Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) – The Terratin Incident, The Time Trap, and The Ambergris Element

Captain’s log: stardate 5577.3

The Terratin Incident was written by Paul Schneider and was first broadcast on 17 November, 1973.

The Enterprise receives a transmission from Celephus, following the transmission is a flash of light, which disables all the dilithium aboard ship. Added to the problem that the ship is losing power is the fact that Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and the rest seem to be shrinking in size.

Will they be able to survive?

This one is a bit of a goofy one, though they try to use a little bit of science to ground the story, a bit. Overall, this episode comes in as silly. Kirk gets to be heroic, leaping about his own ship, and rescuing Chapel (Majel Barrett) from an aquarium while McCoy (DeForest Kelley) tries to heal Sulu’s (George Takei) broken leg.

Kirk and Spock come up with a plan to save the day. If it wasn’t such a bit of silliness, Kirk beaming up to find what appears to be a barren ship would be a little troubling.

In the end, a little diplomacy with the aliens responsible reveals what is really going on and the Enterprise continues on its way seeking out the next adventure.

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Captain’s log: stardate 5267.6

The Time Trap was written by Joyce Perry and aired on 24 November, 1973. This was one of the episodes that looked so impressive when I came across the occasional image of it as a child – it was always of a group of starships clustered together… and that fired the imagination.

The Enterprise and a Klingon warship find themselves trapped in a form of spatial warp, known as the Delta Triangle, but only the if the two enemies cooperate will they be able to find their way out. Kor (portrayed here by James Doohan instead of John Colicos) returns as the Klingon captain.

The two captains and their crew find themselves in a what appears to be a starship graveyard, they also encounter the surviving crews, though none of them seem interested in attempting an escape. They let Kirk and Kor pursue their escape plans, while the survivors watch, and debate on whether they should interfere with the plans.

It is an interesting episode, though I think it could have been executed a little better, I do like the fact that these Klingons intend to be devious until the last moment. Spock, on the other hand behaves rather oddly throughout, until Kirk and McCoy calls him on it.

Eventually the Enterprise and the Klingon vessel make their escape, leaving the survivors behind and avoiding trouble with Kor, as the episode comes to its conclusion.

Of note, is the interesting fact that this is the last appearance or Klingons before their revamped return in The Motion Picture.

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Captain’s log: stardate 5499.9

Margaret Armen returns to pen another episode, The Ambergris Element, which aired on 1 December, 1973.

While investigating a water planet, Argo, Kirk and Spock are abducted by the inhabitants and transformed into water-breathers.

We get a look at a different form of Starfleet shuttle, one that can also serve as an aquatic vehicle. During the shuttle’s initial landing, they are attacked by a massive life form, McCoy and a security officer escape, but Spock and Kirk are gone.

Discovered five days later, McCoy is shocked to discover that they have been changed into aquatic creatures, unable to breath air.

Returning underwater, Kirk and Spock seek out the inhabitants to plea for them to transform them back to air breathers, and open diplomatic relations with the Federation. They may also be able to save the planet and another if they can find a way to stop a sea-quake.

This one wasn’t my favourite of the week, and I think, once again, it could have been realised a little better. Still, it is Trek… and…

The Human Adventure continues next week…

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