Monday, February 9, 2009

Forecast: Mostly Cloudy

Star Trek. I haven’t watched it since the late 80s. It’s been Remastered. Now it’s being Re-viewed.

“Obsession” aka “Kirk vs. The Smog Monster”

This is the most soap opera-like episode of the entire series. With Kirk going all Capt. Ahab on everyone with his obsession to destroy the cloud-like entity that destroyed his shipmates long ago and is doing the same thing now.

The gang at CBS Digital gives us some majestic new shots of the Enterprise, offering us angles that would have been impossible in the 1960s. They also change the cloud creature in the space scenes, although those shots really read as CGI and are not necessarily a vast improvement over the original opticals. One cool thing they did was to show a huge crater on the planet surface, the result of the anti-matter bomb, as the Enterprise leaves orbit. They always made statements about how powerful their weapons were, and it’s nice to finally see some proof.

This is an episode that I didn’t care for as a kid, but really appreciate as an adult, with its themes of guilt, responsibility, and yes, obsession. The scenes with Kirk, Spock and McCoy discussing and arguing over the events of the episode are great, showing their intelligence, professionalism and concern and respect for one another.

This must have been the episode that cemented the “Legend of the Red Shirts” as being the expendable crewmen who always die on landing party missions. I almost didn’t have enough fingers to count the red shirts as they were knocked off!

Ensign Garrovick’s introduction on the bridge is unintentionally funny as he appears to be SO much taller than Kirk (like a foot taller). They might have chosen a shorter actor for the role.

They must have gotten a big burly cameraman (I picture a circus strongman, complete with waxed mustache) for the shaky handheld shots of the cloud’s red shirt victims on the planet - cameras back then were HEAVY.

This is the episode with one of the dumbest moments in the series when Spock tries to stop the cloud creature from coming through the ship’s air vent by putting his hands over it. He tried to capture smoke With His Hands.

Disclaimer: Star Trek is Copyright 2009 and a Registered Trademark of CBS Studios, Inc. No infringement of those rights is implied.

Thanks to for the Star Trek screencaps.

1 comment:

  1. "They must have gotten a big burly cameraman (I picture a circus strongman, complete with waxed mustache)" My favorite line from the review--cue the Vaudeville duo from "The Family Guy".

    I liked this episode even as a kid. It was one that I had taped to listen to (yes, back in the days before the VCR I used to put my cassette deck next to the speaker on our 19" color TV and tape the episodes--when combined with a PhotoNovel it could be quite the experience).

    I remember thinking how cool it was that Spock was immune to the creature because his blood was copper-based instead of iron.