06 July 2011

Trek Review: The Changeling & Mirror, Mirror

The Changeling

The ChangelingThe Enterprise encounters a powerful probe that is on a quest of bringing its version of perfection to the universe. After a powerful and apparently damaging attack on the Enterprise, Kirk is able to communicate and reason with the probe and beam it aboard.

The probe identifies itself as Nomad and begins examining the crew, believing that Kirk is its creator (confused for Roykirk). Nomad begins to prove more and more a threat after it wipes Uhura's memory clean and kills Scotty (only to revive him later).

Ultimately, Kirk is able to outwit the computer probe and have it destroyed before it would do the same to the Enterprise and her crew.

This is a good episode, a typical one for Star Trek and the uncredited inspiration for the first movie, Star Trek The Motion Picture. It is interesting that Nomad is shown as all powerful and destructive in the beginning and yet it comes aboard the Enterprise and interacts with the crew once it mistakes Kirk for its creator and shows less destructive intent once aboard. Kirk's way of confusing (and destroying) Nomad is hilarious and witty in typical Kirk fashion.

Interestingly, Uhura is able to rebuild her memories rather quickly after her encounter with Nomad, and although Scotty wears a red shirt most of the time, they couldn't exactly kill him off, so Nomad is able to repair him - how? We don't know and nor should we care!

Overall Rating: 6/10

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, MirrorAfter negotiating with the rulers of the Halkan homeworld for access to dilithium Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and Scotty beam up to the Enterprise, but something goes wrong with the transporter and they end up in familiar and yet unfamiliar surroundings.

They have swapped with counterparts from a mirror, parallel universe. In this other universe, the Federation is much more brutal and savage. After negotiations don't work out with the Halkans, the Enterprise is ordered to make an example of the inhabitants by destroying their major cities. Kirk and the landing party are able to withhold participating in these barbaric acts long enough to return to their universe, with some help from mirror Spock.

This is a great episode to show the Federation if it had developed with different views and ideas. We will eventually learn more about this universe from episodes of Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, but for what we learn from this one it seems there's a fair bit of Nazi influence in the Terran Empire and promotion comes through assassination and networking with the right people to get you far enough up the chain of command.

Chekov and Sulu make attempts to take the captaincy from Kirk while Spock, even though he is still influenced by the universe in which he exists, remains logical and not seeking command of the Enterprise, although he notes he would take the role if Kirk should die. Spock remains Kirk's 'friend' even in these different circumstances. Spock sports a goatie so we could all tell he was the 'evil' counterpart of our familiar Vulcan science officer.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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