Monday, 2 June 2008

Star Trek: TOS 1.25 - This Side of Paradise

Review 24 - Episode 25

The One where Spock climbs a tree

A surprisingly good episode this, as I was expecting shore leave version 2. The crew visit a planet where plants emit spores that make you, well, trippy and happy, if seriously unproductive. Once the crew start getting infected it's up to Kirk to save his ship.

This is primarily a Spock episode and once again, Nimoy gives a tour de force of the tortured Vulcan (or Vulcanian depending how early you're watch these!). He meets a girl he once dated (we think, more than a friend certainly) and once infected is able to express his love for her. Kirks reactions to these early scenes with Hippy Spock are priceless as is his dialogue with McCoy. I'm guessing here, but the credit must go to D.C. Fontana, an old school writer as everytime her name pops up, you get great dialogue scenes.

Kirk is mysteriously unaffected, and it's because he's so angry. This doesn't quite add up to be honest as he doesn't have violent rage towards Spock so should still be drugged, but no one doubts his first love is the Enterprise. In a classic scene he beams up Spock and makes him angry, even though Spock could well kill him, and we see just how strong and dangerous an angry Vulcan can be.

Spocks scene's with Leila after he is "normal" again are heart breaking and she raises the main theme of the episode. They were happy, if slightly Brain washed and their health never better. But is that a worthy trade off for not ever achieving or evolving? Its stoner's vs The Man (kindof.)

Spock gets the final line that thankfully isn't a light hearted joke at his expense when he says he was happy on the plant and yet his sense of duty to his ship and captain will always come first.


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