Since I have been writing this blog, I have been categorising the episodes by the “Trek Cliches” that they contain. With some episodes they contain none that I have used so far (which means I have to try and think of a new one). Then there are episodes that contain cliches that I have seen before.
Then, there are episodes that contain so many it is almost funny. Such is this episode. Interestingly, this was the second episode that the BBC never showed (well, not until 1994) due to the torture scenes.
The premise is simple: the lunatics take over the asylum, including a former Starfleet Captain, Garth. He is able to shape shift, so when Kirk beams down he initially disguises himself as Cory, the Doctor in charge of the asylum. And so we get something that is rather similar to Plato’s Stepchildrena few episodes ago – the only difference is that the people in charge are literally insane. (The point of this particular asylum, by the way, is to completely eliminate mental illness. They don’t seem to have quite managed this yet!!)
Garth takes on Kirk’s appearance and tries to beam back up to the Enterprise, but luckily Kirk has put in a code the person beaming up has to respond correctly to. Garth pretends that he was just checking that Scotty was following his instructions, then tries to get the correct response out of Kirk. He goes quite far to do this, including torturing Cory, then Kirk himself.
When the torture doesn’t work, Garth disguises himself as Spock to trick Kirk into giving up the code, which, of course, fails. He then does something far nastier – one of his fellow inmates (one of them green women) is driven outside (into the toxic atmosphere of the planet). As Kirk watches her choke (someone he was snogging not that long ago) Garth tells Kirk that he has planted an explosive in her necklace, he then blows her up. It is a genuinely nasty moment in an otherwise average episode.
The episode ends on a bit of a tired cliche when Garth changed himself into Kirk and good old Spock has to work out which is the actual Kirk, they then fight and you cannot tell which is which so Spock is unable to shoot.
It’s not a bad episode, but it is very slow and very similar to other episodes that we have already seen in the run.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 46