Captain’s log: stardate 4657.5
By Any Other Name was written by D.C. Fontana and Jerome Bixby and had an original airdate of 23 February, 1968.
The Enterprise is seized by alien life forms known as the Kelvans, and may be the beachhead for a galactic invasion!
Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and the rest of the crew find themselves encountering a strange life form, that looks human, but isn’t. The Kelvans are from the distant Andromeda Galaxy; they have come to ours because their realm will be uninhabitable in a few thousand years, so they plan to invade and conquer ours.
They take the Enterprise, able to reduce any member of the crew to little more than a pillar of salt, and begin the transit between the galaxies.
Kirk and the others realise that the Kelvans aren’t used to the human forms they have taken, and all the emotions and sensations that come with it. Perhaps our heroes can find a way to exploit it, and stop the war before it even begins.
Scotty (James Doohan) gets one of them drunk, Kirk seduces the lovely Kelinda (Barbara Bouchet), which in turn fires the jealousy of the Kelvan’s leader, Rojan (Warren Stevens).
Before that happens, Kirk actually offers the assistance of his ship and the Federation if only the Kelvans would ask. But Rojan knows and wants only to rule.
The episode features the only female red shirt to die in the series, Ensign Thompson (Julie Cobb).
I rather enjoy this episode, it has some fun moments, our heroic trio is wonderful together, and all of them get a chance to shine. And Kirk also gets to steal back his ship (I love the fight sequence at the end, as Spock and McCoy just look on quite contentedly), but also shows that in the end, he’s still willing to help, even after everything the crew has gone through.
Something like that had a profound impact on me as a child. The fact that after all the terrible things that the Kelvans did Kirk still offers them a chance to work together, to move forward in peace. The idea of forgiveness and understanding, and knowing what it means to be human, are all at the heart of this episode, and it was a big thing for me when I was a kid.
Not only did they save the ship and their friends, but they made new ones from those who were initially their opponents.
That is Star Trek.
Captain’s log: stardate unknown.
The Enterprise arrives in orbit around Omega IV, answering a distress call, only to find the U.S.S. Exeter, it’s shipboard crew all dead, reduced to chemical elements. A log entry warns them that if they are to survive they must beam down to the surface, or they will die from a virus. There, they discover Captain Ron Tracey (Morgan Woodward), alive and well, violating the Prime Directive as he works with the Kohms to defeat the savage Yangs while trying to discover the secret of not only the planet’s inhabitants immunity and longevity.
The Omega Glory was written by Gene Roddenberry and originally aired on 1 March, 1968.
There are things I like in this episode, and things I absolutely detest. I love the idea of exploring what happens when a Captain violates the Prime Directive, and what would drive them to do it. The opening sequence with the exploration of the Exeter gives a wonderful sense of mystery.
What I don’t care for is the whole Yangs and Kohms concept, not to mention the revelation of the flag and Constitution. There could have been some big ideas explored in this episode but it got a little lost on the way.
I think the idea of strong violations of the Prime Directive could have been explored better in this episode, and other ones. It plays up the human drama and conflict and had that been at work in this episode it could have been an outstanding episode.
Even with our trio of characters, Kirk, Spock and McCoy at the heart of the story, it’s not enough to save this one.
But, that’s ok. We’ll try again next week, as the Human Adventure continues…