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Star Trek: The Alternative Alternative Factor

kelloggs2066's picture

A new book has been released by Marc Cushman on the original Star Trek. Apparently the first of three volumes this is "These Are The Voyages, TOS, Season One" While I do not have a copy yet, there are a couple of excerpts online. They give some detail and anecdotes into the production of the early episodes. One episode covered explains the mystery of why "The Alternative Factor" really really really sucks.

Apparently, it was re-written at the last minute when the NBC Producer said they would refuse to run or pay for the story as written.

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EPISODE REVIEW: The Event :"For the Good of Our Country (Season 1, Episode 8)

sysadmin 2.0's picture

Well, I'm watching it on the big TV this week-- probably because nobody wants to watch the Redskins-Eagles game. (And no, Jerry, Glen Frey wasn't playing….)

Here comes the big question- after this week's episode, will I be banished again?

Click through to find out!

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: So What Have We Learned?

Republibot 3.0's picture

Last week we finished up the short-lived Quark series, the second short-lived deservedly-forgotten 1978 SF series we’ve covered here (The first being “Man From Atlantis”). When these things are done, I like to sit back, cogitate upon them for a bit, and try to figure out what we’ve learned.

So what have we learned, here?

Well, we’ve learned that a 43-year-old man’s 32-year-old memories of an 11-year-old kid’s favorite show aren’t terribly reliable.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “Vanessa 38-24-36” (Episode 8)

Republibot 3.0's picture

The only thing more frustrating than a crappy show that never quite lives up to its potential is a crappy sitcom that isn’t particularly funny, and *still* fails to live up to it’s potential. The only thing more frustrating than that is if the crappy, unfunny show *Suddenly* gets it right, and is immediately cancelled.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “All The Emperor‘s Quasi-Norms, Part 2” (Episode 7)

Republibot 3.0's picture

…and now we come to part two of the penultimate story from Quark. Why did I break it in half and run it in two reviews, rather than cover the story as a whole? Well, primarily because the writers felt this story was so sprawling it could only really be appreciated in two discrete halves, and the network agreed. But in a larger, less dishonest sense, it’s because my review was running long, and I got tired of typing. Also, I paid good money for these DVDs, and there’s only eight episodes total. I wanted to pad it out a bit.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “All The Emperor‘s Quasi-Norms, Part 1” (Episode 6)

Republibot 3.0's picture

Remember how I said that Quark’s purpose in 1978 was to make fun of (Or rip off) whatever Star Trek had been doing in 1968? Well, as limiting as that was, it worked for them. You’re unwise not to go with what works. Unfortunately they got a little more ambitious this time out and, well, ambition and status quo are not friends, you know? The results are mixed at best.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “Goodbye, Polumbus” (Episode 5)

Republibot 3.0's picture

We’re now more than halfway through the run of this series, and this is the third mostly-decent episode in a row, so I think we can fairly start to make some generalizations about the series: Quark’s modus operandi in 1978 was to do whatever Star Trek did in 1968.

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “The Good, The Bad, and the Ficus” (Episode 4)

Republibot 3.0's picture

Quark’s groove continues, and what’s working is pretty easy to define: They’re making fun of Star Trek. Last time out they ripped off “The Deadly Years,” and this time out they’re ripping off (And conflating) “Mirror Mirror” and “The Enemy Within.”

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The Cape (No, not the one with Corbin Bernsen about NASA...)

Republibot 3.0's picture

Yesterday, I mentioned "No Ordinary Family," one of the new fall shows, which looked - no offence - kinda' lame. Then I found out that there's yet another live action superhero show on in the fall. This one is "The Cape" from NBC, and heaven help me, it actually looks kinda' good!

Click through for a sneak peak

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RETROSPECULATIVE TV: Quark: “The Old and the Beautiful” (Episode 3)

Republibot 3.0's picture

Suddenly Quark works! It’s not brilliant SF, but it comes across as a story rather than just a series of gags. Granted, it really *is* just a series of gags, but after the really disjointed previous two episodes - which weren’t complete failures by any stretch - this one suddenly feels really tight and consistent.

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