Here are the twenty episodes I wrote about again:
First, I think the run from middle of season 1 to middle of season 2 is certainly the highlight of the entire show (From Arena to Tribbles.) We knew the characters well enough by then and it was before the network started cutting back the budget and threatening to outright cancel the show. Twelve of the twenty episodes fall in that 30 episodes stretch.
Secondly, the final cancellation really became a self-fulfilling prophecy. After the letter writing campaign brought the show back for a third season, they were so hamstrung by the budget and the move to 10PM on Friday nights (wow that’s a bad time slot) that the output was very much worse. In many episodes they were just on a planet and then back on the ship because they didn’t want to pay for the transporter effects. Only half the cast appeared in many episodes presumably so they didn’t have to get paid (beyond Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley.) There are individual episodes that shined, but if you were a TV executive and you could dismiss the fact that most of this lower quality was your fault, you’d have to admit it wasn’t exactly a stellar show week to week by 1969. While people claim the cancellation was a huge blunder given what Star Trek has become, the real blunder wasn’t the cancellation it was the budget cuts and shifted time slot. Put the third season on at 8PM on Mondays with the same budget as season two and I think it would have stayed consistently good. Although the 50/50 quality of the movies might suggest otherwise.
-What episodes should have been included?
-What should have been taken out?
-If you re-watched these episodes along with me, which ones were better or worse than you remember and why?
Thank you all for reading these reviews and mostly overlooking my typos. I can go back to the office next week so the timing was pretty good. Good luck to everyone with whatever re-opening schedule you may be one.
Live long, and Prosper.