Star Trek: The Animated Series

Season 2 Episode 3

The Practical Joker

4
Aired Saturday 10:30 AM Sep 21, 1974 on NBC
8.0
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
The Practical Joker
AIRED:

After passing through an unusual energy field, the Enterprise computer develops a playful--and potentially lethal--personality.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • After passing through a strange space cloud, the Enterprise's computer gains an artificial intelligence that is relentlessly bent on making practical jokes on the crew.

    5.0
    This childish episode has lots of slapstick humor, but overall it comes off as immature. (Though I'll give the writer points for coming up with the phrase "Kirk is a jerk," which ends up on the back of Kirk's shirt.



    The episode is most memorable for introducing the "rec room" which Trek fans will immediately recognize as being the same as Star Trek: The Next Generations' holodeck. (In fact, this episode gives birth to the story idea of "the holodeck adventure gone wrong" which would be beaten to death in later incarnations of Trek.)



    This is the sort of episode you'd fear from an animated series; one that's for the kiddies. But it could be worse.moreless
  • Passing through a strange cloud causes the Enterprise to have a mind of it's own, and it isn't friendly

    8.9
    This is another really good episode of the animated series. There are jokes that the ship plays on the crew that is really funny to watch happen. What makes this episode possibably the most interesting episode of them all is the fact that we see the first holodeck ever in Trek history. Instead of it being called the holodeck, on this episode, it is called the Rec Room. Overall, this is a must see episode just for the fact of the holodeck. It is also really fun to watch all of the pranks on the crew of the Enterprise. Even Spock falls for some of the tricks!moreless
Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Enterprise Computer

Guest Star

James Doohan

James Doohan

Romulan Commander/Search Party Crewman

Guest Star

Norm Prescott

Norm Prescott

Romulan Crewman

Guest Star

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols

Lt. Uhura

Recurring Role

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Nurse Christine Chapel / Lt. M'Ress

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (6)

    • In the overhead shot when Sulu is about to activate a Rec Room program, Nurse Chapel is seen in place of Lt. Uhura.

    • After McCoy enters the holodeck rec room, a black strap appears and disappears on his left shoulder. It can be seen when Sulu brings up the beach simulation, when they enter the forest, and later when he goes to the bridge after escaping the rec room.

    • Somehow the computer manages to create a pit in the rec room. There's no indication that they would go to the effort and expense of making the holodeck multi-floored just so someone can experience a simulation with a pit. Nor is there any indication the three officers walk up any kind of slope.

    • How could a hot air balloon fly in space and in a straight line. And if a balloon were hit by a Romulan plasma energy torpedo wouldn't it vaporize instead of just popping--what was it made out of? (editor's note: clearly the casual reference to the decoy as a "hot air balloon" is a simplification of a much more complex phenomena. The novelization by Allan Dean Foster sheds some light on this.)

    • When the three Romulans move in to attack the balloon, the top-most ship is pointed in the direction they're moving: toward the upper-right corner of the screen. The middle ship is facing toward the camera, and the bottom ship is pointed toward the lower-left corner. Despite that, all three ships move toward the upper-left.

    • During the second Romulan attack near the end, the stars are missing from the lower right 2/3 of the view. Only the top left 1/3 has even a sparse population of starfields.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Spock: Amazing. This deck is covered with ice.
      Kirk: And it was almost covered with us.

    • Spock: Question; why are we unable to communicate with crew members McCoy, Sulu and Uhura?
      Computer Voice: Answer; that is for me to know and for you to find out.
      Kirk: Did I hear that right?
      Spock: Affirmative. The dysfunction is more severe than I thought. Question; are you deliberately holding our missing crew members prisoner?
      Computer Voice: I'll never tell.
      Kirk: Let me try. This is Captain James T. Kirk speaking. You are programmed to obey any direct order I may give, correct?
      Computer Voice: Correct.
      Kirk: Very well, I order you to release McCoy, Sulu and Uhura immediately.
      Computer Voice: Say "please."
      Kirk: Well, I'll be...
      Spock: I suggest compliance, Captain.
      Kirk: (through clenched teeth) Please.
      Computer Voice
      : Say "pretty please... with sugar on top."

    • Romulan Commander: Turn off those food synthesizers! We're knee-deep in deserts and they're still pouring out!
      McCoy: Shall we tell them how they can reverse the effects of the field, Jim?
      Kirk: Yes. But later. Let's not spoil their fun just yet.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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