Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek 2.17 (A Piece of the Action)

Anthony Caruso(Bela Oxmyx)
Vic Tayback(Jojo Krako)
Lee Delano(Kalo)
John Harmon(Tepo)
Sheldon Collins (Tough Kid)
Dyanne Thorne (Girl #1)
Sharyn Hillyer (Girl #2)
Buddy Garion (Hood)
Steven Marlo(Zabo)

Writers: Gene L. Coon, David P. Harmon

The basic concept of this episode is this: a century ago, a starship (the Horizon) visits a primitive culture, and accidentally leaves behind a book called “Chicago Mobs of the Twenties” and somehow the people on the planet use the thing as a template.  So the whole planet is a ghastly 1920s throwback.  The bloke in charge of the planet wants the crew of the Enterprise to give them enough “heaters” to successfully dominate the planet.

The problem is this: when the Horizonvisited in the past, the prime directive has not really been invoked, so there were no real rules governing what that crew did.  Of course, in the more enlightened 22nd Century this is not allowed, and Scotty (in charge of the ship again) finds that he is unable to fulfil these demands – and the consequences are that the Boss will send the crew members back to the Enterprise… in boxes!

One of the moments I don’t hate so much is the sequence where Kirk makes up a nonsense card game (called Fizbin) to disctact their guards and escape.  The rules just get silly – they change depending on the day of the week or the time of day, and it is pretty funny.  Except on a Tuesday, of course.

The power play stuff (Kirk soon gets captured by the other boss that wants to rule (the city?  The world?  It’s never made that clear) and this other boss also wants weapons.  Of course, Kirk won’t play ball.

I think this episode is meant to be funny, it is certainly played for laughs.  Moments are funny – such as Kirk trying to drive a car.  He can’t figure out the clutch, and the car lurches up the road like something out of a dodgy sitcom.

The only thing that is at all impressive is the period detail – the cars, the guns, and the sets (I am guessing that it was filmed on a backlot, the same one used in countless other stories).

There is no sense of threat, and it’s just not funny.  And there are a couple of moments when Kirk runs out in front of a car and you just want someone to shout out “watch where you’re going you dumb ass” like in the fourth film.  But really there is nothing to recommend this one.  And where did Kirk learn how to talk 1920’s Chicago gangster?  Give it a miss.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 40
Score: 2/10



April 13, 2008 - Posted by | earth based culture |

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