We'll start it off with the
Ricardo Montalban classic, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Mr. Roarke"--I mean
The Wrath of Khan--and finish up with a little change of pace for
"MonsterVision": two classic "Outer Limits" episodes, one with William
Shatner, and one with Leonard Nimoy.
But before we go where no man
has gone before, I gotta cosmic question for you: Who keeps leaving his
shoe in the middle of the highway? And why is it always ONE shoe? Where's
the other one, still in the box at Thom McCann? Is there a one-legged man
with an attitude, scattering his extras all over creation so we'll know
he's handicapped? I was on the road last week, and I saw shoes on every
major interstate between Dallas and Miami.
You can even tell what
state you're in by what KIND of shoe it is--a boot in Texas, a sandal on
the Gulf Coast, a designer flip-flop in Florida. I haven't seen
any high heels out there. Whoever's doing this is a GUY. Now here's my
Let's forget WHY somebody would strew shoes all over the
highways of America.
I wanna know HOW they do it. I know what
you're thinking. You're thinking, "Shoot, they just throw one out the
window, fling that Hush Puppie on the pavement." Wrong. Because the shoes
are never on the SIDE of the road. They're always right smack dab in the
MIDDLE of it. You would have to put triple-reverse upside-down English on
the Weejun to get the sucker to land in the middle of the lane. Nope.
All the empirical evidence points to these road shoes being
PLACED, not thrown. Somebody's doing this JUST TO AGGRAVATE ME. In fact, I
think it might be some subtle advertising ploy. Because more than half of
these shoes are BRAND NEW, like they just came off a semi headed for the
Factory Outlet Mall. One other question. Why shoes? Why is
it ONLY shoes? Why do you never see shorts, or jeans, or parkas? A ski cap? Why don't you ever see SOCKS? Someday I'll figure this out,
even if I have to toss a few Nikes of my own to experiment.
speaking of unexplained phenomena, Mr. Roarke of Fantasy Island fame is peeved at Captain Kirk
for making him stay on that dang island for all those years in our first
movie tonight, "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan."
This was the second
"Star Trek" flick--the first one, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," was one
of the most expensive movies ever made at the time due to all kinds of
production delays, and everyone hated it. So this time they pared the
budget WAY down and recycled the sets and hired Ricardo Montalban to flex
his pecs and make many threatening long-distance space calls to Captain
Kirk-- and this was BEFORE the days of 10-10-321, so it was a pretty big
deal. And this is also the one where Paramount Pictures made sure
everybody knew that Spock dies at some point in the movie, as sort of a
"Who shot J.R.?" kinda thing, got everybody talking about THAT. It was
originally slotted as a TV movie, but then they decided to take a chance
and book it in theaters, and it got great reviews and was a big hit. So
what's say we do the drive-in totals and get it started. We have:
17 dead bodies. One dead killer larva. No breasts. Two
starship battles. One mock starship battle. Nebular penetration.
Vulcan nerve pinch Vulcan mind-meld. Vulcan chemotherapy.
Exploding starship. Phaser Fu.
Three stars. Check it out,
and I'll get beamed up at the breaks to chat with you.
wonder if they have WOODEN shoes in the road in Holland? Those clodhoppers
could be actual life-threatening road hazards. Do you ever think about
bearing down on the shoe, runnin over it with your tire and makin it flip
up in the air? I love that. I've obviously been thinkin about this way too much.
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Commercial Break #1
in long robes and pointy hats are scary even when they're NOT sneaking up
on you on a lifeless planet. "Dammit, Jim, what the hell's wrong with
you?! Other people have birthdays, why are we treating yours like a
I love the throw-back dialogue in the early "Star Trek"
movies. The ones before they got hip and decided to branch off a little
from that stilted talk they did in the TV show. There've been nine "Star
Trek" flicks so far, but they dropped the Roman numerals after number
six--people aren't real keen on seeing movies where the sequel number
gets too hard to calculate, with all those V's and X's and I's. They also
dropped the original crew after that. Actually, they had the new crew AND
the old crew in part seven, but THEN Kirk and the gang started looking
like a Depends ad, so they retired em for good. But we're gettin ahead of
ourselves. We're only on number two tonight. Let's get back to it. Beam me
[fading] You'll have to bear with me, cause I'm not
really a Trekkie. Or Trekker, the fans like to be called now, right? They
think "Trekker" sounds less dorky than "Trekkie." I've been to one
of those conventions, and guess what? Trekkie Trekkie Trekkie.
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Commercial Break #2
armadillo ear-leeches--I love that part. But whoa! Is that Ricardo
Montalban's real chest? That guy's in pretty good shape for someone his
age--he was 62 when this was made. But that's also his real hair!
By the way, the Trekkies found a plot hole in the scene where Khan
captures Chekov and the black guy.
"The Wrath of Khan"--or ST:TWOK,
as they like to call it--was based on an episode of "Star Trek" called
Space Seed, starring Ricardo Montalban as a genetically- engineered
superman, who Kirk maroons on a barren planet. And this is twenty years
later, right? But here's what gets the Trekkies all in a tizzy: Walter
Koenig -- that's Chekov -- WASN'T IN THAT EPISODE. So how do he and Khan
recognize each other? Hm? Pretty astute of em, huh?
know why he recognizes him, and that's because the script had Chekov
viewing a library tape on Khan before he beams down and gets the old larva
fu in the ear. Sounds a little high on the coincky-dink scale, and maybe
the director thought so too, because they cut that scene out and rewrote
the one we saw, and the Trekkie police weren't on- hand to stomp their
feet and make em fix it.
So there you have it. Mystery solved.
Sort of. And Kirk just got the blame for wanting to steal the Genesis
thing, so let's go see what happens.
[fading] I think the Trekkies
LIKE to find things that are wrong with these movies. Gives em something
to do. Besides design websites and tape their glasses back
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Commercial Break #3
was Kirstie Alley's big movie break--did you see the "Introducing Kirstie
Alley" in the opening credits? And she was no spring chicken, was she?
You guys know what Kirstie Alley and John Travolta have in common?
Besides "Look Who's Talking" and Look Who's Talking II, which TNT
programming subjects me to when they're mad at me. That's right,
Scientology. Kirstie's a big Scientologist, says it helped her kicked her
drug addictions. Travolta gives it credit for his comeback, making him one
of the biggest stars around. He's workin' on a big sci-fi flick right now called "Battlefield Earth" written by the same guy who invented Scientology. It didn't help Kirstie save her marriage to
Parker Stevenson, though. Remember Parker Stevenson? Big "Hardy Boys"
heartthrob. Also starred in "Baywatch." They split up last year.
know, isn't that sad?
Last I heard he was suing her for custody of
the kids and $75,000 a month in child support. $75,000 a month. For a
5-year-old and a 7- year-old. Parker swears that the '63 Jag was for
little Billy, not for him.
All right, back to "TWOK"--"The Wrath
of Khan." Roll it. [fading] $75,000 a month in child support. They could
go to McDonald's for every meal, couldn't they? Kirstie must be doing
pretty well on "Veronica's Closet."
Maybe Parker Stevenson oughta
try that Scientology stuff. Maybe EYE oughta try that Scientology
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Commercial Break #4
moment of silence for Scotty's young nephew who has been maimed in the
line of duty. Okay, that's enough. Hey, don't you love those high-tech
special effects when the Enterprise is hit, and the set jerks back and
forth, and everybody's flung out of their chairs? But instead of being
flung, they look more like they're sort of JUMPING out of their chairs?
And they can never quite get the timing right, so there's always, like,
one guy jumping out of his chair two seconds after everybody else does. I
love those moments. And speaking of the set, as I mentioned earlier, the
director, Nicholas Meyer, re-used the sets from the first movie, but he
wanted to make em look more real.
So he made a few little changes.
Have you noticed those fire extinguishers hanging out there all by
themselves on the walls? That's one of Nick's touches. Nice, isn't it?
Okay, let's find out what's going on with Scotty's nephew, and why Scotty
was the only one who had an oxygen mask. Go.
[fading] "Stand by to
receive our transmission." [sotto voice] "Mr. Sulu, lock phasers on
target." [noise; jerks chair] How was that? Was that convincing? [rubs
butt] That's harder than it looks.
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Commercial Break #5
Paramount Pictures contractually bound to put DeForest Kelley in a certain
number of scenes?
I know this series ain't winning any Oscars for
anybody, but does he in particular stick out? Maybe it's just me.
I guess they're all just doin what they've always done-- makin
"Star Trek" and writin autobiographies. Almost every one of these guys has
an autobiography. Nichele Nichols has one called "Beyond Uhura," where she
goes public with her affair with Gene Roddenberry. Course, this was after
he was dead, so he couldn't deny it. George Takei-- that's Mr. Sulu, in
case you've been asleep for the last thirty years--has one called "To the
Stars," where he talks about his life in politics, which includes being
appointed to the Board of Directors of the Southern California Rapid
Transit District. I think someone needs to tell those guys that when they
were flying the Enterprise, it WASN'T REAL. William Shatner has at least
one book, and Leonard Nimoy has a couple of em. I may even read you some
of his poetry later. If we have time.
[fading] I know, that wasn't
fair, was it? Holding Leonard Nimoy's poetry out there like a carrot. This
is how I'm gonna get you guys to stick around for the second "Outer
Limits" episode. No, really, these books are great. Especially the one on
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Commercial Break
KHAAANNN! KHAAANNNN! The E-motional talents of the great
William Shatner. You'll also catch him e-moting in the first "Outer
Limits" episode we have for you later.
By the way, did you guys
catch the nasty language in that last part? Where Kirk's illegitimate son
calls him an SOB, but he doesn't say SOB? You won't hear that kinda
language on TBS, no sir. That was specially approved for "MonsterVision."
And that is, of course, Bibi Besch as the mother of Kirk's son, Dr. Carol
Marcus. Bibi was a big soap star in the late 60s, early 70s. "The Secret
Storm," "The Edge of Night," "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing." Remember
"Love! . . . is a many splendored thing."
Besch is the mother of... Samantha Mathis. She passed those cuteness genes
right on down, didn't she? Okay, this flick needs to be moved along, so
let's keep it going. Roll it.
[fading] "Khaaannn!" "Da plane! Da
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Commercial Break #7
know what doesn't make sense to me? How come every time anything goes
wrong with the Enterprise, there's this big deal about getting the power
back up? Half of Scotty's dialogue is stuff like, "We only have partial
main power, Jim.
It's the best we could do in two hours."
I mean, what's Scotty doing back there? Shoveling coal into the
engine? It's the 23rd century--can't they just flip a switch? "Hm,
headlights, tail lights, beam-up switch . . . oh, HERE it is-- power
reserve." Isn't that the way it works? And how bout that DRAMATIC scene
between William Shatner and Bibi Besch, where Kirk feels old and worn out.
Could we beat THAT horse any deader? Don't you think there are more
important things to talk about with the old girlfriend, like the fact that
he has A SON? You know? "Yeah, that's great we have a kid and everything,
but let's get back to how OLD I feel." I'm gettin worn out just listening
to him. Back to the flick.
[fading] And what's with that hair-do
Ricardo Montalban has? He looks like he's wearing one of Linda Evans' old
wigs from "Dynasty." Right after one of her bitch-slappin catfights with
Joan Collins. You guys know what I'm talking about?
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Commercial Break #8
was kind of a BORING space battle, don't you think? A lot of jockeying for
position. And that WAS supposed to be Ricardo Montalban's son, wasn't it?
Cause if it wasn't, I think there was something funny going on on the ole
S.S. Botany Bay. His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking, if you
know what I mean and I think you do. I don't want to think about
that--let's go back to the movie. Kahn is about to get all Captain Ahab on
[fading] He practices nebular penetration. He explores
strange new worlds, boldly going where no man has gone before.
"STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN" Outro
And that was the
famous Mr. Spock death scene, where Leonard Nimoy, all torn apart by
radiation, tells Kirk to live long and prosper, and collapses to his
death. And William Shatner expresses it all with that very moving: [stoic]
"No." That's not really it, is it? I think I gave it too much. But he does
lose it a little bit at the funeral. Oh, another thing that really bugs
The whole Enterprise crew keeps a stiff upper lip
during the eulogy except . . . the half-Vulcan lieutenant, Kirstie Alley.
They go nutty over that one. Of course, Kirstie Alley will cry at the drop
of a hat. Okay, we're just about at the end here, so let's wrap up "Star
Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Go.
[fading] I've mentioned this
before on this show, but I still think there's something . . . masculine
about Kirstie Alley.
I mean, she's workin that Wonderbra under her
uniform, but I don't know. Did I mention that the kids she had with Parker
Stevenson were adopted? Has anyone ever seen her nekkid? See?
What if Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan shows up on a Spanish station? Here's how the Sci-Fi channel described it on their defunct Sci-Fi in Spanish channel a few years back:
LA VENGANZA DEL KHAN
El Capitán Kirk y la tripulación del Enterprise deben
ahora combatir a Khan un viejo enemigo que busca venganza. Por primera vez, son introducidos una ex-amante de Kirk y el hijo que no conoció. Asimismo, ocurre la supuesta muerte de Spock que abre el camino a la siguiente secuela.
It's also seen occasionally on the German SciFi channel: Der Zorn des Khan
Ohne es zu wissen, landet Chekov auf dem Planeten, auf den Kirk einst Khan verbannte. Der zwingt den Russen, seinen Ex-Captain herzulocken. Zugleich hat Khan es auf das Projekt Genesis abgesehen, das Kirks einstige Liebe Dr. Marcus zusammen mit ihrem gemeinsamen Sohn leitet. Es soll die Schöpfung fruchtbarer Welten auf öden Planeten ermöglichen. Als Kirk mit einer Enterprise voller Neulinge eintrifft, greift ein Föderationsschiff an. Khan führt dort das Kommando...