Saturday, April 27, 2013

Star Trek: The Squire of Gothos

It has been a while since I managed to get through another episode of classic Star Trek, so without further ado here is episode # 18.
The Squire of Gothos - brought to you by Folgers.
The crew of the Enterprise is flying through a "star desert" when they are surprised to encounter a planet where there had been none before. They decide that they can't stay to investigate, when Sulu and then Kirk suddenly vanish from the bridge.

Yet a curious pair of messages arrives on one of Uhura's monitors:

Spock decides to send down a landing party, remarking "If those peculiar signals are coming from Captain Kirk or Lieutenant Sulu, their rationality is in question."

The planet is not a friendly place. It is described as being deadly to life forms and having an "extremely hot, toxic atmosphere swept by tornadic storms" with "continuous volcanic eruptions." It is a good thing that the landing party is wearing protection:
Of course they beam down into an area with a nice environment, where they soon discover a castle. Because I am such a geek, I created this panorama of the interior of the castle:
Inside they find the salt vampire from The Man Trap, now being used as set dressing:
They also find Kirk and Sulu, who were apparently frozen while doing The Robot:
And, of course, they encounter Trelane, the Squire of Gothos:
Trelane sort of has super powers and has made Earth his hobby. Although, he has apparently been looking in at Earth's past, seeing it as it was 900 years ago. As you can see from the panorama above Trelane is obsessed with war, military displays, etc. and expects that humans are as well.

Unwilling to entertain him, Kirk enters into a duel with Trelane and makes various attempts to flee - some of which are more successful than others. Eventually Trelane puts Kirk on trial for "the high crime of treason against a superior authority, conspiracy, and the attempt to foment insurrection."
To help the Enterprise to escape Kirk offers himself up as the target in a hunt. If Trelane frees the ship, he'll give him a contest to remember. Of course, Trelane catches Kirk and enjoyed the hunt so much that he wants to try this with the entire crew. Kirk remains defiant when two blinking lights appear - Trelane's parents!
They let Kirk go and punish Trelane. After Kirk returns to the ship, we are given a rather strange ending. Spock wants to know how to classify Trelane. Kirk first suggests "god of war" then offers instead that Trelane should be classified as "a small boy, and a very naughty one at that."

Spock says that will be a strange entry in the library banks and Kirk counters that Trelane "was a very strange small boy. One the other hand, he was probably doing things comparable to the same mischievous pranks you played when you were a boy."

Spock: "Mischievous pranks, Captain?"

Kirk: "Yes. Dipping little girls' curls in inkwells. Stealing apples from the neighbor's trees. Tying cans on..."

I know that Kirk is teasing Spock, but this seems really out of place. Did Kirk grow up in the time of The Little Rascals?

While I do enjoy this episode, there isn't really much to it. I will say though that Trelane was wonderfully played by actor William Campbell, who came back to Trek to play a Klingon in The Trouble With Tribbles and then again in an episode of Deep Space Nine

There is just a little bit of new music for this episode. It all comes from when Trelane and then Uhura play the harpsichord. Yes, all of that music is on La-La Land Records' complete release of music from Star Trek the Original Series.

Next up, Arena.

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