Trekabout Episode 20: Metamorphosis/Journey to Babel

Mothers and children feature prominently in both of our episodes this week. In “Metamorphosis” it’s a needy energy being who holds Zephram Cochrane captive until Kirk and company land and turn their relationship into some sort of Oedipal horrorshow. In “Journey to Babel” we have Spock trying really hard not to emote all over his mother. Plus! Richard really wants a live teddy bear.

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Trekabout Episode 19: Catspaw/I, Mudd

Both “Catspaw” and “I, Mudd” feature a variety of professional actors hamming it up, but only in “Catspaw” does the ham actually smell a bit off, probably because of the giant cat. No, seriously: a giant cat. Meanwhile, in “I, Mudd”, the cast of The Original Series engages in improv theater, which results in one of the most fun episodes of the show. Plus! Richard is really interested in learning about Trek slash.

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Trekabout Episode 18: The Apple/The Doomsday Machine

Spock is a little stuck.

Welcome to this week’s Trekabout, where we give you a master course in Christian theology. In the beginning (“The Apple”), God was there with some guys and gals, and then Satan (Kirk) came and gave them the knowledge of good and evil (sex). Skip ahead a while (“The Doomsday Machine”) and God (Starfleet) sends his Son (Commodore Decker) to atone for the sins of the world. Plus! Shut up, Chekov.

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Trekabout Episode 17: The Changeling/Mirror, Mirror

Sulu wants Uhura for something.

An evil mass-murdering robot? Why, it must be time for “The Changeling”, which tries to answer the question “what would happen if a robot could feel sad?” and kind of succeeds. “Mirror, Mirror” tries to answer the question “what if the Federation were the kind of organization that built mass-murdering robots?” and also kind of succeeds. Also! A bonus discussion about Deep Space Nine.

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Trekabout Episode 16: Amok Time/Who Mourns for Adonais

Zeus is angry.

We made it! Welcome to season two of The Original Series. “Amok Time” is among the series’ best, what with all the soup-throwing, bell-playing, and Kirk-dying insanity, while “Who Mourns for Adonais” is among the series’ middling episodes, but we get a lot of mileage out of both of them. Richard thinks Sulu is sleeping with Chekov, Eric thinks Richard should shut up already, and they both think that “Who Mourns for Adonais” is, like, super sexist. Also! Richard misuses the Guardian of Forever.

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Trekabout Episode 15: Operation–Annihilate!

Spock can't see.

Well, we’ve done it–we’ve reached the end of the first season of The Original Series. While “Operation–Annihilate!” has a pleasingly campy title, the episode doesn’t really add up to much–unlike our long discussion of television theory. It’s so long, in fact, that we pushed “Amok Time” to next week. Sorry, loyal listener–we’ll never lie to you again. Well, no, we will– but we’ll make sure it’s not as easily found out. Plus! Richard cries.

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Trekabout Episode 14: The Alternative Factor/The City on the Edge of Forever

Someone is upset.

Boy, we really wish there was an alternative to “The Alternative Factor”, because it’s almost unwatchable and we’re sorry we have to put you, our loyal listeners, through it. If it’s any consolation, the other episode this week, “The City on the Edge of Forever”, is as great as the The Original Series ever got. There’s no more uneven pairing of episodes in Trek history, so we’ve got that going for us, at any rate. Also! Richard wants your phone number, Joan Collins.

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Trekabout Episode 13: The Devil in the Dark/Errand of Mercy

Kirk is a fancy man.

Hey, remember “The Man Trap”? Well, we have a good version of that episode this week, with “The Devil in the Dark”. Hey, remember “Arena”? Well, we have a not-quite-as-good version of that episode this week, with “Errand of Mercy”. Hey, remember how The Original Series liked to recycle plots? Plus! Gene L. Coon is dead.

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Trekabout Episode 12: A Taste of Armageddon/This Side of Paradise

Dr. McCoy is enjoying a beverage.

You know, Richard is weird. When war is maintained artificially, as in “A Taste of Armageddon”, he’s all for it, but when happiness is artificially created and maintained, as in “This Side of Paradise”, he’s all for that, too. It’s a good thing Eric is here to temper that insanity with a long monologue about Vulcan society. Plus! A bonus discussion about Gene Roddenberry’s cheating ways.

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Trekabout Episode 11: The Return of the Archons/Space Seed

Dr. McCoy, having a conversation.

“The Return of the Archons” is a lot like Richard’s Saturday nights: an explosion of violence and sex culminating in frustration and computer problems. “Space Seed” is a lot like Eric’s Saturday nights: quiet, but with an undercurrent of forceful evil. Eventually they both end, though, just like these episodes. Good thing they’re both pretty good, right?

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