**** (4 stars out of 5)
Yay! Shore Leave! Not the fabulous secret agent/sailor from 'The Venture Bros", but the Star Trek episode, cause that's who I am, yo.
It's been months since the Enterprise crew had a break. The tired Captain's got an aching back, and he thinks Spock's rubbing it. THAT he's O.K. with, but not Yeoman Tonia Barrows. Ick! A girl!
This lovely little garden of a world in the Omicron Delta region is just the spot for some R & R. Stop a while in a pleasant green glade- or, if you prefer, the tailings pond behind Desilu Studios.
Everything anyone mentions or even thinks tends to suddenly turn up here. McCoy's spotted a rabbit in a waistcoat, Esteban's seeing tigers and airplanes, and Mr. Sulu's gleefully firing a wonderful antique projectile weapon into the wilderness Sarah Palin style.
Poor Angela Martine seems quite the merry widow thanks to episodes airing out of production sequence- mourning Rob last episode and cuddling up to Esteban Rodriguez today. Of course, it could be even more complicated: Kirk calls her Teller. Did she marry the famous stage magician between stories? No, it's down to last-second rewrites courtesy of Gene R., scribbling away under a tree even as the poor director tried to shoot.
The planet reads thoughts and immediately manufactures multicellular castings of plants, bugs, birds, clothes, vehicles, and people, too.
McCoy and Barrows do a little flirting after he rescues her from the advances of amorous android Don Juan. She announces she's changing clothes and he assures her "I'm a doctor. When I peek, it's in the line of duty." Did I already say McCoy is awesome? Well, remember it, McCoy is awesome.
The Captain gets to live out two fantasies he's always dreamed of- he could spend some quality time with Ruth, a girlfriend from 15 years ago, or Finnegan, an upperclassman from the same year who mocked and taunted Kirk mercilessly.
Kirk chases down Finnegan. Because everybody secretly wants to beat up a leprechaun.
Stabbed through the heart by the Black Knight, McCoy is so awesome he turns up alive anyway, on the arm of a pair of Rigel II Cabaret Chorus Girls in muppet-fur bikinis. As you do.
Or don't, in front of your date. Tonia seems disapproving, so the trollops accost Spock instead. Fascinating!
A kindly old goat in paisley robes assures them everything is safe here (no multicellular steez, I suppose) and sure, they can use his advanced race's fun park whenever, as long as they wipe it all off when they leave.
Perhaps coincidentally, I re-watched 'Futureworld' this afternoon, a story along exactly the same lines. A wondrous, futuristic amusement park with all manner of robots to fight or f...lirt with.
I'll just ride Star Tours another dozen times, if it's all the same to you.