Season 1, Episodes 26-29, Star Trek: The Original Series

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So I’m back to watching Star Trek after about a year of delay. This post wraps up the first season, and these were all decent episodes. It’s not like Star Trek would be going for a big twist at the end of the season though, so this is less dramatic than it would be with more modern shows.

Season 1, Episode 26: “Errand of Mercy”

errandofmercyOriginal Airdate: 23 March 1967
Directed By: John Newland
Wikipedia Synopsis: “Peace negotiations have collapsed between the Federation and the warlike Klingon Empire. The Enterprise is ordered to protect Organia, a peaceful planet located near the Klingon border. Kirk and Spock beam to the surface to warn the Organians about the Klingons, but soon a Klingon fleet arrives, forcing the Enterprise to abandon the duo on the planet. The natives protect Kirk and Spock, even as Kor, the new Klingon governor, orders mass executions of the Organian people. As both Federation and Klingon fleets converge above the planet, Kirk and Spock execute a daring raid on the Klingon headquarters in an effort to destabilize their control over the planet.”
Favorite Quote:”The weak innocents always seem to be located on the natural invasion routes.”
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This is a really good episode. It’s the first one to feature Klingons. I had heard they looked different in the early episodes, and yeah, they basically just look like people but with painted on brown skin and beards. It was interesting because in this episode, Kirk has to come face to face with the idea that he might actually want war with the Klingons more than peace, reminiscent of The Undiscovered Country. In the face of highly evolved beings, he realizes he has more in common with the warlike Klingons than he originally thought. There are a lot of funny parts with Spock as well. My only real complaint would be that most of the rest of the cast (Bones, Scotty, etc) were not seen too much. Other than that, good episode, though Trek has done that highly evolved beings twist before.

Season 1, Episode 27: “The Alternative Factor”

thealternativefactor
Original Airdate: 30 March 1967
Directed By: Gerd Oswald
Wikipedia Synopsis: “While orbiting an apparently dead planet, the Enterprise seems to experience a strange moment of “nonexistence.” Captain Kirk discovers a man named Lazarus on the planet below, who claims the effect was caused by his “enemy,” later revealed to be an insane version of Lazarus from an alternate dimension. The sane version of Lazarus asks for Kirk’s help in defeating his counterpart.”
Favorite Quote: “Why do you give credence to this man?”
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This episode was pretty “meh.” I definitely wouldn’t call it bad, but it probably should have been more shocking than it ended up being. And Lazarus’ very strange facial hair ended up distracting heavily from the sci-fi concepts at hand. There was a minimum of shenanigans from the Enterprise crew, so the episode was not really a very humorous. Still, the concept of the parallel universe was interesting, even if they overused the whole spinning galaxy negative image stuff.

Season 1, Episode 28: “The City on the Edge of Forever”

thecityontheedgeofforever
Original Airdate: 6 April 1967
Directed By: Joseph Pevney
Wikipedia Synopsis: “After accidentally overdosing on a powerful stimulant, Dr. McCoy becomes unbalanced and disappears through the Guardian of Forever, a newly discovered time portal on a remote planet. Kirk and Spock follow after learning that McCoy somehow changed history. Arriving in the 1930s, the duo meet Edith Keeler, a New York social worker who gives them a place to stay. As the days pass, and McCoy is nowhere to be seen, Kirk finds himself falling in love with Keeler… but Spock discovers that Keeler must die to restore the timeline.”
Favorite Quote: “You! What planet is this?”
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This is a pretty good episode. It’s slightly more on the emotional side as no one’s really concerned with battling aliens here, just making sure that Kirk’s love interest dies at the proper time. This episode was slightly tiresome only because I wasn’t really drawn into the moral dilemma somehow. However, the theory of time was interesting, though it’s more than a little unbelievable that Kirk and Spock get jobs in two seconds during the Great Depression.

Season 1, Episode 29: “Operation: Annihilate!”

operationannihilate

Original Airdate: 13 April 1967
Directed By: Herschel Daugherty
Wikipedia Synopsis: “The Enterprise arrives at Deneva – the home of Captain Kirk’s brother, Sam and his family – and discovers that the entire planet has been infested with large, amoeba-like aliens that have attacked and killed much of the human population. One of these aliens attaches itself to Spock, who volunteers to become a subject in Dr. McCoy’s medical tests. Can McCoy and Kirk find a cure in time to save Spock and the remainder of the Denevan population?”
Favorite Quote: “I am a Vulcan. I am a Vulcan.”
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This episode did get a bit dire when Spock was fighting against the parasite, but let’s be real, was anyone really that worried? The craziest thing about this episode wasn’t really the alien parasites (though they are the ultimate in low budget alien creations), more so is the fact that Kirk had a brother! He was found dead so we were never really introduced to him (he was played by Shatner in a fake mustache), but nevertheless this is interesting information that I was hitherto unaware of.

So that wraps up season one, and I’ll be trying to do the same for season two over the summer. These posts are very time consuming, one of the reason I stopped doing them for about a year. But that’s not a huge problem anymore as I basically have all the time in the world.

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2 responses to “Season 1, Episodes 26-29, Star Trek: The Original Series

  1. Hi, Hunter:

    Intriguing post. In that some of the lesser episodes are getting their time in the spotlight with exceptional dissertations and critiques!

    ‘Errand of Mercy’ comes very close to my initial impression that the Federation was a microcosm of the US and NATO during the Cold War of the 1950s through 80s. The Klingons were the Russians and the planet and inhabitants of Organia could be any Eastern European or African country seeking “independence”.

    A neat little package focused on Kirk and Spock under the touch of veteran director, John Newland.

    While ‘The Alternative Factor’ was just a little weird with a plot beyond the reach of the writers. Though filled with some great soliloquies and verbal give and take and better than average special effects. It’s also nice to see such a meaty and quizzical role given to Robert Brown.

    ‘City of the Edge of Forever’ is as close to a perfect episode as one could ask for. Superb plot and script. Enhanced by attention to 1930s detail and a wonderfully fleshed out guest star in Joan Collins.

    While ‘Operation: Annihilate!’ is a great looking example of grabbing up scraps and leftovers and making them look like viable intelligent alien lifeforms. Very reminiscent of the original B&W ‘The Outer Limits’ in that regard. Kind of neat to learn more about Kirk’s brother, Sam.

    • Yeah, well I’m going (very slowly) for completion here!
      I always though the Klingons were supposed to be Russians. I liked that episode, though it’s a little fuzzy because I watched it so long ago.
      The Alternative Factor got more than a little bit weird. The special effects looked alright I suppose, but they didn’t make a lot of sense.
      The City on the Edge of Forever has all the makings of a great episode, but it’s kind of an overused plot at this point. Back in ’67 I’m sure it was brand new!
      I liked the aliens in Operation: Annihilate! if only for the comedic effect :)

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