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Messages - Jed Cooper

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Celebrity Obituary Thread
« on: August 26, 2018, 04:17:50 AM »
John McCain, Political Maverick and Hero of Vietnam War, Dies at 81

God Bless. Rest In Peace.

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“Operation: Annihilate!”

4/13/67 (Original Airdate)

2/23/08 (Remastered Airdate)

Deneva is the fourth in a series of planets suffering from mass insanity.  Lt. Uhura is unable to make contact and this concerns Kirk greatly as his brother Sam and his family are is on Deneva.  Kirk and his landing party arrive at his brothers’ lab to find Sam Kirk dead, his wife Aurelan hysterical and their son Peter unconscious.

An invasion of alien creatures has been under way, forcing the planets’ inhabitants to build spaceships for them as the creatures are incapable of completing the task. 

The landing party discover some of the creatures, only to learn their phasers do not harm them.  As they depart, one of them attacks Mr. Spock.  Upon their return to the Enterprise, Dr. McCoy faces the difficult task of figuring out how to kill the alien creatures.  Remembering the pilot of a Denevan ship was successful in freeing himself from the intense pain and madness caused by the creatures seconds before his own deaths, McCoy puts together a test chamber that proves successful in destroying one of the creatures.

Spock volunteers to be tested first, but Dr. McCoy objects.  Kirk decides the test must take place and so it does.  The good news: the effects of the creature on Spock have been removed.  The bad news:  the intense light has left Spock blind.  Even worse, McCoy finds through subsequent lab tests a way the effects of the creature could’ve been eradicated without blinding Spock. 

The creatures on Deneva are ultimately destroyed via ultraviolet satellites deployed at Kirks’ orders.  Surprisingly, Spock returns to duty on the Enterprise bridge, his vision fully restored.  Due to his inner eyelid, a Vulcan biological feature, his blindness was merely temporary.  Starfleet has not lost its’ “best first officer” after all.

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“The City On The Edge Of Forever”

4/06/67 (Original Airdate)

10/07/06 (Remastered Airdate)

Through a series of unforeseeable and unfortunate events, Dr. McCoy has disappeared into Earths’ history through a time portal.   Kirk and his landing party are informed by the portal itself that it is known as The Guardian Of Forever.  McCoy’s leap through the it has changed the course of history and the Enterprise landing party find themselves stranded.

Kirk decides that with the use of Spocks’ tricorder, the two of them will risk traveling through the portal to retrieve McCoy and prevent him from affecting history so they can be automatically be returned to their unaltered timeline.

This is a great episode and is a fan favorite.  The writing, acting and production come together perfectly.  Joan Collins is wonderful in her portal as Edith Keeler and Shatner’s portrayal as the smitten Captain is very convincing.  You cannot help being moved by his heart wrenching act to neglect saving her life to restore the timeline, in effect preventing the death of millions.

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“The Alternative Factor”

3/30/67 (Original Airdate)

12/01/07 (Remastered Airdate)

Kirk and crew encounter Lazarus, a man traveling to and from a parallel universe that causes a disruption in the galaxy.  What causes confusion is that when Lazarus from one universe disappears, the other appears in his place.  According to Spock, the danger of the two Lazarus’ ever meeting in the same universe would cause “Annihilation. Total, complete, absolute annihilation.”  The threat is that one Lazarus has vowed to kill the other, regardless of the consequences. 

After discussing what to do with the more sensible Lazarus of the two, it is decided that Kirk will force the manic Lazarus into the “corridor” between the two universes.  While this condemns both Lazarus’ for all eternity, it ensures the safety of both universes. 

This is my least favorite first season episode.  I usually find myself anticipating the end of the episode not long after it begins.  The biggest downside is Robert Brown as Lazarus.  I’ve learned that John Barrymore was originally contracted to play the role but didn’t show up and rather than scrap the episode on the second day of filming, Brown was found as a last minute, reluctant, replacement.  It definitely shows on the final product. 

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“Errand Of Mercy”

3/23/67 (Original Airdate)

5/12/07 (Remastered Airdate)

In Balance Of Terror, we were introduced to the Romulans, a deadly and intimidating enemy of Starfleet.  Here, we are introduced to a foe just as bad, even worse, the Klingons.  One of their vessels engages the Enterprise in a losing battle, the genesis of war between the UFP and Klingon Empire. 

Kirks’ next orders are to get his starship to the planet Organia to prevent their enemy from taking it over as a base of operations.  He and Spock, unable to convince the Council of Elders of the impending threat, are stranded as the Enterprise is forced to leave orbit upon the arrival of a Klingon fleet of battle cruisers. 

Posing as citizens of Organia, the Captain and his first officer sabotage Commander Kor and his mens’ attempts at taking over the planet.  Ultimately, they are discovered and eventually a confrontation takes place that forces the Organians to interfere.  They reveal themselves to be a highly advanced species, forcing both sides to end hostilities and depart.

Like Balance Of Terror, this is one of the best episodes of Star Trek.  Like Mark Lenard in his role as the Romulan Commander, John Colicos is as impressive, convincing and entertaining as Klingon Commander Kor.  It’s a pity neither of these characters would return during the original series’ run.

At the other end of the spectrum, John Abbott was equally convincing and entertaining as the Organian known as Ayelborn.  His passive demeanor played off well to the two combatant commanders and it’s amusing to watch Kirk and Kors’ reactions to him.

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“The Devil In The Dark”

3/09/67 (Original Airdate)

9/23/06 (Remastered Airdate)

The universal, timeless lesson here is don’t mess with a mothers’ babies.  The miners on Janus VI find a huge, monstrous creature is killing members of their colony, destroying much of their equipment and burrowing tunnels throughout the lower levels where they are operating. 

Enter Kirk, Spock and McCoy to investigate and assist.  At first, a silicon object on Chief Vandenbergs’ desk noticed by Mr. Spock is dismissed as meaningless.  Before long, it’s discovered these very object are the eggs of the creature defending her litter.  This is done via mind meld between the creature, identifying itself as a Horta, and Spock. 

Kirk orders McCoy to tend to the Horta’s wound and informs Vanderberg that the miners and Horta can coexist and a mutual understanding is agreed, beneficial to all. 

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“This Side Of Paradise”

3/02/67 (Original Airdate)

7/28/07 (Remastered Airdate)

“This is mutiny, mister!”
“Yes sir, it is.”

Slowly but surely the Enterprise crew falls under the spell of spores shot out of a plant, one of many, found on the planet Omicron Ceti III.  Spock is the first crew member to be affected and the effects are quite amusing.  He acts childlike and is romantic with Leila, one of the planets’ colonists and an old acquaintance.

Kirk is the last to fall under the spell of the spores and about to join everyone when his mood changes upon seeing some of his medals he’s about to pack.  The sight causes an adrenaline rush, reversing his state of euphoria.  Realizing he’s discovered a way to do the same for his crew and the colonists, Kirk knows he has to risk confronting Spock.  His first officer is the most qualified to aide in accomplishing the task at hand. 

The Captain risks bodily harm to himself by taunting Mr. Spock and angering him enough that he strikes back until the effects of the spores wear off.  A subsonic transmitter they make finishes the job, restoring all back to normal.

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Mods, I mistakenly posted text and images separately. Please delete this post as I’ve corrected my error.  Thank you.

“A Taste Of Armageddon”

2/23/67 (Original Airdate)

12/15/07 (Remastered Airdate)

On a diplomatic mission to Eminiar VII, Kirk and his landing party find themselves in the middle of a 500 year old war.  The inhabitants are in a state of conflict with Vendikar.

Before long the revelation is made to the landing party that there is more than meets the eye.   Both parties have cleaned up the mess, disaster and mayhem of war and fight their battles via computer.  All fatalities reported are to be honored by each side, with each and every individual recorded as such willing to report to a disintegration chamber.

This doesn’t sit well with Kirk, who employs his brand of Cowboy Diplomacy that forces both sides to finally talk with each other in the hopes of signing a peace treaty.  Fortunately, Ambassador Fox from the UFP is on hand to guide the talks between both parties.

A good first season episode, entertaining and thought provoking.  I wonder if then U.S. President Reagan had this episode in mind when he proposed the “Strategic Defense Initiative” dubbed, ironically enough by the media, as “Star Wars” in early 1983. 

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“Space Seed”

2/18/67 (Original Airdate)

11/18/06 (Remastered Airdate)

The story is paced just right.  What starts out as an investigation quickly turns into a rescue mission, then slowly evolves into a dangerous threat. 

Khan is one of Star Trek’s greatest, most dangerous and popular villains.  Ricardo Montalbans’ performance is brilliant.  His acting proves he was perfect in the role, a very intelligent and physically intimidating opponent. 

Easily one of the best episodes that led to the original series cast’s best movie, as well as one of the all time greatest films of the franchise. 

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“The Return Of The Archons”

2/09/67 (Original Airdate)

12/08/07 (Remastered Airdate)

“Joy be with you.  Peace and contentment.”  The inhabitants on the planet Beta III are unwittingly ruled by a machine.  They believe it to be a higher being, named Landru.   In fact, Landru was a man that built a machine to rule the planet the way he saw fit long after he was gone. 

The Enterprise crew learns of this upon investigating what happened to the Archon, a starship that disappeared a hundred years earlier while orbiting Beta III.   

With help from an underground movement, Kirk and Spock learn of Landru’s location and through a battle of wits and logic causes the machine to self-destruct. 

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“Court Martial”

2/02/67 (Original Airdate)

5/10/08 (Remastered Airdate)

Ben Finney is holding a grudge.  He has a score to settle with his former shipmate and friend, Jim Kirk.   Ben staging his own death causes the Enterprise captain to stand trial, jeopardizing Jim’s future with Starfleet Command.

Shatner’s acting ability is very apparent here, showing dedication to his command and belief in himself while facing being set up for the death of one of his crew. 

You can feel the tension in the air when Commodore Stone tells Kirk he draws a “general court” (court martial hearing):  “Draw it? I demand it, and right now, Commodore Stone, right now!”

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Celebrity Obituary Thread
« on: August 24, 2018, 04:44:12 PM »
Robin Leach, ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ Host, Dies at 76

God Bless. Rest In Peace.

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Off-Topic Discussion / The Photographers thread: Show us your stuff!!
« on: August 18, 2018, 04:15:30 PM »
And finally, last but certainly by no means least... the world-renowned photographer (not!) with his soul mate, Tina.

Tina’s son got us tickets to the Patriots/Eagles preseason game Thursday night.  Not wanting to travel all the way home, we stayed overnight.  Tina spent the first part of her childhood growing up in neighboring Norwood, so we stopped by so she could show me places she and her family lived and where they went to school.

In the first set of photos, I couldn’t resist capturing images from the middle of the creek.  The next set of photos represents my fascination with a couple of old trees we passes by.  Afterwards,
I had to take a few landscape images.

Tina had a great time revisiting her old neighborhood and I enjoyed all the stories she lovingly shared with me. 

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Not quite finished yet...

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Hot August Day 8/17/18

Hawes Pool/edean Recreation Area in Norwood, MA

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Celebrity Obituary Thread
« on: August 16, 2018, 09:04:12 AM »
Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, Dies at 76

God Bless. Rest In Peace

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General Discussion / Changeling & Gran Torino 10 Year Anniversaries
« on: August 05, 2018, 06:28:44 PM »

Wow, ten years since the release of these films have gone by already.  I remember hearing the news of production beginning on Changeling.  I had yet to get used to the fact that Eastwood’s starring roles were coming to an end.  Since then, I’ve been able to “improvise, overcome and adapt.”

Four years had passed since Million Dollar Baby and I wasn’t impressed with what Clint had released in the intervening years. 

I wasn’t very impressed with Changeling, either.  That disappointment wouldn’t last long, thankfully, upon the release of Gran Torino.  Hell, the mere mention of another Eastwood starring role made up for everything! 

Gran Torino is a favorite and one of Eastwood’s all time best, successful films.  What a pleasure and relief to see it when it came out!  A friend opined that it seemed like a lot of characters Clint had portrayed were summed up into Walt Kowalski.  I agree with him and that’s one of the things that makes this movie so enjoyable and entertaining.

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General Discussion / The Dead Pool & Bird 30 Year Anniversaries
« on: August 05, 2018, 06:26:22 PM »
I recently attempted to sit through these again, but couldn’t.  I grew bored with The Dead Pool and stopped watching less than halfway through.  Bird held very little interest to begin with so I let myself become distracted throughout and fell asleep before the conclusion.  I watched the both of these earlier this year, anyway, so no big loss. 

The fifth installment in the Dirty Harry series has a strong beginning, but doesn’t take long to fade into mediocrity.  Being a fan, I enjoyed seeing this for the first time on the big screen.  There are a handful of good moments but overall it lacks the punch of the first three.  It would be great to see Eastwood reprise his iconic role again, obviously retired, possibly working a cold case with flashbacks featuring his son Scott as a younger Harry Callahan. 

As for Bird, well, this film only reinforces my opinion that unless he stars in it, it’s not a true Clint Eastwood movie.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t given them a chance or won’t.  Since Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil, I’ve missed just one movie Eastwood directed only in the theater.  To quote the late, great King Of Rock & Roll, “You gotta take the bad with the good.”  Precisely, I agree wholeheartedly.

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