Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 14 – Whom Gods Destroy

Oy!  Well, we’re back to season three material.  Kirk and Spock bring medicine to an insane asylum under a dome on a planet with a poison atmosphere.  But it turns out that the director is really one of the patients.  A former star ship captain named Captain Garth has shifted shape to look like the director and takes Kirk and Spock captive.  He attempts to get onto the Enterprise by assuming Kirk’s form but he doesn’t know the password that Kirk gave to Scotty before he left the ship.

So, Garth tortures Kirk.  When that doesn’t work, he tries to tempt Kirk with a scantily clad woman that possesses all the characteristics valued by the superficial male.  This woman is played by Yvonne Craig who was Batgirl back in the 1960s.  But Kirk resists.  Then Spock frees Kirk and they contact the Enterprise but this time it’s Spock who is Captain Garth in disguise.  But Kirk figures out the trick and refuses to give the password.  Finally, the real Spock shows up and after a Kirk-on-Kirk hand-to-hand fight he stuns the fake Kirk and ends this boring tale.

Analyzing this feeble tale breaks into three components.  First there is the theatrical value.  This is less than negligible.  Second is the Shatner mockery index.  This is actually quite high.  Between the Kirk facial expressions during the torture and the psychotic breakdown that Garth has while in Kirk’s form there is plenty to enjoy.  The third component let us call miscellaneous effects.  Ms. Craig performs a spirited and sultry dance of lusty debauchery which is at least something.

But rolling all three of these components together still can’t salvage this poor mess.

I’ll call it 4 // 6.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 13 – Elaan of Troyius

Finally!  Something bearable.

In this episode the Enterprise is conveying a royal bride from her own planet to a neighboring planet where she will wed the neighboring planet’s king.  But the inhabitants of the two planets hate each other viscerally.  The ambassador who is supposed to tutor the princess in the manners of her new home is stabbed by her for his trouble.

So, Captain Kirk decides to take over the job.  But when she throws a knife at him, he decides that coddling her is a mistake and so he threatens to spank her.  She starts to cry and he gallantly wipes the tear away.  But unknown to Kirk the women of her planet have a biochemical agent in their tears that ensnares the man contacted with them to a permanent state of love with that woman.  So, of course, Kirk starts pawing her and slobbering over her which she encourages.

Meanwhile a Klingon ship is waiting for word from a member of the princess’s entourage on the Enterprise.  He sabotages the dilithium crystals and informs the Klingons.  The sabotage is an act of jealousy because of the princess’s upcoming marriage.  The Klingons order the helpless Enterprise to surrender.  The plan is to destroy the wedding and thereby discredit the Federation in the eyes of the planets in the system and leave it open to Klingon hegemony.

Luckily the princess has a wedding gift of a necklace made of dilithium crystals (the reason for the Klingons’ interest in the system).  She gives it to Kirk who has Scotty and Spock install them in the matter-antimatter engines just in time to save the Enterprise from destruction and damage the Klingon ship enough to send it limping away.

The princess and Kirk sadly part ways as she beams down for her wedding.  In the final scene McCoy arrives excitedly on the bridge and tells Spock that he has isolated a cure for the love potion.  Spock informs McCoy that he is too late.  Apparently, the Enterprise already has an unbreakable lock on Kirk’s heart that has allowed him to get over the princess.    McCoy replies that he doesn’t think there is an antidote for Kirk’s love for the Enterprise.  And Spock seems to agree.

So, that’s the plot.  Very hokey, very silly.  But surprisingly funny.  Kirk’s annoyance with the arrogance of the princess and his decision to treat her as a spoiled brat are entertaining.  And the show ends off with a space battle between the Enterprise and a Klingon war ship so the episode is well into the acceptable range of Star Trek episodes.  And once Kirk has been infected by the princess’s tears, Shatner does indeed ham it up with his patented facial expressions of confusion and emotional turmoil.  It reminds me of the expression some people have when they’re trying to remember where they left their car keys or maybe are suffering from gas.

I’m so glad this episode didn’t suck quite as bad as the last few.  I was losing the will to live.

I’ll give this a  7  // 6.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 12 – The Empath

This episode involves aliens torturing the Enterprise landing party.  And I feel as if I were being tortured just by having to watch the episode.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to planet blah, blah, blah to evacuate scientists that were observing a star that is about to nova.  The scientists have been abducted and almost immediately so are the landing party.  They find a pretty girl with way too much make-up and a sensible short hair style, the sort to be found on women playing nurses on soap opera series.  She is a mute and it turns out she is a “total empath” which McCoy explains means she can heal other’s injuries by transferring them to herself and then healing herself.

The aliens, called Vians, that have captured Kirk and company have already tortured the scientists to death and placed their dead bodies in clear cylinders so that Kirk and company can see their tortured expressions and become outraged.  Now they start torturing the landing party starting with Kirk.  This involves taking off Kirk’s shirt and suspending him with manacles and chains by his wrists and then beating him.  We can’t see what they are hitting him with.  But I imagine it’s either an energy weapon or a sack full of oranges.

The empath that McCoy has nicknamed Gem heals Kirk’s injuries.  Next the Vians tell Kirk he must choose whether their final victim will be Spock or McCoy.  McCoy tricks Kirk and Spock by sedating them with his hypodermic needle.  The Vians beat him with the sack full of oranges to the brink of death and then Spock and Kirk witness Gem hesitantly trying to heal McCoy.  We find out all of this is a test to see if Gem’s people are worthy of being saved from the nova by the Vians.  If she possesses the “instinct” to sacrifice her own life to save another then she passes and her people will be saved.  After some diffidence over whether her efforts were sufficient the Vians end the test and save McCoy.  Then they scoop up Gem and leave.  The episode ends with the landing party back on the bridge and trading witticisms about “Gem” being a pearl of great price.

As you can probably tell by the summary this is a weak episode.  A shirtless Shatner suspended by the wrists and writhing in pain has some comic value no doubt.  But this is very thin gruel.  The Vians are funny looking with their bony skulls and silver dishdashas but other than a slight amount of sympathy for the dying McCoy what are we looking at here?  Season three strikes again.

I’ll give it a 5 // 5.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 11 – Wink of an Eye

I know this is hardly an earth-shattering revelation but watching this episode has crystalized a theory about Star Trek third season episodes.  The basic idea is that the producer must read the script and depending on just how bad it is he decides how close to naked his female guest star has to be to distract the viewers from the awfulness of the plot.  In the case of “Wink of an Eye,” even full-frontal nudity would not have been enough.  The femme fatale in this episode is an alien named Deela from planet blah, blah, blah.  She must be wearing a bikini with some gauzy tie-dyed scarf draped over most of her bathing suit.  She and her fellow aliens have sent out the obligatory distress signal which lures the Enterprise to send out Kirk and McCoy with some rando red shirt who almost immediately vanishes in the wink of an eye.  There are no people to find but they hear a buzzing that they assume is insects.  Returning to the ship the buzzing follows them and strange things start happening.  Some kind of HVAC hosing is attached into the Enterprise’s life support system and a force field keeps the crew from tampering with the modifications.

Eventually the aliens dope kirk’s coffee and suddenly the crew of the Enterprise slows down almost to statues and suddenly he can see Deela.  The big surprise is that the aliens move at such a hyper fast speed that they cannot be seen by normal humans.  And their speech is so rapid it sounds like mosquitos buzzing.  Deela tells Kirk that she is the queen and Kirk will be her love slave so that she can produce children.  Her race became accelerated by a release of radiation on her planet.  The whole species is down to five individuals, two women and three men.  And the men are sterile so they need to capture men to use as fathers for the next generation.  After putting the moves on Kirk, he escapes and tries to interfere with the HVAC hoses but is zapped by one of the eunuch aliens who are sore at Kirk for being virile enough to mate with Deela.

Kirk in desperation leaves a recording explaining what is going on and of course Spock has already figured out that the buzzing is rapid speech.  He slows down Kirk’s recording and orders McCoy to make an antidote for the accelerator drug and once that’s been done, he drinks the rest of Kirk’s coffee and becomes hyper-Spock.  He joins Kirk and they turn the tables on Deela by stealing her hyper-blaster.  They send Deela and company back to planet blah, blah, blah and drive off in the Enterprise with Kirk looking lustfully at a photo of Deela on the bridge main viewing screen.

This is awful stuff.  Whereas the idea of the accelerated creatures is kind of interesting the way it’s handled is pathetic.  At one point Kirk fires his phaser at Deela and she just slowly moves out of the way to avoid the slow beam of light.  Apparently, she moves faster than the speed of light.  This show must have been written by idiots for idiots.

And how exactly can five people maintain a society?  They call Deela the queen but what kind of monarchy can rule over four subjects?  She’s more like an annoying neighbor with delusions of grandeur.  At one point Kirk pretends that he has gone along with Deela’s plan and placidly talks about not offending her and doing the right thing.  It’s really kind of creepy and made the episode even more unpleasant to watch.

This episode sucked.  It only gets a few Shatner mockery points and Deela’s costume doesn’t warrant much credit either.

I rate this a 2  //  3.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 10 – Plato’s Stepchildren

In the immortal words of the inimitable Dr. Zachary Smith, “Oh, the pain, the pain.”

It is difficult to write this review.  It is painful to have to think about this episode.  I feel those responsible should be punished.  And even if most are already dead, I feel something must be done to punish them.  Perhaps grave robbery might make sense.  I don’t know, maybe that’s too much.

The general sense of the plot is that Kirk, McCoy and Spock visit planet blah blah blah where people dress as ancient Greeks who have enormous telekinetic powers but need a doctor to cure gangrene caused by a paper cut.  Once McCoy does the trick, the toga people want to keep him permanently.  The Enterprise landing party refuses and the toga club starts messing with them to make them change their minds.  They have Kirk and Spock reciting lines from Alice in Wonderland (Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee).  Kirk is forced to slap himself silly.  They make a dwarf ride Kirk like a pony.  Spock does a flamenco dance around Kirk’s head.  Spock and Nurse Chapel and Kirk and Uhura are forced into a make-out session.  And as the finale Spock and Kirk are getting ready to put on some kind of torture session with the girls using a bull whip and a branding iron.

Of course, the brilliant counter-plan gives Spock and Kirk even greater telekinetic powers than their tormentors in the nick of time and they turn the tables on the “Platonists.”  They give the kooky supermen a stern warning about bullying spacemen.  And then just to show they mean business they take away their dwarf.

This has to be one of the bottom three episodes in the whole series.  It has to be.  The dialog between Spock and Nurse Chapel and Kirk and Uhura is beyond embarrassing.  The ham acting by Shatner and Nimoy is startling.  The only decent performances are by the lead male and female Platonists.  Their cool detachment and excellent enunciation were the only parts of the episode that weren’t awful.

Of course, all this also means this episode has the highest Shatner mockery factor imaginable.  I’m tempted to give it an eleven in that category but that would be wrong.

I’ll call this episode and 3 // 10.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 09 – The Tholian Web

The Enterprise is on a mission to find and aid a missing starship, the USS Defiant.  They locate the ship but it appears to be slipping in and out of some kind of interface between our universe and another.  So, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Chekov beam aboard the Defiant wearing space suits.  They find the ship filled with dead crew.  It appears that they went mad and killed each other.  But the ship begins dematerializing so Kirk tells Scotty to beam them back to the Enterprise.  But only three of the transporter stations are functioning so Kirk stays while the others are beamed over.  When Kirk’s turn comes, he is halfway to being beamed over when the Defiant completely vanishes into the interface, never to be seen again in our universe.

Now Kirk is trapped between universes and won’t be close enough to rescue for a couple of hours.  Meanwhile Chekov goes mad and attacks Spock on the Enterprise bridge and has to be restrained in sick bay.  He is suffering from the same madness as the crew of the Defiant.  McCoy theorizes that the distortion of space-time where they are located is slowly damaging the brains of the humans exposed to it.  And one by one members of the crew go insane and have to be restrained.  McCoy begins trials to find a medicine that will halt and reverse the effects of the space-time rift on the crew.

A ship of the Tholian race approaches the Enterprise and informs them that they are trespassing.  Spock explains that they are waiting to retrieve a crew member who is trapped in an interface between universes and the rescue won’t occur for about two hours.  The Tholians agree to wait exactly that amount of time before attacking the Enterprise.  When the estimated time occurs, the transporter attempts to lock onto Kirk but he’s not there.  Spock speculates that the appearance of the Tholian ship disrupted the local space-time and offset Kirk’s location.  Spock speculates that it will be twenty more minutes before Kirk shows up.  Meanwhile the Tholian ship begins attacking the Enterprise and Spock orders a phaser bombardment.  This forces the Tholian ship to break off its attack.  Now a second Tholian ship shows up and docks with the first ship.  Afterwards it is seen that the two ships begin spinning a web between their ships to form a cage around the Enterprise made of energy.  Spock estimates that the cage will be complete at exactly the time that Kirk might show up again.

Not knowing if Kirk would return from the other universe to be rescued Spock convenes a ceremony for the crew to memorialize Kirk’s life.  Afterward McCoy berates Spock for not moving the ship out of the area before the Tholians attacked.  Spock basically tells him to mind his own business and find a cure for the madness.  But McCoy insists that before anything else he and Spock were duty bound to listen to a recording that Kirk had left for them.  It was instructions to them on the occasion of his death.  In the recording Kirk counsels Spock to go to McCoy whenever pure logic is insufficient to determine the right decision in a desperate circumstance.  He tells Spock to listen to McCoy’s advice and use his own judgement on its soundness.  And Kirk tells McCoy to advise Spock but never to forget that ultimately the captain had the responsibility to make the command decisions.

Now Kirk starts appearing inside the ship as a sort of phantom.  When Uhura sees him in her cabin she runs out and tells McCoy.  But he assumes that the madness is starting to affect her mind. Shortly afterwards McCoy comes up with a cure for the madness and gives it to the crew.  Now Scotty has a similar sighting of Kirk and based on this Spock prepares to enact a plan to lock a tractor beam onto Kirk and then throw the Enterprise into the time-space rift in order to escape the Tholian Web.  And it works.  The Enterprise is hurled blah, blah parsecs into space and when Kirk’s phantom appears in the bridge viewscreen Spock orders the transporter to capture Kirk.  And that works too.  McCoy is there to give Kirk an emergency oxygen blood boost and he quickly recovers his usual Shatnerian presence.  When he asks them afterward about listening to his “death tape,” Spock and McCoy lie and say they were too busy to listen to it.

Okay, so what about all that?  Well, for season three this has to be considered a pretty good story.  Sure, there’s some hokey stuff.  But the story is relatively coherent.  There actually is some dramatic tension around the menace to the ship versus losing Captain Kirk.  And the relationship between Kirk and his friends Spock and McCoy is handled in a clever and somewhat moving way.

The goofier aspects should be noted.  Chekov’s berserk attack on Spock and the howls he lets off once he’s restrained in sick bay are pretty weird.  And the phantom images of Kirk floating around the Enterprise in his space suit making spastic faces at the crew is pretty dopey looking.

But all things considered this is a solid episode and I was pleasantly surprised by it.  I’ll give this one a 7 // 5.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 08 – For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

I prefer to call this episode “For the Show is Cancelled and I Must Call My Agent.”  This one’s a doozy.  We start off with the Enterprise under attack from sub-light speed missiles which are easily destroyed by the ship’s phasers.  Following the path of the missiles back they find that an asteroid about 200 miles in diameter was the source and that the asteroid is a powered ship on a collision course with planet blah-blah-blah V.  The asteroid is hollow with a breathable atmosphere within but somehow the Enterprise’s sensors can’t detect the inhabitants.

Before Kirk and Spock can transport into the asteroid a panicked call from Nurse Chapel to the bridge warns us all is not well in Sick Bay but before we can assume that McCoy has gotten grabby with the good nurse, we find out that McCoy is dying of plasmopneumohyposarcocorneomyelofruitrolleos and has less than a year to live.  After the shock wears off for Kirk all three intrepid officers head for the transporter while Scotty is left holding the bag trying to keep Sulu, Chekov and Uhura focused on their work instead of talking about their favorite boy bands.

The people on the asteroid dress like denizens of Studio 54 with their pastel and plaid patterned pajamas and phony looking swords.  But phony or not they easily overpower the landing party.  The rather pretty high priestess Natira takes a shine to McCoy and brings the three spacemen to the presence of the Oracle.  The Oracle looks like an elevator button on a plaster cast wall display.  But he packs a wallop.  He zaps our three friends just to show them who’s boss.

A subplot is Natira convincing McCoy to stay on the asteroid to live out his year with her.  The catch is that McCoy has to have an implant that allows the Oracle to read his thoughts and kill him if he commits sacrilege, as for instance if he tells anyone that they are living inside of an asteroid instead of a planet.  When Spock and Kirk retreat to the Enterprise to escape a death sentence for spying on the Oracle.  McCoy gets zapped by the Oracle when he tries to tell them about how to fix the faulty guidance system that is heading the asteroid toward a collision with planet blah-blah-blah V which is supposed to be the destination of the asteroid/escape ship.

Kirk and Spock save McCoy by removing the implant and then save Natira by removing her implant.  Then Kirk hits Ctrl+Alt+Del to shut off the Oracle.  Spock fixes the glitch in the guidance system and hopefully turns off the murderous Oracle permanently.  McCoy decides to go back to the ship so that he can find a cure for plasmopneumohyposarcocorneomyelofruitrolleos (not for himself of course, but for the good of all mankind) but Natira decides to stay with her people and colonize planet blah-blah-blah V.  By the way, no explanation as to why the inhabitants there won’t take offense at illegal immigrants showing up uninvited but we’ll let that pass.  And right at the last-minute Spock scans the memory banks of the ship and determines that the Oracle has a cure for McCoy’s case of plasmopneumohyposarcocorneomyelofruitrolleos.  After some grunting and groaning and a blanket over him on the sick bay bed so he doesn’t catch cold, McCoy is cured.  And just to show everyone he’s a sport Kirk tells McCoy that he’ll make sure the Enterprise is near to planet blah-blah-blah V in 390 days when the asteroid shows up so McCoy can make a booty call on Natira.

Alright, this episode isn’t a total loss.  Natira is a pretty babe wearing some kind of a two-piece metallic silk wrap-around garment which sort of works on her.  Beyond that?  Well, not so much.  The plot has a dozen holes in it.  How exactly can sub-light speed weapons even find the Enterprise when it’s travelling at some supra-light speed?  How in hell could Spock find the cure for plasmopneumohyposarcocorneomyelofruitrolleos in an alien database in less than a minute and a half?  Why would a cute babe be interested in McCoy?  Why are there still 16 episodes left in Season 3 for me to suffer through?  But this is still not the worst episode I’ve seen.

I’ll give it a 5 // 2.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 07 – Day of the Dove

The plot of this episode has the well-worn trope of a creature that feeds off of human emotions.  In this one distress calls summons both the Enterprise and a Klingon warship to a planet with each side believing that the other side has destroyed one of their colonies.  But when they reach the planet the Enterprise landing party finds no evidence of a colony at all.  Somehow the Klingon ship is badly damaged with all but forty of the crew killed.  The surviving Klingons beam down and attack the landing party and force Kirk to beam them aboard the Enterprise so that they can take it over.  But Kirk alerts Spock using a warning signal on his communicator and the Klingons are beamed up but subdued.  The Klingon captain, Kang and his wife Mara, who is also the science officer, of course, rage against the questioning by Kirk about their supposed massacre of a colony.  But suddenly the Enterprise crew’s phasers are turned into really phony looking swords.  And the Klingons are also armed with swords so the two sides start hacking away at each other.  Simultaneously the Enterprise bulkhead doors on most of the ship seal, cutting off all but forty of the crew from subduing an equal number of Klingons.  It turns out any injuries from the sword fighting heal at a ridiculous rate so the sides always remain balanced.  And most annoyingly the ship is taken over by some outside force that speeds it up to Warp Factor 9 and toward the edge of the galaxy.  And finally, just for good measure, the dilithium crystals begin to degenerate and only have enough power to last until the end credits of the show appear.  After four or five times that we see some sort of translucent spinning pinwheel thingy hovering around the Enterprise set, we are told that a creature composed of “pure energy” is on board and feeding off the hate of the two sides.  It even controls the minds of the crew and puts false memories in their heads like Chekov believing that Klingons were responsible for the murder of his imaginary brother.  Even McCoy, Scotty, Spock and Kirk start bandying racial epithets and insults against each other, which is quite amusing.

Eventually Kirk snaps out of his emotional state and figures out that he must call a truce with the Klingons and stop the fighting before the dilithium crystals are all gone.  When Kirk saves Kang’s wife from being sexually assaulted by Chekov, he tries to convince her to help him reason with Kang.  After Mara sees the alien, she is convinced and she and Kirk beam into the engineering deck somehow or other and confront Kang with the situation.  After a sword fight with Kang, Kirk convinces him of the truth of the alien situation and they yell at the alien and tell it to leave and then Kirk and Kang start yucking it up together and backslapping each other and this hurts the alien’s feeling and it leaves in a huff.

Surprisingly, this pathetic story was quite amusing to watch.  The actor who portrayed Kang, Michael Ansara, was quite entertaining in his Klingon face paint and swaggering insolence.  And all the hysterical overacting by Chekov, McCoy, Scotty and of course Kirk was also highly entertaining.  Chekov’s attempt to make out with the Klingon woman and Kirk’s outraged attack on Chekov in her defense were equally hilarious.  And there was terrible fake sword fighting and bellowing charges of red shirts in all directions.  I would say the highlight of Kirk mockery activity was Kirk lifting up Chekov and carrying him away in his arms like a child after he knocked him out for groping Mara.

I won’t try to defend my opinion of this episode.  I openly admit that the plot was hackneyed and idiotic.  But it was just the right amount of idiotic to allow Shatner and company to do their thing.  Well done!  One of the best season three episodes so far.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 06 – Spectre of the Gun

In this one, an alien race with telepathic powers decides to kill Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov by forcing them to re-enact the Gunfight at the OK Corral as the Clantons.  I can see why CBS would be glad to film this episode.  They could reuse some of the old sets from their Rawhide series.

They were kind enough to throw in a pretty girl as the love interest for Chekov and we did get some western style background music.  The whole thing had a kind of Twilight Zone feel to it.  The plot device that is used to save our friends is the realization that none of the western setup is actually real so that if Kirk and friends know that the bullets aren’t real then they won’t be harmed by them.

So, the majority of the episode is Kirk, Chekov and McCoy interacting with the Earps and other townspeople while Spock builds a gas bomb that when tested on a skeptical Scotty doesn’t work.  But its failure confirms for Spock that the world they are inhabiting is an illusion that can’t harm them if they can ignore it.  At some point one of the Earps that is in love with Chekov’s girlfriend shoots Chekov and apparently kills him.  But at the end of the show when Chekov ends up alive McCoy explains it by saying that to Chekov the only thing that was real was the girl.  Now that doesn’t make a lot of sense because he did act like he had been shot when it happened but that’s what they give us to hide the plot hole so I guess we’ll have to live with it.

The climax is the gunfight.  Spock has prepared his human friends with the Vulcan mind-meld so that they will thoroughly believe the bullets are fake and so they will not be harmed.  The Earps blast away at the four Enterprise crewman and we see the fence behind the crewmen splintered by sustained gunfire as the Earps empty all their guns.  Then Kirk beats up Wyatt Earp and draws his gun as if to shoot him but then changes his mind and throws the gun away.  Almost immediately Kirk and company find themselves back on the Enterprise and discover that Chekov is unharmed.  The alien changes his mind about earthmen and decides he wants to be friends.  The show ends with Kirk and Spock discussing the violent nature of humans and how they have overcome it.

This is not a highly creative script.  The plot is similar to several that preceded it.  The acting and the dialog are just average and there wasn’t even much humor to make it more interesting.  Scotty did get to comment approvingly on the bourbon that the town had to offer for his drinking pleasure.  And Chekov was a source of amusement as the crew tried to drag him away from the woman who was infatuated with him. Shatner didn’t have much chance to show off his overacting ability.

I’ll give this a 5 // 2.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 05 – Is There in Truth No Beauty?

Ah, finally a third season episode that doesn’t make you run screaming.  It’s not great but it’s far from awful.

This one involves a blind telepathic human woman named Miranda Jones who is the attaché of a creature called a medusan.  He is described as an energy being but he is so visually hideous that a human that looks at him will be instantly rendered insane.  For this reason, the medusan, Kollos,  travels around in a low, wide, rectangular, metal garbage can with a hinged lid.  But once the lid starts to open, we get a glimpse of Fourth of July sparklers and then scary music starts to play.

Spock and Miranda are in competition for the attentions of Kollos.  Miranda is jealous because if Spock wears a red filter over his eyes, he can look directly at Kollos without going mad, whereas Miranda, being blind, can’t see him at all.  If none of this makes any sense to you, welcome to the club.  Anyway, some other guy Lawrence Marvick, who both loves Miranda and designed the Enterprise is along on the trip.  He is trying to dissuade Miranda from going off to live with Kollos instead of shacking up with him.  When she rebuffs his pleas, this guy goes to kill Kollos with a phaser but, big surprise, before he can shoot Kollos he goes mad and runs away.

Marvick runs to the engine room and after beating up Scotty and three or four red shirts he hijacks the Enterprise and sends it out of the galaxy at Warp 9.5!  And as you well know that almost Warp 10!  He dies shortly after accomplishing this feat and the crew find themselves outside the galaxy in an area of intergalactic space where there are pretty lights and no highway signs.  We are told that they are in a space time continuum.  Of course, I thought we were all in the space time continuum, but whatever.  They are hopelessly lost!

So now the plan is for Spock to fuse his mind with Kollos because medusans have built in GPS in their sparkler.  This works but after getting them back into the galaxy and within satellite coverage, Spock forgets to put on his visor and sees Kollos which drives him mad.  Now he beats up Kirk and McCoy and Sulu and Chekov for a couple of minutes until Kirk stuns him with a phaser.  At this point Spock is dying and only Miranda might be able to save him by some kind of telepathic chiropractic manipulation.  But when time has passed and results have not been forthcoming Kirk runs into the sick bay and yells at Miranda and manhandles her a little bit.  This seems to have the desired effect and Miranda brings Spock back to his good old Vulcan self.  After that there are a few apologies and then Miranda takes her garbage pail and leaves.

As I mentioned, this is not an awful episode.  Some of the highlights are Scotty wearing his kilt to a fancy dinner for Miranda, Kirk showing off the Enterprise Florist Shop where he allows a blind woman to stick herself with a thorn on one of the lousy roses they have growing there. And let’s not forget the cool wavy lights in the extra-galactic dead zone.   But possibly the bright spot of the episode is Leonard Nimoy acting as Kollos during their fusion.  We see a very human and friendly character experiencing human senses and greeting all the people that he knows from being Spock as if seeing them for the first time.  It’s a naturalistic portrayal that I found enjoyable.

I’ll give this episode a 6 // 2.  There was very little hysterics from Shatner, thus the low number in the Shatner Mockery Index.