02 April 2024

I feel sorry for the scenery (Review: 'Star Trek' 3.14, "Whom Gods Destroy")

As a general rule, if someone is bursting into laughter at Star Trek because of how ridiculous it is, then it's clearly not a good episode. This one would frankly be really suited to be accompanied by Emily Connor, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot.
  • Of course the asylum planet is called Elba.
  • Considering that mental illness at the time included homosexuality and some people still think it's one, I'm not sure I'd want an instant cure to all mental illness. It also appears to not have worked that well as I am sure there are plenty of crazy people in Lower Decks
  • Most insane people don't cackle to the best of my knowledge.
  • The chess problem was a good bit of thinking by the Enterprise crew.
  • There is a massive amount of hamming it up in this episode, by no means limited to Bill Shatner, although he does have his moments. Steve Ihnat (who died tragically young aged just 37) as Garth of Izar, eats a load of scenery in particular, along with Yvonne Craig.
  • Speaking of Yvonne Craig, best known for playing Batgirl in the 1960s Batman series, her character is the sort of "Green Skinned Space Babe" that most people think of when imagining TOS, complete with another skimpy costume from the dirty mind of William Ware Theiss. D'Vana Tendi would not be impressed.
  • Instant cellular metamorphosis? Really, that's just too silly even for Star Trek.
  • Garth of Izar pretending to be Spock is clever though.
  • Real power derives from the masses, not some farcical dining room ceremony!
  • An explosive that can be set off by dropping it isn't really a very practical explosive. "Hoist by his own petard" comes to mind.
  • The BBC skipped this episode in re-runs until the early 1990s because of the "torture" - I've seen much worse in 1970s Doctor Who.

Leonard Nimoy complained at length about the script for this and I can see why. This like many a work featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a few script passes away from actually being good.

But it really isn't. 


No comments: