Monday, August 17, 2015

Short Treks Season Animated 1.4

“The Terratin Incident”
Air Date: November 17, 1973
Mom Title: “Shrinking Crew”

As per usual, the Enterprise mission of the week, in this case mapping, is ignored by her Captain and crew when they discover a non-random signal from a planet of crystal volcanos.

Spock’s the only one who realizes they’re all shrinking, everyone else assumes the ship and all the stuff is growing.  No, it’s only organics affected. Luckily they wear algae based clothes, or the Saturday Morning censors would have had a field day with this one.

The reason for the shrinking is all DNA is being wound tighter, which would make perfect sense if organics were made of only DNA. However, there’s no time for a biology lesson here, it’s a crisis!

Nurse Chapel falls into the fish tank with a fortunately waterproof micro laser to insure the same stellar image for women the cartoon presents each week.

It turns out a shrunken city (which is all organic?) on the surface lured the Enterprise here.  Kirk saves the day by threatening to destroy the entire city…Subtle, Jim.

The transporter saves the day again. Considering that the “use the buffer” trick worked before, you’d think they’d have tried it without proposing the destruction of an entire city first.

Basically, this one is “Wink of an Eye” without the natives being dangerous, or amorous.

Question:  If they’re bringing the tiny city to an “Earth like” planet, won’t its inhabitants be eaten nearly instantaneously by “Earth like” and “Earth sized” animals?

It’s a wonder, Khan wasn’t the only past foe who came hunting after his settlement world wasn’t all it was advertised.

“The Time Trap”
Air Date: November 24, 1973
Mom Title: “Space Bermuda Triangle”

Hey, it’s the first use of a Klingon cloaking device, something that will become standard in the films due to lazy writing.  Sadly John Colicos doesn’t return as the now pink clad Kor.  George Takei performs excellently as a Klingon, though. It’s surprising they never used him in that capacity again.

It’s also surprising that Kor is now a Starship fleet commander, as his turn as Planetary Governor ended in a spectacular failure.  Maybe he’s got some strong connections in the Klingon High Command. 

There’s no sign of the Organians when the pitched battle between the Enterprise and Klingon ships takes place before they get sucked into the Delta Triangle. 
Considering the life inside it forces inhabitants from pretty much every race we’ve met in Trek to total pacifism, it’s likely the whole thing is a set up by the Andromedan energy invaders to weaken the peoples of the Milky Way. 

The censors are saved from apoplexy by having the Orion woman’s dance conclude before the commercial break ends.

Once again, Kirk’s refusal to accept complacency has him reacting identically to Kor when given pacifistic orders. The only difference being Kor is willing to jeopardize his crew.

Spock’s a little weird this week, bluffing a mind meld and acting all touchy feely. It must be his separation from telepathic contact with all Vulcans when in another pocket dimension.  McCoy goes the most violent and racist we’ve seen him when forced into this situation.  The compassionate doctor is much more like his Captain than he admits.

Federation protocols are exposed for their laxness again. Captain Kirk needs to issue a special order to watch every Klingon working on the Enterprise? I’d think that would be page one of the dealing with hostile visitors manual.

The Klingons, of course, betray our fearless crew by leaving an explosive Tylenol on board. Luckily, the chute last seen early in Season One (“Conscience of the King”) saves the day, if not the laundry room, once more.

“The Ambergris Element”
Air Date: December 1, 1973
Mom Title: “Kirk and Spock – Fish People”

Because this was made in the 1970’s instead of last week, the Ocean planet Argo was flooded by earthquakes and not global warming climate change.

Cool, they have a sea shuttle.  That’s a flying submarine isn’t it?  Wasn’t’ there some other sci fi show based on that idea? *cough*Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea*cough*

AAAH!  Giant sea monster!  Gene was really pushing the “stuff that couldn’t be in live action” wasn’t he?  It’s not like it was necessary to the plot…at all.
It was cool, though.
Backgrounds are beautiful in this one too; maybe they were left over from the Aquaman show.

As revenge for trespassing, Kirk and Spock are turned into fish people, guaranteeing they have the means and the motive to continue trespassing further and find the “hidden” underwater city.  Guess the whole galaxy has security protocols like the Federation.

OK, they still had their whole uniforms and boots on when transformed. That didn’t hinder their underwater mobility at all. It must because the clothing is made of algae.

McCoy has a tank for multiple human sized people in sick bay.  No wonder they so easily figured out how to build a whale tank in a starship.

Hey, I always thought these underwater “Aquans” were the inspiration for my “Neptunian” Star Trek action figure. They don’t look anything like the toy. 
Where the heck did that mutant frog/lizard design come from?
More importantly why did Mego go nuts with unique details clothes and parts on an alien they made up, when their Gorn was an incorrect color repaint of Spidey villain The Lizard’s head on a Klingon body.

Interesting Tech Notes:

The force belts work underwater, scuba diving must be awesome in the future.

The Enterprise can move an earthquake’s epicenter with phaser fire. I’m not even going to pretend to understand that one.

“The Slaver Weapon”
Air Date:  December 15, 1973
Mom Title: “Kzinti Cat People”

Ooh, the Sport shuttle! Groovy!

David Niven brings his (wrongly colored) Kzinti into the Trek universe, guaranteeing many drone filled afternoons of Star Fleet Battles conflicts in the Eighties. The last Man Kzin war is established as 200 years ago, their time. Funny, you’d think we’d have noticed pitched space battles against interplanetary cats?

Since it’s basically a different universe, Kirk doesn’t fit, and we get an almost unheard of Spock, Uhura and Sulu story.  Spock’s urging to play along with the Kzinti’s belief that females are dumb, and Uhura’s, “Thank you,” shows, at a minimum, the two had a long relationship at some point. 
Uhura’s eventual, short lived escape is kind of pointless, but does add character development (her track team past) and highlight her feistiness even post recapture.

The Stasis boxes are from the slavers, an advanced civilization a billion years old. That’s even older than the Andromedans!  The way to find a stasis box is…using a stasis box?  How did they find the first one? 
Given the stupid and dangerous nature of the transforming technology, as it varies between a hair drier and an ocarina, these things probably wiped out the slavers.

Sulu figures things out from the weapons side, and Uhura from the A.I. side, causing the Kzinti to become the first, and ONLY on screen casualties of the animated series.  Do not mess with those two.

Hey, I guess Spock was taking notes when Kirk did all those drop kicks!

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