Shore Leave - episode #17

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Shore Leave - episode #17

Post  BoG on Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:23 pm


SHORE LEAVE (1st season, episode #17) Directed by Robert Sparr
writer: Theodore Sturgeon Like a Star @ heaven Air Date: 12/29/66

This one is a romp. It always makes my list of the top half-dozen episodes no matter what mood I'm in, because it just succeeds all the way as pure entertainment. The Enterprise is in orbit around a seemingly pleasant planet; McCoy & Sulu are on the surface for a preliminary survey. It's pleasant, and the episode is beautifully filmed in a park-like setting, but it's also a bit strange because, for one thing, there are no insects; how are flowers pollinated, you might think. Then things become really strange as crew members start to see characters from make-believe stories and people from their past who cannot be there.


The tone is fairly whimsical in the first half; Kirk is tricked into beaming down after showing signs of stress but does not get to relax as planned. It was around this point, halfway through the 1st season, that the regular characters all solidified into the ones we would become accustomed to in the next couple of decades. Here, we see them together as they try to relax, casually converse and then try to figure out this strange mystery of the planet. There's even a possible romantic interest for McCoy here - rare for the series - in the form of crew member Tonia Barrows (Emily Banks), who sort of fills in here for the missing Yeoman Rand.
Then, at the midpoint, as in the better stories, things get grim and everything escalates into a more frantic tempo of action and suspense. Kirk re-acquaints himself with an old flame and then indulges in the longest mano-a-mano fight in the history of the series with a rival from his cadet days (note how the fight seems to take place over the space of half the planet because the scenery changes drastically on this weird world). Here's how I first saw the fight on a small TV about 40 years ago:
and
Click on these STAR TREK FIGHTS for a montage of the best fights in the series.

This episode probably doesn't rate as high with other fans because it lacks the deep meaning or undertone of those really great ones. But, even in this respect, there is some subtext here - that we humans need to work off our tensions in a certain way or we don't function normally. Also, as with the best stories, there are actual explanations provided in the end for why all the weird stuff is happening, as opposed to some cop out where things are kept mysterious and the audience has to play guessing games with itself. The premise here was re-used in later films such as Westworld and the bland TV series Fantasy Island. BoG's Score: 9.5 out of 10


Extra Trek Trivia: Finnegan, Kirk's nemesis from his cadet days, is played with gusto by Bruce Mars; he also played a small role as a cop in the episode Assignment:Earth. The female officer here, Angela (Barbara Baldavin), looks like the same lady who was widowed in Balance of Terror. McCoy has fond memories of a cabaret on Rigel II and...a couple..of women there. Theodore Sturgeon scripted this one; he also wrote the episode Amok Time and the famous story Killdozer.
Arrow Gag Reel!
(from Spockboy) - click it for the funniest take on a Trek episode of all time!


Last edited by BoG on Sat May 02, 2015 10:48 pm; edited 9 times in total
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Shore Leave full episode

Post  BoG on Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:07 pm

CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
Finnegan: "You stupid underclassman. I've got the edge. I'm still twenty years old. Look at you. You're an old man."

(just after Kirk finally punches out Finnegan):
Spock: "Did you enjoy it, captain?"
Kirk: "Yes I enjoyed it... after all these years.." (catches himself) "I did enjoy it! The one thing I wanted to do after all these years was beat the tar out of Finnegan."

This all may have hinted at a masochistic side to Kirk's nature;
after all, he made it very difficult for himself in getting to that
final punch against Finnegan.



There was a sequel to this episode on the Animated Series in 1973, the episode, Once Upon a Planet.

Arrow  Click here http://www.startrekhistory.com/ausa.html for Behind-the-Scenes on this episode, filmed in Africa, USA
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