Ol’ Pus Face is Back

You reach a point in life when you’re Beyond Shock. It’s not merely that you’ve Seen It All Before; you’ve also aggressively Questioned Your Presumptions, so that your foundation in Reality is as solid as it gets, short of swallowing the Red Pill, but that’s metaphysically cheating. Brain In a Vat is a different game.

And yet, despite your best efforts, something happens to upset your mental apple cart. It comes while you’re streaming Fincher’s Zodiac, something you’ve seen before, something you’re half paying attention to, when you catch a throwaway line, a joke about a flamboyant local lawyer who did a guest spot on…

Star Trek?

You must understand: We grew up on those episodes. We’ve seen them easily two dozen times. Maybe three dozen. And one of those episodes was so creepy that for years one of our go-to lines was “Death to you all!”

And only now, well into our AARP-qualified years, when everything is settled in our view of the world, do we learn that the Gorgan was…

MELVIN FUCKING BELLI.

Honestly: The world evaporating into Green Spaghetti would have been a lot easier to handle.

49 Comments

True fact: I have seen all of the Star Trek movies, but I’ve never seen one entire episode of the (original) TV show.

I knew this. And you know about Gene Roddenberry and Nichelle Nichols, yes? And Nurse Chapel aka the voice of the computer?

I don’t know what any of this means.

But this is fun. Ryan on Schock pron. I only wish I’d written it.

@Dodgerblue: I’m up on all the Salacious Gossip. It’s these bits of trivia I wouldn’t have noticed at the time, and nobody thinks to mention later.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I think you need to have Been There, where There is non-cable television with reruns every afternoon. Folks these days are likely to be more conversant with Next Gen and its offshoots.

For the record, (a) the cartoon sucked, and (b) old episodes with new CGI make me seasick.

@Dodgerblue: I think Majel is the only actor to have appeared in every series, plus the original pilot. I may be wrong about Enterprise, but I imagine they somehow snuck her into that, too.

@nojo: Is Enterprise worth my time? Keep in mind that I own both JJ Abrams Star Trek blu rays.

@blogenfreude: Is Enterprise worth my time?

No. Well-intentioned misfire.

But there’s one episode worth watching for Completists: They decided to explain why Klingons changed appearance between 1968 and The Wrath of Khan. Other than better prosthetics.

@nojo: I think Majel was the voice of the computer for everything until after she died.

@DElurker: I think that’s correct. BTW I have a full-size cardboard figure of Counselor Troi in my garage. My wife got it for me. No, really.

@Dodgerblue: One of the first things the Internet taught me — specifically, pre-Web Usenet — was that Picard was the sex symbol, not Riker, as presumably intended.

Also: alt.wesley.die.die.die

@DElurker: That’s the cheat that places her in every series, when she’s not playing Number One/Nurse Chapel/Troi’s Mom.

There are some non-Majel computers here and there, but they always sound wrong. Apple should have paid her for the Siri voice before she passed.

@nojo: Known in our house as the Insufferable Commander Riker. My wife and kids were indifferent to Wesley Crusher, whom I detested. Can we discuss Seven of Nine?

@Dodgerblue: Hushed tones. Benedick is scolding.

@nojo: Did you read the Congressmen Porn he posted? Tell me again whom he is scolding?

@Dodgerblue: He’s scolding us for knowing the difference between a Warp Drive, a Hyperdrive, and a Jump Drive.

@nojo: “The dilithium crystals are melting down, Captain. I canna give ya more power!”

Late 80s/Early 90s Commander Riker with Beard Action helped me realize I had the gay.

@Dodgerblue: “That’ll give me time to study my technical journals!”

I still quote that one. It’s a Geek Thing.

@nojo: You say that like a bad thing. The thing I found most amusing about ST:TNG was that LaForge could put a big hair barrette on his face and suddenly that gave him vision. The prop was so weak looking, like they spray painted a hair clip or something.

@Dodgerblue: The buxom Counselor Troi was known for her extra-sensory perceptions–especially in crowded elevators.*

*Stole it from Mad Magazine.

@¡Andrew!: I liked Dana at first and then…zzzzzzzzzzz. TNG ended up being a big snoozefest after awhile. Can’t complain about Jean Luc.

“I think this ‘new’ ship was put together by monkeys.”

@¡Andrew!: And early 90s MacGyver with Mullet Action helped me realize that I did not.

@¡Andrew!: You can say that. You weren’t in a play with him. Sharing a dressing room. (I made that up. He was so boring I don’t remember.)

@nojo: Scolding? No. Disapproving? Perhaps.

And now Pareene is livetweeting TNG. I blame myself.

@nojo: I was, in a way. As a latch key kid, I grew up on 60s tv show reruns: Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, My Three Sons, Batman, The Munsters, Addams Family, etc. etc. I just couldn’t get into Star Trek.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Yep. And The Amazing Spiderman. I think I saw that before kindergarten, but I’m not sure.

I just watched that video — that episode scared the bejesus out of me. DEATH TO YOU ALL! That became incorporated into daily speech, but I didn’t know that we might have gotten it from this ep.

I liked the one where they were down there visiting Greeks or something.

Saturday: Land of the Lost! Michael, Will, and Holly, on a routine expedition, then the greatest earthquake ever known…

High on the rapids, it sunk their tiny raft, and plunged them down an thousand feet below…

To the lan-ANd of the law-aw-ost. To the lan-AND of the LAWWWWWWST!

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Also latch-key, although the term didn’t exist at the time.

About half those shows I watched in primetime. If challenged, I can detail network, night and time.

@JNOV:

Bewitched: 8:30pm Wednesday, ABC, following Batman
I Dream of Jeannie: 8pm Thursday, NBC (followed by Star Trek)
Batman: 8pm Wednesday/Thursday, ABC
Addams Family: 8pm Friday, ABC

The others I didn’t see in primetime.

@nojo: Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Sunday 9:00 PBS

That’s the best I can do. I think Star Trek was still shown in the evenings, but I can’t remember. The same goes for The Outer Limits. I vaguely remember Dark Shadows.

@JNOV: It only lasted three seasons, and was off the air by summer 1969.

Dark Shadows: 4pm weekdays, ABC. But the time may have varied by region. (Many episodes now via Netflix streaming.) You can fake the theme by humming while whistling.

Was Outer Limits CBS? We didn’t get CBS. And my Serling isn’t Twilight Zone, but Night Gallery.

@nojo: Night Gallery!

Alfred Hitchcock Presents was prime time.

No idea what network carried Outer Limits — I might have been watching reruns. (I was born in 1966.)

I will check out Dark Shadows. I was too young to get it, but I liked the creepiness. Something seem twisted, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

We didn’t have TV. We were too poor. Father would play the clarinet in the street. I’d caper about and collect the coins the toffs would throw down. Blimey! Them was the days.

@JNOV: But Hitchcock was Fifties. And also on Netflix.

The genius of Dark Shadows was that it was a soap opera. The creepiness comes from the genre-mashing.

@nojo: “But Hitchcock was Fifties.”

I’m so confused.

@nojo: Don’t know if I should be impressed or saddened. I remember Night Gallery fondly but the other two shows that it alternated with I do not. Wednesday nights?

Watched all of the original Star Trek when they first ran. Only watched a few in rerun.

Hitchcock was shown through the sixties in syndication on the local Phillie UHF stations in the afternoon.

@DElurker: Saddened. My Misspent Youth. My favorite magazine of any given year was the TV Guide fall preview.

Night Gallery was 10pm Wednesdays. The NBC Mystery Movie — Columbo, McMillan & Beard, McCloud — was 9pm.

I never saw most of the above in primetime. I was a Mary Tyler Moore/Rhoda/Phyllis/Carol Burnett Show kid. Also: Maude. Happy Days. Laverne and Shirley. OOOH, and The Wonderful World of Disney, right after Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on Sunday. Lawrence Welk when my great-grandmother was around.

Remember Junior Samples on Hee-Haw? JUNIOR SAMPLES, people. MINNIE PEARL.

@Tommmcatt Says Pull My Finger:
Mary Tyler Moore/Rhoda/Phyllis/Carol Burnett Show

Close. You missed Newhart.

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