Archive for December, 2010

30

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Elaan of Troyius”

Elaan of Troyius
Written by John Meredyth Lucas
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas

Season 3, Episode 13
Production episode: 3×02
Original air date: December 20, 1968
Star date:4372.5

Mission summary

Enterprise is on a top-secret mission to deliver Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, to the nearby planet Troyius, where she is to marry the Troyian leader to avert nuclear war between their peoples. The Elasians are reportedly “vicious and arrogant,” like the neighboring Klingons who dispute the Federation’s claim over the Tellun system. On the other hand, McCoy has heard that Elasian women have a “subtle, mystical power that drives men wild.” It’s up to Troyian Ambassador Petri to civilize the savage Elaan and instruct her in the customs of her new home.

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48

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Empath”

The Empath
Written by Joyce Muskat
Directed by John Erman

Season 3, Episode 12
Production episode: 3×08
Original air date: December 6, 1968
Star date: 5121.5

Mission summary

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are on the second planet around the star Minara, doomed to nova in classic stars-nova-left-and-right Star Trek style. A research crew was dispatched there six months ago to take some last minute readings, but now that the Enterprise has arrived with their ticket out of there no one’s around. The station is covered in dust and cobwebs and hasn’t been inhabited in at least three months. Scotty, at the Enterprise’s helm, alerts the captain that a solar flare is about to dump cosmic plot device rays that force the ship to retreat a safe distance from the planet, leaving the trio all alone.

As soon as our heroes are stuck and the Enterprise is out of range, they play a videotape lying around. In it, two scientists bitch and moan about “this godforsaken place”–which seems to have infuriated some locals, because a high-pitched screech and cheesy camera effect later, both scientists have disappeared into the ether. Then Kirk, Spock, and McCoy hear the same sound themselves and in just moments, vanish one by one.

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51

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Wink of an Eye”

Wink of an Eye
Written by Arthur Heinemann (story by Lee Cronin)
Directed by Jud Taylor

Season 3, Episode 11
Production episode: 3×13
Original air date: November 29, 1968
Star date: 5710.5

Mission summary

Enterprise visits scenic Scalos in response to a distress call. While Mr. Scott keeps the captain’s seat warm, Kirk takes a landing party to investigate the source of the transmission, a seemingly abandoned Scalosian city. Ship’s sensors seem a little buggy, and although Uhura can see the Scalosians on the viewscreen, she can’t see the Enterprise team standing at the same coordinates. Meanwhile, the landing party doesn’t see anyone either, and Dr. McCoy’s scanner doesn’t register life–not even the insect Kirk hears buzzing around his head. Spock’s eyes and years of training tell him there was an advanced, humanoid civilization here, and he must have better apps on his tricorder than McCoy:

Instrument readings indicate life-forms, but of a highly unusual and intermittent nature. They have no discernible form or location. A most puzzling phenomenon, Captain. I shall have to study it further.

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46

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Plato’s Stepchildren”

Plato’s Stepchildren
Written by Meyer Dolinsky
Directed by David Alexander

Season 3, Episode 10
Production episode: 3×12
Original air date: November 22, 1968
Star date: 5784.2

Mission summary

In response to some distress signals, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the surface of an unknown planet. They’ve beamed right into a hall of some kind, adorned with Greek columns and statues. Contrary to the sensor readings, the building seems to indeed be inhabited–by some horrible monster! An intimidating shadow greets them, but ominous music cues aside it’s really just a lighting trick and it turns out to be Alexander, a chipper and talkative dwarf.

KIRK: Who are the inhabitants of this planet?
ALEXANDER: Oh, Platonians. I’m sure you’ve never heard of us. Our native star is Sahndara. Millennia ago, just before it went nova, we managed to escape. Our leader liked Plato’s ideas Plato, Platonius. See? In fact, our present philosopher-king, Parmen, sometimes calls us Plato’s children, although we sometimes think of ourselves more as Plato’s stepchildren.

Now that the premise, background, and title are explained, you don’t even need to see the episode!

No really. Don’t. Please don’t.

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41

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Tholian Web”

The Tholian Web
Written by Judy Burns and Chet Richards
Directed by Herb Wallerstein and Ralph Senensky (uncredited)

Season 3, Episode 9
Production episode: 3×09
Original air date: November 15, 1968
Star date:5693.2

Mission summary

On the Enterprise bridge, Chekov and Sulu look like they regret whatever they had for lunch, but it turns out that space itself is disagreeing with them–Spock reports that it’s “literally breaking up.” Kirk is used to bad breakups, but this is causing all sorts of wonky sensor readings and the warp engines are inexplicably losing power. Then Chekov notices a ghostly ship ahead on the main viewscreen: the U.S.S. Defiant, a Constitution-class Federation ship which has been missing for three weeks. In this case they can only trust what they see with their own eyes, because sensors indicate their sister ship isn’t actually there. There’s no response to hails, so there’s only one thing to do–beam aboard to check things out.

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