“Private Little War” Remastered Review + Video & Screenshots [UPDATED] | TrekMovie.com
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“Private Little War” Remastered Review + Video & Screenshots [UPDATED] May 18, 2008

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: TOS-R Screenshots/Video , trackback

REVIEW
by Jeff Bond

Action-packed and thought-provoking, second season Trek’s “A Private Little War” represents a fascinating collision of the sensibilities of Gene Roddenberry and Trek producer Gene L. Coon, always one of the unsung creative heroes of the series and the mind behind many of the show’s anti-war polemics.

While he became increasingly pacifistic later in life, Gene Roddenberry was a former military man who believed that some problems did indeed have military solutions. Coon had also served in the military but he came out of his experiences far more convinced that war and violence were the worst possible solutions to any problem. “A Private Little War” acts this ideological conflict out using the Vietnam War as a model and spinning the situation of superpowers working out their differences with smaller proxy forces down to a primitive level. Here the Klingons are introducing gunpowder and primitive firearms to a peaceful society of primitive humanoids that Kirk had visited and befriended earlier in his career. When Kirk discovers what’s happening he decides to continue the brinksmanship by arming the tribe led by his friend Tyree with just enough munitions to wage an even-handed war with the tribe the Klingons are supplying.

“Private Little War” spills over with Star Trek’s virtues and vices. It’s filmed on location and opens with a thrilling sequence in which Kirk’s landing party is chased by villagers with flintlocks and Spock is shot in the back—one of the most jarring moments of violence in the series.

The story divides its time in classic A plot/B plot fashion between scenes of Spock’s unconscious struggle to survive onboard the Enterprise after it leaves orbit to avoid the orbiting Klingon vessel, and Kirk and McCoy’s adventures on the planet. Even though Spock is sidelined, his scenes are still some of the most interesting in the story as Booker Bradshaw’s intriguing Dr. M’Benga coolly works to keep the Vulcan alive. The scenes on the planet take great advantage of DeForest Kelley, whose Dr. McCoy is uncomfortable in any situation outside of sickbay. McCoy’s suspicions of the motivations of Tyree’s Lady Macbeth-like wife Nona are right on the money and his dramatic showdown with Kirk over the military situation on the planet is one of the most fiery in the entire series.

Nancy Kovak’s Nona is certainly one of the most pneumatic and sensuous guest females in the series—a topless-from-the-back “shower scene” in a waterfall was shot with her and probably cut under request from network Standards and Practices, although it resurfaces briefly in Star Trek’s legendary blooper reel. Ironically Kovak, who was married to conductor Zubin Mehta, came off as prudish and conservative in later interviews and particularly dismissive of her sexy turn as Nona. Nona’s deceit and hunger for power is compelling and she drives the story’s tragedy in almost painful fashion, ultimately paying for her greed with her life. (Take a close look at the close-up of the hand phaser in her final scene as she prepares to offer it to the enemy villager’s leader—this is one of the only moments in the series where you can see a hint of the functionality of the moveable “targeting scanner” hood that was designed to flip up to aim this little weapon.).

For all its strengths, this episode has its detractors. The ridiculous wigs and hippy costumes of the villagers and the outrageous spine-backed Mugato ape (admittedly one of the show’s most recognizable alien monsters) provide plenty of unintended laughs if you’re looking for that, the “maka root” mysticism can be considered risible as well, and the story’s overt endorsement of the U.S. strategy in Vietnam has grated on many a viewer of the past few decades. But it’s one of the show’s strongest downbeat endings as Kirk’s painful decision bears the fruit of open warfare immediately—this has always been one of the original show’s great strengths to me: it’s ability to show Kirk making mistakes or decisions that aren’t conventionally heroic, decisions that force him to confront the awful burden of command and the toll in human lives that burden can often carry.

“A Private Little War” does receive a bonus shot from CBS-Digital in the form of brief footage of the Klingon vessel in orbit around Neural (which itself gets the usual “earth-like planet” treatment from the digital artists). It’s a nice touch in an episode that always forced us to imagine the Klingon ship involved and continues the Remastered project’s retrofitting of the Klingon warship design into its first and second seasons. And while the final shot is the same “planet receding behind the warp engines” shot first introduced in “All Our Yesterdays,” it does work quite effectively with the episode’s moody Alexander Courage music cue as the story comes to its downbeat, reflective close.

SFX VIDEO


higher quality version at YouTube

SCREENSHOTS

Remastered vs. Original

Extras


Even unconscious…the ladies can’t keep their hands off Kirk.


Not to be outdone, Spock takes unconscious play up a notch


“It’s Krell!” featuring side-kick Gene Shalit…worst talk show…ever


Domo Arigato Mr Mugato

Seasons One and Two discounted at Amazon
The Season Two box set is now available at Amazon for pre-order, discounted to $63.99 (Amazon has a low price guarantee that if they drop the price before ship date of August 5th you will get that lower price). Amazon has also discounted the Season One DVD / HD DVD combo disk is to $96.95 (retail is $194.99).


Seasons One and Two of TOS-R ($96.95 and $63.99 respectively)

Comments

1. Harry Ballz - May 18, 2008

MUGATU? Ya gotta love it!!!

2. Jack - May 18, 2008

I don’t really care for the effects they use on the planets… they look too CGI’d… for lack of a better term.

3. DJT - May 18, 2008

Mugato who?

4. Sean4000 - May 18, 2008

I was wondering when that creature was going to show up. I love the Mugato!

5. Biodredd - May 18, 2008

I don’t what the problem is unless your local channel where you get these reels are editing the shows even further. A few very intersting angles of the Enterprise are missing from this reel or you come back into the middle of the shot and part of the new effects shot is missing. I just finished the episode in particular the one of the Enterprise where we are looking up at the saucer from below as the ship is returning to orbit Towards the end of the episode.

6. SciFiMetalGirl - May 18, 2008

Where is the Mugatu’s uniform??? Hehehe! ;)

7. capt mike - May 18, 2008

Here magatu magatu magatu magatu. Oh the magatu is just a cute little thing. Yeah with big fangs and lots of poison. This was a great edpisode with great acting. The cgi was pretty good showing us the klingon ship in orbit. but the magutu and it’s mate should have been red shirts. But the capt as alys is not only fighting the magatu but fighting off the hot sexy babe. Like Mccoy said in star trek 6. (What is it with you). Well doc he just gets all the hot chicks. But doc you violoted the prime directive your self in using your phaser to heat the rocks and not making sure that no one was watching you. The story with the klingons giveing weapons to the hill people was pretty good. Kinda like the soviets and the u.s did in the 60s with vietnam and using it as a social issue. I think gene did a great job of the social commentary of the day as he did in latter trek episodes. But it seems like always that man is not meant for the garden as the serpent always strikes. When kirk said to scotty to make a 100 flintlocks and then changed it to serpents thats was a great metiphor for the time as the u.s and soviets was doing in vietnam. All in all this was a great episode with a great story and the cgi was what it was supposed to be. An addition to the show and not a distraction.

8. capt mike - May 18, 2008

Oh and did anyone notice that when spock was shot with the flintlock that there was a grean stain on spocks uniform. I just noticed this and i have seen this episode dozens of times.

9. cd - May 18, 2008

Dr. M’Benga rocks!

10. the guy that never posts - May 18, 2008

They cgi’d in green blood stains on BOTH sides of his shirt!

How much sense does that make?

Plus, if Spock had been hit with a musket ball, he’s look more like something out of Mel Gibson’s the Patriot.

Oh, well

11. the guy that never posts - May 18, 2008

One last thought

If they can CGI green blood onto Spock’s shirt, why cant they CGI Spock a more realistic green? Orion women too. Watch Court Martial again, there are a lot of Spock close ups. They only put make up on his cheeks. His neck & shoulders are quite pink, plus Kirk is super pink. The camera men & post production crew were always over correcting Spock’s green-ness. Nimoy says so himself in “I AM SPOCK”

I’d like to see Yvonne Craig CGI’d an even green when they redo “Whom Gods Destroy”

12. Yendis - May 18, 2008

Just get us the complete series on blu ray

13. OR Coast Trekkie - May 19, 2008

I like the size/scale of the original planet better.AGreed that the planet looks a little too CGI’ed but eh, it’s kind of what I have come to expect.

14. Robert Bernardo - May 19, 2008

Nice added effects to the episode. The hand phaser shots seem to be enhanced, the cross-dissolves when the first and later the second mugatu are blasted are not noticeable anymore, and there is the surprise of seeing the Klingon ship in orbit. Not only visual effects but an added sound effect — when our heroes are escaping through an archway in the town, bullets are supposedly slamming into the arch with the resultant sound effects; however, the last bullet hitting the arch never had a sound effect… until now!

the guy that never posts wrote:

> They cgi’d in green blood stains on BOTH sides of his shirt!

Incorrect. In the original, unremastered episode, green blood was seen on the front and back of Spock’s shirt after he was shot.

15. CmdrR - May 19, 2008

Yeah Mugatu!
Were there green blotches in the middle of their oceans or is it my puter?
Love this ep. Still feels like true Trek and very relevant today.

16. SteveinSF - May 19, 2008

I liked the closing music when the Enterprise leaves orbit at the end of this episode. It set the mood for the planet’s gloomy future of war between the Gene Shalit Villagers and “The Apple” blond wigged country people.

I still think the best shot of the Enterprise is the old version when view from the rear–that model looked great, the lighting was perfect, and the movement was timed well to give the feeling of how big the ship is.

17. jimj - May 19, 2008

This episode has a lot of merits, yet, it’s not nearly as good as I remember. kind of a downer episode (which most social commentaries are, but still). Seems like the “solution” was arrived at too easily and then the planet was left to sort it all out.

18. Garovorkin - May 19, 2008

Loved the whole coldwar allegory on this one, the Magatu still looks like an actor in a really bad ape suit.with horn stuck on top , but the episode is a really good one.

19. Tango - May 19, 2008

Why did the phaser not work for Nona when she fired it?.

Also, I got the impression that Nixon watched this episode to figure out how to end the war in Vietnam. Since the Enterprise just left, why can’t the US leave as well?

20. Randy - May 19, 2008

#19 – The phaser probably didn’t work because Nona didn’t know where the trigger was. It actually is on the underside of the phaser 1.

21. star trackie - May 19, 2008

Great new effects! M’Benga! Mugatu! Kinutu women!! Shatner in fur!

What’s not to love??

22. Andy Patterson - May 19, 2008

Nancy Kovack (Mrs Zubin Mehta) as Nona. Oh yeah.

This is an important chapter in Trek lore. It really added a depth to Kirk’s past and mythos.

23. Andy Patterson - May 19, 2008

16

Gene Shalit Villagers

Ha. Very funny.

24. CmdrR - May 19, 2008

To whatever animal died to make Nona’s pants: Well done! Well done!

25. diabolik - May 19, 2008

Trigger on the underside of phaser 1? Never heard that one before. The button is on the top, but she didn;t know which button it was.

26. Moonwatcher - May 19, 2008

Agreed # 16…. The solemn music during the orbital departure of the Enterprise makes for a great and rare disconcerting ending. Where as the “bridge crew laughing out loud, or slapping Scotty in the stomach”, type endings were the general rule and out number the few somber conclusions at least twenty to one.

27. Jon - May 19, 2008

“Spock you’re alive?!…Well, I should have known, you can’t kill a computer.” ~the irascible Dr. McCoy

28. diabolik - May 19, 2008

The best solemn ending ever as in “City On The Edge of Forever.” In general those types work better than the “everybody laughing” endings.

29. Drew - May 19, 2008

#2 Agreed.. the planet looks like TNG era

30. Quatlo - May 19, 2008

End credits for this episode spelled it “Gumatu”.

31. cd - May 19, 2008

I always thought the villagers looked more like Father Guido Sarducci. .;>}

32. SpaceLincoln - May 19, 2008

Too bad they didn’t render out Los Angeles in the background when Nona was being attacked by the Villagers either. I thought for sure that would be a “fix”.

I thought the CGI’d planet looked utterly ridiculous. It looks like Nintendo friggin’ rendered it.

33. Dave - May 19, 2008

The Mugatu was originally called the ‘Gumatu’ – however Deforest Kelly keep mispronouncing the name and calling it Mugato so they decided to stay with that.

34. John in Canada, eh? - May 19, 2008

The first third of this episode played better than I remembered; some nice tension as McCoy works on Spock in the transporter room, as an example. But, as with many of Roddenberry’s scripts, the pace seems to peter out near the end.
Nice to see the Klingon ship in orbit — but it seemed to be travelling much more quickly than the more sedate pace of the Enterprise.

35. eagle219406 - May 19, 2008

#8, 10, and 11: They did not CGI the green blood on Spock. That was always there in the original as well. BUt what I noticed was that there were no bullet holes in the shirt. A gun that can Go right through a person without harming their clothing.

36. eagle219406 - May 19, 2008

I often wonder why it’s always a battle cruiser when klingon ships are there. I mean, Klingon Ships weren’t originally shown until the third season. Why can’t for once where there was a ship we originally didn’t see, it could be a bird of prey or something. I mean it showed in ENT that they had them at the time. And I don’t want to hear any of that “Enterprise is not canon” crap. I believed it was and so did the makers. The makers clearly stated that TAS was not canon that is why it is not considered canon.

37. Greggy - May 19, 2008

“The Klingons had no stomach for fighting”

I never liked the plot devise that stranded Kirk&Co. and then closed so perfunctorily in the final act. When this whole CG thing started, I remember thinking about this episode and wished that they would include a scene or two from the off-screen battle of the original. Once they started and I saw the changes made, I realised that my hopes would never be fulfilled by this project.

I have rarely complained about the work CBS has done (certainly much less than the complaints I read, which I find a little unforgiving) but I’m going to publicly stamp my foot, just this once.

RE: The above, sidestepped battle. I no longer expect to get added footage but couldn’t the Enterprise, in orbit in the last act, show some kind of battle damage? To reverse the crime done by the opening quote to the Klingon mystique, the ship should have looked a little charred. Why, the ship’s damage could be a metaphor for the damage done to the Prime Directive.

Regardless, I always loved this episode because it didn’t leave on one of those group-chuckle moments that the second season was prone to. I remember the chill I got the first time Kirk closes his communicator and I realised that was the last word. It was a depressing ending and kudos for that..

38. Biodredd - May 19, 2008

#25 – The top of the Phaser I contains three distinct items. From right to left…. a gauge indicating how much charge the phaser had left, a small little guide that acted as a makeshift sight (the thing most people refer to as the trigger) and a dial that allowed you to change settings.

Actors from the series and the prop people have all indicated that the trigger for the phaser was on the underside of the weapon when questioned at conventions.

39. Denise de Arman - May 19, 2008

Love that CGI shot of the Enterprise looking up from below – I do not think I have ever seen it from that particular angle before.

Many good things about this ep: Dr. M’Benga, Nona, Kirk and the maka root deal. Has anyone noticed that when McCoy came in he found Kirk huddled, as if in a stupor, next to Nona while they slept? That, plus the fact that she claimed he could refuse her nothing, makes one wonder if he gave the weapons to the villagers as his decision or because he really was under her spell. We also find out about the Vulcan healing trance in this episode – yet another cool physiological oddity for Spock’s character.

40. Roger - May 19, 2008

Hated the wigs in this episode. Shatner mustve relished his kissing scene with Nona. Top 3 best looking babes on Trek.

41. Izbot - May 19, 2008

8, 10, 11, 35: Spock’s bloody shirt.

Yes, 35 is correct, the green stains on both sides of Spock’s shirt have always been there (go watch an older copy of the episode or look at the screencaps at Trek Core if you doubt it). But they always looked too light, too much like grass stains imo. And yes, I have always thought they should’ve put holes in the shirt but I’m certain that didn’t happen because 1.) too cost prohibitive to have wardrobe destroy one of Nimoy’s uniforms or make an extra for this epidode, and 2.) I doubt the sensors would allow it, green blood or no. Only in recent years have TV shows been allowed to show things so graphic as a realistic gunshot. In the 60s on westerns they couldn’t even show the shooter and victim in the same shot at the same time. And in the 80s when did anyone actually get hit by a bullet on the A-Team? Even in ST6 the Klingons had pink blood in order to avoid a PG-13 rating or higher.

42. Janice - May 19, 2008

I was always liked the Dr. M’Benga character, and wished we could have seen him in other episodes too. He had great screen presence for someone who was not on camera for very long. I remember being intrigued by him when I was an eight year old watching this show in the early 70’s.

I noticed the green stain on Spock’s shirt a long time ago, and was always disappointed by the lack of a hole. Always liked this episode despite some flaws.

Poor Nimoy got slapped a number of times during the three seasons of TOS. Let’s see:
by Nurse Chapel & M’Benga in A Private Little War
by his mother in Journey to Babel
by the Romulan Commander in Enterprise Incident

Any others?

43. Janice - May 19, 2008

Izbot, I thought about the 1960’s sensors too. I would have been happier if they made a black smudge/mark on the back of his shirt like they did after he was hit by lightening in “The Apple.” I agree with your assessment of the green stains looking like grass stains.

44. Heywood Jablomee - May 19, 2008

This was Mugatu’s first and, sadly, last outing in the Star Trek franchise. His story is a perfect example of how fame and fortune can be cruel mistresses to a simple horned ape from a quiet corner of the galaxy. After he got out of Betty Ford, he told me that doing that episode was both fun and trying. But his main complaint was that Shatner kept demanding more screen time, and shortened what was a main role for Mugatu in the ep down to the mere forty five seconds it is today. That, and that fur doesn’t grow back over phaser burns.

45. SPB - May 19, 2008

WORST. WIGS. EVER.

And I ain’t talkin’ ’bout Shatner, either.

46. SPB - May 19, 2008

NONA: HOTTEST. TREK-BABE. EVER.

Certainly made my little mugatu spring to life, I’ll tell you…

47. Andy Patterson - May 19, 2008

42

Kirk slapped him around pretty good in a few episodes specifically in the one where Spock was loving Charles Bronson’s wife.

48. Izbot - May 19, 2008

Another sloppy thing CBS-D didn’t fix: Just after Spock is shot and the landing party does an emergency beam-out, the transporter effect washes over the team but not Dr. McCoy’s various equipment scattered around them. Instead the equipment just does a fade out with no sparkle effect.

The CBS-D team have said in many interviews that they all sit down and watch the episode several times, making lists of things to add or fix before working on the episode. They often clean up or enhance the hand-phaser effects (as they did in this very episode) but I haven’t seen them do any noticable fixes on some of the more dodgy-looking transporter effects. Seems to me it would’ve been a quick and easy fix so did they just miss it? I have always noticed it. Also would’ve been nice had they added a simple “heat wave” effect (I’m forgetting my grade school science terminology!) above the rocks McCoy heats up in the cave. I think they did this kind of thing in “For the World is Hollow” when Kirk and Spock are trapped in the Oracle’s control room and are being cooked.

Storywise I have always thought this episode made a huge mistake in basically condoning U.S. policy on the Viet Nam war which was going on at the time. Even with a few hundred years’ hindsight Kirk states that arming both sides to maintain a balance of power, despite going on “year after bloody year”, was still the “only” solution to the problem. A lot of lofty words are spoken mapping out Starfleet’s Prime Directive but then Kirk turns and puts his stamp of approval on a policy that many Americans strongly disagreed with. To me this episode and “Way to Eden” both go against the more left-leaning humanist tendencies of Roddenberry and instead tow the conservative line. I have always seen Star Trek as espousing a humanitarian philosophy in a practical setting — dealing with aggressor nations and defending the borders while simultaneously ensuring the rights of its citizenry, preserving diversity through tolerance, etc. “Way to Eden” lacks this sense of tolerance, demonizing the young free-spirits by painting them as irresponsible, easily manipulated quasi-drug addicts a la the Manson Family with Dr. Severin as the insane cult leader/Timothy Leary figure. Even Checkov comes across as the most button-down sqaure on the ship despite his Davey Jones haircut. And “Private Little War” favors the approach of the hawks in the Pentagon rather than arguing for a better solution.

49. ster j - May 19, 2008

# 28–I agree. Those eps withthe more serious endings seemed more realistic. Let’s see. There was City on the Edge of Forever, A Private Little War, The Paradise Syndrome (which had Kirk acting throughout the credits; a great effect! It was like getting bonus footage), All Our Yesterdays. Hmm… I’m thinking the 3rd season eps ended on a serious tone more oftean than the other seasons.

50. ster j - May 19, 2008

#43–But Spock’s blood is a lighter shade of green! You can see the difference when Spock gives his father the transfusion in Journey to Babel. It goes into the filtration device as apple green and comes out the other side a deep emerald green. There is also a small vial of reddish serum hanging beneath. See here: http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/2×10/Journey_to_Babel_245.JPG
(That’s Journey to Babel, picture # 245. I kow that these Trekcore links don’t work well.)

Oh, and as to the Klingon’s pink blood on ST6–I thought that was a joke that such a macho species would have such wimpy colored blood!

51. ster j - May 19, 2008

Hey! That link worked this time!

52. CmdrR - May 19, 2008

43 & 50 — light green

http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/2×21/PatternsOfForce0102.jpg

53. Moonwatcher - May 19, 2008

A few more of the somber episode endings….There was the “what of Lazarus ending” in The Alternative Factor, or Kirk consoling the bereaved widow at the end of Balance of Terror, although a slightly positive touch was added as he pulled it together after leaving her, and began walking down the corridors in a cool and confident manner (once again during the credits).

54. Denise de Arman - May 19, 2008

Janice#42- Kirk wailed on him in The Naked Time, but Spock back-handed him over the table. “We’ve (slap) GOT…(slap)… to RISK…(slap)… a full-POWERED…(slap)… Start!!”

Heywood#44- LOL!

55. Plum - May 19, 2008

The review is in!

Nice look at “Private Little War” Jeff Bond, thought you pointed out the ups and down o the ep very well. Though, as a kid, I found the maka root thing creepy. A plant that moved around, something about the props spider like look was repelling.

Oh, and; “Domo Arigato Mr Mugato” … lol!

56. The Underpants Monster - May 19, 2008

#48 – I used to think the same thing. As I revisit the episode, though, it strikes me that we, the audience, are not necessarily meant to automatically agree with either Kirk’s position or McCoy’s. The message I take away as an older, more jaded viewer is that there really is no perfect solution.

Damn, I love DeForest Kelley in this episode. As always, he’s the heart and soul to Kirk’s muscle and Spock’s intellect.

57. Anthony Thompson - May 19, 2008

Jeff Bond:

Excellent review, as always. Thanks for your great work!

58. Michael Hall - May 19, 2008

Kirk’s analogy about the U.S. presence in Vietnam was, of course, patently false, and I’ve always been grateful that the script at least allows McCoy to stand his moral ground. It’s a far more politically conservative take on a contemporary issue than was typical for Trek, and one of my great regrets is that no interviewer ever got around to asking Roddeberry about it. Nevertheless, the dilemma the story posed for Kirk and the Federation was a good one, and led, amidst all the silliness, to a much more powerful and downbeat conclusion than was typical for a second season episode. But Jeff, do you really know for a fact that this plot was the result of a genuine philosophical tug of war between Roddenberry and Coon, or is that just speculation on your part?

As for Nancy Kovack, her seduction of Kirk inspired reactions from my fourteen year-old self that can’t be discussed on a family-friendly website.

59. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 19, 2008

#36—The Klingons were not confused with the Romulans yet (STIII:TSFS), and that is why they are not shown in the BOP. I always hated the introduction of the BOP as a Klingon vessel, and I wish they had not gone in that direction in the first place (the reason was that the original plot for TSFS involved the Romulans as the antagonists in the BOP, which would have made more sense. The studio wanted the more universally recognizable Klingons. I guess they had already painted the model like a “Bird Of Prey”, which in TOS, was a Romulan practice). I am glad that TOS-R emphasizes the D-7 Battlecruiser as the standard Klingon warship. Why would the Klingons send a scoutship into an area where it might have to confront a Constitution-class starship?

60. Russ-- a Trek Fan from Way Back - May 19, 2008

The closing music as the Big E leaves orbit has to be some of the best, moody Alexander Courage music in the entire series. I rewound and listened to it at least three times because it’s so different than the usual and much much better than most ending music in the series.

That’s the one thing modern trek series (TNG, DS9, VOY, and ENT) was seriously lacking…. effective music that sticks with you. I understand it was a “Berman edict” that music not overshadow the story, and there are only a few exceptions, one that comes to mind is the end of the TNG two parter “The Best of Both Worlds, Part I”.. that was some heavy stuff as the credits read, “To Be Continued…” But, that’s just about it. Whereas, TOS had LOTS of effective music… like the ending to this ep.

61. Plum - May 19, 2008

^^^
Hey, that’s “starship class” pal.

Kidding! … sorta. ;p

62. Andy Patterson - May 19, 2008

Again I’ll say….regarding Nancy Kovack: although The future Mrs. Zubin Mehta may come off “prudish” or “dismissive” or just conservatively humble regarding this role….my teenage self and full grown adult self still say….mmmm. Wow.

63. Plum - May 19, 2008

^^^
Sorry Russ, I was addressing #59. Mr. Poopey face. Oh, and is my memorybank faulty or didn’t TNGs “Best of Both Worlds” dramatic “Borg” music win an Emmy?

And yea, the ending of PLW is definitely terrificly moody and thoughtful (Alex Courage, of course) and adds to the whole ep.

64. Izbot - May 19, 2008

59. Agree with you RE: making the BOP initially a Klingon vessel (as on ENT). Always made more sense as a Romulan ship ‘traded’ to the Klingons during their alliance days. Wasn’t crazy about it popping up on ENT (they even mistakenly identified one Klingon ship as a “warbird” in an early episode!). As to the last minute change from Romulan to Klingon adversaries in Search For Spock, the enterior of the BOP in that film is decidedly non-Klingon (though it inexplicably changes completely in The Voyage Home to what we now regard as properly Klingon). I read somewhere that the BOP interior sets on TSFS were re-used from some other sci-fi movie (‘Last Starfighter’? ‘Battle Beyond the Stars’ maybe?) to save money. Anyway, it looks like the interior of no Klingon ship seen prior or since, all clean and lit up with cool blue lights.

65. GNDN - May 19, 2008

Mr. Bond:

The end-credit cue is unique to this episode and it captures perfectly the melanchoy resolution of the episode. To my untrained ear, the end-credit cue sounds begins with the familiar Courage WNHGB alternate fanfare, but ends with Steiner’s mornful “Charlie X” phrase.

Earlier in the season, much of the score from “The Naked Time” had been rearranged, newly recorded and used in “Obsession” and “The Changeling.” I wonder if this ending was recorded at that session. Moreover, since I can’t tell who conducted this second arrangement, is it possible that Steiner was the conductor and systhesized his signtuare conclusion with Courage’s? Or was this piece an unrecorded coda that might have been intended for a first season episode?

In any event, I really enjoyed the review, and not simply because it agrees with take on this frustratingly uneven production.

66. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 19, 2008

#48—“Storywise I have always thought this episode made a huge mistake in basically condoning U.S. policy on the Viet Nam war which was going on at the time. Even with a few hundred years’ hindsight Kirk states that arming both sides to maintain a balance of power, despite going on “year after bloody year”, was still the “only” solution to the problem.”

I think you are confusing some things. The problem is, that the policy of arming and supporting one side in a war is not in itself faulty, particularly as a method of maintaining the balance of power. The issue with the war in Vietnam was more about WHO the U.S. was supporting. Kirk was not arming a corrupt dictatorship disguised as a republic, whereas the United States did indeed support such a dictatorship in South Vietnam. You can debate whether supporting the lesser of two evils is justified or not (the United States has done so again repeatedly, most notably in favor of Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980’s), but if the government in South Vietnam were legitimately and democratically representative of the people, and they were invaded by the communist North with superior weapons, would it really have been a mistake to support them? We all know that was not the case in Vietnam, but again, Tyree’s people are not the crooks in charge of South Vietnam, nor are they the brutal Baathist party in Iraq.
Moreover, at the time of the airing of this episode, that strategy had already proven successful in Greece and South Korea, and even after its failure in Vietnam, it would again prove measurably more successful in Africa and Central/South America. Furthermore, considering that communist influence in Southeast Asia ultimately did not spread beyond Vietnam, one could at least argue that the policy in Vietnam, although costly, did prevent Hanoi from doing anything but securing its own borders after the fall of the South in 1975.
As a historian educated in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, it is difficult to single out the U.S. experience in Vietnam as an indicator that the policy of arming one side to fight another is in itself flawed. After all, Greece, Turkey, South Korea, Taiwan, Nicaragua, Afganistan, Thailand, Angola, etc. did not fall to the Eastern Bloc. It was the failure to consider all of the factors at hand which proved the particular battlefield of Vietnam to be the wrong one on which to employ that philosophy.
The pont is, what would have been the right solution for Kirk and co.? Ignore the Klingons’ intervention in favor of one side and invite them to perpetuate that policy elsewhere without fear of a Starfleet response? Short of deploying a sizable force onto the planet to disarm the other faction, Kirk’s response is probably the most effective, given that the Prime Directive can hardly apply to a civilization whose natural development has been altered by a foreign power already.

A little more perspective…

67. CmdrR - May 19, 2008

OK, perspective. It was indeed 1968 when this ep aired. At that point, US TV didn’t have much in the way of real anti-heroes. Kirk in this episode comes as close as anything then seen. The ambiguous ending of Private Little War is quite ambitious for TV of the time. Mind you, Americans were about to get a belly full of bummer endings, anti-heroes, and even nihilistic movies. Yippee, pass the popcorn. Charleton Heston is about to NOT save the world again.
My point is that I agree with those who see this episode as being very grey. No happy endings when it comes to civil wars. Kirk tries, but isn’t perfect. Phasers don’t solve everything.
Alas, history’s lesson would seem to be that there are warning signs. It would be NICE if politicians would learn to recognize them. IMHO

68. Izbot - May 19, 2008

60, 63 RE: Best of Both Worlds music

The ‘Berman edict’ against music was something that continually baffled me. Most of the music from TNG, VOY et al is unlistenable atonal noise that was always a distraction to me. And yeah, Ron Jones’ memorable score from ‘Best of Both Worlds’ was the single exception. However! Berman *hated* it and shortly thereafter Ron Jones (now of Family Guy fortune and fame) quit doing Trek scores in disgust (or did Berman fire him? I can’t recall). His final middle finger to the executive producer came in the form of his score for “Night Terrors”, arguably the most painful-to-listen-to example of Berman-edict-to-the-extreme composition. You have to sympathize with Jones and it’s to his credit that he effectively took a fairly crummy episode like “Night Terrors” and transformed it into one of the worst hours of Trek in any form — through the power of bad music! Hey, he was just giving Mr. Berman what he asked for!

69. Russ-- a Trek Fan from Way Back - May 19, 2008

68… Exactly Izbot… Berman sucked the creativity right out of things.. for without music, a scene just loses something. Courage, Steiner, and even Jones knew/know how to compose/conduct and enhance. Just go to the vid clip above and get to the end shot and listen to the melancholy nature of the closing music … definitely puts the stamp of “hey we’re not sitting around the Captain’s chair laughing for this one” on it. More like, “hmmm… did we help? did we hinder?” No clean answers to a situation in that episode.

Good thing is that in JJAbrams Trek, we have a GREAT composer! I look forward to hearing stirring music that draws one in.

Ooooo “Night Terrors”… just thinking of it is giving me a headache!!

70. CmdrR - May 19, 2008

Yes, the music in Night Terrors is aural mildew.
Gotta love the riduculous shot of Troi’s – er – lower decks, though.

71. Izbot - May 19, 2008

66, 67 History lessons

Good points. This is why I love Star Trek. In retrospect I like this episode better now than I used to. The Kirk-McCoy arguments on both sides of the issue, the regrettable circumstances, the gray areas. Not bad for a little late 60s space opera.

72. CmdrR - May 19, 2008

What Gen. Westmoreland really needed was a specially trained Mugatu Unit for albino rhino-horned gorilla combat against the Viet Cong.

(runs for his foxhole)

73. Lyle - May 19, 2008

One of the most underrated episodes of the series. A classic no-win scenario. Kirk must have forgotten about this when he made his “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario” to Saavik in TWOK. As unpalatable as his solution was, there really wasn’t anything else he could have done other than (a) allow Tyree and his villagers to be slaughtered and encourage the Klingons to try elsewhere, or (b) Rip the Prime Directive into smithereens by an armed Starfleet intervention.

I have always considered Nona to be the hottest babe in the entire ST canon, bar none. Yowee!

74. M33 - May 19, 2008

Just wanted to thank “Soundtrekker” on PirateBay for having available the remastered episodes for download via torrent. If you’re out there, thanks for all the effort!

75. SteveinSF - May 19, 2008

#23-Andy

I stole the Gene Shalit comment from the pictures, so I can’t take the credit.

76. US Taxpayer Dude - May 19, 2008

Mr Poopey face –
Thank you for an informed, mature, and rational explanation of US policy in Viet Nam. To believe the current mythology, spun largely as post-hoc justifications of cowardice in face of the military draft, requires a suspension of disbelief that is amazing even by the standards of utopian fantasy plots.

Apart from policy considerations of Viet Nam as an appropriate venue for the containment policy, there are military considerations that likely trump it. A friend of mine, a one-time 82nd Airborne Ranger, has naturally made something of a study of the successes and failures of Viet Nam. His conclusion? Lack of political will to prosecute the war according to ancient rules of war led to the inevitable failure. After all, a war can only be won through an offensive strategy; defensive postures are doomed to fail as any fan of NFL football knows.

Star Trek took an admirably even-handed view on the subject, of note prior to the US victory in the Tet Offensive, which was of course scandalously portrayed as a loss by antiamerican media coverage.

There is another lesson to be learned from this period of history, espeically salient as we are reliving it now in the minds of the ruling Baby Boomer generation: there is evil in the world and it picks on the weak.

Si vis pacem parabellum. No matter how unpleasant it is to fight, living in fear or slavery is worse.

77. US Taxpayer Dude - May 19, 2008

Oh to prove my point, I refer to (one time acquaintance) David Horowitz’s autobiography, “Radical Son”. As then-editor of Ramparts magazine and supporter of the Black Panthers, he relates how the elimination of the military draft by president Nixon utterly deflated the anti-war movement. After all, there was no longer a causus belli for the chaos, now that everyone was safe to get stoned and turn on etc.

Horowitz found this particularly inexplicable as they counted on the active support of “white bread” America to usher in the proletarian revolution with the Afro-American experience of oppression as its vanguard.

It is too bad Trek did not survive long enough to explore these issues, that of unrestricted agitation propaganda and individual self-interest cooperating under color of selfless altruism. But then, the 1960s were still a highly conservative period for all but the Haight-Asbury and Soho crowds — and of course David Horowitz and his comrades of the New Left, determined to improve on the Old Left of their parents and Uncle Joe.

Heavy sigh… revisionsism – it sucks even when applied to science fiction programs!

78. jfddoc - May 19, 2008

Always a very interesting episode. Although McCoy is right to question how Kirk handles this, he never comes up with an alternative plan. So I just have to wonder…what is the better solution? What would have, say, Picard have done given the same situation? How would he have saved Tyree and his tribe?

Also, I think Nancy Kovak is still married to Zubin Mehta.

79. Commodore Lurker - May 19, 2008

Decloaking . . .
Are my friend Denise #39 and I the ONLY ones who think Kirk’s solution to this ep is a result of Nona’s spell???? I’ve always thought that since the very first time I saw this ep decades ago.

Nancy Kovak . . . wowza! If she had sucked all the juice out of my Mugatu bite, I’d done whatever she wanted. And so would anyone but, MAYBE, Spock. I can see Spock now: “Excuse me Madam, my next Pon Farr cycle begins in 6 years, 256 days, 18 hours, 24 minutes, and 12 seconds. Preparation would be advisable.”
Recloaking.

80. Kev-1 - May 19, 2008

Good episode and good review. The inferences concerning the political opinions of Gene Roddenberry and Gene Coon sound plausible, but without some kind of quote or reference, they are just inference. So many claim to know “what Gene thought” I just wish there was a quote so I could get educated too.

81. Michael Hall - May 19, 2008

“Lack of political will to prosecute the war according to ancient rules of war led to the inevitable failure.”

Nonsense. With all due respect to your friend, if he thinks the “stabbed in the back/we wuz robbed” justification for America’s failure in Southeast Asia is something original to himself, he hasn’t been paying much attention for the last forty years. The sad truth, though, is that the war, vis-a-vis the U.S., was always going to be unwinnable in any scenario, for the simple reason that it was never our war to “win” in the first place, any more than the outcome of our own Civil War was a legitimate concern of the Vietnamese. (And yes, the Civil War analogy oversimplifies a complex reality, much as “A Private Little War” did–to be accurate, in addition to Klingons substituting for Russians you would also need alien stand-ins for the French, the Dutch, the Chinese, Montagnards, Cambodians, etc. But at least Kirk didn’t call for Federation “advisors” to back his play, then fake a “villager” attack with flintlocks on an orbiting starship to win support on the Federation Council.)

“There is another lesson to be learned from this period of history, espeically salient as we are reliving it now in the minds of the ruling Baby Boomer generation: there is evil in the world and it picks on the weak.”

No, the lesson to be learned from this fiasco was the culminating image to a horrible tragedy for American and Vietnamese alike: that of a “conservative,” Republican president having his picture taken in front of Uncle Ho’s statue a couple years back, just having concluded a trade agreement with the very government we’d spent so many lives and so much treasure to destroy. A salient point indeed for a major superpower that reserves for itself the right to bomb Third World nations–whose total combined Gross National Product wouldn’t begin to equal a fraction of its own “defense” budget–on any pretext whatsoever, Or, as a great, genuine conservative thinker G.K. Chesterton once wrote:

“It may be said with rough accuracy that there are three stages in the life of a strong people. First, it is a small power, and fights small powers. Then it is a great power, and fights great powers. Then it is a great power, and fights small powers, but pretends that they are great powers, in order to rekindle the ashes of its ancient emotion and vanity. After that, the next step is to become a small power itself.”

82. Michael Hall - May 19, 2008

Oh, and just FTR, Dude? David Horowitz was, and is, a Stalinist. And while he may speak for you now, he didn’t speak for me then–or ever.

83. Anthony Pascale - May 19, 2008

everyone….please stop trying to turn threads into political debates

especially throwing around terms like ‘anti-american’

84. Dom - May 19, 2008

The heavy-handed, hippy-dippy ‘liberal’ stuff didn’t really affect Trek until later on, with the TNG era and Berman Trek!

I always regarded TOS as pretty solidly libertarian – Kirk stopping Stalinist computers and evil state structures controlling people’s lives – while others see it as liberal, which I guess is why it had such a wide appeal.

In A Private Little War, the superpowers were fighting ‘by proxy’ and we see the awful damage inflicted because of it! The ‘discussion’ seen in this episode is part of what made TOS interesting: no bull-in-a-china shop moralising on either side of the debate.

The unhappy ending and the main characters acting in ways which prove controversial among viewers is one of many reasons of why I love TOS. That’s why it was a brave, mould-breaking show!

Oh and Nancy Kovak was gorgeous. Wish they could find all the censored Trek scenes and place them back into the episodes!

85. Thorny - May 19, 2008

I like to point out the silly Mugatu costume when people say that the 1968 Patterson “Bigfoot” film is just a guy in a monkey suit. Trek coughs up the totally unconvincing Mugatu, but that same year some out of work stuntman pulled off Bigfoot? I’m not convinced Bigfoot is real, but the “guy in a monkey suit” argument has serious flaws.

86. Ali - May 19, 2008

Not an out of work stuntman – Jack Pierce, the best in the business at the time

87. Wheeli - May 19, 2008

10. the guy that never posts – May 18, 2008
They cgi’d in green blood stains on BOTH sides of his shirt!

How much sense does that make?

the green blood stain has always been there, Check out

http://www.cbs.com/classics/star_trek/video/video.php?cid=649539296&pid=uc6zXrk7M912D_mlB1See3Va9eVsMMyv&play=true

the green blood was not CGI’d and t was on both sides, I remember thinking the same thing when I rescently watch the DVD from TOS why would it be on both sides.

88. ster j - May 19, 2008

#87–Thanks for that link. BTW, the site didn’t include Assignment: Earth in their lists of eps. I wonder why?

89. eagle219406 - May 19, 2008

One person said that replace Spocks damaged shirt or give him an extra one. But somehow they found the money to constantly replace Kirk’s shirts. They were always getting torn, what was up with that?

90. Xplodin' Nacelle - May 19, 2008

I love that one scene w/ Nona’s hair blowing in the wind as she waves the phaser. – so sexy!!!

91. Wick - May 19, 2008

Kirk solution was his interpretation of the prime directive. If a civilization has been interfered with by unnatural foreign influence, then corrections need to be made to restore civilization as close as possible to it’s prior circumstance. Case in point: See “A Piece of the Action”. That is one of the reasons that I just love this episode. It dealt intelligently with the Prime Directive.

Also I found the dynamic of Kirk making friends with Tyree during his planetary survey most interesting. They were such good friends that Kirk told him that he was from the stars. That would take considerable Trust. It would be great to get a good back story on what happened on the planetary survey mission. It all sort of fleshes the Kirk character out a bit more.

To me, this episode is a good example of why TOS is one of the greatest television series of all time.

92. T Negative - May 19, 2008

#14

I noticed for years there was no sound effect with the last gunshot off of the entryway. It was really nice to see that they fixed that and put one in. I wonder of CBS did this or they simply ran across a different print or reel that had it in there while digging through the archives for this project??

And FWIW, Nancy Kovak is the hottest Trek babe w/ Sherry Jackson a close second. :-)

93. SteveinSF - May 19, 2008

I just noticed that the communicator didn’t beep at the end when McCoy hands it to Kirk. Oops.

94. elmachocombo - May 19, 2008

Just when I thought I was out, MUGATU pulls me back in!

95. SPB - May 19, 2008

YOU KNEW YOU HIT PUBERTY…

…when you watched “A Private Little War,” as Nona was healing a wounded Kirk, and it slowly dawned on you…

…”Oh my God–I think that woman’s having an orgasm!!!”

96. bigmike - May 19, 2008

42. kirk slapped him several times in the Naked Time before Spock backslaps the crap out of him

97. T Negative - May 19, 2008

I’m looking forward to next weeks “Whom Gods Destroy”. We should get a different looking planet for this one other than the many “Earth like planets we’ve seen lately. Hopefully a swirling, angry looking surface this time.

Plus plenty of Marta the green Orion slave girl. What’s not to like??

98. The Guy that Never Posts - May 19, 2008

“fake attack”

NPR did a story last year about who really attacked the US in the Gulf of Tonkin: China.

The true history of Vietnam is:
#1 Freedom from Chinese rule. The Chinese used to own Vietnam. You think the Soviets wanted land? The Chinese are worse. Russia is losing Siberia to Chinese illegal immigrants, and they can’t do a damned thing about it.

#2 Ho Chi Minh came to Washington and asked WIlson to expel the French and help the Vietnamese become a democracy. Wilson refused. Wilson firmly believed that only “White Northern Europeans” were fit to rule the world.

#3 Uncle Ho was firmly pro-west and pro-democracy into the 1950’s. When the US would not support Vietnam against CHINA, Ho turned to the USSR, who by that time had fallen out with China. Americans think of the USSR and China as allies, but they were not. Stalin threatened to attack China, and Mao responded with (paraphrasing) “100 Million Russians against 1 billion Chinese? Go ahead and try it.”

#4 When Uncle Ho secured Soviet backing, then and only then did the US take notice. Vietnam was not LBJ’s war. Eisenhower sowed the seeds and committed Kennedy, just as with the Bay of Pigs. Kennedy wanted OUT of Vietnam but only AFTER the 1964 election. By then, LBJ was committed to a fight started by Ike. Nixon sent diplomats to Vietnam undermining LBJ’s attempts at peace and convincing them to continue the war because Tricky Dick wanted to be elected, and end the war during his Presidency. (Politicians!)

Google NPR, McNamera, Kissinger.

Can we please get back to talking about Star Trek?

The green on Spock’s shirt is a brighter color than on the originals. Yep, still no bullet hole. Any musket shot that could go through Spock’s upper chest would have torn off his head. Vulcans are tough SOBs.

The Bird of Prey is the Checker Cab of Star Trek. I’m sure the Tholians are using them by now.

One last bit on racism in Trek. The “poor defenseless villagers” that the audience are supposed to feel sorry for are BLONDE. The aggressors are BRUNETTE. Klingons are DARK SKINNED. John Campbell the science fiction editor was well known for his Arian point of view. Azimov disagreed with it, but liked getting paychecks. Gene’s point of view? I don’t know.

And responding to a post in the Takei marriage news: Kirk got a lot of action because Gene got a lot of action, and that’s how he thought “he men” were supposed to be. Gene did not believe in monogamy. It’s not natural for humans or any ape. Certain birds mate for life, not primates.

Now, can we just post about TREK?

99. Denise de Arman - May 19, 2008

SPB#95- I always thought Kirk was having a Mugato-inspired wetdream, myself.

100. Engon - May 20, 2008

Although this episode is seen as a Vietnam allegory, it envisions that war’s outcome as being similar to the earlier “brush war on the Asian continent,” Korea. In other words, the “hot” Vietnam War was probably seen as a likely prelude to a long, cold war standoff, like Korea. They were wrong about Vietnam; but there are still about 30,000 US troops in South Korea observing a truce in a 50-year-old conflict for which no peace treaty has ever been signed.

101. Iowagirl - May 20, 2008

THE MUGATU!

Great Vietnam War allegory.

Fantastic, very intensive Kirk-McCoy interaction.

Nona and Tyree – wonderful supporting characters (OMG, how often did they repeat that Kirk being nonaed scene..;).

‘A hundred… serpents. Serpents, for the Garden of Eden’ – haunting.

Extremely good, memorable episode.

102. The Underpants Monster - May 20, 2008

#79 – Commodore, you made coffee come out my nose!

103. diabolik - May 20, 2008

Nancy performed a similar role in “Jason and the Argonauts” by Ray Harryhausen as the pagan priestess Medea. And we see her dance more. Watch it if you haven’t, she’s in full Nona mode.

104. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 20, 2008

#98—You are correct on all counts. However, you forgot to note that the United States actually SAVED the life of Ho Chi Minh during the Second World War.
While this is all fun, my intention was not simply to give a history lesson. It was rather an attempt to remind others that the failure in Vietnam is not simply a failure of the U.S. policy in general, which was to aid and arm anti-communists. This strategy was far more successful than not. Vietnam, in retrospect, was the wrong place to employ that strategy, but the strategy itself is not incorrect when applied to the proper circumstances.
Tyree’s people do not accurately represent the corrupt government of South Vietnam, therefore it is difficult to say that this episode is giving any kind of approval to the Vietnam War. One could argue, however, that “A Private Little War” does make arguments for and against the overall Cold War strategy of choosing to support those who oppose the spread of communism in general with money and weapons.
I think it is much broader than that. It brings into question (and offers support for as well) the theory that regions of the world are better served when there is a maintenance of the “balance of power”. One can find numerous examples throughout history of where that strategy has succeeded, as I pointed out before, but also where it has been misapplied.
That is not a party-line issue, but an overall philosophy and doctrine born out of the repeated lessons of history. Both political parties in the U.S., although they may at times interpret that doctrine differently (and therefore disagree on when to apply it sometimes), adhere to this philosophy. The Cold War-era application of that philosophy by the United States is known as The Truman Doctrine, but it is far from just an American strategy. In fact, that philosophy is, in part, the reason for France and Spain’s decision to support the American Revolution in the 18th Century. All of the World’s major powers, from Ancient Rome, to the British empire, to the United States today, have had to confront the issue of when and where to apply it.

105. Jeff Bond - May 20, 2008

I’m shocked that this episode has spawned arguments about Vietnam! :)

As for the last music cue, I do agree this was probably arranged by Fred Steiner. I have the cue sheets for all the original Trek episodes, which allows you to trace the cues in all the tracked episodes back to their original scored episodes. But there are a number of “library cues” created for the show too. In the first season these were usually just faster or slower-tempo versions of cues heard in the series, but there’s a little more variety in the second season library cues and they all do seem based on Courage’s themes–but Courage did NO work for Trek second season because he spent that year working on Fox’s Doctor Dolittle. Yet you have cues like “Fight on Captain’s Theme,” which is the fight music used in the sickbay brawl in “Mirror, Mirror”–clearly adapted from the climactic fight music written by Courage for “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” but done in a far more energetic, vibrant style and first heard in “Mirror, Mirror.”

106. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 20, 2008

#100–That strategy was not applied only to Korea and Vietnam. The U.S. successfully applied the Truman Doctrine time and again during the Cold War. Korea and Vietnam happened to actually involve large numbers of US troops, but arming anti-communists was quite common from 1947-1989. Anti-communist fighters were successfully funded and armed in many places to curb the threat of the spread of communism. Most notably, Greece, Turkey, Afganistan, Nicaragua, and nearly a dozen nations in Africa never fell to the communists as a direct result of Western support for anti-communist governments.
Furthermore, South Korea has still, to this day, never fallen to the aggressors in the North. Without UN/US military aid and support, there is no way the people of the South would live today in a democratic republic.

107. Anthony Pascale - May 20, 2008

I am not seeing enough love for M’Benga as a possible spin-off series regular. (see current poll on right column) I am thinking something like “Quincy” with M’Benga traveling from planet to planet showing the ladies a good time (and just the right way to slap) and solving those medical mysteries

108. Jim Profit - May 20, 2008

Wrong headline, correct would be
“Private Little War” Remastered Review + stream & Screenshots [UDPATED]
instead of
“Private Little War” Remastered Review + Video & Screenshots [UDPATED]

109. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 20, 2008

#107—Personally, I’m surprised that more fuss isn’t made over Trek’s inclusion of characters like him in a 1960’s tv show. Here is an African American actor, portraying a heroic doctor aboard the USS Enterprise (I always loved when ST showed there was more to the Enterprise medical staff than just McCoy and Chapel). Star Trek can never get enough credit for disrupting what were then very active stereotypes about race.

110. FredCFO - May 20, 2008

A blistering 47 seconds of SFX…

The Klingon ship in orbit made it worth it.

111. Engon - May 20, 2008

106.
I am not unaware of the Truman Doctrine, but Kirk specifically says, “Bones, do you remember the 20th century brush wars on the Asian continent?” Given that the episode seesms to point to a proxy war without the direct miltary involvement of either the Federation or Klingon “superpowers,” in 1968 the situation more closely resembles the “secret war” in Laos than either Korea or Vietnam.

112. eagle219406 - May 20, 2008

#109 #107—Personally, I’m surprised that more fuss isn’t made over Trek’s inclusion of characters like him in a 1960’s tv show. Here is an African American actor, portraying a heroic doctor aboard the USS Enterprise (I always loved when ST showed there was more to the Enterprise medical staff than just McCoy and Chapel). Star Trek can never get enough credit for disrupting what were then very active stereotypes about race.

I agree with you on that statement. That is probably the main reason why TOS originally failed. THe show had a concept that Humanity had moved passed war and prejudice and acheived true equality. But how many time did it go against that concept. Like in “Mudd’s Women:” the typical housewife, or in “Turnabout Intruder” the line where she says that “A woman is not allowed to be a starship captain.” Other things as well. Gene Rodenberry had to fight to keep Nichelle Nichols in the cast. Although Walter Koenig is not really Russian, who knows what he had to do to keep the character Russian. Majel originally played the first officer, the people couldn’t take that, that is why she was reduced to the nurse. It was a show that was aired before its time. It had a great concept, but it was something the world just wasn’t ready for.

113. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 20, 2008

#111—Very good observation. The Korean conflict also takes place on the Asian continent in the 20th Century, although as you point out, that actually involves direct military intervention. Also, while the Vietnam War was indeed at its peek at the time of airing, it was far from decided at that time, and actually began (for the US) as a non-combatant type role of support more like some of the other Truman Doctrine appplications during the Cold War.

114. Izbot - May 20, 2008

89. eagle219406 – May 19, 2008
“One person said that replace Spocks damaged shirt or give him an extra one. But somehow they found the money to constantly replace Kirk’s shirts. They were always getting torn, what was up with that?”

They weren’t really tearing Kirk’s shirts all those times. The costumers had a special break-away shirt with snaps in all the right places that popped apart whenever ‘neccessary’. Sometimes you can actually see the little silver snaps. It gave Shatner the excuse to show off his oiled up muscles at any given moment.

87, 10.
“…green blood stains on BOTH sides of his shirt!
How much sense does that make?”

I think they were showing both entry and exit wounds, that’s why. Like the shot went through his back and came out his through his chest. Only with no visable bullet holes.

115. The Underpants Monster - May 20, 2008

I wonder if it was part of Yeoman Rand’s duties to mend Kirk’s piles of torn uniform shirts.

116. Spocko - May 20, 2008

I’ve viewed and speculated about this episode many times and never understood the dramatic ending. I always thought to myself, “I don’t get it, who won?” But now I finally understand, nobody won because in war there really is no winner. That planet could have developed into a true Eden, but thanks to the simple introduction of a gun, Utopia came crashing down.

If only some people on this planet would consider disposing of some of their serpents.

117. RAMA - May 20, 2008

Interesting juxtaposition with STNG’s “Too Short a Season”. STNG reflected a different point of view where Jameson repeated Kirk’s folly of equipping nations with arms on both side, and breaking the Prime Directive. I’ve seen speculation in fandom that the war there lasted decades, and the same thing happened on Mordan IV. Finally after 20 years, we see what might have happened…millions dead and a wrecked planet. At least we learned something from Vietnam and Roddenberry did too.

RAMA

118. Denise de Arman - May 20, 2008

Anthony#107- M’Benga showing all the ladies just the right way to slap – why Anthony, you sexy devil, you.

119. Dr. Cheis - May 21, 2008

/sigh I’m starting to get tired about reading the bitching about earth-like planets. For one, the original shot of this planet looked somewhat earth-like, and for another thing, this planet was unusually bright- almost “neon” whereas earth is a more mellow shade of blue. Third, just about every planet they visit in the original series is compared to earth in some way or another (Garden of Eden for example). I’m just glad we have new planets at all.

120. Trek Nerd Central - May 22, 2008

#119. Thanks for stating the obvious. Would have been interesting to watch them visit a Jupiter-like planet every week, no?

121. Wick - May 22, 2008

If Kirk had not armed Tyree’s tribe, then they would of been all killed and their culture would of been lost. It was not a perfect solution, but really the only solution available. Kirk asked McCoy, what else can we do here, and McCoy had no answer.

122. RAMA - May 23, 2008

Answer to 121:

What could they do? How about not going to planets that are primitive and arming people? That would be a start. History has shown us that interfering with primitive cultures, especially ones that have no firearms to begin with have lead to disastrous results.

RAMA

123. RAMA - May 23, 2008

And another practical answer I just thought of….how about a blockade against the interfering Klingons?? They prob would have been well within their rights with the Organian peace treaty to do so and did not have the potential of million of deaths.

RAMA

124. larry - June 17, 2008

will some one tell me what would have happen if nona had lived? would she run back to tyree? the hill people did not trust her anyway, what would kirk do he was under her spell. would he take her back with him.

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