The Original Series – Season 3
Review by Lando da Pimp
While Star Trek The Original Series was a phenomenon that revolutionized science fiction on television, the last season of the series was never able to better the previous seasons. Season 3 had a number of problems including cancellation threats, timeslot changes, and budget cuts. Because of this, Season 3 never lived up to its potential and most consider it to be a weak collection of episodes. Like all shows, some episodes do stand out while also containing some memorable moments.
Stand Out Episodes
The Original Series had great original stories that gave great life lessons. Season Two contains some of the greatest Original Series episodes.
The season begins with the episode "Spock's Brain." The Enterprise and its crew are knocked out by an alien intruder. McCoy awakes to discover Spock on a surgical table with his brain removed. With only a small amount of time to find Spock, Kirk begins his search for the brain only to discover Spock's brain communicating with them through the communicator and instructs the doctor on reconnecting the brain.
The Enterprise Incident
An undercover mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device finds the Enterprise in the Neutral Zone. Beaming over to a Romulan ship, Kirk pretends to be insane and commanding the Enterprise on his own personal accord. Kirk's death is faked and his body returned to the ship. Disguised as a Romulan, Kirk returns to the Romulan ship and steals the vessel's cloaking device and returns with it to the U.S.S. Enterprise. When the Commander discovers the theft, she feels betrayed and in retaliation decides to execute Spock. This is the best episode of the series however the "Romulan Disquise" is lame.
For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
This episode has my favorite title, "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky." Dr. McCoy is diagnosed with a fatal illness which coincidently happens after the ship encounters a ship disguised as an asteroid on a collision course with a populated planet. When the Kirk and team beam over to stop the collision, they contend with the computer oracle which controls the inhabitants of the ship, of whom McCoy becomes one when he elects to remain there after falling in love with the high priestess.
The Paradise Syndrome
The crew encounters an alien device giving Kirk amnesia. This prevents Kirk from remembering his mission of saving the planet. Forgetting who he is, he accepts a position of honor among the local tribe and falls in love with an Indian Princess. Kirk marries the woman and is punished for not stopping the disaster when the meteors fall.
The Savage Curtain
In possibly the weirdest episode of the series an alien sets up the ultimate confrontation between Kirk, Spock, Abraham Lincoln, and Vulcan philosopher Surak. That's right Abraham Lincoln. It is the oddest moment of the series and how (or why) somebody came up with it is beyond me. The four are pitted to fight against four of the most evil beings ever to haunt the galaxy.
On the bonus disc the black and white and colour versions of The Cage is included. This was the original pilot for Star Trek, featuring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike instead of William Shatner. Thirteen years before Kirk the U.S.S. Enterprise receives a distress signal from the planet Talos IV. Pike and his crew beam down to investigate only to discover crash survivors from a missing scientific expedition.
Following the first two sets, Season Three is encased in a bright red plastic communicator shaped case. I think the cases are appropriate for the series. I do find it hard to fit them on my shelf.
The DVD extras for season 3 include a great selection of material including the standard recap of the season discussed by the cast and crew. Reliving memories and stories including how the cancellation threats were delt with are very enjoyable. If only the studio knew how popular the show would later become. A great featurette examining Star Trek memorabilia and merchandise is examined looking at very rare and valuable items. A look at the actors Walter Koenig and James Doohan and their characters are the last of the cast to be featured. Also included is James Doohan's final interview he gave before retirement. DVD Easter Eggs titled The Red Shirt Logs are funny short featurettes of anecdotes from the cast and crew.
I have to admit that Season 3 was not a DVD I was really looking forward to picking up, but found it worth the money. The series doesn't live up to its potential and is a disappointment at times. Like all seasons there are always some good episodes but the overall storytelling became very silly. The inclusion of both versions of The Cage however, makes it worth the price. I had never seen the original pilot and thankful that Kirk was later added. The original Enterprise without Kirk is hard to imagine. Season 3 is as always a DVD for true Trekkies, but I find it hard for non-trekkies to enjoy it.
Star Trek The Original Series Season 3 is available from Amazon.com
Check out the other Star Trek DVDs and movies we've reviewed.