Operation--Annihilate! - episode #29

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Operation--Annihilate! - episode #29

Post  BoG on Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:54 am


OPERATION--ANNIHILATE! (1st season; episode #29)
Directed by Herschel Daugherty / writer: Steven Carabatsos
LEFT: watch out,that's a neural parasite, a nasty sucker!
Air Date: 04/13/67
This was the final episode of the first season - a straight-out action adventure, a crackerjack alien invasion thriller, but not involving the usual humanoid aliens (see Wink of an Eye as one example). The episode begins strong, with some ominous mystery on the nature of the threat, escalating to alien monster attack mode. Though hampered by the standard cheesy TV SFX of the sixties, the storyline deserves some props for coming up with an unusual alien invader: basically, it's a huge brain, but each cell is not physically connected - each cell flies about on its own, causing havoc. The low budget was also unable to show thousands of these things flying around, but that's what must have happened on this colony of Deneva.

The Enterprise arrives at the colony after losing contact with the inhabitants, which number about a million. Kirk and his officers suspect they know what they will find: there's been a trail of 'space madness' leading to this colony, going back years to other planets.
The other plus to this episode is the unexpected depiction of the futuristic colony. This doesn't involve matte paintings, but an actual futuristic city (filmed at the old TRW Defense and Space Systems Group campus in Redondo Beach, CA). In addition, this entire incident is quite personal for Kirk; his older brother, Sam, and his family live on Deneva. But, the focus of this thriller is on the invader: call them neural parasites; call them the flying pizzas from hell; call them the rubbery suckers from another galaxy; call them, even, vomit-like globs of melted plastic! But, whatever you do, don't allow one of them to attach to your back. You'd be facing some painful days. Just ask Spock.


On the downside, this episode has some clumsy moments in the script and direction as the story jumps along (maybe this has to do with this being the last episode of the season and someone rushing it). One example is soon after the landing party arrives at the colony and hears a woman's scream; Kirk orders everyone to "fan out!" - but they run grouped close together; maybe the expression has a different meaning in the future?

This is a minor sample; there are serious lapses in logic and clumsy scripting later in the episode. Spock, McCoy and everyone in the dozen science labs aboard the starship can't figure out a way to damage these alien suckers after hours of testing, despite being given a great clue by way of the sun; then Kirk idly latches on to a way at the last minute - maybe he was the only one being objective? (highly unlikely, given his personal involvement). Then they rush Spock into another test, with Kirk in full agreement, and blind him seconds before McCoy finds out it wasn't necessary. Kirk gives McCoy a 'if-looks-can-kill' stare and stomps out. Incompetence is really spread around in this episode.

Seems to me, the writers tried to capitalize on the main trio's established relationship to create some extra tension, but it doesn't really ring true. Even Nurse Chapel becomes uncharacteristically testy during an operation, questioning McCoy on his methods (well, she did become a doctor herself by the time of Star Trek-the Motion Picture (1979).
In a way, the most fitting aspect about this being the last episode of the 1st season is that we're given the only glimpse of Kirk's real family (and its demise), outside the Enterprise. It's not much - Sam Kirk's only appearance is as a corpse and Kirk's sister-in-law dies soon after. Meanwhile, Kirk's nephew remains unconscious the whole time. It would have been nice to see them reunite at the end instead of the now-silly repartee on the bridge, as if Kirk doesn't even remember his dead relatives by this point (contrast this with the superbly grim ending of The City on the Edge of Forever). Nimoy as Spock ends up with the best scenes, exerting tremendous control over himself to combat the pain he suffers. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10.

There was a scene filmed with Kirk's nephew at the end which was deleted;
click here: Star Trek History:OPERATION A restoration
Extra Trek Trivia: Sam Kirk was played by none other than Bill Shatner. I believe this was the only time Shatner played a character other than Jim Kirk or a Kirk-android or a Kirk impostor during this series. Even though the part was very brief, only as a corpse, he seemed to put every actor's effort into the part. This older brother was mentioned in What Are Little Girls Made of?; his proper name was George Samuel Kirk; only Jim Kirk called him Sam.



Last edited by BoG on Sun May 03, 2015 12:06 am; edited 2 times in total
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Operation Annihilate full episode

Post  BoG on Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:24 pm

CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
McCoy: "And don't give me any damnable logic about him being the only man for the job!"
Kirk: "I don't have to, Bones. We both know he is."


FULL REMASTERED EPISODE:


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