“The Apple” Remastered Review, Screenshots + Video

by Jeff Bond

“The Apple” might easily be retitled “Spock’s Bad Day”—over the course of this second season opus the Vulcan science officer is a.) shot in the chest with darts from a poisonous plant; b.) casually tosses an explosive rock, almost blowing up himself and the rest of the landing party; c.) is knocked on his ass by an alien force field; d.) is attacked by Vaal-worshipping natives; e.) is struck by lightning, and f.) is mercilessly teased by the Captain and Dr. McCoy as they not so subtly hint that he looks like Satan.

Like “The Gamesters of Triskelion,” “The Apple” can be held up as an example of all of Star Trek’s worst vices: ridiculous costumes and wigs, primitive aliens speaking like cavemen, hostile, society-controlling false gods easily overthrown by Kirk, and speeches about freedom and love standing alongside rock-‘em-sock-‘em stunt man fight scenes. The difference is that “Triskelion” manages to work as a celebration of Trek cheesiness and somehow be kind of moving at the same time. “The Apple,” on the other hand, is too transparent and follows too closely on the heels of the very similar “Who Mourns For Adonais?” (even incorporating much of the score from that episode) to make much of an impact. It does offer fans of cheese some entertaining moments, however—like future Starsky and Hutch star David Soul engaging in a classic Trek “what is this thing called ‘kissing’?” scene, and some amusing moments for Chekov and potential girlfriend Yeoman Landon (Celeste Yarnall), who herself executes what may be the only karate kick and judo throw ever performed by one of the Enterprise’s miniskirted yeomen. One has to think that Trek might have done better in the ratings had it only shown more of this sort of thing. You also have to love Spock and Chekov luring one of the residents of Gamma Trianguli VI (Keith Andes as Akuta) out from the bushes with a spirited fake argument (“Mr. Chekov, your tricorder readings are totally inefficient!”). It’s the show’s character-based humor that makes episodes like this, which would have been positively dire in other hands, at least mildly entertaining. Muscleman Andes is not one of Trek’s more memorable guest stars, but he does bring a convincing ironic innocence to moments such as the one in which he instructs his fellow children of Vaal on how to effectively crack open a man’s skull. David Gerrold once noted that because of the Enterprise crew’s advanced technology, in order to advance the story they either had to run into aliens of such superior ability that they would render the ship and its gadgets useless, or of such inferior ability that they would simply knock the crewmembers unconscious and take their gadgets away from them—in “The Apple” you get both.

There’s not a lot for CBS-D to work with as far as sprucing up the effects go. Interestingly, this episode was the one chosen as an example to break down Trek’s visual effects in Stephen Whitfield’s seminal “Making of Star Trek” book, with elements from a shot of a security guy getting zapped by lightning separated and displayed as an example of “getting zapped by a phaser.” Very few of these old-style optical effects on the planet surface get the CBS-D treatment—the work goes into constructing yet another earth-like planet (with a nice thin veil of red atmosphere to match the soundstage backdrop), one new shot of the Enterprise firing phasers in front of a pivoting camera perspective, and enhancements to the phaser fire impact on the Vaal statue that are very similar to what was done on “Who Mourns for Adonais?” But “The Apple” is such a mediocre example of Trek formula that gilding the lily with anything more elaborate than what was done would have been a little ridiculous.


Star Trek “The Apple” Remastered FX Reel


Remastered & Original

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Goofy ep.


They could have made Vaal CGI, but those lazy mo-fo’s kept it as a big paper-mache lizard head!

Lame. CBS-D seems to be getting lazier and lazier as they go…


What they DID do looked good those…so SLAP ME.

interesting thought for the day,,

The Enterprise in the new movie will be differnt to the good old NCC 1701 in the new Star Trek look tv shows.

Congratulations, SirMartman!

The apple is not one of my favorites, but it looks like they did some good shots here for the remastering effort. Have not seen the broadcast yet.

Gawd awful episode. Someone should mash this with “Starsky & Hutch.”

I kind of liked the effects, but what kind of bothered me was some events in the episode. Respond if you agree or dissagree. Kirk and the landing party try to beam up to the ship after one of them dies. Vaal pretty much stops them from leaving and then they meet the inhabitants and start interfering, Vaal commands the inhabitants to kill the landing party because he feels they are threatening his rule. Now here is what I think is a bit awkward. Vaal prevented them from leaveing which pretty much started a chain reaction which lead to them interfering. If Vaal had just let them leave in the beginning and not disrupted the transporters, They never would have met the inhabitants and learned of their laws, therefore never would have tried to change them.

Width of the Ship’s phaser beams should have been wider at point of Impact

Hey,, I had first post,, I wonder why it got deleted !!

yeh,, I was just meaning at how it seems like a waste of time and effort to make the Enterprise look nice,because it doesnt fit in with the new Trek

( I wonder if they will work that in somehow)

I smell a hole new box set of Star Trek TV Dvds comming on with re-done “New” Enterprise copyed over the new Enterprise CGI thats masking the good old model of the real thing.

Why was the sky blue whenever they showed the storm clouds? I could have swore in the original those shots showed a red tinted sky. Did anyone else notice this?

If it wasn’t red why wouldn’t CBS correct this? I’m sure it would have been a very easy fix.


Kirk: “Would you be more careful where you throw your rocks, Mr. Spock?”

“CBS-D seems to be getting lazier and lazier as they go…”

…Agreed. All of the shots were simply CGI copies of the original miniature ones, with the closeup of the E firing its phasers thrown in as the “token” update that was an update. They *are* getting lazy, and we need to be more vocal about it.

10. You are right!! The original episodes DID have red-tinted clouds; take a look at the screencaps at trekcore –http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=59&page=7

Why did they go gack to blue for the remastered episode?? It was the most glaring mistake so far.

I have always liked this episode – sure it was filmed entirely on a soundstage with a paper-mache Vaal, but I think it holds up pretty well (that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it…). Great interactions with the characters: Chekov has a girlfriend, Spock and Chekov get into a fake fight, Spock is asked by his captain to explain the birds and the bees to the landing party… They could have cut one of the physically painful “accidents” which befell poor Spock… As far as the Prime Directive is concerned, when a hostile alien machine is trying to pull your starship out of the sky and kill your crew, I think that’s grounds enough to wack ‘im.

#7, Wrong, the beam width itself would have been the same, the distance between the two beams at that point however would likely have been a continent apart. I have a 200mw green laser that, at night, you can see to the end of the sky, the beam width is the same.

#10, #13 You are right. To me, even the worst remastered stuff looks better than the old effects. But the sky is red, except for the shot of the clouds. Very sloppy.

There was no practical way to redo Vaal within the time and money constraints of this project. It would have taken an unbelievable amount of rotoscoping, since it appeared in so many moving shots, etc. You get what you pay for, and there isn’t enough money in this project to pay for that much work.

The storm clouds were always blue.

I’m glad they made sure the planet had no ice caps, to much the dialogue.

I always liked the effect of the phaser attack on Vaal’s force field, so I’m glad they only added some sparkle to that part. But the cleaned-up imagery makes the sparkler inside Vaal so obvious – I wish they had masked that with some added effects inside his mouth. And I remain disappointed that here, as in “A Taste of Armageddon,” we don’t see any visible sign of the attack on the Enterprise as she is in orbit. Showing some sort of ray or shield effect in both cases would have created more dramatic tension for the shipboard crisis.

“CBS-D seems to be getting lazier and lazier as they go…”

…I have a feeling that fans are going to start their own Remastering projects, fiddling with their own cgi effects. The folks making the fan films often display effects equal to or better than what CBS-D has been making.

I applaud the efforts of CBS-D but their budget, time-constraints and limited staff can only do so much. There’ve been some test images produced by Eden FX when they were trying to win the assignment — I assume they must’ve been ‘way too expensive for what Paramount/CBS was willing to spend — that were absolutely beautiful.

I’m glad the Remastering project has happened but I’m hoping that Paramount/CBS doesn’t go the cheap route when it comes time to Remastering TNG and DS9. Eventually TOS will get a Re-remastering…and then a re-re-remastering…ad infinitum…

17. The storm clouds were always blue.

Hate to disagree. Have a look here…



…that Kirk seems to be annoyed with the fact that the female yeoman is falling all over Chekov and not HIM!

Anybody else notice that the impulse engines had no glow in this one?

One thing that I REALLY don’t like about the new effects is the phaser effects. In particular, the effects of where the phaser is impacting against the targeted object. The “glowy white blob” really doesn’t do it for me; I always liked how the original phaser shots would have a cool “sparks flying off” effect, and you actually saw where the phasers were impacting. The white blobs are really lame…and would they really be circular? Especially if you’re looking at them from the side…they should be more cone-shaped, at least. I hope I’m making sense!!

The new effect of Vaal’s energy shield is also very lame; I think the original way it stretched and grew as it became more and more strained under the heavy phaser fire was much more effective.

“Remastering” TOS is a good idea, but if you aren’t going to really put a lot of time and effort into it, they might as well not bother doing it. I’m really getting tired of this second-rate sh*t that isn’t half as effective as the old photographic effects were.

#18 I am performing the logistics of such a remaster myself.

I like the colorful planet. That’s something TOS-R has not done much of since “Mirror Mirror”

Other than that TOS-R is dead. Like SeanGH said, it just fizzled out.

#18: the company is called EdenFX, I’ve spoken volumes of them in the past 2 years.

I’m glad I didn’t stay up til 4 a.m. for that.

“There was no practical way to redo Vaal within the time and money constraints of this project. It would have taken an unbelievable amount of rotoscoping, since it appeared in so many moving shots, etc. You get what you pay for, and there isn’t enough money in this project to pay for that much work.”

See, that’s my point. They should find the money to do it, or just not do it. They should do it right or not do it at all. I’m really tired of the half-assedry of this project.

I’ve always liked this episode for what it was. A groovy young David Soul as one of the villagers and those groovy, naive village chicks. Love it. Keith Andes too as the leader Akuta. I hear he met a sad ending a year or two ago. Great voice.

Is Vaal supposed to be a representation of “The Serpent”?

I realized just how many refrences there are to The Garden Of Eden when I watched this yesterday. It occured to me that the producers intentionally wanted Vaal to have a (albeit paper mache) snake like appearance for methaphorical purposes.


Even Hutch had to make time for love. Someone said earlier that CBS is getting lazier and lazier. I agree. There seems to be no extra effort AT ALL! The same earth type planets!! The little splash of red! For what its worth, I hope they lower the price of season 2 remastered dvd’s! CBS-D, if anyone is out there reading this. Why not take a suggestions site from the fans and go from there.

I liked how they changed the music score when Vaal was being attacked! Since, I cant type it! The 1st time I heard the piece is from The Cage when Spock and the landing party are firing phasers to rescue, Pike!! Actually, that score was changed back in ’67. Sorry, CBS-D, I am giving you too much credit.

15. Illogical – March 3, 2008
#7, Wrong, the beam width itself would have been the same, the distance between the two beams at that point however would likely have been a continent apart. I have a 200mw green laser that, at night, you can see to the end of the sky, the beam width is the same.”

#15 Wrong. Compare the beam width at it’s origin point with Enterprise, especially the deck area around the emission point. Beam width there is more than a few feet thick. Compare with the impact point (Vaal). The beam might be a foot thick at best.
I know about dispersal. This is a narrowing of the beam.

27. “Is Vaal supposed to be a representation of “The Serpent”?” —

Yep, that was the original intent. Subtle, huh?

#14 Denise. Yes, I forgot about that little tidbit. Spock and Chekhov getting into a fight. Not too mention the yeoman kicking the hell out of those guys on the planet! Captain Kirk gotinto a boxing stance often and then firing Scotty ,that poor engineer!! Ha HA!

regarding the clouds. I checked with CBS, they didn’t replace them

Funny how Spock doesn’t get vaporized from the lightning like poor red shirt guy.
The music used for Vaal’s doom was the same score used when they fired their phaser to wipe out Apollo’s place.

God I loved that fanfare at the end as the Enterprise soars off. That’s the same one from A Piece of the Action, and alas does not yet exist on its own soundtrack. Come on, GNP Crescendo!

Re: # 30. Izbot

Yeah, this show never ceases to amaze me as to how many layers each story has. I mean I’ve been watching this episode for 30 years, & I just made the connection.

Thanks for the conformation.

32. regarding the clouds. I checked with CBS, they didn’t replace them

Then I’m confused, Anthony. I’m watching my copy of the un-Remastered episode on DVD right now and the clouds are red as they go soaring by during the ‘storm’ sequence. But in the Remastered version they are clearly white clouds against a blue sky! Were they color-corrected? By accident, like the infamous Orion slave girl makeup test??

One of CBS Digital’s better and more interesting Earth-like planets.

Sort of like the episode TNG: Juctice. (I think that’s the name?)

Batts#31- “Vhat do you vant, Mr. Spock? Violins?” AND that yeoman was the only female on TOS to defend herself in hand-to-hand combat against a guy – I hope the actress recognizes that distinction.

Steve#33- That Vulcan biology and green blood come in handy.

Absolutism is good for little other than as an excuse for never doing anything.


This is a fun episode, but definitely third-or-fourth tier – all “Star Trek” cliche, very little real thought.

Vaal rules and has ruled this entire planet from time immemorial. It controls weather on a planetary scale.

It can reach into space and drag a starship out of orbit.

And yet…if the small group of primitives living in David Soul’s village neglect to bring it fresh fruit for a day or so, it weakens to the point that it’s defenseless.

What a howler. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Dennis#40- I may be mistaken (I don’t think I am, however) – nowhere in the episode did the script refer to what kind of food Vaal needed, and when the villagers line up to feed him/it, you cannot tell what they have on the trays. I wondered about that and took a look at it years ago – because I like this episode, I’d like to think this “alien machine” needed some type of mineral found in the rocks, soil, etc. Sounds plausible anyway…

I hate to say it, but my enthusiasm for the remastered treks is gone. I even went to the theatre screening of the Menagerie. Now, unless it’s “The Ultimate Computer”, I just catch the video on trekmovie.

Albeit, I will double dip and buy these on Blue Ray in the future.

The story had potential but was made too cheesy in true TOS fashion. For all the great things I love about TOS the one thing that gets me irritated the most is the cheese…

Good points:
The paradise factor. Jungle theme.
Crewmen (Red shirts) dying from natural hazards (thorns shot from plants and exploding rocks)
Chekov’s woman
The banter between McCoy & Spock
Naive natives.
Breaking the Prime Directive
The natives smashing the fruit with a piece of wood…

The Bad:
Vaal died too easy…
Vaal lives off fruit?! WTF?!
The red sky which changes to blue in some shots and is not seen from the ships perspective.
The bad landscape matting.

I liked this episode.

MrJ#43- His batteries were almost dead (and he did take a dramatically long enough time to die!).
Vaal’s food source- see my post #41

#41: ” I wondered about that and took a look at it years ago – because I like this episode, I’d like to think this “alien machine” needed some type of mineral found in the rocks, soil, etc. Sounds plausible anyway…”

Which it depends upon a small group of primitives to feed it every day or so, or it expires.

The Yahoo page has a blurb up right now about Trek tech and also makes mention of the movie.

“wack ‘im”

I like it!

#43 – The red atmosphere *is* visible in all the orbital shots. It’s the red tinging you can see near the planet’s curvature.