Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 22

By Any Other Name

Aired Unknown Feb 23, 1968 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • Members of an alien race take human form and assume control the Enterprise by turning the majority of the crew into tetrahedron blocks.

    This cute episode balances drama and humor with a heavy premise that seems more fitting for a Star Trek movie: an invasion from another galaxy. It's another interesting concept by Jerome Bixby, the writer of "Mirror, Mirror", with the ideas of a multigenerational ship and first contact with the residents of another galaxy being spectacular even for Star Trek. (With our galaxy being one of dozens in a local cluster, and the closest spiral galaxy being the biggest of the Local Group, it's great to see Star Trek to step outside its usual box and look at this bigger picture). And yet to finesse the grand concept into the weekly budget, the show has to turn the extraordinary idea into something more mundane. The Andremodans have lost their spaceship before we ever meet them and always assume human form, making them seem more like they're from Pennsylvania than another galaxy. They have magic belts that can remove all the extras from a scene and turn them into blocks, which is only one step away from the silliness of "Spock's Brain". And even the story seems a patchwork of past ideas with Kirk himself pointing it out: "This reminds me of Eminar VII!","The galactic barrier? Yes, we've been there before".

    And yet director Marc Daniels somehow merges the various ideas together into a cohesive episode that succeeds as a small scale offering. Moving from a planet-based prison story to ship-based occupying force tale, Daniels gives it all a light touch that keeps the ideas fresh and reminds us not to take anything too seriously. It might not be anything we haven't seen before, but he's determined to make the patchwork of greatest hits a fun ride.

    Remastered Version: Just like the original version, the upgraded counterpart reuses footage of the galactic barrier from "Where No Man Has Gone Before". This frees up some money to allow CBS Digital to extend the planet set with a gorgeous matte painting for an establishing shot as the crewmembers beam down. In addition to new shots of the Enterprise and a class M planet (originally a reuse of the "Operation: Annihilate!" planet and now looking more Earth-like), the team gives us a better image of Andromeda as well.
  • This is a job for ... Super-Alien!

    Oh, brother ... it's incredible that the STAR TREK producers never tired of this storyline. It goes: a group of (often renegade) super-powered aliens defeat the crew and take possession of the Enterprise in order to conquer the universe/return home/open a fast food franchise. Luckily, recourceful Kirk figures out a way to defeat the aliens, by using superior Earthman logic/illogic/cooking skills. Once the aliens are defeated, Spock admires Kirk's use of logic and McCoy finds time for just one more insult on Spock before everyone chuckles and the final credits roll.

    What's more astonishing is that the episode is credited to sf writer Jermoe Bixby (also responsible for the fabulous "Mirror, Mirror" episode). I can only assume that Gene Coon did a heavy re-write in order to make this conform to his idea of the perfect ST episode (though it's my idea of the worst!)
  • Beings from another galaxy seize command of the Enterprise, holding the crew captive with their paralysing rays, as they attempt to return home to their own galaxy. Not totally outstanding, but a good story...

    This is very much an episode of two halves. The first half is a drama as the Andromeda-ains take over the Enterprise and keep the crew at bay with their paralysing rays. Later on, things become a comedy.

    I like the respect that Rojan has for Captain Kirk. It reminds me of the respect that the Romulan Commander had for Kirk in the classic first season episode "Balance of Terror".

    The Andromedians (or however you'd term them) turning crewmen into cuboctahedreal blocks of chalk is an interesting threat. It is unusual that a female crewmember is the subject of such a death, and the moment when Rojan crushes her block up into dust is quite chilling.

    There is some nice continuity as Kirk mentions that the Enterprise has already been at the galaxy (in the first season episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), and also mentions Spock's previous use of telepathy ("A Taste of Armageddon", also in the first season). It is touches like this that give the series more depth.

    Presumably Rojan had a great many more people to take over the Enterprise than we see on-screen. We only see a couple of them, and even with their paralysis rays, it would surely have taken many more to seize command of the ship.

    (Without meaning to sound chauvinist) Kelinda is one of the loveliest women seen in the Original Series. Of course, Captain Kirk has to seduce her! I think it must have been part of William Shatner's contract that he had to seduce a gorgeous woman at least two out of every three episodes!

    As I say, the second half of the episode goes from being a drama to a comedy, as Kirk and co. set out to 'over-stimulate' Rojan and his people. The comedy highlight – and one of the best sequences of the second season – is as Scotty sets out to get one of the beings stone drunk, and literally drinks him under the table.

    One thing that I did wonder is what happened to the modifications that the beings made to the Enterprise's engines to make it faster. Surely the Federation could have made use of this advanced engineering, but what becomes of it is never explained. Maybe it was found to be too unstable for regular space travel?

    This isn't an outstanding episode, but none-the-less still has some very good moments and concepts, and makes for a good story.
  • Scotty gets so drunk he mistakes a bottle of Gatorade for Green alcohol

    A terribly tragic and gripping episode turned comical by the last scene. And well done, I might add. The story is a good one and holds my interest from start to finish. I was however totally and completely distracted by Kelinda. She simply made my mouth drop open wide. That has got to be one of the most exciting fantasies ever to have a woman with a face and body like that to discover "making out" for the first time and want to experience it over and over again on you. (or Captain Kirk in this situation. I'll live vicariously through him for the time being.) I absolutely get weak in the knees when she says to Kirk with a slightly embarrassed shy manner, "Would you please apologize to me again?"
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