Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek 1.18 (Arena)

First Aired: January 19, 1967

Jerry Ayres (Lt. O’Herlihy)
Grant Woods (Lt. Cmdr. Kelowitz)
Tom Troupe (Lt. Harold)
James Farley (Lt. Lang)
Carole Shelyne (Metron)
Sean Kenney (Lt. DePaul)
Writers: Gene L. Coon
This episode is one of the most well known of the original run. The basic idea has been copies many times, however I do admit that my knowledge of the genre before this show is rather limited, so whilst I am assuming that the original Star Trek series did it first, I am also first to admit that I could be wrong.
The actual area that they beam down to – the outpost on Cestus 3 – is pretty good. The destruction looks to be on quite a large scale, and when the outpost is once again attacked, this time with our heroes on the ground, it is pretty realistic (apart from one bush that explodes twice!!)
Also, the effects for what is a photon torpedo and what is a phaser seems to have settled down now. I don’t recall if I mentioned it on here, but in an earlier episode we hear the call for a phaser blast and we see the effect for what we now call a photon torpedo. Picky bugger, aren’t I?
The Enterprise persues the ship of the aliens that destroyed the colony, with the intention of destroying it when another race – the Metrons – intervene and throw the captains of both ships onto a planet and they are left to fight it out man to man. The rest of the crews can watch the fight (yes, it’s reality television folks! Interestingly, a recent episode of the UK comedy Hyperdrive does the same, only they add the reality TV element, and when the crew of the HMS Camden Lock finally manage to contact their crew, instead of giving them information on how to escape, they give them all feedback on how they are coming across!)
The Gorn captain is a man in a very bad rubber suit who makes silly animal noises, and in fact the second half of the episode is Kirk running around trying to kill the Gorn whilst the Gorn runs around trying to kill him! Interestingly, the Gorn race apparently turn up again in an episode of Enterprise but are done using CGI. I look forward to that!
The end is a little obvious – Kirk shows The Quality of Mercy (TM) and the Metrons let the Enterprise live to fight another day. This is one of those okay episodes – it ain’t crap and it ain’t great.
Crew Deaths: 2
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 25
Score: 7/10

August 28, 2007 - Posted by | monsters, super beings |

1 Comment »

  1. This was I think the first or one of the first Star Trek episodes I saw, when I was a kid. I only saw part of it and actually thought it was kind of scary. The CGI Gorn in that episode of Enterprise is pretty cheesy, even though it’s still superior to the rubber suit (what wouldn’t be?). It’s funny that all the right materials for gunpowder are so readily available. I get that the Metron did that, but even so I thought there was more involved in making black powder than that. For one thing I don’t know if you could just eyeball quantities of this and that as Kirk did.

    Comment by Joe Dick | January 17, 2009 | Reply

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