** (2 stars out of 5)
The first misleading thing about "The Pirates of Orion" is the title. Yes, they're pirates. No, they're not from Orion. They're from somewhere called "OH-ree-on". Spelled the same.
Kirk tells Spock it's a nice change to play diplomat. Apparently just hearing the word 'diplomat' is now enough to make Spock pass out.
Naw, I kid. It's choriocytosis, fatal to Vulcans. Spock needs strobolin, by way of a rushed rendezvous with freighter Huron (as you see, the navigator is Chapel's identical cousin).
The pirates destroy Huron's engines, steal all the cargo, then hide in a field of highly unstable explosive asteroids. For safety.
The "OH-ree-on's" neutrality has been in dispute since the Coridan affair of Stardate 3850.3 (Kirk means 'Journey To Babel', but since that involved "Or-EYE-ons" (a green people), and these are "OH-ree-ons" (pale blue people with large filtrums), it's unclear what the connection is meant to be. (Ain't I a stinker?))
Oh, fine, the writer wanted them to be Orions. The illustrators and voice performers seem determined that they NOT be.
Clearly, the "OH-ree-ons" are to the "Or-EYE-ons" what the Romulans are to the Vulcans, or the Skorr are to the Aurelians. "OH-ree-ons"- the pale blue sheep of the family.
I'm also well aware that there's plenty of variation possible within a species. But if you bring in an orange guy with pointy ears and consistently call him a Veelcan am I supposed to think you mean Vulcan but you're all just saying it wrong? Even the Veelcan guy is saying it wrong?
Almost as desperate for the drug as I am to stop talking about this, Kirk offers the brigands a clean getaway and a generous dilithium bonus payment. Knuckle under for justice!
When total capitulation fails, fight!
Mild impact will explode an asteroid, but the "OH-ree-on" phasers are too weak to do so. Also, too weak to harm a shielded Starfleet ship. (How, pray tell, did they beat the Huron? Are freighters made out of old cat boxes?)
Kirk wrestles the pirate captain with the bomb in his backpack, bests him, takes away his suicide pill, and assures the villain that "OH-ree-on" neutrality is finished.
Thankfully, this is the only appearance of the "OH-ree-ons". I now return you to your regularly scheduled Orions.