Star Trek – The Alternative Factor

★★1/2 March 30, 1967 Season 1 Episode 27

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Don Ingalls and Gene Roddenberry

Only two more episodes after this and we are done with the first season! I’ll write up a Season 1 review for next weekend and we will tackle the 2nd season after that.

Ok…this is one of the unpopular episodes of Star Trek. It’s not one of the better ones but I find it interesting…but saying that…it’s hard to get a handle on exactly what is going on. This is the first episode where even Spock has more questions in his answers than answers. The funny thing is…the next episode coming up is maybe the best in the entire series. 

Star Trek – The Alternative Factor | Archive Television Musings

Robert Brown does a good job of performing the rather maniacal Lazarus…an interesting biblical allusion, but a bit difficult to interpret the meaning given the character. The cinematography and the script impose limitations that inhibit dramatic development.

The known universe is, apparently, about to be destroyed by a malevolent humanoid from a parallel universe of antimatter. If antimatter meets matter…the results will be catastrophic. Lazarus has been chasing this being for years to exact revenge for the destruction of his world. The Enterprise crew is stymied and confused (as well as us the viewers), until the identity of the would-be destroyer is revealed.

In closing… this is some hard-core science fiction with a wonderful mystery setup. The script hints at the possibility of an invasion from the antimatter universe and/or the destruction of all existence due to the collision of both. The execution, however, leaves much to be desired. It could have been so much better…maybe in a movie format or with a much better script. 

In other words…you will do better seeing this episode than reading about it. That doesn’t mean everything will make sense…at the end of the episode I saw what was going on but it’s like describing a train wreck getting to that point. 


This is the first time that live two-way communication with Starfleet Command is depicted. In previous episodes, communication with Starfleet Command was through delayed radio messages.

John Drew Barrymore (Drew’s dad) was originally cast as Lazarus, but failed to show up for shooting and had to be replaced by Robert Brown, causing the episode to go two days over schedule. Star Trek’s producers subsequently filed and won a grievance with the Screen Actors Guild, which suspended Barrymore’s SAG membership for 6 months.

Along with Star Trek: Friday’s Child (1967), this is one of the only two episodes where outdoor planet scenes were filmed both on Desilu Stage 10 and on location (both times at Vasquez Rocks). Originally, all planet-side scenes were scheduled to be filmed on location, but due to the turmoil during production, director Gerd Oswald couldn’t finish shooting at Vasquez. Matt Jefferies and the art department prepared a spot on Stage 10 which could accomodate the missing “alternate universe” sequence.


At the 50th anniversary “Star Trek” convention in Las Vegas in August 2016, fans voted this the ninth worst episode of the “Star Trek” franchise.

Depending on which version of this episode you watch, the closing stills change. The original syndicated version and the VHS version show the still as the Enterprise leaving the Earth-like planet from Star Trek: Miri (1966). However, the Sci-fi Channel and DVD version show the still as just a blue planet, possibly Rigel 12 from Star Trek: Mudd’s Women (1966) or Starbase 11 from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967).


Actor Eddie Paskey appeared in 59 episodes of the original Star Trek series, 50 of them playing Lt. Leslie – a character name that came from William Shatner himself inserting the first name of his eldest daughter Leslie Carol Shatner into the show – but only in ‘The Alternative Factor’ does Eddie’s role as Lt. Leslie ever appear in closing credits, and when it does – in contrast to the spelling by which it has become widely known and accepted – it is spelled ‘Lesley’. Also, this was the second episode in which Leslie was seen in the command chair.


James Doohan and George Takei do not appear in this episode. For unknown reasons, Scotty and Sulu were substituted in the roles of engineer and helmsman by Charlene Masters and Mr. Leslie, respectively.


The visual of the iron-silica planet from orbit is reused footage previously representing Alfa 177 in Star Trek: The Enemy Within (1966) and M-113 in Star Trek: The Man Trap (1966). This planet effect was reused again as Argus X in Star Trek: Obsession (1967) and Ardana in Star Trek: The Cloud Minders (1969).


When Lazarus sabotages the Engineering Panel to create an overload, and eventually steal several dilithium crystals, the electrical plugs he switches around are actually Dual Binding Post Plugs (banana plugs), very common when this show was made in the 1960s and still in use in 2021.


A still image in the closing credits of Star Trek: The Squire of Gothos (1967) shows the corridor between universes set unaltered by the effects and double exposure. Titled at a 45 degree angle, William Shatner stands ankle deep in smoke in a near pose of the crucifixion, falling back into a purple corridor, where an orange line draws the horizon to a vanishing point.


Although this episode isn’t the best of the series, it does serve as the springboard for other plot lines concerning parallel or alternative universes as well as time travel. These subjects would be expanded upon through the original series seasons as well as in sequel television and film productions.



While mapping the uninhabited planet below, the Enterprise – indeed the entire galaxy – is affected by a powerful force after which a single human, Lazarus, is found on the planet. He claims to be after an evil creature who destroyed his entire civilization, but Spock can identify no other creature on the planet. Lazarus is in fact a time traveler who has been battling an alternate version of himself from an alternate universe. When Lazarus’ opponent steals the ship’s dilithium crystals, solving the mystery becomes a matter of life and death for Kirk and the crew.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
Robert Brown … Lazarus
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Janet MacLachlan … Lt. Charlene Masters
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Richard Derr … Barstow
Arch Whiting … Assistant Engineer
Christian Patrick … Transporter Chief
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Vince Cadiente … Security Guard (uncredited)
Bill Catching … Anti-Matter Lazarus Being #2 (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Crewman (uncredited)
Carey Foster … Enterprise crewmember (uncredited)
Tom Lupo … Security Guard (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Security Guard (uncredited)
Al Wyatt Sr. … Anti-Matter Lazarus Being #1 (uncredited)


Turtles – It Ain’t Me Babe

I first heard the Turtles with the single that I got from a cousin. The single was Eleanor… I fell for them at that moment. After I got to know them better…I found out they didn’t take themselves seriously and had some good pop songs.

This was written and originally recorded by Bob Dylan, who released the song on his 1964 album Another Side Of Bob Dylan. Smart performers started to pick up that this Bob guy could write accessible songs for the public. Add a Rickenbacker or a jangly guitar and whala you have folk rock.

The band was formed by Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. They were saxophone players who did whatever was trendy in order to make a living as musicians. They were also in the choir together in high school.

They were in an instrumental band but with the Beatles and the British invasion, they soon switched to a rock and roll band with Howard Kaylan as lead singer.

This was their debut single and what a single it was for them. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard 100 and #3 in Canada in 1965. It was on their debut album with the same name. The album didn’t do as well…it peaked at #98 on the Billboard Album Charts.


The Turtles were more of a singles band but did release some interesting ones at the end of their career. One of them was called The Turtles Present The Battle of the Bands. It was a concept album where they pretended to be different bands for each song. I’ve always liked that idea.

After they broke up Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan became Flo and Eddie.

Howard Kaylan: “When the Turtles first signed our original recording agreements with the tiny label that would become White Whale, we were all under the legal age of 18. Needless to say, the contracts required our parents’ approval. This was all done before a judge in the county of Los Angeles who reviewed the paperwork about to be executed and told our parents that, “If you let your sons sign these papers, the court won’t be responsible for the outcome. These are the worst contracts that I have ever seen.” We didn’t care. We wanted to make records and damn the consequences. So we signed. And our parents co-signed. And the judge had been right. It took many years and many thousands of dollars to win back our money and our self-respect. But, in the meantime, we had a record deal.

We had originally intended to break up our band, the Crossfires, on one particular evening in 1965, while playing our usual Friday night gig at the a teen club in Redondo Beach, California called the Revelaire. On my way upstairs with our resignation, two shady-looking entrepreneurs stopped me and asked if we were interested in making a record. They loved the way we sounded doing a cover of the new Byrds single (our guitarist had gone out and bought a 12-string guitar earlier that week) and thought that doing folk-rock was the key to our future.

It fell upon me to find the tunes to record. The Crossfires had been a surf band in high school, but together with a friend of ours, Betty McCarty, we had also done some folk singing as The Crosswind Singers. In fact, we opened a concert at Westchester High that starred the folk duo Joe and Eddie (a foreshadowing of things to come, many years before the names Flo and Eddie were to become our nom de plumes). I found Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’ on an album and, being blissfully unaware that anyone else had ever recorded it, thought that it would make a great rock song. So I literally ‘lifted’ the Zombies’ approach to pop – a soft Colin Blunstone-like minor verse bursting into a four-four major chorus a-la ‘She’s Not There.’

It Ain’t Me Babe

Go away from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who’s never weak but always strong
To protect you and defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door

But it ain’t me, babe
A-no, no, no it ain’t me, babe
Well, it ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

Go lightly from the ledge, babe
Go lightly on the ground
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’ll only lead you down
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who’ll promise never to part
Someone to close his eyes to you
Someone to close his heart
Someone who will die for you and more

But it ain’t me, babe
A-no, no, no it ain’t me, babe
Well, it ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe
No it ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe
I said a-no, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
I said a-no, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
I said a-no, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
I said a-no, no, no, it ain’t me, babe

Star Trek – Errand Of Mercy

★★★★ March 23, 1967 Season 1 Episode 26

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene L. Coon and Gene Roddenberry

This episode introduces one of the most famous enemies of anyone in TV or movies. The Klingons are up there with the Daleks and Storm Troopers. 

The Enterprise must beat the Klingons to a planet that is of significant strategic importance between the Klingon Empire and the Federation’s realm of control. This planet is known as Organia and appears to be technologically inferior to humans and Klingons alike. Kirk pleads with its council to side with the Federation in an imminent war with the Klingons in order to avoid occupation but the Organians seem unperturbed by any of this.

The Organians can be super annoying at times. We all want peace but they refused to put up any defense at all against the coming Klingons. They gave a vibe of “everything will be alright” and didn’t seem concerned about anything really. At first, I thought they were way too naive. It’s great being peaceful but not defending yourself did not make sense. There is a surprise at the end and we find out that the Organians are not what they seem. 

Kirk never even tries to understand the Organians… he assumes he’s so far above them that they can’t even understand the trouble they find themselves in.


This episode serves as a very good introduction to the Klingons. We get to know what they are all about…we also see the similarities between them and Starfleet. At the end of the episode, Kirk looks back and realizes he’s not the biggest fish in the pond like he originally presumed. A fun episode made all the more memorable by John Calicos as the merciless Klingon Kor, the actor makes a truly great villain.


The Organians then reveal themselves to be highly-evolved incorporeal beings composed of pure energy. They put a stop to the coming war by making their weapons useless. They left Kirk and Kor to ponder what might have been (a disappointed Kor says that war between them ‘would have been glorious’).

From IMDB:

Introduces the Klingon Empire. Klingons were named after Gene Roddenberry’s friend, Bob Clingan.

John Colicos intended to reprise the role of Captain Kor in a later episode Star Trek: Day of the Dove (1968), but scheduling conflicts with Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) prevented this. The role of Captain Kang (Michael Ansara) was written to take the place of Kor, and the performances of both actors were so excellent that they became equally legendary.

The Klingon Lieutenant played by Victor Lundin walks into the room ahead of John Colicos (Kor), making him the first Klingon to appear on screen in any Trek production, although, in a prior scene, several Klingons are seen walking through the village.

The baldric that Kor wore was reused for Worf during the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). When it was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution as part of a Star Trek retrospective in the 1990s, the material could clearly be seen to be burlap sacking, painted gold. The same exhibit showed that the buckles of the Klingon belts were pieces of bubble pack, with the bubbles painted silver to resemble metal studs.

In the original broadcast, we never saw visuals of the Klingon vessels either on the view screen or on exterior shots, just explosions on the view screen where the Klingon vessels were supposed to be. In the “Remastered” release (2006), new shots of the D7 Klingon Battle Cruisers, designed and built by art director Walter M. Jefferies, were digitally inserted into various shots, providing new visuals of the Klingon ships that were not present before. Due to this addition, this would now officially make this the first episode of the series to feature the D7s. Originally, the D7s did not appear until the Third Season of the series and the original first episodes to feature them were Star Trek: The Enterprise Incident (1968) and Star Trek: Elaan of Troyius (1968), which were aired in reverse order from when they were filmed.

The entrance of the Klingon headquarters is the same building as the main gate to the Organian village, filmed from a longer distance and different angles.

This is the first episode in which Sulu is shown sitting in the command chair, although he had previously commanded the bridge from the helm position in Star Trek: Arena (1967). Scott, who doesn’t appear in this episode, had commanded the Enterprise in the absence of Kirk and Spock in Star Trek: A Taste of Armageddon (1967), in which Sulu didn’t appear. The second season would establish Scott as senior to Sulu in the command structure.

This is the last episode in which the term “Vulcanian” is used to refer to Vulcans. Both “Vulcanian” and “Vulcan” are used at different points in the episode: Kor uses “Vulcanian” and the Klingon lieutenant uses “Vulcan”, both in reference to Spock.

An audio clip of Spock’s line about “pure energy” was used by the band Information Society in their song Information Society: What’s on Your Mind? (Pure Energy) (1988). The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and Leonard Nimoy was given a “Special Thanks” in the song’s credits.

Popularly known as “The Vietnam Story”, for its obvious allusions to Vietnam and its abuse by the colonial powers.

The set where Kirk and Spock shoot the two Klingons is the same set used in Star Trek: The Cage (1966) where Captain Pike kills the giant warrior with a spear.

One of only a few episodes where a blue-shirted crewman is seen at helm.

D.C. Fontana thought the Klingons were made the regular adversaries of the series because they didn’t need any special (and expensive) make-up like the Romulans, whom she thought to be much more interesting.

In the script, the Klingons were described simply as “Oriental, hard-faced.”

The scene where Kirk and Spock stun the guards and break into the Klingon headquarters was filmed at sunlight using a “day-for-night” filter.

Kor was also set to appear in Star Trek: Day of the Dove (1968) and Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967), but John Colicos was unavailable and other Klingon characters were written in. A script was written for Kor for the fourth season, but the show was cancelled after the third season, and he never got his chance to appear again. (Kor did appear in Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Time Trap (1973), but was voiced by James Doohan.) Colicos was also the person who gave the Klingons their dark-skinned, mustached look. He said he was going for the “Genghis Khan” look. Makeup artist Fred B. Phillips agreed on it, and conceived the Klingons in this fashion. He did eventually reprise his role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Blood Oath (1994), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Sword of Kahless (1995), and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Once More Unto the Breach (1998).

Kor makes appearances in quite a number of Star Trek novels including “The Tears of the Singers”, in which he allies with Kirk first against human criminals and then against a mutiny aboard his own ship. John Colicos reprised the role of a now-elderly Kor in a few episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).

John Colicos (Kor) would go on to play another iconic villain in a space opera television show: Lord Baltar in the original Battlestar Galactica (1978).

The shot of Enterprise hit by magnetic pulses was a stock shot of energy bolts hitting the ship, the corresponding live-action sequences used a buzzing electric effect that would be reused for the Klingon Bird-of-Prey firing effect in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). The shot of Enterprise firing was also a re-use. This time the white bolts shot out of the ship are said to be phasers, even though in other appearances the same effect represents photon torpedoes. The script specified that the battle should be depicted using stock footage from Star Trek: Balance of Terror (1966) and Star Trek: Arena (1967).

John Colicos was director John Newland’s first and immediate choice for the role of Kor. He got the script only two hours before flying to Los Angeles from Toronto, and read it on the plane.

A comic book published by IDW Comics in April 2007, “Against Their Nature”, told this story from the Klingon point of view.

The episode title comes from “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” by Charles Dickens: “It is an errand of mercy which brings me here. Pray, let me discharge it.” Nearly 40 years later, a passage from Nicholas Nickleby was discussed in a subplot of Star Trek: Enterprise: Cold Station 12 (2004).

The Organian ‘fortress’ that is observed in the distance and remarked on by Spock (and later established as the Klingon occupation force base of operations) is the Citadelle Laferrière, a famous Haitian landmark on Bonnet à l’Evêque mountain near Nord, Haiti.


With the breakdown of peace negotiations, the Federation finds itself at war with the Klingon Empire. The Enterprise is ordered to the planet Organia in order to ensure that the Klingons are prevented from using the planet as a base. They arrive to find a peace-loving population who seem to know little of war or violence and don’t see a threat, even after the Klingons arrive in force on the planet. While Kirk and the Klingon commander Kor jockey for position, the Organians refuse to support either side and both commanders soon learn that the Organians have a good reason not to fear or support either of them.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
John Abbott … Ayelborne
John Colicos … Kor
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Peter Brocco … Claymare
Victor Lundin … Lieutenant
David Hillary Hughes … Trefayne
Walt Davis … Klingon Soldier
George Sawaya … Second Soldier
Bobby Bass … Klingon Guard (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Organian villager (uncredited)
John Blower … Organian Villager (uncredited)
Gary Combs … Klingon Guard (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Brent / Organian villager (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Basil Poledouris … Klingon (uncredited)
Paul Power … Elder (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Harrison / Organian villager (uncredited)

Star Trek – The Devil In The Dark

★★★★★ March 9, 1967 Season 1 Episode 25

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene L. Coon and Gene Roddenberry

William Shatner’s father died during the making of this episode. Please check the IMDB notes below about that. 

This is the fourth excellent episode in a row. I’ve seen a video of a 1990s Star Trek convention of Leonard Nimoy saying this episode’s closing banter between Spock and Kirk was one of his favorite scenes to perform. He noted, “It was a wonderful moment which defined the relationship and defined the whole Spock character’s existence and his attitude about himself.”

 I like the fact that the episode is not about one specific character but evolves around the trio handling an alien problem. Also, it’s nice to see an episode that doesn’t only happen on the Enterprise.

The Enterprise arrives at a mining colony on Janus VI in order to kill a beast called the Horta, which has been killing miners, jeopardizing the exportation of the ever-important pergium (an element for energy). As the miners continue drilling deeper, it seems to be upsetting the monster more and more. Spock soon discerns that the monster is silicon-based, not the type of life form that the crew is familiar with.

The Devil In The Dark" (S1:E25) Star Trek: The Original Series Episode  Summary

In the beginning, everyone hates the Horta… they fear it and loathe it. But Spock’s mind meld and Kirk’s understanding soon changes this tune for everyone. People are often afraid of what they don’t understand. This episode reveals to us that, if we hope to find peace with what we don’t understand or take issue with, the first step is communication.

There is not much action in this one but a compelling episode and is a very good first-season episode. During the episode, Kirk wanted the creature killed but Spock wanted it alive. Spock augured to no avail but things started to change once he met the Horta. 

Just a quick note on a director. Ralph Senensky was told he was going to direct this episode and was sent the script but then told it would be another episode…yesterday’s This Side of Paradise. 

The reason I mention this is that Ralph has a great site where he talks about all of the different Star Trek and other TV shows (including the Twilight Zone and Waltons) he directed. If you have time check it out…he is 99 years old but still posts on his site

From IMDB:

In his book “Star Trek Memories”, William Shatner identified this as his favourite episode, because his father died during filming and Leonard Nimoy’s delivery of the mind meld lines made him laugh. He thought it was “exciting, thought-provoking and intelligent, it contained all of the ingredients that made up our very best Star Treks.”

Janos Prohaska, the creator of the Horta costume, actually wore it into Gene L. Coon’s office, as if to say “Look what I designed”. Coon said “That’s great! What is it?”, and Prohaska said “I don’t know. It can be whatever you want.” Coon replied “I’ll write a script around it”, and he wrote this episode in four days so the costume could be used.

Arthur C. Clarke once remarked, in 1995, that of the Original Series, the only episode he could recall was this one, stating that “It impressed me because it presented the idea, unusual in science fiction then and now, that something weird, and even dangerous, need not be malevolent. That is a lesson that many of today’s politicians have yet to learn.”

When William Shatner, on the set, got the call from his mother informing him about his father’s death, the crew was ready to shut down production, but he insisted on continuing. During the rest of the day, Shatner took comfort in Leonard Nimoy, and cinematographer Gerald Perry Finnerman, whose father had died on a movie set less than seven years before.

William Shatner was in Florida for his father’s funeral while nearly all of Spock’s “mind meld” scene with the Horta was shot. His screen double is shown from behind in several of the shots and all of Kirk’s “reaction” shots were made after he returned.

This episode was the first time McCoy used the phrase, “I’m a doctor, not a (blank)” when Kirk asks him to help the Horta, finishing the line as, “I’m a doctor, not a brick layer!” An earlier version of this phrase is used in “The Corbomite Maneuver,” when McCoy says, “What am I, a doctor or a moon-shuttle conductor?”

Gene Roddenberry was impressed with the way this episode explains the behaviour of a Star Trek “monster,” citing the instalment as “a classic example of doing this right” as well as “one of our most popular episodes.” He went on to say, “The Horta suddenly became understandable [….] It wasn’t just a monster-it was someone. And the audience could put themselves in the place of the Horta… identify… feel! That’s what drama is all about. And that’s it’s importance, too… if you can learn to feel for a Horta, you may also be learning to understand and feel for other Humans of different colours, ways, and beliefs.”

In a book about Star Trek, it was reported that after William Shatner returned from the funeral, to put everyone at ease, as he was trying to do his lines following Mr. Spock’s mind meld with the Horta and his cry of “AHH! PAIN! PAIN! PAIN!”, Leonard Nimoy just spoke the words, so Shatner told him to do it again with feeling. When “Spock” again said “AHH! PAIN! PAIN! PAIN! ” Shatner yelled out, “WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE GET THIS VULCAN AN ASPIRIN!”

“No Kill I” was the name of a Star Trek-themed punk rock band.

This episode includes only one actress, who appears for a few seconds and has no lines. This is the only episode with no female speaking parts.

The unbroken Horta eggs were toy bouncing balls painted gold.

NBC announced that Star Trek would be renewed for a second season next fall, during the closing credits of this episode on 9 March 1967.

This is the only episode in the original series in which the distinction is drawn between “phaser one” and “phaser two.”

This episode marks the first and only time an episode begins without the Enterprise or its crew being involved in the teaser scenes before the main credits.

Gene L. Coon’s original script featured a different material as the base of the Horta, but researcher Kellam de Forest changed it to silicon, as the original choice seemed to be even theoretically impossible.

Actor Barry Russo, appearing as Lt. Commander Giotto, also appears in Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer (1968) as the character Commodore Robert Wesley.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) novel “Devil in the Sky” is a sequel of sorts to this episode.

This episode was originally scheduled to be filmed before Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967), with Ralph Senensky assigned to direct it, but during pre-production the two episodes and the directors were switched because Gene L. Coon thought “Devil” would be a tough assignment to first-time Trek director Senensky.

The clubs used by some of the Janus VI colonists during their hunt for the Horta appear to be of the same design used by Kirk during his fight with Spock in the transporter room in Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967).


The Enterprise travels to the planet Janus 6 to assist the mining colony there. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to the planet where Chief Engineer Vanderberg tells of a creature loose in the mine tunnels killing some of his men. The monster seems to appear out nowhere then disappears just as quickly. Finding that the creature, known as a Horta, lives in a newly opened part of the underground mining complex, Spock uses the Vulcan mind meld to determine why it is killing the miners.


Here are some CGI effects they have made into this episode


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Ken Lynch … Vanderberg
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Brad Weston … Appel
Biff Elliot … Schmitter
George Allen … Engineer #1 (as George E. Allen)
Jon Cavett … Guard
Barry Russo … Giotto
Lee Allen … Janus IV Miner (uncredited)
Tom Anfinsen … Civilian Engineer (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Lt. Osborne (uncredited)
Dick Dial … Sam (uncredited)
Robert Hitchcock … Miner (uncredited)
Bob Hoy … Horta (uncredited)
Monty O’Grady … Miner (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Janos Prohaska … Horta (uncredited)
Al Roberts … Roberts (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Security Guard (uncredited)


Star Trek – This Side Of Paradise

★★★★★ March 02, 1967 Season 1 Episode 24

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by D.C. Fontana, Jerry Sohl and Gene Roddenberry

This one is one of my favorite episodes. It has humor and a good story. It is a great Spock episode. Spock…is actually happy through this episode but you do feel bad for him at the end. 

 It begins as a mystery on a very peaceful planet, where settlers were meant to begin an agricultural colony several years ago. Kirk tries to unravel the mystery presented before him…the colonists should all be dead by this point due to what are known as “Berthold Rays” and all animals have died off…but the colonists? They are beyond healthy…even growing things back like an appendix that was taken out years before. 

Everyone on the planet is beyond happy. The crew cannot figure out how these people are still even alive…much less so happy. The writing for this one I really enjoyed. Kirk asked Spock what the odds were that anyone was still alive while they were traveling there…Spock said “absolutely none” so imagine their surprise when they saw the people walking about. 

They find out soon what is keeping these people alive and happy. The spores from a type of plant/flower that sprays them out. It not only makes people happy but also keeps them healthy and safe from the Berthold Rays. 

Star Trek: The Original Series: This Side of Paradise – It Sure Don't Look  Like Eden – Thoughts From the Mountain Top

To see Spock happy is odd in itself but to see him in love is sensory overload. After the spores from the flowers get into Spock…he is a new man Vulcan. A sample of the dialog between Spock and Kirk amuses me. 

Capt. Kirk: We’re evacuating all colonists to Starbase 27.

Spock: No, I don’t think so.

Capt. Kirk: You don’t think so, WHAT?

Spock: I don’t think so, SIR.

For once in his life…Spock is happy. I found myself rooting against Kirk in this one just to let Spock be. I knew of course everything would go back to the way it was…but it was nice seeing that. 

What is really sad is the following exchange between Kirk and Spock after everyone was on the Enterprise…

Capt. Kirk: We haven’t heard much from you about Omicron Ceti III, Mr. Spock.

Spock: I have little to say about it, captain. Except that… for the first time in my life… I was happy.

What I get from this episode and please comment if you think I’m right or wrong but Spock…does have feelings underneath but he keeps them at bay. The spores brought them out into the open. 

Oh…can I have some of those flowers?

From IMDB:

The spores, in the early drafts, were a communal intelligence; when someone was possessed by them, that individual was granted telepathic abilities to link up with other possessed minds. The abilities of the spores to restore health were complete enough to enable them to return the dead to life. The antidotes for the spores were either the possession of a certain blood type or the introduction of alcohol into the affected person. Originally, Kirk leaped onto Spock and forced liquor down his throat to restore him to normal. This was presumably deemed unrealistic for various reasons. Kirk would not be strong enough to force alcohol no Spock. Even if he did, Spock could just spit it out because the alcohol would probably have to enter the bloodstream to have an effect. It is established in various stories that, while Vulcans will occasionally drink alcohol, it doesn’t affect (intoxicate) them the same way it does human. (On the other hand, in the novelisation of ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’, Spock states that the sugar sucrose, in the candies that Kirk bought to get change for the bus, has the same effect on Vulcans as ethanol does on humans.) In a surprise ending, the spores were revealed to be benevolent, conscious entities who never intended to act against anyone’s will.

Spock hints that, contrary to the common misconception that Vulcans have only one name, he has more than one name, like most humans, but when asked, all he says about it is: “You couldn’t pronounce it.”

The empty shot of the bridge, before the turbolift opens to admit Kirk, was the best available piece of film for Star Trek: The Next Generation: Relics (1992) to reuse as the holosimulation of the NCC-1701 bridge. The short snippet of film was “looped” several times and bluescreened in behind James Doohan and Patrick Stewart’s scenes. Using the stock footage in this way eliminated the need to completely rebuild the bridge – they only built a short section of the computer stations, the door alcove, and the command stations for the TNG-era actors to sit at.

In a blooper, Leonard Nimoy flubs his line about the plants acting as a repository for thousands of spores. Instead, he says the plants act as a “suppository.” The crew cracks up, as does Nimoy, who caps the fun by putting a Tootsie Pop in his mouth.

Frank Overton died shortly after completing this episode.

This is the first episode in which Spock is shown to have superhuman strength.

The title refers to ‘This Side of Paradise’ the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

At a one man show in Orlando, Florida, Leonard Nimoy said it was hard doing love scenes with Jill Ireland with her husband Charles Bronson watching off stage. However, she was in the process of divorcing David McCallum when the episode was shot. It’s possible Bronson may have visited the set, but they didn’t marry until the following year.

In the script, Kirk first spots Spock and Leila kissing passionately by the stream. There is no scene of Spock hanging off the tree limb. That facet of the episode may have been made up on the spot. Indeed, director Ralph Senensky came up with the idea of Spock hanging from the tree on location, when he found the tree and the spot closely to Bronson Canyon. Originally the scene was to be shot on a clearing. Evidence taken from a deleted scene, of Spock and Leila’s presence near the stream, appears in the episode’s preview trailer.

Ralph Senensky originally wanted to film the Kirk versus Spock fight scene from a wider angle, so the stunt doubles wouldn’t be so obvious, but the transporter room set was too small to achieve this.

According to director Ralph Senensky, the original schedule was that the first three of the six shooting days were to be spent on location, shooting at the Golden Oak Ranch (also known as the Disney Ranch), then the remaining three days indoors, filming the Enterprise scenes. However, after two days of shooting outdoors, Jill Ireland fell ill and couldn’t appear on the set. It was in question if she had measles or not. Senensky decided to film all the farm scenes which didn’t contain Leila’s character and then return to the studio for Enterprise interiors in the remaining of the day, and hope for the actress’ return. Ireland appeared the following day, as it turned out that she did not have measles. However, the crew couldn’t return to Disney Ranch as it was already booked for another production. They decided to film the remaining scenes at Bronson Canyon.

D.C. Fontana very much liked the finished episode. She recalled, “It worked out very well because the actors were brilliant for me, and had a very good director, and you know, I really like it.”

This is listed as one of the “Ten Essential Episodes” of TOS in the 2008 reference book “Star Trek 101” by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann.

Some of Spock’s family background is fleshed out in the episode with references to his half-human heritage. The episode also first reveals that Spock’s father is an Ambassador, which would be depicted in later stories. Spock’s mother is said to be a teacher, but there would be no further details or depictions of her career. However, Spock’s mother and father are also referred to in the past tense, indicating they may not be alive (which is disproved when they appear in Star Trek: Journey to Babel (1967)).

Gerald Fried’s score from Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966) is heavily featured in this episode, most notably the “Ruth theme”, successfully accompanying the lost love between Spock and Leila.

One of the basic aspects that D.C. Fontana immediately changed was Jerry Sohl’s original conception of the spore plants residing in a cave. Thus, to avoid the danger of the plants, the crew merely had to avoid the cave. Fontana put the plants everywhere around the planet, and later the Enterprise to make them a real menace.

In Jerry Sohl’s original draft (first titled “Power Play”, then “The Way of The Spores”), it was Lt. Sulu who was infected by the spores and was able to fall in love with Leila. Displeased with D.C. Fontana’s rewrite, Sohl was credited under the pseudonym Nathan Butler.

Stuntman Bobby Bass, whose character tried to break up the fight between the two officers, had his only lines of dialogue in the series here.

The buildings seen in the teaser, the first scene after and the scene in which DeSalle shows McCoy the Spores are at a different location than the buildings seen in the rest of the episode. The green farm structures were located at the Disney Ranch. The concept of Sandoval’s people refusing modern technology was intended to justify the late-19th century Americano style of the ranch.

The script featured characters named Lieutenant Timothy Fletcher and Crewman Dimont as members of the landing party. When Michael Barrier and Grant Woods were cast in these roles, the names were changed to DeSalle and Kelowitz respectively, to appear constant with the two actors’ previous appearances on the series.

According to D.C. Fontana, the episode had to be seriously rewritten because Jerry Sohl had not quite gotten it right. Gene Roddenberry told her, “If you can rewrite this script, you can be my story editor.” She thought about it and eventually realized that the story wasn’t really about Sulu, but about Mr. Spock. Leonard Nimoy, who was initially taken aback when he was told that they were working on a love story for Spock, later felt that the episode turned out to be a lovely story.

The food processors in the transporter room, placed there so Kyle could provide chicken soup for the air sergeant in Star Trek: Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1967), disappeared from the room by the end of the first season. In this episode, an enraged Spock destroys one of them.

Admiral Komack is mentioned in this episode; he is seen in Star Trek: Amok Time (1967). The character was named for James Komack, director of Star Trek: A Piece of the Action (1968).

Upon arrival, Sulu and another crewman inspect the colony for “whatever doesn’t look right.” Sulu says, “When it comes to farms, I wouldn’t know what looked right or wrong if it were two feet from me.” As he says this, the alien plant carrying the hypnotic spores is roughly two feet from him.

Ralph Senensky recalled that directing the episode “really proved to be very, very, very well worthwhile doing. Leonard Nimoy and Jill Ireland were wonderful, as was the whole cast.”

Many fans have noted that this planet would have been perfect for the agrarian-minded hippies in Star Trek: The Way to Eden (1969).


The Enterprise is ordered to clean up the aftermath of a doomed colony on Omicron Ceti III, a planet under constant irradiation from deadly Berthold Rays. Upon arrival, however, the colonists aren’t only alive but in perfect health, with no desire to leave their new world. They are in fact under the influence of plant spores which not only keep them in good and improved health but simultaneously keep them in a placid state of happiness and contentment. Mr Spock reacquaints with Leila Kalomi, an old friend who had been (and still is) in love with him. She leads Spock into being affected by the spores, and he is thereafter, for the first time, able to express love for her in return. Eventually the entire ship’s crew is affected, leaving Kirk alone to wonder how he can possibly rescue them from perpetual bliss.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
Jill Ireland … Leila Kalomi
Frank Overton … Elias Sandoval
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Grant Woods … Kelowitz
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Michael Barrier … DeSalle
Dick Scotter … Painter
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie
Bobby Bass … Lieutenant (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Brent / Vinci (uncredited)
Walker Edmiston … Transporter Chief (voice) (uncredited)
Carey Foster … Enterprise crewmember (uncredited)
John Lindesmith … Engineer (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman / Omicron Colonist (uncredited)
Sean Morgan … Engineer (uncredited)
Fred Shue … Crewman (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Kelowitz’s Opponent (uncredited)

Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced Album

On March 9th of this year Dave at A Sound Day published this post I wrote for his Turntable Talk series. Dave stated: Let’s look at an artist whose debut really impressed you. It can be one that just knocked you out first time you heard it when it was brand new, or one you went back & discovered later.

I went through some debut albums before I came to this. I already wrote up Big Star’s debut for another blogger but the other that came to mind was The Cars. For me, that was their best album although they had some great albums later. I then thought of Jimi’s debut…and that was that. There is more than one version of Jimi Hendrix’s debut album released. I will go by the one I first owned when I was around 11…the US version.

I think about 1967 and what people must have thought when they heard this strange new artist. It must have sounded like an alien coming down from another planet. Being at the ripe old age of 4 months old…I don’t quite remember it. His guitar playing was first felt by other guitarists. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, and the other huge guitarists back at that time. They were shocked when they saw him perform on stage.  He was “found” by Animals bassist turned manager Chas Chandler in New York. He took Jimi to England and formed a band around him…it didn’t take long after that.

Jimi’s debut album was released on May 12, 1967. The tracklist is incredible. A lineup of songs that still get played over 50 years later on the radio. To make it even stronger…Hendrix wrote all of the songs but one…Hey Joe, his breakout hit in the UK.

Purple Haze
Manic Depression
Hey Joe
Love or Confusion
May This Be Love
I Don’t Live Today
The Wind Cries Mary
Third Stone from the Sun
Foxy Lady
Are You Experienced?

The album had many now-rock classics. They were not rock songs easily accessible to the audience as other performers. He mixed experimental technics along with well-written and performed songs. Before Zeppelin came along, Hendrix gave rock its sonic boom. The album peaked at #5 on The Billboard Album Charts, #15 in Canada, and #2 on the UK Charts in 1967.

I’ve never heard a guitar player take the guitar to a far-off place like Hendrix. It wasn’t just his playing which was some of the best…it was his vision and the sounds he got out of the guitar that was so amazing. Every guitar player that came after him would get unfairly compared. He wasn’t just a guitar player though…he was a singer/songwriter who created 3 classic rock albums that still are revered. He was the complete package…not a traditional voice, but he got his point across and wrote his songs to fit him…and it worked.

He also evidently had a huge backlog of recordings and live concerts that keep being released. The man must have recorded in his sleep.

The “new” Jimi Hendrix tag has been unfairly placed on many guitar players. From Stevie Ray Vaughn to Eddie Van Halen, many more faded out. Hendrix would mess with this guitar…changing pickups and recording techniques. He had a sound all his own…when you hear a Hendrix record you know it’s him by just his guitar playing. Now when I listen to him…I hear the guitar players that followed…from the finger tap from Eddie to the straight-in-your-face riffs of Stevie Ray Vaughn…Jimi had done it all before.

Like Janis Joplin and Bruce Springsteen…they would let themselves go on stage. They would take it as far as they could and if they messed up…they messed up but the fans got to see an electrifying performance. When Joplin and Hendrix left us…they left a huge hole in rock performers and when both were peaking in making albums. Both Hendrix and Joplin left and their last studio albums peaked at #1. Jimi’s came two years before his death and Janis just a few days after she passed.

Beatles Week – Something

Dave is closing out Beatles Week in style with a George Harrison masterpiece.

Dave grew up in Canada, now resides in Texas and has been passionate about music for as long as he can remember. Unfortunately, a brief foray into buying keyboards during his high school years didn’t equate to making music people were passionate about doing anything with but avoiding!  He writes a daily music blog, A Sound Day, looking at memorable music events from album releases to artist birthdays to important concerts and more. You can find Dave at

Thanks Max, for inviting me to take part in this! And a good topic too.

When asked to write about a Beatles song, I didn’t take long to make my pick. There’s just something about Something that moves me like no other…Beatles track. Yet getting to that point has been a long road. Maybe a long and winding one, even.

A little back history about myself. I was born in the ’60s but by the time I was cognizant of it really, let alone had my own little transistor radio to listen to it, The Beatles were done. Wings or solo Ringo, John or George were more relevant to me at the time. But my mom and older brother liked the Beatles and in fact, one of my early memories was hearing Sgt .Pepper Lonely Heart’s Club Band on our big old console in the living room, liking the music and loving the colorful cover. As a kid, I liked the simple pop hooks of Ringo and Paul, post-Beatles, songs like “You’re Sixteen”, “Helen Wheels” and “My Love.” I knew a lot of Beatles songs, either from AM radio or my family playing them on the stereo, and liked quite a lot of it but it was hard for me to grasp how influential or flat out great they had been.

As I hit my teens, was buying my own records and listening to FM radio, my appreciation of them grew. I had a used copy of Revolver, though I can’t remember why I specifically bought that one. A good album, absolutely, but never my favorite of theirs. I probably found it cheap in a used store or flea market. Around that time, I was growing to favor John. “Norwegian Wood “ and “Dear Prudence” were high on my list of Beatles songs and by the time I was getting to like his solo work as much as say, Paul’s 1980 rolled around and well, I think we all know what the end of that story was. As was the case with most people, my estimation of him rose rapidly and I listened to his work more, began to love songs like “Mind Games” and “#9 Dream” that I’d missed, or nearly so when they had first come out. I loved his work for peace and outspokenness and was oblivious to the shortcomings in his character. All the while though, George was just on the periphery of my musical awareness. Sure, “My Sweet Lord” was nice, and I was one of the minority who in ’79 bought and loved the “Blow Away” single, but he was really the “quiet Beatle” to me. Nearly invisible. Really, the thing I might have been most impressed with at that point was his work funding Monty Python films, since like most boys hitting puberty, I laughed my head off at things like the “Lumberjack Song” and killer rabbits.

That changed a little in ’88 when he had his comeback album, Cloud Nine. By that time too, the Beatles were finally putting out CDs of their old catalog and I’d decided, hey, they had a lot of good tunes, I should be getting some in my collection. I bought several of the ’60s works on CD and really that’s where my true appreciation for them began. That and noticing a good portion of the bands I thought were really good at the time – say Crowded House, Aztec Camera, Squeeze for instance – were almost universally described as “Beatle-esque.”

Anyhow, then and still to this day, Sgt. Pepper... has been my favorite Beatles work, but it is a close contest. Not surprisingly then, for years if anyone asked me for my favorite Beatles song, it was “A Day in the Life”. A song like no other, with its time changes, Paul and John changing off vocals, that almighty, seemingly endless piano chord to end it, the bizarre lyrics that actually made some sense when you read of their inspirations. It still is a great song and high on my list.

But just as the Beatles changed and matured during their career, so too have I. And as the band matured, George started to take his place at the front. He brought a new sense of spirituality, and experimentalism to them, opened them up to what we’d now call “World Music”, the sounds of the Far East. Being able to incorporate that into a pop-rock setting was revolutionary and quite a challenge I’m sure. But it worked! And as I matured, I grew more and more appreciative of George’s songwriting as well as his quiet sense of peacefulness. “Something” is the epitome of that to me. And to his ex-bandmates it would seem.

Early on, George was a guitarist and nothing much more to them. Maybe his first hint of potential greatness was on Rubber Soul when he wrote and sang “If I needed someone.” A pretty good song, and presumably John and Paul agreed since they let him put three onto the next record, Revolver, including “Taxman”, one of their many “hits” that never hit the charts because it wasn’t out as a single. A decent little snarky rock tune but probably not on anyone’s list of “best ever.” The first real taste of his brilliance was still a couple of years away, and their self-titled double album. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was to me the standout on the album and really showed his talent as a songwriter…not to mention nearly got Eric Clapton in the band. Let It Be was recorded next (but released last) and though he did “For You Blue” on it, as we saw in Get Back, he was distant from the band by then and briefly quit. It was becoming clear he’d outgrown the limitations he felt were imposed on him by the two main men who clearly wanted most of the spotlight.

Which leads us to Abbey Road. Their swansong, even if it did arrive in stores months before Let it Be. I gather by then they knew it was time to call it a day but leave fans with one more worth remembering. And they did just that. In particular George. He contributed – i’ll say it – the two best songs on it, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something.”

Here Comes the Sun” is a pretty incredible, happy-sounding song in which he introduced a synthesizer to the band and wrote a tune in seemingly impossible time signatures (changing rapidly from 4/4 to 11/8 to 7/8 and so on). It ranks high on my Beatles list too, but the crowning achievement was “Something.”

george and pattie

Pattie Boyd must have been “something” too. We know he wrote the song for her, his wife,  and a couple of years later, his buddy Eric Clapton wrote “Layla” for her. In time he won her away from Harrison, and somehow they all remained friends. George was more tolerant than I would have been, I can tell you that. Maybe all the time with the Indian gurus really made him a better person.

Anyway, to me, “Something” is just about a perfect pop song. It’s beautifully written and immaculately played, and the lyrics are outstanding. If you’ve never been so in love, in the beginning, that the lines don’t make sense, well, I hope you’ll experience that head over heels feeling, combined with just a touch of anxiety over fear of losing it (“you’re asking me will my love grow/I don’t know/ I DON’T KNOW”).  George demonstrates his love for Pattie and his slide guitar prowess all the while Ringo drums along exquisitely. The more I listen to Starr, the more I appreciate his talent. He plays for the song, not to take over the song. Then there are the under-stated strings, completing the song nicely. I think George Martin’s introducing strings to middle-era Beatles songs was one of the more under-rated things about them; how many rock & roll bands before 1965 would have thought to bring in violins and cellos? Now, it’s commonplace.  There’s not really a point wrong with “Something” and it does it all in barely three minutes. Each time I listen to it, I seem to pick up on some tiny new detail I’d missed before that makes me appreciate it more.

Of course, my opinion was backed by many others. Frank Sinatra began singing it in his shows right away and called it “the greatest love song of the past 50 years”… and he knew a thing of two about love songs! (Unfortunately, he mistakenly told his audiences Lennon & McCartney wrote it.)  Later Elton John would say it was “one of the best love songs ever –ever – written…it’s the song I’ve been chasing for the last 35 years!”  And Ringo piped in that it and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” were “two of the finest love songs ever written” and put Harrison on a par with John and Paul. Critics tended to agree. The NME  in Britain called it a “real quality hunk of pop” while Rolling Stone applauded its “excellent drum work, dead catchy guitar line, perfectly subdued stings and an unusually nice melody.”  Add in great vocals and there’s not much missing there.

Happily, it was eaten up by the fans. It came out with “Come Together” as a single, but in most lands was considered the A-side. It hit #1 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and of course the U.S. where it became their 18th #1 song…which happened to surpass the number Elvis Presley had. However, it was the first #1 song credited to George…not surprising because somehow, it was the first Beatles single he wrote or sang! And that’s saying “something” – when a guy can create songs this good and somehow be seen by the band as a third-stringer… wow. No wonder we’re still talking about them a half century later.

Star Trek – A Taste Of Armageddon

★★★★★ February 23, 1967 Season 1 Episode 23

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Robert Hamner, Gene L. Coon, and Gene Roddenberry

Imagine living somewhere where there has been a war going on for 500 years. Now along with that…no bombs drop and nothing physically is destroyed. There is a catch though…all the battles are simulated and whatever is hit in the simulations…those people in that area have to go and get exterminated…yes walk into a machine that kills them. They keep up with the numbers with both sides…if the numbers get skewed…the other side will attack with real bombs. 

They do this to lessen the impact of war on the world…but if they don’t have to face the daily destruction…will they ever stop?

Enterprise visits a planet on a diplomatic mission. A clever concept on how a different society may wage their wars: totally by computers. In their supposed enlightened method, the buildings and their culture continue – the populace obediently reports to disintegration chambers to fulfill an agreement with the enemy planet after each computerized attack. 

Star Trek - A Taste Of Armageddon

Kirk is fairly no-nonsense and aggressive in his dealings with the people of Eminiar VII and this is entertaining to watch. Scotty has his first opportunity to shine in command of Enterprise and does so with several memorable moments, such as standing up to the hideously annoying Ambassador Fox and admirably handling the threat from Anan 7.

There is one question I get from this. The one rule that the Enterprise has is to not interfere. I think how Kirk defies the Prime Directive’s rule that they must not interfere could be a divisive topic of debate for viewers. If he doesn’t interfere millions could continue to kill themselves, but is he really permitted to do so? 

This is an intelligent and philosophical episode on warfare and on how human beings seek to sanitize horror and the need for peace. This episode makes you think. 

From IMDB:

Crewman DePaul is played by Sean Kenney, who portrayed the injured Captain Pike in Star Trek: The Menagerie: Part I (1966)/ Star Trek: The Menagerie: Part II (1966).

Scotty’s refusal to lower the shields against orders is based on an actual story from James Doohan’s military service. As a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Artillery, he was threatened with court martial for real for saying “No sir, I will not,” to a visiting colonel when he realized a training exercise order would entail blowing the heads off some of his own men. Fortunately, his immediate superiors backed him up and, like his fictional character, he was eventually promoted to captain.

According to David Gerrold, the computer tallies of war dead in this episode was a statement about Vietnam War deaths that began to be registered on nightly newscasts in 1967.

In his memoir, “Beam Me Up, Scotty,” James Doohan described Gene Lyons (Ambassador Robert Fox), as being “out of his element” and “completely discombobulated” during filming. He added that it took Lyons many takes to get his lines right, and that they finally “went to having him speak off-screen.” Doohan speculates that Lyons, who was an experienced actor, may have been thrown off by the science fiction element, as such shows were relatively rare at the time.

Another beautiful matte painting was created for this episode by Albert Whitlock. Unfortunately, it is the last painting in the series into which live actors were inserted. This matte of the Eminiar city was re-used as the backdrop of Scalos in the third season episode Star Trek: Wink of an Eye (1968).

First episode to establish the United Federation of Planets as the principal service which the Enterprise operated under. In previous episodes, vague and often conflicting references were made to this service. Such references included “Space Command”, “Space Central”, the “Star Service”, and “United Earth Space Probe Agency” (the latter even abbreviated as UESPA, pronounced by Captain Kirk as “you-spah” in Star Trek: Charlie X (1966)). UESPA would later go on to be the principal service which the Enterprise NX-01 operated under on Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), which is set in a time when the Federation had not been firmly established.


On a mission to establish diplomatic relations at Star Cluster NGC321, Kirk and Spock beam down to planet Eminiar 7 to learn that its inhabitants have been at war with a neighboring planet for over 500 years. They can find no damage nor evidence of destruction but soon learn that their war is essentially a war game, where each planet attacks the other in a computer simulation with the tabulated victims voluntarily surrendering themselves for execution after the fact. When the Enterprise becomes a victim in the computer simulation and is ordered destroyed, Kirk decides it’s time to show them exactly what war means.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
David Opatoshu … Anan 7
Gene Lyons … Ambassador Fox
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Barbara Babcock … Mea 3
Miko Mayama … Tamula
David L. Ross … Galloway
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Sean Kenney … DePaul
Robert Sampson … Sar 6y:
David Armstrong … Eminiar Guard (uncredited)
Buzz Barbee … Ambassador Fox’s Aide (uncredited)
Majel Barrett … Enterprise Computer (voice) (uncredited)
John Blower … Eminian Secretary (uncredited)
John Burnside … Eminiar Guard (uncredited)
Dick Cherney … Council Member (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Eminiar Guard (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman (uncredited)
Alan Marston … Council Member (uncredited)
Monty O’Grady … Council Member (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Eminiar Guard (uncredited)
Al Roberts … Council Member (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Eminiar Guard (uncredited)

Beatles Week – I Want To Hold Your Hand

I was really happy when I asked Halffastcycling to do this and he accepted. I really appreciate his comments on songs that not everyone is going to know like Little Feat and other bands that didn’t live in the top 20. So thank you and go visit his site!

He started the blog to chronicle a coast-to-coast bike trip. Recently retired from a series of careers (in co-ops, plumbing, and health care), I spend my time riding my bike (once across the continent wasn’t enough so I quit working to do it again), paddling, writing about bikes and whatever pops into my head, and sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair. I’m old enough that I remember this music when it was new, not from oldies stations. The first hit records I remember hearing were by Little Richard (78 RPM). (I have older siblings.) My intro to live music (besides high school dances) was through BB King (followed quickly by Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Luther Allison, Bonnie Raitt, Pete Seeger, and the Grateful Dead, among others). I wrote a high school term paper on the Beatles (after reading the new Hunter Davies bio in 1968) and got a D.


It was the 1963-64 school year and the fifth grade talent show was fast approaching. Being only a spectator was not an option. Everyone had to have an act, a talent to display.

My friend Max at Powerpop has declared “Beatles Week” and invited others to write about “a favorite Beatle song”. (In another part of the same post he invites folks to write about “their favorite Beatles song”, an important distinction in my eyes. Who can have a single favorite from their catalog? I’ve written about the my problem of declaring favorites before.)

A classmate approached me about joining an act with a couple of friends. When I asked about the act he was very secretive. He couldn’t tell me what the act was until I agreed to be in it. Once he told me, I couldn’t back out. Note I called him a “classmate”, not a “friend”. I didn’t trust him enough to go along blindly with this. Besides, I already had my act together. What was my act? I have no idea. What was their act? That still sticks in my mind 60 years later.

Four guys took the stage. Each had a rag mop on his head, dyed black and trimmed just so. Three of them held brooms – no mere air guitar for them. The fourth was, of course, Ringo. They lip-synched to “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. It wasn’t my favorite Beatles song even then. I bought the single of “She Loves You” but I didn’t buy “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. It seemed like the sort of song that reinforced parental stereotypes about pop music (and “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” didn’t?) with its simplistic lyrics about holding hands.

Four guys took the stage. Each had a rag mop on his head, dyed black and trimmed just so. Three of them held brooms – no mere air guitar for them. The fourth was, of course, Ringo. They lip-synched to “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. It wasn’t my favorite Beatles song even then. I bought the single of “She Loves You” but I didn’t buy “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. It seemed like the sort of song that reinforced parental stereotypes about pop music (and “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” didn’t?) with its simplistic lyrics about holding hands.


(Image from WebRestaurantStore)

On February 9, 1964, the US saw The Beatles in person for the first time, on The Ed Sullivan Show. Those of us in the know had seen them a month before on grainy, low fidelity video on Jack Paar.

They had appeared in an NBC News story on November 18, 1963. The news was more about Beatlemania than about the music, though they did acknowledge that The Beatles wrote some of their own songs. Early coverage of the band was more from a sense of amusement at the phenomenon of those crazy teenagers than it was about the music.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was not received with universal acclaim in the US. “Esquire‘s music critic David Newman wrote, ‘Terrible awful. …It’s the bunk. The Beatles are indistinguishable from a hundred other similar loud and twanging rock-and-roll groups. They aren’t talented singers (as Elvis was), they aren’t fun (as Elvis was), they aren’t anything.’[34]

On the other hand, it did reach #1 in most western countries (stalling at #6 in Belgium and Finland). In the US it was replaced at #1 by “She Loves You”. In the UK, the order was reversed. It was subsequently released in German as “Komm, gib mir diene Hand” – that version also received US airplay.

Contrast Newman with Rob Sheffield’s assessment in the Rolling Stone Album Guide (40 years later): “Just check out ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ which explodes out of the speakers with the most passionate singing, drumming, lyrics, guitars, and girl-crazy howls ever – it’s no insult to the Beatles to say they never topped this song because nobody else has either … It’s the most joyous three minutes in the history of human noise.[40]

So what made them such a big deal? We were used to “singing groups” lip-synching their latest single on American Bandstand, complete with orchestration and fadeout. These were actual musicians. They played and sang at the same time. Of course, they weren’t the first, but it was still somewhat unusual in the pop music world. And they wrote their own songs. Sure, they covered American R&B (“Twist and Shout”, “Roll Over Beethoven”) and even show tunes (“A Taste of Honey”, “Til There Was You”) but the list of hit songs (and great songs) they wrote is too long to recount here. Some singers can produce great harmonies in a studio with multiple takes and overdubs, but The Beatles sounded great live in an era without monitors (and with fans screaming loudly enough that they might not have heard themselves even with monitors).

I went to a summer camp that had a carnival with games. One game involved headphones through which a few notes of a Beatles tune were played. Your challenge was speed in identifying the song. How many notes did you need? Hw quickly could you answer? With what other band would you play that game?

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” is far from the best Beatles song, it’s not my favorite Beatles song, and it wasn’t even the first Beatles song. But it was the only one that dominated the fifth grade talent show at Winnequah School and made 4 boys instantly popular. I was not one of them.

Beatles Week – Matchbox/Slow Down

This post is by John from . John’s blog has different subjects and he will post songs that I had completely forgot about. I like talking guitars with John also…He is an internet disc jockey, lover of old TV (especially the commercials), inveterate wise guy.

The Beatles released the EP Long Tall Sally in the UK in 1964. It had one Lennon-McCartney original, “I Call Your Name,” and three covers, Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” from 1956, Larry Williams’s “Slow Down” from 1958, and Carl Perkins’s “Matchbox” from 1957. Capitol Records, who was the distributor for Beatles music in the US and Canada, took “Long Tall Sally” and “I Call Your Name” and put them on The Beatles’ Second Album, then took “Matchbox” and “Slow Down” and put them on the album Something New with the songs from A Hard Day’s Night and a couple of other songs. Capitol issued “Matchbox” and “Slow Down” as a single in late August 1964.

The single didn’t do as well as most Beatles singles that year: “Matchbox” (which appeared as “Match Box” on the single and its sleeve) only reached #17 in the US and Canada, while “Slow Down” came in at #24. It’s really a lost single, issued when music from A Hard Day’s Night was on everyone’s mind. Naturally, it was my favorite record for a very long time.

“Match Box” was the A side of the record. The Beatles were great fans of Carl Perkins, particularly George Harrison, who learned many of Perkins’s solos while he learned the guitar, and Ringo Starr, who sang two of the three Perkins songs the Fab Four covered (“Honey Don’t” was the other). Coming in at just under two minutes, it was rock ‘n’ roll, Fab Four style.

What I especially like about this:

  • That opening. You have two bars of George doing that figure around the A chord before everyone else comes in. That gets your toes tappin’ and your butt shakin’…
  • The utter simplicity. Three chords: A7, D7, E7, all played in first position. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
  • The solo. Like so many of George’s solos, simple and to the point, played on his Gretsch Country Gentleman.
  • George Martin’s piano. Just enough that you know it’s there. He added it several days after The Beatles recorded the song, but it sounds like he was in the studio with them.
  • Ringo’s vocal. Don’t ever tell me that Ringo can’t sing. He has a little trouble with the lyrics, but who cares?
  • The end. That last chord, an A 6/9, wraps everything up perfectly.

The flip side, “Slow Down,” is just as noteworthy. Larry Williams was an R&B singer and pianist whose songs The Beatles often covered, including this song, “Dizzy Miss Lizzie,” and “Bad Boy.”

Could I say the same things about this song as I did about “Match Box”? Almost. John did the vocal on this track, but the opening of the song, highlighted by George Martin’s piano, is just as memorable, it’s another three-chord song, George’s solo is, again, to the point, and you have that same 6/9 chord ending this one. Two solid sides of rock ‘n’ roll, Fab Four style.

Maybe the most perfect thing about these sides is that they aren’t perfect. George’s pick hand gets ahead of his fret hand on both solos, and the double-tracked vocal by John on “Slow Down” seems to have a few extra voices in it. They don’t make the record a bad one. If anything, hearing them screw up just underlines how much they’re enjoying themselves. That’s what makes this such a great record.

Star Trek – Space Seed

★★★★★ February 27, 1967 Season 1 Episode 22

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene L. Coon, Carey Wilber, and Gene Roddenberry

This is a huge episode, a very important one. It would later have a very famous part II movie in the 1980s. 

The villainous character of Khan Noonien Singh, played perfectly by Ricardo Montalbán in the 1982 motion picture “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan“, was first introduced in this landmark episode. The Enterprise has discovered some remnants of the late 20th century…an old fossil of a ship and its crew, who are in suspended animation.

As it happens, they and their leader Khan were genetically engineered “supermen” and “superwomen” whose need to dominate and control had led to war in the 1990s. The re-awakened Khan is soon back to his old tricks, and the crew have to fight to regain control of the Enterprise.

Star Trek Space Seed

There is a reason they picked this one for the movie. It’s a wonderful episode. The only issue I have with this episode is the portrayal of Marla McGivers. To see her character, a well-educated, empowered female officer, turn into a person that swoons over him and turns into an emotional slave for Khan is aggravating to watch. Yes, she loved the 20th century but I don’t see her doing what she did. 

The fight scene between Kirk and Khan may be my favorite fight scene for the series. Kirk put on some nice moves to avoid getting bashed by Khan’s far superior strength. With HD you can see its stunt men but other than that it was great. 

The star of this episode is no other than Ricardo Montalbán. The way they shot the episode he seems huge and has a great presence. I don’t want to say much…but in the end, Kirk does something that will come back and bite him in 15 years. 

It’s a very good episode. It’s fun watching this episode and then watching the movie right after. 

From IMDB: 

Gene Roddenberry questioned Carey Wilber’s notion of wasting a high-tech spaceship and expensive resources on criminals – just like Kirk and Spock came up with the same question in the story itself – and came up with the concept of “a bunch of Napoleons” self-exiling in space.

Being a first-season episode, Chekov (Walter Koenig) does not appear. Nevertheless, Chekov does appear in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), in which Khan not only meets but instantly recognizes him. Many fan theories subsequently tried to explain where Chekov could have been off-screen during that episode that would cause Khan to remember him. Walter Koenig himself came up with a story, which he likes to recite at conventions, that Khan, during the events of Space Seed, desperately needed to go to the bathroom, but the only toilet he could find was occupied, and when it was opened, Chekov walked out and Khan resolved never to forget Chekov’s face. The Wrath of Khan novelization by Vonda N. McIntyre does officially explain that Chekov was working in Engineering when Khan began his rebellion there (and most of that happened off-camera), and it was because of Chekov’s valiance in resisting that he was promoted to the Bridge for the series’ second season. See also trivia for Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

Carey Wilber used the 18th century British custom of ‘transportation’ (shipping out convicts to the colonies, especially Australia) as a parallel for his concept of “seed ships”, used to take unwanted criminals out to space from the overpopulated Earth (hence the name Botany Bay). In his original treatment, the Botany Bay left Earth in 2096, with 100 criminals (both men and women) and a team of several volunteering lawmen aboard.

The main cast were enthusiastic about working with Ricardo Montalban. DeForest Kelley later said “I enjoyed working with Ricardo the best. I was privileged. He is a marvellous actor.”

Following positive feedback from the producers and the network regarding James Doohan, this was the first episode to feature a more prominent role for Scotty.

Ricardo Montalban called his role as Khan “wonderful”, saying that “it was well-written, it had an interesting concept and I was delighted it was offered to me”.

The first day’s filming coincided with the airing of Star Trek: Balance of Terror (1966), and Marc Daniels allowed the cast and crew to go home early to watch it. The other five days ran to schedule, to the extent that there was an early finish on the final day of filming, allowing cast and crew time to return home to watch a repeat of Star Trek: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (1966) which had replaced Star Trek: Arena (1967) on that evening’s schedule.

Ricardo Montalban plays a character who is familiar with the first chapter of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”. (“Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.”) Oddly enough, that same literary passage contains the word Montalban. This name, which is old-fashioned Spanish for White Mountain, appears in the poem in context where an angels-versus-demons war is compared to a list of great military actions in Earth history. Montalban was a battle site during the Franco-Moorish Wars of the Early Middle Ages.

The creation of the Botany Bay miniature caused the episode to go over budget by more than $12,000. The episode actually cost a total of $197,262 against a budget of $180,000. By this point, the series was nearly $80,000 over budget in total.

This is listed as one of the “Ten Essential Episodes” of the series in the 2008 reference book “Star Trek 101” by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann.

Ricardo Montalban was always the first choice for Khan. He had been suggested by casting director Joseph D’Agosta, who was not looking to cast an actor of a particular ethnic background due to Gene Roddenberry’s vision for the series; Roddenberry wanted to show his perceived 23rd century values by not requiring any specific ethnicities when casting actors in guest roles.

The Eugenics Wars, and the notion of genetically augmented Humans, has also served as background Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Infinite Vulcan (1973) as well as Star Trek: Enterprise: Borderland (2004), Star Trek: Enterprise: Cold Station 12 (2004), and Star Trek: Enterprise: The Augments (2004).


While on patrol in deep space, the Enterprise comes across an ancient Earth spaceship from the 1990s, the SS Botany Bay. Aboard, they find a group of Earthlings in suspended animation as was used when space voyages might take decades. They revive the group’s leader, a magnetic individual named Khan, and the Enterprise historian Lt. Marla McGivers is obviously attracted to him. Using the Enterprise computers, Kirk and Spock learn that Khan is actually Khan Noonien Singh, once absolute ruler of more than one-quarter of Earth and the product of genetic engineering. But they are too late, Khan and McGivers have gone back to his ship, revived Khan’s crew, and returned to seize control of the Enterprise.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
Ricardo Montalban … Khan Noonian Singh
Madlyn Rhue … Lt. Marla McGivers
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Makee K. Blaisdell … Spinelli (as Blaisdell Makee)
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Mark Tobin … Joaquin
Kathy Ahart … Crew Woman
John Winston … Lieutenant Kyle
John Arndt … Ingenieur Fields (uncredited)
Bobby Bass … Guard (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Dick Cangey … Otto (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Lt. Brent (uncredited)
Joan Johnson … Female Guard (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Jan Reddin … Crewwoman (uncredited)
Frieda Rentie … Enterprise Lieutenant (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Harrison (uncredited)
Joan Webster … Nurse (uncredited)

Beatles Week – Got To Get You Into My Life

Liam Sullivan is a Dad, archivist, choral singer, and tour guide living his best life in Boston, MA. You can read his thoughts on books, movies, music, and more at Panorama of the Mountains

“Got to Get You Into My Life” is a song by The Beatles that was a top ten hit when I was a small child. Except that The Beatles broke up more than 3 years before I was even born. How could this be? It was a mystery to me for a long time. I didn’t even know it was a song by The Beatles until I was a teenager in the 1980s. It puzzled me how I could remember “Got to Get You Into My Life” being in heavy rotation with the songs I heard played on the radio in my dad’s Chevy Nova back in the mid-70s.

I won’t keep you in suspense as long as I was. It turns out that Capitol Records, The Beatles label in the United States, released “Got to Get You Into My Life” as a single on May 31, 1976. Despite being a ten-year-old song at that point, it did well on the charts, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week of July 24, 1976. It would be The Beatles last Top Ten hit until “Free As A Bird” in 1995.

The single was released to promote a compilation album that Capitol Records was promoting called Rock ‘n’ Roll Music. The collection of 28 rockers culled from The Beatles’ previous releases was clearly Capitol looking to make some money off of a beloved band that wasn’t making any new music. It sold well, reaching number 2 on the Billboard album charts, ironically held out of the top spot by Paul McCartney’s Wings at the Speed of Sound.

    The album cover for Rock ‘n’ Roll Music was designed to tap into the Fifties nostalgia craze of the 1970s with images of a jukebox, cars with big fins, and Marilyn Monroe. The Beatles, notably were a Sixties band, but the title track is a cover of a Chuck Berry song from the Fifties, so there’s a tenuous connection. The Fifties nostalgia probably was kicked off by the doo wop cover act Sha Na Na performing at Woodstock in 1969 (the group would get a TV show that started in 1977. I loved Bowser). The Broadway musical Grease (1972), the movie American Graffiti (1973), and the TV sitcom Happy Days (debuted in 1974), all continued this trend. Even John Lennon got into the act with his 1974 album Rock ‘N’ Roll, a collection of covers of Lennon’s favorite songs from his youth.

    But “Got to Get You Into My Life” is not a Fifties song. It’s a Sixties song that became a hit in the Seventies partly because it really sounds like the soul and funk music that was dominating the charts at the time. Does it not sound like it totally fits in with the Number One song of week of July 24, 1976, “Kiss and Say Goodbye” by The Manhattans (who despite their name were a New Jersey band who played Philadelphia soul). Even better evidence that an old Beatles’ album track somehow captured the zeitgeist of Seventies funk and soul is that the Chicago R&B band released a cover of the song in July 1978 (their version peaked at #9 on the Hot 100).

    But let’s go back to the Sixties, when the Beatles recorded the song. The lineup for The Beatles recording the song was Paul McCartney on lead vocal and bass, John Lennon on rhythm guitar, George Harrison on lead guitar, and Ringo star on drums and tambourine. Producer George Martin also added organ. But if you’re going to record an homage to Motown and Memphis soul, you’re going to need horns. So a quintet of guest artists were brought in.
    • Eddie Thornton – trumpet. The Jamaican-born Thornton, known by the nickname Tan Tan, is likely the first Black guest musician on a Beatles recording since The Beatles didn’t have many guest artists prior to recording Revolver.
    • Ian Hamer – trumpet. Hamer had a jazz artists who had a long career as a Liverpool big band leader.
    • Les Condon – trumpet. The London-born Condon was a modern jazz pioneer who played with many of the top UK and American jazz acts.
    • Alan Branscombe – tenor saxophone. Merseyside-born Branscombe was a sideman to numerous jazz band leaders over a four decade career.
    • Peter Coe – tenor saxophone. Coe was more of a pop musician and had previously played with the British R&B band Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, contributing a sax solo to their UK #1 hit “Yeh Yeh.”
    Having discussed many aspects of the song, let us finish with the lyrics. It is a love song, of course. Right? Well, according to McCartney “It’s actually an ode to pot.” Legendarily, the Beatles were introduced to marijuana by Bob Dylan when they met in 1964, and the band grew to incorporate the drug into their creative process leading to this love song to pot. Personally, I’m going to forget that I learned that because while I’ve never used marijuana, I have been in love. The lyrics of this song so perfectly capture that feeling of meeting an intoxicating person (or plant) and connecting with them so fully that you just want to spend every moment you can with them. Surely this is what Paul McCartney would feel when he met Linda Eastman in 1967. In fact, they are famous for spending “every single day” of their lives together until Linda’s death in 1998. You can read the full lyrics and decide for yourself if this is a love song, a drug song, or (most likely) both.

Star Trek – The Return Of The Archons

★★★ 1/2 February 09, 1967 Season 1 Episode 21

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Boris Sobelman and Gene Roddenberry

At the start of this one, you are in complete confusion. It takes a good while to get a grasp of what is happening and why. Even when the story becomes clearer, there are things that just don’t make sense, such as the 6 o’clock craziness (Red Hour) that grips the people of Beta III, or the robed guards’ electronic-sounding voices.

In the episode, Lieutenant Sulu gets beamed back aboard the Enterprise in a rather dreamy state like he was a member of some cult. When a larger away team led by Kirk, Spock, and Bones goes down they find a society frozen in time and completely submerged in a philosophy of peace and non-violence. Except of course for the ‘festival’ or Red Hour when everyone runs amuck. 

The Return of the Archons - Star Trek 1x21 | TVmaze

The people on Beta III as this planet is known to Star Fleet are held in thrall by the will of an ancient philosopher named Landru. His teachings were carried out. What it involved was nothing less than the stamping out of individuality. It reminded me of some of the cults out there. You were not part of the teachings…you were not welcomed and get punished.

There were a few things that weren’t explained. The “Red Hour” when everyone when bonkers. My thought is…it was a way for society to release its primal urges of sex and violence in a controlled way so that it may function as Landru intends. The hooded guards had hollow tubes for wea

From IMDB:

All the regulars on the show were quitting smoking at the same time, so many chewed gum instead. Director Joseph Pevney was becoming increasingly upset, because he had to cut to remind the cast not to chew gum during the shoots. As a prank for a large scene, William Shatner went around handing out bubble gum to the cast, crew and 60-80 extras, and had everyone blow a bubble right after the director hollered “Action”. Sid Haig reported the director “almost passed out”. (Source: Sid Haig’s phone interview with “The Shlocky Horror Picture Show” for a television airing of Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told (1967).)

Contains the first mention of the Prime Directive of noninterference, which the plot brings up only so that Kirk can violate it.

The word Archon was the title of certain Greek heads of state, most famously in the Athenian Republic. It comes from Greek root “arch”, meaning “leader, highest, chief”, which can also be found in the English words monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy; all of these are present in Landru’s society.

The location scenes for this episode were filmed at the 40 Acres backlot in Culver City, the same place where Star Trek: Miri (1966) and Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever (1967) were shot. Best known for their use as Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show (1960), the sets on this section of the backlot were originally constructed to portray 19th century Atlanta for Gone with the Wind (1939).

In the dungeon, Kirk and Spock subdue Landru’s guards, Spock punches the guard in the face with his fist instead of using the Vulcan neck pinch. Kirk even comments “Isn’t that old-fashioned?” This is the first instance of Spock hitting another character in the face with his fist.

Bobby Clark, who leaps through a window and then cries out “Festival! Festival!” has his only speaking role in the series in this episode. A frequent stunt performer on the series, he can also be seen as one of Chekov’s vaporized henchmen in Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967).

When Kirk tells the Enterprise “Materialization complete” upon beaming down, this, along with the third season episode Star Trek: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (1968), marks the only time that any landing party informs the ship as a matter of course that transportation has been effected.

Just why Festival takes place, or how frequently it occurs, is never made entirely clear. However, in his novelization in Star Trek 9, James Blish describes Reger telling Tula as he consoles her during the aftermath, “It’s over for another year.”

The computer that ruled Beta III would be seen again (slightly modified) in the first season episode Star Trek: A Taste of Armageddon (1967).

The absorption console that Marplon uses appears later, with modifications, as Norman’s relay station in Star Trek: I, Mudd (1967), a control panel on Memory Alpha in Star Trek: The Lights of Zetar (1969), the housing for the cloaking device in Star Trek: The Enterprise Incident (1968), and the Elba II force field control panel in Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy (1969).

This episode started out in July 1964, as a story outline by Gene Roddenberry entitled “The Perfect World” (later retitled “Paradise XML”, “Visit to Paradise”, and “Landru’s Paradise”), which was a candidate to be the first pilot, alongside Star Trek: The Cage (1966) and “The Women”. After the former was chosen by NBC, Roddenberry’s story idea rested for more than two years. In August 1966, freelance writer Boris Sobelman picked up Roddenberry’s original story, and developed it further, retitling it “The Return of the Archons”



Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the planet Beta III when one member of a reconnaissance party disappears and the other, Mr. Sulu is beamed up in a strange state of contentment. The citizenry appears calm and respectful except when the Festival begins – where everyone apparently goes mad and delves into wild abandon and debauchery. By the next morning, all is calm again and the elders tell of Landru, who is in control and is the lawgiver. With McCoy absorbed into the local society, Kirk and Spock set out to find just what or who Landru is.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
Harry Townes … Reger
Torin Thatcher … Marplon
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Brioni Farrell … Tula
Sid Haig … First Lawgiver
Charles Macaulay … Landru
Jon Lormer … Tamar
Morgan Farley … Hacom
Karl Held … Lindstrom (as Christopher Held)
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Sean Morgan … O’Neil
Lev Mailer … Bilar (as Ralph Maurer)
David L. Ross … Guard
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Bobby Clark … Betan Townsman (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Brent (uncredited)
Lars Hensen … Betan Townsman (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Harrison (uncredited)

Beatles Week – If I Needed Someone

Christian and I share a lot of the same musical tastes. It’s odd because neither one of us grew up with The Beatles or that great 60s generation. We both grew up in the 80s but share a lot of the same likes. He has a very informative site that is a must if you are a music fan. Go see him at

My Favorite Beatles Tune

The Beatles are my all-time favorite band, so rejecting an invitation to write about my most beloved song or something else about the four lads from Liverpool simply wasn’t a possibility. I chose the first option. Thanks for the generous offer, Max!

So, what’s my favorite Beatles tune? That’s easy – all of them, except perhaps for number 9, number 9, number 9…Well, that doesn’t reduce the choices by much. Seriously, with so many great Beatles songs, it’s hard to pick just one!

My first Beatles album was a compilation, Beatles 20 Golden Hits, released by Odeon in 1979. Below is an image of the track list.

While each of the above songs is great and would deserve a dedicated post, the album doesn’t include the tune I decided to highlight. If you follow my blog or know my music taste otherwise, by now, you may be thinking I’m going to pick another song The Beatles recorded after they stopped touring.

Perhaps gems like A Day In the Life, Strawberry Fields Forever or I Am the Walrus come to mind. In fact, I previously said if I could pick only one, it would be A Day In The Life. The truth is with so many great tunes to choose from, it also depends on my mood and the day of the week.

That said, one song I’ve really come to love only within the past five years was recorded by The Beatles while they still were a touring band: If I Needed Someone, one of George Harrison’s earlier tunes that made it on a Beatles album: Rubber Soul, except for North America where it was included on Yesterday and Today, the record that became infamous because of its initial cover showing The Beatles in butcher outfits with mutilated baby dolls.

According to his 1980 autobiography I, Me, Mine, as cited by Wikipedia, Harrison apparently didn’t feel If I Needed Someone was anything special. He compared it to “a million other songs” that are based on a guitarist’s finger movements around the D major chord.

True, it’s a fairly simple song. And yet I totally love it!

Music doesn’t have to be complicated to be great. In this case, a major reason why I dig this tune as much as I do is Harrison’s use of a Rickenbacker 360/12, a 12-string electric guitar that sounds like magic to my ears. Of course, when you hear Rickenbacker, one of the first artists who come to mind is Rickenbacker maestro Roger McGuinn who adopted the Rickenbacker 360/12 to create the Byrds’ signature jingle-jangle guitar sound.

There is an interesting background story. The inspiration to McGuinn to use the Rickenbacker 360/12 came after he had seen Harrison play that guitar in the Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night. Harrison’s If I Needed Someone, in turn, was influenced by the guitar sound McGuinn had perfectionated, especially on the Byrds’ rendition of Pete Seeger’s The Bells of Rhymney. The rhythm was based on the drum part in She Don’t Care About Time, a tune by Gene Clark, the Byrds’ main early songwriter.

“George Harrison wrote that song after hearing the Byrds’ recording of “Bells of Rhymney”, McGuinn told Christianity Today magazine, as documented by Songfacts. “He gave a copy of his new recording to Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ former press officer, who flew to Los Angeles and brought it to my house. He said George wanted me to know that he had written the song based on the rising and falling notes of my electric Rickenbacker 12-string guitar introduction. It was a great honor to have in some small way influenced our heroes the Beatles.”

Apart from the signature guitar sound of the Byrds, If I Needed Someone also is viewed as reflecting Harrison’s then-developing interest in Indian classical music by the use of drone over the main musical phrase and its partly so-called Mixolydian harmony. I’m basing this on Wikipedia and frankly don’t fully understand it.

Harrison wrote the song for English model Pattie Boyd whom he married in January 1966. There has been some discussion over the ambivalent tone of the lyrics. Does a guy who sings, “If I needed someone to love you’re the one that I’d be thinking of” really sound like he’s madly in love with the girl and wants to marry her? Or how about “Carve your number on my wall and maybe you will get a call from me” – “maybe” neither sounds very committed nor romantic, at least not in my book!

If I Needed Someone has been covered by various other artists. First out of the gate were The Hollies who released the tune as a single on December 3, 1965, the same day Rubber Soul appeared in the UK. Their rendition, which Harrison evidently didn’t like, peaked at no. 20 on the UK Official Singles Chart. Various other versions were recorded in 1966 by American bands Stained Glass, The Kingsmen and The Cryan’ Shames, as well as South African jazz trumpet player Hugh Masekela. Among additional covers that appeared later is a brilliant rendition by Mr. Rickenbacker maestro himself from 2004.

The BeatlesIf I Needed Someone

The ByrdsThe Bells Of Rhymney

The ByrdsShe Don’t Care About Time

Roger McGuinnIf I Needed Someone

If Needed Someone

If I needed someone to love
You’re the one that I’d be thinking of
If I needed someone

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I’d be with you, my friend
If I needed someone

Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I’m too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
Ah, ah, ah, ah

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I’d be with you, my friend
If I needed someone

Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I’m too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone
Ah, ah

Star Trek – Court Martial

★★★★ February 2, 1967 Season 1 Episode 20

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Don Mankiewicz, Steven W. Carabatsos, and Gene Roddenberry

This episode has a low rating at IMDB…I don’t understand that. No, this one does not have much action, but I like courtroom dramas. This is not another 12 Angry Men don’t get me wrong but it’s a smart episode. Captain Kirk is charged with negligence after one of the Enterprise’s officers dies under his command. Kirk pleads not guilty at his trial…his entire career and his command of the Enterprise are in jeopardy. Can Kirk prove that events didn’t go as the computer claims they did?

Star Trek - court Martial 2

The computer and video show the Captain is guilty. This episode has some good performances by William Shatner and guest stars Percy Rodriguez and Elisha Cook Jr, good editing and directing.

The court-martial is set up by Starfleet to find out if Kirk behaved improperly during a crisis. He claims he did everything by the book, but the Enterprise’s computer records – unquestionable evidence by everyone’s standards – seem to indicate the death of a crewman (an old friend of Kirk’s, no less) was the result of the captain’s negligence. Lucky for him, his lawyer doesn’t trust computers and sets out to prove something went wrong, while Spock does the same on the ship.

Looking at it almost 60 years later I appreciate the central point it makes now more than ever, considering technology is now programmed to spy on us, collect our personal information, and gather market research based on our lifestyles. The biggest thing though is now you cannot believe everything you hear or see on video. Video and audio can be manipulated to about anything you would want. In this story the video clearly shows Kirk pushing the button prematurely. 

It is only when Spock discovers that the Three-Dimensional Chess he had programmed into the Enterprise Computer has been altered, also explains why the ship’s computer would record an event incorrectly. It’s a nice twist at the end. 

From IMDB:

Elisha Cook Jr. had great difficulty remembering his lines. The speech of his character, Sam Cogley, was pieced together with editing.

We get a look, for the only time in the series, at a series of registration numbers on the chart in Stone’s office. Gregory Jein associated them with ten names previously used in production memos which will later be assumed to be Constitution-class star ships, despite the numbers ranging lower than the USS Constitution. The wall chart disappears in a later scene in Stone’s office. At the time of Court Martial, the USS Intrepid, the all-Vulcan star ship, is being repaired at Starbase 11. In Star Trek: The Immunity Syndrome (1968), it will be destroyed by the space amoeba.

This is the third and final time Uhura takes over the navigation station. She previously handled navigation in Star Trek: The Naked Time (1966) and Star Trek: Balance of Terror (1966). She can also be seen sitting at navigation at the beginning of Star Trek: The Man Trap (1966), via a recycled shot from Star Trek: The Naked Time (1966).

The picture on the wall outside Stone’s office appears to show the launch of an early NASA rocket. Also seen is the two-person transporter alcove. This is later seen on Space Station K-7 in Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967).

Areel Shaw once loved Kirk, but doesn’t let this get in the way of prosecuting him and potentially ending his career in Starfleet. It is not known why this apparent conflict of interest does not prevent her serving as prosecuting attorney. A similar scenario played itself out between Captain Jean-Luc Picard and JAG Captain Phillipa Louvois in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Measure of a Man (1989).

Chandra would also sit in judgment of James T. Kirk in another timeline, serving on the Starfleet Academy board trying that Kirk for his actions regarding the Kobayashi Maru scenario in Star Trek (2009). That board would also include Lt. Alice Rawlings, named for the actress who played Jame Finney.

The barkeep wears the same costume later worn by the K-7 bartender in Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967). The back of the bar contains recycled pieces from the interior of Balok’s ship.

The plants in Stone’s office contain pieces of those seen in Star Trek: The Conscience of the King (1966) and was later used for the spores in Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967).

When Dr McCoy individually masked the heartbeat of each member sitting on the Bridge of the Enterprise with a handheld, narrow-band device tuned to around 1 Hz (the frequency of heartbeats), the prop is made out of a 1968 microphone with the cable disconnected. Spock could have masked the sounds on the Bridge with the console switch in the same way the crewman in Engineering was remotely masked. Ben Finney would not have been hiding on the Bridge.


Captain Kirk finds himself facing a court-martial following the death of crewman Lt. Cmdr. Ben Finney. He and Finney had once been good friends since meeting at the academy, even though Kirk later was the man who reported him once while on watch. Kirk also meets a lost love, Lt. Areel Shaw, who, it turns out, will be the prosecuting officer. She recommends he retain the somewhat eccentric Samuel T. Cogley as his attorney, a man who eschews computers in favor of books. The evidence against Kirk is damning and clearly shows his actions caused Finney’s death. It is Mr. Spock’s ability to beat the computer at chess that provides the solution to the mystery.


William Shatner …Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
Percy Rodrigues … Portmaster Stone (as Percy Rodriguez)
Elisha Cook Jr. … Cogley (as Elisha Cook)
Joan Marshall … Areel Shaw
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Nichelle Nichols Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Richard Webb … Finney
Hagan Beggs … Helmsman
Win De Lugo … Timothy (as Winston DeLugo)
Alice Rawlings … Jame Finney
Nancy Wong … Personnel Officer
Bart Conrad … Krasnovsky
William Meader … Board Officer
Reginald Lal Singh … Board Officer
Majel Barrett … Enterprise Computer (voice) (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Tom Curtis … Corrigan (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Lt. Brent (uncredited)
Ron Kinwald … Starbase 11 Bar Patron (uncredited)