Trekathon 075: The Way to Eden (TOS)

This is supposed to be the second worst episode of all time, according to [GEOS]( Third worst is Spock’s Brain, and worst is the Next Generation Season 2 finale Shades of Grey (a.k.a. the clip show). So in order to prevent myself getting too depressed, I’ll be liveblogging my watching of the episode.

You may need to get your own copy of the episode in order to make much sense of the comments here. The times correspond to the running times on my copy.

0:00 Here we go.

0:30 Stolen space cruiser? Are they going to get Kirk a motorcycle?

0:45 Where’s Uhura?

1:40 Explosion is imminent? Not nearly imminent enough judging from how they’re desperately padding this scene…

2:21 Oh dear, they let [William Theiss]( at the costume budget again.

2:35 Credits. I’ve always wondered about the ‘five year mission’ thing. What was Roddenberry intending when he came up with that, or did he just need another line for the intro?

4:00 ‘Handle him with extreme delicacy’? That’s what she said…

4:29 And it’s a hippie sit-in. Lovely.

4:45 Argh, the one who is the son of a famous person has some truly hideous hair.

5:40 When Spock asked for ‘Permission’ I was kinda hoping he was going to just beat the heck out of the,.

6:14 Those ears are some pretty dreadful prosthetics. They look like someone has scrunched up plasticine.

7:35 “Herbert Herbert Herbert”. Ah, can you feel the brilliance of the writing from here.

8:10 “One of *those* was in the Academy”. Wow, I haven’t seen Kirk nail derision quite so strongly in the entire series to date.

8:50 Ah, the leader is a brilliant engineer. Guess we know who’ll be taking over the Enterprise in a scene or two, then.

9:20 The veiled allusion to the 1960s hippie culture is becoming less and less ‘veiled’ by the second. Interesting that they’re playing up the real life connections of Spock to that culture.

10:40 Oh god, they have instruments and they’re singing. Please, please make it stop.

12:00 Argh. They stopped the music, but now there’s beat poetry.

14:30 Chekhov’s ex-girlfriend has a pretty dreadful Russian accent, almost as bad as Chekhov’s.

17:00 OK, so now the leader of the ‘hippies’ has some kind of virulent disease and has been locked away. That will end well.

17:43 Ahh, the irony, Sulu seduced by a pretty girl. That’s some pretty good acting.

18:00 Oh god, more singing.

18:20 “Barefooted whatayacallems”. Good old Scotty, getting to the core of the matter quickly.

19:20 And now Spock wants to help them find Eden? WTF?

20:00 That is a pretty tacky flower that has been painted on the leaders head.

20:40 I can not take my eyes off those ears. An obvious precursor of the ‘funny forehead’ theory of alien species for later Star Trek.

23:20 Oh no, the blonde one has another musical instrument. Please, no!

24:00 And now Spock is playing. Is this meant to be the musical episode?

26:00 This is a very bad Russian accent, about what you’d expect of someone from Kansas really.

26:40 Either this girl is really into Chekhov, or she has a very strange level of interest in navigating starships to still be looking at him like that.

27:10 “I am not receiving, Mr Chekhov”. Must. Resist. Horrible. Horrible. Image.

28:10 Ah, it was strange level of interest in navigating starships. And now the hippie mutiny begins.

28:50 More singing. Excuse me while I poke my ears out. Oh, and they’re broadcasting it across the entire ship. What have they done to piss Kirk off, to deserve such punishment?

30:20 And Spock turns up to join in. And the svengali like leader smiles malevolently, knowing that his evil plot to destroy the hearing of everyone on the Enterprise is going well.

31:30 One song stops, and another begins. That makes about five minutes of this episode spent on songs so far.

31:50 Worst security guard ever. Don’t close your eyes and react to the music.

32:30 “I used to get in a little trouble when I was that age” – Wow, some actual evidence for the direction that the recent movie went in for Kirk.

33:00 It took quite a few more scenes than I thought, but the Enterprise is now under the control of the hippies.

34:00 I’m not sure that threatening to destroy the ship is very hippie-ish.

35:40 Spock tries reasoning with the hippies. I really, really hope it doesn’t work. Rarely have I been hoping for a violent end to the story quite as much as here.

36:30 Music to Sabotage By. Three CD set coming this Autumn.

39:10 Is it meant to be ironic that the weapon of choice of the leader with the silly ears is sound?

39:45 More singing, but the crew of the Enterprise is out cold. Oh, how I envy them.

41:00 Why was befriending the crew even part of their plan? Once they had their information, they didn’t need anyone.

42:50 Ah, Eden turns out not to be paradise. The plants are full of acid, “even the grass”. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

43:30 The blonde hippie is dead. Hooray, no more music.

45;00 And despite the horrible wounds everyone has, the leader doesn’t want to leave Eden. And now he’s dead.

46:00 Chekhov thinks he endangered the ship? Other than being a little free with information I don’t really see how.

47:10 And now Spock wants them to keep searching for Eden? I would imagine that’s going to be difficult from inside the maximum security jail they should be in after stealing a starship and invading the Romulans?

47:53 Hooray, that’s over. Yep, it’s easily the worst episode I’ve seen so far.

So that makes 75 episodes watched, 662 to go. One last disc of The Original Series to go.