Standard Orbit 114: A Tour DeForest Performance! / by Norman Lao

Dissecting Spock's Brain.

On this episode of Standard Orbit, we prep for surgery and perform a deep dissection and examination of what Star Trek fans have labelled as the "worst" episode ever in the history of The Original Series, and was even parodied as a stage production in 2004 for a limited run in Irvine, California at the Irvine Improv! William Shatner, in his autobiography Up Till Now, and in his memoirs Star Trek: Memories, called this one of the series' worst episodes; a "tribute" to NBC executives who slashed the show's budget and placed it in a bad time slot.

There was a great deal of unrest happening behind the scenes at the beginning of Star Trek's third season. Gene Coon was trying to complete his writing contract and director Marc Daniels felt marginalized by executive producer Fred Freiberger. The show budget was always under pressure which in turn forced co-producer Robert Justman and Fred Freiberger to constantly redirect creative to fit production, increasing tensions between them and the NBC front offices. Did these underlying forces ultimately affect the return The Original Series on September 20th, 1968?


Welcome to Standard Orbit (00:01:10)
The Most Hated Episode Ever? (00:02:37)
A Changing of the Guard (00:04:45)
The Remasters Show Production Stresses (00:08:21)
The Two Halves of Spock’s Brain (00:14:50)
A Tour DeForest Perfomance (00:23:30)
The WORST Episode Ever? (00:30:03)
Hailing Frequencies Open (00:46:29)
Our Final Thoughts and Thank You (00:50:19)


Norman C. Lao and Jeffrey Harlan


Ken Tripp


C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer), Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer), Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer), Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer), Ken Tripp (Editor and Associate Producer), Renee Roberts (Associate Producer), Richard Rutledge (Associate Producer), Richard Marquez (Production Manager), Will Nguyen (Content Manager)