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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Wolf in the Fold”

“Wolf in the Fold”
Written by Robert Bloch
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 2, Episode 14
Production episode: 2×07
Original air date: December 22, 1967
Star date: 3614.9

Mission Summary

We begin, as many fine things do, in a den of iniquity. No, it’s not Risa—that was last week—it’s Argelius II, a “completely hedonistic society,” as McCoy puts it. (He takes us to all the best places.) Mr. Scott apparently suffered a head injury due to a female crewman, and the men are there to make sure he “recovers” from his “resentment towards women.” Let’s assume this is just a flimsy excuse to go to the hedonism planet and not actually an indication of baffling shallowness on Mr. Scott’s part. There, assumed.

In a Middle Eastern-style club that more closely resembles a low-end porn palace, Kirk, McCoy, and Mr. Scott are seated on cushions watching a belly dancer gyrate and shimmy as musicians play in the background.

KIRK: Do you like her, Scotty?
SCOTT: Aye. Why shouldn’t I?
KIRK: Good. I’ve invited her to join us at the table. I thought you might like to meet her.
SCOTT: Now that’s what I call a real Captain. Always thinking of his men.

His “men.” Yeah.

Mr. Scott uses a stereotypical Scottish pick-up line about the Aberdeen fog, and the dancer, Kara, claims she’s “dying to learn.” Dun dun dun. At this point a young man at a neighboring table swishes his cape (his cape!) angrily and leaves. Not suspicious at all.

They exit for their walk through the fogs that are mysteriously native to this planet, and Kirk invites McCoy to a place downtown “where the women—” McCoy cuts him off with a knowing “Yes!” but as they exit the club into the aforementioned fog, they hear a woman’s scream.

They discover Kara, dead, with multiple stab wounds, and Scotty clutching a bloodied knife. Worst date ever!

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “What Men Dare Do”

“What Men Dare Do”
Written by K.C. Hunter and Benny Russell
Directed by Allen Smith

Season 2, Episode 13.5
Production episode: 2×19
Original air date: April 1, 1968
Star date: 3253.6

Mission Summary:

In full dress uniform, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock await a special guest in the transporter room: Commodore Robert April, the first captain of the Enterprise. We learn that he just celebrated his thirtieth anniversary in Starfleet. To reward his exemplary service, they’ve promoted him to Federation Ambassador and assigned him to a diplomatic desk job on a planet. Kirk warmly welcomes the ambassador, praising his handling of an early encounter with the Andorians, while Spock greets him as an old acquaintance. They apparently met when Captain Pike assumed command of the ship, and April comments, “Heard about that nasty business on Talos IV. Thanks for taking care of Chris.”

The captain and first officer take him on a tour of the much-altered ship. Spock helpfully lists each aspect of the ship that has changed since his command, from the wall panel circuitry to the turbolift hydraulics couplings. April notes that he Spock is “as Vulcan as ever,” and gives Kirk a knowing look. When they reach Engineering, Mr. Scott runs through some of the overhauls he has completed, and April compliments him on “keeping the old bird flying.” They eventually make their way to the Bridge, where April nostalgically fondles the console buttons on the captain’s chair as Kirk sits in it. It’s been a long time. April offers the captain some advice:

APRIL: Don’t let them promote you, Jim. Don’t let them transfer you. Don’t let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of this ship, because while you’re in that chair, you can make a difference.

Soon a large blue planet fills the viewscreen. They have arrived at their destination, the Federation planet Risa. As they prepare to head to the transporter room, Uhura anxiously warns the captain that a Klingon vessel is in orbit around the planet, too.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Obsession”

“Obsession”
Written by Art Wallace
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 2, Episode 13
Production episode: 2×18
Original air date: December 15, 1967
Star date: 3619.2

Mission summary

Kirk, Spock, and some red shirts are surveying Argus X for tritanium, a substance Spock says is “21.4 times as hard” as a diamond. As they look at a rock, a strange fog rolls over the rocks above them, but it retreats when they harvest a tritanium sample with a phaser beam. Kirk hasn’t seen the fog, but he notices a sweet odor. The smell triggers the memory of something on another planet eleven years ago. He sends the security officers out to look for a “gaseous cloud,” and asks Spock to scan for dikironium, an element rarely seen and even more rarely pronounced. From Enterprise, Scott reminds him that they’ll be late for their rendezvous with Yorktown if they delay, but Kirk doesn’t care. A little ways off, Ensign Rizzo monologues on how the thing he’s scanning seems to be changing, while the fog surrounds his two friends and appears to suffocate them. Instead of firing at it, he calls Kirk and Spock to tell them about it. By the time they rush to his aid, he’s unconscious, and Kirk already knows the dead security men are missing all of their red blood cells. Spock asks what they’re looking for, and he replies, “Something that can’t possibly exist, but it does.”

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Deadly Years”

“The Deadly Years”
Written by David P. Harmon
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 2, Episode 12
Production episode: 2×11
Original air date:December 8, 1967
Star date: 3478.2

Mission Summary:
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Chekov, and Lt. Galway beam down to the surface of Gamma Hydra IV, a scientific outpost in need of resupply. The away team finds absolutely no one on the surface, though, and Kirk orders the party to spread out and look for the colony’s inhabitants. Poor Ensign Chekov gets the shock of his life when he enters a dark building to find an incredibly old man dead on a table. He screams, scared out of his wits, and informs the captain. When Dr. McCoy examines the man he finds that he’s died of extreme old age. Mr. Spock says this is impossible, because no one on the colony was over the age of thirty! But just then, a very old couple enter the building. Hard of hearing and near senility, the man reveals himself to be Robert Johnson, the twenty-nine-year-old leader of the scientific expedition, and the woman beside him is his twenty-seven-year-old wife.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Friday’s Child”

“Friday’s Child”
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 2, Episode 11
Production episode: 2×03
Original air date: December 1, 1967
Star date: 3497.2
Mission summary

The Enterprise arrives at Capella IV to negotiate for mining rights to a rare mineral called topaline, which is essential to colonial life-support systems. Doctor McCoy has spent some time on the planet, so he briefs the senior crew on the Capellan culture: they are a large, warlike people who believe “only the strong should survive” and have a lot of taboos. Sound like anyone we know? Worried about showing force by bringing an armed security team, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down with a lone red shirt, and a “young and inexperienced” one at that. Grant is also excitable; when they discover a Klingon hanging out on the planet, he draws his phaser and is instantly killed by a kligat, a knife the Capellans can throw up to a hundred yards. Too bad Kirk failed to warn him that Klingons were in the area…

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Journey to Babel”

“Journey to Babel”
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 2, Episode 10
Production episode: 2×15
Original air date: November 17, 1967
Star date: 3842.3

Mission Summary:
Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy are putting the finishing touches on their dress uniforms as the U.S.S. Enterprise arrives at Vulcan to pick up a delegation of ambassadors. These delegates from across the Federation are headed for a neutral planet code-named “Babel.” The planet Coridan, a small, poorly defended world rich in dilithium, has petitioned the Federation for admission, and a conference is being held to discuss their application. Tensions are already startlingly high when the Vulcan party comes aboard, lead by Ambassador Sarek, the Vulcan ambassador to Earth, joined by his human wife Amanda. Spock, in a charming moment, tries to teach Dr. McCoy how to do the proper salute but McCoy’s attempts are utter failures.

Sarek greets Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy warmly (for a Vulcan…), but turns a cold shoulder to Spock. The captain is a little perplexed but shrugs it off and offers to have Mr. Spock take him for a tour of the ship. The ambassador immediately declines the offer. Awkwardly, Kirk invites Mr. Spock to visit his parents while they are in orbit around Vulcan.

SPOCK: Captain, Ambassador Sarek and his wife are my parents.

Ouch, awkward! Too bad Kirk didn’t actually read Mr. Spock’s personnel file.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Metamorphosis”

“Metamorphosis”
Written by Gene L. Coon
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 2, Episode 9
Production episode:
Original air date: November 10, 1967
Star date: 3219.8

Mission summary

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are escorting Assistant Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford in the shuttlecraft Galileo to the Enterprise for emergency medical care. In the middle of delicate negotiations on Epsilon Canaris III, she contracted Sakuro’s disease, a rare illness that is fatal if left untreated. She’s anxious to get back to prevent a war, but when they’re only four hours away from rendezvous with the ship, scanners pick up a weird cloud in space blocking their way. Hedford whines about the situation, but that has no effect. The cloud sucks the shuttle in and whisks them off course.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “I, Mudd”

“I, Mudd”
Written by Stephen Kandel
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 2, Episode 9
Production episode: 2×12
Original air date: November 3, 1967
Star date: 4513.3

Mission Summary:
A new crewmember, Norman, has come aboard the Enterprise, and he stiffly greets Doctor McCoy and Spock in the hallway. Bones has a bad feeling about him—and since he’s the emotional core of the show, so do we.

MCCOY: There’s something wrong about a man who never smiles, whose conversation never varies from the routine of the job, and who won’t talk about his background.
SPOCK: I see.
MCCOY: Spock, I mean that it’s odd for a non-Vulcan. The ears make all the difference.

Norman makes his way to Auxiliary Control, where he silently karate-chops the crewman there and inputs a new course direction. Sulu can’t override it, and Security can’t seem to find Norman, which is shocking considering he’s taller than even Nimoy and looks like a giant among elves. Norman makes his way to Engineering next, knocking out poor Mr. Scott and reconfiguring the matter-antimatter pods into a trigger relay (yada yada SCIENCE!) that will destroy the ship if they try and override it. He then heads to the bridge, where an angry Kirk demands to know who he is and where they’re now inexorably headed.

Norman says in stilted pauses that “we” require the Enterprise, and reveals a circuit panel on his abdomen, complete with blinking lights: he’s an android! He then crosses his arms and turns himself off for the duration of the flight.

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Star Trek Online: First Contact

If you’ve been wondering what Eugene and Torie have been up to while the re-watch has been on hiatus, here’s a little hint: today is launch day for Star Trek Online!

The beta and head start weekend have been rocky1 and while we have our quibbles, Star Trek Online is shaping up to be a compelling, engaging MMORPG. We each had the chance to poke around for several hours leading up the release, and below the fold we share our first impressions and reactions. A more in-depth post will follow once we’ve had the chance to dig our teeth into it even more.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Catspaw”

“Catspaw”
Written by Robert Bloch
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 2, Episode 7
Production episode: 2×01
Original air date: October 27, 1967
Star date: 3018.2

Mission summary

Kirk is worried because the landing party surveying planet Kyris VII missed their scheduled check-in. Neither Scotty nor Sulu respond on communicators, but finally crewman Jackson contacts the ship with a request for transport—alone. He ignores Kirk’s questions about the people he really cares about, so they beam Jackson up. As soon as he materializes on the transporter pad he falls over, dead. Another transporter accident? No, because a cheesy voice trying to be scary emanates from Jackson’s mouth:

Captain Kirk, can you hear me? There is a curse on your ship. Leave this place or you will all die.

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