Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) – Yesteryear, One of Our Planets is Missing, and The Lorelei Signal

Captain’s log: stardate 5373.4

D.C. Fontana, like Samuel A. Peeples lends her credibility to the blossoming series by penning this very entertaining episode that aired on 15 September, 1973.

The Guardian of Forever makes an appearance in this episode, and as Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) return for their sojourn into the past, Kirk realises something has changed.

The timeline has been changed, and an Andorian (James Doohan) is now the first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and no one seems to remember who Spock is.

Spock must use the Guardian to travel into his own past as a youth on Vulcan to fix something that has been changed.

When Spock explores his youth, meeting his younger self, we get a look at Vulcan culture, as well as a follow-up on the mention in Journey to Babel, of the sehlat, Spock’s pet.

Sarek (Mark Lenard) is also seen, but the most poignant part of the episode has to do not only with Spock encountering his younger self, but the fate of young Spock’s sehlat. The loss of life, particularly that of a beloved pet, is handled beautifully,

While some, including series creator Gene Roddenberry has called the series non-canon, it’s hard to contest the fact that he, and almost the entire original cast, as well as some of the writers worked on the series. That to me makes it Trek. And later series would do their best to incorporate things that are mentioned in this episode.

Spock,_young_and_old

Captain’s log: stardate 5371.3

One of Our Planets is missing was written by Marc Daniels, another familiar writer to the realm of Trek. With an airdate of 22 September, 1973, the Enterprise embarks on a strange adventure.

Starfleet Command sends the Enterprise to investigate a strange report of a cosmic cloud. Composed of both matter and energy, it seems the cloud ‘feeds’ off planets, destroying them in the process.

The populated world of Mantilles is directly in the cloud’s path, and Kirk and company must find a way of stopping it.

McCoy (DeForest Kelley) has a lot more to do in this episode and this one, just like the two preceding it, feels like real Trek. So, sorry, Gene, this is the real thing. Sure there are inconsistencies with established canon, but that has always happened in Trek. I can deal with it.

This is a space episode and lets the Enterprise have as much screen time as everyone else in the episode. I think it’s rather interesting that it’s a giant cloud, an image that will return a few years later when the crew leap to the big screen.

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Captain’s log: stardate 5483.7

A siren call lures the men of the U.S.S. Enterprise into danger in this tale scripted by Margaret Armen who penned three of the Original Series episodes. It aired on 29 September, 1973.

Kirk and the rest of the male crew members are lured by a signal to a planet governed by seemingly immortal women. The secret to their longevity is revealed even as it begins to take its effect on the crew. The women use energy bands to siphon off the male life force, allowing them to live off of it, even as the men succumb to death.

It’s up to Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett) and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) to come up with a way to rescue their crew. Both Barrett and Nichols lend their voices to the female aliens as well, giving both actors a lot to do in this episode.

It is basically a reworking of the tales of the siren song from the early days of exploration with some Star Trek additions. Of the episodes so far in the Animated Series, this one is probably my least favourite. Still, I do love my journeys with the Enterprise and her crew…

Next time, the Human Adventure continues with the return of tribbles!

theloreleisignal_117

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