Let this be your last episode, Gene (Coon)
Last weekends digitally remastered episode was the Civil Rights era allegory “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” Although allegory may not be the right word, perhaps ‘sledgehammer’ is more apt for this not in the least bit subtle tale of race relations in the 23rd century. Although a bit over the top, especially thirty nine years later, this last episode written by Gene Coon (he gets a story credit under his pseudonym Lee Cronin) is one of the standouts for the third season…replete with great Kirkisms (” Listen to me — you both must end up dead if you don’t stop hating!”) and Spockisms (“to expect sense from two mentalities of such extreme viewpoints is not logical”) throughout. This episode also features the famed “zero, zero, zero, destruct, zero” self destruction scene (which was recreated in Star Trek III). In the “Last Battlefield” version of the scene (as well as other scenes), director Jud Taylor seems to be borrowing heavily from the 60s era Batman complete with extreme close-ups, odd angles and copious zooms — all that was missing were the ‘POWs’ and ‘BAMs’ during the fight scenes beteen Lokai and Bele.
For CBS-D there was a surprising amount off effects for them to do. Throughout the episode they took the opportunity to replace stock and re-used shots with new digital ones. This was most notable in the sequence capturing the stolen shuttle and when the Enterprise orbits and decontaminates Ariannus. Also Planet Charon gets redone with scorch marks that better fit with the story. Throughout the Enterprise herself looks good and she gets some nice flybys and distance shots to mix it up a bit. All in all one of the better efforts from CBS-D.
Remastered & Original
Let’s get ready to rrrrrrrrrrummmmbllllle
Star Trek vs. Batman
As mentioned above this episode (which featured Batman’s Frank Gorshin) came close to parody. However there is an award-winning indie film that went all the way called “Star Trek v. Batman” (below).
I liked the original planets better!
Great job as usual!!
THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK YOU FOR POSTING!!!! PLEASE POST THE FX-REEL (Video!) THANKS!!!
Kirk at his best.
Speaking of the Joker, RIP Heath Ledger.
Rest in peace, Heath.
So when is the last time the FX team gave us one of those extra additions, looks to me that for about the last elevnty twelve episodes it’s all been ship-shots and planet exteriors.
Does anyone know when we last saw something else and what that was?
Frank Gorshen was THE RIDDLER!!
(not the Joker who was played by Ceaser Romero)
The new planets are a vast improvement, especially Charon – at least it stays consistent this time!
Oh yeah … and wasn’t HE the Riddler?
Frank Gorshin was actually the Riddler. Yeah, condolences to Heath Ledger’s loved ones. That one’s truly a shock.
i fixed it just reload the page….jeez
Do you mean Joker, as in the harlequin in a deck of Bicycle cards, or did you mean The Riddler? And didn’t Dave Madden play Reuben Kincaid? Rather than Lou Antonio, who played Loki.
I dunno. My brain is mush. Somebody called out my destruct code, and my head exploded.
Wasn’t Heath Ledger on a lot of fan lists for Kirk?
I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU…
…but I’m in a total funk over this Heath Ledger thing. Just too sad. I feel awful for his daughter and family.
anyone catch the name on that Starbase 4 shuttlecraft?
They should, like, make the enterprise on the new remastereds look exactly like the enterprise in the new movie. That would be cool.
Also, Batman is teh freakin awesomeness squared. They should have a Batman/Star Trek crossover.
I’ve liked most of the refurbishments done to the Trek remastered episodes, but the shuttlecraft and hangar bay in the new shots look really cartoon-ish. But, hey at least the fixed the shuttle’s registry; it WAS kinda strange having an Enterprise shuttle come from a Star base! Otherwise, I liked this episode. Yes, it plays over the top today, but many shows in those days were not touching race relations with a 10 ft pole and a pair of rubber gloves. Have to admire what it said at that time. Heavy-handed, maybe; but it had a point to make.
Karlore — you got your wish
it’s in several parts
I always found it strange that they referred to the location of Planet Charon as being in the “southern-most” part of the galaxy. 2D compass points have little-to-no meaning in intersteller navigation… yet another example of over-kill on the racial overtones on the part of the writers.
#17-“They should have a Batman/Star Trek crossover.”
No. And no. Seriously, no.
This episode never did anything for me as a kid. Now that I’m older, I get the themes of racial unrest and acceptance that it tried to portray with a sledge-hammer, but it still doesn’t excite me. Maybe it’s the ridiculous half stark white and black faces that were supposed to pass for “alieny” but I still just watch this one for the FX.
Cool Beans! That video is awesomeness CUBED!
Clever scheduling this for the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Good call ZtoA, Bele and Lokai should have been from the planet “Amabala” deep inside the Ozark Nebula.
I take #22 back. It had potential, but they messed it up pretty bad in part 2. Gave me an idea of something to do this weekend though.
I think it might be sad, if after STXI comes out, we all find the TOSR version of the E the more likable one.
Lou Antonio was in Cool Hand Luke (Koko) as was Morgan Woodward (Capt. Tracey & Dr. Simon Van Gelder)
Heh, WBNX, that’s my local affiliate.
And yes, that enormous logo is incredibly annoying.
They have made an obvious adjustment to the scale of the shuttlecraft in this episode – it’s *huge* inside that hangar deck – and that looks awful.
I enjoyed this one. There were a lot more VFX shots than I remembered.
Usually they are always at the beginning and end of each show but this one had them throughout. Good effort by CBS-D this week.
Addressing several people on the issue….it’s Frank Gorshin and he was the Riddler. In my opinion, the best villain of the series. Insane, manic energy. Saw him three times on Broadway in “Say Goodnight Gracie” – a one man show on the life of George Burns. Spoke to him after every performance. Super cool guy. Great talent. He’s gone now
and to 27
Morgan Woodward was Captain Ronald Tracy in the “Omega Glory” episode. Also in my opinion, the best villain TOS ever had.
Nice Catwoman. Nice.
Arrr yessss… The Riddler… explains why CBS put all those digital question marks on him…
At least thye were not re-done to be grey… woulda made whole episode confusing…
I appreciated this episode now much better than I did when I saw I was young- it always popped up in the spartan times ST was in syndication for me in the past twenty or so years…
What if CBS re-did it so one was a dog person and one be a cat person?…
Arrrr… timed good just for Dr. King Day for ye Yanks…
BTW, Frank Gorshin was nominated for an Emmy for this episode.
And, my, doesn’t the Enterprise look great? :D
Yeah, the proportions of the entering shuttlecraft compared to the interior of the shuttlebay make the shuttlecraft look gigantic. After studying the shot, I suppose it could be that the virtual camera is nearer to the shuttle, and the virtual lens is wider, but it takes getting used to that perspective.
Also I disagree with the Remastered scenes of the decontamination of the planet. The Enterprise is sailing over the planet with its “bomb-bay” doors open; yet, nothing visible comes out of the doors. Also there is still the music cue of the original in which the planet changes color as it is being decontaminated. In the Remastered version the music cue is wasted, because the Remastered planet does *not* change color during the decontamination.
The rest of the Remastered fx scenes are welcome.
As the unofficial Commanding Officer of the Gene Coon Battalion, I give you this tidbit from Wikipedia:
“There is some evidence that this script evolved from Gene Coon’s unfilmed first season script A Portrait in Black and White. That particular script also dealt with racial issues, and would have featured Uhura and McCoy trapped on a planet where white people were slaves and black people were the masters. According to David Gerrold, Herbert F. Solow, and the recollections of Gene Coon’s widow, Jackie Coon-Fernandez, the Trek production staff worked and reworked the script for nearly three years before it reached its final form.”
I thought, perhaps Coon’s original script was too uncomfortably close to a Planet of the Apes scenario, but POTA wasn’t released until 8 Feb 1968. (Hey! 40th anniversary in a few weeks! Have to rent it!). Anyway, I am content that Gene didn’t get the screenplay credit. It is about as subtle as a hand grenade in a barrel of oatmeal.
Other than the ginormous shuttle Denny B pointed out I think they really rebounded from last week’s aweful outing. We got some pretty terrific shots and angles of the E and the print was crisp and beautiful. I always liked this episode and while lacking any subtlety with regards to the whole race relations angle I think it plays especially well as an Israli – Palistinian angle for todays times.
Another thought. Coon’s military influenceis evident here in the touches of command authority exhibited by Kirk. I know there are some posters here that are loathe to admit it, but Kirk, as developed and influenced by Coon, is one of the great military leaders of fiction.
When Bele shows up on the Enterprise, and starts demanding action from Kirk, Kirk explains that the Enterprise’s mission is his top priority, and tells Bele to be patient. When Lokai appears and tells Kirk to kill Bele, Kirk has them both thrown in the brig! When Bele takes over the Enterprise, Kirk would rather blow up his ship than have his command undermined, or compromise with Bele. Some real moments of no-nonsense leadership. Oo rah!
Nice ep. Great subject. Good guest star. But I really disliked two things..
1) Those close-ups of the actors
2) The fast zoom-in, zoom-out, zoom-in, zoom-out on the alert lights.
Now that CBS-Digital has a vast “library” of shots, I hope we can start to see some more stuff done like cleaning up phaser effects, continuity issues or other touches where the Enterprise is not involved. Maybe planets sets can be tweaked to show clouds or something, or how about a CG Melkot for Spectre of the Gun??
Come on CBS do more!!!
One more thing.
Now that they sold over 100,000 units of season one you would think that they could do more for us fans who forked over the dinero.
I have added the video…it may take an hour or so to process so if it doesn’t work come back and try again later.
Tigress — I always thought this was someone’s answer to Hawaii 5-O’s whip pans.
Loved Gorshen in everything (catch him aping his role in 12 Monkeys.)
The main criticism that sticks with this ep is that there’s no humor. MAN, could we have used a giggle anywhere in here. Racism, bad. Got it.
Anyway — thanks for another fx reel, Anthony. Sorry I’m so p^&*y tonight.
patience is a virtue people. Matt had tech problems and I have been busy…but we have never missed a TOSR and we never will.
Shatner pronounces sabotage (as sabot-ahge) really oddly at about 2:45
Heavy handed, sort of. What makes it great is Kirk and Spock’s reaction to the “he’s black on the right side!” They don’t react with a speech or start yelling. They simply glance at each other like, “This guy’s crazy.” The correct reaction for a group who don’t even understand the idea of skin color racism. And it works for more than just racism. Hatred of an enemy without reason, and the pointlessness of war. I never minded the obviousness of it.
#38–That is so funny, I always hated those close ups ( man Scotty’s teeth-euuuwwww) and that stupid red alert close ups…just what was that all about? Ahhm the third season….so much to gripe about.
Love the briefing room door ( or was it a lounge?) closed about 3/4 of the way while Loki was giving his freedom speech–and Spock ease dropping. Too funny.
I didn’t see a change in the planet after the Enterprise crop dusted. Was it there in HD or did they actually miss that detail when the music cued the planet’s change.
Gorshen was great–always a little crazy!
I just saw the change in the planet on Anthony’s video–still doesn’t really match the music cue.
So here’s a question..what exactly are those lights under the view screen that travel left to right–or rather, what is their purpose?It seemed they moved faster when in warp ( Corbomite Maneuver ), then randomly with different sound effects, , then slowly left to right with a slower sound effect too. Is there something about that in any of the Trek manuals?
I always love the sound effect as well as other TOS sound effects and couldn’t stand the washed out bland sound effects of TNG and later.
Back remastered stuff, the TOS shot of big E approaching the first planet is still far better than the CGI shots. Justs looks more “realistic” –not cartoon-ish.
Kinkaid, I believe it was spelled.
There’s a number of Star Trek/Batman crossovers — Frank Gorshin, Lee Merriwether…
I remember hearing about that Coon script but not that they’d kept working on the idea.
Incidentally, am I nuts? I thought I remembered them running around the ship envisioning burning cities, and I didn’t see any burning cities.
Bleh….., bring on “The Ultimate Computer!”
At least they’re getting more bold with the star field shots. That’s about all lately.