Episode Reviews (4)
- SORT BY:
First rate season 3 episode
This is one of the best conceived and executed Star Trek plots by Jerome Bixby, the only science fiction writer to remain with the series from season 2 to season 3 of TOS. 38 Federation vs 38 Kilngon crew are driven to fight each other under the control of an alien being. The viewer sees many bizarre scenes: Chekov believes that the Klingons killed his older brother Piotr and wants to avenge Piotr's death. But, in reality, Chekov was an only child, as Sulu tells Kirk. Scotty and McCoy are both filled with feelings of hate and racism towards the Klingons and Scotty criticisesSpock's Vulcan heritage. The real Scotty and McCoy would be trying to reason with Kang and reach a truce with their unwanted Klingon guests. Bixby cleverly shows how the alien entity was influencing and controlling people's thoughts and emotions early in the episode.
This is one of the top 6 episodes of season 3 and I rate it highly for its excellent execution and believability. Both Kirk and Spock recognise the true enemy is the alien which feeds on feelings of mutual hate and conflict, rather than the Klingons who have seized control of parts of his ship. The part about intraship beaming was a novel method for Kirk to quickly reach Kang and arrange a mutual truce to weaken and expel the entity before the Enterprise's dilitium crystals are fully depleted. Michael Ansara is superbly cast in his role as the Klingon commander Kang who has no reservations about torturing Chekov or turning off the life systems in those sections of the Enterprise which the Federation crew still control. Bixby also assigns a meaningfulrole to Mara, Kang's wife, a scientist in her own right, and one of the only Klingon women ever depicted in TOS. Shefinally convinces Kang to reach a truce with Kirk and expel the alien. Bixby's script is excellent; its just a pity most season 3 TOS episodes weren't this well written or made.
An alien entity feeds off the hatred between the Enterprise crew and a group of Klingons.
This is a bottle show, taking place mostly on the Enterprise, to save money. Originally it was supposed to bring back John Colicos as Captain Kor (the Klingon leader in "Errand of Mercy") but he was unavailable, so Michael Ansara was brought in to play the new part of Kang, another Klingon captain. Ansara is incredible, and the episode begins very well before it gets predictable and begins to go in circles. The problem is that the focus of the episode shifts from Kang and Kirk to the unknown alien entity – who doesn't really have any character - and you can tell the writers just sort of run out story.moreless
The Enterprise and a Klingon ship come to the brink of all-out battle as they accuse each other of wrongdoing, neither realising that a powerful alien force is playing both sides off against each other. One of the third season's much better instalments...
This is more like it. In a season that is widely regarded as being the weakest of the original three, carrying a number of weak episodes, it is with welcome that this much stronger story comes along.
It is much sharper and more focused than many third season offerings, to the extent that it could easily have come from the far superior first or second seasons.
Mara is the first Klingon woman that we have seen in the franchise. As with male Klingons in the Original Series (in face, even more so), she is rather different from the Klingons of the big-screen movies, and incorporated into 'The Next Generation' onwards.
I like how the story unfolds, and a nice touch is that when we first see the alien entity moving around the ship, it appears almost casually, with no big music cue or anything to emphasise it.
This episode would be knocked out of my Top 10 favourites, but it certainly stands as one of the third season's strong stories. It's just a shame that more of the season wasn't of this quality.moreless
Kirk slaps Chekov for having a Russian sword as his side arm instead of the federation kind of sword
Sorry to bring the average of this episode down a bit, but I just thought it took too long for Kang to realize what was going on. They did use a lot of my favorite type music in this episode though. When Chekov is slinking through the corridors is what I'm talking about. I thought Star Trek had some really fantastic music themes. I read of some complaint or "mistake" in the "trivia" section of this show where the entity leaves the wrong part of the ship in the exterior shot. I actually thought that was the neatest part even though it apparently exited from the wrong ship level that evidently was not engineering.moreless