*** (3 stars out of 5)
"The Ambergris Element" is well achieved and visually stimulating, but there's little for me to write home about.
The Aquans, aptly named water-dwellers of planet Argo, mutate Kirk and Spock into Mer-Men. Hilarious "The Search For Spawn" jokes may now ensue.
Actually, until now most Aquans are uptight surface-people haters. It was the rebel youth who saved the lost spacemen with some extra mutating hormones they had lying around.
The old Aquans erased the duo's memories of the location of Argo City (somewhere near Kandor?), and dumped them in the shallows. Then the young save their lives again when they return seeking a cure to their mutation. They need a lot of saving this week: from execution by the elders, from a net, from the boiled lobster monster called the sur-snake whose secretions contain the antidote, and from the general lack of interest in living 'Unda da See'!
A few things baffle me. Well, lots, really, but we'll deal with the show for now. We're told the Aquans were swamped in fairly recent times (centuries) by seismic action, and were forced to genetically modify themselves to live underwater. When did they find time to learn hatred of surface people, especially since there aren't any these days?
"My great-granddaddy was an air-breather... how I despise them! If I ever meet one... oooh, I'd drown him as soon as look at his ugly air face! Why don't you go back to Airlandia, O2 Lover!?!"
Also, why did the young find it necessary to modify Kirk and Spock to save their lives? What were they saving them from? If it was drowning, just leave them a few feet further up the beach! Isn't this solution like deciding to surgically enclose me in a turtle shell so I'll survive the impact at the bottom of a cliff we're currently falling off of?
While I am glad the solution is not 'cure them with the transporter', I'm dubious about the ancient medical records for two reasons. One: why do aliens use a caduceus symbol, and mostly TWO: UNDERWATER SCROLLS? Oh, fine, maybe they're written on plastic.
Which reminds me: please cut your plastic six-pack rings so Kirk and Spock don't get tangled in them. Thanks.