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Star Trek 3.2 (The Enterprise Incident)

Joanne Linville (Romulan Commander)
Jack Donner (Romulan Subcommander Tal)
Richard Compton (Romulan Technical Officer)
Robert Gentile (Romulan Technician)
Mike Howden (Romulan Guard)
Gordon Coffey (Romulan Soldier)

Writer: D.C. Fontana

Luckily, the travesty that is Spock’s Brain if followed by something with much more sunstance.  The Enterprise Incident is a rare episode featuring the Romulans from the classic series – in fact, in the third episode to feature them it is also only the second time we have seen them.

Kirk appears to be going a bit mental, and during this he orders the Enterprise into the Romulan Neutral Zone, at which point the ship is quickly captured by three Romulan vessels (now using the Klingon Bird of Prey design, which was apparently done to save money, as we had already seen this vessel in an episode that had already been shot (but not shown).

The whole things is a massive con in which Kirks mission is to steal the Romulans new cloaking device.  This he does by a trick in which Spock appears to accidentally kill Kirk in front of the Romulans, the death is certified by a Romulan doctor.  Kirk is then surgically altered to look like a Romulan (the surgical alteration is a trick often used in later versions of Star Trek but I think it is the only time it is employed in the original series).

Considering the third season of this show has such a bad reputation, the quality of this episode is unexpected.  The acting is good, and it tries to paint the Romulans as more than just warmongers (although they were always one of the more complex races on this show.)  The one part that doesn’t quite ring true however is the (female) Romulan commanders infatuation with Spock.  And also Kirk beams aboard the Romulan ship too easily – don’t they have sensors?

So they steal the cloaking device and connect it to the Entperprise – something very rare indeed, a Federation ship with a cloak.  We get to see something similar in an equally excellent Next Generation episode, and collaboration with the Romulans in the Dominion War in Deep Space Nine means that they fit (and operate) the device aboard the USS Defiant.  But it is very rare.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 43
Score: 7.5/10


April 25, 2008 - Posted by | cloaking devices, romulans, surgically altered |

1 Comment »

  1. The Romulan commander’s infatuation – to me – is passable because she is embraces her emotions and fought the Vulcan way of life (for once a prequel would be worthwhile to watch, as to why some Vulcans left to form Romulus…) Maybe it’s part of Freiberger’s plan as season 3 is loaded with romance-laden fluff, but for this episode it makes sense. (A later episode, ‘The Cloud Minders’, features Droxine, who seems to know all of Vulcan’s rituals on romance. Which is odd as neither Spock or McCoy (or even Kirk) would blab to strangers about such a private thing. They respect Spock too much. But that’s another story…

    The Klingon/Romulan design swapping isn’t bad, though it could have been better explained about an alliance between the two empires… we can infer it, but it might have been better stated on-screen…

    It’s a terrific episode. Espionage + Trek = success and Kirk opting to feign insanity, to keep the Enterprise and her crew off the hook, is purely wonderful stuff.

    Comment by DPC | May 13, 2010 | Reply

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