26 November 2011

Trek Review: Plato's Stepchildren & Wink of an Eye

Plato's Stepchildren

Uhura and Kirk's KissThe Enterprise is called to Platonius for a medical emergency where their leader, Parmen is close to death.

Parmen and his people model their way of life and society on the teachings of Plato. They also possess psychokinetic powers. McCoy is able to treat Parmen and is then asked to stay among the Platonian's.

McCoy refuses the offer but Parmen insists he will not be refused. Taking mind control of Kirk and Spock, Parmen attempts to intimidate and humiliate them to change McCoy's mind.

McCoy volunteers to stay in order to save his friends, to which Kirk refuses. An analysis of the Platonian's reveals that the food they consume gives them their powers. McCoy synthesises some for the landing party in order to repel the Platonians.

Uhura and Chapel are beamed down (against their will) and forced to participate in the evening's festivities where again, Parmen and his people take control of the crew in their very own lifesized puppet show. Parmen forces Kirk and Uhura to kiss and the same for Spock and Chapel.

The telekinetic abilities build inside Kirk and he is able to showdown against Parmen. Eventually winning with greater power and forcing Parmen to reform.

This episode is probably most popular for the fact it features the first interracial kiss screened on US television. It's a bit of a shame it happened in what was another 'weak' episode for the third season. While the actions of the Platonians might seem justified to themselves, it makes you wonder why they never had a physician among them and only needed one now, after 2000 years? The dancing and humiliation of Kirk and Spock was a painful enough scene, only to be repeated when Uhura and Chapel are brought down to the surface. While it was all to firstly persuade McCoy and then to entertain the Platonians, it made for an unpleasant episode.

Overall Rating: 5/10

Wink of an Eye

Deela dodges a phaser beamThe Enterprise responds to a distress call from planet Scalos. Upon beaming down, the landing party finds no evidence of any life on the planet, except an insect buzzing sound. While taking a water sample, one of the landing party vanishes before McCoy's eyes.

Returning to the Enterprise to investigate further, strange things begin to happen, including the medical cabinets in sickbay being rearranged and a strange device appearing in environmental control. It cannot be disconnected or destroyed.

The ship's computer determines that an unknown force is trying to take control of the Enterprise and the crew should negotiate for terms. Kirk takes a sip from his coffee and the world around him slows down - but he has actually been accelerated.

He meets Deela, the Scalosian Queen who has hyper-accelerated Kirk into their timeframe. Kirk attempts to shoot her with a phaser but Deela is able to step aside the firing beam. At environmental control, Kirk meets Compton who was also hyper-accelerated. Compton dies from a minor scuffle shortly after and Kirk logs a report in a medical lab once he realises what is going on.

The Scalosian's are victims of radiation poisoning which hyper-accelerated their culture and made them sterile. In order to procreate, they must abduct other aliens passing by. Meanwhile, Spock realises what the buzzing sounds are and McCoy discovers the report tape that Kirk recorded in the medical bay.

Spock, McCoy and Chapel synthesise a counteracting agent and Spock then drinks the Scalosian water sample to find and assist Kirk. Destroying the device in environmental control, Kirk and Spock transport Deela and the Scalosians back to the planet's surface. The counteracting agent works when Kirk takes it and Spock remains hyper-accelerated to repair the ship before returning to our timeframe.

I thought the idea behind this episode was an interesting one, for the simple concept of a hyper-accelerated race. The only thing I'm not sure on is how Kirk and Spock were finally able to destroy the refrigeration machine when it was protecting itself in earlier scenes of the episode.

In any case it was nice to have an episode show us something different this time around.

Overall Rating: 7/10

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