Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Stat Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one whose never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better Star Trek to watch that remind me of this episode. That’s it.
I was reading the user reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and was filled with an immense sadness for everyone involved. Can you think of anything sadder than being a Rotten Tomatoes “super reviewer?” I certainly cannot. One of these super reviewers was just savaging the new Transformers movie. Really, he was kind of being a jerk about it. This guy was not a fan of the first four Transformers. He saw the fifth Transformers movie. Was not a fan of that one either, and he was angry about it. A lot of all caps posts about how shitty the whole franchise was, and how angry he was for having his time wasted. It is the fifth one. How is not his fault? You’ve got nobody but yourself to blame after the second. I saw the first Transformers. I thought it was garbage. They made a lot of money so they kept on making them. I stopped seeing them after the first because I’m not a goddamn masochist.
I assume that’s all that super reviewer has. He has to realize that even as a “super reviewer” he’s under no obligation to actually watch all this trash. Nobody is actually waiting for his opinion. He goes to a job he hates. He doesn’t talk to a woman that he’s found he no longer loves. He feels sad and empty most the day. Then he goes to see Transformers 5 and really gives Michael Bay the business and for a few minutes, he feels the closest to happy that he will in months. Years maybe. The most power he’ll feel until the next Ninja Turtles comes out. Then he savages that and feels power again. Here’s a super review of amateur super reviewers and that’s a big, fuck them. They’re dumb.
I’ve never understood the folks who base their entire opinion on not liking stuff. That’s weird to me. Until recently that was reserved for the most miserable comic book and sports fans. You ask someone what movies they like and they’d go into a 45-minute screed about how Spiderman 2 could’ve been better. Go up to a guy in Mets hat and jersey and ask him if he’s been out to Citi Field this year and he yells at you about what a bum Curtis Granderson is. These people have always existed. The internet just gives them the illusion that they and their miserable opinions matter. I guess what I’m saying is that the internet is dumb. We need to get off it. It’s a great tool for countless folks to get their opinion out to everyone. The problem is that the vast majority of opinions are worthless and don’t need to get out there. Most opinions are wrong. The ones that aren’t wrong are boring.
I don't know if what I’m doing here is really that different. I’d like to hope so, because I watched another episode of TOS this week. It was okay.
We open with a bunch of people, none of whom are folks from the Enterprise. We get to meet a scared fellow named Schmitter. Please don’t get too attached to him, because he’s not making it to credits time as he’s killed by a closeup. There are murders happening at this mining community. Murders most foul.
|Closed captioner really phoning it in|
|Goodbye Schmitter, we hardly knew ya|
McCoy, Spock, and Kirk go down to investigate. Folks aren’t just being murdered they are being burned to death. Seems very unpleasant. In addition to a bunch of dead bodies, there’s also a shit load of these completely spherical silicon balls. Could the silence balls and the murders be connected? Yes, they can be and 100% are. Spock is wondering if maybe the murderer is a new kind of lifeform. A silicone based kind.
The creature attacks Kirk and he wounds it with his stronger phaser. He and Spock eventually corner it and Spock communicates with it by overacting.
|Sili-KHAAAAAAAAAAN based lifeform|
Turns out it’s not a monster. Just a little tunnel creature. Mining on this planet is pretty tough. If the miners had actually tried communicating with this thing, then maybe they could’ve worked together. The creature was lashing out because its eggs were being threatened. They decide that they can all work together and only 51 people had to die. The miners will respect the creature and its babies and the creatures will help the miners get to all this planet’s sweet sweet resources.
I’d say yes. Not amazing, but solid. This a real meat n’ potatoes Trek. It was one of those that seemed familiar because I’d seen it done so many times. At the same time, I had to remind myself that this wasn’t the copy all the other episodes that followed this formula were the copies. It was still solid.
|Good luck, fellas|
Boy, the guy who played Schmitter really fucking sucked. Just an awful line reader. Kind of an ugly guy. I get the feeling that he was working on set and the real actor didn’t show up. So they got this barely literate dude to read his lines.
I don’t want to get to into the weeds here, but isn’t this a HUGE violating of the Prime Directive? This isn’t just a bunch of lava worms. These are highly intelligent beings. Spock talked with them for a while. It’s an intelligent pre-warp civilization. Which a Federation mining colony is now using for an unpaid labor force. This seems super duper fucked. The theme of whether or not staying on this planet would actually be moral is visited in a couple different episodes.
|Bones is the best|
TNG’s The Quality of Life. There are a lot of similarities. Both are played largely like murder mysteries on mining colonies. In the TNG one, it’s small autonomous robots that have become sentient. Upon discovering that they are not just drones, but actual thinking lifeforms Data has to weigh this new life vs. his duty as a Starfleet officer. It’s a real solid entry in Data’s struggle with his humanity or lack thereof. It’s also nice to see them struggling whether or not to continue exploiting this new life. Something they give absolutely no thought to in the TOS one.
Also, I really like VOY’s The Cloud. Certainly not the best VOY episode, but one of my favorite Janeway episodes. It’s a lot different in terms of plot. Voyager goes into a nebula to replenish their energy supplies until they realize that it wasn’t a nebula, but a giant living thing and that by being there they’ve gravely wounded it. It shows to just what length Janeway will go to maintain her Federation ideals despite how much that can piss off other crew members. You get to hear her say “there’s coffee in that nebula.” Which is one of my favorite Trek quotes of all time. You have to put up with some spirit guide horse shit, but what are you going to do.
Well, that’s it. I’m almost done with season 1. I think maybe there’s too many of these.