellar performancea character who’s become completelytrapped by the telosians attempting toenjoy the life she’s been givendespite always knowing it isn’t real shehas strong chemistry with hunter andprovides the emotional anchor for theaudiencethe rest of the cast isn’t as well usedunfortunatelythe character of spock was yet to befully conceived and thus leonard nimoy’siconic screen presencedoesn’t quite appear in the cage evenmajor barrett’s number onelike pretty much everyone else doesn’thave much to do in this episodethe ending is also a little contrivedthe usuallypowerful and near omniscient telosiansare quite easily subdued and captured bythe enddespite its problems however the cage isa solid star trek story thecomparatively large budget allows forsome terrific looking vfxsets and monsters it features a lot oftragedy but also a lot of fascinatingconcepts for the audience to ponderwhile it isn’t anall-time classic of star trek it’s stillone worth several viewings from any avidtrackingthe executives at nbc however weren’t asimpressedit’s easy to create the narrative thatnbc simplyweren’t smart enough for this firstpilot but the truth isn’t that simplethe executives were sold on a spacewestern by the original pitchthis no doubt conjured images of saloonfisticuffs and quick draw shootoutsbut inside spaceships and brandishingraygunsto be sold on this idea and thendelivered a far more cerebral plot whichhas our main hero imprisoned for most ofthe runtimewould be naturally disappointing furthertest screenings failed to convince nbcthat star trek could work as a showand so they decided not to pick up theserieshowever in what is still a very rareoccurrence for network tvstar trek was given another crack at thewhip this go-ahead for a second pilotcame thanks to the co-founder of desiluproductions itselfas mentioned before lucille ball was ahighly successful figure on tv at thetimeduring her career she had often facedrampant sexism and was often pigeonholedinto the kinds of roles she could playher sitcomi love lucy and other comedic work seemstamed by today’s standards but at thetime they were seen as boundary pushingwhen it comes to the depiction of theloyal american housewife allegedly whileball didn’t have much interest in theactual scriptshe was quite taken aback when she sawthe first officer of the enterprise wasa female characterrecognizing the value of such aprogressively minded showshe pushed the board at desoluen nbc togo for a second stab a pilotroddenberry had shown three scripts toboth production companies for potentialpilot episodeswhile they had chosen the cage anotherscript titled where no man has gonebeforewas well liked using some studio notesroddenberry rewrote the script to beturned into a second pilotone such note was nbc’s demand that thecharacter of number one be taken outthere are conflicting stories as to whythis demand was made roddenberryinsisted over the year that it was dueto pure sexism the nbc wouldn’t allowthe first officer of the ship to be awomanother accounts suggest nbc wereconcerned about nepotismat the time roddenberry and barrett hadbegun an affair which several productionstaff were aware ofallegedly this made some nbcuncomfortable and this may have factoredinto their demand to remove thecharacter of number onewhatever the real reason roddenberrycertainly believed it was a regressivedemandand combated this by deliberatelywriting in a more racially diverse crewhe cast nichelle nichols whom he hadworked with on the lieutenantas communications officer nyota uhura healso included an asian character hikarusulu actor george takei was encouragedto see such a non-stereotypical rolebeing advertisedand successfully landed the par itcannot be overstated justhow important the mere inclusion ofthese two characters wasthis was only two years after themonumental civil rights march onwashington dcled by martin luther king jr the angerand violence being dealt to africanamericans and other non-caucasianethnicitieswas forefront in many people’s minds andgeorge takei has often recounted hisexperiences being unlawfully imprisonedin a japanese internment camp duringworld war ii in a chapter of americanhistorymany still try to sweep under the rug tothis dayrounding out the cast where deforestkelly is dr leonard bones mccoyroddenberry had briefly worked withkelly on the pilot 333 montgomery andgot along well with the actorjames dewan joined as engineermontgomery scott the canadian actor hada talent for accents and voicesit was a mutual decision by both duinand roddenberry to make the charactersscottishas doing reasoned the best engineers inthe world were scottishwhen i was younger i used to thinkdoom’s accent wasn’t very accuratethat is until i found out he based theaccent on an aberdonian radiooperator he encountered in world war iifor an attempted aberdeen accent it’sactually not badin fact scotty sounds eerily similar tomy high school chemistry teachersometimesjeffrey hunter had chosen not to returnfor the second pilot after the cage wasmet with a negative responsehunter was unsure about committing toanother pilot for the show and insteadchose to pursue other opportunitiesthe new character of james t kirk wascreatedand roddenberry’s third choice for therole william shatneraccepted the partwhere no man has gone before brings upmany interesting ideas just like thecage didbut it has a brisker pace to its storywhich makes it a more enjoyable startrek yarn we are introduced to theenterprise as it attempts to traverseoutside the galaxy coming into contactwith a mysterious energy barrier whichsoon grants god-like superpowers to oneof the crewthe episode has a much more optimistictone than the cage did a worn out shipand captain are replaced with a colorfulflagship and charming leadfunnily enough it was shatner’s moreexaggerated style of actingwhich prompted leonard nimoy to skewcloser to the more unemotional spock wecome to knowwhile the characterization isn’t exactlyin line with what spock would becomevulcan’s having a lack of emotion isfirmly established here an additionalgreat performance in this episode isgary lockwood as gary mitchell the crewmember who becomes endowed withincredible powershis brief dialogue with kirk manages toestablish a sense of rapport andfriendship before the enterpriseencounters the barrierafterwards his rapidly developingabilities and superiority complexturn mitchell from a friend met withtragedy into a dangerous antagonista quirk of this performance results fromthe thick contact lenses lockwood had towearthe only way he was able to wear thelenses comfortably was by tilting hishead way backthe resulting change in body languageand demeanor enhances the transformationmitchell is going through the headythemes of humanity’s cosmic evolutionare fascinatingif only briefly touched on in this storyinstead the true focusis on the characters the relationshipbetween kirk and his former friendthis gives the episode a strongeremotional core as the audience is givena real relationship to invest innot to mention more action with thefirst appearance of shatner foowhile it doesn’t explore its themes inas much detail as the cagewhere no man has gone before is overallmore entertaining and emotionallyrelatable with a stronger cast more wellestablishedfaster pace and more action nbc wassatisfied with this second pilotand after a few months star trek as a tvshow was finally giventhe green light for the tv show propergene roddenberry brought on several morekey creative leads joining herb solo androbert jasminejean l kuhn a western producing veteranwhose show wagon train was directlycited by oscar katz in his originalpitch and who had gone to create many ofstar trek’s most famousicons was also brought on and finallythe key creative voice of dorothyfontanacredited as dc fontana she had beenhired as roddenberry’s secretary duringthe production of the lieutenantand had contributed eight scripts tovarious shows under a pseudonym for startrek she was promoted to chief scripteditor the day-to-day production of startrek would mostly be handled by jasmineand solo while roddenberry kunin fontanawould contribute most to thestorytelling of the seriesit was this team which would ensure startrek deliver a slew of high qualitystoriesand deliver them well season 1 of startrek iseasily its strongest with many of itsmost acclaimed and most classic storiesappearing in its first yearthe scripts were strong often perfectlywalking the line between complex sci-fiideasand pulpy space adventure fun and whilethe production values are dated todaythe strong design work and colorfuleffects make it highly pleasing to theeyesthis was in large part thanks to thecontributions of matt jeffriesroddenberry first became aware ofjeffries when he viewed the 1957 moviebombers b-52 on which jefferies workedas a production designerthe two men had a terrific workingrelationship and friendshipboth sharing a love of engineering intotal it took geoffrey’s two months tocreate the design for the uss enterprisehe reasoned that the engines of the shipwould be powerful and potentiallydangerousand after consulting with nasa engineerssettled on a modular designthe saucer section taking inspirationfrom the flying saucers he had seen inmany other sci-fi movies and tv showsin the event of the engines becoming adanger jeffrey’s reasoned that parts ofthe ship could be jettisoned to keep thecrewsafe indeed the notion of a saucerseparationwas originally part of jeffrey’s designmany years before it made an appearanceon star trek the next generationwith the nasa consultation establishingthe ship as modularjeffries brought in a few navalinfluences for much of the interiorseven modelling the layout of the bridgequite closely after real us navywarshipswith these elements combined and an eyefor simple aesthetic beautythe iconic starship the enterprise wasbornnow when it comes to choosing episodesto highlight in this video there aremany important ones to choosethere is the enemy below inspired battleof wits between the enterprise and birdof prey in the very first appearance ofthe romulansor the introduction of the klingons anderrand of mercy howeverbeing that the purpose of this new videoseries is to re-examine and improve onmy previous videos discussing thisfranchisei don’t really see a need to come backto these episodes i’ve already examinedthem in detail in my various top 10s andlow revolution serieswhich you can see elsewhere on thischannel so instead i’ve decided todiscuss episodes which i trulylove but aren’t always as widelydiscussed in star trek fandom or in popculturespace seed for example will be anepisode i’ll talk about in depthduring my eventual retrospective on thewrath of khan these are episodes iselect when i want that quintessentialstar trek experienceand one in particular which i’ve alwayscome back to for some sci-fi funis the squire of gothos this was thefirstinstance of what would become awell-worn star trek tropethat of god like alien beings toyingwith the enterpriseor putting its characters through somekind of trial in the squire of gothosthe enterprise encounters trelane analien being who has been observing earthfrom afarand has become quite a fan however dueto some time dilation errorshe still believes earth to be a warlikeworld and assumes kirk to be a colonialconqueror of some kindand delights in goading kirk intoshowing his more savage sidethe true highlight of the episode iseasily william campbell is trelanethe actor is clearly having the time ofhis life in the role his pure joy indiscussing the concepts of war andviolence is both amusingand quite sinister i’d be extremelysurprised if john de lancie didn’t takeinspiration from campbell in craftinghis own mischievous alien cuein star trek next generation it’s alsoin campbell’s performance we get smallclues leading up to the final twistthe way he throws temper tantrums andstomps his feet when he doesn’t get hisway is only made more appropriate whenit’s revealedtrolling is in fact a petulant childwhose playtime has simply gotten out ofhandthe way campbell shifts intonations froma sadistic villain to a spoiled brat ishilarious to watchthe episode is also classic for itsthemes about human savagerykirk’s insistence that humanity is nolonger the barbaric race trilane thinksit isconcretely establishes the optimisticview of this futureat the same time the character whorelishes violence and warfare the mostturning out to be an irritating child isa funny lampooning of such a mindsetwhile the squire of gothos isn’t amongthe most profound star trek storiesit’s certainly one of the most enjoyableromps in the serieshowever similar themes brought up inthis episode would get a more serioustreatment in other episodes which i wantto talk aboutarena is an iconic star trek episode andone which isinstantly recognizable in pop culturefor its climactic gornface-off but while this scene is oftenridiculed as an example of the originalseries dated production valuesit’s actually part of a very strongepisode kirk spock mccoy and a fewothers beamed down to a federationoutpost to discover it has been attackedand destroyed by anunknown alien aggressor after fendingoff the attackers on the ground theenterprise engages the alien craft inhot pursuitculminating in a showdown with the aliencaptain while star trek is largelyinspired by the ray gun pulp adventuresof the hugo gernsbach style of sciencefictionarena is surprisingly brutal and grittyin its depiction of the initial alienattackthe chaos confusion and trauma of theaction is well captured by the scriptand well conveyed by the cast what makesthe episode so gripping howeveris the choice to keep the aliens unseenfor the first confrontation andresultingchase there is a palpable tensionsurrounding the mystery of these aliensand kirk’s apparent drive for revengethat is until both ships are brought toa standstill by another godlike alienracewho set up the one-on-one battle betweenthe two captainsthe final reveal of the gorn captain isactually highly effectiveafter kirk has conjured this image of abarbaric attackereven he seems shocked at the monstrousappearance of his foethe resulting fight choreography is alittle unconvincing but the chases andtraps which follow bring back thattension as kirk realizes how trulyoutmatched he isonly thanks to his intelligence andingenuity is kirk able to take down thegornbut just as he’s about to strike decidesto let his full livedespite the gorn’s monstrous appearanceand actions kirk realizesit too is an intelligent creature whopossibly cares quite deeply for its owncrew and its own peoplethus the god like aliens the metronsdecide to let both captains and bothcrews continue onconvinced they are not as inherentlysavage as they both first seemed it’sperhaps a little contrived but it’sanchored by a strong performance fromshatner who managesto convey his anger and determinationover the attack on the outpost butwithout breaking into his often parodiedoveractingmuch of his actions are based onassumptions and speculationswhich we later find out to be unfoundedit’s a strong script which examines themore savage side of human naturesomething which is also examined in ataste of armageddon sees the enterpriseattempt to establish diplomaticrelations with the planet which has beenat war for over three centurieshowever upon arrival kirk spock andmccoy are confused to seeno evidence of any prolonged war it soondiscovered that this war is foughtentirely with computers all attacks aresimulatedbut the casualties are rendered real viadisintegration machines whichinhabitants of the planet are expectedto enterif they are simulated as being caught inan attack when the enterprise isregistered as being destroyedkirk decides to bring the entire systemdown it’s an absurd premise i’ll giveyou thatwhich stretches the allegory to nearbreaking point but the absurdity is partof what makes its themes and messagesall the more impactfulthe idea of a peaceful cooperation isseen as so impossible by these twoworldsthat they have deemed this system of asimulated war more reasonable theepisode is also noteworthy for a blatantviolation of the prime directivewhich forbids starfleet from interferingwith the internal development of otherculturesbut this is an episode which harkensback to the pulpy ray gun fights andfisticuffs while still delivering apositive social messageit may be a little daft but it’s one ofthe stronger examples of the wagon trainformat the show often went back tojust as the titular wagon train of thatshow would journey to a new town andbecome embroiled in the ongoing affairsof that populaceso too did the enterprise become a keytrigger for change and tragedy to manyplanets have visited throughout itsfirst season[Music]as season one drew to a close nichellenichols was feelingunsure about continuing with the showdespite the importance of her castingshe and george takei were rarely givenmuch agency in the showinstead relegated to backgroundsupporting roles in each story whilekirk spock and mccoy took center stagesince the debut episode many of the casthad been receivingletters from avid fans of the showwriting to their favorite characters inthe seriesleonard nimoy received the mostfollowing his performance in the nakedtimenichols however believed she wasreceiving none until she discoveredmbc execs had ordered all of her lettersto be withheld while no explanation hasbeen given for thisnichols believed this order had racistintentions whichis not hard to believe while performingin star trek nichols had also receivedseveral offers from musical theaterproductionswhich nichols had a background in seeingprejudice from her current joband opportunities elsewhere nicholsdecided to leave the showshe handed in her letter of resignationto gene roddenberry roddenberryshocked at this decision asked nicholsto take the weekendand if she still felt the same by thefollowing monday he would accept theresignationwhat happened next was truly a strangerthan fiction eventi believe it was an naacp fundraiser butit might not have been but ii think it was umand so i went to do this on thatsaturday nightand i had just been taken to the daisand sat downwhen the organizer came over and saidmiss nicholshow are you and he said listenthere’s someone here who saidhe is your biggest fan and he’s lookingcherokee you know and and he said andhe’s desperate to meet you he oncereally wants to meet you so i got i saidcertainly and i stand upand turn and i’m thinking it’s a startrek fanhe said his star trek fan i’m lookingfor a young man who’s a star trek fani turn and instead of fan there’sthis face the world knowswith this beautiful smile on it and irememberthinking whoever that fan isis going to have to wait because dr kingdr martin luther king my leaderis walking toward me and not 10 feetawaywith a beautiful smile on his faceand then this man saysyes miss nichols i am that fani am your best fan your greatest fanand my family are your greatestfans he said we admire you greatly youknowand i he said some more thingsand and the the man on which you’vecreated this rolehas dignity and so forth andand he said you know um[Music]and before he said i said dr king thankyouso much um[Music]and then i got the courage to say and ireally amgoing to miss my co-starsand he said what do you mean deadseriouswhat are you talking about i said welli’ve had anoff he said you cannot and i said well ii’m going to leave star trek because iam going to say have an offerto star in i never got that fari said well i’m leaving star trek he’she said you cannotyou cannotand i felt like that little boy williswhat you talking about dr kingbut you know i didn’t say that nohe said for the first time on televisionwe will be seen as we should beseen every day asintelligent qualitybeautiful people who can sing dance andbut who can go into space who can belawyers who can be teachers who can beprofessedwho are in this day and yet you don’tsee it on televisionuntil now whatever happened come mondaymorning i went to gene and i’m not sureto this day if i knew what i was goingto sayand i told him what happened and i saidif youstill want me to stay i’ll stayi have to and he took out myresignation which was torn into ahundred piecesand handed me the pile and we just stoodthere looking at each otherand i finally said thank you geneand he said thank you nichelle.despite the high quality of its firstseason roddenberry knewstar trek would likely be cancelled dueto its middling ratings at bestanticipating the bad news roddenberryhelped organize a massiveletter writing campaign from fans of theshow asking nbc to renew it for a secondseasonthis campaign was enormously successfulnbc allegedly receivedmore fan mail about star trek than anyother show they had running at the timesome fans even went so far as to picketthe fences of nbcstudios to show their support there wasthis campaign which played a major rolein nbc commissioning a second season butso too did demographicsfor those unfamiliar with how tv nielsenratings work the success of a showdoesn’t solely depend on the amount ofviewersthis used to be the case where ratingswere measured per householdhowever during the late 60s this beganto change with the introduction ofdemographicsage and gender brackets etc as many tvnetworks depend on selling commercialadvertising slots for revenue the mostdesirable demographic for advertisersand therefore for networkswas and still is the 18 to 35 bracketwhile star trek wasn’t scoring highoverall ratingsit was scoring very well in thisparticular demographicand so had the potential to be veryprofitable for the networkalso thanks to the letter writingcampaign nbc was aware that many startrek fans were teachersscientists engineers and otheraccomplished individuals this gave theshow a sense of prestige in terms of whowas watching these two factors motivatednbc to give star trek yet another chanceand renewed it for a second seasonseason 2isn’t quite as good as season 1 butstill contains many great outings forthe show with a slightly reduced budgetit loses a little bit of the wagon trainformat less alien cultures and lesslocation shooting but still a strongseason overallseason two saw the introduction ofensign pavel chekhov played bywalter koenig the character wasoriginally created to fill in for suluwhile george takei was off filming thegreen beretsthe character was intended to appeal toa younger female audience even stylinghis hair to resemble davy jones from themonkeys he was at firstmeant to be a native englishman but bythis point in time the ussr was badlybeating the usa in the space raceso roddenberry decided to make thecharacter russian further emphasizinghis vision of a unitedand cooperative humanity as a youngensign chekhov is quite naive andpassionategetting easily swept up in romances orrising to the threats of bullishklingonsarguably he had a lot more personalityand stronger material than george takeisulu the season premiere amok time is atrueclassic of star trek the crew becomealarmed when spock begins actingemotional and evenviolent when mccoy discovers a chemicalimbalance which threatens spock’s lifekirk demands an explanation from spockhe subsequently reveals that he hasentered his pawnfar a physical condition which vulcansenter into every sevenyears which drives them to return homeand find a mateagainst orders kirk chooses to save hisfriend and returns to the vulcan homeworldmost episodes surrounding spock areterrific storiessuch as season 1’s the galileo 7. asmentioned previously spock became anextremely popular character for hisemotional complexity and according tosome fans was quite the sex symbol so aspock-focused episode where he isemotionally unstable and in need of amate virtually guaranteed anoverwhelmingly positive fan receptionit’s a great character-driven storyrather than an entire planet or thefederation being at stakethe central concern is for spock and hisrelationships with the enterprise crewit’s also the first for many iconicelements in star trekthis is of course the first appearanceof pond far but it’s also the first timethe phrases live long and prosperand peace and long life were said it’salso the first appearance of the vulcansalute which was actually created byleonard nimoy drawing inspiration from ajewish ceremony he once witnessed as achildoverall it’s a strong season premierewhich fans no doubt celebrated aftertheir favorite show was almost taken offthe air for goodluckily more great episodes kept comingthe doomsday machineis one such great episode the enterpriseinvestigates a star system which hasbeen reduced to rubble by analien machine which originated fromoutside the galaxy in its week ofdestructionit has also left the uss constellationand its commanding officercommodore matthew decker a wreck afterkirk and scotty become trapped in theconstellationdecker sees fit to take command of theenterprise to exact revenge on thepowerful doomsday machinethis is a classic moby dick allegorywhich star trek would come back to manytimesguest star william windham gives abrilliant performancea man utterly broken by the horror hehas witnessednot just from the machine itself butfrom his own actions which inadvertentlyled to the death of his entire crewmuch of the episode consists of deckerthrowing the enterprise of the machineagain and againin a desperate attempt to destroy itmeanwhile kirk and scotty worktirelessly to eventuallyregain control of their own starshipbefore it’s destroyedit’s an action-packed episode filledwith extreme tension and tragedythe simplicity of the overall plotallows the focus to remain on thecharacters with only speculations as ofthe origins of this machinebut thus far amok time in the doomsdaymachine are famously strong episodesfrom the original seriesthe next episode i want to highlightisn’t as well renowned but in my opinionreally should be the ultimate computeris one of the firstinstances of star trek really grapplingwith the concept of artificialintelligencehowever rather than the far-reachingimplications of what it means to behumanhow sentience is defined and othersimilar themes brought up in the likesof blade runner or battlestar galacticathe ultimate computer tackles a farolder themedr richard daystrom boards theenterprise to outfit it with them5 an advanced tactical computer systemwhich daystrom hopes could one daycompletely automate ship operationsso that no more crew members need die indeep spacehowever the notion of his position ascaptain becoming obsolete isdeeply troubling to kirk as with mostsci-fi stories featuring aithe m5 eventually malfunctions when ituses live weapons during a war gamesexercisemurdering hundreds on the opposingstarfleet ships the themes of theepisode spin off into many avenues theautomation debate is one which remainshighly relevant to this dayyet there is also the theme ofexploration versus merely acquiringknowledgethe act of human beings journeying intospace to see the cosmos for themselvesbrings with its scientific knowledge yesbut there’s also an emotional componentto it as wellare you only interested in scientificdiscoverysend robots it’s cheaper you don’t haveto bring them homeyou don’t have to feed them at least notfoodthey’ll need energy from somewhere getit from the sunif you only care about science thenthere’s norational reason to send humans reallyfor the cost of sending a human you cansend 100 robotsand robots are getting better smallercheaper fastersmarter all the above but here’s thecatchi’ve never seen a ticker tape parade fora roboti’ve never seen a high school namedafter a roboti never saw a kid read a book about arobot and say gee i want to be thatrobot one daythere’s value of human inspirationit’s less tangible than the thescientific results of an experiment it’smore emotionalit’s more philosophical it’s morecultural it’s morehuman however just like with thedoomsday machine this episode features afantasticguest star william marshall lots ofwilliams in this showas dr daystrom once again this waspretty groundbreaking casting for anafrican american to play such a roleit’s the classic tale of hubris asdaystrom refuses to believe the m5 couldhave any flawsbut what i personally find fascinatingis the revelation that the m5 has haddaystrim’s ownengrams imprinted on its systems inorder to help form its operationalmatrixessentially the machine itself has muchof daystream’s own mind within itthus the failure of the m5 in the storyis notstrictly the result of machines beinginferior to humans but insteadas a result of human fallacies impactinga machinethe episode successfully replicates theterrific sense of tension and brutalityseen in doomsday machine as theenterprise crew watch helplessly astheir fellow starfleet officersare slaughtered by their own ship theending is a bit of a cop-out i’ll admitwith kirk catching the m5 in a logicalloophole which ultimately leads to itsshutdowndespite this flaw however the ultimatecomputer is an episode which i thinkshould be brought up more often by trackfandom what is often assumed to be a madscientistkiller machine story is a lot richer oncloser examinationa strange quirk of season 2 of star trekis the presence of severalparallel earth stories these are storiesin which the enterprise encounters analien worldwhich resembles some historical periodfrom earth for some contrived reasonsometimes it’s due to culturalcontamination someone from earthmanipulating an alien worldother times it’s pure chance that thisworld evolved along almost the exactsame path as earth did which ispretty silly season 2 features severalof these storiesthe only really fun one is a piece ofthe actionin which an alien world has modeled itssociety after prohibition-era gangstersit’s a ridiculous idea but thankfullythe episode doesn’t take itself veryseriouslyinstead reveling in the fun of captainkirk donning a striped suitand brandishing a tummy gun with anover-the-top new york accent otherepisodes unfortunately take the concepttoo seriously tomixed results patterns of force gives usa federation cultural expertwho somehow believed modeling an alienworld on nazi germany was a good ideathe omega glory depicts a post-nuclearworldso exactly like the feared result of thecold warright down to both sides being calledyanks and commies that one wonders whythis wasn’t a time travel episode andbread and circuses simplywastes the idea of a roman empire whichlasted into the 20th century technologylevelit’s likely these stories were acost-saving measurean excuse to reuse props and costumesalready in storageand shoot on standing sets of variousbacklots rather than expensive locationshooting while none of these mentionedstories are awful by any means they werean unfortunate indicator of where theshow would end up[Music]during the run of season 2 star trek wassuccessfully renewed for a third seasonwhich would ultimately prove to be itslast once again the budget was slashedensuring virtually no location shootingfor any episodeswhich severely limited the scope of manystories this season featured some of theworst episodes of the showsuch as the paradise syndrome whichshowcases insulting tropes about nativeamericansas well as turnabout intruder anoutright sexist episode at worstand an awkward unpleasant story at bestmany other infamous examples such as theway to edenand the children shall lead and plato’sstepchildrenwhich is outright embarrassing thismassive step down in quality can belargely attributed to the big changeshappening behind the scenesgene roddenberry gene l kuhn robertjustman herb solo and dc fontanahad been the driving force behind theshow’s strong production andstorytelling however by season threekuhn jasmine and solo all left the showeither beforeor during the season due to theexhaustion brought on by the gruellingscheduledc fontana had found other work writingfor other showsbut still contributed three more scriptsto season 3 which included theenterprise incident one of the strongeroutings for the seasoneven gene roddenberry had become wearyof the demanding joband so took on a less active roleproducer fred freberger was brought onto effectively be the new showrunner butwithout that core creative teamand with a much smaller budget he had anextremely tough task ahead of himover the years however many cast andcrew have blamed the poor quality of theseason on studio meddling for season 3nbc moved star trek to a friday nightslot at 10 pmthe exact time its valuable youngaudience would be out socializing withfriends after a week of work and studyindeed this time slot is also the sameslot which joss whedon’s firefly endedup inand has often been named as the timeslot of death even to this dayit’s quite possible nbc saw star trek assimply too much troublefor its worth while it did score wellwith a valuable demographicits overall ratings had been fallingsince season oneon top of this the fierce letter writingcampaigns constantly made star trek afixture of boardroom meetingsit’s been estimated that the studio wasspending almost a hundred thousanddollars a yearsimply replying to the mountain ofletters they were receiving about startrek as it was an internal policy at nbcto reply to as much fan mail as possibleso it isn’t unlikely certain executivesdecided to try and get the showcancelled so they would never have tohear about it anymoreunlike season 2 season 3 opens with atruly embarrassing addition to star trekcanonspock’s brain while exploring space theenterprise is boarded by an alien womanwho promptlyknocks the crew unconscious when theycome to they discover that spock’s brainhas beenstolen and so kirk takes the enterpriseon a fiercerace against time to retrieve his brainand restore it to his bodystar trek certainly has some outlandishconcepts but this is anabsolutely ridiculous premise for anepisodethere are certain constants in anyuniverse sci-fi or otherwise and theefforts this episode goes toto make this idea sound plausible arebackbreakingbut beyond the central premise the restof the episode is easily some of startrek’s weakest writingfull of worn out cliches and poorlythought out plot pointsfor those curious myself and two friendsactually did a commentary of sorts onanother channel of mine where we reactto all the worst and mostunintentionally hilarious parts of thisepisode ohman i like i like spock’s new nifty headgearyes it looks fear[Laughter]gone[Music]link will be down below either wayspock’s brain remains one of the worstepisodes in all of star trekit’s only valuable in providinginadvertent comedyfor its audience that being said season3 isn’ttotally bereft of good stories there’sthe aforementioned enterprise incidentas well as the debut appearance of thetholians and the tholian webbut this time i wanted to highlight anepisode which is a little controversialin terms of qualityspectre of the gun when the enterpriseintrudes into alien spacekirk spock bone scotty and chekhov arewhisked away to a strange recreation ofthe old west town tombstone where theyare pitted against doc holliday and hisgang in their famous standoffit’s a real head scratcher of a setup asto the exactreasons the alien intelligence has donethis but the scenario plays out in acompelling waythere is a bizarre dreamlike or rathernightmarish quality to the place thecrew have found themselves in with thehalf-constructed western town anoppressive blood-red skyalong with its heavy atmosphere theepisode has a truly gripping sense ofrising tension as kirk and coach trydesperately to avoid the impendingconfrontationthey try leaving the town telling thelocals what’s really happeningconstructing a gas grenade to tip theodds in their favor butnothing works the final solution iseitherfiendishly clever or a deus ex machinadepending on who you askafter evaluating all the facts spockconcludes that they are in such ablatantly unreal placewhere the constant laws of physics don’tapply that the coming shootoutis only a danger if it’s believed to besuch thusthe enterprise crew simply have tobelieve strongly enoughthat they cannot be harmed in this placein order to prevailpersonally i fall into the former ofseeing this as a clever resolution thedreamlike atmosphere i mentioned beforealready enhances much of the episode soit’s a nice twist when the atmosphereends up being a plot point in and ofitself a fresh take on humans evolvingbeyond savage violenceas previously seen in arenaunfortunately by this point the sparkwas goneeven the fans who managed to stay in andwatch were growing increasingly let downby the subparstories being presented to them eachweek the already mediocre at bestratings crateredwith its key demographic gone andremaining viewers no longer happy withthe show’s qualitynbc finally decided the time had comeand canceled star trekthe last episode of star trek wasbroadcast on june 3rd1969 and for all anyone knew at the timethat was it star trek was over foreverroddenberry and the remaining creativestaffmoved on to new projects landing writingand producing gigselsewhere most of the cast were able tofind reliable work on the stage andscreenthey were happy to move on from a showwhich they believed had never achievedhit statusand which had lost its audience but ofcourseas the world knows the story of startrekwas far from over[Music]thank you so much for watching guys ifthis video was a hell of a lot of workas you can imaginei’ll be doing more retrospectives inthis style forevery other star trek installment rightup until star trek beyondso subscribe to make sure you see thosewhen they come outif you like what i do and want to helpme grow the channel you can support meon patreon where you can see videosearlyi’ve also recently started a youtubemembership program which also allows youto see videos earlyand grants you custom emojis such as thedata on acidboth platforms also have access to newbehind the scenes videos i’ll be makingsoon if you’re keen on thatspecial thanks to all of my patrons andmembers who are now appearing on screenhave a good one and as always live longand prosper
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