Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Counter-Clock Incident

*** (3 stars out of 5)

"The Counter-Clock Incident" is a wonderful story- if you don't like stories that make sense.
Federation-Ambassador-at-large for the past 20 years, Commodore Robert April was the first Captain of the Enterprise. He's reached mandatory retirement age: 75.

He reminisces about the days of old: overseeing the assembly of the ship at the San Francisco Naval Yards. Back when hand lasers cost a credit and you could cane a Tellarite across the shinbone for talking out of turn.

April's wife Sarah designed many of the medical tools Bones uses today. Is she buttering her own bread a little? "First medical officer aboard a ship equipped with warp drive"? Really? There's been warp drive for two centuries! Nobody brought a doctor along before?

Sarah April has a Capella IV flower, with a lifespan of a few hours. Kind of a grisly corsage, but o.k., it helps the plot along.

Returning to the Beta Niobe supernova the ship tries to catch a backwards-talking woman speeding 26 warp factors over the limit, but are dragged along...

...into a reverse cosmos with black stars in a white void, where time moves backward.

The star Amphion, previously dead, came to life here, and their guide Karla Five escorts them to her world, Arret. See, it's Terra backwards! Karla's son Karl Four is a sprightly old man, and her father Karl Six is a senile infant.

"Most logical" says Spock. I completely disagree. If Karl Four and Karla Five are getting younger and younger at the same rate, she will "reverse die" (in our reality, be born) before him. How is he supposed to reverse die without his mother? And how can Karla's father un-father her in a couple of decades if he's already on his first legs? It's not "most logical", it's insane.

Think about it for a second: you can be "reverse born" anywhere- hospital bed, operating table, the mouth of a Capellan power cat. But, all things being equal, you're going to "reverse die" inside your parents like everybody else. Ergo: parents can't be younger than their children, even here. Right? I think?

Oh, that's neither here nor there. Spock's logic is obviously working backwards here, too.

Adorable Mr. Sulu gets too young to remember how to drive. Kid Spock and Muppet Baby Arex were the oldest and second oldest crew on the bridge, manning the controls as renewed Robert April gave the orders taking them back home.

Starfleet says they're going to rethink that mandatory retirement age, which, as it turns out, will be lucrative for the movie franchise.

"It gave all of us a second life." says Sarah, in the final line of the series. Even though they squandered it by resetting themselves with the transporter. I shudder when the cure for the crew's case of youth is the transporter, but only because I don't like mixing my magic. A second life, indeed, just as this cartoon did for 'Star Trek'. A second life in a second decade.

It was a good series and we're long overdue for another Trek Toon, methinks. Just, please... not 'Star Trek Babies'.

Next up, a little time-reversal of our own. Tomorrow: a trip back to 2254 with Star Trek's first pilot. The one that didn't sell. "The Cage"- a five star episode with a five star guest reviewer.

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