I’m two episodes into my Trek trek (see what I did there) and so far – so great!
I’ve yet to watch the unaired pilot episode of “The Cage” – so the first ever full TOS episode I’ve ever seen was “The Man Trap” and right away there were a few things that I noticed.
The first one is that the show as a series doesn’t really have a starting point. There is no “Welcome to Star Trek this is what we’re all about” episode where we meet the folks and what they do. This episode just brings us directly into their world as if we’ve been there for a couple years.
Whether it was mean to be that way, or whether the episodes were aired out of order, or whether “The Cage” actually handles the welcoming that was never seen I do not yet know – but I thought it was something worth a mention.
I also noticed that the famous crew wasn’t fully together. There was no Scotty or Chekov. I seem to remember knowing they weren’t there from the start, but I don’t know when they do come it (nor do I want to).
It appears the Big Three of the Enterprise are Kirk, Spock, and Bones – and when I think about it, I suppose they’ll always be the three main guys even when Chekov and Scotty come in.
I also noticed that George Takei’s voice was just as magical then as it is now when he’s announcing for the Howard Stern show or doing commercials for Sharp. He was working in the botany area of the ship, but later was working on the bridge.
Didn’t see him at all in the second episode – “Charlie X” – but there was this cast member named Janice who I’d never heard of before.
I don’t know how long she’s on the show as a somewhat featured character – but she sure has a groovie hair-do.
My favorite part of “The Man Trap” was towards the end when Spock double-fist punches the monster to show Bones that it was not a human woman. Great action work by Nimoy.
Overall I’d say I enjoyed the second episode (even without Sulu) more overall because the villian, Charlie, was so frigging creepy – sometimes without even trying.
Charlie was this young man who control people with his mind – but to do so he had to make a face like he was struggling on the toilet. It made me laugh in a “I’m laughing so you won’t kill me” kind of way.
Where as this made me laugh in a “Shatner you magnificent bastard” kind of way.
Starfleet Tights: What every captain should wear when he’s about to teach a young man to wrestle.
The last thing I want to bring up is more of a “production style” occurrence that I noticed many times – the dramatic use of lighting around the eyes.
Above is only one example (because I’m lazy and tired) but they use this lighting convention a lot, where most of the actor’s face is in shadows except for a strip of light over the eyes.
It’s very film-noir to me, as if the smoke of an ash-try should be swimming in the air around their head as they talk in the office of a no-good private detective.
But instead they’re on a starship and they want to add some dramatics to Charlie’s scary face – to Kirk’s steel resolve.
And to that frigging Janice again. Where does she go? How long does she stick around for? Why isn’t she in any of the movies? Or is she in them a little?
These are the hard-nose questions that I’ll be looking forward to being answered as I continue on my quest to view every episode and every movie of Star Trek.
Two down – seven hundred and thirty five to go…..