26 September 2011

Trek Review: Star Trek The Original Series, Season 2

Just like I did with Season One, I figured I'd do a summary of Star Trek's Season Two. Sometimes, the second season has more pressure to deliver as it follows up the character building that happens in the first season. For Star Trek, Season Two got off to a decent enough start with Amok Time, Who Mourns for Adonais?, The Changeling and Mirror, Mirror.

Enterprise faces off against the Planet Killer

Some things that stood out from Season Two were the introduction of Ensign Pavel Chekov as the Enterprise's navigator. Throughout much of the first half of the season he was constantly suggesting that everything was invented or created in Russia which started to become annoying. Thankfully that stopped. Another recurring theme was the amount of 'parallel Earth' planets the crew visited - whether by natural evolution or outside tampering.

Spock and T'Pring

A number of standout episodes include Amok Time and Journey to Babel for establishing more about the Vulcan people and their culture, Mirror, Mirror which establishes the mirror universe which is revisited in later series and The Trouble With Tribbles which is one of the most fun episodes of the show and makes way for a very well done crossover with the Deep Space Nine crew in the future.

Kirk buried in Tribbles

Episodes like Metamorphosis introduced us to Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of Warp Drive while The Ultimate Computer shows us Dr Richard Daystrom who is already famous and has a research division named after him in the 24th Century!

My fond memories of the action packed episodes The Doomsday Machine and The Ultimate Computer were upheld with our re-watch. A surprising episode with a bit of space battle action was also The Deadly Years.

With three fewer episodes than the first season, Season Two scores an average of 6.27/10 per episode, slightly lower than Season One's average of 6.52/10. The second season suffered from low scoring episodes such as I, Mudd (scoring 4/10) and several episodes scoring 5 and 5.5's.

Kirk and Spock offering a piece of the action

It's interesting to note that there was no guarantee of Star Trek's future beyond the second season with ratings beginning to fall towards the end. Many of the later episodes of Season Two scored low from my own reviews as well.

In any case, we know there's a third and final live action season of Star Trek to cover. It will be interesting to see how these episodes rate as we'll be starting off with the infamously bad episode, Spock's Brain which I have heard so much about!

The blu-ray remaster continues to impress, with only a few episodes showing some blurring and fuzziness. As noted in the review of the episode, Amok Time featured some very impressive new scenes of the planet Vulcan and the new effects for planets and the Enterprise are welcomed throughout. The discs are packed with many easter eggs and featurettes again including more interviews and insight into what the actors are up to in more recent times like Leonard Nimoy's fascination with photography and we learn about Nichelle Nichols' singing career.

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