Sunday, November 27, 2011

One of Our Planets Is Missing

**(2 stars out of 5)
"One of Our Planets Is Missing" is fair, a 'Fantastic Voyage'-style adventure in the belly of a beast.

Enterprise rushes to the Pallas 14 system, home of Mantilles, outermost planet in the Federation. It's under threat from a cosmic cloud.

Kirk's log declares: "Nothing like it has ever been seen before". Except the Vampire Cloud from 'Obsession', or the giant amoeba in 'The Immunity Syndrome'.

Bob Wesley from 'The Ultimate Computer' left Starfleet to become Governor of Mantilles. Apparently he dyes his hair brown now and wears science blue. Coloring and Jimmy Doohan's voice notwithstanding, that's a neat character cameo, adding to my personal assertion that the animated series is and always was canonical, no matter what the Great Bird may have said.

Ambiplasma tendrils capture the ship and pull it inside the cloud beast.

My wife says the cloud's cross-section looks like Australia with a horse being struck by lightning inside, and I am forced to agree.

Passing alongside antimatter villi of the gargantuan digestive system, Kirk reveals his basic lack of what must be grade school biology in his century: asking of Bones "Villi?" Who's the cabbage today?

Despite the Starfleet regulations against killing and his personal values, Kirk may need to kill the cloud to save the 80 million meatbags on the planet it wants to eat. It's an agonizing decision, but at least he has pants on today, instead of the gold onesie he was apparently wearing in the same still during the pilot.

Spock telepathically plays 'Horton Hears A Who' with the Cloud-Beast. The wording is also a little graphic. "We are very small, and we have come inside of you" springs unfortunately to mind.

To give the lady cloud some instruction in perspective (or maybe a menu), Kirk presents the creature with computer-record views of Earth. Luckily, Spock talks her out of her carnivorous ways and suggests she head home instead of staying for seconds.

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