"A Piece of the Action," Ep. 49 - Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise crew visit a planet that has developed a civilization based on a book a previous Starfleet crew left: Chicago Mobs of the Twenties. "By Any Other Name," Ep. ... more »50 - The U.S.S. Enterprise is commandeered by the Kelvans, a group of aliens from the Andromeda galaxy who have assumed human form and plan to take over the Milky Way galaxy.« less
PIECE OF THE ACTION
Ok... This is on my "You Gotta Watch This" Not so much that if you don't you'll miss out on some important Star Trek Universe event... But... it is HILARIOUS!
And at least they intended this one to be a comedy episode.
Kirk and Spock on a planet of 1930s Gangsters. It's great.
Has some really funny one liners, plus Spock looks particularly good in the gangster suit and hat.
Also has a good "Kirk Driving Car" scene which is doubly funny after having seen the 2009 movie.
Altogether a FUN episode. MUST SEE
BY ANY OTHER NAME
Another famous one because of the "crew turns into little Styrofoam/Chalky blocks" plot device. I don't know if everyone just wanted a vacation or what, but it works out to be very dramatic. Or at least memorable.
The BEST scene is with Scotty and getting an Alien Drunk.
If you like Scotty you HAVE to see this episode.
Another great pair from TOS
Rottenberg's rotten book review | nyc | 12/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another pairing of great if mismatched episodes. I guess the idea was to pool dissimilar episodes rather than the episodes which seem like slight variations on a single idea (like sending the crew to planets ruled by modern day versions of Nazi Germany or Imperial Rome).In "A Piece of the Action", the crew journeys to Iotia, a planet whose inhabitants prove incredibly resourceful and adaptive. Based upon a single book on 1920's Gangsters left behind by a previous starship, the Iotians have modeled their entire culture to resemble Jazz-era Chicago - Tommyguns, mob-molls, hits and all. Landing on Iotia to open contact, Kirk and crew find themselves in the middle of a gang war. The episode is funny without being too campy (forgetting that this is the story requiring the heroes to sneak around a Paramount backlot in period costume). Kirk struggles to unite the warring gangs for the good of the planet without taking sides and without becoming another hit. The last shot is classic - leaving open the possibility that the Iotians may one day demand a piece of the Starfleet's action.In "By any other name", the Enterprise is hijacked by the Kelvan - an advanced race of beings from the Andromeda galaxy. Having been marooned when their ship was crippled by the energy barrier at the rim of our galaxy (the same barrier that has made appearances in "Where no man has gone before", "Is there no truth in Beauty" and the fifth Trek film), the Kelvan took on the shape of human beings. Their actual forms - immense being with many tentacles and huge brains - would have trouble managing turbolifts. Once past the barrier, the Kelvan use their advance technology to reduce much of the crew into small styrofoam boxes, and otherwise keep the remaining crew in submission. Their mission is to reach their home galaxy and return to ours with a massive invasion force. This is a great episode, combining some subtle wit and quick thinking with some matchless direction. In one excellent cut, Scott, Spock and Kirk weigh their options enroute to the bridge. With the Kelvan homecoming a possible harbinger of invasion, the crew realizes that more than their own lives are stake. Yet, against the Kelvan technology, only a single plan is available and suicidal at that. "The Kelvan will be stopped here", Spock intones gravely "and so will we." Kirk is about to respond in fury - there's got to be something else we can do - when the door opens. None of the nex-gen episodes can touch that moment. Get this DVD."
Right? Unquestionably. RIGHT? RIGHT!
Hank Drake | Cleveland, OH United States | 07/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 25 of Paramount's complete reissue of Classic Star Trek contains two stories showcasing superior writing and offering plenty of action. A Piece of the Action remains one of Trek's most popular episodes. In essence, it's a time travel episode, without the time travel, which frees the story from the usual "Don't alter the future" constraints. The hands of Gene L. Coon, who co-wrote this episode, are evident in the colorful writing, and in the banter between the characters. Deliberately, the Iotians are all made to speak using a nonstop stream of 1920s cliches. When Kirk adopts these cliches, and eventually persuades Spock to adopt them, the course is set for maximum comedy.By Any Other Name is mostly standard action fare, involving the Enterprise being hijacked by an invading force of Kelvans from another galaxy. These esoteric aliens have taken Human form to be able to function in a human environment. The solution is to introduce them to the pleasures of the senses, which creates a chance for James Doohan to shine as Scotty gets a Kelvan, and himself, drunk. This episode also highlights one of Kirk's finest characteristics: his willingness to forgive. Even after the Kelvan leader has killed one of his crew, Kirk is willing to extend the hand of friendship and offer the Federation's help.Both sound and picture are fine."
Sopranos in Space
D. Jansing | Rome, New York United States | 09/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Piece of the Action was always one of my favorite episodes. Until you see these on DVD, you don't realize how much got cut out in order to cram in more commercials. These are actually well-thought out masterpieces of television history that didn't deserve to be hacked to pieces like that. William Shatner did a superlative acting job here, as did guest star Vic Taybeck. By Any Other Name was almost as good. My favorite scene is where Scotty gets the one Kelvan drunk, takes his "turn people into styrofoam blocks" doohickey, and passes out cold in the doorway of his quarters."
TWO GREAT SECOND SEASON EPISODES!!!
Jared Insell | Canada | 10/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 25 of the Star Trek DVD collection has two great episodes from the second season. Although season 1 of Star Trek was far more diverse and fresh, season 2 just happend to spawn some of the series most classic and memorable episodes. This DVD contains just two of these great episodes.A PIECE OF THE ACTION may very well be one of the top five most popular episodes of the original series. The Enterpirse crew arrives at Sigma Iotia II to find a civilization similar to the Chicago Mobs of the 1920's. The planet itself has been divided by gang wars and Kirk feels he must reunite the planet so it can have good relation with the Federation. Kirk resorts to him and Mr. Spock donning mobster gear and talking in slang which leads to A PIECE OF THE ACTION being one of the funniest Star Trek episodes. The episode itslef is quite good and very entertaining especially Kirk driving the old jalopy, the card game and Spock acting like a gangster. However the episode wraps up unevenly and it really makes you think: Kirk completely disobeyed the Prime Directive in this episode! However this episode doesn't fail to please and the end left this plot open for a sequel. Unfortunetly it has never been produced. A PIECE OF THE ACTION is an excellent episode of Star Trek though.BY ANY OTHER NAME may be one of the strangest episodes of Star Trek ever! Kirk and the crew are abducted by Kelvans who take on a human form. The Kelvans demand control of The Enterprise so they can take a voyage to find a planet suitable for colonzation since there own ship was destroyed. The Kelvans are so ruthless they even go to the extent to killing an innocent enterprise crew member to get what they want. This makes BY ANY OTHER NAME seems like a serious episode that is until the crew discovers the Kelvans weakness: human sense and emotion. This results in Kirk flirting with the beautiful Kelinda, Spock making Rojan feel jealousy, and Scotty getting himself and another Kelvan drunk. This results in BY ANY OTHER NAME to be a comical episode of Star Trek but it's strange how the mood changes. The first half hour is somewhat dark whereas the second half hour is bright and funny. The episode ends with The Kelvans making peace with the Federation even after the death of a crewmate. BY ANY OTHER NAME is an uneven but above average episode of Star Trek. In conclusion I highly recommend this DVD for it does have twoo great episodes. The picture and quality are fine too! Highly recommended!"
Two Comedic Episodes But Average Overall!
Frederick Baptist | Singapore | 12/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you are choosing which volumes to keep, this one falls under the "nice to have but not essential" category. In the first episode, we get a comical episode as "Koirck" and then Spock attempt to pass themselves off as old-time Chicago-style gangsters with extremely humourous results. The plot is admittedly far-fetched and full of holes and yet this is what adds to the humour of the episode which is never meant to be taken too seriously. Overall a slightly above average episode.
The second episode is also humourous although it is a little less so when compared with the first. Aliens hell-bent on subduing the members of the Enterprise end up having to deal with human style sensations which ultimately results in their undoing. It is precisely the way the Enterprise crew and especially Spock's role in making the Kelvan commander jealous is what makes this episode really funny.
In conclusion, this volume contains two above average episodes which nevertheless fall far short from the heights achieved on other Season 1 episodes."