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Dagger of the Mind - episode #11

 
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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:00 pm    Post subject: Dagger of the Mind - episode #11 Reply with quote

____________
_________ Classic Star Trek: Dagger of the Mind


__________


DAGGER OF THE MIND (1st season; episode #11) Air Date: 11/03/66
Directed by Vincent McEveety / writer: Simon Wincelberg (as S.Bar-David)



This episode deals with the future of penal colonies and treatment of unstable criminals. Though supposedly such places are much better run in the 23rd century, Dr. McCoy obviously feels we are still far from Utopian with such 'cages' still in existence - but he doesn't offer better solutions. An escape from such a colony (Tantalus V) triggers a routine investigation by Kirk based on vague doubts by McCoy about how the famous Dr. Adams (James Gregory) runs the place. Once again, as in What Are Little Girls Are Made Of?, a starship captain enters the lion's den on his own, with no back-up, except for a female assistant (played by the gorgeous Marianna Hill).




_________________ Simon Van Gelder Tribute


__________




Unlike that other episode, What Are Little Girls Are Made Of?, where the famous Dr. Korby was driven to lunacy by extreme circumstances, no real explanation is given for Dr. Adams' sudden shift to mad experimentation. Early in the episode, it's established that he's a well-known benefactor in the field of penology and psychiatric medicine, accomplishing more in his lifetime than all of mankind previously in these fields. Was he just fooling everyone up until now, hiding such extreme sadistic tendencies as he puts on display in this episode? He comes across as someone on a childish power trip by the 4th act, but there seems to be no motive for this supposedly great man to behave this way. For some reason, he likes to have new subjects placed in a little room and then activate a sinister device, the Neural Neutralizer, to directly attack the subject's mind. Psychiatry seems so... sinister in the future.




James Gregory is a fine actor and does what he can with a seemingly truncated role, but the one to watch again during this first season is Shatner as Kirk. He's the one who defends Adams while debating with McCoy, almost indicating a kind of hero worship for a man who has made great advances in his field. But once down in the underground colony, his detective instincts take over and Adams is now a target. Kirk proves to be very adept at studying human behavior, more so than his expert assistant, and almost immediately something doesn't smell right to him. He's probably convinced when Adams attempts to avoid the room where the Neural Neutralizer is located - Adams is smooth, but against Kirk he has no chance.


ABOVE: Lethe, blank-eyed former inmate, named after a mythical river in Hades; those who drank the waters lose their memory



Also on hand is actor Morgan Woodward as Van Gelder, the one driven insane by the mind sapping device; to say his performance is intense is putting it mildly. I still get tensed up watching him struggle against the brainwashing he has endured. The actor showed up again in the role of a starship captain in the 2nd season's Omega Glory. This episode will go down in history (or has already) as the first one with Spock using a Vulcan mind meld (on Van Gelder). It's a testament to Nimoy's acting ability that he infuses such mystique and focus into a scene which could have been sappy & trite.



There's also a great scene of Kirk going insane in the little torture room, his crazed laughter signaling the end of an act - it's kind of scary and the audience may think he's permanently damaged going into a commercial break, because we've already seen the loopy Van Gelder. Otherwise, it's another one of those missions which wasn't really a mission, a case which may have been better suited to Starfleet's special investigations unit and is therefore a bit beneath someone who should be exploring the galaxy, looking for new lifeforms. After all this time, I still wonder why Kirk himself was down there, playing detective; was he really the only one on board qualified for this duty? For more insanity in the far future, see Whom Gods Destroy (in the 3rd season).

BoG's Score: 7 out of 10



Extra Trek Trivia: in the remastered new FX version of this episode, a new visualization (see above) of the entrance to the Tantalus V colony replaces the old one, which was a re-do of the station first seen in Where No Man Has Gone Before, the pilot episode. The title of this episode is from Macbeth, Act II, Scene 1, line 38 (see The Conscience of the King for more Shakespearean influence).


______ Star Trek-Trailer TOS-season 1 episode 10


__________


McCoy: "It's hard to believe that a man could die of loneliness."

Kirk: "Not when you've sat in that room."





BoG
Galaxy Overlord Galactus


Last edited by Bogmeister on Mon May 20, 2019 4:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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johnnybear
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Helen Noel was very tasty wasn't she! Shame she never returned to the series! Crying or Very sad
JB
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

She certainly was! And not only did she have what appears to a slightly shorter uniform than most of the other gals —





— the episode also required her to do quite a lot of bending over and wrestling around —





— plus it includes a scene where she crawls through an air duct . . . with the camera behind her!



I can't help but think the writers and the director had the hots for Miss Marianna Hill and made her put on a little show for the guys!
Shocked
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johnnybear
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The girls of TOS were awesome, weren't they! From Nichelle to Marianna to BarBara Luna, Mariette Hartley, Irene Kelley, Grace Lee Whitney (of course) Sherry Jackson, Julie Parish, Susan Oliver, Barbara Baldavin, Madlyn Rhue, Jill Ireland, Joan Collins, Arlene Martel etc. we all have our favorites, but why are women not as sexy as these ladies any more?
JB
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnnybear wrote:
. . . . but why are women not as sexy as these ladies any more?

Because, JB, back in the 1950s women felt obligated to spend hours each day getting themselves ready to appear in public. Shocked

They had to make sure they're hair and makeup were perfect. They carefully selected their wardrobe, and they made sure they were wearing articles of clothing that men weren't even supposed to see!

Things like silky slips, lacy bras, frilly panties, dainty garter belts, and sheer nylon stockings! They even wore all these sexy bits of lingerie to church on Sundays . . . which is remarkable when one considers that the last place these lovely ladies wanted to inspire lust in the males around them was the House of God! Shocked

And yet, the mere glimpse of any of these feminine items (and the pink flesh around them) was an erotic moment which men never forgot!

Ah, but the ladies of today no longer bother with all that. They don't feel compelled to bow to the male ego which demanded they perform these rituals for our pleasure. Today we're all equal! It's a better world, devoid of the carnal demands which men placed on our poor women!

However . . . guys who are our age can't help asking the question, "Why are women not as sexy as these ladies any more?"

The only answer is . . . times change. (Dammit.) Sad

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johnnybear
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So true, Bud, so sadly true! They really don't need us anymore! My wife for one hates my guts! I'd love to have wrestled Dr.Helen Noel though back then, trouble is I would have been maybe three or four years old!!! Wink
JB
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Pow
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a top 10 episode for me but a decent enough one.

The guest stars were all top notch. James Gregory must have appeared on almost every single television show you can name from the 60s & 70s.

What a deep,rich voice the always intense & fun to watch Morgan Woodward had.

Beautiful Marianna Hill would show up as Sonny's wife in The Godfather II.

The emblem that Dr. Adams wears representing his institution was always very sharp looking.

I do have quibbles with the story.

We are never really given any reasons as to why Dr.Adams became so ruthless & uncaring regarding the utilization of the therapy chair.

Dr. McCoy & Helen Noel praise Dr. Adams reputation based upon what they have researched about the man & his institution.
So why then did Dr. Jekyll become a Mr. Hyde in this case?

The other nitpick I have is the setting of the asylum or hospital.
Buried beneath the planet's surface in an underground clinic.

Mental & emotional health needs to be partially treated with access to the natural environment.

Not being able to view the sun & sky, feel fresh air, enjoy gardens are a critical component for getting better.

Dr. Adams had ill people in a subterranean setting. That seems more like a punishment to humans than a cure.
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