In this episode, a dying scientisit downloads himself into Data. Secretly. However, everyone eventually works it out because of the way he is behaving.
I mean, what a dreadful episode. The premise is just not thought through. There are some quite nice moments between Data and Ira Graves before he dies, but once Graves inhabits Data’s body it really goes downhill. Surely nobody could be so arrogant as to think that Data’s strange behaviour would not be noticed by his crewmates? Wouldn’t a better option been to have swtiched him off, kidnapped him and do the swap away from everyone? Or even better, give the whole dready storyline a miss and give us something decent?
One good thing worth mentioning is the amazing Suzie Plakson, making her Trek debut in this stinker of an episode. Her character – a Vulcan Doctor called Selar – grabbed the imagination of the Trek fans and the character, who only appears in this episode, makes her way into many of the books, in the same way M’benga did in the original series. And her performance clearly impressed the producers, as she comes back later this season as a rather important Klingon woman. She also turns up in Voyager way down the line as a female Q.
But, good as she is, she can’t save this episode. It is really, really shit.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 5
Yay! Finally an episode that I actually enjoyed watching. It is not one of the very best, I’m not trying to say that it is, but it is so much better than anything in the last, say, half a season.
Nutter Janice Lester (an ex of Kirks) managed to swap bodies with him, but before she can kill Kirk (now in the body of Janice) McCoy and Spock come back so he is forced to appear to care for the dying Janice Lester. He is in league with Arthur Coleman, the only other person who actually knows what is going on. There are some nice and subtle clues to what is going on – when Kirk contacts the Enterprise we hear “Captain Kirk to the Enterprise” instead of the now familiar “Kirk to Enterprise”. Shatners portrayal of the insane woman is very good – there are some nice, subtle differences to his usual performance.
The plot is okay as well. As you would expect, Spock is the first to suspect the truth, and he confirms his suspicions with a mind meld. I do find it rather unlikely that no one else believed him – and Spock would have been better taking what he knew to McCoy to come up with some devious plan to expose Lester.
However, he does not, and the thing goes to a tribunal. By the end of this, Scotty is also quite convinced that what appears to be Kirk is not the man at all, and tells McCoy. This is overheard, and leads to a charge of mutiny, upon which Kirk appears to sentence Scotty, Spock and McCoy to death.
This is the only bit that I did not like, but I grudgingly admit that, if unhinged, Lester might have acted in that way. It all ends, as you would suspect, with Kirk and Lester being restored to the correct bodies, and the truth coming out. Some great performances – I loved the bit where Sulu and Checkov know that what is happening is wrong, but do not have the balls to put their necks on the line.
As I said, this episode was a lot better than much in the second half of the season, it is just a shame that, as the final episode, it didn’t have a more definitive ending. But then, it was never meant to be the final episode…
So that’s it. 79 episode, some good, some bad. But there is more to come. A lot more. Starting with a movie… (not a cartoon. I’m not going there, sorry!)
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 52