Monday, August 10, 2015

Short Treks Season Animated 1.3

“The Magicks of Megas-Tu”
Air Date: October 27, 1973
Mom Title: “Meet the Devil”

The big bang originated at the center of the Milky Way?
Right, sorry, it’s a cartoon.  Moving on.

I think our magical friends are lying to the crew big time in this one.  Following the 2001 like journey to the “Center of the galaxy” they are told they’ve been taken out of space and time. 

Suuuuure they were.

More likely the Trelane like Lucien and his Andromedan compatriots used their reality altering powers to move the Enterprise safely away from the barrier that is still impossible to penetrate.

It’s all mechanisms we’ve seen before.  The place works on desires like the soon to be revisited shore leave planet, and the beings there are basing situations out of Earth’s past.

Clearly, there is a giant lesson the Andromedans are teaching the Enterprise crew…we’ll find out in theaters someday.

Between the obviously evil puritanical witch hunters, and Megas-Tu’s resident fun guy Lucien, who is defended by Captain Kirk and shown as a friend to all humanity, supposedly being Lucifer himself: 
organized Religion takes another beating from the Trek team…on Saturday morning no less!

With all the ritualism on Vulcan, it’s not as surprising as one would expect that Spock accepts the logic of magic.  Considering all the crazy powers he has, and will have in years to come, why not magic?

It is a true sign of the era this episode was created in that all Earth history is kept on 8mm film and punch cards.  Who knows?  Maybe the Eugenics Wars finally proved the danger of storing all data on some kind of magnetic medium and a return to these items looms ahead.

“Once Upon a Planet”
Air Date: November 3, 1973
Mom Title: “Return to Shore Leave

The stories that revisit live action episodes all feel like they have more “meat” on them. This is probably due to the halved run time of the cartoon compared to the Original Series. Not needing to spend as much energy on set up allows the story to go to more exciting places.

What do you know?   The Shore Leave planet is run by a super-duper computer built by an ancient alien race of which the keeper was the last member of.  It’s linked to the Andromedans too!  Much like everything else in the Star Trek universe, the playground was built with absolutely no safety features.

As always, it’s the top guys beaming down to deal with the issues.  However, the two Enterprise “Old Guys” are the ones proving their worth via areas of expertise.  Bones once again has a shot that can completely mimic sickness. Scotty not only instantly knows what’s been done to the Enterprise by the planet’s computer, but sometime since the live action series has finally installed seat belts on the chairs on the bridge.

A few educational points from this episode:

We get to see the insane series of multiple different shuttle types the Enterprise now carries in the bay. Groovy!

Amanda used to read Lewis Carroll to young Spock.  Considering she was a teacher from Earth living in a culture that would prize logic puzzles, that’s fairly unsurprising.

This time the power couple of Spock and Uhura get to defeat the intelligent computer by talking to it.  Instead of Kirk’s usual result of making it explode, their combination of logic and understanding convince it into a peaceful and beneficial settlement.  It looks like they’re the team that should always have been called in for civilization ruling machine duty, don’t it?

“Mudd’s Passion”
Air Date: November 10, 1973
Mom Title: “Harry has a Real Love Potion”

Just knowing Harry Mudd is going to be in the episode adds comedy to the crew’s interactions with each other.  Roger C. Carmel, fortunately returns for a third time as the spacefaring rogue, as no one else could do the character justice.

It’s a shame he was never tapped to record some of Mudd’s in between adventures that are only referred to in his Trek appearances. The sound hootfull.

Harry’s penchant for overcomplicating schemes bites him in the patootie again.  If he had just used an accomplice, it would have been much harder for Kirk to expose his fakery than his actual method of using a hypnotic lizard.

Though he doesn’t know the love potion works (Maybe they’re made of Troyan tears?) Harry shows he’s as good at bluffing as Kirk is.  Either that, or chalk Nurse Chapel’s buying into his suggestion to give Spock an intergalactic Spanish Fly up to women once more doing poorly in this series. 

Leonard Nimoy’s voice adds an infinite amount of expression to the potions effect on Spock
(with both Chapel and Kirk) than the limited animation has any hope of showing.

Hey, it’s a Galaxy Quest brand giant rock monster.  The Captain even gets to execute a rare “Kirk Roll” against it in this environment of reused animation.

Scotty, of course compares the effects of the potion to a giant hangover.

McCoy definitely has the best response to the drug, though.  Rattling off all the times he saved everyone on the ship’s life to any willing young, miniskirted Yeoman.

You old dog, you.

As with most Saturday morning cartoons, there is a moral:

Remember, kids:  Love makes you stupid.

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