“Is There in Truth No Beauty?” Remastered Review, Screenshots & Video [UPDATED]

REVIEW
by Jeff Bond

Packed with intriguing ideas and at least one bit of iconic Trek lore, “Is There In Truth No Beauty?” still suffers from many of the vices of the show’s third season, not the least of which is its occasionally prehistoric attitude toward women. Diana Muldaur makes her second Trek appearance, this time as Dr. Miranda Jones, a telepath preparing to accompany a shapeless alien ambassador to its homeworld.

Ambassador Kollos and the Medusan race are among the series’ most intriguing aliens and an excellent example of the way the original show, even with its limited resources, was often far more imaginative in its depiction of aliens than the bumpy-forehead-obsessed later Treks. With just a plastic box, some leftover psychedelic optical effects and, crucially, Leonard Nimoy’s typically superb interpretive performance, the episode conjures up a sophisticated and convincing alien race.

Muldaur’s character is sophisticated as well, but she’s also symbolic of the way Trek treated women, particularly in the third season. Jones is a scientist and a diplomat, a woman with special abilities, but the script has every male on the ship fawning over her to a degree that’s condescending and in Kirk’s case almost silly. Their concern is that a woman so beautiful is being wasted on a race of beings that are hideous, the stated implication being that she’s far more useful as a wife to some deserving man than she is as the only human being capable of interacting with a vitally important alien race. There’s a fan fiction aspect to this that’s shared by “The Lights of Zetar” (although “Beauty” is a far superior episode)—sadly in both cases the condescension is foisted by female writers who seem to want to project themselves into the episode by conjuring up an idealized woman who boards the Enterprise and has everyone’s favorite Trek heroes falling in love with her. At the same time, these stories (add “The Enterprise Incident,” “Elaan of Troyius” and “Turnabout Intruder” to the mix) place women in potentially powerful positions that were unusual for the time, but undermine them by insisting that any woman in such a position must be fatally flawed.

Dr. Jones comes off a bit better than some of these characters because she is complex and throughout the story successfully fends off the attempts to pigeonhole her into a male-defined role. Indeed the weakest character in the story is Larry Marvick (David Frankham in a rather underrated crazy performance), whose love for Miranda has metastasized into a homicidal jealousy—he’s mad long before he’s driven completely over the edge by looking at Kollos without protective visors. Jones also successfully resists Kirk’s rather transparent attempt to seduce her, surely one of the least convincing such gambits in the series’ run—Kirk is out of character here in a storyline that is not centered around him. It’s unnecessary that Kirk be smitten by Miranda and his scenes unbalance an episode that might have seemed less soapy without them. To her credit Miranda (with Kirk’s prodding of course) overcomes her own weakness, her jealousy of Spock’s abilities, in time to save him from the madness of Medusan contact as well—and in time to help Spock promote Gene Roddenberry’s IDIC medallion, a story element the Trek creator reportedly added (over Nimoy’s objections) to give his marketing company Lincoln Enterprises a trinket to sell to fans.

“Is There In Truth No Beauty” is Trek Remastered’s third trip to the edge of the galaxy, on the heels of “By Any Other Name,” and between that episode and “Day of the Dove” the CBS-D team has generated enough shots of the Enterprise warping out of control through the galaxy and cruising through the galactic barrier for a lifetime. There’s at least one additional high-speed shot of the starship streaking directly toward the camera, and some tweaking of the barrier shots, this time giving them a decidedly blue hue, for the sequence in which the Enterprise is adrift outside the edge of the galaxy. The real surprise is the addition of a new starship class at the end of the episode—what looks like a scout ship or warp courier vessel, somewhat like a compacted, small version of the Daedelus class we’ve seen just as a model in Sisko’s quarters on Deep Space Nine. It’s an interesting bonus with an ambitious shot of the Enterprise pulling away from it while backlit by a nearby sun, although for my taste the lens flare added to the shot gives the whole thing an unfortunate Photoshop look (and compare the carefully textured rendering of the Antares in “Charlie X” to the very CG look of the new ship here). Still, points to the team for spicing up what could easily have been a collection of stock shots for this episode.

SFX VIDEO

SCREENSHOTS
by Matt Wright


Now really, is there in truth no beauty?

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Sweet looking effect shots!

Wow another Starship that looks different! Thank You CBS!

Oh and Happy Easter!

Not bad!! I look forward to seeing it.

NOT CANNON! The lighting from the nebulai is not quite as gene would have done it therefore I cannot condone this

Decloaking . . .

Like the aqua and green background. But, the origional red stuff was pretty good. I’ve always preferred the “not-a-human-with-rubber-glued-to-their-faces-Aliens,” such as in this ep.

Recloaking.

I think this was a VERY good looking episode. That closing shot was quite different and unexpected. That is what we are looking for CBS-D!!! Side note: That Miranda adds new meaning to the phrase: Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn.
No offense to the ladies of TrekMovie.Com
Larry Marvick: A truly obsessed maniac!!LOL. Dont love her!!

Well, at least we know whose hairstyle the hundred-tentacled Kalinda chose to imitate in “By Any Other Name”…

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Harry Ballz taking over the #1 spot. What’s up? You Denebian, Slime-Devil!! :) Long time no talk…..

Hey now! Looks like the team had a little more to work with this time.

And this is an instance where no one could possibly defend the original effects – all that shot of the Enterprise in front of the barrier is missing is my 10 year-old hand making it ‘swoosh’!

I was always confused how a box of light is the most hideous thing in the universe. Always had trouble wrapping my mind around that concept but I tried to go with it.

Liked the departing ship shot…but it does happen so fast it’s almost comparable to the “barrel roll” criticized in New Voyages.

….,” even with its limited resources, was often far more imaginative in its depiction of aliens than the bumpy-forehead-obsessed later Treks,”

I like this quote. I’ve said this for years.

#8 “Harry Ballz taking over the #1 spot”

Batts, I don’t remember ever having relinquished the #1 spot!

Heh, heh, heh…….how goes the battle, bud?

To a great degree. I always could not stomach this episode. Mainly because of the facial distorted close-ups and that dizzying music that went with it. LOL!
Now i can deal with it ONLY because of the new effects.
Please I think I have to lay down with a ginger ale when “The Empath” is televised…..

One of my Favorite Episodes.

Ever since Denise de Arman hit me with a fully charged phaser bank over her love for Mr. Spock. I felt like Larry Marvick!! Ha Ha!

Other than that, I see i have not been missed…LOL!
Yea, you are right, you did NOT relinquish the Captain’s Chair..

the king in shreds and tatters

What happened to the funny reviews?

That new ship looks like it has elements of Gene’s first image of the Enterprise (a spherical shaped primary hull instead of the saucer. Look it up in The Making Of Star Trek if you doubt!), which was also used in TNG’s final ep for the medical ship Dr. Crusher commanded.

Talk about full circle!

The blue stuff isn’t the galacitic barrier. The barrier itself is still shocking pink, but the blue swirly stuff outside the barrier is the “void.” Beats me why we never saw the void in the other episodes where they passed thru the barrier.

Love the new FX, hate the episode. This episode, while featuring some rather fun “fish-eye” camera work, is an absolute chore to sit through. From every male onboard tripping over their tongues and feet for the seemingly amazing Miranda Jones to the poor writing and hideous music, this episode manages to stink up the ship more than Spock’s Brain ever thought of. At least Spock’s Brain is fun. This episode is like TOS done TNG style.

While Day of the Dove and Enterprise Incident are examples of how the third season had success, this episode is a prime example of how it failed.

Now please excuse me while I go watch Balace of Terror to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.

Batts#16- Poor thing, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just meant to say that no man alive on this planet, now or in the future, will ever be good enough, or do it for me, like Mr. Spock. Feel better now? ….he…he…

Nice to see CBS-D making the extra effort. I kinda like the barrier effects in the original, but there’s no problem with these new ones. A new ship is always welcome. I’m sure every producer and director dreams of filling his universe with ships of all types.

Diana Muldaur in her prime. Yum. (Funny, in this ep she’s blind and yet she still manages not to fall down an elevator shaft.)

Never quite understood why Marvik was onboard in the first place. He should be wearing a “plot device” sign on his back. Is he just following Miranda like a puppy dog? Did he, maybe, design Kollos’ Samsonite habitrail? Being Trek, I just figured, “Hmmm. New guy. Gonna die horribly and soon.”

As to use of women in Trek, especially the third season — This is 1968 or so. There’s a definite backlash to the women’s rights movement. I suspect this script has more to do with that than a sudden denseness in Trek IDIC beliefs.

Finally, IDIC — great concept. Lousy of Roddenberry to ‘warp’ a script in order to sell the tin things. Having said that, I’d give Harry’s right nut for an original IDIC worn by Nimoy on camera.

I don’t know what to think about that new ship at the end. The design is pretty crummy. It looks like a kit-bashed model from a TNG episode. What’s with all those goofy ‘tail-pipes’ coming out the back?

I don’t mind the blue-and-black region of space between galaxies. Almost like we’re seeing an area of dark matter. Interesting.

The only thing I disliked about this ep was the garish necklace LN ended up having to wear. He objected to it, but had to give in because the suits wanted to market and sell it to fandom.

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar

Tha pull away shot at the end is certainly one of the most beautiful they have done. Why couldn’t they all be of the same quality????

Beautiful work though!!!

Great episode. Enigmatic, frigid guest star and alien, great performance by Leonard Nimoy, and Showdown between Shatner and Diana Muldaur. I love the original distorted musical score and visual effects which reflected Miranda’s tortured angry spirit. It was a very sophisticated episode. It introduced the IDIC.

The only thing I never understood was why Spock had to wear the visor to beam Miranda/Kolos over to the ship, but Kirk is the last shot, standing by during the entire transport with no need for a visor.

Interesting, but typical, late 3rd season episode. The new FX shots are actually above average here. Really spiced up the show without changing it much. Go Dr. Polaski!

Oh yes, the infamous IDIC symbol. I liked that concept. Peace, brother! Pass the bong, man!!

Did anyone notice Captain Kirk was NOT wearing the special protective visor Spock was wearing when Kollos and Dr. Jones beamed out at the end of the ep? And the Captain was looking straight at the transporter pad at the time? Why didn’t Kirk go crazy???
That said the special effects for this episode were fantastic. And the fact that Kollos was depicted as a totally alien presence was a good contrast to the English-speaking humanoids of more recent Trek shows.
Happy Easter everyone!

Maybe CBS Digital can give Trekmovie a close up image of this new ship. It has Starfleet designed warp nacelles

Thanks, Jeff, for another nice review.

My local programing in New York does not air Star Trek tonight, bummer. I like this episode, there are some great Spock moments. I also like what Kirk tells Jones when she does not help Spock through the madness. “With my words I’ll tell you such madness as Spock saw”. Or something like that, great scene. It was very entertaining to watch Marvick go nuts and the fish eye effects are awsome. Spock going nuts was great also, the fish eye effects and the view from his eyes going to strangle Kirk, classic.

I really like the new ship at the end. I also like the tailpipes too. To me, that’s a very 1960s style, which is what the remastered show should be going for. Like the 1960’s Batmobile, everything cool back then had to have tailpipes!

Anyone notice immediately after Spock (Kollos) sits down at the helm, the next shot is an over the shoulder shot and his shirt is magically gold…

Seems like an easy fix for CBS-D…

The ship in the last shots with the Enterprise kind of looks reminiscent of the Daedalus class ship that Dennis likes to remind me is ugly and non-canon. Would this get it’s foot (nacelle, hull) in the door to being canon?

The exterior shots are much-improved but I wish they could have done something about the Ambassador Kollos webber grill.

For me, the flashing lights never cut it as a representation of madness-inducing ugliness.

Why is it not canon? At least the model appears in many many DS9 episodes.

this was an episode while entertaining could have been so much more. I found the whol premise of the Medusians to be intriguing. A race either to horrible to behold or to beatiful to bear, which one glimpse of could cause insantiy in humans even those wearing the visor. This one was surpisingly though provoking.What was Kolos what caused the madness. did seeing him elevate you preceptions of the universe see things as they really . Give you awareness that you simply could not handle. In all honesty how many of us would be tempted to look upon such a being as Kolos? Curiosity perhaps

I always liked the level of desperation Kirk showed in this episode toward getting Spock back whole. He actually manhandled and yelled at a blind woman… wonder if Spock ever found out about that after he woke up. I can just here him now: “Captain, it was highly illogical of you to threaten
Dr. Jones. I was only taking a well-deserved catnap from my excessive duties as ship’s first officer, science officer and your own personal lackey.”

Granted, the men’s attitude towards Dr. Jones is somewhat patronizing in the early stages, but in the end it’s the process of overcoming her jealousy of Spock initiated by Kirk’s awakening and passionate talk with her that leads to her melding with Spock and – as a result – provides her with the desired ability to link with Kollos, at last. In the end, she’s achieved what she wanted to from the very beginning, but she had to fight herself in order to get it – great identification process. So, I think your above dismissing interpretation is rather shallow and lopsided in this regard.

“With my words, I’ll make you hear such ugliness, that Spock saw when he looked at Kollos with his naked eyes – the ugliness is within you!”

And next time, before you put down Kirk, think of the last dialogue when Kirk gives Dr. Jones that rose:

Dr. Jones: I suppose it has thorns.
Kirk: I never met a rose that didn’t.

Maybe, you just didn‘t understand it.;-)

BTW, the new shots look fine.

Any ship that hearkens back to Jeffries’ early drawings of the ship add an element of exciting history to the show. I welcome it.

Hi def pics would be nice. Still… looks good.

Pictures #5 & #8 down from the top down on the right side: those two shots are lost from the remastering project. I’d like to see the ship turn to starboard as in #5, the remastering version isn’t as good.

Picture #8 depicts the Enterprise from below with the saucer section slightly elevated and the ship looks great ‘sliding’ forward as in “Turnabout Intruder” during the time when Scotty and McCoy are discussing the mutiny during Lester’s court hearing.

I’m very appreciative of what has been done by CBS, but I’d like to see a few more iconic images of the Enterprise preserved from the original opticals.

Not all the shots need rethinking…

Silly episode, grating soundtrack, but some nice new effects.

I think Marvick graduated from the 1940’s School of Acting, he was so over-the-top (though I loved the “Liar! Liar! Liar!” bit).

Kirk & McCoy have been in space WAY too long without shore leave. A couple of teenagers in heat.

Loved the long shot of the bridge from the turbolift. Not a view we see often, especially with the ceiling in there. Nice.

# 43. Thomas Jensen – “Pictures #5 & #8 down from the top down on the right side: those two shots are lost from the remastering project. I’d like to see the ship turn to starboard as in #5, the remastering version isn’t as good.”

Agreed, we’ve been harping on the #5 shot for months because the original is superior.

#22 “I’d give Harry’s right nut”

CmdrR…..how generous of you!! I’d be glad to offer it up, but then that would make me as unbalanced as you!!

I’m sorry but in this case I have to say that I think the Original looks just as cool!

[The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator

Hey Tony, is it possible to download the FX videos without the “Trekmovie.com” watermarks?

Larry Marvik jealous of Kolos because some how he could make a connection to Dr Jones that he himself could not. Then you have Dr Jones who was in turn Jealous of Spock because he could make a higher connection with Kolos then she could. Its interesting the way that they played the whole jealousy angles on the characters. It seems that the uglyness was not so much Kolo as it was the emotion of Jealousy and how it can blind you to dangerous actions . Markvic trying to kill kolos and loosing his sanity and life as a consequence and Dr Jones embittered and jealous failing to remind Spock?kolos about the Visor nearly the same tragic result with Spock she was blind both physically and Psycologically. She had be brought to the point of her death to finally see as it were.

Again, no sense of DRAMA in the new shots… they “read” horribly – dark gray on dark blue? Why would they change this from the super-contrasty red color that really makes the ship stand out? Why is everything a muddy dull color? Why can’t the ship have the same dramatic lighting instead of being beige and blah? This is drama folks, not a science documentary!

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