Well, I was wrong on all counts. Yes, it is a lot more primitive, but once you swallow the cheap '60's styling, it isn't all that bad. The modern remastered version has replaced most of the effects shots with CGI, so the ship isn't made of stickyback plastic covered in tissue paper and PVA glue any more. Not all of them though - in "The Alternative Factor", the ship still gets attacked by the Triffid Nebula and (for some reason) a whirling newspaper. And yes, I mean that literally.
|The Triffid Nebula will not stand for your shenanigans.|
Watching the original series 40 years late is a little weird, sociologically. It's at once ground-breakingly politically correct (probably more than any show, ever), what with a black female officer and a Russian flying the ship, yet it's also quite bizarrely anti-feminist. So while most of the women are intelligent and professional (Uhura not only deals with communications but also takes the helm when required), the minute they find a pretty dress they become useless baubles who are totally incapable of doing anything. Not to mention the immortal line by Captain Pike in the pilot episode : "I just can't get used to having a woman on the bridge."
|The characters may be identical but at least one of them is now ironic.|
It's also true that the first few episodes are particularly bloody for the crew of the Enterprise. In fact the rate of attrition is so high that a five-year mission is off the cards, because everyone would be dead in about three years. But these too are anomalies. The total number of on-screen permanent (i.e. not brought back to life by aliens / gods / McCoy / sheer luck) crew deaths is 4 red shirts, 3 blue and 4 gold. There are also reported casualties that we don't see, but these only total about a dozen. So, sadly, there's absolutely no basis for the idea that wearing a red shirt shortens life expectancy.
All in all, season 1 leads me to conclude that the good name of Captain James R / T Kirk (it's R in an early episode, then changes to T later on) has been sullied by later parodies. A violent womaniser happy to see his men fall in the line of duty ? Hardly. He's a worrying bureaucratic gentleman, devoted to his crew and mission of peaceful exploration. Ensign Ricky need not fear for his insurance premiums in season 1. Of course, whether all this lasts into season 2 remains to be seen...