Trekabout Episode 37: That Which Survives/The Lights of Zetar

Scotty is needy.

We’ve had some strong contenders, but, finally, we’ve found an episode of The Original Series that’s as terrible as “The Alternative Factor”: “That Which Survives”. The less said about it, the better, so let’s move right along to “The Lights of Zetar”, which isn’t much better, but at least features a strong and capable female character written by Shari Lewis. So you know, that’s something.

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Trekabout Episode 36: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield/The Mark of Gideon

Spock, helping.

Ah, 1969. America’s Gandhi was dead. Race riots had broken out in many American cities. The Cold War was at full tilt. But don’t worry! Here is “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” to browbeat us with the message that “racism is bad”! Later, “The Mark of Gideon” tries to convince us that mass sterilization is the appropriate way to control population growth. Seriously, Star Trek? Go find an analyst. It’s socially acceptable to go to one. It’s 1969.

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Trekabout Episode 35: Elaan of Troyius/Whom Gods Destroy

Kirk and Spock are having none of this.

The third season of The Original Series has slowed its rate of terribleness with “Elaan of Troyius” and “Whom Gods Destroy”. While not classic episodes, they’re at least entertaining pulp nonsense, and at this point, that’s about all we can ask. Also! Richard can’t hear.

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Trekabout Episode 34: Wink of an Eye/The Empath

Kirk has a gut.

The Original Series continues its problematic relationship with female guests stars this week. In “Wink of an Eye”, our female guest star’s personality switches multiple times over the course of the episode because plot. In “The Empath”, the show manages to one-up that treatment and give us a female character with literally no personality. Oh, and she can’t talk. Yeah.

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Trekabout Episode 33: The Tholian Web/Plato’s Stepchildren

A short man.

It’s not dead, Jim: The third season roars back this week. “The Tholian Web” features a new alien menace, growing madness among the crew, a disappearing starship, and Spock and Bones at each other’s throats. “Plato’s Stepchildren” features telekinetic jocks, the first (sic) interracial kiss on television, and a singing Spock. Plus! Scotty gets drunk and wanders the corridors of the Enterprise in a kilt at least once a week.

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Trekabout Episode 32: Day of the Dove/For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

Spock is a bit alarmed.

8 episodes into the third season of The Original Series, and we’ve cracked the code on why it’s so disappointing: everyone involved has decided to give us a steady diet of fight scenes, love scenes, and general half-assed pulp nonsense. In “Day of the Dove”, the Klingons and the Federation learn that the cure for violence is comedy. In “For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky”, McCoy contracts a fatal illness called marriage.

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Trekabout Episode 31: Is There in Truth No Beauty?/Spectre of the Gun

Kirk is welcoming.

In “Is There in Truth No Beauty?”, the crew of the Enterprise wanders around for 50 minutes while a guest star does her best to convince everyone that she’s blind, and then she leaves. In “Spectre of the Gun”, the crew of the Enterprise wanders around for 50 minutes while guest stars do their best to kill them. In episode 31 of Trekabout, we wander around for 50 minutes because hell, third season of The Original Series, man. Also! Richard likes to use the word “eschew”.

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Trekabout Episode 30: The Paradise Syndrome/And the Children Shall Lead

A crying girl.

Want some mild racism? Well you have it in “The Paradise Syndrome”! Want to feel a burning hatred for children? Well you have it in “And the Children Shall Lead”! Want to watch a better TV show? Well, you have to wait for us to get to Star Trek: The Next Generation in about six months. Also! Richard loves the name Melvin Belli.

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Trekabout Episode 29: Spock’s Brain/The Enterprise Incident

A Romulan woman is concerned.

Oh boy, guys and gals–we made it to the third season of The Original Series, and it’s all downhill from here for quite a while. “Spock’s Brain” isn’t nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be, and gives us some hilarious camp, while “The Enterprise Incident” is… pretty good? Which is about the best any third season episode gets. So look forward to that. Plus! How often can Vulcans have sex?

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Trekabout Episode 28: Bread and Circuses/Assignment: Earth

Well, this is awkward.

Okay! We’ve reached the end of the second season, with “Bread and Circuses”, another Gene Roddenberry-penned episode, so, really, enough said, and “Assignment: Earth”, another exciting outing from our intrepid adventurers Gary Seven, Roberta Lincoln, and Isis the cat… wait, what? What the hell are we watching? Is this Star Trek? Also! Richard doesn’t like science.

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