Arena - episode #19

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Arena - episode #19

Post  BoG on Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:44 pm


ARENA (1st season; episode #19)  Like a Star @ heaven  Air Date: 01/19/67
Directed by Joseph Pevney / writer: Gene Coon, from a story by Fredric Brown

I admit it - I, at times, just like to watch an old-fashioned conflict, the old style mano-a-mano match up; well, in this case, mano-a-manoreptile. Yes, this is the one with Kirk battling another captain of an enemy ship; the other captain happens to resemble a man-like lizard. It's based on a fairly famous short story by sf author Fredric Brown (it first appeared in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine, 1944). An Outer Limits episode, "Fun and Games," is also based on this. But, story goes, Trek writer Gene Coon conceived the Trek version and only found out about Brown's story later. It's possible. The story is so simple and anyone might come up with it: the essence of warfare is distilled down to the basics of just two individuals. There was even a TV-movie in 1970, The Challenge, with the same premise, as well as The Love War. In Trek's version, a superior race, the Metrons, force Kirk and a Gorn captain to settle their conflict on an empty asteroid.



This is one of Star Trek's best action stories: Kirk is swifter and more agile than the Gorn, but the Gorn is much stronger. It's an interesting match-up - more interesting, I daresay, than the same-o-same-o of modern TV wrestling, for example. Kirk also has a possibility in his grasp to fashion some kind of weapon on that asteroid somewhere. As usual, Trek aims for a slightly more layered approach: the Gorn is not simply evil, just on an opposite side, with his own goals & outlook (chillingly voiced by Ted Cassidy, who also voiced Balok in The Corbomite Maneuver and played Ruk in What Are Little Girls Made Of?). Beyond all that, this episode also offers a commentary on war: why send thousands to suffer & die when a conflict can be solved with the death of just one individual? Well, maybe that's too pragmatic, clinical and simplistic for our modern times; but maybe, someday, it won't be. BoG's Score: 9 out of 10.


Extra Trek Trivia: it was in this episode, during filming in that cool-looking Federation outpost (check out those globules at the entrance), that actors Shatner & Nimoy acquired permanent ringing in their ears due to the explosions set off in the filmed scenes. The sound effect of the grenade launcher in the first act is a classic one, first used in Paramount's War of the Worlds.
This was also the episode which is seen playing on a TV during a scene in Bill and Ted's Bogus Adventure (1991); later scenes in that film take place at the same location - Vasquez Rocks - as was used in this episode. And, in the Star Trek Communicator magazine #134 (year 2001), a letter from a fan singled out this episode as inspiration for his life, especially as a young boy, for when he had to stand up  to a bully.
Click here>
FREE Enterprise Scene for a film parody on this episode.


Last edited by BoG on Sat May 02, 2015 11:01 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Arena - full episode

Post  BoG on Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:17 am

CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
The Gorn: "I weary of the chase. Wait for me. I shall be merciful... and quick."



The Gorn: "We destroyed invaders..! ..as I shall destroy you!"



Bobby Clark "The Gorn" from Star Trek
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