The Corbomite Maneuver (1994 VHS) I had this single Star Trek episode video cassette on my shelf until university. It vanished after that.

The first regular series episode produced after the two pilot episodes. It did not air first, being set aside for the more action episodes to come before it. As noted in a previous post, TOS episodes were produced in one order and aired in the other as the series tried to gain a foothold with its audience. If viewed in air date order, details like uniforms seem to jump around between the early designs seen in the pilots and the later regular uniforms.

The Enterprise herself noticably shifts between shoots recorded for the the pilots, with the early model that features a larger radar dish and vents on the back of the warp nacelles, and the upgraded model with the smaller dish and the bulbs on the back of the nacelles. If I remember correctly, subsequent episodes use shots of both models, at which a more nitpicky person could cry “continuity!” However, let’s be fair. The editors used all the shots at their disposal because the series had a tight budget and honestly could not afford to be so selective. I can forgive these details because they came out of necessity rather than a screw up. If it meant spending that money on a better looking alien or a better script, it was the correct choice, in my opinion.

Oddly enough, I had this on original VHS in my teens. I forget where and when I got it, but it was probably either a gift or found at a yard sale, one of those things my dad probably found and thought, “Pat likes Star Trek,” and bought it cheap. Anyway, I think I’d watched it like once or twice and it sat on the shelf. I don’t know what ever happened to it after that. So, like The Cage, I was a bit familiar with it, but not in context.

The galactic political base still has yet to be defined at this point, I see. The Federation (not the First Federation), quadrants and Starfleet are not mentioned. Instead, it’s “Earth ship Enterprise,” “Earth base,” etc. Looking at it in-universe, it might be that such details are aren’t yet defined by the Federation, the way that the United States of America in its early years still strictly represented its states as individual countries, loosely connected by trade and commerce. The USA as a single country (rather than a collection of little countries) is a fairly recent idea. So, yeah, since Earth is part of the Federation, the ships of the fleet might still be viewed as originating primarily from the planet of their construction (stealing a bit from the alternate timeline created in Star Trek [2009], where we see the Enterprise built on Earth). Likewise, Earth may have set up its own bases long before the Federation was formalized, thereby allowing that common parlance to refer to some as “Earth bases” and not “Star bases”. There were probably re-designated at some point later. In a way, then, these details don’t seem so much like inconsistencies resulting from creative growing pains, but rather, if taken literally, allow us to see the continuing growth and shifting of their political situation.
Bailey was awesome. It’s so rare to see a Starfleet officer completely lose his cool like that. Nice headbutting between McCoy and Kirk regarding him too. Spock and Kirk are on a first name basis, so it seems they’ve been working together for a while by now. McCoy, less so, which fits since he only arrived sometime after the Gary Mitchell incident. It’s a nice dynamic and different from the later friendship the three share. First appearance of the red uniforms and gone are the sweater-style ones.
We’re getting closer to the familiar series dynamic.