Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Cast:
William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
DeForest Kelley (McCoy)
James Doohan (Scotty)
Walter Koenig (Checkov)
George Takei (Sulu)
Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) 
Bibi Besch (Doctor Carole Marcus)
Merritt Butrick (Doctor David Marcus)
Paul Winfield (Captain Terrell)
Kirstie Alley(Saavik)
Ricardo Montalban (Khan)
Ike Eisenmann (Peter Preston)
John Winston (Cmdr. Kyle)

Writer: Harve Bennett, Jack B. Sowards

The USS Reliant accidentally comes across Khan, from the season one episode Space Seed.  He takes control of the ship, hell bent on only one thing: getting revenge on the man that abandoned him on Ceti Alpha V.  To do this, he steals project Genesis – a new device that will turn a lifeless moon into an instantly terraformed world.  If you happen to use it on a world that already has life, it will replace that life with the new matrix.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise is no longer doing missions, it is being used as a training vessel under the command of Captain Spock.  The ship picks up a confused message from the head of project Genesis, Doctor Carole Marcus, and so StarFleet send them out to investigate.  When they come across the Reliant, they assume she is friendly, until she fires.  As the shields are not up, the Enterprise is very badly damaged, but Kirk manages to find a code that enables him to make Reliant drop her shields.  Enterprise badly damages Reliant, then moved on to find the surviving Genesis staff in the bowels of the planet their research station is orbiting.  They trick Reliant into thinking the repairs will take a lot longer than they actually will, then make a break to hide in a Nebula.  The Reliant and Khan follow, but Kirk has the upper hand and virtually finishes off the Reliant.  So Khan stes off the captured Genesis device, which the Enterprise has no chance of outrunning as the repairs that need doing are in a radiation flooded compartment.  Spock carries out the repairs so they can escape, and dies as a result, his coffin left on the new Genesis planet.

This is an utterly superb movie.  I am not sure if it is my favourite one or not, I am in the process of watching them all, but it is great.  The acting is excellent – Saavik is a great new character, and she is played really well by Kirstie Allie in this film.  It is such a shame that she is played by someone else.

Other parts that are fantastic are the fights between the Enterprise and the Reliant.  This is the first time that we have seen ships in Star Trek blowing each others guts out, and the corresponding shots inside the vessels as they are hit are excellent.  The other effects that are great is the film that Kirk and company watches to inform them about Project Genesis – you see a moon transformed into a living, breathing planet.  Brilliant for it’s day.

The performance of the main cast is also brilliant.  The scene where Scotty loses his nephew is really good, as, of course, is the death scene for Spock.  Also, I really like the uniforms – that was something I forgot to say about the previous film, the one thing I didn’t like were the ghastly seventies uniforms.  These ones are much better, and last for all of these movies, as well as any flashback sequences from future series.

The music is also great.  In fact, I can’t think of anything bad to say about this movie.  It is interesting that Khan recognises Checkov, as Checkov was not in the series that Khan featured in.  I suppose we can assume that he was just on board, just not a member of the bridge crew.

I am not sure how many Enterprise crew are killed in this, I can only confirm two -Preston and Spock.  The amount of damage to the ship would suggest many people died, but there is no confirmation of how many deaths in any status updates given by anyone, so I am going to assume that there were many injuries but only two deaths.

Love this film, and also it kind of serves as the first in a trilogy.  This is Trek at it’s best.

Crew Deaths: 2
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 58
Score: 9.5/10

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May 29, 2008 Posted by | david marcus, death of regular character, destruction of a starfleet ship, exes, family members, inside another stafleet ship, khan, mind meld, people from the past, saavik, set on earth | | 2 Comments

Star Trek 1.22 (Space Seed)

First Aired: February 16, 1967

Cast:
John Winston (Lt. Kyle)
Ricardo Montalban (Khan Noonien Singh)
Madlyn Rhue (Marla McGivers)
Blaisdell Makee (Lt. Spinelli)
Mark Tobin (Joaquin)
Kathy Ahart (Crew Woman)
Writer: Marc Daniels
Of course, this episode has taken on a greater significance since the eighties when the second movie The Wrath of Khan revisited the character. In 1996 apparently World War III was all about eugenics, and the survivors escaped in a space vessel, the SS Botany Bay. Of course, I will ignore the fact that this little piece of history never came true – perhaps it was something that happened that certain people knew about. Perhaps certain terrorist outrages that happened before 1996 were actually down to the so called “super men”. I am rationalising it too much: in Star Trek history this actually happened.
So, what was bad about this episode. Well, for a start, Marla McGivers (the crew historian that boards the Botany Bay with Kirk and company) falls for Khan when he is asleep, before she has even spoken to him. I know if you are interested in history then the chance to interact with it would be very exciting, but to interact horizontally (which is clearly her intent from before he even awakes) is just not going to tell you much about the past.
In fact, this character is the weak link in the episode. She just falls into Khan’s spell far too easily, he almost has to do nothing. I cannot believe that anybody serving in StarFleet would be that easy to influence. Then, later, she has a change of heart and saves Kirk. Puh-lease!
Oh, and the two stuntment playing both Kirk and Khan are obviously neither actor. It is just rubbish.
The standoff between Kirk and Khan on the other hand is superb – both intellectual and physical, they both rise to the occasion and deliver some solidly and believable characters. Yes, even Shatner!
Montalban’s performance is utterly compelling – you can see why the producer of the second film chose to revisit this character. He plays the part wonderfully – he has a kind of delivery that apparently the actor developed for the character, and he also used the original episode to try and work the character out fifteen or so years later, and he did a wonderful job. The character is portrayed the same way in both episodes, and you can only congratulate Montalban for that.
At the end, they dump Khan, his followers and McGivers on the planet Ceti Alpha Five. And we all know what happens next!
McGivers doesn’t die in this episode, so I cannot include her as a crew death, even though she is dead by the time everyone meets again in the film.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 25
Score: 8/10

August 31, 2007 Posted by | khan, people from the past | | 2 Comments