Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 24 – Turnabout Intruder

Great Caesar’s ghost!

If there had been no other reason to cancel the Star Trek series, this episode, in and of itself, would provide that rationale.  But it is the last episode so here we go.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy, the holy trinity of landing parties, arrive at planet blah, blah, blah where Dr. Janice Lester, an old flame of Kirk’s from his Starfleet Academy days, is sick with radiation poisoning.  Dr. Coleman, her private physician,  informs McCoy that she needs space medicine or something.  But when they leave Kirk alone with Janice to tend to a patient who’s already dead, Janice shoots Kirk with a petite phaser that she had hidden in her purse.  Then she drags him to a wall full of lights and standing next to him pushes a button that exchanges their personalities.  Now Janice in Kirk’s body (JIKB) carries Kirk in Janice’s body (KIJB) over to the bed and starts strangling KIJB with a stylish pastel scarf.  But the others return before JIKB can get the job done.  Coleman is in cahoots with JIKB and is given medical authority over KIJB by JIKB, much to the chagrin of McCoy who feels his authority has been trampled on as ship’s physician.

Coleman keeps KIJB sedated to keep up the charade but KIJB fools dim-witted Nurse Chapel into leaving the room and smashes a drinking glass that the sedative was in, to provide a tool to cut through her restraints.  But JIKB happens to see KIJB running by and punches her out, which raises eyebrows on both McCoy and Spock.  And as you know both characters love raising their eyebrows.  At this point everyone in the crew has noted the highly emotional, annoying and sometimes hysterical actions of JIKB.  Spock is so suspicious that he interviews KIJB in the holding cell.  And he uses the Vulcan mind meld and learns the truth of the personality transfer.  When Spock acts on this knowledge he is accused by JIKB of mutiny and is court-martialed.  JIKB’s bearing and words during the trail soon raise doubts in the minds of all the officers.  When Scotty and McCoy discuss in the corridor outside the trial the outcome if Spock is acquitted Scotty states clearly that they will have to commit mutiny.  But they were recorded secretly by JIKB.  Now Spock, McCoy and Scotty are declared mutineers by JIKB and he declares that they will be executed.  Sulu shouts out that the death penalty is forbidden and JIKB flips out and has a hissy fit.  Now Sulu and Chekov as the most senior remaining officers decide to defy JIKB and when this occurs on the Bridge JIKB spazzes out and we see the personalities reverse for a brief moment before reversing again.

Now JIKB freaks out and runs down to Coleman and says he’s afraid he’ll lose the Kirk body.  Coleman tells JIKB that he must kill KIJB right away to prevent permanent reversion.  But when they go down to do this KIJB attacks Coleman and suddenly the reversion happens spontaneously.  Now we have Kirk and Janice back in their own bodies and she wails and moans about losing the Enterprise and being just a poor weak woman being discriminated against by strong cruel men.  Kirk says some incoherent things about coulda, woulda, shoulda and the thing mercifully ends.

Just to put it right out there this episode broke the Shatner Mockery Index Meter so it gets an 11 for that.  JIKB snapping at everyone in the crew and behaving like a refugee from the tenth-grade mean-girl’s lunch-table is something to behold.  It makes me wonder if Shatner was given a course of estrogen injections before the filming began.  But my favorite scene is where Spock informs JIKB on the bridge that the same star course he had ordered could be made in less time by going faster.  She flounces off the bridge with her nose in the air.  In other words, he was attacking her driving skills.  Well, what can I say?  It’s finally over.  Free at last.  Free at last.

Score:  4   //   11

Note:  this is the last episode.  When I have recovered sufficiently from the strain, I intend to do some follow-up posts on the whole series, but not right now.  Oh, the pain, the pain.

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TomD
10 months ago

The image of Kirk flouncing around seems so takei.