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This Side of Paradise - episode #25

 
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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:28 pm    Post subject: This Side of Paradise - episode #25 Reply with quote

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________ Classic Star Trek: This Side of Paradise


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An episode sometimes overlooked, maybe because it lacks a splashy villain or some huge outer space threat.

But, the threat is there — just a bit more subtle. This begins as a mystery (as in SHORE LEAVE above) or a "puzzle" as Kirk calls it.

The Enterprise arrives at a planet with a small agricultural colony, but the crew expect to find everyone dead due to what are known as 'Berthold Rays' — a lethal form of radiation bathing the planet.

Yet, all the members of the colony are quite alive and thriving. How? Why?

The answers lie with some funky-looking plants which shoot spores into human beings, indoctrinating them into a future version of the 'happiness pill' society. All worries melt away and humans can relax in their new paradise.



It sounds great and, for awhile, there seems to be no reason to escape something so benevolent. What probably stunned audiences way back when this first aired was the effect these spores have on Spock. Now, it was spelled out that Spock does have emotions, he just continually suppresses them in his 'normal' life.

The episode has a beguiling quality and moments of incredible poignancy, mostly in scenes with Spock and his new lady love (guest star Jill Ireland). One can imagine, also, Kirk's stunned reaction when he first witnesses Spock behaving like any other human. It's still an eye-opener after all these years and an opportunity for actor Nimoy to act 'outside the box' for this episode.



Of course, things don't stay semi-amusing for long; eventually the entire crew is seduced by these spores. They calmly mutiny and the ship empties. One can think, "Why not? As long as everyone's OK,"

But it falls to Kirk to determine that mankind thrives on purpose & pain, hard as that may be sometimes. It's also eerie to see Kirk alone on his ship at one point — the last man.

There follows his unforgettable confrontation with Spock, where he heaps insult upon insult and all those hints of Vulcan strength are now depicted.

McCoy also gets in the best line when he confronts the colony's leader (Frank Overton) towards the end ("You'd better make me a mechanic.") — priceless. We all have our self-imposed purgatories, this story seems to say, but for now they are necessary to our goals & achievements.

One cold dash of reality comin' up!



BoG's Score: 9.5 out of 10



BoG
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Krel
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The episode uses another prop from "The Outer Limits", the spore plants that fired puffed riced.

David.
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johnnybear
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we could all do with a few months on Omicron! Not one of Kirk's better command decisions! The spores weren't out to conquer the universe or anything like that only to bring some joy and happiness to it!
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Pow
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fun Facts about TSOP } Original episode titles during development of the script were : "Sandoval's Planet," "Power Play,'' and "The Way of the Spores."

Sulu, not Mr.Spock, was to be involved in the love story.

D.C.Fontana's rewrite of Jerry Sohl's script established Mr.Spock's mother as a teacher and his father as an ambassador.

As noted, the plants were originally built for The Outer Limits 1964 episode "Specimen Unknown."

The location filming took place at Walt Disney Productions Golden Oak Ranch which was near Santa Clarita a couple hours drive from Hollywood. This was also close to Vasquez Rocks.

Location shooting also took place at the famous Bronson Canyon where numerous films and TV productions took place. The canyon is on the edge of Griffith Park in the Hollywood Hills.
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Krel
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the studios used to have ranches. Disney's is one of, if not the last, and is used by all the other studios, which is probably why it survives, as it is a money maker. That covered wooden bridge with the pond that is in so many TV shows and commercials is at the Disney ranch. They also used to have a herd of cattle, which all studio ranches had when westerns were popular.

David.
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johnnybear
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not everyone was having a wonderful time on Omicron though as look at the two guy's faces behind Sandoval!
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

If I remember correctly, McCoy determines that the spores actually caused the bodies of the affected people to regrow appendixes that has been removed, and repair scar tissue from old injuries and operations.

So, I wonder if these plants could be used to improve a persons health, after which the physiological change they caused could be reversed the way it was done in the episode. Interesting idea, eh? Wink

In fact, if an individual had serious psychological disorders which made them prone to violent behavior, the spores could be used to make the person more . . . ummm . . . agreeable. It could also be used to treat people with acute depression. Very Happy

I'm sure 23rd century medical science could isolate the reason the pores had such a miraculous effect on the human body and develop a treatment which used its properties without it also causing the mental changes.

This episode is a good example of the unfortunate way science fiction series like Stat Trek would introduce a fascinating idea in an episode and then . . . never follow up on the interesting consequences which the concept suggested! Shocked

Heck, I could put together a dynamic Think Tank just from the members of this board, and we'd sit around in a writer's room all day while we cranked out sequel concepts for movies and TV episodes! We could free lance our services to all the studios, and make a fortune providing them with great ideas! Cool

We could call ourselves What if . . . ? Inc.

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Pow
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"This Side of Paradise," March 9, 1967.

Early draft of the script had the following plot points.

Dr. McCoy discovers that Mr. Sulu has has an internal condition that necessitates Sulu's resignation from Starfleet.

Dr. McCoy would undergo a similar situation of having a fatal illness in the episode "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky." What a great episode title.

This gave Sulu the opportunity to develop a relationship with Leila Kalomi.

Interesting that they left the Asian sounding name Leila Kalomi intact even after deciding that the romance would shift from the Sulu character to Mr. Spock.

I assume the producers had an Asian actress in mind for the part when she was to have a romance with Sulu.

The spores originally were to have had a communal intelligence. When an individual was possessed by the spores it gave the individual the ability to link up with other possessed minds.

The spores were able to return the dead to life. Shades of "The Walking Dead."

The antidote to the spores was going to be individuals with a certain blood type; alcohol.

The surprise finale was that the spores are revealed to be benevolent conscious entities that never acted against a person's will.

Jerry Sohl's script underwent an extensive rewrite.

Gene Roddenberry told D. C. Fontana that "If you can do a good rewrite of this script, you can be my story editor."

Fontana felt that the story should be about Mr.Spock and not Sulu.

That was good insight by D. C. George Takei is a fine actor but this episode became far more poignant & powerful by having our emotionless Vulcan fall in love.

"Mr. Spock, you haven't had much to say about your experience."

"I have nothing to say, captain, except...for the first time in my life I was happy."

The plants were to have been located only in a cave. Fontana realized that premise would end the episode quickly since the solution was to not go in the cave when the spores power was realized.

So now the spores would be located everywhere on the planet where people could be infected.

Writer Jerry Sohl was so displeased with D. C. Fontana's extensive rewrite of his script that he had his name removed and instead used the pseudonym Nathan Butler.

Yeah, most writer's loathe it when their scripting is altered.

The shots of the empty bridge on board the Enterprise in this episode ended up being crucial for the episode "Relics" on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

On "Relics" guest star Jimmy Doohan reprised his role as Scotty from ST:TOS. Scotty uses the holodeck in order to recreate the bridge from the original series.

A snippet of film of the empty bridge from TSOP was "looped" several times and then bluescreened in behind Jimmy & Patrick Stewart.

This way, only a short section of a computer station, door alcove, and the command station had to be constructed for the scene. This saved the enormous cost the budget would have required in order to completely reconstruct the entire original show's bridge.

This was an impressive feat by the ST:TNG crew. I could not tell where the practical set left off and the footage of the bridge from TSOP began.

It was a marvel of visual & special effects.

Director Ralph Senesky planned to allocate three days of filming on location at Golden Oak Ranch aka the Disney Ranch for the outdoor scenes of the planet Omicron-Ceti III.

The first two days went well. Guest star Jill Ireland (Leila) became ill and was unable to report to the ranch.

By the time Jill recovered the production was now behind filming by one day.

Senesky was not able to have the production return to the Golden Oak Ranch for the final day of filming due to the location already being rented out by another production.

After a mad scramble to find another locale, the production was able to finish the remaining outdoor scenes in the often used by films and TV shows Bronson Canyon (originally the Union Rock Company).

Bronson Canyon is located on the south edge of Griffith Park, in the Hollywood Hills.

It was a former rock quarry and is basically a rock pit with caves.

Director Senesky was truly amazed because for this episode the crew had to transform the barren rocky canyon into a lushly looking green field in order to match the first two days of filming that took place at Golden oak Ranch.

Hmm, and Jill Ireland was married to Charles Bronson at the time. I read that he visited her when they were shooting on location.

The barn where the Enterprise crew members fight one another would pop up on episodes of the "Kung Fu" western TV series.

The scenes of the open meadow were shot at Malibu State Park. This locale would become famous as the corn field seen in the classic SF movie "The Planet of the Apes."

Leonard Nimoy was initially unsure about Fonatana's script that had Mr. Spock falling in love and shedding his normal emotional stoic persona.

Leonard had struggled with defining his alien Vulacn character during the first season when this episode took place.

He felt that he had finally gotten a grip on the Spock role and had firmly established Spock in his mind---and the audience's---as a logical, cool, aloof being.

Now he had to discard the emotionless Spock and had to let emotion rule him.

Leonard felt in the end that this was a very fine episode and he was quite pleased with it.

Guest star Jill Ireland (Leila Kalomi) had her own reservations about the episode.

Jill had been watching Star Trek and seen the episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of ?"

Seeing the sexy and revealing costume designed by Bill Theiss for Sherry Jackson (Andrea) on WALGMO, Ireland was uneasy that Bill would be creating a sexy & revealing outfit for her on TSOP.

Theiss felt that such a costume would not really serve the Leila character based upon the script. Bill said that Jill certainly had the figure for a very sexy wardrobe but it would not be appropriate for her Leila role.

Good call on that Bill. And many, many thanks for Andrea's va-va voom outifit!

Frank Overton ( March 12, 1918-April 24, 1967) was given the rare credit of Special Guest Star on this episode.

Sadly, Frank would pass away only six months after shooting this episode at the too young age of 48.

The title for this episode came from F. Scott Fitzgerald's first published novel in 1920, This Side of Paradise.

Fitzgerald in turn got the name from a line in the poem Tiare Tahiti by British author Robert Brooke.

The publication of Fitzgerald's novel was a condition of Zelda Sayre's for accepting Fitzgerald's marriage proposal to her.

Total cost for this excellent episode was $171,681.

Nowadays hour long TV shows cost millions of dollars per episode.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

And excellent review, Ensign Pow! Very Happy

The first time I saw that last moment on the bridge and heard Spock's statement, I was stunned!

It was incredibly moving to think that even though Spock had chosen to control his emotions all this life, he did in fact experience a level of contentment during his time on the planet that probably made his struggle to remain true to Vulcan logic even harder than before! Shocked

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Krel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pow wrote:
After a mad scramble to find another locale, the production was able to finish the remaining outdoor scenes in the often used by films and TV shows Bronson Canyon (originally the Union Rock Company).

Bronson Canyon is located on the south edge of Griffith Park, in the Hollywood Hills.

It was a former rock quarry and is basically a rock pit with caves.

Director Senesky was truly amazed because for this episode the crew had to transform the barren rocky canyon into a lushly looking green field in order to match the first two days of filming that took place at Golden oak Ranch.

The area around the tunnel was heavily landscaped for the TV series "Batman", where it was used as the entrance to the Batcave.

The tunnel, which is only slightly longer and wider than the Batmobile, passed through the hill and branched off in the back with two openings. This meant that they could only photograph the tunnel from one position, or the camera would see the other two openings in the back.

Because of the tight tolerances, all of the scenes showing the Batmobile entering and exiting the Batcave had to be filmed in "fast motion" to prevent an accident.


Pow wrote:
The scenes of the open meadow were shot at Malibu State Park. This locale would become famous as the corn field seen in the classic SF movie "The Planet of the Apes."

At the time, that was the Fox Malibu Ranch. Much of POTA was filmed at the ranch. Ape city was built there, and the waterfall, which was artificial.

Also at the ranch was the large water tank (Lake Sersin, spelling?) that was built for "Cleopatra", where the surface shots of the Seaview were filmed, the sinking of the POTA rocket miniature and all of the surface shots and tidal wave from "The Poseidon Adventure".

The ranch was bought by the state of California in 1974, and opened to the public in 1976. I guess they had to do a bit of demolition an debris removal before they let the public in.

The park is still used for location filming.

David.
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Pow
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make an excellent point, Bud, regarding how SF TV shows introduce some incredible plot device that is then only to be dropped and never to be seen or heard about during the run of a series.

In various future episodes of ST: TOS there are plots where you could envision the spores having cures for people.

Could the spores have reversed the aging disease for the Enterprise crew members that were affected in "The Deadly Years?''

How about Dr. McCoy's fatal disease on "For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky?"

Mr. Spock's agitated emotional and physical state from "Amok Time?"

Bring back Scotty from the dead in "The Changeling?"

And so it goes.

Obviously we all realize that constantly reusing the astonishing medicinal properties of the alien plants would then undermine the plots of these later episodes and end the episode shortly after it begins.

In essence, you end up with no show, or a series where the introduction of an intriguing episode can be thwarted because of continuing to carry on a plot point from an earlier episode.

Now the writers could have simply created the fact that the alien spores were unable to cure individuals with a particular medical disease.

But if that's the answer in order to unfold future episodes to their conclusion, it then makes the alien spores not so impressive as they were in TSOP.

Yeah, I would imagine just about every SF TV series introduced some gimmick on one episode that would have also served as the answer for later episodes.

Quite the challenge for the script writers, isn't it?
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Mike, I am SO impressed! Very Happy

Your general analysis of the dilemma you described is so intelligent and complete that I can't add a damn thing to it! Shocked

Admittedly if I were on the writer's staff of TOS and I was told to devise a reason for why the spores couldn't be used to solve a certain medical problem in a given story, I'm sure I could concoct a plausible reason . . . for each one individually.

But, as you pointed out, if the writers had to make excuses every time the spores were NOT used — when it seemed reasonable that they COULD — it would get monotonous and frustrating for the audience! Confused

Therefore, the obvious answer is to do exactly what the TOS writers did; blatantly ignore the prior miracles which the Enterprise crew encountered, and bravely deal with each new problem by finding a new solution! Very Happy

However, just to be fair, we all know that from time to time the writers did revisit certain situations and cleverly applied prior knowledge to new problems.

The Cage / Menagerie is a prime example. Cool

But these situations were exceptions to the rule, by necessity.

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Pow
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the kind words, sir.

When you wrote about ST revisiting previous story lines in later episodes, it made me immediately think about Star Trek: The Animated show.

On the animated series they wrote some new stories for the show which brought back elements from the 1966 live action show.

And those particular animated episodes turned out to be some of the finest ever produced for the show.

"Yesteryear," September 15, 1973 by notable ST writer D.C. Fontana saw the Enterprise crew return to the mysterious planet that the Guardian from "The City On The Edge Of Forever" existed on.

On that episode we not only go back in time to the planet Vulcan ("Amok Time"), we once again encounter Mr. Spock's parents, Amanda & Sarek ("Journey to Babel").
Mark Lenard who portrayed Sarek in JTB also did the voice work for Sarek on the animated episode as well.

Heck, we even meet the pet that Spock had as a child on the animated episode that was originally referenced to by Amanda but not seen on JTB.

It is also interesting to note that "Yesteryear" is considered to be the best episode from ST:TAS, and it derived from ST:TOS episode "The City On The Edge Of Forever" which is considered to be the number one episode of the live action series.

"More Tribbles, More Troubles," October 6, 1973 was penned by SF author David Gerrold who wrote the live action episode "The Trouble with Tribbles.

On this animated episode we not only have Tribbles return; we have space merchant Cyrano Jones & Klingon Commander Koloth show up who were on the live action version.

Stanley Adams who played Cyrano Jones on TTWT even performed the voice for the animated Jones.

"Once Upon a Planet," November 3, 1973 was the animated sequel to the live action ST episode "Shore Leave."
We even get to see Alice & the White Rabbit from Wonderland again.

Generally speaking, sequel episodes on TV shows are rarely as captivating as the original story.

And here they not only produced three wonderful sequel episodes from the live action show; it was done in animation.

Add to that the fact that the live action show had sixty-minutes to tell their story, while the animated show only had thirty-minutes to unfold their sequel episodes, and it becomes even more impressive that the animated show achieved what they did.
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