classic Star Trek episode reviews


FIRST SEASON

(6/23/97) The Cage - This was the original pilot, and since much of it was chopped and spliced into what became "The Menagerie" it's not a high-quality print. The story revolves around a different crew's adventure on Talos IV, whose natives have almost infinite illusionary powers. Notable features: Spock-cam, Spock grinning like an idiot, b&w segments, aliens whose heads look like butts, and Captain Pike's apparent and complete lack of interest in females (Kirk would've gotten with that green chick!) rating: fair

(6/24/97) The Man Trap - The Enterprise goes to check on a scientist and his wife, on a remote planet. Something else is there, though, and it likes to kill people and leave red sucker-marks all over their faces. They didn't have redshirts at this point in the game, either. Sulu appears for the first time (he seems to be the ship's botanist.) Spock gets to fight too, but hasn't learned the Vulcan neck-pinch. Crew fatalities: 3 rating: fair

(6/24/97) Charlie X - Charlie, an immature and inexperienced teen with godlike powers, is let loose upon the Enterprise. Spock only grins once in this episode, while Kirk displays much of the basis for his later womanizing attitude. Uhura sings. Sulu tends his garden. Still no redshirts. rating: fair

(6/25/97) Where No Man Has Gone Before - The Enterprise attempts to break through the barrier at the edge of the galaxy, but all that happens is the couple of crew members with latent ESP potential gain tremendous mental powers. First appearance of Scotty, Sulu's still hanging around, no Uhura, no McCoy. And still no redshirts. This one falls into the same plot category as "Charlie X" except it has the cool edge-of-the-galaxy effects. Crew fatalities: 2 rating: fair

(6/26/97) The Naked Time - While orbiting a planet that's breaking up, the ship is infected by an insanity-causing virus that one of the crew brings back on board. This is the one where Sulu runs around with the fencing foil and the Irishman takes over the engine room. The nurse hits on Spock, so Kirk has to smack him back to his senses. All of the basic crew members are present and accounted for except Chekov. This is also the first episode where they have to pull a solution out of their ass before the ship is destroyed. Crew fatalities: 1 rating: good

(6/29/97) The Enemy Within - A transporter malfunction leads to a Kirk-duplicate with all of his aggressive traits, while the "real" good-guy Kirk is a complete wimp. They've got to figure out how to reverse this and fix the transporter before the landing party freezes in the 120-below-zero surface conditions. The evil Kirk had some good faces and screams, plus he makes a move on the yeoman. A poodle also gets to wear a fake horn and be an alien dog. Still no Chekov, and Uhura is absent too. And the redshirts have yet to appear. rating: fair

(6/30/97) Mudd's Women - The Enterprise picks up a tiny ship and its passengers - almost dooming themselves in the process - and trouble follows as the ship's lithium (!) crystals degenerate. Harry Mudd: was he supposed to be British? Irish? Scottish? How about Foolish? Speaking of foolish, Mudd and his three female passengers get away with all kinds of foolishness. This wasn't a good episode; nobody on the Enterprise had anything resembline a spine, they all just let Mudd do whatever he wanted. Other features: McCoy going goo-goo over one of the women, Farrell instead of Chekov, the ship's computer being able to detect lies, a completely incoherent ending. We sat there and thought of half a dozen ways Kirk could have gotten his ship out of the predicament. Quote from Spock at end, which applies well to this little adventure: "I'm happy the affair is over. A most annoying, emotional episode." Amen, Spock. Amen. rating: fair

(7/1/97) What Are Little Girls Made Of? - The ship stops by to check on Dr. Corby, but instead finds a sinister plot afoot. Well, it's not so much a plot as an idea, but the premise is creepy. Ted Cassidy (Lurch from The Addams Family) guest-stars. Kirk tries to fight with a stalactite-piece that looks like a giant stone dildo, and shortly thereafter he puts the moves on the robot girl. Coincidence? Crew fatalities: 2 (first appearance of redshirts!) rating: fair

(7/1/97) Miri - A distress signal from a very Earth-like planet draws the ship and crew...but they find that it's inhabited only by kids. These kids age very, very slowly, and when they hit puberty, they grow blue fungus and go insane. The nearly incomprehensible plot combined with lack of any action put me to sleep for about 20 minutes. This one sucked. I mean, what was the relevance of the planet being just like Earth, down to the continents? Come on. In other news, Kirk tried to put the moves on a teenaged girl, in the name of saving his people. We've also begun to wonder about just how short regulation Starfleet womens' skirts are. rating: bad

(7/2/97) Dagger of the Mind - During a routine supply drop to an insane asylum planet, Kirk and company find that something is very wrong down there. Once again, Kirk gets to make terrible faces and scream. And once again, he makes his move, this time on a medical technician named Noelle. It's understandable - she was easily the cutest of all crew members seen thus far, and had the short-skirt thing going on too. rating: fair

(7/5/97) The Corbomite Maneuver - The ship flies into unknown territory and gets threatened by a weird ship and its weird pilot. Kirk does some good hard-nosed bluffing and generally takes no shit. Sulu falls asleep in a staff meeting too (as in, he's zonked out with his head on the table before the meeting even starts.) This one had a fairly cheesy ending, not really worthy of the buildup. rating: good

(7/6/97) The Conscience of the King - The head actor of a traveling troupe might be the same guy who killed thousands of people 20 years ago. Or he might not be. What a riddle. Lots of overacting, acting, and such foolishness; entertaining but contrived. rating: fair

(7/6/97) Balance of Terror - The Enterprise chases Romulans after the latter destroy some outposts. Good tense episode with insights as to how both ships and crews operate in stress situations. Crew fatalities: 1 rating: good

(7/6/97) Shore Leave - They encounter a planet that can make every fantasy come true. Interesting premise, though it took them a while to figure it out. No matter - it's possible that this is the episode where everybody gets lucky. rating: good

(7/6/97) The Galileo Seven - A shuttlecraft with seven people is lost, and the Enterprise only has a few hours to search for them. The planet that the shuttle crashed on is inhabited by huge, hairy beasts that want to kill the intruders. Good one, and it shows Spock trying to solve everything with logic. Crew fatalities: 3 rating: good

(7/6/97) The Menagerie - This is actually "The Cage" framed by a Kirk-era story. Spock takes Admiral Pike and the Enterprise and forces them to go to Talos IV, a planet which Starfleet has declared off-limits. On the way, everyone watches Pike's original adventure there, and when they all get there, the motives of Spock are revealed. rating: fair

(7/7/97) The Squire of Gothos - The ship ventures too close to a strange red planet, so some of its crew are captured by a vastly powerful being, "retired general Trelane." He toys with them for a while before we learn that he's really just an alien kid whose sandbox is the universe andwhose parents have finally had enough of his spoiled behavior. The real high point of this one was at the end, when Spock did a funny eyebrow-raise. rating: bad

(7/8/97) Arena - While checking on the Cestus III colony, the Enterprise comes under attack from an unknown alien race. A chase leads both ships into the system of the Metrons, who despise their barbaric ways. Solution: the captains are put down on a planet to fight it out, with the survival of their ships at stake. Problem: the other captain's a big, strong, savage reptilian dude. An altogether superior episode. rating: good

(7/8/97) Tomorrow is Yesterday - After hitting a black hole, the Enterprise is knocked back through space and time to Earth in the year 1968. They have to get back while avoiding meaningful contact with the populace of Earth, and before anything happens that could change history. rating:good

(7/13/97) Court-Martial - It would appear that Kirk was responsible for the death of a crewman during an emergency. Well. It takes the crew, lawyers, and jury about 45 minutes to figure out that computers can be reprogrammed with false information. Good idea, mediocre execution. Also a good TNS (Take No Shit) episode for Kirk. Crew Fatalities: 1 rating: fair

(7/14/97) Return of the Archons - A weird planet is populated by weird people, dressed in weird clothes. They try to absorb the landing party into the greater community whole. This was the first of the "Kirk-outreasons-the-evil-computer-and-makes-it-destroy-itself" episodes. We had to admit, this one was a lot better than its previews made it look. Kirk played hardass again, and there was a party that made Mardi Gras look like Romper Room. Special bonus: in one scene, a rock bounces off of a crewman's head! rating: fair

(7/17/97) Space Seed - The Enterprise stumbles upon an old ship full of 20th century Earth people. Problem is, they're hostile genetically-bred superpeople, and they take over the ship. Both Khan and Kirk take no shit in this one, but Khan's got the stronger attitude. This was one of the best episodes thus far. rating: good

(9/6/97) A Taste of Armageddon - On a mission to get a new planet into the Federation, Kirk and co. find themselves caught up in a war organized and fought entirely by computers. "Casualties" just march off to disintegration chambers to die. This episode has, among other things, a stupid ambassador, a planetful of stupid people, and some good Spock lines ("Sir. There is a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder.") Also, Scotty gets to be in charge of the ship for a while, and (perhaps inspired by Kirk) he takes no shit. rating: fair

(9/7/97) This Side of Paradise - The Enterprise goes to a planet to pick up some colonists before they are exposed to too much radiation. However, thanks to some spores, they're not only okay, they're unnaturally happy. For some reason which is never explained, only Kirk is immune to these spores, and he has to figure out how to restore the rest of his crew to their right minds. This is the episode where Spock gets to smile, kiss, and even more; he has some pretty good lines too. McCoy adopts an atrocious Southern drawl. rating: fair

(9/8/97) The Devil in the Dark - On a remote mining planet, something is killing the workers. It's up to Kirk, Spock, and a squad of redshirts to find and stop the monster. And in the case of some of the redshirts, also to die. This was a pretty entertaining episode, though you could tell there were people under the monster's shell. We also spotted various sizes of weight-rack plates in the caverns. And the monster's eggs look a lot like bowling balls. Non-crew Fatalities: 2 Crew Fatalities: 1 rating: fair

(9/9/97) Errand of Mercy - The M-class planet Organia is in a prime strategic location between the Federation and the Klingons, and both sides want it. Kirk and Spock try to convince the mild-mannered natives to side with the Federation, but they just don't seem to care one way or the other. Then the Klingons show up, in great numbers and with weapons. This was the first appearance of Klingons, and it was pretty cool. There could have been more fighting, but that's the way it goes. Another solid episode. rating: fair

(10/21/97) The Alternative Factor - The Enterprise encounters a most dangerous phenomenon - a momentary blinking out of reality. It turns out that the effect was universe-wide, and originated from the planet the ship is approaching. There, they find a disheveled madman who rants about an evil enemy who's going to destroy everything. Well. I don't want to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say this episode had a contrived plot and solution, and wasn't really solidly executed. rating: bad

(10/21/97) The City on the Edge of Forever - A drug-crazed McCoy bolts into a time portal, and shortly thereafter, the reality that Kirk et al know is gone. Seems that McCoy did something in Earth's past that changed the course of history and prevented the Federation from ever being formed. Kirk and Spock have to go back in time to the 1930s and prevent McCoy's meddling. This one was fairly entertaining, but unlike many people, we didn't think it worthy of great accolades. There were some amusing bits as Kirk and Spock had to cope with Depression-era things. rating: fair

(9/15/97) Operation: Annihilate - The Enterprise goes to Deneva, the latest in a string of planets plagued by terminal insanity in recent years. They find the cause: weird flying spores that look like scrambled eggs but take over your nervous system when they land on you. That's always good for a laugh or two. Anyway, this one had a cute yeoman, and Spock got to make some cool faces while he was fighting the influence of the spores. This ranks as one of the best of the "fair" episodes. rating: fair


SECOND SEASON

(9/16/97) Amok Time - Spock is not well. We know this because he's hurling soup against the wall and smashing steel monitors with his fist. Turns out he's being drawn back to Vulcan, not unlike salmon being drawn back to their birthplace, in order to mate. Now it's a party! This is the first appearance of Chekov and also the first named appearance of nurse Chapel. Other things of interest: all Vulcans appear to be assholes, and Spock's "mate" T'Pring is a babe. We spotted Kirk looking at her (though, fortunately given his mental state, Spock didn't.) The only problem with this episode: Spock's gone berserk with this need to mate that's so strong that he'll die if he doesn't get to Vulcan...and it gets totally defused by...a violent fight. I'm pretty sure that's not how these urges work. rating: good

(9/16/97) Who Mourns for Adonais? - While flying along, the Enterprise is stopped cold by a gigantic hand! It belongs to Apollo, a being of immense power who claims to be the last of the Greek gods. We thought he looked like a dork. Anyhow, he goes after the female in the landing party, which makes Scotty mad because he wanted some of that himself. Too bad - Apollo nails her offscreen anyway. Other notables: Chekov's 1960s Beatles haircut, Chekov looking up Apollo's skirt (which understandably made Apollo teleport away.) rating: fair

(9/16/97) The Changeling - The ship comes under attack by a ridiculously powerful spacecraft...which turns out to be smaller than a person. In fact, it's much like any other espresso machine that can travel at multiwarp speeds and fire energy blasts equivalent to 80 photon torpedoes. They manage to bring the thing aboard; it calls itself "Nomad" and it takes no shit, telling it like it is. Only Spock gets it, though. Aside from several redshirts getting killed because they weren't smart, Uhura gets mind-wiped (click here for amusing dialogue) and Scotty gets killed and brought back to life. Nomad can also fix engines and ignore force fields. In the end, Kirk tricks it into going nuts, at which point it starts talking like a baby on helium. Crew fatalities: 4 rating: good

(9/17/97) Mirror, Mirror - A freak transporter accident catapults Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura into an alternate universe...one where the Federation is a ruthless empire and officers advance by assassinating one another. Kirk blows numerous opportunities, including one with his counterpart's mistress. Spock has a beard; Uhura has nice abs; McCoy has no guts. At the very end, when all is well, Kirk returns to character, making his move on the young woman who is his own universe's counterpart to the evil Kirk's mistress. And I have a more modern review of this episode. Alternate-universe crew fatalities: 4 rating: good

(9/17/97) The Apple - On a little planet in the middle of nowhere, the crew finds an Eden-type place where all the primitives' needs are attended to by a machine. This is the one with David Soul as one of the innocent (and naive) tribespeople; it's also the one with the big stone dragon-head temple. Furthermore, it's the one with the plants that fire poisonous barbs and the rocks that explode at the slightest contact. Better yet, the primitive humans aren't even allowed to mate. Eden, my ass. Crew fatalities: 4 rating: fair

(9/17/97) The Doomsday Machine - Star systems are being destroyed, their planets gone but for debris. No, it's not the Death Star - it's a mile-long indestructible cone that fires beams of energy and eats planets! How awesome is that? Another starship, the Constellation, has been wrecked by the so-called "doomsday weapon" and its captain gets in the way for a while. This is a good space-battle type episode with one of the coolest enemies ever. And I have a more modern review of this episode. rating: good

(9/18/97) Catspaw - several crew members beam down to a planet and are soon caught up in a would-be warlock's spooky little games. This was sort of like a Halloween episode, but there were few notable moments. One of them: Kirk squares off against Sulu, and Sulu's karate was completely ineffective. Crew fatalities: 1 rating: fair

(9/25/97) I, Mudd - The ship is hijacked and taken to a remote planet, where Harry Mudd controls an empire of human-like androids. He plans to leave on the Enterprise while the crew remains behind on the planet. Notables: Chekov finally got a decent haircut, and he also apparently got two android women at the same time in this episode. Spock had some good lines, and Kirk once again caused a main enemy computer to self-destruct just by talking to it. Must be pretty cool, to be able to do that. This one had some pretty foolish moments toward the end. rating: bad

(9/30/97) Metamorphosis - Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a bitchy ambassador are flying along in a shuttlecraft when a weird cloud of energy forces them down to a planet. There they find Zefram Cochrane, inventor of the warp drive, who's been there for 150 years, kept young by the energy-cloud, which has an odd relationship with him. This one was a real yawner, more reminiscent of a soap opera than a sci-fi show. rating: bad

(10/5/97) Journey to Babel - En route to a conference, the Enterprise is carrying various alien ambassadors. Someone wants to kill some of them and disrupt things, however. This one had good parts and stupid parts. At one point we shift scenes and there's Kirk, fighting an Andorian! Why? Who started it? Maybe it was because Kirk caught the Andorian looking at Nurse Chapel's butt-cheeks, which were definitely hanging out in this episode. During this fight, Kirk leaps into the air, apparently trying out a new (if ineffective) flying wrestling move. Also we were surprised that Kirk gave this order: "Bring the prisoner to the bridge." I mean, the guy could've jumped out and hit the shields-off button or something, while the Enterprise was fighting the enemy ship! Come on, Kirk. rating: fair

(10/6/97) The Deadly Years - A landing party beams down to Gamma Hydra IV, and finds that the people there all died of old age, even though they were young when they got there. Guess what? Yep, the landing party begins aging at an accelerated rate, and Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty must figure out how to reverse this process before they croak. This one was amusing because of the senility displayed - though that didn't stop Kirk from trying to score before he got too old. There was also the commodore/ambassador factor, i.e. anytime such a person is aboard, he or she is guaranteed to somehow take command of the ship and make stupid decisions. Commodore in uncertain waters = certain disaster. Mark my words. Other features: a foolish competency hearing, Yeoman Chesty, a repeat of the Corbomite maneuver. We also have reason to believe Kirk scored at the end of the episode. Crew fatalities: 1 rating: fair

(10/6/97) Obsession - This episode's first scene: a close-up shot of a pile of crap. I shit you not. Anyway, 11 years ago, a young Kirk watched as half of his ship's crew was killed by an energy-cloud. Now, his ship encounters the thing again, and another young crewman, Garrovick (the son of the captain who died 11 years ago) is in a similar position to Kirk's way back then. This was a decent episode about obsession, guilt, and absolution, but it had a few dumb moments (the vent foolishness and the deductions on how to destroy the cloud.) However, it also had a record redshirt death count (2+1+1.5+1.5, the .5's are because we're not sure if those guys died.) Foolish command by Kirk: "...and try flushing the radioactive waste into the ventilation system." HUH?!? Crew fatalities: 5 rating: fair

(10/7/97) Wolf in the Fold - On a leisure planet, Kirk is trying to show his senior officers a good time, until Scotty screws it up by (apparently) knifing a woman to death! This was about the closest the show ever got to a horror-murder-mystery, but by its very nature, the plot was somewhat contrived. Anyhow, the best part of this episode was the carousing that Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty were doing - they all had that gleam in their eye. Crew fatalities: 1 rating: fair

(10/7/97) The Trouble With Tribbles - The Enterprise heads to deep space station K-7, and finds that there's a shipment of super-grain that needs guarding (Kirk: "Wheat? So what?") Complicating things are Klingons, an idiotic administrator, and Tribbles - tiny, harmless furballs that live only to reproduce. This one was the funniest yet; Kirk repeatedly makes fools out of various people, and Spock helps him! There's also a brawl, Spock petting a Tribble, Kirk being pelted with Tribbles from above...it's a good comedy episode. Spock on Tribbles: "They remind me of the lilies of the field. They toil not - nor do they spin. I see no practical use for them." rating: good

(10/13/97) The Gamesters of Triskelion - During a routine beam-down, Kirk, Chekov, and Uhura are captured by a race of "thralls." They're made to fight and otherwise serve the thralls' masters, who are little brain-like things that evolved over thousands of years. This one had plenty of action, plus Kirk made his moves on the green-haired woman (and then punched her!) The wager at the end didn't make sense (the Gamesters could've had the crew anyway) but that's life. rating: fair

(10/13/97) A Piece of the Action - Tracking a 100-year-old distress call from the Horizon, the Enterprise finds a planet whose entire culture is based on Earth's 1930s Chicago mobs. This one had some good lines and faces, especially by Spock aka Spocko. It was essentially a comedy episode, which gave the actors a chance to do something different. rating: fair

(10/15/97) The Immunity Syndrome - A star system and a ship have disappeared...died. The Enterprise goes to find out why, and discovers what amounts to a gigantic amoeba. They must find a way to stop it before their power and lives are drained by the thing. This one was kinda neat, but we thought its main feature was an abundance of female crew member butt-cheeks. rating: fair

(10/16/97) A Private Little War - Kirk and crew return to a planet where Kirk spent some time years ago. They find that the peaceful, primitive natives have been armed with guns by a Klingon agent. Complicating things is the power-hungry wife of the friendly clan leader. This one was okay, though it did leave one major plot hole gaping. This was perhaps forgivable since the episode had a lot of action and fighting. It also had the big, white-furred monster, as well as the best-looking woman yet: the chieftain's wife. rating: fair

(10/22/97) Return to Tomorrow - In the middle of nowhere, the ship finds a dead planet - dead save for three energy-beings who want to borrow human bodies so they can live again. Possessed Kirk! This one didn't have much to offer at all - it dragged on, its plot didn't make sense, and Kirk never would have agreed to let the things borrow bodies. About the only redeeming factor was the possessed Spock's grins and lines...but that wasn't enough. This episode set a new record: within 14 minutes, we knew what rating it was going to get. rating: bad

(10/24/97) Patterns of Force -The ship goes to a planet to retrieve cultural advisor John Gill, and finds that he did a little too much advising - the planet has patterned its entire society after Nazi-ism! This one was entertaining, and had some good Kirk-Spock rapport and teamwork. rating: fair

(10/26/97) By Any Other Name - After being tricked by a distress call from a remote planet, the ship is taken over by powerful aliens who just want to go home. Problem is, home is a 300-year voyage to the neighboring galaxy, and the aliens don't need the crew around. Holy evil E.T.! A skeleton crew - Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty - must find a way to seize power before all is lost. This was the episode where people got turned into little hexagonal balls of powder, and if you got crushed in that form, it was game over. It also featured the ship breaking the intergalactic barrier (translation: cool special effects.) The episode was moving along nicely until the turning point, where the aliens just gave up because Kirk convinced them that what they were doing was wrong. Yeah, right. crew fatalities: 1 rating: fair

(10/27/97) The Omega Glory - The Enterprise tracks down the Exeter (another Constitution-class starship) and finds that its crew turned to powder. Worse, the same thing will happen to those who beamed over, unless they go down to the planet and stay there. However, the Exeter's captain has influenced the native population and set up his own little rules. This one had some good fighting and Spock-Kirk teamwork, but we still found it dumb and senseless, especially at the end. crew fatalities: 1 rating: bad

(10/28/97) The Ultimate Computer - The Enterprise becomes the testbed for the new M5 computer, which is supposed to be superior to a human crew. Unfortunately, the thing goes a little nuts, and begins taking the wargames a little too seriously. This one was pretty good, featuring some hearty dialogue and more than a little space-battle action. Heck, we got to see 4 other Constitution-class starships. crew fatalities: 1 rating: good

(10/29/97) Bread and Circuses - The ship and crew find a world where the Roman Empire survived through the 20th century. Gladiatorial games are commonplace, and they have to survive long enough to figure out how to get rescued. This one was both good (lots of fighting and witty dialogue) and bad (unpunished villains.) Of particular glaring implausibility was the Prime Directive - if not for this rule, the crew would've been able to defend themselves properly. It's really getting annoying. rating: fair

(10/5/97) Friday's Child - The ship goes to Capella, where the natives are aggressive and lethal, to secure mining rights for a rare mineral. Unfortunately, there's a Klingon trying to do the same thing. Well, guess what happens? This was a good Kirk/Spock/McCoy interaction episode, and not much more. But it was a good one, and they all had some funny lines and facial expressions. Also Spock proved effective with the bow and arrow, and McCoy got to slap some lady. Crew fatalities: 1 rating: fair

(11/3/97) Assignment: Earth - The Enterprise travels back in time (!) to observe events in 1969...and must decide whether to try to stop a strange fellow who claims he's there to keep Earth from destroying itself with nuclear weapons. Needless to say, this plot seemed a bit silly and contrived - I mean, in the first line of the episode, they casually inform us that the ship's gone back in time to observe history. Like that's just a normal thing they do when necessary. Hey, guys, in Tomorrow is Yesterday you had to accidentally hit a black hole to pull that off! Other notables: Spock gropes the ditz secretary, the cool cat turns into a cute woman for no reason. In general, a pointless episode. rating: fair


THIRD SEASON

(10/13/97) Whom Gods Destroy - Kirk and Spock beam down to a prison planet, one which houses the 15 remaining uncurable insanity cases in the Federation. Problem is, one of the inmates, Garth, has taken over. Fortunately, he can't get beamed aboard because he doesn't know Kirk's secret password. This was a pretty entertaining one, wherein Spock proved why he's the king of (apparently) unintentional insults. Kirk had some good screaming and face-making moments. This was the episode with the green woman. rating: fair

(11/4/97) Spock's Brain - A strange woman teleports aboard, knocks everyone out, and takes Spock's brain! Yes, you read that right. This was an (unintentionally, I suspect) amazingly humorous episode; let's face it, you can't talk about retrieving a stolen brain and be taken seriously. Other points of interest: Spock gropes one of the women, Scotty sports a new (and bad) haircut, McCoy wears the hairdressing helmet. rating: fair

(2/27/99) Spectre of the Gun - After ignoring a pretty obvious warning from a pretty obviously powerful alien race, Kirk and four others find themselves in 1881 Tombstone, on the wrong side of the OK Corral fight. Chekov runs rampant in this one, and it was entertaining, but also silly. rating: fair

(2/28/99) Day of the Dove - An alien energy-being sets up a neverending fight against Klingons so that it can feed on the combatants' negative emotions. We couldn't take it too seriously because the thing was powerful enough to prevent its own eventual demise...yet didn't. Of note: Chekov got bitch-slapped, Sulu got to use karate power. rating: fair

(3/14/99) The Enterprise Incident - At first it looks like Kirk's gone nuts and initiated a war with the Romulans, but all is not what it seems. Spock comes so close to scoring, it's not even funny. And the Romulan commander was a babe. rating: fair

(3/17/99) The Paradise Syndrome - While trying to save a primitive planet from an oncoming asteroid, Kirk disappears and the others have to leave. Kirk awakens without memory, and ends up being the medicine chief of an Indian tribe. Naturally, he marries and impregnates the cutest woman in the tribe. Other highlights: Spock tells McCoy how it is, Scotty gets disregarded repeatedly, stupid bitch syndrome. rating: fair

(3/23/99) The Empath - Inane. Slow. boring. Pointless. Foolish. These were just some of the words that came to mind during this episode. Plot summary: Kirk, Spock, McCoy become lab rats for powerful aliens. That's it. Features: butt-headed aliens, Kirk ogling a woman he's just met, terrible overacting during torture scenes, glass tubes containing other Starfleet crew in action poses. Overheard: "With Kirk acting this way, it's amazing that Starfleet hasn't been taken over by aliens yet." Summary: "To get much worse than this, we'd have to go back to Squire of Gothos - but we're not going to do that." rating: bad

(4/4/99) Elaan of Troyius - The Enterprise must ferry an unwilling soon-to-be-bride to her planet-unifying marriage, despite various problems. Kirk did a good job of dealing with the bitch, especially considering his apparent weakness in the early stages. Also notable was Kirk seducing her - and getting caught in the act by Spock and McCoy! rating: fair

(5/26/99) Let That Be Your Last Battlefield - The ship picks up two guys who are determined to argue and fight no matter what. One of them has powers that enable him to take over the ship. Ho hum. The main thing we noticed here was Kirk's gritty determination to be in control of his ship. Also of note were the dorky running/chasing techniques of the two clowns. This one was good for entertainment value. rating: fair

----- all previous reviews were from mass viewings by me and my roommate in 1997 and 1999; more than twenty years later, I finished these up on my own via the BluRay Star Trek set -----

(5/20/20) And the Children Shall Lead - The ship rescues five kids from a planet where their parents mysteriously committed suicide. It turns out that the kids have fallen under the thrall of a mysterious ghostly being who looks like an elderly human head atop a green tomato covered in a cloak. They can summon him using the Shake-Weight motion, and can also use that motion to cause various effects (illusions, fear) in other people. This one featured some inane Kirk dialogue on the planet's surface, Spock contemplating killing the kids to save the ship, but most of all, yet another powerful being who for some reason allows Kirk to debate/explain his way to defeating the being. I think maybe it was supposed to be an analogy for the devil. Funny ending bit: after all is well again, Uhura randomly brings Kirk something to sign. Maybe it was an official condemnation of this episode? Crew fatalities: 2 rating: bad

(5/20/20) Is There In Truth No Beauty? - The Enterprise plays host to the Medusan, an alien ambassador that lives in a small box and causes insanity in any human who looks upon it. Spock is okay, though, as long as he wears a special visor that looks really uncomfortable. Inside the box are some bright flashing lights that actually gave me a headache. Other notable features of this episode: a telepathic woman who studied on Vulcan and who all the male crew members like, the senior staff's dinner dress uniforms, McCoy subtly ragging on Spock, the telepath turning out to be bitchy and also jealous, the random inclusion of the guy who designed the Enterprise (which later allows him to take it "beyond the boundaries of the galaxy" aka "completely unknown void" aka "a space-time continuum", goofy fight scenes, Kirk using himself as a distraction, an insane Spock. All in all, this one had a couple of neat concepts, but didn't tie them together so well. rating: fair

(5/21/20) For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky - They've got two big problems in this one. First, Dr. McCoy has a terminal illness and one year to live. Second, they come upon a hollow asteroid full of people, and it's on a collision course with a populated world. So they go to check things out and the peoples' high priestess immediately falls in love with McCoy for no apparent reason, and persuades him to stay. I can't say I wouldn't make the same decision, in his position. The problem is, when the episode is over, he just arbitrarily decides not to be with her. Funny elements in this one: dopey attackers' moves, goofy hats on the people, Kirk kicks the goofy hat off a guy's head during a fight, a temple run by a computer, and this quote: Spock: "He said it's forbidden to climb the mountains." Kirk: "Of course it is. Because if you did, you'd touch the sky and find out you were living in a big ball." rating: fair

(5/22/20) The Tholian Web - The ship finds not only the missing U.S.S. Defiant, but also an area of space that's all messed up. Do they turn around and wait until they can gather more information? Or course not, which is why they had problems. Five problems, in fact: 1) there's a rift in space, 2) it's draining their power etc, 3) Kirk is stuck in the rift, 4) the rift is driving random crew members crazy, 5) some aliens show up and start weaving an energy-web around the Enterprise. All of which could have been avoided if Kirk had just listened to his chief science and engineering officers instead of blindly forging ahead. Notable elements: a rare use of space suits, Chekov gets to be in the party that checks out the other ship, different female voice for the ship's computer, an interesting Spock theory about multiple universes and how they intersect, a very angry and combative McCoy, Spock wasting precious time with a pointless briefing, a glimpse into Uhura's personal quarters, inadequately explained escape from both the Tholian web and the space rift. rating: fair

(5/22/20) Plato's Stepchildren - After beaming down to a planet to provide medical help, the landing party finds themselves held against their will by the super-telekinetic people of the planet, who model their society after that of ancient Greece (but not perfectly.) There are 38 of them and after 2500 years, they've become assholes. In addition to abusing the local dwarf (played by the actor who was the master villain in many episodes of The Wild, Wild West) these people force Kirk, Spock, et al to perform and kiss female crew members and fight. It was sadistic, really. And the solution was kind of a deux ex machina. Other notable elements: Kirk forced to slap himself repeatedly, the famous Kirk-Uhura kiss, and this Spock quote: "Captain, it will be very gratifying to leave here." That's how I felt, too. rating: poor

(5/23/20) Wink of an Eye - This was the one with the people moving so fast that they sounded like insects to the crew. These five people/aliens (I'm going to call them aliens) need to mate with outsiders to continue their race, so their queen picks Kirk and the plan is to use the Enterprise and the rest of the crew as frozen breeding stock, to be thawed as needed. Of course, they make the fatal mistake of accelerating Kirk to their speed, which sets the stage for their eventual defeat. The alien queen is not only dim-witted (or should I say easily outwitted, and I mean naive to the point of dumb) but she also wears pants that are completely lacking one leg - and she's super horny. Naturally, Kirk takes advantage of this, not only for his own jollies but also to help trick her. Other interesting things: the two redshirts who aren't permitted into life support exchange amused glances, Spock asks the computer questions that it (like them) has no hope of answering, Kirk becomes part of an alien love triangle. Crew fatalities: 1 rating: fair

(5/26/20) The Mark of Gideon - After attempting to beam down to a planet of bodysuit-wearing jackasses to convince them to join the Federation, Kirk finds himself all alone on the ship, until a simpleminded and naive young lady shows up. This was the bureaucracy/diplomacy episode, and Spock got a good dose (funny quotes: "We must acknowledge once and for all that the purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." and "Diplomats and bureaucrats may function differently, but they achieve exactly the same results.") Kirk is able to seduce the idiotic chick, which isn't much of an accomplishment. As it turns out, the planet is badly overpopulated and their solution is to introduce disease to cull the ranks. Which is stupid in and of itself but there's a major logic flaw: they refuse to use contraception because they consider all life to be sacred. So let me get this right...they love life enough to not want to prevent its inception, yet they will willingly kill off chunks of their population? THAT MAKES NO SENSE. This planet and its people are fucking stupid, they don't deserve to be in the Federation. Not to mention that for the whole episode, the crew is careful not to offend these peoples' wishes, yet at the end they do it anyway...which they could have done from the beginning and saved all the trouble. Plus the people on the planet spent some ridiculous amount of time building a fake Enterprise to trick Kirk, which is an unrealistic and stupid plot. Idiotic in all ways. rating: poor

(5/26/20) That Which Survives - This had an interesting idea - an extinct people's planetoid still having active self-defense mechanisms - but some aspects didn't make sense. For example, why knock the ship a zillion light-years away instead of just destroying it? Especially when it's later revealed that the entire ship and its contents were somehow disassembled and reassembled (?!?) Not to mention that one of the lethal drones appeared on the ship after it was a zillion light-years away - yet another plot hole. About the only exciting thing here was the ship getting up to warp 14.1 before Scotty ventures inside the magnetic bottle to tinker with the antimatter as the seconds to destruction counted down. Oh, I almost forgot to mention: meanwhile, the handful of crew who beamed down are menaced by identical women whose touch is lethal to a specific person, whose name they helpfully announce ahead of time. Other notable aspects of this one: a couple of pinch-hitters for the senior officers who beamed down, Spock being a smart-ass to everyone, the landing party just sacking out on some rocks as if they were pillows, foes who fold up into a line and then a dot before disappearing, a giant floating Rubix cube controlling everything. Crew fatalities: 3 rating: fair

(5/26/20) The Lights of Zetar - Another bad episode. I don't know if they had a batch of poor writing at this time, or what. After some goofy opening monologue by Kirk, regarding Scotty being smitten with the cute female engineer they're taking to Memory Alpha, some bright lights stun the crew and cause one (that engineer) to begin gurgling incoherently. After she recovers and they get to Memory Alpha, they find that the lights killed everyone there...and then the lights come back and start chasing the ship. In the midst of that potentially-lethal-to-the-entire-ship chase, Kirk arbitrarily decides to have a formal investigation/inquiry with the engineer, because she alone survived the encounter with the lights. The inquiry made little sense, because they relied on the computer to draw conclusions, but it should have had little or no data about the lights. Stupid. They literally pulled something out of their ass to defeat the lights/aliens, a sign of poor plot-writing. I'm not going to bitch about it any more. Other notable things: funny banter between Chekov and Sulu, Scotty blatantly ignores Kirk's orders to go check on his crush, new targeting grid on main viewscreen. Crew fatalities: 0 rating: poor

(5/26/20) Requiem For Methuselah - While seeking a rare mineral to make antidote for the Rigelian fever that threatens to kill the entire crew, the landing party encounters a man who turns out to be immortal. Despite the short timeframe to develop the serum, they spend a lot of time admiring the guy's art collection, playing pool, and being entertained. While, presumably, the fever rages on the ship above. Kirk makes his move on the dude's young ward, who's never seen other men before in her entire life. Eventually, we find out what's up with her. Spock really had to keep Kirk on track in this one. Also, Kirk claimed to have fallen in love with the girl, which is insane - he only knew her for an hour or two, and their interactions demonstrated nothing in common (not to mention very little personality for her at all.) Apparently he was so into her that his grief at the end crushed him, so Spock used his Vulcan powers to make Kirk forget. Also noteworthy, the immortal guy somehow shrinks the entire ship while suspending its crew in time. All in all, I liked the immortal aspect, but he possessed an awful lot of power. Trivia: This episode was written by Jerome Bixby, whose short story about an immortal on modern-day Earth was made into a pretty good obscure movie that I'm now telling you about. Crew fatalities: 0 rating: fair

(5/27/20) The Way to Eden - Space hippies. What more can I say? One has flesh-colored lettuce leaves over his ears (to look like an alien I guess), one is the purple-haired son of some amabassador, and another is a young Charles Napier who sings and plays the guitar with great zeal and wild abandon. In less than 8 minutes (counting the credits) I knew this one was going to be goofy. The space hippies do their thing, Spock tries to understand, while Kirk refuses to take any shit from them. Also, one of them is a disease carrier, while another used to know Chekov. Anyway, of course, the hippies misbehave as they take over the ship, at which point they should have all been executed, but whatever. They get their just rewards in the end, due to their own stupidity. Other tidbits: sighting of a random young Asian crewman (I'd never seen another, aside from Sulu), Spock jams with the hippies, the purple-haired guy has his own neck pinch, a lethal planet. I originally thought this one would end up with a "poor" rating, but it was just goofy enough to be entertaining. Still, it demonstrates a lot about what's wrong with the Federation. If the Klingons or Romulans had found the hippies, things would have turned out a lot different. Crew fatalities: 0 rating: fair

(5/27/20) The Cloud Minders - In search of the one substance that can halt a plague, they visit a planet that's divided itself into two distinct social classes over a long period of time. The intelligent, artsy people live in the cloud city, while the laborers live in the caves on the ground. Or, as Spock so eloquently puts it in his monologue that speeds things along for the audience, "Those who receive the rewards are thoroughly separated from those who shoulder the burdens." Now it's up to Kirk and Spock to convince both sides that there's a more fair way to coexist. Notable: the Troglytes wear glasses just like the Lords of Death in the airport scene in Big Trouble in Little China, Spock has a witty comeback, the cloud city administrator's daughter is tall and cute and wears an interesting top and I wanted to call her "Teela", plus she's really into Spock. Why are there so many sluts in space? Crew fatalities: 0 rating: fair

(5/27/20) The Savage Curtain - While checking on a dead planet, the ship encounters Abraham Lincoln. One thing leads to another, so Kirk and Spock team up with Lincoln and Surak to fight four bad guys for the amusement of an alien race. Aside from the ridiculous power level of the rock-like aliens, and their rather dim decision-making process, this one was fairly entertaining mostly due to the interesting personalities of Lincoln and Surak. Trivia: the actor who played Surak was also the vampire in the pilot episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Crew fatalities: 0 rating: fair

(5/28/20) All Our Yesterdays - During their final check before a planet will be consumed by its star going nova, the landing party accidentally wanders into multiple time periods of the planet's past. Kirk gets into a swordfight and then trouble, while Spock and McCoy end up in a frozen wasteland where Spock becomes emotional with a woman. Yeah, guys, this is what happens when you just dart into a mysterious unknown archway without fucking thinking first. The premise was a bit silly - the fact that this planet had a working time machine for which you could select the destination using a library of discs...that rather amazing and valuable discovery didn't seem to faze them at all. Crew fatalities: 0 rating: fair

(5/29/20) Turnabout Intruder - This was the one where Kirk switched bodies with an insane woman. She did it not only because she was insane, but because she was an ex of Kirk and hated him. Unfortunately for her, she had the emotional maturity of a child, and so instead of playing it cool and lasting a while as the false captain of the ship, she/he threw tantrums and ignored rules and such. This resulted in a fairly quick realization that something was wrong. The episode was kind of stupid in some ways, but still entertaining. Crew fatalities: 0 rating: fair



That's it for the Original Series! The next step would be my Star Trek: The Next Generation season 1 reviews.



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