Star Trek – tape 86

Three more Third Season Star Trek episodes now. A bit of trivia for you. Know how to tell which season you’re watching just from the title sequence? Season One has Yellow titles, just the title Star Trek, and DeForrest Kelley isn’t credited. Season Two has ‘Created by Gene Roddenberry’ on the main title (still yellow) and Kelley gets a credit. The third season has blue titles. You might notice a bit of tape noise on this tape.

First, The Enterprise Incident. Kirk is behaving strangely, which culminates in him ordering the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone, only for them to be suddenly surrounded by Romulans. I’ve no idea why the production team used Klingon models for the ships – had they lost their Romulan models? They have to make a mention of it in the dialog too, “The Romulans are now using Klingon designs,” so the fans won’t write in.

Kirk and Spock have to beam over to the Romulan ship to negotiate with the Romulan commander, and they find that the commander is a woman. Kirk’s slight leer is a bit creepy.

But it’s Spock she’s after, as Vulcans and Romulans have shared heritage. And Spock’s honesty in his testimony leaves Kirk in the brig for espionage. And he’s so angry that when Spock and the commander visit him, he hurls himself at Spock, who administers the Vulcan Death Grip. Dr McCoy is there, and declares him dead.

But reports of his death were greatly exaggerated, as there’s no such thing as the Vulcan Death Grip. It was all a ruse to get Spock on the right side of the Romulans, and now Kirk is going undercover as a Romulan to steal their cloaking device.

Meanwhile Spock and the Romulan commander get physical in a let’s touch hands a lot way. Except not in this broadcast, where the entire scene of Spock and the commander getting close is missing. So we miss the scene where she ‘slips into something more comfortable’ as seen here. I really wish they could have had a woman commander and done anything other than ‘falling in love with the star’.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 13th March 1986 – 18:00

Before the next episode, there’s a trailer for Brass Tacks.

Then, The Paradise Syndrome. An asteroid is heading for an idyllic planet, and a population which has a spooky similarity to Native American people. Or “American Indians” as McCoy calls them. The population are actually descended from native Americans, brought to this planet by unknown aliens generations ago.

Kirk is looking at a strange obelisk near to the village when he falls through a hatch and is zapped by Space Lightning.

He wakes up without his memory, and is found by a woman from the local tribe, Miramanee. What follows is a not particularly woke story of White Saviourhood, as he’s proclaimed as a god (because he came from the obelisk) and especially when he saves the life of a small boy with mouth to mouth (although no CPR, I notice. Well, Staying Alive hadn’t been written yet). I guess the leg pumping thing he’s doing would have had a small effect of moving blood.

It all proceeds fairly predictably, as another of the tribe is jealous that Kirk has taken his place as the village wise man, and also fallen in love with Miramanee, and in the end they work out that the obelisk is an asteroid deflector, thus saving the planet.

And Miramanee gets to be another woman who falls in love with Kirk and drops dead shortly afterwards. Talk about Toxic Masculinity.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th March 1986 – 18:00

Finally on this tape, And The Children Shall Lead. This is one of those episodes that I remember from way back when I first watched it. Who wouldn’t remember the one where the kids could control the adults just with a few fist pumps?

Landing on a planet, the landing party find all the adults of a colony dead. But the children seem curiously unaffected by the deaths. All they want to do is play.

The children are led by Tommy Starnes, played by a young actor called Craig Huxley. This name sounded familiar, so I looked it up, and he’s the same Craig Huxley who has a music credit at the end of Star Trek III for ‘Genesis Project’.

I feel I have to point out that the flag for the United Federation of Planets is really shit. I mean, look at it.

When they’re alone, the kids sing a creepy nursery rhyme, and summon the ‘Friendly Angel’ who was the one who killed all the adults. He gives the children the power to control the crew, and take the ship to a planet with millions of people he can control. He should definitely be on a register.

There’s a dark scene when Kirk transports two security men to the surface of the planet, unaware that the children have taken the ship out of orbit, so the men have just been transported into space. I’d have hoped that the transporter would have had a failsafe for that.

The children make Kirk think he’s losing his ability to command. Things get dramatic in the turbolift.

But he defeats his demons, and then summons the ‘angel’ to the bridge, and shows the kids what happened to their parents. There’s a lot of crying. It’s like me watching, well, almost anything, frankly. (We went to see How To Train Your Dragon 3 last week, and I was sobbing by the end. My children find it funny.)

And the Angel reveals his true self, because evil always looks ugly.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th March 1986 – 18:00

The tape ends just after this episode.


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