|Index||9 reviews in total|
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Kirk finds out he needs a lawyer, 13 July 2006
Author: Bogmeister from United States
The title of this episode is self-explanatory: based on computer
evidence, Kirk appears to have either panicked or, worse, acted with
malice during a critical point on the bridge while one of those ion
storms was raging, causing the death of a crew member with a push of a
button. It turns out, Kirk has a long personal history with this
Lt.Finney, who lost out on a promotion or two. Kirk is under fire in
this episode not by some cosmic menace, science gone mad or warlike
aliens but - perhaps more frightening to him - by Starfleet itself, the
one entity you'd think would always back him up. We get to see some of
the inner workings of this organization here and the proceedings are
not really different from current military trials and bureaucracy
('regulations, captain'). We're back at Starbase 11, last seen in "The
Menagerie" part one, but with a different commodore. I really liked the
scene in the bar or lounge, where Kirk runs into some of his peers -
it's a nice glimpse into Starfleet outside the usual parameters of just
The most memorable thing about this episode is the introduction of Kirk's lawyer, Cogley, played with some eccentricity by old-time actor Cook Jr. He jabbers on about thousands of books and tends to rattle off a list of old historical documents (including some we've yet to know about) like he's conducting some strange class for aspiring attorneys. He makes it clear his preferences do not include computers, which sets up the entire 'man vs. machine' theme during the court scenes (we'll revisit this theme in later episodes, such as "The Ultimate Computer"). Who is this seeming nutcase, we might ask, and just what is he blathering on about? Kirk seems to be in real trouble now - his lawyer's a couple of cans short of a six-pack. But, by the 4th act, we realize Cogley is one of the reasons we were able to set up a Federation. He represents not only humanity, but civilization - that striving for decency by half-savages, manifested by written laws passed down through the ages - laws which govern - laws which make possible such civilized trials to protect the innocent, resulting in a thorough quest for the truth.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
The acting saves this one, 5 April 2007
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan
What should have been one of the worst first season episodes is
salvaged by solid performances by William Shatner and guest stars Percy
Rodriguez and Elisha Cook Jr, good editing and directing. Cook is
especially charming as the defense attorney representing Kirk in a
court martial concerning the death of a Lieutenant Commander who shares
a rocky history with our captain, and Shatner's acting is spot-on for
this difficult episode. Daniels' directing is also fairly good, but
hampered by the limitations of the plot.
The initial premise is promising. Kirk is charged with negligence in the death of a Lt Comm Finney, whose career has been overshadowed consistently by Kirk's. Kirk repeatedly claims that he jettisoned Finney's pod after declaring a red alert and telling Finney to get to safety, but the ship's video record and computer logs tell a very different story. (Incidentally, one of the most ridiculous use of props I have ever seen in ST occurs in the crucial courtroom scene involving the video logs - take a close look at the control panel Kirk uses to jettison the pod. How many pods does the Enterprise jettison in a given day, and why does the Captain do this himself from a control panel on his arm rest???).
Unfortunately, just as the full story is revealed, the episode devolves into a poorly considered, rather cliché conclusion - which I will not discuss in order to avoid a spoiler.
7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
The one with the set-up, 18 July 2009
Author: Max_cinefilo89 from Italy
Generally, Star Trek is good at drawing parallels between
science-fiction and the real world. This time, however, the use of a
very real situation such as a court martial to provide a little
suspense doesn't really work out.
The court martial is set up by Starfleet (mentioned for the first time here) to find out if Kirk behaved improperly during a crisis. He claims he did everything by the book, but the Enterprise's computer records - unquestionable evidence by everyone's standards - seem to indicate the death of a crewman (an old friend of Kirk's, no less) was the result of the captain's negligence. Lucky for him, his lawyer doesn't trust computers, and sets out to prove something went wrong, while Spock does the same on the ship.
The outcome is pretty predictable, which is why Court Martial doesn't impress as much as previous episodes. Okay, so it's a given Kirk will never get in any serious trouble, but this time the story suffers from a clear lack of proper drama and a couple of unnecessary clichés (the prosecutor is one of Kirk's ex-girlfriends). Nevertheless, the story's examination of the man vs. machine theme is still relevant, and despite the sub-par twists, Shatner and Nimoy are always a riot.
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Starts off good, then spirals down., 3 December 2008
Author: coy_dog0 from Windsor, Ontario
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The opening act is excellent. The scenes in the bar on the starbase are
something we never get to see, and the tense seen between Kirk and
another officer are handled well. The introduction of Kirk's lawyer
is--again--excellent, and seems to promise something great to come.
However, the premise of the case is a bit absurd. The career of a starship captain hanging on an event that could so easily be faked by TODAY'S standards hardly seems a plausible cause for a trial in the 23rd century. I suppose this courtroom has never seen a film before, or they'd understand how easy it is to manipulate a close-up (for our sake, a wide shot with Kirk hitting the button would have been more convincing).
Also, is there any 20th century device LESS conspicuous that a MICROPHONE. Even a toaster turned upside down would have done the job.
Kirk's insistence on dealing with Finney alone is the last straw. Surly a rewrite by the staff is the reason we had to dust off Shatner's stunt double, for yet another TJ Hooker fist fight.
Then, Hooker is at it again, rewiring the ship by yanking rubber houses out of wall panels. Bizarre.
Partially Re-told in TNG "The Measure of a Man", 23 April 2013
Author: XweAponX from United States
One of the things I love the most is Courtroom Drama, and when mixed
with Science Fiction, it becomes a feast.
What happens here, as Kirk is accused of negligence in the death of a crewman, a friend... is that he is prosecuted by one of his girlfriends. But she provides him a defender, in the shape of Samuel T. Cogley played by the great Elisha Cook of The Maltese Falcon.
A similar thing happens to Jean-Luc Picard in the Next Generation episode "The Measure of a Man" - He is prosecuted vehemently in front of one of his ex girlfriends, who had prosecuted HIM when he lost his original ship, the Stargazer.
In this Original Series Courtroom, Cogley defends Kirk much like Perry Mason would have, with that little smile on his face.
It is only when Spock discovers that his Three-Dimensional Chess he had programmed into the Enterprise Computer has been Futzed with, that it also explains why the ships computer would record an event incorrectly.
This brings up new cogitations in Cogley's Brain, so he creates a Theatrical Fishing Expedition and Court Venue move to the Enterprise Bridge - To Prove his Cogitations. and these pan out.
The only thing I find pretty funny in this episode, in the one Kirk- Fight scene, is the use of fighting doubles who have no resemblance to Shatner and the guy he is fighting. On Low-Resolution CRT Televisions, this could not be seen - But it CAN, in the remastered Enhanced Edition.
The Enhanced Edition, which in this case, actually does Justice to the exterior shots. I am finding out, not all of these TOS episodes in the Enhanced Edition have been as ham-handedly "reimagined" in the same terrible way that "Where No Man has Gone Before" has been. This episode is one of the better Enhanced versions.
Kirk Gets Tried by Ex Girlfriend, 29 December 2012
Author: eti55 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK, so in the future, a prosecutor doesn't have to recuse herself when
she was romantically involved with the defendant? O-K. Maybe it added
to the drama, but come on! Kirk stands accused of jettisoning his
former friend and academy instructor, current Enterprise Records
Officer Lt. Commander Ben Finney, during an ion storm, either out of
panic or malicious intent (neither of which are in Kirk's character),
before going to red alert instead of after, as is required. The problem
is that the computer log says he's guilty, and as we're told over and
over again in the episode, computer's DON'T lie (more on this later).
It's apparent in this episode and a couple of others that Kirk wasn't liked by all of his fellow officers; that a lot of people who Kirk knew on his way up the promotion ladder were happy to see our cocky young starship captain, who may well have helped his career at the expense of the aforementioned Finney, get his comeuppance, and were ready to believe the worst about him, even though it turned out to be false (you get the idea that Commodore Stone was one such person..ditto Commodore Wesley in the Ultimate Computer the following season). It would have been nice to explore that angle of the story a bit more, but there's only 45 minutes or so of TV time.
It's hard to sympathize with the ill-fated Finney getting passed over by Kirk to command a starship given his ultimate breakdown (would you want this guy commanding the SS Minnow, much less the Enterprise?). It was a good episode in that you see Kirk's character come through. In spite of what the computer said (remember, computers DON'T lie), Kirk knew damn good and well what he did and was ready to go down fighting, regardless of the result. Of course, we find out that there's a loophole: Computers CAN lie..if someone with enough computer savvy to alter a computer log tells them to. Props to the great character actor Elisha Cook for his portrayal of the idealistic and book-crazy (never uses his computer) defense lawyer Samuel T. Cogley. And Joan Marshall...what a hottie (just like all of Kirk's "old friends", as McCoy points out in this episode). One definite negative: One of the more lame props in the series, the "white sound" device used to mask people's heart beats, which is obviously a mid 20th century microphone. In fact, the scene where McCoy is using it takes way too long.
"You're a starship captain, and you've stepped into scandal"., 22 October 2010
Author: classicsoncall from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here's another effective Star Trek entry in which Captain Kirk exudes
supreme self confidence, and Spock coolly advises that Vulcans do not
speculate. However he called himself a Vulcanian, not the first time,
so now I wonder at what point he became a Vulcan.
Once again, you get to see how minimalist (a better word than cheesy) the sets were for a Star Trek episode. The control panel on the arm rest of the Captain's chair look almost comical from today's vantage point. When you stop and think about it, the quantum leap in set design and special effects over the past four decades are really quite stunning.
I'm not so sure I'm buying Finney's (Richard Webb) ability to hide out on the Enterprise though, once the pod was ejected. Or why he would even need to. The ship was at Starbase 11 for repairs, so why hang around? Had he high-tailed it the first chance he got, he would have attained his goal of revenge on Kirk, and the next episode might have had a Captain Spock in charge.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
"Court Martial ",Unique Cast Makes for Interesting and Nostalgiac Viewing !, 10 May 2010
Author: cshep from Laguna Woods, CA.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Court Martial", What a blend of casting, from Elijah Cook,Jr., to
Richard Webb. Take a top of the line character actor(Elijah Cook
Jr,.)from the 30's,40's,and 50's, to Richard Webb(Captain Midnight/Jet
Jackson), from the 1950's TV series. Capt. Kirk(William Shatner) is
accused of malice in the death of missing,presumed dead,( due to a
jettisoned space pod) Crewmate Finney(Richard Webb). Sam Cogley(Elijah
Cook Jr.), is summoned to defend Kirk against District Attorney , and
Kirk's old flame Areel Shaw(Joan Marshall), who in a real life trial,
would have to recuse herself because of previous personal involvement.
But this is TV, and Sci-Fi TV, so having her prosecute makes for a
little more spice. Anyway, another new plot device is introduced, the
all-knowing heart monitor, which can isolate any heartbeat on the ship,
Anyway, the climatic ending , where Ben Finney(Richard Webb) battles Kirk is a CLASSIC. Vintage TV Sci-Fi. Capt. Midinte,Space Hero of the 1950's vs. Capt. Kirk,Space Hero of the 1960's.
That is one of the Great Testimonies to Star Trek, to honor those who helped shape 1960's Sci-Fi, without them, there would have been little history to build upon. So , whenever you see a Star Trek: TOS, remember to look for stars from the past , who were invaluable in adding to the collection of Sci-Fi memories. This is one of the Legacys of Star Trek, to honor those who did come before.
So remember kids, to take your Ovaltine, the sludge Webb hated to hawk to kids, or anyone else for that matter. The 1950's for whatever you think of it , was a time of renewal, not just a time of placid neutrality.
BTW, Richard Webb was the Author of books about psychic phenomena and the occult including "Great Ghosts of the West," "These Came Back" and "Flight Without Wings."
I haven't read any of them ,but this man was ahead of his time.Most people who wrote books of this nature, were often thought of as kooks. I hope someone does a review of these books. I would really like to know what he had to say.
8 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Sub-par for Star Trek, 6 December 2006
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
This episode is rather dull and actually didn't make much sense. Even though Kirk has shown himself a very capable officer and has a long list of amazing exploits to his credit, he is framed and faces a court martial--gee, Federation, thanks for the vote of confidence!! About the only highlight in the show is the guest appearance of character actor, Elisha Cook. He was a fine actor and added a nice performance to the show. But apart from that, the show was way too static and uninvolving. Even the "surprise ending" was pretty dull and learning that Kirk had, some time back, "bagged" the female prosecuting attorney (is there ANY female Kirk hasn't put the moves on?!).
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