Thursday, October 6, 2011

Operation -- Annihilate!

*** (3 stars out of 5)
It's the final voyage of Season One! Who wants pancakes?

Before you answer, I should mention that on planet Deneva pancakes are neural parasites that land between your shoulder blades, embed tendrils in your spinal column and cause searing pain to work you like a puppet.

Planetary mass insanity! A raving shuttle pilot dives his craft into the sun!
Puppet gangs are building spaceships to spread the parasitic infection! It reminds me of that Heinlein novel... you know, with the masters and the puppets? Oh, yeah, The Puppet Masters. I'm just saying.

What's worse: Kirk's brother Sam and sister-in-law Aurelan perish, leaving the Captain's nephew Peter an orphan.

Spock is infected, attacks his colleagues, but resists the pain to infiltrate the den of the vomit-like polyps and return with a sample creature for research.

To stop them reaching any more worlds, Kirk will be forced to kill a million innocent people ('We'll call it Operation -- Annihilate!... uh, at our genocide trials.'). That is, if no weakness can be found.

The weakness is found! Like Mogwai, the blastoneurons are destroyed by bright light. But their trial method blinds Spock. "An equitable trade, Doctor, thank you."

Then McCoy learns (oops) that only ultraviolet light was needed! Oh, the pain, the pain of it all. (To quote the melodramatic Dr. Zachary Smith.)

Enterprise deploys tri-magnesite and trevium satellites, which can emit light of such intensity as to expose the indoors. From space.
A little like sonic disruptors that work in a vacuum, I guess. SCIENCE!
However it works, the colonists are saved.

Now the kicker: Spock's blindness was only temporary. Vulcan optic nerves have an "inner eyelid". WHAT A TWIST! Seems it slipped his mind. Or he was playing for sympathy. Jerk.

"Tis a pity brief blindness did not increase your appreciation for beauty, Mr. Spock." says McCoy, referring to himself. Awesome.

You'd think they'd want to tell us what happens to Kirk's nephew. It severely undercuts the tragedy of Jim's loss that there is no indication of a grieving process! He mourned Edith Keeler after knowing her a week, but they couldn't spare any time onscreen for his dead relatives? I know, it's an action story, and well done otherwise, but the deleted final scene with Peter, telling us he's gonna be o.k.? That's an omission that should not have been made. I'm just saying.

One month of TV Treks down, 23 more to go. The human adventure... ah, you know the rest. It only gets better from here! And then, probably, worse again.

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