03 August 2011

Trek Review: Journey to Babel & Friday's Child

Journey to Babel

Journey to BabelThe Enterprise has the task of transporting a number of diplomats to a conference on Babel. Among them, Andorians, Tellarites and Vulcans, including Spock's parents Sarek and Amanda.

En-route, one of the delegates is murdered, Sarek stands accused, but he is also suffering from a fatal disease where Spock is the only one who can help him. Add to that, the Enterprise comes under attack by an unknown alien ship.

This is an interesting episode as it shows the cultural diversity of the races making up the Federation in the 23rd century. We meet our first Andorians and Tellarites as well as a bunch of other aliens.

The episode introduces us to Sarek and Amanda, Spock's parents. Sarek appears cold and almost ignorant of Spock's existence aboard the ship, but this is probably to show the logical relationship between the two while Amanda's reactions are fairly more emotional in direct contrast.

An attempt on Kirk's life is made during the episode by a renegade Andorian communicating with an alien vessel shadowing the Enterprise's course to Babel. The Andorian is captured, but attempts to escape as the Enterprise is attacked. Eventually, after healing in sickbay, Kirk is able to outwit the alien commander and disables the other ship. The assassin dies soon after of his own accord.

Spock believes the attackers were actually Orion's who were out to disrupt the Babel conference to continue their own activities in the region, showing us more of the political climate going on at the time.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Friday's Child

Friday's ChildKirk and his landing party become involved in a struggle to secure mining rights on the planet Capella IV. This becomes more difficult when a Klingon commander, Kras appears and is also bargaining for similar rights with another powerful tribe of the planet's inhabitants.

A knee-jerk reaction from an inexperienced red-shirt when he draws his phaser on sight of the Klingon, works against Kirk's landing party and their chances of convincing the Capellan's the Federation is peaceful and trustworthy. However, in negotiations with the Capellan leader Akaar, McCoy and his experience with the Capellan people is able to provide them with the upper hand again.

A fight soon breaks out between the Capellan tribes and Akaar is killed and succeeded by Maab, who is in league with Kras. Kirk and crew are detained, but escape in the hopes of salvaging their situation and proving to the Capellans that Kras and Klingon Empire cannot be trusted.

This episode had promise but for me it became a little ridiculous. One look at the outfits of the Capellan inhabitants was enough. The storyline was somewhat predictable with the fighting between the Capellan tribes and the situation the Federation was put in. The reaction of Ensign Redshirt was extremely woeful and unacceptable for a trained Starfleet officer, particularly one assigned to the Enterprise!

The episode feels slow and drawn out, there is also a storyline of Akaar's widow, bearing a child and near the point of birth. She initially wishes to die after learning of Akaar's death, as is Capellan law. After being whisked away by Kirk and the crew she is influenced, by McCoy in particular as he works to save both mother and child.

In the end, it's an episode that covers topics of importance but I don't think it was executed as well as it could have been. Or maybe it was just the ridiculous Capellan outfits and the slow pace of the episode that ruined it for me?

Overall Rating: 5/10

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