A Very Important episode of Star Trek: The Original Series this week, in which we tackle the Serious Issue of Mental Illness, a Terrifying Social Problem which causes ordinary people to conceive an Unquenchable Desire to Take over the Entire Galaxy and to Use Capital Letters Unnecessarily. Fortunately, it can be cured by a Simple Intravenous Injection, which seems to have started working almost immediately. So, no harm done really. Except to this episode’s guest woman, who is dead.
This week, Joe and Nathan work on their most pressing psychological problems by smashing the ship’s counsellor’s favourite bonsai, storming off to the holodeck, making fun of the Star Trek movie series, and playing the most violent (and possibly racist) video game in the history of the franchise. Everything turns out for the best, though, because good friends forgive, and they’ll always have time to hang out and admire the warp core.
These stories will continue for as long as we have the breath to tell them. And as long as our patrons remain wise and compassionate. And Voyager will continue on her journey to the gleaming cities of Earth, where peace reigns and hatred has no home.
Enjoyable. And unexpectedly beautiful at times. Much like Star Trek, really.
A new experience for Joe and Nathan this week, as they enjoy an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise and without irony or reservations. The Vulcans have been behaving oddly for three and a half years, for some reason, but this week, they decide to be normal again, for a dumb reason. But in spite of all that, there’s a lot of fun to be had here.
Nathan, Joe, Kathryn and the Medium Robert are all enjoying themselves this week in a genuinely entertaining Star Trek romance spoiled only by the untimely and unwelcome intrusion of Star Trek: Voyager itself at the very end of the episode. Hey ho.
When a metal box containing seven strange creatures lands outside his village, gentle giant Oleg (Buck Maffei) leaves a pregnant wife and an ailing mother in his humble yurt and trudges off to present the creatures with his people’s traditional gift of welcome — a set of giant novelty spears. This simple act of hospitality is met with violence, and soon matters escalate despite Oleg’s repeated attempts to appease the newcomers’ anger — giving one an affectionate hug, offering the others his precious polystyrene boulder, and finally trying to hold down the box when the wind threatens to blow it away. A heartrending story of faith and hope in the face of indifference and cruelty. Five stars.
Moral dilemmas abound in this week’s season finale of Star Trek: Voyager. Is it permissible to kill a bunch of people if you miss your bus home? Is it permissible to shoot Slimer from Ghostbusters in the face if he’s intent on drinking all of your precious bodily fluids? Is it permissible to torture Rick Worthy if you’re having a really bad day? And it is obligatory to endow the characters in your Star Trek show with clear and consistent motivations?
Comfort food this week, as Star Trek: The Next Generation tries and fails to create a romantic comedy about an exciting new space wormhole. Deanna learns a valuable lesson about the dangers of enjoying herself, some Ferengi learn an urgent lesson about paying attention to their GPS, and the rest of us learn a timely lesson about straight, white American men in the late 1980s. We still have fun though.
Star Trek goes outside this week, for a top-tier episode in which Sisko and Kira are both confronted by radical integrity and self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming opposition. Solid and memorable.