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Poll
Question: When did Trek Jump the Shark?  (Voting closed: March 30, 2006, 10:44:54 PM)
"Spock's Brain" - 1 (25%)
That episode that Shari Lewis wrote (!) about lights possessing people - 0 (0%)
Overly sanctimonious "Black/White" vs. "White/Black" episode - 0 (0%)
Freddy Frieberger takes over as producer - 1 (25%)
Shatner saves the day by READING OUT THE CONSTITUTION - 0 (0%)
When Apollo grasps the Enterprise with a giant energy hand - 0 (0%)
Attorney Melvin Belli as an evil space angel - 1 (25%)
Spock jamming with space hippies - 1 (25%)
Total Voters: 4

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Author Topic: When exactly did the original Star Trek "jump the shark  (Read 11564 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: March 31, 2006, 04:44:54 AM »

Whoever doesn't like Star Trek doesn't like anything.

Though FUTURAMA made a remarkably wise observation: "C'mon, STAR TREK! It had 79 episodes...and 30 good ones."

When exactly did TREK "jump the shark?"
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2006, 04:56:41 AM »

"The Apple", "Gamesters of Triskelion", and "By Any Other Name" seem to me that there was some lack of imagination by season two...
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TELLE
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2006, 04:59:59 AM »

I'm tempted to say, "when Futurama did that Star Trek episode," but maybe it was when the first movie came out?  The animated shows, which I haven't seen for 20 years, had some good writing by all accounts.  The movie is the first major departure from the greatness.  Number 2 brought it back, but I haven't really liked any of the others (but I missed some --aren't there, like, 17 movies now?).

I was never hot on the Tribbles episode, but it is more like a freaky exception that proves the rule of Star Trek greatness and flexibility.

If I had to pick one of your limited categories, I would pick the Constitution ep, if only because it offends my super-refined sensibilities (tm) as a Canadian.  As well, it laid the groundwork for decades of thinly veiled American flag-waving in the Trekkie-verse.
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Great Rao
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2006, 06:47:54 AM »

Hey come on, the Space Hippies episode was great!

I think that the show jumped the shark after season 2. Gene Roddenberry took a much more reduced role, less hands-on, in the 3rd season.  As a result, his humanistic message was lost, and people were completely out of character - I even remember one 3rd season episode in which Spock (yes, Spock, not Kirk) was trying to pick-up some space babe!

S!
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2006, 07:57:05 AM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
If I had to pick one of your limited categories, I would pick the Constitution ep, if only because it offends my super-refined sensibilities (tm) as a Canadian. As well, it laid the groundwork for decades of thinly veiled American flag-waving in the Trekkie-verse.


Well, the reason the choices are limited is because 1) they only allow so many options for polls on this forum, 2) you only REALLY need "Spock's Brain," 3) I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Shari Lewis episode (yes, THAT Shari Lewis), and 4) If there was an "Other..." choice, everybody would pick that one and it would defeat the purpose of a poll to begin with, wouldn't it?

Quote from: ""
Hey come on, the Space Hippies episode was great!


Yeah, that's true. I loved that one, and even Spock with that funky autoharp of his joining a hippie jam session is more "wow, that's kinda kitschy and cool," sort of like episodes of the cartoon where the Harlem Globetrotters travel through time, or that episode of KNIGHT RIDER that guest-starred Gary Coleman.

Quote from: "Great Rao"
I think that the show jumped the shark after season 2. Gene Roddenberry took a much more reduced role, less hands-on, in the 3rd season. As a result, his humanistic message was lost, and people were completely out of character - I even remember one 3rd season episode in which Spock (yes, Spock, not Kirk) was trying to pick-up some space babe!


There's a famous story about Gene leaving and Freddy Frieberger taking over.

When Frieberger was shown the series bible, he was leafing through it, and then suddenly looked up and said, "Oh, okay, so this is pretty much 'tits in space!' "

For me, Season III was the "shark jump" point too. Here's an amusing story about Gene Coon, writer of "Devil in the Dark" and that tribble episode:

According to Coon, he wrote "Spock's Brain" (the Season III opener) as a parody script to spoof Gene Roddenberry, who Coon felt never really understood science fiction. Coon never actually intended it to be filmed!
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2006, 12:00:32 PM »

Hey I liked The Lights of Zetar and The peace hippies - the Yangs & Coms always cracked me up (yes, fans, another world deep in the galactic omniverse where yet another strange planet has mysteriously duplicated earth's history)

Jack Kirby liked the gangster ep he even did his own version in the FF>
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2006, 12:00:38 PM »

Uh my vote would been Freiberger but I blew it --we blew it!

And if your space hippies include Jill Ireland, Id get sappy too (which was my vote)

I never should take polls on a 1/3 cup of am joe....
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nightwing
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2006, 02:38:31 PM »

MatterEaterLad writes:

Quote
"The Apple", "Gamesters of Triskelion", and "By Any Other Name" seem to me that there was some lack of imagination by season two...


Whoa!  I agree those eps are pretty unlovable, but Season Two also gave us some truly great ones, including two of my personal top 3, "The Doomsday Machine" and "Mirror, Mirror."  If I had to be stranded on a desert island with only one DVD, it would have those two and "City on the Edge of Forever."  

Personally, I think "Trek" jumped the shark on a regular basis, but never really "stayed jumped".  The generally awful third season still had gems like "The Tholian Web" while even the much-loved first season had clunkers like "The Alternative Factor" and "Mudd's Women." Or maybe another way to look at it is that "Trek" gleefully lived its life on the far side of the shark: bad science, goofy make-up, hammy acting and sanctimonious sermonizing are usually enough to kill any show, but somehow they're all part of the appeal of Star Trek:TOS.  

For me, the spin-off series, with their flawless effects, sober-minded ensemble acting and general insistence on taking themselves seriously, totally sucked the charm out of Star Trek.  Technically, TNG, DS9 and the rest are superior in every way to Kirk's adventures, but for me they're about as much fun as watching laundry go around in one of those glass-fronted washing machines at Sears.

The excitement of original Star Trek, for me, is that it could be so daring and even reckless; it went out on a limb with some really wild ideas.  Some of them paid off in spades, others crashed and burned, but a great many of them at least reached for something bold.  If any eps were failures to me, it was the ones that played it safe and relied on formula, but even then you had all those great little moments of character interplay between Kirk, Spock and Bones.

So I reject your poll! Trek never jumped the shark!  And even if it had, I'd proudly display a poster of Shatner in leather jacket and waterskis over my desk.  He could have made it work!  

"We knew there would be sharks out here when we left Earth.  That's why we're here, gentlemen...to find the sharks of life, look...them...SQUARE in the eye...and then hurtle over them in a triumpant leap of the human spirit!  Risk is our business!  Spock, hand me that life-jacket...Scotty, full speed ahead!"
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