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Star Trek 3.21 (The Cloud Minders)

Ed Long(Midro)
Garth Pillsbury (Prisoner)
Fred Williamson(Anka)
Kirk Raymone (Cloud Guard #1)
Charlene Polite (Vanna)
Diana Ewing(Droxine)
Jeff Corey(Plasus)
Harv Selsby (Guard)
Jimmy Fields (Cloud Guard #2)

Writer: Margaret Armen, Oliver Crawford, David Gerrold

This episode, like the recent ones that precede it, is not very good at all.  With the recent ones that I have looked at, I can honestly say that they were bad ideas produced badly.  The Cloud Minders is even more irritating than that – it is a good idea wasted.

The Troglytes mine Zenite for the people in the city above, Stratos.  There is an enormous difference in the ways people are treated – the people who live in Stratos live in wealth, whereas the miners do all the work.  The people in the city treat them as inferior creatures, whereas actually they are the same.  So what we are looking at is a story about ethics.  There are Troglyte activists at work in the city, and when one is caught (trying to kill Kirk, as she sees the Enterprise as an extension of what is happening on their world) she is tortured to find out if there are any more Troglytes in the city.

By the way, the Enterprise needs the Zenite to cure a disease on another world, something that seems to be going on a lot in this season – indeed only two stories ago.

Anyhow, Kirk manages to piss off the leader of Stratos, and so, desperate to secure the Zenite, decides to side with the Troglytes, and offers them filter masks that will remove the toxins from the mines that retard the Troglytes mentally.  But they don’t believe that the masks will do what he says they will do, so the rebels make him dig in the mines.

This could have been an intelligent story.  Bits are good.  Something you would now normally take for granted in modern shows look great in this – like the clouds moving in the background of the cloud city.  And the suicide (where a Troglyte jumps from the city) is also okay.  But I find it difficult to beleive in either of the cultures shown here – the city dwellers are too stupid to be so advanced, and the woman Kirk rescues from the cloud city (including shooting a guard) fails to beleive that he has her best interests at heart.

So, another crappy episode.  Only three to go!

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 52
Score: 4/10


May 22, 2008 - Posted by | disease/sickness, torture |

1 Comment »

  1. A lost cause.

    Droxine knows everything about Vulcan’s rituals – the sort Spock admitted in a previous story (“Amok Time”) were so private that it’d be the worst thing to do by letting others know. Kirk and McCoy are certainly not blabbermouths about their best friend…

    The premise about social inequity is very good – a topic that is more relevant now than it was 40 years ago.

    For late- season 3, the effects were good.

    The ending is a tad too nice as well – given we have episodes where Kirk’s love is murdered by stoning and, oh, she happens to be like pregnant and everything, the ending of “Minders” was too schmaltzy and phony.

    Given the morale on the part of all behind the scenes, it’s amazing the episode got made. Under different circumstances and higher morale, I suspect “Cloud Minders” would be a classic and not a clunker. A shame..

    Comment by DPC | May 13, 2010 | Reply

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