Ursaline Bryant(Capt. Tryla Scott)
Michael Berryman(Capt. Rixx)
Ray Reinhardt (Admiral Aaron)
Jonathan Farwell (Capt. Walker Keel)
Ward Costello (Admiral Quinn)
Henry Darrow(Admiral Savar)
Robert Schenkkan(Lt. Cmdr. Dexter Remmick)
The opening fifteen minutes or so of this episode are very good indeed. Without showing anything – just an illicit meeting between four Starship Captains on a rock in the middle of nowhere – you suddenly get a sense of the fact that something Big Deal is happening. The revelation a few minutes later that one of the ships that met up has since been destroyed is quite shocking. The Captain – Walker Keel – was an old friend of Picard and Crusher.
So they go back to Earth – another big deal, since this is the first time this series has visited the home of the Federation (we didn’t even go there in episode one). We meet up with Admiral Quinn from a few episodes ago – and he is clearly different.
The episode goes downhill from this point. There is a fight in which we see someone kicked through some room doors, which collapse. Surely that person should have been in great pain with broken bones rather than going through the door.
And the race that has taken people over is quite creepy – although the stop motion movement of the creature looks rather clunky in these days of CGI, although Remmicks death scene is good. (Incidentally, the BBC cut that actual moment from the episode because they considered it too violent for the time slot. Yet the clip in the final episode of season 2 which shows the moment again was overlooked).
It seems unlikely that such a race could get such a foothold in the Federation, so although there are some genuinely violent and scary moments, you can’t quite help feeling that it would never have happened. Also, the final scene of the episode suggests that there is more to come, which never happens in the run of this show or any of the sequels.
There is a lot of death in this story – the whole crew of the USS Horratio, Remmick, several admirals, yet none of the Enterprise crew die.
So, quite an interesting episode, but possibly a bit overrated by fans.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 4
William Shatner (Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Spock)
Merritt Butrick (Dr. David Marcus)
Judith Anderson (Vulcan High Priestess)
Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand)
Writer: Harve Bennett
You know, my memories of this particular story of the film series were not that great. There is a theory among the fans that the odd numbered films are not that good. I have to say both the first film and indeed this one prove that wrong.
The story is relatively simple. The Enterprise arrives on Earth having returned directly from the events of the previous film. McCoy is behaving oddly, and when they arrive, they are told that the Enterprise is so badly knackered that she will not be repaired – she is to be scrapped. Spocks’ father, Sarek (played by the fantastic Mark Lenard) visits Kirk to find out where Spock placed his memories before he died. It turned out to be McCoy.
Meanwhile, on the Genesis planet, David and Saavik find Spocks coffin but it is empty. Their ship (the Grissom) is destroyed by a Klingon ship that wants the secrets of the Genesis device. They find a young Spock with no memories who is rapidly aging, like the planet.
Kirk asks if he can take McCoy to the Genesis planet, but is told he cannot, so he steals the Enterprise and all but Uhura go to Genesis. There they are attacked by the Klingons, David is killed because Kirk will not surrender and eventually they have to self destruct the Enterprise. Just before it explodes they beam down to the Genesis planet, which is breaking up, Kirk fights the Klingon commander and wins, and pretends to b him and they get beamed up to the Klingon ship, capture it, and eventually take Spock back to Vulcan (he is now about the right age) and reunited with his body.
The story is not anything like as good as the previous film, but it does have some benefits. Firstly, this is the first appearance by Klingons as we know them – bumpy foreheads, costumes, knives and everything. We saw something that was a bit like this in the first film, but the Klingons here are the template used from this point on, and they are great. Chrisopher Lloyd is especially good as their vicious Captain, who kills crewmembers just for making a mistake (he killed his gunner when the Grissom is destroyed, he only wanted it disabled) and he also orders the death of David (well, any death, it was up to the Klingon on the ground who actually died). So Yay to the Klingons, they are finally here!
The next two bits I adore are the obvious bits: I love the sequence where Kirk and company steal the Enterprise – they are persued by the experimental TransWarp ship the USS Excelsior, but luckily Scotty has sabotaged their new engines, so the persuit does not go very far.
Also, the destruction of the Enterprise is a really big deal moment. This is the ship we have seen in every TV episode, and every movie up until this point. Okay, it was going to be scrapped, but the fact that Kirk destroys her is a poignant moment. And the effects are pretty good as well – the saucer explodes, but the rest burns up in the atmosphere of the planet.
I also love the fact that Sarek is back – we see Mark Lenard in two more films, and even in a couple of episodes of The Next Generation.
So what if the plot isn’t the strongest, so what if the sequence on Vulcan where Spocks’ mind is taken from McCoy and put back into Spock go on for a bit. It’s nice to see him again, even though he only gets a few words at the end.
As I said before, this is kind of the middle story in a trilogy, and whilst the two that surround it are much stronger (perhaps the best the series has to offer) I think this one is good too – the quality of two and four tend to push this third film into the shadow a tad.
Crew Deaths: 0 (David doesn’t count, he isn’t Enterprise crew)
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 58