TOS Re-Watch Archive

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Menagerie” Part I

“The Menagerie” Part I
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 1, Episode 11
Production episode: 1×15
Original air date: November 17, 1966
Star date: 3012.4

Mission summary
The Enterprise is diverted to Starbase 11 after supposedly receiving a request from Fleet Captain Christopher Pike, the previous captain of the Enterprise and Spock’s former commander. But when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down, Commodore Mendez informs them that such a transmission was never sent. In fact, it’s impossible for Captain Pike to send any messages, as he was recently the victim of a terrible accident that exposed him to dangerous delta rays. Instead of gaining amazing new superpowers, he was paralyzed and deformed. Pike is now restricted to a wheelchair, his communication limited to blinking lights that signal “yes” and “no.”

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Corbomite Maneuver”

“The Corbomite Maneuver”
Written by Jerry Sohl
Directed by Joseph Sargent

Season 1, Episode 109
Production episode: 1×02
Original air date: November 10, 1966
Star date: 1512.2

Mission Summary
The Enterprise, gloriously star-mapping previously uncharted space, is approached by a strange object: a cube. The mysterious cube blocks the Enterprise’s path, and Spock, currently in command, tries to out-maneuver it (to no avail). He alerts Kirk, who had been otherwise gratuitously shirtless for a physical exam, back to the bridge.

Unable to hail it, communicate with it, or dodge it, the Enterprise remains stuck for eighteen hours. Kirk convenes a meeting of the bridge crew but they are unable to determine its nature or intent. Spock guesses that the cube is one of two things: some kind of space buoy, or flypaper.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Dagger of the Mind”

“Dagger of the Mind”
Written by S. Bar-David
Directed by Vincent McEeevy

Season 1, Episode 9
Production episode: 1×10
Original air date: November 3, 1966
Star date: 2715.1

Mission summary
After the Enterprise boldly goes to the penal colony on Tantalus V to deliver cargo, a man-sized box of research materials is transported to the ship for their next mail run. While the engineering technician has his back turned in the transporter room, a crazed and sweaty man emerges from the cardboard box like some horrible surprise at a bachelorette party, tiptoes around the console, then knocks out the hapless tech. He exchanges his prison garb for the tech’s more stylish red jumpsuit and attempts to blend in with the rest of the crew, which is only slightly less sweaty than he is. After the Enterprise leaves Tantalus, they receive a message from the colony: one of their prisoners has escaped! They suspect he was in the unnecessarily large box that was beamed to the Enterprise, and warn that he is “potentially violent.”

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Miri”

“Miri”
Written by Adrian Spies
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 1, Episode 8
Production episode: 1×11
Original air date: October 27, 1966
Star date: 2713.5

Mission summary
The Enterprise picks up an S.O.S. and follows it to a planet eerily similar to Earth, as it was in the mid-twentieth century. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Janice, and two red shirts beam down to the surface. They find the planet is a desolate wasteland (that looks remarkably like a late ’60s Hollywood lot…), uninhabited for at least 300 years. Doctor McCoy bends down to examine a tricycle sitting atop a huge heap of garbage, and a disfigured humanoid creature leaps out at him. The creature claims the tricycle is his, and in the broken thoughts of a child whose toy has been seized, he attacks the landing party. A brief skirmish breaks out until the boy-creature succumbs to seizures and dies. McCoy, somewhat stunned, takes a few readings and realizes: “Its metabolic rate. It’s impossibly high, as if it’s burning itself up, almost as if it aged a century in just the past few minutes.”

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

“What Are Little Girls Made Of?”
Written by Robert Bloch
Directed by James Goldstone

Season 1, Episode 7
Production episode: 1×09
Original air date: October 10, 1966
Star date: 2712.4

Mission summary
The Enterprise arrives at planet Exo-III in search of Dr. Roger Korby, a famed archaeologist who disappeared there five years ago after discovering underground caverns on the freezing planet. More importantly, he’s Nurse Chapel’s fiancé, which is why she’s on the bridge anxiously awaiting word from the surface. They don’t expect to make contact with Korby because two other expeditions have already failed to locate him, but the third time’s the charm; he answers their hails with an odd request. He asks Captain Kirk to beam down alone, as he has an important discovery to discuss with him. Spock is puzzled, but Kirk is willing to give the “Pasteur of archaeological medicine” (which means he translated some old Orion medical records) the benefit of the doubt. When Korby finds out Christine Chapel is on board, he agrees to let Kirk bring her along.

Things get off to a rocky start. Kirk and Chapel beam down, but Korby isn’t there. Worried about the change in plans, Kirk orders some decoys beamed down from the Enterprise. Security officer Rayburn stays behind at the landing site, while Matthews tags along as they explore the extremely well-lit underground caverns. Instead of taking the lead, Matthews falls behind the others, looking around him nervously as though he expects something to happen to him at any moment.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Mudd’s Women”

“Mudd’s Women”
Teleplay by Stephen Kandel
Story by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Harvey Hart

Season 1, Episode 6
Production episode: 1×03
Original air date: October 13, 1966
Star date: 1329.8

Mission Summary
The Enterprise is chasing down a small cargo ship that refuses to respond to hails or identity itself. The mysterious ship, despite its own failing engines, enters an asteroid belt (where the Enterprise must inevitably foll0w). Since asteroid belts are, yanno, full of asteroids, Kirk attempts to save the men onboard the doomed vessel by extending the Enterprise’s shield-thingy to encompass it. Just as they’re able to beam aboard that ship’s crew, the tiny cargo vessel is destroyed by an asteroid.

The first man to beam over is Leo Walsh.  Sweaty, mustached, and dressed in a weird pirate shirt and hammer pants, he looks like some kind of space gypsy. That coupled with the Irish brogue make it clear he’s hiding something. Walsh claims that he avoided the Enterprise because he wasn’t sure if they were friendly. A likely story! Scotty is finally able to lock onto the three others, and beams over…

…three beautiful woman.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Enemy Within”

“The Enemy Within”
Written by Richard Matheson
Directed by Leo Penn

Season 1, Episode 5
Production episode: 1×04
Original air date: October 6, 1966
Star date: 1672.1

Mission summary
On a routine survey mission on planet Alfa 177, geological technician Fisher injures himself and beams up to the Enterprise covered in a strange yellow ore. The transporter suffers technical difficulties while he materializes. Chief Engineer Scott is worried enough to order that the equipment be checked out, but not worried enough to ask Captain Kirk to kindly wait five minutes before beaming back. When Kirk arrives on the transporter pad, he looks a little woozy. Scotty helps him to his quarters, leaving the room unattended, and a few seconds later, the transporter activates by itself. A hunched figure appears, facing away from us. He turns and we see…it’s Captain Kirk! The extreme close-up, dramatic music, and lighting on his face—not to mention the eyeliner—tell us immediately that he’s evil.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Naked Time”

“The Naked Time”
Written by John D.F. Black
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 1, Episode 4
Production episode: 1×06
Original air date: September 29, 1966
Star date: 1704.2

Mission summary
The Enterprise is in orbit around the planet Psi 2000, an ancient world in its “death throes” that has frozen over into an inhospitable wasteland, sort of like Hoth. The ship’s mission is to recover the science crew on the surface and observe the final disintegration of the planet. Mr. Spock and LTJG Joe Tormolen beam down to the surface and find that all of the scientists are dead: one woman strangled, another frozen at his post, and another frozen standing in the shower—fully clothed. (Note: If it looks like they’re wearing shower curtains instead of hazmat suits, it’s because they actually are.) Joe, in a moment of truly inspired stupidity, removes one of his gloves to scratch his nose. He bends down to take a reading and when touching the surface of a workstation comes into contact with some kind of red liquid. None the wiser having been infected with a space contagion, he replaces the glove and they beam back to the Enterprise.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Where No Man Has Gone Before”

Where No Man Has Gone Before
Written by Samuel A. Peeples
Directed by James Goldstone

Season 1, Episode 3
Production episode: 1×01
Original air date: September 22, 1966
Star date: 1312.4

Mission summary
On the outskirts of the Milky Way, the Enterprise discovers the recorder marker of the S.S. Valiant, a ship that has been missing for over 200 years. The disaster recorder contains a wealth of exposition, which Spock haltingly “interpolates” from its memory banks. It seems that the Valiant ran into “some unknown force,” which badly damaged the ship and killed six crew members. Another crewman was injured but recovered, after which there were urgent requests for information on extrasensory perception. Then the ship apparently self-destructed by order of its captain, which Spock finds hard to believe.

Kirk decides to resume his mission to uh, probe, where no man has gone before (aside from the dead crew of the Valiant, of course), hoping that they will find answers to the mystery ahead. The Enterprise soon encounters a strange force field at the edge of the galaxy, an unknown force, if you will, which may or may not actually be there—the ship’s deflectors and sensors disagree. The only way out is through, so they head straight for the barrier. A pretty light show blows some fuses in the ship—and in Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, a visiting psychologist, and Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, the chauvinistic navigator. Dr. Dehner seems fine after her little shock (fortunately, Dr. Piper, the chief medical officer, was standing right next to her), but when Mitchell regains consciousness, his eyes have turned bright silver. To make matters worse, nine of the crew are dead and the Enterprise has lost warp power. Could they be about to suffer the same fate as the Valiant?

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Charlie X”

Charlie X
Teleplay By D.C. Fontana
Story By Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin

Season 1, Episode 2
Production Episode: 1×07
Original air date: September 15, 1966
Star date: 1533.6

Mission summary
The Enterprise rendezvouses with the Antares, a trade (later, survey) ship that has picked up an unusual passenger: Charles Evans. Charlie is a seventeen-year-old boy who was the only survivor of a crash into the planet Thasus, fourteen years ago. He’s been living alone on the planet for as long as he can remember, until he was rescued by the Antares. Captain Ramart and Tom Nellis of the Antares beam over with Charlie to pass him off to the Enterprise, which is headed in the direction of Colony Alpha 5, the location of Charlie’s only living relatives. In between sweating profusely and otherwise looking incredibly sketchy, the two men swear up and down that Charlie is the greatest thing since sliced food cubes. They then get the hell out of there, refusing even an offer of Saurian brandy!

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