Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 7

Catspaw

5
Aired Unknown Oct 27, 1967 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

7.2
out of 10
Average
159 votes
  • Spock refuses to let Kirk borrow his ears for a Halloween costume

    4.3
    Well, the fall that crewman Jackson made after he was transported up in the beginning of the episode was interesting. Other than that, it took so long to get going and the cat thing was overplayed. Couldn't they get someone a little more sexier than whoever the woman was who played Sylvia? How about that bombshell from "Whom God's Destroy"? That would have really spiced up this episode. Even though this came before "Requiem for Methuselah" I didn't care for the model of the Enterprise being used twice as if someone could control it in the palm of their hand.
  • Kirk and his crew go trick or treating.

    6.0
    This was the first episode to be shot for the second season, but it didn't air until the seventh week in. That's because it's Star Trek's attempt at a holiday special. Specifically, it's their Halloween special that first aired October 27, 1967. And it's rather embarrassing. This one was crying out to be a big budget show with an expensive set and a hot actress, but big budgets wouldn't happen until the Star Trek movies and select spinoff episodes, and Antoinette Bower is terrible as the female guest star. Catspaw suffers as a result, with silly sets, silly special effects, and silly aliens. That said, the episode (like almost every Star Trek episode) has some interesting ideas and is worth watching once or twice.
  • When a landing party disappear and a crewman is beamed up dead, placing a 'curse' on the ship, Kirk, Spock and McCoy investigate a 'haunted' castle inhabited by two beings capable of performing black magic. Starts off with promise, but soon loses its way.

    6.5
    The first episode produced for the second season (as thus Walter Koenig's first time playing Chekov), "Catspaw" is the 'Halloween' episode of the series, originally being broadcast around Halloween 1967 in the U.S.
    It also ranks as one of the least favourite episodes amongst many fans. At first I quite liked it and was willing to give it a chance, but sadly, later on it just became unfocused and messy.

    The opening shows promise. The dead crewman being beamed up (that fall he takes off of the transporter and down the step is pretty cool), placing a 'curse' on the Enterprise, is good; and I love the three witches on the planets surface. They were probably the only truly semi-scary thing about the episode.
    Unfortunately, things soon descend into a rehashed "powerful alien(s) toying with humans" storyline, already seen in several other episodes, and the plot loses its way, being rather padded and going in circles.

    There are a number of 'Halloween' elements – a black cat; a dungeon, complete with skeleton; witches; powerful sorcerers... but they all seem rather thrown in, and don't add up to much.

    I also agree with others that – with all due respect to the actress who played her – Sylvia just wasn't attractive or as mesmerising enough to work. They needed someone really seductive and mysterious, but she ends up very unconvincing and rather lets the episode down.

    Likewise, we get the obligatory 'romantic' scene between Kirk and Sylvia. It didn't work for me, and the fact that Sylvia had so little spark in the first place made it even worse.

    I kind of liked how spell of the castle was broken at the end, and, although corny, liked the little alien things on the ground, that were Korob and Sylvia in their true forms. But it was too little too late for a story that had lost its way.

    The story starts of with promise, but the later sections just don't hang together at all. A plot involving black magic had potential (the model of the Enterprise being dangled over the candle flame, making the real Enterprise start to overheat, had a lot of scope), but sadly this one just doesn't do it. Definitely one of the second season's weaker outings.
  • May as well have been an episode of "I Dream of Jeannie," only pompous and boring.

    3.1
    This episode is not one I'll ever bother to watch again since it's cheesy, slow-paced and unconvincing. It really takes a long time to go anywhere and doesn't bother to do anything particularly interesting along the way.

    The Halloween horror bit isn't in the least scary and it isn't fun, either. It tries pulling out some half-hearted attempt at Jungian psychology with some mumbo jumbo about the collective unconscious with the close shot of a house cat being the penultimate symbol of fear. I tried to use my imagination, but I couldn't see it as anything more than tragically comical.

    Sylvia is some 45-year old housewife, and by the way, Marge Simpson wants her hairstyle back.

    At least the cheap and cheesy contemporary shows like Gilligan's Island and I Dream of Jeannie played this kind of material for laughs and maybe got at least a couple of them and the actors didn't seem so pained.

    The plot has little forward momentum and lots of the time is pointlessly spent. For example, they show some unknown red shirt acting as captain and trying to get the Enterprise out of trouble. He makes efforts and figures out how to break through the "force field" but Korob frees the ship, anyway, so what was the point of all that machination with the plot? It certainly wasn't any useful character development and didn't bother changing any outcomes.

    It's also the tired "selfish superior alien wants to use humans for own gratification" plotline along with "superior aliens are not really as they appear."

    The superior aliens are lacking something and want to get the special magic those humans have, but by trapping and enslaving them. It is somewhat comforting (in a facile way) to know that superior aliens always want to get that allusive human mojo. We got it, baby! Yeah! Center of the universe, right here.

    About the only interesting elements were the dead body falling out of the transporter and the weak conflict between Korob and Sylvia. Sadly, Korob comes off as perhaps the best character in this episode, which isn't saying a lot.

    If you're over the age of 12 you can probably safely give this episode a miss. You didn't miss much and you just savee 50 minutes of your life you could be doing almost anything better.

    Life is precious, this episode isn't. (Except in taking its own shallow pretenses so seriously.)
  • Trick or Treating

    6.8
    "Cat's Paw" is an average episode, but I still enjoy it. It is definitely a good episode for the Halloween season. It's not scary, but it is ment for Halloween, especially since Kirk mentions trick-or-treating to Spock. This episode even has witches! Another thing that I really liked was the use of the black cat, which it is named after. At the end, it grows bigger by mainly using shadows of a cat, but they also show a cat walking with loud meows making it seem bigger. So, yeah, it is cute. Like I said, it is a good Halloween episode but not a bad episode overall.
  • Use Your illusion

    6.5
    One of the least favorite "Star Trek" episode of the series, Kirk and Spock lands on a deserted planet after a crew member was killed and two offiers were missing. The villians is this episode were aliens, ressed as humans to brainwash the crew and takeover the enterprise. The most powerful weapon ihn this episode is illusion and they almost got away with it. The villains aren't much to look at after Kirk destroyed the castle and destroy the crystal that imprsioned himand the crew. It may have told before, but this is one of the weakest of the "Star Trek" episodes and might be wrong again.
  • Good grief, it's that plot again!

    5.0
    Once again, the STAR TREK team trot out one ofr their favorite plots and inflict it on a hapless viewing public. It's not that it's an especially bad story (after all TREK was several cuts above what other tv show makers were doing around the same time) but as I've made my way through my ST-TOS DVD boxed sets, I've already seen this same story in the episodes "The Squire of Gothos", "Who Mourns for Adonis" and to a certain extent "Charlie X" as well.

    Like those earlier episodes, this one trots out the advanced being whose technology looks like magic story device, and relies on Kirk using his Earthman know-how to defeat the superior baddies and free his fellow Enterprise crewmen from a life of slavery.

    Sadly, one of the low points of the second season.
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