Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Squire of Gothos

** (2 stars out of 5)

In the days before 'Quadrant' meant one fourth of something, our crew explores Quadrant 904, a stellar void with an uncharted planet. When Kirk and Sulu vanish from the bridge, McCoy, DeSalle, & Jaeger beam down after them with life support breathers. They aren't needed: there's a pocket of Earth conditions with a nearby castle.

Inside they find Nancy the Salt Vampire in a display case, as are Kirk and Sulu. They encounter the collector, a foppish hobbyist who calls himself General Trelane, Retired, The Squire of Gothos. He's got advanced matter-transmuting power, and he's been studying Earth, especially the violent bits!

"You're one of the few predator species that preys even on itself!" he says with glee. "We're all military men under the skin, and how we do love our uniforms!" Perhaps Trelane would appreciate last week's repeal of the U.S. Army's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

He releases Kirk and Sulu (they're not as collectible if you take them out of the packaging, Trelane!) so he can play with their phaser guns. He destroys his own trinkets with a smile.
"Why, this could kill millions!"

Spock's beam-up rescue is short-lived, as the entire planet chases them down! Trelane isn't finished the game: he wants fine dining but has no concept of taste, he wants to be gallant to women, and mostly he wants a pistol duel!

"I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose." Spock says to the being.

As a pompous, bewigged Judge Trelane, he 'experiences genuine rage' at Kirk, and hunts the Captain down to play swords. The alien wins but his only prize is some slaps from Kirk and his glowing green parents showing up to say "It's time to come in".

Trelane sulks "I haven't finished studying my predators yet!"

His parents apologize for their cruel, disobedient, spoilt child.

Spock asks what to call Trelane, for the record. Kirk suggests 'God of War' slash 'Small Naughty Boy'.

William Campbell, (who passed away earlier this year) brought a charming and sinister quality I appreciated to both his Star Trek roles. Both stars are for his performance. It's not an otherwise stellar story.

"Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected." Spock said at one point. He apparently finds this whole affair 'merely interesting'. No doubt he's recalling earlier encounters with Gary & Charlie, other immature, unbalanced minds with non-constructive power who inspired more dread. Not the first, and not the last, but almost certainly the inspiration for certain single-letter naughty and judgmental war gods of future Treks.

When other kids were Rockin' Round the Clock, I was doing a thing called the Crocodile Spock.

No comments:

Post a Comment