Plot: What’s it about?
Episode #71- “Whom Gods Destroy” >>> Airdate 1/3/69
Kirk is called upon to play doctor, but this time, it’s to a bunch of criminals, as opposed to a ravishing woman. He and his crew are tasked to deliver some potent narcotics to Elba II, where a bunch of insane criminals are found. What starts off like a routine mission soon turns sour however, when Kirk beams down to the surface. He meets Elba II’s governor and offers his regards, until he learns it is Garth, a criminal that assume other forms. Now Kirk has been taken prisoner and Garth has activated a force field around the planet. In other words, unless Kirk and the others cook up a hot plan, Garth will be the new man in charge on the deck!
This episode is pretty good, with the whole Garth angle and a decent premise, so I am pleased to finally have it on this format. I think the makeup and wardrobe choices here are interesting, especially on some of the unusual criminals. So lots of colorful visuals to soak in, which keeps you from noticing just how bad the writing is, as impossible as that sounds. No, the lines here range from decent to horrific, with minimal room in between and in truth, I think the bad writing adds humor to the episode, which is more than welcome. As always, William “The Authority” Shatner fires off a stunning command performance, although Leonard Nimoy does do his best to keep some screen time, that’s for sure. All in all, a more than decent episode and one that not only Trek nerds will want to revisit, but anyone who likes bad sci/fi adventures.
Episode #72- “The Mark of Gideon” >>> Airdate 1/17/69
The planet of Gideon is being coaxed to join the Federation and as such, Kirk and his crew have been dispatched to seal the deal. As Kirk beams down, he finds himself not on the planet as intended, but instead aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise once again. But this is not the same ship by any means, as it is devoid of passengers, save a gorgeous bimbo named Odona. She claims to have no information to offer Kirk, but as always, he thinks he can pump a little out of her, by hook or by crook. At the same time, Spock realizes what has happened and when the council of Gideon is unhelpful, Spock begins to suspect Kirk has been kidnapped…
Aside from the likable, but also laughable Odona, this episode stinks to high heaven and makes you wonder what Trekkies see in this stuff. I mean, I’ve seen all of the classic Trek episodes and the standard isn’t too high, but this one falls below even the lowest of watermarks. The premise is stupid and offers no reason to be interested, while the acting involved is so poor, you’ll question why William “Mr. Priceline” Shatner didn’t just storm off the set. The Gideon people are terrible, while even the regular crew members seem to be sleepwalking, which I can understand, as this is some downright awful material. But you know those Trek nerds and they’ll want to see this one time & again, so for those folks, here’s this miserable episode.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame transfers, as intended. The video quality is the best the series has ever looked, with clean prints and sharp overall images. The colors don’t bounce right out of the screen, but they look as they should, whilst flesh tones remain natural as well. No issues on the contrast end either, as black levels look refined and well balanced at all times. Another round of Star Trek episodes and another round of great looking transfers, thanks to Paramount’s enhancement & remastering techniques.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is thin and gimmicky at times, but still sounds as good as can be expected, I think. The surrounds are used to enhance the music and also add life to the audio, but the results are gimmicky, though it fits within the texture of the series. All those beeps & blips now sound corny in the rear channels as well, which should please fans, I’m sure. The vocals are clean and crisp however, with no real errors to discuss. This disc also includes optional English subtitles, in case you’ll need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You’ll find promotional trailers for each of the episodes.