Saturday, August 16, 2008


Here in the Bat Cave I get excellent internet access - faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Ooops, I'm mixing up my superheroes here. At any rate, one of the things I've been doing is knitting to Star Trek The Original Series. CBS has some episodes on their site from the first season HDTV remasters; I don't know that, for most folks, these HDTV episodes are that big of an improvement over the remasters of just a couple of years ago, but since I don't have any of these on dvd at home, I'm enjoying the access I'm getting in the Bat Cave.

Now I cannot honestly claim that Star Trek was the best thing to ever happen to television (Hello - The Simspons? Blackadder? I, Claudius?), but through constant association with die hard fans over the years, I've developed a comfortable relationship with the series. And it's not just the pleasure of listening to Shatner sing "Mr Tamborine Man" or Nimoy sing "Proud Mary" (although these are indeed highlights of late 20th cent. culture, don't get me wrong.).

For example, my sister collected all the pocket paperbacks with stories based on episodes, and in junior high school I read them through at least once. Some of them were very well written, and more than one story had an ending much more interesting than what was shown on tv. The episode where they visit the planet of the Greek gods, and the female crewmember was raped by Zeus, for example, has the young woman pregnant at the end of the printed version; but of course the tv show couldn't have someone getting pregnant by a deity, not in 1960-whatever.

However, my greatest pleasure are the episodes of the first season. The show had a real budget, and it was used to great effect. Nice sets, lots of colored gels on the lights, carefully posed shots, interesting camera angles - if you ignore those instances of overacting by Shatner and Kelley, the first season is complete eye candy. And the music was really nicely done, too - again, it's obvious that great care was taken to make it work, and work well. And don't get me started on the sound effects - wonderful things done by talented musicians and effects artists simply by using tape, reel-to-reel tape. I totally love the sound effects (and I've tormented more than one person with that love).

So for any of you who have a great connexion, I recommend going to the CBS site and looking for the HD Star Trek episodes, Season One. Watch "The Conscience of the King" with Kodos the Executioner (not to be confused with Kodos from the Simpsons); and don't worry about the plot and dialog. Look at how carefully the show was filmed, listen to how nice the music cues are - such visual imagination deserves to be noticed.

Please don't confuse me with Kodos the Executioner!


Anonymous said...

Star Trek, I am in total agreement. And what a lovely way to spend time when the forces of nature limit one's activities. (Love the fan!) Goat Hostage.

Jane said...

Yes, I braved the elements this morning to return to my apartment - 10 am, and 27.9 degrees inside. Then the clouds showed up - relief in sight? Not bloody likely. The humidity shot up to something that felt like 120% (notice that measurement makes no claim to scientific accuracy). But I'm prepared to curl up with a vanilla yogurt and more Star Trek later this afternoon.