By Any Other Name - episode #50

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By Any Other Name - episode #50

Post  BoG on Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:01 pm


BY ANY OTHER NAME (2nd season; episode #50) Like a Star @ heaven Air Date: 02/23/68
Directed by Marc Daniels  Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven  writers: D.C. Fontana, Jerome Bixby



"We do not colonize! We conquer! We Rule!" - thus spake the Kelvan; guess we know where Kelvans stand, huh? Or, do we? For these Kelvans have taken human form. Actual Kelvans are immense beings with a hundred tentacles. By taking human form, Kelvans have set themselves up for being distracted by our seductive human bodies (see also Return to Tomorrow). Of course, the FX dept. in the sixties would have problems depicting anything close to an actual Kelvan.
Kelvans are the invaders from the Andromeda galaxy in the Trek universe. This is one of the rare instances of an extra-galactic threat on TOS (The Doomsday Machine was also theorized as having wandered in from outside our galaxy). But this group of Kelvans is not really an invasion, but simply an expedition on its way back to their own galaxy, where radiation levels will make life impossible there in 10,000 years. Once they're back, they plan to tell the rest of the Kelvans to go ahead and conquer our galaxy; but the Federation would have no immediate worries; the invasion force wouldn't arrive for about 600 years (the round trip). Now here's a thought: if there's ever a TV series set in Trek's 29th century, there's one plotline all ready to go. Hey, maybe even the 26th, if the rest of the Kelvans decide not to wait for their scouts.
Now, though the rest of the Federation has a few centuries, the situation for Kirk and his crew was more grim and immediate. Though there are only about half-a-dozen of these Kelvan scouts, they easily take over the ship with their paralysis field weaponry. They also modify the ship's engines and we're back at the galactic barrier last seen in Where No Man Has Gone Before - and through.
Then! most of the crew are turned into these small, weightless dodecahedron-like blocks. I rate this episode as high as I do because I still find the first half of this episode as one of the more chilling, even shocking threats faced by the crew. As a kid, I shuddered as one of those little blocks was crushed to dust, thereby killing a crew member in a horrifying manner. This was super-science employed as a war tactic, as an instrument of terror; this was alien invasion thrills and these Kelvans seemed a step up from the usual bad guys on Trek - Klingons, Romulans, and so on.
This episode probably would have made my top 10 if this tone continued, but it shifts drastically in the 2nd half: the grim tone changes to a playful one (this was common in many episodes after the 1st season, as if to give the audience some relief). Then we get games of seduction and inebriation, of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty using their wits rather than their brawn, in a manner befitting a Marx Brothers comedy instead of a sf adventure. Scotty has the best scenes - it's green, indeed - and rumors of his alcoholism might have started here. It's still entertaining, sure, but I would have preferred some payback for that first half of terror, and the episode is rather uneven as a result of the precious ploys. The sugary ending is quite cloying and oh-so-convenient, almost undoing the set-up.
Now, getting back to the positives: Kelinda the alien invader. This was a good example of the design wizardry of costumer William Theiss. There were many attractive women on Star Trek, as we all know, but the exotic beauty of guest star Barbara Bouchet just lent an extra air of seductiveness; she presented a mesmerizing combination of wickedness & innocence - very beguiling, though maybe not in a good way. And those shots of the Enterprise zooming towards another galaxy stay in the mind for awhile afterward. BoG's Score: 8 out of 10

Extra Trek Trivia: guest star Warren Stevens, as the lead Kelvan, is best known to sci-fi fans as the doctor, part of the crew in Forbidden Planet (1956), where he essentially played the same role as DeForest Kelley did on Star Trek.


Last edited by BoG on Sun May 03, 2015 2:00 am; edited 5 times in total
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By Any Other Name full episode

Post  BoG on Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:54 pm

CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
Scotty: "I found this on Ganyroom... uh, uh, Ganymeer... mede."
Tomar: "What is it?"
Scotty: "It's... uh... it's green."




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