STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON features the adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Capt. James Kirk (Shatner) and his first officer, Lt. Cmdr Spock (Nimoy) during the 23rd centur... more »y. They are on a mission in outer space to explore new worlds, where the Enterprise encounters Klingons, Romulans, time paradoxes, tribbles and genetic supermen.« less
"I was in high school when Star Trek originally ran. Even with the cheesy special effects and overacting, it was a show that we looked forward to every week. With the US in a foreign war, it was no wonder that a show would be so popular with a Prime Directive of non-interference. Here is a synopsis of the episodes in the second season.
1. Amok Time: Spock must return to Vulcan to complete a mating ceremony. 2. Who Mourns for Adonis?: The God Apollo invites the crew to his planet. One female crew member falls in love with him. 3. The Changeling: A probe has changed from its original purpose to seek out life to a new purpose of destroying all imperfect life forms. 4. Mirror, Mirror: A transporter malfunction send Kirk, Scott, McCoy, and Uhura into an alternate universe where the Galactic Empire is based on terror, treachery, and force. 5. The Apple: A planet is beautiful but the plants shoot deadly needles and rocks explode. The peaceful inhabitants feed a computer that oppresses the culture of the planet. 6. The Doomsday Machine: When the Enterprise responds to the distress call of the U.S.S. Constellation, a Doomsday machine that has already destroyed several planets targets the Enterprise. 7. Catspaw: Kirk, Spock, and McCoy visit a Halloweenish planet with witches, black cats, fog and dungeons. An alien uses magic to persuade Kirk to leave without Scott and Sulu. 8. I, Mudd: Harry Mudd has declared himself the king of a planet populated with androids. The androids won't let him leave, so he wants someone to take his place. 9. Metamorphosis: A man thought long dead has been kept alive by an entity called "the companion". The Enterprise is brought to the planet by the entity to keep the man company. 10. Journey to Babel: The Enterprise transports a group of ambassadors that include Spock's parents. Spock's father, Sarek, is accused of the murder of another ambassador. 11. Friday's Child: The Enterprise completes with the Klingons for a mining treaty with the tribes of Capella. The tribal leader is killed and the new leader favors the Klingons. 12. The Deadly Years: After delivering supplies to a colony, the crew begins to rapidly age. 13. Obsession: Two crew members die from what Kirk believes is the same cloud-like creature that killed half of the crew of the U.S.S. Farragut. 14. Wolf in The Fold: Scott has a head injury and Kirk and McCoy take him to a planet for recovery. Three people are killed, and Scott is the only suspect. 15. The Trouble With Tribbles: The small purring balls of fur are irresistible pets but a few on board the Enterprise turn into a horde. Worse yet, they invade a shipment of grain. 16. The Gamesters of Triskelion: A civilization known as "The Providers" enslave the crew of the Enterprise with pain-inflicting collars to be gladiators. 17. A Piece of the Action: The inhabitants of a planet have been contaminated with items from Earth and the Enterprise is sent to investigate. They discover a culture similar to 20th Century USA, complete with mobsters. 18. The Immunity Syndrome: The Enterprise investigates the loss of contact with the solar system 7A. They find the solar system gone and then are trapped themselves. 19. A Private Little War: Kirk is unhappy to find that the previously peaceful natives of a planet that he had visited several years ago are now at war. One side has flintlock firearms and the witch doctor asks the Enterprise crew for phasers. 20. Return to Tomorrow: On a long dead planet, three have survived inside "globes". They ask for help to build androids, but then decide that they would rather use human bodies. 21. Patterns of Force: The Enterprise checks on a historian on a planet, and find a society similar to Nazi Germany. 22. By Any Other Name: The Enterprise responds to a faked distress call and are overtaken by the Kelvans, whose goal is to conquer other galaxies. They are forced to take human form. 23. The Omega Glory: The Enterprise discovers that the crew of a missing starship have been killed by a virus. They find the captain alive and violating the Prime Directive. The captain believes that the villagers are immortal. 24. The Ultimate Computer: The Enterprise has been assigned to test a new generation of computers. After the computer destroys a freighter, it refuses to relinquish control of the ship. 25. Bread and Circuses: The Enterprise has found the debris of the missing S.S. Beagle near a distant planet. The culture on the planet is similar to ancient Rome. They find that the captain beamed the crew to the planet. Those that couldn't survive died in the arena games. 26. Assignment: Earth: The Enterprise is sent back in time to the year 1968 to the planet Earth to find out how the arms race was survived. The ship intercepts a transporter beam with a space traveler headed for Earth."
Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete Third Season
cyclista | the Midwest | 10/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A generous season of 24 episodes. Some episodes are classics, such as "Plato's Stepchildren", featuring TV's first interracial kiss. In the Sixties with the US in a foreign war, Star Trek's directive of non-interference was appealing and made so much sense. I was in high school when Star Trek first aired and none of us could figure out why they were cancelling such a popular show.
A brief episode guide: 1. Spock's Brain: Kirk goes after an alien who has stolen Spock's brain. 2. The Enterprise Incident: Kirk orders the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone and the ship is captured by the Romulans. 3. The Paradise Syndrome: After Kirk and the crew try to evacuate a planet endangered by an asteroid, Kirk's memory is erased by an obelisk. 4. And the Children Shall Lead: The adults of a scientific colony have died, and the children are rescued by the Enterprise. The children enact the plan of a "friendly angel", an alien named Gorgon. 5. Is There in Truth No Beauty?: A telepathic woman arrives with a Medusan ambassador. One sight of him drives humans insane. 6. Spectre of the Gun: Kirk and crew are forced to re-enact the shootout at the OK Corral. 7. Day of the Dove: An alien creature is on board the Enterprise and so are the Klingons, with only swords for weapons. 8. For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky: McCoy has a terminal disease. A high priestess on an asteroid-like vessel asks him to remain with her. 9. The Tholian Web: The Enterprise is searching for the missing starship, U.S.S. Defiant. They find the ship, but everyone is dead and the ship is trapped between universes. 10. Plato's Stepchildren: The crew of Enterprise save the life of seriously ill leader of a planet. The telekinetic inhabitants force Kirk, McCoy, Uhura, and Spock to stay on the planet. Features the first interracial kiss shown on TV. 11. Wink of an Eye: A landing party to Scalos disappear one at a time. Kirk falls victim and meets native Scalosians who can move faster than humanly detectable. 12. The Empath: Aliens perform experiments on two scientists who die. The aliens then kidnap Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a mute empath. 13. Elaan of Troyius: An ambassador's duty is to civilize a woman from Elas. According to legend, the tears of an Elassan woman affect men in strange ways. 14. Whom Gods Destroy: The Enterprise takes a new drug to a mental hospital in hopes of treating dangerously insane patients. 15. Let That Be Your Last Battlefield: Two survivors of a devastated planet remain committed to destroying one another. 16. The Mark of Gideon: Kirk is held by Gideonites who want to use him to solve their overpopulation problem. 17. That Which Survives: A woman appears out of nowhere, names her victim, and kills with a touch. 18. The Lights of Zetar: A cloud threatens the Enterprise but especially Lieutenant Mira Romaine. 19. Requiem for Methuselah: Kirk is dependent on an immortal human named Flint for a cure to a plague threatening the Enterprise. 20. The Way to Eden: A group of hippies hijack the Enterprise to search for Eden. 21. The Cloudminders: When Kirk is desperate for zenite to stop a plague on another planet, he is forced into negotiating peace between the miners and the sky-dwellers. 22. The Savage Curtain: Abraham Lincoln and Surak help the Enterprise in a fight against evil. 23. All Our Yesterdays: Kirk, Spock and McCoy enter a time portal and are trapped in the past of a planet that was about to be destroyed by a nova. 24. Turnabout Intruder: Dr. Lester, a woman from Kirk's past, exchanges bodies with him and takes control of the ship."
The voyage continues...
swingreen | Brooksville, FL United States | 07/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Where, exactly, does one start talking about THE original series that single-handedly launched the TV sci-fi genre like none that came before it and none has done since? What does one say about the one sci-fi show against which all subsequent sci-fi seems to be some kind of lesser imitation or spinoff? Should discussion begin with the original and imaginative concepts and themes - space warp, time travel, alternate realities and universes, powers of the mind and spirit, transporter beams - or should discussion start by talking about how masterfully familiar human interest themes are woven into a technological vision of the future? Or, maybe discussion should begin with how perfectly the show's central characters both complement and supplement each other at multiple levels of the human experience - the decisive commander-warrior, the rational half-human science officer, and the empathetic healer?
Ever since I began staying up late Friday nights to watch the original airings with my parents almost forty years ago, viewing rerun after rerun in syndication for the next fifteen years,sometimes twice a day, every day, and watching the spinoffs throughout the next fifteen years, the answers to those questions have always stayed just out of my reach. The problem has always been that my favorite Trek episode was usually the one I happened to be watching, or, if I hadn't been watching one, my top choices seemed to wander from episode to episode from day to day, even from morning to noon to night. I was vaguely aware that it had something to do with who I was, or what I was experiencing as a person at that particular moment.
Season three is often criticized as being the least original and interesting of the three original Star Trek seasons. Although there may be some truth to that sentiment, I believe it is a matter of degree. To say it is the least interesting of the three is not the same as saying that it is not worth watching. There are still many good episodes to stir the imagination.
In a theme repeated in future Trek spinoffs, Kirk feigns madness leading to his capture by the Romulans in order to execute his master plan to commit espionage aboard a Romulan ship in "The Enterprise Incident". "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" is a powerful allegory of the irrational and destructive nature of racism. The feasibility of artificial intelligence was correctly surmised long before the leading researchers in the field reached the same conclusion in "Requiem for Methuselah" where Kirk and Co. encounter a super-genius who has created a seemingly perfect robot spouse who, in the end, is shown to be nothing more than a sophisticated machine incapable of human feelings. "All Our Yesterdays" revisits the time travel theme in a wonderfully written story about Kirk, Spock, and McCoy's encounter with an automated librarian who is the caretaker of the archives of a great civilization that abandoned its homeworld as their sun nears the end of its life in a catastrophic explosion.
As I watch all these episodes again for what must be the eighth or ninth time, I still see things for the first time I somehow managed to miss throughout all my previous viewings, and I still find myself pondering the large questions of life: who and what is man?, love and hate, war and peace, faith and reason, and all the other issues related to our purpose in this life. The voyage never ended for me."
A preview of the special features on the second season
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 10/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With ratings that disappointed NBC, "Star Trek" quickly became targeted for cancellation by the end of the second season. The second season doesn't lack quality however it ranked in the ratings. Noted science fiction writers Theodore Sturgeon and Norman Spinrad along with fantasy and horror writer Robert Bloch turned in some of the finest episodes during season two. Sturgeon's "Amok Time" established a culture for Spock and established much of the mythology of the planet Vulcan. Spinrad's well written "The Doomsday Machine" proved a brilliant metaphor for the arms race when a machine that literally eats planets as part of its destructive pattern appears in our galaxy. While the optical effects were underwhelming at times (the USS Defiant which is destroyed is built from an AMC home model kit of the USS Enterprise and doesn't look at all convincing), the acting of guest William Windom was top notch and the taunt direction overcame these defects. Bloch's two contributions included the Halloween thriller "Catspaw" and the murder mystery "Wolf in the Fold". Both are top notch with strong performances from all the regular cast. Jerome Bixby ("Fantastic Voyage", the classic short story "It's a Good Life") contributed the alternate universe episode "Mirror, Mirror" where, due to a transporter accident Kirk, Bones, Scotty and Uhura are transported to an Enterprise whose mission is to conquer alien races, take what they want and kill those who get in the way. The late producer/writer Gene L. Coon contributes the terrific "Metamorphosis". Coon's humorous "A Piece of the Action" mined new territory for the series with its witty script and tongue-in-cheek tone. The talented writer Dorothy Fontana provides one of the finest episodes of the season with "Journey to Babel" about a meeting on the Enterprise between a variety of alien races and the discord one terrorist tries to create by murdering one of the delegates. Then of course there was neophyte writer David Gerrold's "The Trouble with Tribbles" (and his uncredited rewrite on the humorous "I Mudd"). Gerrold later became a Hugo and Nebula winning writer and his early career was nurtured by Roddenberry among many others.
There are many that felt that the second season didn't quite live up to the first but the characters had clear identities and the writing was just as strong with some of the finest episodes produced during season two. Certainly there were clunkers (Roddenberry's own "The Omega Glory" is among the worst the series ever produced) but the second season was every bit the equal of the first season. The optical effects also improved with fewer bad mattes (in some of the first season episodes the Enterprise appears transparent at times) and the acting became more self assured.
The picture quality is still stellar. Produced from the same master Paramount used for the Sci-Fi Channel debut and those produced for the individual sets released a couple of years ago, "TOS" looks exceptionally good with its rich day-glo 60's colors. The optical effects still look a bit dodgy but that's because they were produced using multiple exposures and, as a result, they're a bit less sharp with more grain (not a problem with the transfer per se)and also signficantly more analog debris.
The special features will be of particular interest to "Trek" fans and I've got a preview from my promo copy of the last disc of the set I received. "Life After Trek" focuses (as did the first) on a hobby of a cast member. This time Leonard Nimoy's hobby of still photography is examined. I don't know that I would call it a hobby based on the quality of the images we see. We also here Nimoy discuss his passion for photography and see some of his prints, his darkroom, etc.
"To Boldly Go" once again has Associate Producer Robert Justman, fan Bjo Trumble, Shatner and others dicuss their favorite episodes from season two. George Takei mentions his discomfort when Walter Koenig joined the show because he felt that Koenig might get some of his lines and screen time. Koenig points out that he never knew any of this and both comment on how they became good friends. The featurette focuses on the classic David Gerrold episode "The Troulbe with Tribbles" as well discussing how the producers wanted to experiment with the tone of the show more.
Walter Koenig also discusses his reception among the cast and why the show introduced his character (they were going after the "Davy Jones" look with his haircut). His character was designed to try and expand the audience as well. D. C. Fontana and the cast and crew also focus on their favorite episodes of season two as well.
"Kirk, Bones and Spock: Star Trek's Great Trio" consists of interviews of Shatner, Nimoy and D. C. Fontana discussing the chemistry of the trio of actors playing the main roles. Fontana mentions that Deforest Kelley wasn't original a top billed actor in the series but became so as the chemistry of the three actors became apparent. George Takei focuses on the presence that Shatner brought to the role of Shatner (without dishing on their differences in the past). John D. F. Black (former story editor and writer on the show), Mary Black as well as fan Bjo Trimble (who spearheaded the save Star Trek campaign that kept the series on the air for a third seasons) also comment on how the three interplay of the three actors brought the show its unique flavor that reached out and appealed to the broader audience that NBC couldn't bring to the show. There's quite a bit of discussion also about the late Kelley's unique southern charm and how he integrated into the role of McCoy.
"D.C. Fontana's Writer's Notebook" has former Trek story editor and writer Fontana expanding on the job of the story editor and what she brought to the table as both writer and editor expanding, revising and rewriting scripts with the participation of the show's writers. "Divine Diva: Nichelle Nicholls" focuses on the talented lady who played Uhura on the show. She discusses her beginnings in musical theater and how she ended up working on "Star Trek" Nicholls discusses how Roddenberry first cast her in his series "The Lieutenant" and how Roddenberry had the vision and guts to cast an African American actress in a prominent role on a prime time series that didn't fall into a stereotype. Evidently Nicholls suggested the name of Uhura for the character Roddenberry created for her (she actually read for Spock originally as the character didn't exist in the original series bible). It's a nice profile of one of Trek's most talented performers.
"Designing the Final Frontier" features designer Matt Jeffries discussing how he came to "Star Trek". Originally Jeffries was going to work on one of three new series "Mission: Impossible", "Star Trek" or a new western. "Star Trek" came up for production first. His unique designs are also highlighted in both this featurette as well as a stills gallery. Associate Producer Robert Justman highlights the unique qualities that Jeffries brought to the show and how he tried to give it a fantastic element that had just a touch of reality to make it something the audience of the 20th Century could relate to as well. Jeffries focuses on his collaborative efforts with the optical effects house Howard Anderson Company, how he interacted with the other production members and the difficulty of juggling as many as seven episodes at a time when it came to pre-production.
The set comes once again in the blue clam shell case (I believe it's designed to mirror the colors of the different shirts worn by the various crew members. If that's the case, it's ironic that the last season is red given that the red shirted characters frequently died and that the third season was the final one). Personally, I like the packaging but I also believe that the DVD holders should be more sturdy than they are here.
I Might Be Crazy, But This Is My Favorite Season
Matthew Comegys | Ueda, Nagano, Japan | 08/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, the often-reviled third season of Star Trek is in fact my favorite season. Why, you may ask? In the third season Roddenberry basically left the show for all intents and purposes, with Fred Friedberger pinch-hitting as the new producer, and the already tight budget getting cut further by the powers that be.
I suppose that I feel that some of the best art comes from tribulations and limitations. I will readily admit that episodes like "Spock's Brain" and "The Way to Eden" are pretty terrible (although thry are a lot of fun with a drink or five in hand). But some of the more wild ideas worked in a way that never appeared in the relatively more stable first two seasons.
"The Enterprise Incident," "The Tholian Web," "All Our Yesterdays" and "Day of the Dove" are classic well-constructed episode that would have stood out at any time of the show's run. But I have a soft spot for some of the stranger stuff. "The Paradise Syndrome" take a strange Frontierland approach that stands out and explores an emotional dimension of Kirk that rarely appeared in the series. Budget constraints actually turned what would have been the already good "Spectre of the Gun" into a surreal masterpiece. Unable to afford full western sets, the producers simply made it a plot point and managed to provide the episode with an unsettling tone that it would not have had otherwise. Although "Wink of the Eye" and "The Mark of Gideon" both have initially interesting concepts that do not hold up to intellectual scruitiny, they remain so much fun that I really don't care. "The World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" has a really cool concept that can withstand a little bit of thinking; plus the oracle is super cool. And strange as it may seem, I really love the floating blob of the week that is a hallmark of the season and appears in episodes like "The Lights of Zetar" and "Spectre of the Gun."
Yes, this season is a little on the campy side, but the whole original series is to a certain degree. It's one of the reasons I still love watching this show and for me the Third Season does not disappoint."