Monday, June 29, 2015

Short Treks Season 3.6

“Whom Gods Destroy”
Air Date: January 3, 1969
Mom Title: “LORD Garth meets Green Batgirl”

Garth of Izar!  
The only other foe deemed worthy of challenging Khan for the starring spot in Star Trek II
He’s a blast of awesome in the back nine of the final go around.

Obviously he’d choose Kirk as his heir apparent.  Pretty much every single hero of the Captain’s youth that we’ve met has gone completely bonkers.

Garth takes it up a notch though.  This is probably where Kirk patterns his, “If you’re going to do something – go big” attitude from.   Most of the other crazy Commodores we’ve met slid gracefully down the sanity slope.  Garth took a big ole swan dive into the unhinged pool, as evidenced by Steve Inhat’s performance that could give Bran Blessed a run for his money in bombast!

Even the way Spock reacts is similar.  When the First Officer accepts calling him, “LORD GARTH,” it is with the same resigned shrug he uses for accepting one of the Captain’s illogical yet appropriate plans.

Basically, Garth is Kirk without the influence of Spock’s logic, or McCoy’s compassion…
With a big old pile of extra nuttiness thrown in.

The day is saved by Scotty being the old suspicious engineer, and also by the chess code which has never been used before or since.  
Considering they used “Condition Green” with the Romans, the “beam up everyone and freeze not us” signal with the Klingons and the chess code here, Starfleet must work on the “Wheel of Random Precautions” method of selecting safety measures. 
At least this time Spock has learned to wait until he’s out of the jail cell to lay the double neck pinch whammy on the bad guys.

We finally get to see another Andorian and Tellarite.  Crazy ones, but still, nice to see them.

Yvonne “Batgirl” Craig marks an important moment in this episode.  Captain Kirk is known for supposedly making time with all manner of “green space women.”  Martia is, in fact, the only woman of that hue Shatner acts opposite in the entire series.  And she tries to stab him in the head well before they get to any time making.  Another stereotype shattered.

Speaking of stereotype shattering:  Spock refers to Martia’s dance as something Vulcan schoolchildren would perform.  I was unaware the Junior Science Academy of that planet had an erotic ballet team.

Elba II is the only asylum for the criminally insane left in the galaxy. 
Martia is the only woman among the one to two dozen inmates. 
That means every other type of womanly craziness has been accepted as normal female behavior in the future.

Boy I hope someone laughs at that line to make it worth sleeping in the garage for a month.

Hey, that chair at the end looks an awful lot like the Tantalus Field that was promised to be dismantled and never used again way back in Season One.  I don’t think the Federation penal system is following safety codes.

Then again, we probably could have guessed that by the fact they had chemicals available capable of making an explosive where a single drop on the surface can shake a Starship in orbit.

Do the inmates really clog the toilets that badly?

While The Wrath of Garth never got made, the past poor performance of that chair, and some evidence on Rura Penthe makes me feel this isn’t the last we see of LORD GARTH.
(Stay tuned for yet another wacky theory of mine once we get to the movies.)

“Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”
Air Date: January 10, 1969
Mom Title: “Black and White Frank Gorshin”

Another “Lee Cronin” special, indicating even the writer knew there are issues with this heavy handed, overly padded, lesson laden story.

The problems on Charon have been going on for fifty thousand years. They have super shields, weird transporters, perfect physical readings, mental powers and the ability to send the Enterprise to extreme warp factors.  Looks like the Andromedans had some kind of Sneetches experiment go wrong millennia ago.

Frank Gorshin as Bele is amazing as always, which is actually a problem this time. 
Lokai is supposed to be the sympathetic one, but he ends up coming off as a big jerk. Meanwhile we understand why the crew would want to have a drink with Bele, because he’s The Riddler! 
That kind of undercuts his obvious racist views as this man from the “Southern part of the galaxy” also questions evolution.  Wow, they used all the subtlety of a sledge hammer, didn’t they?

We’ll leave the question of how Charon can be a known planet in the unexplored part of the galaxy on the table with how the crew has seen every combination of colored and shaped aliens, but are amazed at these bi-colored bozos in ballet costumes.

There’s a shred of awesome this week, during the Enterprise self destruct sequence section.  It was so cool; they kept it word for word in Star Trek III
(And yes, I have it memorized.) Once more, Captain Kirk proves why he’s the master of keeping people from calling his bluffs…’cause he ain’t bluffing.

“The Mark of Gideon”
Air Date: January 17, 1969
Mom Title: “Empty Enterprise”

The infamous adventure where Kirk is kidnapped to give a planet VD
Sorry, V.C. – Vegan Chromeningitis.

This is the first of two in this season with unusual, yet appropriate, writers. The creator of the planet Gideon, and its population with their tribble like proclivities, is Stanley “Cyrano Jones” Adams.

Let’s take care of the big question first:

It’s not - how did a planet that isn’t a member of the Federation get detailed blueprints of Starfleet’s flagship down to the Captain’s personal effects? 
The terrible safety protocols probably apply to secrecy as well.

It’s not – how did a planet so overpopulated that movement is impaired fit a full scale starship model on its surface? 
(Or why they made the windows work on a fake ship that’s supposed to be in space?)
The leaders are clearly zealots, unflinching in their beliefs, who care more for their power via the society’s rules than their people, as evidenced by general attitude and the spaciousness of their meeting room.

No, the big question is-
Why does the Federation want these jerktastic, unenlightened clowns as members in the first place?

I wonder if Kirk’s injury on his arrival in the Emptyprise is the basis for the Hitchhiker’s Guide gag about someone bruising their upper arm being used as a subject of suspense with no significance whatsoever.

The Captain immediately knows this is some kind of trap.  Of course, since it’s this season, and we’re blaming left over Plationian influence or the loss of Miramanee again, he also immediately goes for Odonna anyway.

We get an epic battle between the opposites of logic and bureaucracy between Spock and the council.  Uhura’s right there at his side, anticipating his every command, because she’s awesome. 

The crew isn’t working up to their usual standards, however. The beam down coordinates was only nine digits, and no one noticed they didn’t match up at first.

Once Spock solves the impenetrable mystery of the transpositioned zero and seven, he rushes down to rescue the Captain…without a phaser.

Well, bureaucracy can stress even his patience I guess, and it isn’t like he needed one.

How fed up our favorite Vulcan science officer is becomes apparent as soon as the guards show up.  He only uses his merciful neck pinch on one before tossing them about like rag dolls.

Spock really doesn’t like red tape.

I thought maybe I could use the excuse that Gideon was an immortal body farm for the Andromedans allowing all the plot holes to be explained by the whole thing being an illusion.

However, the only lesson I could figure out they’re trying to teach Kirk and crew in this one would be:

“Always double check your math.” 

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