Season 1, Episodes 11-15, Star Trek: The Original Series

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Boldly going into the next five episodes! *cue theme music*

Season 1, Episode 11: “The Menagerie, Part 1”

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Original Airdate: 17 November 1966
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Wikipedia synopsis: “Spock hijacks the Enterprise to take his crippled former captain, Christopher Pike, to the forbidden world of Talos IV. He then demands a court martial where he uses the events of “The Cage” to tell the tale of Pike’s captivity on the planet years earlier.”
Favorite quote: “In all the years of my service, this is the most painful moment I’ve ever faced.”
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This is a big episode, mostly for the reason that Spock goes off the reservation, big time. I think this is the first time that it happens, ever, so it’s a pretty big deal. Not only does Spock hijack the Enterprise, but he puts everyone’s career on the line and even his life as well! It’s unclear exactly why he’s doing this, but it has something to do with Captain Pike, who is pretty different than in the reboot. I knew he was an original series character, but he’s not in any of the movies, so I’ve never seen him outside of the reboot. Here he’s about the same age as Kirk, but he was in an accident and is now immobile and horribly deformed. The flashback tells about stuff that happened to him when he was the captain of the Enterprise. It’s all told when Spock is getting court martialed (that’s right, this is serious business here), and there is one heck of a cliffhanger both in the flashback and the present day. Lots of Kirk and Spock relationship stuff here, good things all around.

Season 1, Episode 12: “The Menagerie, Part 2”

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Original airdate: 24 November 1966
Directed by: Robert Butler
Wikipedia synopsis: “Spock continues detailing the events of “The Cage” to the tribunal. After witnessing the Talosians’ capabilities of mental illusion, Kirk realizes that Spock intends to return Pike to the planet to live a life of illusion, unencumbered by his crippled condition.”
Favorite quote: I guess I was too absorbed in the episode to get a favorite quote…
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I watched this immediately after the first one, because that one was such a cliffhanger. Binge television watching for the win! Anyway, this one gets a lot more into the flashback portion of it, and it kind of reminded me of The Matrix, except it was more sinister somehow. Basically the aliens control the minds of humans so they can live vicariously through them, and then somehow they want to make a race of human slaves as well. They turn out to be not so bad in the end, but there’s still the issue of facing reality or retreating into illusion that is interesting to think about. And of course there’s the Kirk and Spock drama! There was also a character in the flashback part that I really liked, Number One. I don’t know if she was supposed to be an android or what, but that was her name anyway. She was really smart and awesome; I was a fan.

Season 1, Episode 13: “The Conscience of the King”

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Original airdate: 8 December 1966
Directed by: Gerd Oswald
Wikipedia synopsis: “While visiting an old friend, Kirk suspects a Shakespearean actor may actually be the murderous former governor of Tarsus IV where Kirk grew up. Kirk invites the acting troupe aboard the Enterprise in order to investigate, but soon assassination attempts are made on Kirk and another crewman who was an eyewitness to the murders.”
Favorite Quote: “The captain is acting strangely, I’m wondering if you’ve noticed.”
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This one had a lot of Shakespeare references in it; I was a big fan. The only thing I really have a problem with is that I was able to predict who was behind everything that was going on here. I usually can’t predict things so I get even more disappointed when I can. I was also initially feeling that the normal logic vs. emotion stuff was a bit forced here, but it developed really well so that didn’t turn into a problem at all. Also, Spock does some really nice detective work in this episode, always nice to see.

Season 1, Episode 14: “Balance of Terror”

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Original airdate: 15 December 1966
Directed by: Vincent McEveety
Wikipedia synopsis: “While investigating a series of destroyed outposts, the Enterprise discovers a lone Romulan vessel with a cloaking device. The Romulans, having never been seen by humans, are revealed to visually resemble Vulcans, casting doubt on Mr. Spock’s loyalty as the two ships become locked in a cat-and-mouse battle through space.”
Favorite quote: “Leave any bigotry in your quarters, there’s no room for it on the bridge.”
Tumblr commentary is sadly absent on this one, blame it on my eating ice cream. It was delicious.

This was really good episode, more action packed than most, but it didn’t suffer from that in any way. It reminded me a lot of Star Trek Into Darkness with its themes of the militarization of Starfleet. Also surprising is the appearance of the Romulans. In Star Trek, Spock says they “share a common ancestry” with Vulcans, but in that film they didn’t look exactly the same as they did in this episode. It was also extremely uncomfortable to have the commander of the Romulan ship be played by the same actor (Mark Leonard) as Sarek in the original movies (at least I think he was the same guy). Very off-putting. Also I really appreciate, and I was made aware of it in this episode when Uhura was made the navigator, that everyone on the Enterprise seems to be able to do everyone else’s jobs at the slightest notice. It’s pretty awesome.

Season 1, Episode 15: “Shore Leave”

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Original airdate: 29 December 1966
Directed by: Robert Sparr
Wikipedia synopsis: “Captain Kirk orders shore leave for the Enterprise crew on a seemingly uninhabited planet in the Omicron Delta system. The landing parties begin to see strange sights, such as a White Rabbit a la Alice in Wonderland, Don Juan, and a sword-wielding samurai. Also, Kirk sees (and fights) an image of Finnegan, a rival from his Starfleet Academy days. Spock discovers that the planet seems to be drawing a large amount of energy from the ship’s engines, placing the Enterprise in danger.”
Favorite quote: “After what this ship has been through in the past three months, there’s not a crewman on board not in need of a rest. Myself excepted.”
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This was a pretty good episode, but there is an unexpected death that occurs which momentarily made me pretty emotional. It all turns out fine, as I knew it would, but I was pretty worried for a few seconds. Also, it’s pretty interesting to learn that Kirk was the victim of a practical joker back in the Academy. I really wish JJ had figured out how to add this in in the reboot; it could have been hilarious! The annoying thing about this episode, which happens a lot in Star Trek, is that it took everyone forever to catch on to what was going on down on the planet. It was obvious to me after the second freak occurrence, but they were literally almost through the episode when Spock finally figured it out. Ah well, it was still pretty fun. And just for the record, womanizer McCoy is about a million times more entertaining than womanizer Kirk.

These episodes were all really good. I got through them in record time; it only took me four days! They are definitely picking up momentum as they go and I’m really excited to see what they come up with next. Hunter out.

Click here for the next group of episodes (S1, E16-20)

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13 responses to “Season 1, Episodes 11-15, Star Trek: The Original Series

  1. oh man number one. the menagerie, as you know, was made to reuse footage from the original pilot, the cage. in the cage, number one was the first officer. in the next generation picard calls riker number one, so its probably a reference to the position. unfortunately when the network saw the cage they told roddenberry had to get rid of 2 things, spock and number one, because they thought that the tv audience in the 60s wouldnt find a female 1st officer or an alient believable. roddenberry fought to keep spock though, he thought that having an alien as part of the crew was important. evidently he turned belly up on number one because he knew that a female first officer was a harder sell than an alien. thanks a lot 60s. at least we got to keep a woman on the bridge, even if what she was doing was a 60s modernized version of a secretary. (which is part of the reason the crewmembers being able to switch like you noticed is so awesome) but…if you look closely, youll see that the actor playing number one is in fact the same actor who plays nurse chapel. hurray for working her in! and yes, mark leonard plays sarek as well, in the show too, not just the movies. wait till journey to babel!

    • Ah well, I guess I see where he was going with that. I mean, there are other women on the ship, but Spock is like the only alien (right now anyway). Sucks they had to get rid of her though; I thought she was cool. And I thought it was the same actress as Nurse Chapel! I just wasn’t sure!
      That is so awesome how they switch. I feel like Uhura usually doesn’t get to switch around for some reason to that’s why I noticed it here.
      Sarek being evil was just weird. Of course he wasn’t really Sarek and he wasn’t really evil so much as antagonistic, but you know what I mean. I also thought it was interesting that Romulans showed up before the Klingons, especially because I thought Romulans were more generally associated with Next Gen?
      I’m kind of stalled out on these at the moment, but I’ll probably be getting back into the them in the next couple days. I have such a backlog of posts it’s overwhelming!

      • romulans are the antagonists of the next generation like the klingons are with the original series. by tng theres been a peace treaty signed with the klingons as st vi suggests, and there is actually a klingon as a main crewmember, worf. so technically theyre both associated.

        • Hm yeah that’s what I thought. I just though it was funny how they introduced the romulans before the klingons, considering their main enemy in tos was klingons and the main enemy in next gen was the romulans.
          But when you think about it abrams did that as well with the trek movies. And in the klingons were only in the new one for a short amount of time. So really they are not as widespread as I thought they were, somehow. Though I assume I will see more of them, so maybe that will turn out to be false. But if you think of the original movies, really only III and VI had klingons in them.

          • yeah it is kinda odd, i dont think the romulans are ever really looked at again for like, the rest of the series. its always the klingons…

  2. Nice reviews. I’m watching the first season myself and I’m really getting into it. Also, I watched Bringing Out The Dead again the other night and wrote a review that should come out tomorrow.

    • Thanks! That’s awesome! Which episode are you on? I just finished “The Squire of Gothos” yesterday and I think that’s like 17?
      Yeah, awesome! I’m so happy you decided to review it! I will be checking it out momentarily!

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