As they are passing, the Enterprise visits Omicron Theta, the planet where Data was found. They visit the exact spot where Data was found, and Geordi sees something the original people who discovered Data never saw – an entrance into a base. There, they find a laboratory and another android like Data. They beam the components up to the Enterprise, and put the android together. He is Lore, the android made before Data. His behaviour is a little strange, but when Lore deactivates Data and swaps places with him he contacts the crystalline entity that killed the colonists. Wesley realises that there has been a swap (although as usual people don’t listen to him straight away) and eventually (just as the entity starts attacking the Enterprise) Wesley convinces Beverly that he is right, they find Data, reactivate him, and stop Lore. He is beamed into space.
This episode is a bit of a cliche – the moment that we saw Lore it was obvious that at some point they would swap places. But Spiner plays boths parts so well he is a joy to watch. There are many scenes that are just the two of them together, and they are really interesting to watch. The episode is a little predictable, but the performance more than makes up for it.
And once again we have an episode where Wesley Crusher has worked out what has happened ahead of everyone else, and nobody takes him seriously.
This also features the second and final appearance by Chief Engineer Argyle. We see at last one more Chief before Geordi takes over Engineering.
The only bit of this episode that is bloody stupid is the assertion that Data cannot speak using contractions (can’t instead of cannot etc) but Lore can. Talk about creating a rod for your own back! Data has on occasion used contractions in the past, and he will again, but for f**ks sakes, in the one episode where it is vital you don’t balls it up, what is the first thing Data says when asked if he is okay just as they have beamed Lore off the ship? He says “I’m fine.” Aaaaaargh! Cretins! Is this some subtle message telling us that actually Lore is the one that has survived? Sadly, it is nothing that clever, just a silly cock up in the script department (or possible in Spiner’s performance, though I somehow doubt that). A stupid end to an otherwise okay episode.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 1
Writer: Jerome Bixby
Yes, we have another piss poor episode as this once great series lurches onwards towards its tragic cancellation. The premise seems to be okay – the deadly Rigellian Fever is rampant aboard the Enterprise – three crew are already dead, most are infected and things are looking grim. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a planet where an unprocessed mineral (Ryetalyn) can be made into a cure, the problem is that the planet is occupied by Flint – and old chap, and Rayner, a girl he claims to have adopted.
Straight off, this episode pisses me off. The crew are dying, and Flint clearly finds the “relationship” between Rayna and Kirk annoying. Spock points this out to Kirk – Flint stands in the way of them and the cure but Kirk cannot resist trying to take her away from Flint, even though there is a strong chance it will cost the lives of everyone on the Enterprise. For Gods sake stop thinking with your libido, man! Rayner turns out to be an android made for Flint by himself – the reason for this is he is immortal. (In a nice crossover, the story he tells of the way he didn’t die from an injury sounds exactly what we see in the Highlander films). It turns out he was Brahms, and Moses, and a lot of other people from history.
He also has very advanced science – in a scene reminiscent of the scene that pissed me off from Catspaw in season two, he shrinks the Enterprise down and sticks it on a table. And with all of this shit going on, he still tries to take Rayner away from Flint – this time by arguing that she is as human as any real human and thus has the same right to choose. YOUR WHOLE CREW IS SITTING THERE IN A SHRUNKEN ENTERPRISE DYING IN FRONT OF YOU YOU UTTER TIT. FORGET HER.
Then, at the end, as Kirk mourns her, Spock erases the pain from his mind with a mind meld. Without permission. Aren’t there rules about that sort of thing?
Drivel. Utter drivel. Still, not that many to go now!
Crew Deaths: 3
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 52
This is an intriguing idea. The crew find three ancient conciousnesses from a race that died a quarter of a million years ago, they wish to borrow three bodies (worryingly this includes Kirk and Spock, as well as Doctor Anne Mulhall, played by Diana Muldaur, who later became The Next Generation’s Doctor Pulaski) and build themselves some robot bodies.
Once they have taken over the bodies (which the crew allow them to do freely, but not without a deal of debate, as the technological advances they might get could be massively beneficial) things seem to be going okay. Spock is smiling and compliments Nurse Chapel on her looks, which is a nice moment. The problem is that the presence of the new minds speeds up the bodies metabolism to a dangerous rate (apart from in Spock, who can stand it with his Vulcan physique) so the aliens go back into their holding spheres until the being in Spocks body can create a drug that will enable them to inhabit the bodies with no ill effects.
And they do start to build the robot bodies, however the creature in Spock is unhappy with the thought of going into a mechanical body, and sabotages Kirks dose of the drug and conspires to kill him so that he can keep the body he is in. Even the creature inside Doctor Mulhall is unhappy with the idea, however she is unaware of what Spock is up to. However when it comes to the crunch, when the first robot body is ready, she doesn’t want to go into it and decides to keep the human body. However, eventually her conscience gets the better of her.
I actually really like this one. For once, not all of the aliens are bad guys – two are a bit misguided, but actually end up doing the right thing. Having not seen this episode for a while, and not really remembering it, I assumed at first that all three were going to be bad, so it was nice that this well written episode exceeded my expectations of it.
And there were some great performances, especially from Nimoy, who is clearly relishing the opportunity to show some emotion. There has been a run of dodgy episodes, but it is worth them for the gems such as this one.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 40
First Aired: December 29, 1966