Archive for July, 2009

2

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Operation: Annihilate!”

“Operation—Annihilate!”
Written by Steven W. Carabatsos
Directed by Herschel Daugherty

Season 1, Episode 29
Production episode: 1x 29
Original air date: April 13, 1967
Star date: 3287.2

Mission summary
Disaster seems to have visited another Earth colony just ahead of the Enterprise, this time on the planet Deneva, which lies on a path of “mass insanity” that has destroyed three other civilizations in the system in the past two hundred years. While they try to contact Deneva, sensors pick up one of its vessels intentionally heading straight for the sun. The Enterprise pursues it and opens a hailing frequency, urging the pilot, who may or may not be named Icarus, to turn back. As with the planet itself, there’s no response until they receive a transmission shortly before the smaller vessel burns up: “I did it. It’s finally gone. I’m free! I’m—” The Enterprise sets course for Deneva, Kirk more anxious than ever to make contact. Dr. McCoy, demonstrating his blunt bedside manner, comments: “Jim, your brother Sam and his family, aren’t they stationed on this planet?”

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1

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The City on the Edge of Forever”

“The City on the Edge of Forever”
Written by Harlan EllisonTM
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 1, Episode 28
Production episode: 1x 28
Original air date: April 6, 1967
Star date: no star date (dun dun dun)

Mission summary
The Enterprise is in shaky orbit around a planet, rocking back and forth like a seafaring vessel as “ripples in time” from the surface wash over the ship. An explosion at the helm knocks Sulu unconscious and McCoy is summoned to the bridge to administer medical assistance. He gives Sulu a small dose of “cordrazine,” a powerful and dangerous stimulant, which revives him in a very good mood. Another time ripple rocks the ship and McCoy accidentally empties the entire hypospray of cordrazine into his stomach. He immediately flips out, ranting “Killers! Assassins!” and fleeing the Bridge. The drug has driven him mad, with the paranoid delusion that people are trying to kill him. He attacks the Transporter Chief and beams down to the planet to escape.

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5

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Alternative Factor”

“The Alternative Factor”
Written by Don Ingalls
Directed by Gerd Oswald

Season 1, Episode 27
Production episode: 1×20
Original air date: March 30, 1967
Star date: 3087.6

Mission summary
The Enterprise is orbiting an “iron-silica” planet: uncharted, lifeless, arid. Just as they are about to complete their survey they get a case of the wooglies—cue shaky-cam and a film overlay of a nebula. Once things return to normal Spock explains that the universe just “blinked” briefly out of existence. But before he can explain (or maybe just because he can’t), he finds that a human is on the surface of the planet, where moments ago there was no one.

Kirk, Spock, and four redshirts beam down to the surface. They come across a tiny little spaceship pod, complete with bulbous dome-shaped cockpit.* But no one’s inside. Suddenly, a crazy man with an even crazier beard appears on top of a cliff face and shouts at them: “You came! Thank the heavens. There’s still time. It’s not too late. We can still stop him. But I, but I, need, need your help.” He then stumbles and falls down the rocky cliff face.

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9

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Errand of Mercy”

“Errand of Mercy”
Written by Gene L. Coon
Directed by John Newland

Season 1, Episode 26
Production episode: 1x 27
Original air date: March 23, 1967
Star date: 3198.4

Mission summary
Peace talks between the Federation and the Klingon Empire are breaking down, so the Enterprise is ordered to Organia, which isn’t a sex resort like it sounds, but a planet of “peaceful, friendly people living on a primitive level.” Actually, that still sounds like a sex resort, doesn’t it? Organia’s only value is its strategic military location; Kirk compares it to Armenia and Belgium in Earth’s history, “the weak innocents who always seem to be located on the natural invasion routes.” They must reach the planet before the Klingons and prevent them from establishing a base there. Starfleet Command’s communique also mentions the possibility of a surprise Klingon attack. Not long after decoding this message, the Enterprise is indeed attacked, but they quickly destroy the enemy ship. The debris hasn’t even cleared before they receive a code one alert from Starfleet. “Well, there it is,” Kirk says. “War. We didn’t want it, but we’ve got it.” And without a store receipt, they can’t even exchange it for something they do want. Committed to their duty, they set course for Organia at warp seven.

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1

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Devil in the Dark”

“The Devil in the Dark”
Written by Gene L. Coon
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 1, Episode 25
Production episode: 1×26
Original air date: March 9, 1967
Star date: 3196.1

Mission summary
We don’t begin on the Enterprise but rather in the deep mines of Moria Janus VI, where an unknown “monster” has been taking out guards left and right. A deeply nervous guard, Schmitter, tells us that phaser fire is useless against it—but that the Enterprise is on its way.

“You’ll be all right,” his superior tells him, sealing the man’s fate.

Sure enough, as soon as the other men are out of sight, a huge plasticine creature-thing attacks. By the time the men run back it’s too late.

“Like the rest of them. Burnt to a crisp.”

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