07 September 2011

Trek Review: Return to Tomorrow & Patterns of Force

Return to Tomorrow

Return to Tomorrow The Enterprise is investigating strange readings and comes upon a destroyed M-class planet. The crew are then addressed by a male voice who invites them down beneath the planet surface to save Earth from facing a similar fate to the planet they are orbiting.

The voice identifies himself as Sargon and determines that Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Lt Cmdr Mulhall will beam down in a landing party.

Over a hundred miles beneath the planet surface, the landing party discover Sargon as a ball of energy. Sargon transfers into Kirk's body, with Kirk's consciousness placed in the original sphere. Sargon/Kirk introduces the landing party to two other spheres with other entities inside them and asks that Spock and Mulhall become hosts along with Kirk.

Sargon's intent is to use Kirk, Spock and Mulhall temporarily with the help of Scott aboard the Enterprise to construct android robot bodies for Sargon's people to exist in more permanently.

Spock's entity, Henoch was a nemesis of Sargon from the past and sets about attempting to kill Kirk with Sargon's consciousness in his body. Sargon is ultimately able to outwit Henoch in the end, with the help of his beloved wife, Thalassa. Sargon and Thalassa no longer need bodies once Henoch is outwitted and they send themselves into oblivion forever.

This episode was well done and included an interesting storyline, another opportunity for Spock to behave and act quite differently from the norm and the first of many appearances for actress Diana Muldaur in Star Trek.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Patterns of Force

Kirk and Spock attempt to go undetected on the planet EkosThe Enterprise arrives at planet Ekos to pick up a Federation cultural observer. Near the planet, the ship is attacked by a primitive weapon the planet's inhabitants aren't supposed to be capable of developing.

On the surface, Kirk and Spock discover a culture almost identical to Nazi Germany including motor vehicles, uniforms, salutes and their hatred of neighbouring planet Zeon.

Very much like our own history, this episode plays out with Kirk and Spock attempting to evade capture, only to be captured. The observer, John Gill turns out to be the Fuhrer of Ekos and explains he was trying to introduce the efficiency of the Nazi system without letting it get to sadism, however his deputy, Melakon began drugging Gill in order to take over.

Kirk revives Gill long enough for him to call off a devastating attack on Zeon and name Melakon a traitor. Melakon shoots Gill and is in turn killed. The resulting government proclaiming it intends to start living as the fuhrer originally had intended and to offer a new way of life for both Ekosians and Zeons.

This episode presents another opportunity for our crew to experience Earth's past without actually using time travel as the catalyst. The other example was the episode 'A Piece of the Action' where a planet had emulated Chicago's Mobsters, now we have Nazi Germany. As fun as it was seeing Spock attempt to hide his ears underneath his SS helmet, this episode didn't really capture my interest - instead it was beating me over the head with the message it seemed to be relaying about the negativity of the Nazi regime. Did they need this reminder in the 1960's, certainly not something that applies in 2011!

Overall Rating: 5/10

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