"Interesting is a word and a half for it, captain..."
Zagnorch | Terra, Sol System | 09/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"REVIEWED ITEM: Star Trek ® Original Series DVD Volume : Tomorrow is Yesterday © / The Return of the Archons ©TOMORROW IS YESTERDAY © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: the consequences of messin' 'round with the space-time continuumHistorical Milestone: Star Trek's first full-fledged time-travel episodeNotable Gaffe / Special De-fect: Be on the lookout for a scene where Spock's poppin' a communications earpiece into his noggin with his back facing the camera. If you take a good look at his ears, you can see the lack of craftsmanship in the particular pair he was wearing that day! It was definitely an off-day for the makeup department'Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: 1 IncapacitatedREVIEW/COMMENTARY: Ah, nothin' like a good time-travel eppie of Star Trek that tries to clear things up about the whole space-time thingy yet leaves you even more confused than ever before! For example, if the abducted Air Force pilot's progeny is going to make so significant a contribution to Earth's future that if he hadn't existed the Federation may not have ever existed, it would... umm... well, see what I mean? It's high time for me to dispense with the temporal mechanics and head into the fun parts of this eppie...In one of the most unbelievably silly fights ever filmed for network TV, Kirk manages to fend off three US Air Force officers in a scene more reminiscent of the Keystone Kops than Bruce Lee! Putting into consideration the high-quality (*snicker*) choreography of Kirk's previous Star Trek fisticuffs, it's not like it was any big surprise. Speaking of choreograohy, Tomorrow is YesterdayÂ© is also one of the series' best showcases of the bridge crew's amazing ability to lean in unison with the lurching ship! Heck, if synchronized leaning were an Olympic sport, all the US would do is send out the original Trek cast to compete! They'd win the gold by an even greater margin than the first couple of US Olympic Basketball Dream Teams did!THE RETURN OF THE ARCHONS © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: The downside of cultural stagnation leading to a soulless society and other excuses for Kirk to ignore Starfleet's Prime DirectiveHistorical Milestone: Star Trek's first significant 'Kirk-versus-machine' episodeExpendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: 2 'absorbed', subsequently recoveredREVIEW/COMMENTARY: Seen by many as Gene Roddenberry's commentary about the dangers of conformity in a society, 'Archons' is notable for being the first time Kirk saves the day by talking a computer to 'death'. In this instance, the computer is Landru, a machine that rules and guides a society of seemingly content and happy, yet soulless beings. One particular moment in this episode that really strikes me is the Festival, where the planet's citizenry go berserk and start a riot, complete with people wiggin' out, beatin' up on each other, and storefront windows gettin' smashed! It was likely a disquieting scene to behold for this episode's first viewing audience, what with the Watts riots having occurred a mere two years prior.Keeping with classic Star Trek's tradition of Kirk interpreting the Prime Directive in a way that suits his own beliefs, Jimbo convinces Landru that it is performing an evil deed by allowing the society that it leads to stagnate. And as one might expect, the master computer eventually self-destructs in a cloud of smoke after the good captain's little soliloquy about how a society needs challenges to overcome and other pro-organic-being rhetoric overloads the machine's logic circuits. Now if I only I could do to the computers of people who keep spamming my e-mail inbox what Jimmers did to Landru, I'd have one less frustration in the world to deal with......'Late"
One Of My Favorites
Stan | New York USA | 03/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tomorrow Is Yesterday is one of the best time-travel episodes in all of Trek. It follows all the warnings and some of the potential benfits any time travel story has to reckonize. Too bad they didn't make it the second half of a two-parter along with The Naked Now. I have to give credit where it's due. Leonard Nimoy made this point back on the Sci-Fi Channels Star Trek: Special Edition (back in '99 I think). Anyway, I never forgot the connection of two great stories.Maybe Return Of The Archons isn't near the top of anybody else's list but I think it's underrated. The story takes on a great number of ideas, from "arrested society" to "technological domination". Despite its flaws it tells a good story. My favorite gaff is the feeling of discontinuity, or was it bad editing?I always saw this episode as a 'Spock like computer' forcing its' logic on the 'emotional inhabitants' who probably would have destroyed themselves otherwise. This to me explains the 6:00 pm mayhem of the people and shows one of the flaws in machines ruling mankind (machines expecting humans to behave like machines). Remember this the next time you find yourself at a drive-thru ATM. Who's the boss?"