Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek 3.17 (That Which Survives)

Kenneth Washington (John B. Watkins)
Brad Forrest (Ensign Wyatt)
Booker Bradshaw(Dr. M’Benga)
Naomi Pollack(Lt. Rahda)
Arthur Batanides(Lt. D’Amato)
Lee Meriwether(Losira)

Writers: John Meredyth Lucas, D.C. Fontana

Oh God.  Another really bad episode.  I almost can’t be bothered to go into detail, however…

Kirk, McCoy, Sulu and D’Amato beam down to investigate a very new planet.  The Enterprise is then thrown almost 1000 light years away from the planet.  Then a mysterious female appears to people both on the planet and on the Enterprise, and the result is the same on both: the person she picks on (male) dies.  First the transporter technician on the Enterprise, then D’Amato, then one of the engineering crew, then Sulu.  Luckily Kirk intervened when she went for Kirk so Sulu didn’t die, but the other three do.

The Enterprise heads back to the planet at maximum warp, lots of silly stuff happens (the ship is sabotaged to it won’t slow down and will warp itself into destruction, but as you can guess, they fix it before that happens).

This is another cheap episode.  As well as the Enterprise set, they use the standard soundstage of a crappy rocky bouldery planet (there is an awful moment in the early part of the episode when there is a quake, and clearly different bits of the set are put on a gimble, but they shake in different directions and it just looks highly shit.

Eventually, the crew on the planet go into a cave thing.  This happens far too far into the episode for you to really care – we are into wrist slitting territory here.  Even the sequence where Scotty has to repair the ship against terrible odds, you know that he is going to manage, there is no tension at all (despite that dreadful bit of reused incidental music that desperately tried to ramp up the nonexistent tension).

The only good thing about this episode is that, in terms of my crew death count, this episode is a veritable bloodbath!  Three whole members of the crew!  In fact, this season has been quite reserved about killing the crew – it was getting a bit silly at one point, even now Kirk has lost over ten percent of his crew in less than three years!

Oh, and for the record, the women who killed the crew were controlled by another super computer.  And the original inhabitants of the planet have all died of a disease. Another pair of cliches in a totally crappy episode.

PS The only good bit was the second and final appearance by Doctor M’benga. But that doesn’t make up for the rest of it.

Crew Deaths: 3
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 49
Score: 2/10


May 16, 2008 Posted by | disease/sickness, doctor m'benga, super computers, thrown through space | | Leave a comment

Star Trek 2.19 (A Private Little War)

Gary Carpenter(Yutan)
Arthur Bernard(Apella)
Booker Bradshaw(Dr. M’Benga)
Ned Romero(Krell)
Michael Witney (Tyree)
Nancy Kovack (Nona)

Writers: Gene L. Coon, Gene Roddenberry, Don Ingalls 

Kirk visits a planet that he first surveyed thirteen years ago, to find that that have gone from being a bronze age culture to having basic guns.  Spock is shot and badly injured, and then a Klingon ship turns up.  Kirk and McCoy beam down to the planet to work out why the sudden advancement in technology, and the Enterprise has to leave orbit so the Klingons don’t spot them.  Then Kirk is attacked and poisoned by a creature called the Mugato, so McCoy takes him to the village of someone he met on his first trip.  So far, so good.

Then it takes a turn for the worst.  A woman on the planet (Nona, the wife of Tyree who Kirk met last time he visited) is determined to get the more advanced weapons the crew carry.  Her opening scene is embarassingly written, and the acting is dire.  She does, however cure Kirk, in another scene that almost had me reaching for the sick bag.  (She appeared to use some form of magic, with a lot of head rolling and screaming.  It does work, but frankly if my Doctor ever does that little performance, I would rather be left to die).

Quite quickly, Kirk manages to prove that the Klingons are actually supplying the new weapons to the other village, so Kirk gives similar guns to Tyree and Nonas village.  McCoy is against this (of course) but Kirk insists that there has to be a balance of power to preserve both sides.

It is a very unsatisfying episodes, and the Klingons don’t really play a huge part in this episode – you only see one (only in a couple of scenes) and you don’t see their ship at all.  And the ending is that Kirk buggers off leaving his “friends” with the same weapons the other village are using, they don’t seem to have made plans for what may happen next (the Klingons give them better guns, or phasers, or nukes or whatever).

Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 40
Score: 4/10


April 15, 2008 Posted by | doctor m'benga, klingons, monsters, primitive cultures | | Leave a comment