Tensions are running high this week, as the Enterprise is attacked by a series of regular geometric solids and the bridge crew’s morale starts to crack under the pressure. Is this a ropey and glacially paced moment of disposable 60s TV, or the beginning of something indescribably magical?
A nameless and unknowable monster which has destroyed whole star systems and wiped out an entire Starfleet crew is now heading towards the most populated part of the galaxy. The only things standing in its way: a dramatic soundtrack, a memorable guest actor, an incredibly confident production, and William Alan Shatner. It doesn’t stand a chance.
When simple, mild-mannered lackwit Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) stabs three women to death in the space of a couple of hours, the crew of the Enterprise become suspicious enough to start an investigation, which mostly consists of getting Majel Barrett to read them a bunch of Wikipedia articles. But just as we’re all about to nod off, someone claims responsibility for the murders — beloved childhood plaything Piglet (John Fielder), who immediately inputs himself into the ship’s computer and attempts to generate terror by making a series of increasingly unimaginative violent threats. Understandably, the crew respond to all this by taking a bunch of drugs and waiting for the closing credits to kick in. Which is how we recommend that you respond to this episode as well.
A young woman wearing fabulous boots materialises on the Enterprise, renders the crew unconscious, and then removes Spock’s brain. And soon we discover — to our horror — that everyone else involved in making this episode has had their brain removed as well.
The crew of the Enterprise find themselves in a weird and beautifully directed simulacrum of Tombstone, Arizona with a couple of hours to kill before their certain death at the hands of Wyatt Earp’s gang of off-puttingly ugly cowboys. Meanwhile, we all learn a valuable lesson about why Star Trek is superior to real TV westerns. A classic.