24 August 2011

Trek Review: The Immunity Syndrome & A Private Little War

The Immunity Syndrome

Space AmoebaOn their way to get some R&R at Starbase 6, the Enterprise receives a call which comes through as a set of coordinates and the name of a nearby starship Intrepid. Shortly after, in a scene akin to Obi Wan Kenobi's detection of the destruction of Alderaan in Star Wars, Spock goes through pain and realises that the 400 Vulcan crew of the Intrepid have died.

Investigating, the Enterprise comes upon a 'zone of darkness' where all laws of physics are reversed. Probing further the ship discovers a huge single-cell organism feeding on energy. The likely cause of the disappearance of an entire star system and the starship Intrepid.

Spock volunteers to take a shuttlecraft into the giant amoeba to find out more and ultimately helps Kirk and crew work out a way to destroy the invading virus that is on the verge of multiplying and enveloping the galaxy.

This was a fairly decent episode in what it was portraying. Our galaxy being invaded by a 'virus' made up of these huge single-celled organisms and the Enterprise and her crew playing the antibodies. What stood out for us in this episode was that Spock did not appear to be played in character. In fact, he was borderline annoying and arrogant. The banter between he and McCoy was at a different level, particularly during the time when both volunteered to fly the shuttle. Spock continuously reminded McCoy of his Vulcan superiority and even later, via transmission, Spock basically gloats to McCoy that the physician would not have survived had he been selected as pilot.

Nevertheless, the episode was decent and the remastered effects looked fantastic. It also brought us some humourous animated gifs from just after McCoy blasts Spock over the communications channel...

McCoy and Kirk approve

...and this, funnier version.

McCoy and Kirk

Overall rating: 6.5/10

A Private Little War

Kirk with Tyree's peopleThe Enterprise is involved in a scientific mission on the planet Neural. The inhabitants of the planet have remained at the same technological level for many centuries, but Kirk and Spock are surprised to see some villagers using firearms instead of bows and arrows and that the people are fighting amongst themselves when they once were peaceful towards each other.

It is soon realised that the Klingon Empire have been supplying some villagers with superior weaponry to cause conflict between the planet's inhabitants.

Though governed by the non-interference directive, Kirk makes a move to equally equip the disadvantaged side. Kirk had visited the planet before and lived with Tyree who refuses to fight, however his wife, Nona thinks otherwise and after saving Kirk following a Mugato attack, uses her kahn-ut-tu spells to influence him.

Eventually, through her own greed and impatience, Nona dies and Tyree vows to take the fight to the villagers. Triggering a war.

I figured there would have been some sort of contemporary message behind this episode and the entry on Memory Alpha points this episode to relate to the Vietnam War. The episode suggests that Eden cannot last forever and so, the paradise of Neural was taken away once the Klingon's became involved.

Strangely enough, we see Tyree become angered or at least distraught when he catches Nona and Kirk in a passionate embrace, but this is never revisited, even after her death he simply vows to avenge her and then Kirk and crew leave.

In remastered blu-ray, this episode suffers from some blurring and scenes that aren't quite as sharp as you'd expect. A lot of scenes are shot outside, on location and could be part of the reason why.

Overall Rating: 5/10

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