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Season Three - Uneven In Terms Of Quality, Yet Maintaining A Sense Of Enjoyment Much Of The Time
on 15 May 2009
I think it's fair to say Star Trek's third season was not its finest, because as many Star Trek fans are well aware there were a number of factors that were conspiring against it - namely budget cuts and a new timeslot resulting in the potential loss of Star Trek's core audience, which also resulted in Gene Roddenberry standing down as producer after he had offered to steer the show to greater things. What he could have achieved had he decided to take a more hands on approach we'll never know, but what we have in this, Star Trek's final season, is a very uneven bunch of episodes - some of which do compare favourably with those from Star Trek first season (which was arguably their finest), and others which are pretty much lacking, whether that's to do with the basic viability of the stories or lack of consistency within the existing premise of the show's main characters. There's also pretty much a cold detachment between the characters in this season which is especially noticeable after watching the warmth and humour which had really began to develop during season two. However, and despite those drawbacks, there are also a few positives to be taken from the many subtle changes within the show's format. There are few, if any parallel earth stories, and little evidence of the computer inspired stories with which Kirk inevitably ends up talking to death - both of which had been done to death during the previous seasons. In fact in many cases the aliens tend to look more alien - especially in 'Is There In Truth, No Beauty?'. The social (moral) themes from the earlier seasons also largely remains intact.
Generally, a mixed bag of stories, and although arguably few of the episodes ever quite attain the greatness of earlier times, more often than not the shows do maintain a high level of enjoyment. 'The Enterprise Incident', 'The Tholian Web', 'Day Of The Dove' and a number of others are truly fine episodes - although Star Trek does plumb new depths with the notorious 'Spock's Brain', The Way To Eden' and 'Whom Gods Destroy'.
This newly remastered DVD version compliments the show's original intentions perfectly, especially with regards to the new special effects - and in particular those of the Enterprise travelling through space. The new enhancements have been handled with real respect and with a sense of dignity in not spoiling Gene Roddenberry's original vision - and for that i'm extremely grateful !
Admittedly not Star Trek's finest hour, yet neither is it lacking in vitality, however misquided some of the plots may be, which is something i could seriously charge some of the later reincarnations of being quilty of. Star Trek still pretty much wore its heart on its sleeve.