Sunday, 18 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.13 - The Conscience of the King

Review 12 - Episode 12

The One with the Mass murderer turned Shakespearean actor

It sounds a ridiculous idea, a mas murderer who has gone into hiding by becoming a stage actor and slowly killing off the few remaining people who seen him alive. But the execution of this episode is superb, with plenty of scenes that are standouts and making the story very watchable.

I liked Kirk secretly setting up his ship as the only transport for Karidian and his crew, especially Spocks face when he wondered how the captain knew a woman would be coming on board. Kirk was quite cold with Lenore, but it always seems "she's the one" every episode. How many girls has Kirk loved and lost? Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Spock investigating his Captains odd behaviour was also good, and I loved the scene where he discusses it with McCoy over a drink (and Spock refusing said drink of course)

The build up in the first half was excellent, slowly investigating this actor who may be a mass murderer. The 2nd half, when Kirk confronts him, is disappointing. If he suspects it is him and he has killed witnesses, why the hell not lock him up. Karidian is so vague with his answers and Kirk seemingly accepts them, that it kind of deflates the finale showdown. There is a good point in there, about why the death penalty is wrong if you're not 100% sure you have the right man, but it's garbled in these scenes, as if the story isn't quite sure where it wants to end up and creates these strange postponements for the final act.

Also of note is that this Is Yeoman Rands last appearance in TOS, a walk on part where she glowers at Lenore. I liked her as a character and admittedly she was very attractive, but the Kirk/Rand relationship would have been a disaster and created a weird domestic situation on the bridge. Jim Kirk shouldn't be saddled with a hen pecking Wife in the Enterprise which is the route it looked as if it was going to go down with her jealousy. Fair well Janice Rand, you'll be back one day.

So, overall, a very different sort of story for Trek and all the more refreshing for it.


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