Some classic Trek with one of the best episodes to start, Amok Time in which Spock experiences the Vulcan mating ritual. If he doesn’t get to Vulcan and take a wife, he’ll die. I’m guessing Vulcans and Salmon are similar in that regard.
What this means for the show is that we get to see Spock acting emotionally for once, like when he ignores the mute button on his viewscreen and just decides to pummel it.
When the finally get to Vulcan, they meet T’Pau, a very important Vulcan who possesses an accent shared by no other Vulcan we’ve ever met. She is also the inspiration for the 80s band of the same name.
Spock’s intended wife decides she wants a challenge, then picks Kirk as her champion against Spock in a fight to the death. Once again, it’s men fighting over possession of a woman.
We even get a rare bit of emotion from Spock. Well, not that rare, frankly, but not the norm.
Apart from the sexism, this really is a cracking episode. It’s written by Theodore Sturgeon, a noted Science Fiction author in his own right, and the man who coined Sturgeon’s Law. When asked in an interview why 95% of Science fiction was crap, he answered “It’s because 95% of everything is crap”
BBC Genome: BBC One – 6th February 1985 – 18:55
The next episode isn’t quite as good, featuring, as it does, one of Roddenberry’s favourite tropes, that of an almighty alien masquerading as a character from human history.
The Enterprise is held in space by a big hand.
It’s someone calling himself Apollo, and appearing to be dressed like the classic image of a greek god.
The one unfamiliar member of the landing party is Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas, whom we’ve never met before, but the episode makes sure we know that Scotty fancies her before things kick off. Kirk asks her for a report on what she knows about Apollo, and the Director of Photography smears the lens with vaseline for her close-up because, well, that’s what you do with women’s close-ups. Thank goodness they don’t also underscore it with the ‘sexy music’ theme too.
All Apollo wants from the crew is their worship. Except Lieutenant Palamas, from whom he clearly wants something else. His leching is too much for Scotty, who then suffers the animated wrath of Apollo.
Apollo gives Palamas a new dress, and tells her that all the other ‘gods’ faded away, because they were no longer worshipped.
Back on the Enterprise, Uhura is rewiring the communications console to try to make contact with the landing party. Spock demonstrates some surprisingly tactful management.
SPOCK Progress report? UHURA I'm connecting the bypass circuit now sir. It should take another half hour. SPOCK Speed is essential, lieutenant. UHURA Mr Spock, I haven't done anything like this in years. If it isn't done just right I could blow the entire communication system. It's very delicate work sir. SPOCK I can think of no one better equipped to handle it, Miss Uhura. Please proceed.
Way to go, Spock. I was all set to mock some mansplaining, and you give a nice pep talk instead.
The ship is eventually able to communicate, and then fire phasers at Apollo’s power source.
His response looks a bit weedy.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 13th February 1985 – 18:55
After this, we have Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek Memories.
It’s a romp through some of Nimoy’s favourite episodes, and some stories about how things like the Vulcan Neck Pinch came about.
Because this show was mastered on NTSC video, you get to see how the shows look at an American audience. The BBC would show it directly from film prints which, although they can sometimes have some damage and dirt, at least the colour is balanced properly. Compare that with the kind of revolting transfers shown here, where Kirk looks positively jaundiced.
Nimoy explains that the Vulcan ‘Live Long and Prosper’ hand gesture came from a gesture made by Orthodox Jewish Kohanim, or priests, during the Orthodox service.
He also covers the first two of the movies, but there’s nothing on The Search for Spock so this show must have been made before that – it certainly has a copyright year of 1983.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 29th August 1985 – 18:15
Afterwards there’s a continuity announcement saying that The Phil Silvers Show will be shown at a later date, due to Cricket overrunning.
There’s a trailer for Great Western Journey, then there’s the very start of Hydroplane at which point the recording stops.