October 28, 2015
Okay, pop quiz: your only method of transit between your giant starship and the surface of nearby Crappy Frozen Hell-Planet-of-the-Adorable-Unicorn-Dogs is an occasionally-dodgy matter-transport device which, if malfunctioning, stands a not-inconsiderable chance of scattering your component atoms across time and space. One day, the transporter starts acting weird. Do you:
If you answered B, you might not want to pursue a career in starship engineering. Maybe Ship’s Counsellor! God knows they could use one.
In an episode based on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (which drives home last week’s Always Follow Biohazard Protocols lesson), we see Captain Kirk accidentally duplicated in a freak transporter accident, split into Good! and Evil! Kirks. I’m sure it surprises no one that Evil gets better lighting.
Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault (an attempted sexual assault is contained within the Trek episode itself).
October 21, 2015
It’s hard to explain this episode, despite it having a surprisingly simple plot: our fair ship is in a perilous, risky situation where survival depends on quick reaction times and the crew keeping their heads… so, naturally, everybody gets space-drunk. *rattlesnake noise*
But there’s so much more going on with this episode, to the point that we felt like we, too, were growing more and more space-drunk as the story progressed. (Which is actually a pretty good metaphor for the whole experience.) If you’re me and Kim, and your affections for this episode were already firmly secured by nostalgia and the TNG companion episode of very similar name, you’ll love this one. If you’re Corene and insist on silly things like “plot” and “sense,” you’ll probably spend a lot of the 50 minutes screaming. To each their own.
Lesson for this week, and we cannot stress this enough: Always. Follow. Biohazard. Protocols. (We’re looking at you, Joey.)
October 14, 2015
In the episode originally written as the second series pilot, we join the U.S.S. (that’s United Space Ship) Enterprise as she attempts to cross the Galactic Barrier. Why? Who cares? SCIENCE. Except as it turns out, this miiiiiiiiight not be the best plan ever conceived. A flight recorder found near the barrier tells them that the last ship to attempt the crossing was lost. But hey, what can possibly go wrong, right?
Where No Man Has Gone Before – and if that line sounds familiar, it’s because it’s basically the motto of the entire Star Trek franchise (later updated to “Where No One Has Gone Before”) – features just about the only time in Star Trek continuity that we see mention of human telepathy, and believe me, we can go on about that alone for hours. It also asks the question: when is a morally acceptable juncture at which to leave someone to die on a barren planet light-years from home or help? Is it when they start referring to you as “ants” and start murdering your crew left and right with their creepy godlike superpowers?
…well, yes, as it turns out. Down to the minute.
October 7, 2015
This week’s episode is Charlie X, in which we learn important lessons on culture shock, the importance of consent, and why being an aggressively entitled manbaby is that much worse when the entitled manbaby in question has, uh, you know, reality-warping evil superpowers.
I don’t care what anybody says, the Jim Kirk Explains Consent scene makes everything else about this episode worthwhile, though maybe Starfleet should look into some kind of standard codewords for situations involving telepathic alien duress and/or body-swapping. I’m just saying, it could come in handy.
September 30, 2015
Officially the first-aired episode of TOS, though not the first in continuity (Apparently we’re going by air date. I was outvoted.), we join the Enterprise (no bloody A, B, C, OR D) on a routine mission to give a pair of Federation archaeologists on an isolated dig their mandated medical check-up. Dr. Suspicious Behaviour is less than pleased to see them, and while his lovely wife (an old flame of Dr. McCoy’s) is a lot more polite, she’s also possibly a little bit evil.
Not unrelated: this episode includes the first redshirts of Star Trek, though not all of them are actually wearing red. Also features a salt-hungry octopus monster with deeply-uncomfortable-illusion powers, a tortured metaphor involving buffalo, and lots of people “thinking with their glands” (…okay, 1960s euphemisms, if you say so).
September 23, 2015
In our first episode, we start from the beginning with the
probably-should-have-remained unaired Original Series Pilot: The Cage, staring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike.
Note: this is probably the only time we will all agree on an episode.