29 May 2011

Trek Review: Space Seed & A Taste of Armageddon

Just a bit of a tidbit before today's reviews.

The last blog entry was my 100th on here and also the 22nd for this year, making 2011 the most active year of blogging since I started in 2006. The previous record of blogs from me was 21 in both 2007 and 2010 (hardly an active blogger when you think about it), with 2008 being next with 14 entries and both 2006 and 2009 bottoming out with 11 each. Admittedly, 2006 was only 4 months long.

So, 2011 is set to smash the previous record by far and it's all due to these Sci-Fi and Trek Reviews...

Space Seed

Space SeedThe Enterprise encounters a centuries old Earth ship dead in space. Recovering one of the crewmembers from cryosleep, they discover Khan.

Khan was the last genetically enhanced leader of Earth in the late 1990's and he and his crew escaped, or were banished from Earth. He attempts (and partially succeeds) in taking control of the Enterprise. Kirk and his crew must get it back and figure out what to do with Khan.

This of course is a fantastically important episode for the Original series. However, it was an episode where I had expected and remembered much more from it. Maybe with these matured eyes the glaze has come away but I found Space Seed to be a slow paced episode mostly with Khan and Kirk talking with Khan never revealing too much about himself and the crew unable to fully piece together the puzzle of what they have encountered (the S.S. Botany Bay).

Lt. McGivers is someone you'd really have to question how they got into Starfleet as well, with her immediately becoming infatuated with their 20th century man and then betraying her crew, she comes across as weak and you can hardly feel sympathetic towards her, even when she helps out in the end. The fact she'd go back to Khan for more, even after he brings her to her knees is a bit odd - but that is from a 2011 point of view, not one of 1960's!

The fight between Kirk and Khan could really have been between anyone in a gold uniform and a guy in a red uniform. The stunt doubles were so obvious in these scenes it makes you think they didn't even bother. Of course, it's probably due to budgets of the time again but it was quite laughable - Kirk's shirt ends up torn again! I think we've had more episodes with torn shirts than dead red shirts so far!

The court hearing determines the fate of Khan, his crew and McGivers. Khan is happy with a planet to rule of his own. I wondered why he agreed so willingly to that, but he only wanted to commandeer the Enterprise to fulfil that goal. Spock says at the end that it would be interesting to return in 100 years to see what has become of that civilisation, but hardcore Trekkers will know it won't be that long...

In remastered blu-ray, the effects are again top-notch. Colours and definition are flawless with the new scenes of the Enterprise and Botany Bay all looking much better than the original. However, the pace of the episode seemed lacking, and perhaps my own high expectation of such an important episode made it a little disappointing.

Overall Rating: 6/10

A Taste of Armageddon

A Taste of ArmageddonThe Enterprise is transporting a diplomat, Robert Fox to open relations in the star cluster NGC321. They intercept a message warning them not to approach, but our second boneheaded diplomat in this series uses his authority to force Kirk to take the Enterprise in.

On arrival at Eminiar VII, Kirk's landing party is greeted and informed that the planet is at war with neighbouring Vendikar. The war is fought by computers but no real bombs are dropped and no real casualties occur. The computers determine a number of casualties and those people must report to disintegration stations to fulfil the casualty list!

The Enterprise is included as a casualty of a recent attack and all its crew must report for disintegration. Of course, Kirk and Spock must now work to stop this from happening.

When we first meet the Eminian people, I almost thought we would finally see some Klingon's! They had the sashes, the goaties and smooth foreheads. But I guess that episode will have to wait a little longer. Even with its annoying diplomat on board and throwing about his authority, this episode wasn't too bad. The idea of computers fighting a war is an interesting concept that applies even in today's world, while Kirk's solution to the problem is questionnable, it gives our diplomat a dream job in working with the two warring worlds and settling their differences, while getting the Federation involved as well. He must do a decent job as the transport ship seen (but not mentioned) many years later in Star Trek Generations is named after him!

Scotty shows his mettle in command and we learn of General Order 24, which calls on a starship in orbit to obliterate the planet's surface below.

Again, there are some great effects shots in the remaster and the story is well done.

Overall Rating: 7/10

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