Welcome back to the wonderful world of television! It’s been awhile since the last one, but that’s fine. It takes awhile to fit these in around the movies, despite the fact that the individual episodes are shorter. To get five for a post it takes longer than watching your typical feature film. But enough of this idle babble, I’m happy to report that Trek seems to really have hit its stride, these episodes were all pretty decent. I really liked four of them but the last one was kind of substandard.
Season 1, Episode 5: “Mudd’s Women”
Original Airdate: 13 October 1966
Directed By: Harvey Hart
Wikipedia synopsis: “The Enterprise pursues a vessel and rescues its occupants, interstellar con man Harry Mudd, who is arrested on outstanding charges, and three incredibly beautiful women, his cargo. After Kirk diverts to a mining planet to obtain new dilithium crystals for the Enterprise, Mudd negotiates with the three miners there, exchanging his women for dilithium crystals for his own profit. Finally, Mudd’s deception is revealed as the women are, in fact, very plain and only appear beautiful due to taking illegal Venus drugs. Kirk obtains the crystals he needs and takes Mudd back into custody.”
Favorite quote: “A most annoying emotional episode.”
Despite the quote I chose, I did not think this was an annoying episode. I was quite impressed by it actually as it kicks around a lot issues that are still relevant today. It deals with appearance, self-perception, and gender roles and when you generally think of Star Trek you don’t get these things. As far as I know this was before the days when everybody was all like “oh no! Eating disorders!” and “Make-up is such a big problem for society!” and everything, so Trek seems really ahead of its time here. It shows that men sometimes have really high standards for women, but it balances it out by showing that women also have really high standards for themselves. I also really liked how the gross chauvinistic man knew how to cook for himself though; that was great. Trek really was boldly going here. The only annoying thing, and I had this complaint with the fifth movie as well, is that they interrupt the message for an adventure. Kirk is literally in the middle of delivering an inspirational point when Spock calls him on the communicator with tidings of doom. He should have been allowed to finish his message, because it was a good one.
Season 1, Episode 7: “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”
Original Airdate: 20 October 1966
Directed By: James Goldstone
Wikipedia synopsis: “In search of Nurse Chapel’s fiancé, renowned exobiologist Roger Korby, the Enterprise visits the icy planet Exo III, where Korby has discovered an ancient machine which allows him to duplicate any living person with an android replacement. Korby plans to use the machine to spread controlled androids throughout the Federation, and replaces Captain Kirk with such a duplicate in an effort to take over the Enterprise.”
Favorite Quote: “To maintain your existence would be illogical.”
This episode reminded me a lot of AI: Artificial Intelligence. Since it’s about really lifelike androids, naturally it would. This is Star Trek of course, so we also got a lot of emotion vs. logic debates between the creator of the robots and Kirk. I wished that Spock could have gotten in on these debates though, since he often advocates the logic side of things he would have more of a conflict. Kirk goes with emotion all the time, so it was obvious what he was going to go with here. Spock would have had a much bigger choice to make. Or he would have used logic in some way to make it easy; I don’t know. I wish the show had gone there though. In other words, this episode seems to mark the official entrance of womanizer Kirk, as he seduces one of the androids to make his getaway.
Season 1, Episode 8: “Miri”
Original Airdate: 27 October 1966
Directed by: Vincent McEveety
Wikipedia synopsis: “After discovering what appears to be a duplicate of the planet Earth, Captain Kirk and his landing party find a population ravaged by a strange disease, which only children appear to have survived.”
Favorite quote: “Without them, it could be a beaker full of death.”
The good thing about this episode is basically everybody gets beamed down to the planet, so almost everybody’s in this episode. Fun times. Also, Janice is back, I was wondering what was happening to her. The most notable, and also objectionable, thing about this episode is the way Kirk manipulates Miri. It really depressed me. She’s like fourteen and he knows she likes him, but uses her anyway. The show totally lets him get away with it and I was not happy.
Season 1, Episode 9: “Dagger of the Mind”
Original Airdate: 3 November 1966
Directed By: Vincent McEveety
Wikipedia synopsis: “While on a re-supply mission to a rehabilitation colony for the criminally insane, the Enterprise crew discover that the chief doctor has been using a device which destroys the human mind. Kirk and a female crew member, down on the planet, must deal with the problem up close and personal. Spock performs a mind meld for the first time in this episode.”
Favorite quote: “When we get through this, I’d like to locate and raid a kitchen.”
The most notable aspect of this episode is the first appearance of the Vulcan mind meld! It’s especially fascinating because it’s not just the first time he’s done it on the show, but it’s also the first time he’s done it on a human. Clearly, it worked since we’ve seen him do it on humans all the time, but this was the first! It was different than one normally sees; he grabs the top and bottom of the guy’s head instead of the sides. The episode itself deals with mind control, so it’s fitting that they would introduce the mind meld here.
Season 1, Episode 10: “The Corbomite Manueveur”
Original Airdate: 10 November 1966
Directed by: Joseph Sargent
Wikipedia synopsis: “The Enterprise is menaced by a gigantic alien ship whose commander condemns the crew to death. The alien ship appears all-powerful and the alien commander refuses all attempts at negotiation, forcing Kirk to employ an unorthodox strategy to save the ship.”
Favorite quote:“There’s no such thing as unknown. Just temporarily hidden”
This episode started out pretty decently; there was a lot of funny stuff going on. I was just going along and enjoying the characters like normal, but once we actually got into the plot proper it wasn’t so great anymore. The plot was kind of going along normally for awhile, but then it started to get repetitive. Then they decided to add in this bizarre twist that didn’t help matters. Twists in general don’t bother me, and I’m not sure why this one did other than it was really weird, kind of like they were taking an easy way out I suppose. So in general this episode wasn’t that good, but the sarcasm and sass everyone was dishing out towards the beginning was as good as any Trek episode.
There you have it! I’m through a third of the first season! They’re really gotten into their comfort zone I think, and hopefully the next ones will be just as good or even better. Episodes 11 and 12 are two-parters, so that’s pretty exciting!
Click here for the next group of episodes (S1, E11-15)