Review 57 - Episode 58
The One with the Indians
Surprisingly good episode this with some interesting things to say. There are 2 very separate plots here. In the A plot, Kirk has his memory wiped and is trapped on a planet with a village of Indians who he joins, takes a wife and is happy. In the B plot, Spock tries to deflect an asteroid heading for the planet, fails, and limps back to the planet while trying to solve the riddle of the obelisk. This takes over place over 56 days.
I'll get my gripes out the way first. Yet another planet with old earth customs and history? There's an interesting theory about it later on, but I'll let it slide this time. The whole idea of Kirk finding peace and being given over a month to live a total different life is interesting, but the execution doesn't work. I'm not really bothered about Kirk becoming an Apache Indian and his acting is pretty shaky here. It's a nice concept and will be reused to better effect in TNG with "The inner light", but I found it dull, which is a shame as I appreciate them trying something different.
The B plot is excellent as Spock trys to deflect the asteroid and ignores all Scottys warnings about burning out the engines (I also liked Spocks explanation to Bones with the rocks about why they had to leave the planet - his frustration and patience were in perfect balance). His plan fails and they only have minimal speed to try and stay 4 hours ahead of the asteroid. This leads to excellent scenes with Bones and Spock discussing what had happened and Spock agonising internally, yet trying to come up with a new solution. An interesting discussion was talking about the Preservers, a race of aliens who "seeded" humanoids across the galaxy, hence all aliens look the same. It would be touched upon in TNG and obviously the real answer is budget reasons, but it's good to see them address it and while the answer is never followed up, I was happy with the explanation I didn't really feel the passage of time on the Enterprise, but that's the only real flaw.
The obelisk was also a very impressive set design, as was the village and the location shooting. This is apparently the only outdoor episode of Season 3 and I was noticing the lack of extras on the ship. Hopefully it won't affect to many episodes, but they really seem to have spent it all on this episode.
It 's very good, but the Kirk story drags for me and I wouldn't really want to watch it again for a long time, so I have to mark it down slightly, but worth a watch.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 165/285