Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek 3.15 (Let that be your last battlefield)

Cast:
Frank Gorshin(Bele)
Lou Antonio(Lokai)

Writers: Oliver Crawford, Gene L. Coon

On the way to decontaminate a planet, the Enterprise crew see a shuttlecraft that was reported stolen a couple of weeks ago at Starbase Four.  (Despite the fact that the footage of the shuttle clearly shows that is is Enterprise shuttle seven.  Oh well).  On board is a fellow called Lokai, who has a unique skin tone – he is white on one side and black on the other.

Not long after, another person from Lokai’s world arrives and claims that Lokai is a mass murderer and that he should be taken back to their home planet.  In fact, he briefly takes over the Enterprise (he has the power to control these things with his mind.  He also makes out that both himself and Lokai are thousands of years old).

This episode is about racism, pure and simple.  It isn’t even subtle – but it is very clever.  The only difference between Bele and Lokai is that their colours are opposite – one is white on the right hand side and one is white on the left.  This really points out the futility of racism – it’s not even that these people have different skin tones, they simply have them on the opposite sides of their bodies.  For this and this alone thsi episode stands out among others.

Sadly, the plot isn’t great.  After Kirk sets the self destruct (he won’t let Bele take over the ship, but as he cannot regain control this is his only option).  Kirk has threatened to use the self destuct before, but what makes this different is the way it is done – they use the same destruct codes when the Enterprise is finally destroyed for real in the third film.  So eventually Bele agrees to let them finish their mission to decontaminmate the planet (the first mission of this type we see, although there are others in later series) then takes over the ship again (having disabled the self destruct) and then takes over again.

When they arrive at their home planet, everybody is dead.  The war between the two opposing skin tones has killed literally everyone on the planet and the whole thing is pointless.  However, Bele and Lokai beam down and try to kill each other.  The Enterprise leaves and lets them get on with it.

Although not great, this episode is a lot better than some I have watched recently.  I really do genuinely admire the way they did the racism storyline, it makes the point brilliantly.  The rest of the episode really is a character piece.

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 46
Score: 7/10

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May 14, 2008 - Posted by | saving a planet, self destruct, ship/station taken over, stolen ship or shuttlecraft |

1 Comment »

  1. I recall Frank Gorshin won an award for his portrayal of Bele. Easy to see why – he steals the show in every scene he’s in. And he’s an amazing contrast to how he plays the Riddler on “Batman”. A great actor indeed…

    Comment by DPC | May 13, 2010 | Reply


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