Monday, June 22, 2015

Short Treks Season 3.5

“The Wink of an Eye”
Air Date: November 29, 1968
Mom Title: “Speeded Up People”

Kirk and Spock are obviously still suffering after effects from the Platonian mind control.  Spock acts far more stilted and Vulcan than usual, and Kirk’s libido is stuck well beyond maximum overdrive.  Unless he's overcompensating for losing Miramanee.

It is lucky that the Scalosians move too fast to be seen.  Any lingering look at this episode, which veers away from EC Horror comics towards a 1950’s “B” movie ethic, would reveal plot holes big enough to fly the Fesarius through. 

If they move too fast to be detected by electronic sensors, how can they use the transporters?

If their lives are accelerated that far beyond normal, why the need for the dryer vent / button phone technology to put the crew in suspended animation?

How could Deela have known anything the Captain said before accelerating him when communication between the different speeds is impossible?

Shouldn’t Kirk’s nearly frostbitten hands have counted as “cellular damage?”

Didn’t firing a phaser on the bridge set off all kinds of alarms?

Most importantly…

Using an amorous rendezvous as a means to distract aliens hell bent on draining the lives of your entire command is a questionable plan from the start.

However, consider that it took what appeared to be several hours for “normal time” Scotty to walk from the door of the transporter room to the console from the point of view of the accelerated Scalosians.

That means Kirk’s “delaying tactic” with Deela must have lasted SEVERAL DAYS!

I’d really like to know what brand of coffee the Captain drinks.

On the technological front, this story provides further proof that along with no means of transmitting text, there are also no hard drives on the Enterprise. All data is kept in those little multicolored cards.

Looks like the floppy disk will live again in the Twenty Third Century.

“The Empath”
Air Date: December 6, 1968
Mom Title: “Gem”

The Big Three beam down alone again, this time to collect some researchers from Minara II orbiting a star that’s about to supernova.  That’s the Federation, always cutting it close when it comes to cataclysm.

Our heroes are long range teleported deep underground onto the set of a minimalist, experimental, mime theater.  Amazingly, this inane setup leads to some compelling storytelling. 
The success of this episode owes much to the emotional pantomime of Kathryn Hays, and the excellent acting skills of the Big Three, highlighting the bonds of friendship they’ve created and cultivated over the duration of the show.

Bonus points go to DeForest Kelley for delivering the following lines with conviction and believability as he pulls a name for their mute companion out of his medical posterior.

Bones, “Well, I don't know about you, but I'm going to call her Gem.”
Spock, “Gem, Doctor? "
Bones,  “Well, that's better than 'Hey, you.’”

Even with his usual methods of trying to attack before trying to escape, Kirk manages to teach some lessons on compassion.  He’s multi-faceted.

The tale isn’t a hundred percent focused on the Big Three, and we get some rare Third Season glimpses at Scotty and Sulu, demonstrating why they are known as the best in the fleet at their respective positions.

The Vians (which look a great deal like the Talosians, even though they aren't telepathic, or at least pretend not to be.  They do have technology we’ve seen over and over again from “way better than you” races) raise a question of this extra galactic invasion to a head.  In other episodes there are suggestions of two groups of beings that have evolved far beyond humans: one which has harmful or domineering intents and the other with guiding and protective goals. 

As we see the Vians deciding whether or not to rescue a doomed planet by using horrifically damaging mental and physical torture in order to generate stronger feelings of self-sacrifice than self-preservation, we get an answer.  It doesn’t matter what their claimed goals are, because they’re all encouraging valuing the group over the individual –fostering a “the society comes first” ideal- and they all have a callous disregard for the suffering of those “beneath them.” 

Good thing the heroic crew of the Enterprise stands in their way.  That kind of help, the galaxy doesn’t need. 

“Elaan of Troyus”
December 20, 1968
Mom Title: “Love Potion Tears”

Hey, its My Fair Lady meets the Iliad, with a dash of Tristan and Isolde thrown in.  
OK, so they’re stealing plots, but at least the combination is creative.

Wow!  Those tears created a real, working love potion!

Does Harry Mudd know about this?

Although, based on how The Dohlman dresses, and how Kirk acts in the other episodes this season, I’m not sure she really needed them.  Especially since he was in the room during the explanation of how the tears worked. I think he was just looking for an excuse...Definitely overcompensating.

This is especially true considering he broke the unbreakable love potion due to “devotion to his ship.”  Yeah, it was the tears that had him back in his cabin, charging her dilithium crystals…that’s it.

Also on the subject of those tears: Doctor McCoy seems overly enthused about the thought of being “driven wild.”

You old dog, you.

Security on the Enterprise is up to its usual standards as a large, belligerent, armed guard is allowed to wander around the ship, and into engineering completely unmonitored.

Then again, why blame laxes on one ship, when the Federation itself has a member that is a sub light capable warmongering monarchy who operates diplomacy via forced marriages. 

I get the feeling someone much higher up the chain knew about the dilithium on Elas and didn’t tell anyone. They merely sent down orders to put up with their crap no matter what. Typical high level manager “need to know” thinking.

Hey look, it’s not only the human ambassadors who are annoying, useless ninnies. With a war like culture, and bluish makeup anyway, you have to wonder why they didn’t bring back the Andorians?  Maybe they ran out of antennae?

Justifiably given the above, Kirk treats everyone involved in this assignment like he did Mr. Lurry back on Station K-7.

The whole mission is against everything the Captain believes in, but his job is on the line and he dislikes all parties involved. 
Perhaps he did know about the dilithium, and just kept it a secret to vent his frustration by being entertained by Scotty freaking out over putting those unrefined rocks in “his” engines?

The enhanced special effects add to the drama with the Klingon attack, and make is glaringly obvious that the Organians have stopped giving a rat’s patootie.

Maybe they recognize Mara’s progress from a couple of weeks ago?

Perhaps having yet another Klingon commander paling in comparison with Kang, Kor and Koloth was beneath their notice.

More likely, they’re part of the invaders.

Yes, I do intend to run with this stupid Andromeda theory as long as I can, pretending there was an overarching reason for constantly repeating their own ideas makes the sad petering out of the quality of this great show easier to bear.

No comments: