Thursday, 3 July 2008

Star Trek: TOS 2.20 - A Piece of the Action

Review 48 - Episode 49

The One with the 1920's Gangsters

Okay, big ask here. A planet that has based it's entire culture on 20's Chicago gangsters, based on a book a previous ship has left behind. If you can't accept that, if this seems like Star Trek at it's worst, it's most stupid, then move on. There's nothing I can say that can convince you to like this if you can't swallow that concept (I've had a couple of beers, hence the passionate intro).

If you're still reading, then I presume you've decided to give this a chance, like I did. And you should, because this is a very good Trek and a very funny episode. It possibly overdoes the gangster comedy angle a tad, but I'll forgive it that.

Koik, Sawbones and Spocko are from the Feds and trying to take over the planet. At least in the 2nd half they are. In the first, they approach it from a star fleet point of view and lose hopelessly and have no idea what they are doing. Kirks reactions to Oxymyx and Krako are very funny as for once Shatner is talked down in scenes.

The 2nd half sees Kirk on the offensive as he realises that he has too act like a gangster to be respected. Bones is left out these scenes as Kirk and Spock steal the show in their sharp outfits and improvised plan. Even Scotty gets a few good lines. I also like the fact that the gangsters weren't stupid and realised that Kirk could be bluffing this whole thing.

The whole tone of the episode is very similar to The Voyage Home, especially the scenes with Spock and kirk in the car. Spock is probably too funny this episode, but I like to think it's his human side coming through and the chemistry between them at this point in time is as good as it gets. The prime directive gets an airing again which is nice to see and though the rest of the cast are largely missing, it's just the way the show is going.

So, very funny episode, but if Spock acting like a gangster sounds like the worst thing in the world to you, skip to the next episode. Me, I loved it.


Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 146/240

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