Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
With their advanced technology, they seize the Enterprise in minutes. A device on their belts can make people play freeze tag, or reduce them to their essence in compact but brittle sponge-like shapes. Yeoman Thompson and her Red Shirt are crushed to a handful of dust when Kirk is not co-operative. Yikes!
The Commander, Rojan of Kelva, does not colonize well with others. Their culture is one of conquering and control. The aliens reduce the superfluous crew to little blocks.
Spock's tried-and-true telepathic jailbreak trick doesn't work for long, but the mind-touch reveals much. The Kelvans, in their natural state, have giant bodies with a hundred tentacles but little in the way of distracting perceptive senses. They lived all their lives in a sterile can in an empty void, eating nutrient pills. They have adopted human forms only recently.
And along with human forms come human feelings. The temptations of the flesh. Sweet flowers to smell. And so forth.
Scotty gets Tomar drunk on something he found on Ganymeer... mede. It's green. By the time Tomar passes out, Scotty is too blitzed to do anything about it.
Kirk's taunts and slaps to Rojan lead to a brawl. Kirk points out how human Rojan's become after only a brief exposure to humanity. It's only going to get worse over centuries.
"When this ship gets to Kelva, the people on it will be humans!"
But, instead, they can send an invitation back by robot ship and the Kelvans can settle the Milky Way in peace.
Would they really extend this courtesy to invaders?
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
** (2 stars out of 5)
"A Private Little War" will never be a favorite of mine. Let's dig in!
Thirteen years ago, Lieutenant Kirk did his first planetary survey on a tranquil Class-M planet where violence was virtually unknown. He stayed with the Hill People (all blonde guys for some reason), and made a friend called Tyree. The planet's inhabitants were just starting their Iron Age. Kirk recommended they be left alone to develop in peace.
Today, however, the return visit results in disaster. Spock is shot in a flintlock skirmish. McCoy, Chapel, and a specialist in Vulcan medicine, Dr. M'Benga, fight to save Spock's life.
The Klingons are lurking around, though this is a hands-off world. Kirk and McCoy don native garb to see what's what. Kirk is soon bitten by a poison monkey called a mugato. Tyree's wife Nona cures the bite with a rare herb and blood magic ritual. By legend, a man healed in this manner is the mental slave of his healer.
Nona is a rare 'khan-ut-tu woman' and, pardon my French, a bloodthirsty bitch. She's ensnared her husband with rage-&-lust inducing herbs, egging him on to seize power through killing.
Kirk tries to explain to Nona why he won't arm Tyree's people. "There came a time when our weapons grew faster than our wisdom and we almost destroyed ourselves. We learned from this to make a rule during all our travels: never to cause the same to happen to other worlds."
Klingons have no such qualms: Commander Krell is arming the Village People (all guys with brown hair but no hard hats or sunglasses) and encouraging them to kill the Hill People and take their women.
Christine Chapel is having a rough day because the method for bringing a Vulcan out of a healing trance is a hearty slapping, which she cannot bring herself to administer. Dr. M'Benga knew this procedure, doesn't tell her in advance, and gets her body-slammed by Scotty who thinks she's beating an unconscious man for no reason. Hijinks!
Kirk arms the Hill Folk exactly as much as the Village People (I can't stop saying it now!) convinced that a balance of power is the only way to preserve both sides. He is unwillingly but knowingly creating the same situation as the "20th Century Brush Wars of Asia" which went on "bloody year after bloody year". McCoy hates it but can't think of any other answer.
Such as, I dunno, maybe disarmament talks after invoking the Organian Treaty on those Klingon varmints? Too much work! Pass the ammo!
Nona slips Kirk her potions, seduces him, nearly gets them both shot by jealous Tyree... who cannot bring himself to kill her. Then witchy woman nearly gets them eaten by Poison Monkey Number 2. Kirk summons just enough willpower to disintegrate this mugato. Nona thanks him with a rock to the head and takes his phaser to the Villagers. The Villagers thank her with sexual assault and a fatal stabbing.
In fact, fatal stabbings for everyone. Or, if they're lucky: Flintlock Face! Way to go, balance of power. I'm calling you a clear win for the Klingons.
It's a stab at realism, and a shaken fist at the senselessness of the Vietnam War. All war, probably. However, the episode is icky, sweaty, creepy, and vile. I guess that's real. It's not much fun, though.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Scotty was recently concussed in an explosion caused by a woman. McCoy & Kirk believe the remedy for this is a pre-arranged rendezvous with a belly dancer on the pleasure-oriented world of Argelius. This young lady, Kara, is expected to head off any lingering resentment Scott might harbor toward the fair sex.
Sadly, seconds after they leave the club and run off giggling into the fog, the dancer is stabbed dozens of times... and stunned Scotty's got the knife!
Treknology Today: The Psycho-Tricorder. Thankfully, it's not a tricorder that wears a dress and murders you in the shower. No: it can give a 24 hour mental record of what happened to amnesiac Scotty.
Why, it could remove the need for many long, wasted minutes of traditional speculation, investigation, court martials, and dramatic tension... oh, I see, never mind.