Exploring The Final Frontier

Star Trek: Discovery: The Vulcan Hello

Star Trek has introduced viewers to new series on one of two ways.

The first is the sink or swim approach utilized by “The Man  Trap.”  The episode threw viewers into the universe of Star Trek with little or no exposition or character introduction.   (Of course, it helps that “The Man Trap” feels like the middle portion is a “day in the life of the Enterprise”).

Then there’s the get the crew together and start having adventures model used by the four modern Treks.   There may be an emphasis on a central character (Sikso for DS9) and a lot of exposition on the setting, place in the Trek-verse and potential storylines that may or may not be examined during the series run. Continue reading “Star Trek: Discovery: The Vulcan Hello”


A Taste of Armageddon

Anan 7:  Are those five hundred people of yours more important than the hundreds of millions of innocent people on Eminiar and Vendikar? What kind of monster are you?

Captain Kirk:  I’m a barbarian. You said it yourself.

All of us have those episodes of our favorite shows or movies that if you run across then while channel surfing, you’re going to stay and watching until the end.

For me, that list includes “A Taste of Armageddon.” Continue reading “A Taste of Armageddon”

Return of the Archons

I’m not sure what this says about me, but multiple times when I’ve attended an event with the word festival in the title, I can’t help but quoting a line from this episode.

“Festival! Festival!”

And not only quoting it, but trying to imitate the sheer excitement conveyed by the random Landru follower who utters the line.

Again, I’m not sure what this says about except maybe, just maybe that I watch Star Trek too much. Continue reading “Return of the Archons”

Tomorrow is Yesterday

While D.C. Fontana is credited with re-writing “Charlie X” earlier in season one, I’d argue that it’s “Tomorrow is Yesterday” where she really begins to make her presence felt.

From this point onward, many of the original series’ best and highly regarded episodes will come from her pen.  And, as I’ve said multiple times before, we’re into the sweet spot when Star Trek was at its very best. Continue reading “Tomorrow is Yesterday”

A Response to Mission Log Supplemental 35

Listening to the latest supplemental from the good folks over at Mission Log (recorded at this year’s big Las Vegas extravaganza),  there were a couple of moments that I felt merited a response or two.

The first comes early in the episode when producer and son of Gene Roddenberry, Rod Roddenberry takes an informal poll about which captain the audience would like to serve under — Kirk or Picard.   Continue reading “A Response to Mission Log Supplemental 35”

The Alternative Factor

When it comes to the original series, there are a handful of episodes that I’ve watched so many times that I can practically recite the dialogue along with the characters.  Many of those episodes come from the mid-point of season one to the mid-point of season two when Gene Coon’s influence on Star Trek became more prominent.

But even in that near-perfect run, there are one or two stinkers that don’t make their way into my viewing rotation that often.

“The Alternative Factor” is one of those stories.

lazarusIt may be the episode of the original series that I’ve re-watched the least.   There are a lot of reasons for that, the most prominent being that it’s confusing as all get out and repeat viewings don’t do much to help it make any more sense. Continue reading “The Alternative Factor”


At its core, “Arena” is an episode that (almost) perfectly encapsulates the things that set Star Trek apart from a lot of shows.

It’s a story about being who we really say we are and overcoming our own internal prejudices.  It’s a story that says our first instinct may not always be the right one and that sometimes we need to look at how our actions appear to another.

It’s an essential, philosophical episode of classic Star Trek. 

And it’s also one heck of an action/adventure story.  Continue reading “Arena”

The Squire of Gothos

Before the rise of “Peak TV,” fans of a series or franchise had to find the connective threads for their favorite show or shows.

One of these threads that created rampant speculation among Trek fans when The Next Generation debuted was if there was a link between the Q and Trellaine’s family in “The Squire of Gothos.”  While the series never acknowledged the connection on-screen, it did lead to one of my favorite tie-in novels, Peter David’s Q-SquaredContinue reading “The Squire of Gothos”

Shore Leave


“The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.”

If you watch the original series in the order that NBC aired the episodes instead of production order, it may seem that Ensign Martine gets over her fiancee relatively quickly.   The end of one episode she’s mourning him in the Enterprise chapel, the next she’s on shore leave in the company of another guy and showing little or no after effects of having just lost someone she was ready to marry the week before. Continue reading “Shore Leave”

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