TOS Re-Watch Archive

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Amok Time”

“Amok Time”
Written by Theodore Sturgeon
Directed by Joseph Pevney

Season 2, Episode 1
Production episode: 2×05
Original air date: September 15, 1967
Star date: 3372.7

Mission summary
Something’s wrong with Spock! At least that’s what Dr. McCoy thinks, since Spock hasn’t eaten in three days and he’s a little edgy. Captain Kirk assumes his first officer is just being moody again, even after Spock throws a bowl of plomeek soup at Nurse Chapel. But then the Vulcan requests a leave of absence to visit his home planet, which definitely demands explanation.

Spock claims Chapel deserved mistreatment for being nice enough to bring him homemade soup that he didn’t ask for, but Kirk couldn’t care less about his misogynistic opinions, he’s more interested in the request for shore leave: “In all the years that I’ve known you, you’ve never asked for a leave of any sort. In fact, you’ve refused them.” Spock won’t share his reasons, but it seems pretty important and he obviously needs a vacation. The usually controlled Vulcan can’t even keep his hands steady. Kirk finally agrees to divert the Enterprise from its mission to Altair 6.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: Season 1 Wrap-Up

Before we transition into the second season of Star Trek, we thought this would be an ideal time to pause and look back on the first twenty-nine episodes of the Enterprise’s mission. Hopefully some of you have used the last month to catch up so you can follow along as we continue to re-watch the series. Reading your comments and discussing the episodes each week is as exciting and interesting for us as we hope it is for you!

Here is a breakdown of our respective ratings.

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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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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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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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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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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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Star Trek Re-Watch: “This Side of Paradise”

“This Side of Paradise”
Written by D.C. Fontana (story by Nathan Butler and D.C. Fontana)
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 1, Episode 24
Production episode: 1×25
Original air date: March 2, 1967
Star date: 3417.3

Mission summary
The Enterprise is tasked with a rescue mission to an Earth colony on planet Omicron Ceti III, which is being bombarded with lethal Berthold rays that disintegrate animal tissue under prolonged exposure. They don’t expect to find any survivors, and on first glance it seems that all 150 colonists are in fact dead, as there is no response to their hails. Brief exposure to the radiation should be safe, so Kirk beams down with a landing party consisting of Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Lt. Sulu, Mr. DeSalle, and Mr. Kelowitz. They wander through the empty streets of a small town farming community, which oddly resembles a Hollywood backlot. Kirk laments the apparent loss of life in the colony, “another dream that failed,” but then a man appears and welcomes them to the planet. He identifies himself as Elias Sandoval, the leader of the group that left Earth four years before.

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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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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Space Seed”

“Space Seed”
Written by Gene L. Coon and Carey Wilber
Story by Carey Wilber
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 1, Episode 22
Production episode: 1×24
Original air date: February 16, 1967
Star date: 3141.9

Mission summary
The Enterprise stumbles across an unknown vessel, as it often does, but this one is transmitting a repeating signal in Morse Code: CQ. Kirk doesn’t even need Uhura to translate this old message, “calling any station,” leaving her with nothing to do. When they get in visual range, Spock identifies it as a DY-100, an Earth ship built in the 1990s. It has no business being out there, and they determine it must be a derelict or is being used by aliens. McCoy’s bioscanners do pick up faint non-human heartbeats, averaging “only four beats per minute,” and sensors detect functioning equipment on the other ship, though there’s no other activity.

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