Something a bit different for this week — an entire episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. This is one of my favorite episodes. It’s not one of the “famous” episodes, like “The Trouble with Tribbles” or “The Menagerie” or “The City on the Edge of Forever”, but this one is one of the series’s best episodes anyway, with its SFnal weirdness, a scary mystery that gives way to a gently beautiful love story. This is the kind of story that makes me wonder what various writers or creative folks in Hollywood are talking about when they imply that their work is better than SF because their stuff is about characters. Without terrific character writing, this wonderful episode just wouldn’t work.
This episode features some outstanding acting by the leads, and some of the series’s finest music. Here’s “Metamorphosis”.
One of my favorites, too, and a perfect example of what the original Trek was all about, and what the various spin-offs rarely — if ever — got quite right: a combination of Twilight Zone weirdness and heartbreaking humanity. The human beings in classic Trek weren't the Next Gen-style evolved beings who had overcome their pettiness and frailties, and space was a really strange and scary place then. I wasn't a big fan of the recent Trek movie, but I really hope the obligatory sequels at least try to recapture some of those sensibilities…
I'd forgotten this one, but I'm glad to be reminded. Thanks.
The guest stars were Glenn Corbett, possibly best known from a regular role in Dallas, who died of lung cancer at the age of 59 in 1993, and Elinor Donahue, who I recognized instantly as the eldest child on Father Knows Best, but who played recurring roles on everything from The Andy Griffith Show to The Odd Couple to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.