Star Trek: The Animated Series (1974) – Albatross, How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth, and The Counter-Clock Incident

Captain’s log: stardate 5275.6

Dario Finelli pens the ante-penultimate episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series. Airing on 28 September, 1974, the story idea is a smart one: Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) finds himself accused of causing an alien plague.

Kirk (William Shatner) is stunned, and he and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) investigate the events and the stories leading up to McCoy’s arrest, incarceration, and the upcoming trial.

Nineteen years ago, he was part of a medical team that inoculated denizens of Dramia II, who later died in the thousands from the plague they were meant to stop.

Kirk and Spock run down any leads they can find. Not fully trusting Kirk’s accusers the Enterprise travels to Dramia II and try to discover the truth of what really happened.

But even as they head back to prove McCoy’s innocence, the plague strikes the Enterprise!!

It’s up to McCoy to save the entire crew… and maybe with a little assistance from Spock will figure out how to save the day.

I think if this episode had been done as live action episode, it would have had to be changed and adapted but it would have been an episode that let Kelley shine in his iconic role.


Captain’s log: stardate 6063.4

Russell Bates and David Wise pen this story, that shows yet another alien culture influencing Earth of the past, in this case, that of the Mayans.

Airing on 5 October, 1974, the story’s idea is fairly entertaining, but also one we’ve seen before. In this case, an alien being known as Kukulkan visited Earth and had a profound impact on the culture it visited.

Trailing an advanced probe, the Enterprise comes across the strange being, and the story plays out much as you would expect – Kirk, Scotty (James Doohan), Walking Bear (also Doohan), and McCoy all are beamed aboard the alien ship, and are introduced to the Kukulkan (a name Kirk constantly mispronounces) and discover the being’s intelligence and history, as the creature tests them.

As Kukulkan attempts to assert his dominance over them, Kirk and McCoy make the argument that they and humanity are not suited to servitude, and that they aren’t the same people that the alien encountered so long ago.

Fighting for their freedom, they have to confront Kukulkan while Spock uses the Enterprise to launch an assault on the alien’s ship. When the ship is crippled Kirk is able to tell this god that they no longer need him.

The episode is of note as it does introduce Walking Bear, the first Native American officer to be introduced in Star Trek.


Captain’s log: stardate 6770.3

The final episode of the series is The Counter-Clock Incident, it is of note that it portrays the first captain of the Constitution-class Enterprise, Robert April (Doohan). Written by Fred Bronson, this last tale aired on 12 October, 1974.

Picking up Commodore Robert April and his wife Sarah (Nichelle Nichols) to transport him to Babel, the Enterprise attempts to prevent an accident with another ship, they pass through to an alternate dimension where time runs backwards.

This causes the crew to age in reverse, growing younger, and soon, they may be too young to interact with the ship or her controls.

How will our heroes save the day? And will April play a role in it?

The story takes itself seriously despite the fact that the crew growing younger, no matter how it is done just doesn’t work. But with some techno babble courtesy of Spock, it’s a little easier to buy into it.

Some of it is really good, some of it is silly, and it’s the last episodic Trek on television until 1987. Wow, that sounds like a long wait.

But the Human Adventure will continue…



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