Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Gamesters of Triskelion

*** (3 stars out of 5)

'The Gamesters of Triskelion' is an ideal episode if what you're looking for is an episode easy to parody.

Captain Kirk, Lt. Uhura, and Ensign Chekov are seized by teleporter to be used as slave gladiators for the entertainment of The Providers. The Providers are similar to The Proclaimers except that The Providers, rather than a Scottish band with twin lead singers, are three brightly coloured brains in a dairy case.

Stolen from a tedious mission above tedious brown planet Gamma II, our unfortunate trio find themselves beneath a purple sky with three suns and a lot of other local colour. Triskelion boasts brown-haired barbarians, a green-haired lass in a tinfoil swimsuit, pink Barbie Dream Prison jail cells, and sparkling silver obedience collars. Your colour TV is worth every penny today!

The slaves are called thralls, and are "selected" for each other. Uhura fights off Lars' rough advances, as Chekov fights off the mustard-colured Timoon's more adorable (if wild-eyebrowed) wiles. Kirk, meanwhile, decides to educate his drill thrall Shanna (a she-devil) in the human ways of flattery, kissing, and "love". Sorry, I mean LOOO-ooo-OOOVE.

Pasty, bald Master Thrall Galt doles out punishment, harnesses, and whippings. The same sort of thing goes on in the hotel rooms at the Las Vegas Star Trek Experience to this day. At least, so I imagine. Ahem.

Shahna keeps Kirk refreshed with what looks exactly like a glass bottle of classic Coke.

The humans are vended to Provider One for 2000 'quatloos'. Perhaps a portmanteau of 'qumquat vindaloo', although why you'd want one of those, let alone 2000... well, probably not.

Spock and McCoy argue well while hunting high and low for their vanished friends.

Kirk's many, many questions get Shahna punished. Then he 'helps' her with more kisses. This is not punished, because it amuses the Providers. Jerks.

Brought before the Providers, Kirk wagers on a human vs thrall combat match, but not for trifling QUATLOOS: for the enslavement of the entire crew against the freedom and self-governance of all the Thralls. And he wins. Of course. Was there any doubt?

Shahna asks to go with Kirk to see the stars, and he refuses her(!) He tells her to stay here and learn.

Frankly, I don't see why. At least one of the Thralls (the Andorian) comes from a space-faring culture, probably most of them do. They are already as culturally contaminated as they can get. They know about space travel. Why can't he take her to the stars to learn? I guarantee the school system is better in the Federation. If you want to dump her, that's fine. But you could at least dump her at a Starbase, or any place less craptacular.


  1. Because it would violate the "Prime Directive"!

    1. Kirk has previously ignored the directive when it comes to contaminated, stagnant, or enslaved cultures (see 'The Return of the Archons', 'The Apple' and 'Errand of Mercy' for examples of each). Since Triskelion is ALL THREE, I think he's just taking the easy way out. When you break up with someone, the least you can do is give them a ride. Also, thanks for commenting!