This tape opens with Arena in which Kirk and a landing party beam down to a colony only to find it completely destroyed. They’ve been lured there for some reason, and they come under fire on the ground.
Angry with the attackers, Kirk pursues their ship, intending to destroy it (against Spock’s protestations about destruction of sentient life) until they reach an area of space where both ships are trapped by a race calling themselves Metrons. They transport Kirk and the captain of the enemy ship onto the surface of a planet, tell them they have to fight, with whatever makeshift weapons they can construct, and the winner’s ship will be released, the loser’s ship destroyed.
The alien, a Gorn, is an iconic Star Trek alien, but it’s ironically one of the worst designs. And their first bit of hand to hand battle is so ridiculously slow that it rather removes any tension there might be.
After finally defeating the Gorn, Kirk refuses to kill him, so the Metrons decide to let them all live. Another race of all powerful aliens standing in judgement. Roddenberry liked that trope.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 23rd December 1992 – 17:50
Before the next episode, there’s the end of Horizon, about new treatments for sufferers of a tainted synthetic heroin who are ‘shut in’.
There’s a trailer for classic Doctor Who (with a lovely testcard ident at the start).
Next, an episode of Star Trek I always loved as a child, Tomorrow is Yesterday. It opens with some stock footage of present day US jet aircraft. Something strange has been observed on RADAR so jets are scrambled.
No prizes for guessing what the UFO is – it’s the Enterprise.
The ship has been thrown through space by a close encounter with a Black Star, and they don’t know where they are. Even Uhura looks a bit dishevelled.
Signals from the planet below them are a news report about the imminent launch of the first manned moonshot. “That was in the late 1960s” says Kirk, the programme hedging a bit since this was made a few years before Armstrong made his historic flight.
A jet fighter approaches, observing the ship, and when a tractor beam causes it to break up, the pilot, Captain Christopher, is beamed aboard.
A bit of 60s-appropriate sexism. “A woman?” “A crewman”.
But now there’s a dilemma. Should they return him to Earth, with the chance he might change the world? They can’t keep him on the Enterprise, because Spock has discovered that his yet unborn son will lead an expedition to Saturn in the future.
But there’s also evidence of the Enterprise on the airbase, from Christopher’s onboard camera, so Kirk and Sulu have to retrieve it from the base. “A primitive computer. I’ve seen them demonstrated in museums.” Me Too.
They’re interrupted by a security guard, who accidentally activates Kirk’s emergency signal, and gets beamed aboard.
He’s more than a little nonplussed at his predicament.
Sulu beams back up, but Kirk is question by site security.
I don’t quite buy the ultimate resolution of the story, which feels like they fudged the rules of Time Travel. But the story is a lot of fun.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 6th January 1993 – 18:00
There’s a tiny bit of Horizon before the next episode and a trailer for Sounds of the Seventies.
Then, Court Martial. The Enterprise has been through an ion storm. A crewman was lost during the storm after Kirk had to jettison a pod. The crewman’s daughter is not happy.
Then Kirk’s testimony about jettisoning the pod after the red alert started is contradicted by the computer evidence that Spock brings, leading Kirk to be arrested, and a possible Court Martial.
The evidence is damning – Kirk is shown to jettison the pod comtaining the records officer, Finney, before a Red Alert had been called.
Although I think the true culprit is whichever UI designer that put the Jettison Pod button right next to the Red Alert button and didn’t have a confirmation mechanism in place.
But the computer must be at fault, because Spock can beat it at chess, and the only person capable of reprogramming it is the dead officer, Finney. So back on the Enterprise there’s a scene where the rest of the crew have transported off, leaving only the people involved in the Court Martial, and the ship’s computer plays back the amplified heartbeats of everyone on the ship, and eliminates those on the bridge one by one until there’s only one heartbeat left – the missing officer Finney, who harboured a grudge against Kirk since the academy.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 13th January 1993 – 18:00
After this, recording switches, rather oddly, to the end of an episode of The Paul Daniels Magic Show and a trick ‘based on the work of Edgar Allen Poe’. It’s not a bad trick, featuring a pendulum bisecting the lovely Debbie McGee, but it feels like it’s been toned down a lot from the original idea, so it’s palatable for a Saturday Night audience.
There’s a trailer for That’s Life, then the start of Casualty.
That recording stops, and underneath there’s a bit of Reportage looking at the problems of recruiting to the army. The tape ends during this programme.