Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Star Trek: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

It's the One With Two Kirks: #2!

The Enterprise is visiting planet Exo-III to find Nurse Christine Chapel's long lost fiancee, Dr. Roger Korby.
The frozen world of Exo-III.
Exo-III, kind of a cool name for a planet, especially since these days all planets beyond our solar system are referred to as exoplanets.

Spock describes Korby as the "Pasteur of archaeological medicine." I guess that's a much better choice than, say, the "Darwin of quantum physics" or perhaps even the "Lippershey of warp technology." Regardless, he is apparently known across the galaxy. 
Korby hasn't been heard from in five years and two expeditions have failed to find any sign of him. In spite of this, Christine seems pretty optimistic about finding him alive. Uhura does just that as a message from Korby comes through.

Korby requests that Kirk beam down alone, until he hears that Christine is aboard. When no one is on hand to great them, Kirk requests that two security guards be beamed down as well. With that, a Star Trek legacy begins.
Matthews (left) and Rayburn (right): Trek's first Red Shirts to be killed on the show. 

Yes, it wasn't until production episode 10 that Red Shirts start dropping like flies. Matthews goes first. He was even played by an actor with the name of Deadrick. Is that appropriate, or what?
Dr. Brown, Kirk, and Christine watch as Red Shirt Matthews falls Into Darkness
It is a long way to the bottom of a bottomless pit. Perhaps that's why Matthews was wearing red--to make him easier to spot on the way down. 
Matthews and Rayburn were dispatched by Lurch Ruk.

Before we meet Korby, the beautiful Andrea enters the room.
Christine suspects that Roger Korby has had is own five year mission with Andrea, but it's okay as she's an android, right?. Korby later explains that "She simply obeys orders. She has no meaning for me. There's no emotional bond." You would think that by the 23rd century, even a guy living underground on frozen planet should know that "she means nothing to me" is not a line that's going to make things better.

There is a serious lack of chemistry between Christine and Roger. It isn't helped by Andrea and Roger's big secret (not the hanky panky one).

When Kirk realizes it is past time to check in with Spock, Brown over reacts a bit and it leads to trouble, but Kirk is faster on the draw (that's why he's the captain). 
In a shocking revelation we learn that Dr. Brown is not who we thought he was - he's an android!
Kirk and Christine are horrified. Korby promises to explain and chooses an interesting way to do so, by creating an Android Kirk!

Apparently it is an easy process. Load a guy and a bunch of man-shaped goo on a turntable and spin it around until the goo looks just like the guy. Easy, right?

As Kirk is spun round, he concentrates on the phrase: "Mind your own business, Mister Spock. I'm sick of your half-breed interference."
Not one, but two Kirks!
Just like a Folger's Coffee commercial, Korby plans to secretly replace the real Kirk with Android Kirk to see if anybody notices. Well they do. Kirk's "half-breed" phrase comes in handy later as Android Kirk says it to Spock, tipping him off that something is wrong.

Meanwhile Korby explains what it is all about: "I could've transferred you, your very consciousness into that android. Your soul, if you wish. All of you. In android form, a human being can have practical immortality. Can you understand what I'm offering mankind?" Kirk then compares Korby to Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Hitler, Ferris, and Maltuvis.

Ferris?! The guy with the wheel? Say it isn't so, Jimmy Boy. No one is that evil.

I hope you like the idea of androids giving you immortality, as it will come again in Trek as we work our way through the series.

In the end, everyone is an android, even . . . .
Yes, Roger.
But it is okay as, even though androids are clearly evil, Android Kirk, Ruk, Andrea and Roger all meet the same end that Dr. Brown did: death by phaser. 

The fabulous Fred Steiner wrote only about eight minutes of music for this episode, but it is great stuff. Even the casual Trek fan will recognize that it gets used a lot throughout the series in other episodes. Check out a preview of one track from the awesome complete release of the TOS music from La-La Land Records.

For me, the episode doesn't really work very well. There's a lot of running around, kissing with Andrea and chases with Ruk, but it takes too long and doesn't really go anywhere worth going to. Watch it and decide for yourself.

So what are little girls made of? I am guessing it is not sugar and spice and everything nice. It is more like gears and wires and old pairs of pliers.
Kirk is happy to see Ruk.
Next up is a classic: Dagger of the Mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment