Thursday, 29 May 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.20 - The Alternative Factor

Review 19 - Episode 20

The One with the Parallel Universe

Well, points for something different. I was worried at first when a life form appeared on the planet after the galaxy quakes. Sounded suspiciously like a God type being. But no, simply Lazarus, a mad man from another universe (depending on your P.O.V.)

The opening ten minutes is done well, with the feeling of a calm sea suddenly being whipped into a storm. The scenes of Lazarus fighting his double are very eerie and surprisingly effective. There's probably too much running around the planet and fighting in the corridor, but it's entertaining.

The big twist is that Lazarus is two people who keep flip flopping between universes and can never meet or it will be the END. This is a tad woolly and when Kirk goes to the antimatter universe it throws scientific logic out the window, but the final shot of the two Lazarus's is haunting and even if Shatner hams up the final scene it still gives you chills.

A couple of minor niggles. His beard keeps vanishing threw one scene to the point I thought he'd had a shave and no one noticed. Also , Scotty and Sulu are AWOL this episode, with new character Masters given the engineering role. I'm fairly sure she's never seen again, but it was quite a novelty too see so many new faces on board which gave it a fresh look. Also the fight at the end with Kirk and mad Lazarus is ridiculous, with Spock and 2 security guards watching Kirk wrestle with him. A vulcan nerve pinch would have ended it!

I'm pleased to see ideas for storys such as this, good ideas such as parallel universes and doubles. It doesn't quite work and there's too much fighting and running, but this is an episode that should be applauded for doing something different, even if it's reach outstretches it's grasp.


Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 55/100

Up next: Tomorrow is Yesterday - I think this is the one they go back in time. Looking forward to it.

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