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To Boldly Split Infinitives
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:26 pm    Post subject: To Boldly Split Infinitives Reply with quote

I may have to save up my shekels and pick up this DVD set. It's better than watching it on Sci-Fi Channel, where they butcher the show to pieces.

OK, let's all reminiss about our first Star Trek experience. Hey, it's more wholesome than discussing some other first experiences .

I've been a Trekkie for over 30 years. It's strange, because originally I hated the show. I was about three or four years old, and back then WPIX (Ch. 11) in New York used to run the show every night a 6pm. My parents would watch it all the time, but I'd run out of the room, or make them change the channel, because I was scared of Mr. Spock. (I was a dopey kid. I was scared of Herman Munster and Lurch at the time, as well.) One day (I was about 4 or 5 now), my dad sat me in front of the TV, and showed me there was nothing to be afraid of. I remeber the episode: "Spock's Brain". Yeah, it's amazing, but after watching one of the dopiest episodes of the series, I was hooked. Everynight, I had too watch Star Trek. If I didn't get to watch Trek, I would throw a tantrum. If they pre-empted it for another show, I threw a tantrum - unless, of course, it was a Yankee game. WPIX used to show a healthy amount of Yankee games in those days - complete with Phil "Holy Cow" Rizzuto behind the mic. Today, WPIX shows neither Star Trek nor Yankee games (they have the lowly Mets, now), but they've still got the Honeymooners and The Odd Couple.

Like Greg, I was forced to watch Trek originally in B&W, because my dad was too cheap to buy a color set (this is back in the '70s, kids, when a color TV was still a big investment). However, my grandparents lived in the neighborhood, and had a color set, so I got to see the bold colors every now and then. I think the first episode I can remember seeing in color was "Mirror Mirror" (Spock looks even scarier in a beard). My grandfather would say, "Vat are vatching? Star Drek? Vhy do you vant to vatch dis show with dee monsters? Vatch [PBS]. It's educational!"

By the time I was in junior-high, I had seen every episode several times, so I knew them all pretty well. I also had three large Trek posters on my bedroom wall ("Vhy do you hang up pictures of monsters?"). Around this time, my dad bought a really good UHF antennae from Radio Shack (we still didn't have cable - thanks Donald Manes), and I discovered WTXX Ch. 20, in Waterbury, Conneticut, showed Star Trek. I also discovered that WPIX was cutting out scenes from the show to add extra commercials, because WTXX was showing me scenes I hadn't remembered ever seeing. I soon learned Trek wasn't the only thing WTXX was showing uncut. They also would show R-rated movies uncut, complete with nudity. For an adolecent boy, who didn't have cable, this was a gold mine.

Today, because of my familiarity with all the episodes, I find it painful to watch Trek on the Sci-Fi channel (when I can find it) because they just cut the show to pieces - a line here, a scene there - and I notice all the cuts, and I just get angry, because they are ruining the enjoyment of my all-time favorite TV show. Worse, they stick commerical breaks where they don't belong, and then fail to go to comerical where the original commercial breaks were. I wonder if Spike TV would do a better job?

Of course, I could quit my belly-aching, and buy the DVDs, but I've got other expenses to worry about right now. It is a purchase I plan to make soon, however.
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ChrisCO
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: To Boldly Split Infinitives Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
Like Greg, I was forced to watch Trek originally in B&W, because my dad was too cheap to buy a color set (this is back in the '70s, kids, when a color TV was still a big investment).


B&W, yep had one too. Of course in order to change the channel, you had to turn the dial on the TV. No remote!!!

Rip Tanion wrote:
Around this time, my dad bought a really good UHF antennae from Radio Shack (we still didn't have cable - thanks Donald Manes),


Wow, an antennae too! We had rabbit ears that we had to play around with. Sometimes, one of us had to stand and hold the rabbit ears in order for the picture to come in. I remember smacking the side of the tv for the picture to stop flipping too!

When we finally got cable, we had a cable box for channel selection that had a short cord on it. You couldn't move too far away from the tv with the cable box.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:45 am    Post subject: Re: To Boldly Split Infinitives Reply with quote

More Trek news - http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Entertainment/ap20040831_1923.html

ChrisCO wrote:
B&W, yep had one too. Of course in order to change the channel, you had to turn the dial on the TV. No remote!!!
Two dials. One for VHF, and one for UHF. I had an aunt who had one of those radio remote controls, that when you clicked it, it physically moved the tuner dial.

These young whipper-snappers today don't know from dials. I can remeber my father yelling at me if I turned the dial too fast, because he said it would burn out the tuner. I remeber we also had that TV dial tuner cleaner spray can (courtesy of Radio Shack) in the closet. I used my bare feet as a remote control. I'd lay on the floor, watching cartoons, and reach out my leg, grab the dial with my toes, and changed the channel. Yeah, I was very monkey like.

ChrisCO wrote:
Wow, an antennae too! We had rabbit ears that we had to play around with. Sometimes, one of us had to stand and hold the rabbit ears in order for the picture to come in. I remember smacking the side of the tv for the picture to stop flipping too!
We just needed the antennae for UHF. The building we lived in was built in the late '60s, so there was an antennae outlet (both 300Ω screws, and 75Ω coax), in the living room, that ran to a master VHF aerial on the roof.

Scrolling picture was a big problem back in those days, which is why most sets had a vertical hold knob. I can remeber having to fool with that knob all the time. Of course, yes, sometimes you had to resort to smacking the side of TV.

ChrisCO wrote:
When we finally got cable, we had a cable box for channel selection that had a short cord on it. You couldn't move too far away from the tv with the cable box.
The outer boroughs of NYC got cable very late, and by the time we got it, they already had infra-red remotes. However, I can remeber going up to my uncle's house, up in country, were they got cable early (because the Catskill Mountains killed the regular reception), and they had that same kind of corded box up there. It had a mess of buttons, too, one for each channel.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, we had separate VHF and UHF dials as well. My parents still use the rabbit ears (I think- I know they don't have cable), but they do have a modern TV with a remote and everything, so that's progress. Actually, I don't have cable or satellite or anything for my TV either, since there's nothing good on anyway.

Rip, I'm happy to report that Kirk and the Enterprise have never looked better on the new DVD release. I watched "The Man Trap" and "Charlie X" this evening and am sorely tempted to continue with "Where No Man Has Gone Before" before I turn in.

As well as Doohan's star on the walk of fame, there was an article in the New York Times today (registration probably required to read, or just visit BugMeNot for a login/password) which is probably related to both of the Trek happenings.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
I watched..."Charlie X" this evening
"He had a mean look. I had to freeze him. I like happy looks."

WPIX used to cut out that whole rec-room scene, I remember, with Uhura singing, and Charlie doing card tricks. But they left in the girls doing cartwheels in the gym, which Sci-Fi cut out last time I watched it.

Damn, Greg, you're tempting me to order this thing before I got to bed. Must resist temptation! Must not spend lots of money! Must go to sleep, and dream of green Orion slave girls...doing cartwheels!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a screencap from "Charlie X" of Captain Kirk in his command chair which you can use for your desktop wallpaper (or to print out and toss eggs at, if that's your thing). There's a fair amount of .jpg compression evident, but whatever. The thing that's struck me most is the ligthting and colors that were used on the show. It's very impressionistic.

"Charlie X" was one of those episodes that really creeped me out when I was a kid, particularly the bit where Charlie walks by the room of people having fun and shouts, "No laughing!" After he walks away and the woman feels her way out into the hallway with her face gone!- Well, that really disturbed me. Sorry to say, but that particular special effect doesn't hold up as well as other aspects of the show for me, but I can easily see that as an example of a scene that has more impact in black & white rather than color.

It occured to me that if Spock disturbed you as a youngster, then "Spock's Brain" is the perfect episode to dispel that fear, since he's essentially a helpless toy for most of the show. Sort of takes the wind out of his sails.
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Eric F Myers
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's scary to think about how many hours of Star Trek I have watched in my life. I remember, when I was little, coming home from church on Sunday mornings. I would sit down with my father and watch a rerun of TOS before lunch. Then years latter watching TNG with him every week. I would make him laugh when I described the epic battles between Worf and Chewbacca. He died of cancer when I was in the sixth grade (in 1989) so he never got to see the rest of the series or movies. I think that's I why I watch so much Science Fiction. It's a link to my past, a way to connect to a man I barely remember any more.
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William G
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched it as a kid. Wrath Of Kahn kicked all sorts of ass.

Became a Trek nerd like everyone else during the TNG era.

Got tired of it and nerddom, but watched it out of habit.

Lost the habit, watched it out of there being nothing else on, or when I saw a promo featuring big Vulcan boobies with perky nipples in a tank top.

And while I do like Star Trek, I've become far enough removed from it to realize that all of the modern era series had their heads stuck pretty far up their own asses as far as taking themselves too seriously went.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
The thing that's struck me most is the ligthting and colors that were used on the show. It's very impressionistic.
I noticed over the years, the bridge lighting varied from episode to episode during the first season, but by the second season it was pretty uniform, and bright, as opposed to the dimmer lighting used in some early episodes. And all the men seemed to have very noticable blue eye-shadow in those early ones.

Greg Stephens wrote:
"Charlie X" was one of those episodes that really creeped me out when I was a kid, particularly the bit where Charlie walks by the room of people having fun and shouts, "No laughing!" After he walks away and the woman feels her way out into the hallway with her face gone!- Well, that really disturbed me. Sorry to say, but that particular special effect doesn't hold up as well as other aspects of the show for me, but I can easily see that as an example of a scene that has more impact in black & white rather than color.
Yeah, the girl with no face used to freak me out, too. When I watch it today, it's pretty clear she's wearing something like a heavy stocking on her face. When he turns Tina into a lizard, that's freaky too.

I loved that episode when I was a kid. I used roll my eyes back, like Charlie, trying to do wierd shit. My mother would always tell me to "Cut it out. You'll ruin your eyes!" Maybe that's why my vision is so bad, today.

Greg Stephens wrote:
It occured to me that if Spock disturbed you as a youngster, then "Spock's Brain" is the perfect episode to dispel that fear, since he's essentially a helpless toy for most of the show.
Back then I didn't know what they meant by "pain and delight", either.

efm wrote:
It's scary to think about how many hours of Star Trek I have watched in my life.
Yeah, me too. I don't even want to begin to try to count.

William G wrote:
Became a Trek nerd like everyone else during the TNG era.
You whipper-snapper ! By the time TNG came on the air, I had sort of grown out of my Trek nerddom (though never completely). By that time, I was more into sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll.

So I assume they order the episodes on the DVD by air-date order, as opposed to production order. If you look at an episode guide, you will see that NBC just threw episodes on willy nilly, as opposed to the order that they were filmed.

When I was a kid, WPIX used to show the episode in production order, not NBC air-date order. So the when they started a new cycle, the would start with "WNMHGB", and then "Corbomite", "Mudd's Women" and so on. I prefer it this way, rather than original air order ("Man Trap", "Charlie X". "WNMHGF", etc.). Maybe it because that's the way I remeber it growing up, but I think by showing the show in production order, you get a better sence about how the show evolved.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The DVDs present the episodes in airdate sequence, but on the menus they show the production number. Thus, disc one shows that you can watch episodes 6, 8, 2 and 7.

See for yourself- Menu shots found here.

I would wax nostalgic about the Next Generation for a bit, but I am short of time just now.
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Tim Mallos
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:36 pm    Post subject: My first Trek experience Reply with quote

I don't remember the episode(s), although I think one of the first was the one about the shape-shifting-salt-sucking alien.

My parents had friends who lived on the next block who would watch me from time to time. I called the woman Aunt Coo-coo. They had a coo-coo clock, and aparently I always wanted the hands advanced to see the bird pop out. I have no memory of starting to call her that, that was just always her name to me.

Anyway, I first watched Star Trek at their house (early '70's, big console wood-cabinet TV with the VHF and UHF dials, but color, as I recall).

For years and years they would watch Star Trek at 6pm and drink martini after martini. For me, the original Star Trek is forever associated with big green martini olives and those dark salty "bar chips" snack things.

Tim
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
See for yourself- Menu shots found here.
Good Lord! There's nobody piloting the ship! Get out of the way! Runaway starship!

Tim Mallos wrote:
I don't remember the episode(s), although I think one of the first was the one about the shape-shifting-salt-sucking alien.
Yeah, that was "Man Trap". NBC chose it to be the first episdoe because it had a "monster" in it. All "The Corbomite Maneuver" had was an alien puppet voiced by Lurch, and Opie's kid brother.

Tim Mallos wrote:
For years and years they would watch Star Trek at 6pm and drink martini after martini. For me, the original Star Trek is forever associated with big green martini olives and those dark salty "bar chips" snack things.
What? No Saurian Brandy, or Trania? No brightly colored marshmallows?
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens in his 9/14/04 blog entry wrote:
Watched the Star Trek Original Series episode "Arena" last night.
Kirk understands primative cannons.

I never understood why Kirk felt sorry for the Gorn. I mean, if the Gorn really had a legitamite claim to Cestus 3, then they should have sent an ultimatum to the Federation to beat feat, or get attacked. But they didn't. They just launched a sneak attack upon the colony, obliterating it, and then lured the Enterprise in with a fake message. How cold blooded.

And I doubt the Gorn really would have been "merciful and quick" in killing Kirk.

Those snooty Metrons had a lot nerve pulling what they did, too. They're almost as bad as the Organians.
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