20 July 2015

The Logical Song (Review: 'Star Trek' 1.16, "The Galileo Seven")

This is a good Kirk episode, but a superb Spock episode.

While passing a quasar formation on the way to a rendezvous to drop off some medical supplies, Spock, Bones, Scotty and four other crew members head off in a shuttle to investigate it as per Starfleet standing orders. However, quasar-y effects causing the vessel to go out of control and make a forced landing on a planet in the formation...

Let's get the bad parts out of this episode out of the way first. In what is a race against time story for both the shuttle crew and the Enterprise, there is a bit of cliché going on here. Kirk is on a clock with a rather tetchy Galactic High Commissioner wanting him to depart promptly at a given time to ensure they make their rendezvous. Certain aspects of the resolution are ones we've seen time and time again.

Then I have to knock CBS Digital's handling of the remastering here; dumping the model work entirely for some not entirely convincing CGI is one of the weaker parts of the episode.

All this is however relative small fry compared with the strengths of this episode. This is a character study of Spock, the logical Vulcan. His logic comes into confrontation with some rather illogical spear chucking natives - who off a couple of people, neither wearing red shirts- and the more emotional crew, especially over burying their dead; although as far as reactions to death goes, the Twelfth Doctor's "he's the top layer" comment beats him on unintentional offence. A final desperate act proves to be the salvation of his crew, although he insists it was logical. It's a great vehicle for Nimoy, unlike the shuttle, which isn't.

The others aren't bad either; Bones is delightfully cynical and Kirk continues to demonstrate why he should be in that chair.

I gave some serious consideration to giving this a 10/10. If this was an amateur production, I would have most certainly done so. However, the bar is raised for professional works of whatever genre and so I can 'only' give it one mark lower.

Best episode I've seen so far.


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