27 July 2011

Trek Review: Catspaw, I Mudd, Metamorphosis

Catspaw

CatspawI always remembered this as one of my least favourite episodes from the Original Series. I'm not sure why. As it goes, on this re-run it wasn't too bad.

Another survey mission for the Enterprise and a landing party hasn't reported in. One of the members beams aboard and dies on the transporter pad. Sulu and Scotty, the other members are nowhere to be seen.

Kirk and co beam to the surface and are warned off by ghosts before they come across a huge castle. Eventually they are captured and awaken to find Scotty and Sulu, both mindless, under the control of Korob and Sylvia - who turn out to be aliens learning about life and new sensations in this galaxy. Korob is driven by his duty and mission while Sylvia is more infatuated with the new feelings she is experiencing and becoming more dangerous.

Eventually there is a showdown with a large black cat and Kirk ultimately wins, saves his ship and the crew but at the cost of Korob and Sylvia who perish in their true forms.

I learned from the Memory Alpha entry that this episode was designed almost as a holiday special for Halloween and it carries this theme reasonably well, while not overly scary by 21st century standards, all the themes are there.

There is some notable remaster work in this episode including the newly rendered castle and details of the planet.

Overall Rating: 6/10


I, Mudd

I, MuddI was never a fan of Mudd, but they put him in another episode where it's more comedy and annoyance for the Enterprise crew.

This time, the ship is commandeered by a crewman, who turns out to be an android. He directs the ship to a remote planet where they find Mudd and thousands of other androids serving his every need. They brought the Enterprise to the planet to observe human behaviour and interactions outside of their lone sample.

The crew soon learn that Mudd made a deal with the androids to keep them on the planet in exchange for letting him leave with the ship and a crew of androids.

As things go, the androids eventually find that Mudd is corrupt and go back on the deal, putting Mudd in the same position as Kirk and the crew trying to get back to the ship.

It's another episode where the crew have to outsmart these computers and it results in some interesting and funny performances by all involved as they do their best to confuse and disable the androids. Eventually the crew are able to leave, but Mudd remains with over 500 androids recreated after his nagging wife to keep him planetside.

Regardless of the humour, I just can't like Mudd's character and it's an episode I could do without re-watching :P

Overall Rating: 4/10


Metamorphosis

MetamorphosisI remembered the episode but forgot its name. It becomes quite important in the Star Trek timeline. Kirk, Spock and crew are transporting Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford to the Enterprise for medical treatment after contracting a virus. It's important she gets back to her negotiations in order to prevent a war on a nearby planet.

En-route, the shuttle is brought down on a planetoid and disabled. Here, the crew find a lone man, identifying himself as Cochrane, who is soon revealed as Zefram Cochrane - the inventor of warp drive.

An alien entity on the planet has rejuvenated Cochrane so he looks younger than before he went missing, over 150 years ago. He calls the alien the 'Companion' and it is the reason that the shuttlecraft was brought to the planet and also why it is disabled.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy attempt to overpower the Companion but it attacks them instead. They then configure a universal translator and try using diplomacy by talk ing with the entity and learning more about it, discovering that it loves Cochrane which initially disgusts the warp inventor.

A happy ending is reached when the Companion joins with and heals Nancy Hedford. Creating a female, human (and compatible) companion for Cochrane. The side-effect being that she is now stuck on the planet. Cochrane was initially looking forward to venturing into the stars again with Kirk, but after the sacrifice the Companion has made and everything else she has done for him, he decides to stay with her and bids the crew farewell.

An interesting episode for the historical value that we get to meet Zefram Cochrane. Of course he resurfaces in the Trek timeline some time later. The remastered episode features fantastic colours and sharpness, including the green-ness of Nancy's dress and coat.

The episode also shows Kirk's 'attack first, try diplomacy later' maneuver against the Companion.

Overall Rating: 7/10

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