Friday, September 6, 2013

Blood and Fire

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Episodes 4 & 5 of Star Trek Phase II were written and directed by David "The Tribbles Guy" Gerrold, and dedicated to Trek First Lady Majel.

Pitched battle is joined with the Klingons, and I imagine even the dead must appreciate how good the special effects are! "Fontana, go heal somethin'," snarls overworked McCoy.

Ensign Peter Kirk and Lt. Alex Freeman are engaged to be married. Overprotective Captain Kirk is taken off guard to hear it, but agrees to perform the ceremony... and to let his green nephew serve on a dangerous rescue mission in the same day.

"Relax, Jim," McCoy "soothes". "We don't put bulls-eyes on the red shirts anymore."

Starship Copernicus is in distress, intentionally on course for destruction in a plasma streamer between the stars Lear and Iago. The crew has been gruesomely killed by swarms of Regulan bloodworms. Starfleet Command orders the infected vessel destroyed... with the landing party still aboard.

Regulan bloodworm swarms are the anti-tribble. Unstoppable, immune to phasers, and burning through walls like tiny horrible Hortas. Their rapid skeletonization of Hodell from the feet up forces Peter to disintegrate the man to stop his suffering. The unsettling doctors Jenna N. Yar (Denise Crosby as Natasha's grandma) and Blodgett hope to harness the creatures for nefarious purposes. Like Burke in Aliens, you have to wonder what they'd do once they HAD them. Millions of tiny "Bloodworms Rock" T-Shirts?

Who will live and who will die? What is the secret of the worm?

If "canonical" Star Trek ever gets around to depicting "gay" as "normal" they will have to look back (at least) with an acknowledgement to "Blood and Fire"; a script from the '80s, modified for the noughties, that turns out COULD be made well without anyone's heads literally exploding. This is the Kirk I can really respect- a man who respects love in all forms.

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