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47

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Cloud Minders”

The Cloud Minders
Written by Margaret Armen
Story by David Gerrold and Oliver Crawford
Directed by Jud Taylor

Season 3, Episode 21
Production episode: 3×19
Original air date: February 28, 1969
Star date: 5818.4

Mission summary

To combat a devastating botanical plague that threatens the non-botanical life on Merak II, Enterprise heads to Ardana, a Federation world that possesses unobtainium zenite, the only thing in the universe that can save the trees. Upon arrival, they’re invited to the cloud city Stratos for an audience with the High Advisor Plasus, but they’re in too much of a hurry for pomp and circumstance. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock beam down directly to the zenite mine entrance to pick up the prescription they ordered from drugstore.com and get on their way. However, they do spare some time to gaze admiringly at the city floating above and discuss its utter devotion to art and purely intellectual pursuits.

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69

Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Lights of Zetar”

The Lights of Zetar
Written by Jeremy Tarscher and Shari Lewis
Directed by Herb Kenwith

Season 3, Episode 18
Production episode: 3×18
Original air date:  January 31, 1969
Star date:  5725.3

Mission summary

The Enterprise has some newly designed hardware for Memory Alpha, the central repository for all Federation knowledge both cultural and scientific. To help with the installation is Lieutenant Mira Romaine, a beautiful young specialist that Scotty has taken quite a liking to. This concerns Kirk:

KIRK: When a man of Scotty’s years falls in love, the loneliness of his life is suddenly revealed to him. His whole heart once throbbed only to the ship’s engines. He could talk only to the ship. Now he can see nothing but the woman.

Good thing he’s archiving that thought in a log for the bureaucrats back home!

But before they can give him any dating advice, a series of strobe lights flashes across the viewscreen. It seems at first to be some kind of storm, but the speed and precision with which it moves betrays a kind of intelligence.  It closes in on the Enterprise and engulfs the bridge and her crew in sparkly lights.

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30

Star Trek Re-Watch: “That Which Survives”

That Which Survives
Written by John Meredyth Lucas
Story by Michael Richards
Directed by Herb Wallerstein

Season 3, Episode 17
Production episode: 3×14
Original air date: January 24, 1969
Star date: Unknown

Mission summary

Enterprise is in orbit around what appears to be a “ghost planet,” a planetary body lousy with vegetation despite the fact that it’s only a few thousand years old. Its mass and atmosphere resemble Earth’s (of course), though it’s only the size of Earth’s moon. The crew can’t turn down an opportunity to dig deeper into this mystery and explore “a planet that even Spock can’t explain,” so Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Sulu, and Senior Geologist D’Amato prepare to beam down.

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31

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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49

Star Trek Re-Watch: “Is There in Truth No Beauty?”

Is There in Truth No Beauty?
Written by Jean Lisette Aroeste
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 3, Episode 5
Production episode: 3×07
Original air date: October 18, 1968
Star date: 5630.7

Mission summary

Enterprise is on routine taxi duty, escorting a less-than-routine diplomat back to his homeworld: Ambassador Kollos is a Medusan, “a race of beings who are formless, so utterly hideous” that just looking at one will drive the beholder mad. But on the up side, they’re very intelligent and have wonderful personalities.

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1

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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16

Star Trek Re-Watch: “A Taste of Armageddon”

“A Taste of Armageddon”
Teleplay by Robert Hamner and Gene L. Coon
Story by Robert Hamner
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 1, Episode 23
Production episode: 1×23
Original air date: February 23, 1967
Star date: 3192.1

Mission summary
The Enterprise is en route to NGC 321, a star cluster hosting a number of inhabited worlds. The Federation (first named here in full as the United Federation of Planets) wants desperately to stop the bloodshed of the past and establish peaceful, diplomatic relations. In pursuit of that goal they’ve sent along Ambassador Robert Fox to make contact with Eminiar VII, the star cluster’s principal planet.

With hailing frequencies open (thanks, Uhura), they finally receive a response from the planet: Code 710. That code means that under no circumstances should the Enterprise approach the planet.

“Disregard that,” says Ambassador Asshat (AA).

Kirk warns him that disregarding that signal could result in interplanetary war, but AA responds that he’s “willing to take that risk.”

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