30 October 2011

Trek Review: The Paradise Syndrome, And The Children Shall Lead & Is There In Truth No Beauty?

The Paradise Syndrome

Obelisk on AmerindKirk, Spock and McCoy find a strange obelisk on planet Amerind. Kirk ends up inside and loses his memory after a fall and interaction with a device within. Emerging from the obelisk he is worshipped by the local inhabitants as a god prophesied to save the people from an upcoming disaster.

This is another episode where we find a duplicated development of Earth on another planet. The local inhabitants represent American Indians, a society Kirk is introduced to when he is found by two women who bring him back to their tribe.

Spock and McCoy fail to find Kirk after he goes missing (inside the obelisk) and must return to the Enterprise to avert an asteroid from colliding with the planet. Spock pushes the engines to reach the asteroid in time which reduces the power they have available when it comes to deflecting it. They must now spend the next 59 days in close proximity to the asteroid and restore power to destroy or deflect it from impacting the planet.

During this time Kirk becomes the 'medicine man' of the tribe and marries the priestess, Miramanee. They live together and Miramanee bears Kirk (Kirok)'s child. The tribe believe Kirok will be able to activate the obelisk and save them from a coming darkness (the asteroid).

A jealous Salish, the original medicine man catches Kirok out when he can't activate the obelisk. The tribe begin stoning him and Miramanee as Spock & McCoy beam to the surface, scaring them away. Spock performs a mind-meld to restore Kirk's memory and gain entry to the obelisk using the unique sound of a communicator, they activate it, ultimately deflecting the asteroid.

Not a bad episode and it spans a long amount of time (nearly two months) allowing Kirok's life in the tribe to develop with his wife Miramanee. I'm not sure if it was intentional but Spock seemed to make a number of calculated risks that don't necessarily pay off in this episode.

The remastered version benefits from updated graphics and effects as expected including a rare shot of the Enterprise firing it's deflector dish at the asteroid.

Overall Rating: 6/10

And The Children Shall Lead

Kids take over the EnterpriseThe Enterprise arrives at outpost Triacus to find the colony of scientists have committed mass suicide. Their children however remain unaffected by what's happened. During transport aboard the Enterprise they summon a dark spirit who tells them to take over the ship and kill anyone who would get in their way, just as they did on Triacus.

This episode was doomed to fail (for me) as soon as a bunch of kids were placed aboard the ship to take it over. Unfortunately it doesn't help when the musical score adds in sound effects to the movements of the children pumping their fists which somehow takes control of the crew, or places horrific images in their minds. The fact that the kids can control the crew with these actions and no one thinks to remove the children instead of fall under their spell is slightly unbelievable.

Unfortunately there's not much to like or comment on with this episode. A dark entity is using the children to transport itself to the colony Markos XII where they will find 'new friends'. Markos XII is probably a stepping stone to gather more people to invade further into the Federation and mount a takeover of some sort.

Due to the annoyance of the episode and the children involved with it, it's hard to appreciate the benefits of the remastered effects. There are some decent shots of new places aboard the Enterprise including what appears to be a recreation room where the children are seen playing and eating ice cream.

Ho hum,

Overall Rating: 3/10

Is There In Truth No Beauty?

Spock & Kollos on the bridgeKirk and crew are given the responsibility of transporting Medusan Ambassador Kollos and human Dr Miranda Jones to his home planet. The sight of a Medusan is so hideous it will drive any human insane. Vulcan's are able to look upon a Medusan with the use of a special visor.

Diana Muldaur returns to Star Trek to play Dr Jones in a Christmas Tree outfit. Many of the male crewmembers continuously comment on her beauty and her telekinetic abilities through training on Vulcan. Jones appears intimidated and jealous by Spock and resistant to his curiosity about Ambassador Kollos.

Larry Marvick is aboard ship as well during this time, a designer of the Enterprise's engines and a man admired by Scotty. He is also in love with Dr Jones and doesn't want her to go with Kollos. With her abilities, Jones detects that Marvick is thinking of murder and he leaves and makes an attempt on Kollos' life. Kollos reveals himself, driving the human Marvick insane. He lashes out and heads for engineering, takes control of the engines and warps the ship beyond the galactic barrier and lost. Marvick dies soon after, leaving the ship with no way of returning home.

The Medusan's have far better navigational systems and a mind-meld between Spock and Kollos is suggested so Spock can pilot the ship with Kollos' knowledge. Of course, it works and Kollos experiences what it's like to be in Spock's body and see as we do. When he returns, Spock forgets to place the visor over his eyes and is driven insane by the sight of Kollos. Dr Jones is the only one who can help Spock but she remains reluctant due to her jealousy. Kirk gets through to her and she is able to help Spock return to normal.

A decent episode and pick-up in quality from the previous one. The continuous mentions of Miranda's beauty by the male crew were a bit odd and had the subtlety of a sledgehammer. When it's realised that she is in fact blind, it makes a little more sense and also explains how she is able to be assigned to Ambassador Kollos when she is human. The Enterprise makes another trip beyond the Galactic Barrier (the most of any starship Enterprise in Star Trek I'm pretty sure).

One thing I'm not sure about is why all decks and even the transporter room had to be clear of all personnel when Kollos arrived when this wasn't done for his departure.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Season Three has had a pretty slow start in terms of ratings so far, but there's a few episodes to go yet. It will be interesting to see if there's improvement...

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