The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
A prequel series, set 100 years before the original Star Trek series, which focuses on the early years of Starfleet, leading up to the formation of the Federation and the Earth-Romulan Wars. The series is set aboard the Earth ship Enterprise NX-01, captained by Jonathan Archer.
On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace.
The adventures of the USS Enterprise, representing the United Federation of Planets on a five-year mission in outer space to explore new worlds, seek new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before. The Enterprise is commanded by handsome and brash Captain James T. Kirk. His First Officer and best friend is Mr. Spock from the planet Vulcan, and Kirk's Medical Officer is Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. With its crew of approximately 430, the Enterprise battles aliens, megalomanical computers, time paradoxes, psychotic murderers, and even Khan! Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lloyd Bridges was approached to play Capt. Pike in the original pilot Star Trek: The Cage (1986) but turned it down believing that a science-fiction show would hurt his career. Jeffrey Hunter, who played Capt. Pike, was replaced after his salary demands were deemed to be too high. See more »
The color of a phaser beam depends on the weapon's setting ("stun" or "kill") but the colors are inconsistent between episodes. See more »
Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
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In the latter part of the first season, the credit, in all-uppercase, for "SCRIPT SUPERVISOR", has the first word misspelled "SCPIPT". See more »
"City on the Edge of Forever" represents terrific time-travel drama in the grand old Star Trek tradition. 10/10.
Guess who the single-most recognized personality the world-over REALLY is? Not Usama BinLaden, but Capt. Kirk.
By consensus, City on the Edge of Forever is The Original Series(TOS)'s most-loved episode. It's high drama; a rather Shakespearian exploration of time travel, penned by serious s/f writer Harlan Ellison. It plays like a feature film. If anyone gets the courage (Hollywood is still terrified of the wrath of Star Trek fans), it SHOULD be remade as one.
In "City", Capt. Kirk and Mr Spock (it's `Mr', OK? -`Mr' Spock; get it right) are credibly compelled to travel back in time; they must put right the change in history that Leonard `Bones' McCoy, the ship's doctor, caused in his cordrazine-demented state. The good doctor obliterated their timeline so nothing of the UFP or Enterprise exists anymore!
Curious instrument-readings had lead them to an unknown planet. `Somethin--or someone--on this planet can effect changes in time, causing turbulent waves of space-displacement', observes Spock, as they rock the ship. While trying to plot the turbulence from orbit, passing through ripples in time, one of those ship-quakes causes the ship's experienced surgeon to accidentally inject himself(!) with a full hypospray of cordrazine. Characteristically for the overdose, he no longer recognizes his shipmates as friends but as `murderers and assassins'.
His psychosis is only temporary, but lasts long enough for McCoy to transport down to the very object of their search: the Guardian of Forever, an apparent rock archway on the planet. Unfortunately the thing is ripping through time (centuries in seconds), inconveniently fast for a human lifespan. In protective hot pursuit, the landing party follows McCoy to The Guardian.
Ever the scientist, upon discovering and marveling at the source of the time-displacements, Spock berates himself: `I....am a fool! My tricorder is capable of recording even at this speed! I've missed taping centuries of living history which no man before has ever...' and then the cornered McCoy leaps past him, back through time. This is the only time in the series that Spock actively berates himself. It opens the door for Kirk's chiding Spock's scientific prowess in building a video player(!) `with nothing but stone knives and bearskins' in that `zinc-plated, vacuum-tubed culture' they've followed the frenzied McCoy to: Depression-Era America.
As they desperately try to predict McCoy's arrival, Kirk and Spock meet Edith Keeler(Joan Collins) still at a very anonymous stage of her future political-activist career. What happens to history, and Enterprise, as they acclimate to Edith Keeler's homeless mission still packs a punch 37yrs later.
Look for Kirk's double-entendre (but you must watch the WHOLE SCENE with Edith Keeler, as it plays off the sexual tension): `We have a flop, Mr Spock'. `-We have a what, Capt'n?' `A place to sleep.' `-....One might've said so in the first place'.
The undeniable chemistry between Collins and Shatner, much to the chagrin of Bill's LEGIONS of detractors, I'm certain is responsible for the indubitable success of the drama. ST was always treated by cast and crew as serious science-fiction. To her credit, Collins joined their Trek seriously, but sadly only for this outing. Her career might've been far more acclaimed had she become a regular.
Small wonder that `City' is the single-most popular episode of the original series, and it comes very close to taking the cake from ALL the many incarnations since! ST was at its best combining intellectual curiosity+sense of wonder with challenges to the heart. The humour was always just icing.
The other two main contender episodes for that level of praise-from ST(TOS)-are Bill Shatner's personal fave, `The Devil in the Dark' (and were it not for the awful display of male arrogance-and-ignorance by all the miners, I would agree with Shatner); plus David Gerrold's classic gag entry from ST's 2nd season, `The Trouble with Tribbles'(1967).
`Tribbles' has an important ecological message that was very sophisticated for its time (ie that animals coexist in ecological balance, and Heaven help you if you mess with that), couched in impish, trilling, and fuzzy, tribble-like humour; but because it doesn't challenge our ethics and hearts all that much, `Tribbles' can't win `Best ST Episode' even though it's A LOT OF FUN.
`Devil', written by legendary ST honcho-producer Gene Coon, was about human/alien humility. Human judgements, eg of beauty, should never be applied to aliens. `Ugly' is no reason to judge foreigners-or actual aliens-as stupid/less worthy. Information is a far better arbiter. Replete with positivism and 1960s churlish greed, `Devil' was also a precursor to Alien(1979), albeit about a `nice' alien: the Horta was a (midget-scuttling-under-a-)very-unattractive(-carpet)/highly intelligent mother of a dying race. Mr Spock's ecological sensitivity shines well to this day, compared to the miners' brutality.
`Devil' was also lore-establishing for its depiction of Dr McCoy's distrust of transporters, and his appellations that he was `a DOCTOR, not a....'-in this case `not a bricklayer'; the best punchline to the joke he EVER produced.
The only thing that irked me about `Devil' (apart from the laughably cheap set design) was the script's obtuseness about the economical value, even then(!!), of silicon. (The plot is predicated upon a bandwagon theory, that life could be based on non-Carbon elements; but to pick SILICON was unfortunate, since it was already the chief source material for semiconducting transistors in 1965!) Double-D'Oh!!!
`City' has no such hindsight embarrassments. Instead, it reveals the rich and trusting relationship between Kirk and Spock as they take turns at solving puzzles and support each other's dignity. They still tease each other, esp. poor Spock about his alleged vulnerability to (human) sentimentality (which he takes as mild insults), and about his ears, which during the first season was still a novelty to audiences. How quickly things change.
In my estimation, only ST-Voyager produced similar integration of science, wonder, philosophy, humour AND devastating drama. With `Eye of a Needle', `Distant Origin', `Drone', `Ashes to Ashes', and possibly `Timeless', ST-Voyager came close to replicating the emotional impact of ST-TOS' `discovery science' fiction.(10/10)
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