Plot: What’s it about?
Episode #35- “The Doomsday Machine”>>> Airdate 10/20/67
The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise finds itself working as a rescue team when they try to salvage any survivors of the U.S.S. Constellation, which was attacked. It was attacked by a massive robotic craft and once the damage was done, only the ship’s commodore was able to survive. The Enterprise allows the commodore, named Decker, to come aboard the ship and in an effort to start some repairs, Kirk ventures onto the Constellation. This seems like a good will gesture, but soon Kirk is out of contact with the Enterprise and Decker has assumed command of the ship, with revenge on his mind. Can something be done to stop Decker before he destroys the Enterprise and sacrifices the entire crew, all in the name of vengeance?
I like Star Trek and even some of the lesser episodes interest me, but this one was too weak for my tastes. It has a good premise and all, but somewhere along the line it just doesn’t click with me. The usual elements are all present and some good suspense is found here, but I just don’t like this episode that much in the end. Maybe it is how drunk and haggard Decker seems, but I just can’t like this one much. I suppose my dislike is minor though, as I have seen this one more than a few times. I’ll watch it now and again though, so I will just say that it ranks as one of the lower tier episodes in this fine series. Plus, more William Shatner couldn’t hurt my personal collection, now could it?
Episode #36- “Wolf In The Fold”>>> Airdate 12/22/67
Is Mr. Scott an insane and cold blooded killer? That seems to be the case here, as evidence in two separate murder cases points toward him. The crew knows him as a trustworthy and honorable man of course, but after he took a bump to the head it seems as though he might have become a different man. After he suffered the knock to the noggin, Kirk & McCoy take him to a club to relax and recover. At this club, he meets a young woman and later that evening she is found dead…with Scotty holding the blood covered knife. As if that wasn’t enough, he soon becomes the main suspect in yet another murder! Is Mr. Scott the killer he seems to be?
I liked this episode because it takes a walk off the usual Star Trek path, which is always welcome in my opinion. I know the usual episodes where the fate of the universe hangs in the balance are fun, but sometimes I like a more basic storyline with less at stake. That’s what we have here and while it isn’t for all Trek fans, it does have a lot to offer if you ask me. I also like how the focus is on Mr. Scott, who often gets overlooked in many of the other episodes. Sure, he is a suspected murdered in this one, but at least he gets a lot of prominent screen time. I don’t think this is among the better installments in the series, but it does deserve a place in serious Trek collections.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame transfers, which preserve the original broadcast ratio of the series. These look better than you’d expect from a television show that’s over thirty years old, but still lack the shine and polish we expect from this format. This looks like a sharper, remastered edition of the television show and in a strange twist, that’s exactly what these are! The colors look bold, contrast is even handed, and detail is always right on the money. This is as good as these episodes can look, which is a testament to Paramount’s commitment to the series.
Audio: How does it sound?
These episodes sport new Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, but this show uses such cheese filled effects, the surround sound is almost unused. It is fun to hear some of these primitive sounds in a modern mix, but on the whole the front channels handle all the audio pressure. This works well though, as no problems emerge and the overall experience is a very good one. The sound effects and music come through without a hitch, while dialogue is clean and sounds very crisp also. This disc also includes English subtitles, just in case you might need them.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes preview “trailer” for each of the episodes, which is a nice touch.