An on-going series of Star Trek: The Original Series episode reviews
Hi, I’m Sue. As I write this post and gather my thoughts on classic science-fiction, my attention keeps being drawn to The Next Food Network Star and I am an Anomaly.
To be honest, I’m not getting through these episodes as quickly as I thought. There’s more going on in my summer than I had planned. But neither costumes nor summer shows nor oppressive humidity will stay this Trekkie from the eventual completion of the TOS project. So here goes!
1×09 Dagger of the Mind
Summary: The Enterprise visits a planet that houses a correctional facility to deliver supplies and transport some cargo. But a prisoner (or is he?) makes his way onto the ship, and is saying some very disturbing things. Mostly based on McCoy’s gut, Kirk investigates.
Thoughts: This is some pretty decent science fiction, IMO – I’m usually down for the “psychological thriller” type of story. Once again, Kirk is totally awestruck by an attractive woman. And, go figure, when she is told to make an odd suggestion while Kirk testing the effects of the neural neutralizer, she supposedly put her fantasy in his head. Personally, I would have had Jim Kirk cluck like a chicken for a while. Historical note: this episode boasts the first appearance of the Vulcan mind meld – it sure looks different than I’m used to.
1×10 The Corbomite Maneuver
Summary: The Enterprise encounters a spinning, glowing cube that blocks their path, no matter how they try to get around it. But they press on, destroying the buoy, and angering Commander Balok and the First Federation.
Thoughts: Uhura’s in gold again. And Bailey, the Wesley-like character from “The Naked Time,” is back and apparently not taking well to his assignment. Sorry, but I can’t not mention another one of Kirk’s misogynistic comments about how he was assigned a “female yeoman.” At least McCoy puts the onus back on him with the reply: “What’s the matter, Jim? Don’t trust yourself?” But, the actual story of this episode was what I have come to expect from Star Trek – the Federation and another “species” (or so they think) trying to figure out each other’s true intentions, coming to an understanding, and then deciding to learn from one another instead of go to war.
1×11, 1×12 The Menagerie (Parts I and II)
Summary: Spock claims to have received a message from Captain Pike, the Enterprise’s former commander, and at Spock’s insistence, Kirk rushes the Enterprise to Starbase 11, only to find that Pike has been involved with a “space disaster” and can’t even speak. Spock manipulates computers and records in order to bring Pike onto the Enterprise and set a course for Talos IV, a forbidden world. With the ship under computer control, Spock undergoes a preliminary hearing (in a “court of space law”) in which his tries to explain the reasoning behind these actions.
Thoughts: First, I think it’s pretty clever how Roddenberry used the footage from his unaired pilot in to make 2 new episodes. I don’t really love the bookend story – they keep telling me how Spock is emotionless, but he goes rogue in order to help his former Captain. That’s seems pretty emotional to me. Maybe the writers didn’t really have a handle on this whole Vulcan thing yet? Based on what I know of Spock from the rest of the Star Trek cannon, these episodes were very out of character. Also, in this episode in particular, I am reminded of Futurama‘s wonderful tendency to stick the word “space” in front of normal, everyday nouns.
1×13 The Conscience of the King
Summary: The Enterprise is called urgently to Planet Q (seriously?) by Dr. Thomas Leighton, who claims to have discovered a new synthetic food source, which could end the threat of famine. But, it turns out, that was a ploy to get Kirk’s attention and he actually believes that an actor in a visiting theater troupe is “Kodos the Executioner,” a former colony leader who is responsible for a massacre of more than 4000 people.
Thoughts: Meh. I thought this was dull. Someone is killing off everyone who could identify Kodos. The remaining 2 are on the Enterprise, and it just so happens that Kirk arranges to transport the troupe to investigate Dr. Leighton’s claims. Of course, Kodos/Karidian has a daughter. Of course, Kirk’s into her. And of course, she’s the one murdering the witnesses, in order to protect her father, unbeknownst to him. I’ve feel like I’ve seen this same story at least 3 times on every initial-heavy crime show. But Shakespeare references are always appreciated.
More thoughts thus far: You know, I have never actually witnessed a man being struck dumb mid-sentence of physically taken aback because a beautiful woman has walked into the room. I suppose this was more common in the 1960’s? Because this happens to the men of the Enterprise in practically every episode, and it’s getting a little ridiculous.
And, as one of my favorite FNS contestants is eliminated, that does it for this week. Until next time…
More TOS Project
About the Project
Sue is a life-long Star Trek fan. Although she’d seen every single episode (most more than once) of TNG, DS9, Voyager and even Enterprise, she had never watched The Original Series before 2014. The TOS Project was conceived to correct that, and cover the original three seasons of the 1966 television series, the six feature films with the same cast, and the oft-forgotten Animated Series.