Star Trek: The Original Series (1968) – The Enterprise Incident and The Paradise Syndrome

Captain’s log: stardate 5027.3

The Enterprise Incident aired on 27 September, 1968 and was written by D.C. Fontana. It’s a fairly strong episode and a huge step-up from last week’s debacle.

We see the return of the Romulans as Captain Kirk (William Shatner) behaves in an increassingly erratic manner, taking the Enterprise across the Neutral Zone, and right into the hands of a Romulan patrol. 

Led by a female Commander (Joanne Linville) – the first we’ve seen -, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) has caught her eye, and so begins a dangerous game with galactic peace hanging in the balance as our heroes investigate the rumours of a cloaking device. 

I love how McCoy (DeForest Kelley) catches on to what is happening, and once the three of them are involved, you know there is nothing that can stop our heroes now.

Even as a child I knew that Kirk was only faking, that it was all a plan between him and Spock. It just bothered me that he treated his crew so badly throughout the masquerade. I know that for dramatic purposes the story had to have all characters believe Kirk was behaving in an odd way so the Federation would have deniability.

I do like all the shipboard stuff, seeing the Enterprise glide through space and encounter other craft is always a delight. Though I know it was because of budgetary constraints the idea that the Romulans were using Klingon cruisers conjured all manner of thoughts about what manner of relationship they had – what did the Klingons get from the Empire? And Scotty (James Doohan) gets some time in the center seat, which is nice to see.

It’s a fun episode to watch as Spock gets to play the ladies man, while Kirk sneaks around the ship, trying to find the cloaking device. In fact, this is a prime example that not all the third season episodes are less than stellar.

Captain’s log: stardate 4842.6

Kirk believes he’s a Native American god, while the Enterprise ties to stop an asteroid from destroying the planet the captain finds himself on.

Written by Margaret Armen, this divisive episode aired on 4 October, 1968. The Enterprise arrives in orbit around an idyllic planet carrying the descendants of Earth’s own Native Americans. When the Captain is lost and injured during the landing party expedition, the ship must leave him behind to try to stop the asteroid that may spell doom for the beautiful planet.

Kirk, believing himself to be Kirok, and not recalling his previous life, joins the society, even marrying a woman, Miramanee (Sabrina Scharf), who carries his unborn child.

People either like this episode or they hate it, there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.

The plot takes place over the course of two months (indicated by the growth of Kirk’s sideburns) and large parts of the episode were shot on location, giving the story an unique look. However, while NatIve Americans are the ancestors of the characters in the story, the culture Kirk encounters are not based on the tribes Spock credits them to.

While Kirk and Miramanee enjoy their time together, Spock,McCoy, Scotty and the rest get some great moments on the ship. I love the stuff with Bones and Spock, it’s nice to see the two if them getting their fair share of screentime. 

Over the years, I’ve grown to enjoy this episode, but it’s not all it could have been.

Next week, the Human Adventure continues…

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