Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek 1.9 (Dagger of the Mind)

First Aired: November 3, 1966

James Gregory (Dr. Tristan Adams)
Morgan Woodward (Dr. Simon Van Gelder)
Marianna Hill (Dr. Helen Noel)
Susanne Wasson (Lethe)
John Arndt (First Crewman)
Larry Anthony (Ensign Berkeley)
Eli Behar (Therapist)
Writer: Shimon Wincelberg
The idea behind this episode is a good one. A Doctor creates a process that will basically calm down nutters, but he wants to know it will work and tests it on himself. Naturally, it turns him into a nutter.
It starts quite well. There is something about the (manic-ness?) of Van Gelder as he runs around the Enterprise that tells you there is more to it than simple insanity. The actor plays the part rather well, but is woefully underused, spending most of the episode strapped to a bed in the sick bay. We also get to see the first mind-meld this time as Spock attempts to get to grips with what is really going on with Van Gelder. Luckily, there is none of the tedious “my mind to your mind” formulaic crap which takes over the mind meld process – certainly by Voyager, possibly well before. I will mention the first time it occurs in the run on the show/films.
Then, despite the fact that he knows what the machine is capable of, Kirk sits in the machine that drove Van Gelder mad. If we knew this was going to lead to bad things, they why didn’t he? I quite like the moments where Doctor Noel is putting suggestions into Kirks head – especially as she likes him and tries to suggest that something happened between them. I have to say the way she behaved was a bit suspect, but we never find out whether or not she would have carried this through as the machine is taken over by the prison commander and turned up to full power. Surprise!
All in all some nice ideas but seemed to go on forever.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 19
Score: 5/10

August 2, 2007 - Posted by | mind control, mind meld, prisons/penal colonies |

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