episode #01 - Beyond the Farthest Star

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episode #01 - Beyond the Farthest Star

Post  BoG on Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:11 pm

Air Date: 9/8/73  Like a Star @ heaven  written by Samuel A. Peeples

While on routine exploration, the Enterprise is forcibly drawn towards a planet. There, in orbit, the crew see a huge ship - much larger than the Enterprise - which seems organic in nature and design: it seems composed of various gigantic stems and pods, as if it were a giant plant. Kirk leads a landing party to the alien ship and encounters one of those energy lifeforms that gets beamed back to the Enterprise with the landing party. The lifeform quickly takes over the starship (much like, for example, the Redjac entity in the TOS episode Wolf in the Fold); its first act is to use the Enterprise's phasers to disintegrate the alien ship. Spock deduces that the alien entity joins with mechanisms such as the starship through a form of symbiosis and can reproduce at will. Kirk must stop the entity from journeying to the heart of the Federation, where it would take over all the starships.
The initial big plus about this episode is the visualization of the alien ship, which is unusual to say the least; that's thanks to experienced sf writer Peeples and it's a great example of the animation format taking full advantage of being able to present such sci-fi concepts which are not possible in live action. There is one minor flub in the dialog, which is a surprise: Kirk & McCoy mention how the ship dates back to 300 million years ago, to a time before life began on Earth; but, dinosaurs were roaming the Earth 300 million years ago. They were probably thinking about primates. The final overall story is lacklustre - I suppose I'm weary of these formless energy aliens and this one was a bit of a tool. BoG's Score: 6 out of 10

Trek Trivia: this was the first episode broadcast except in the L.A. area, where George Takei was running for a city council seat. This was preempted there because the network would have to give equal time to Takei's opponents if the episode ran (yes, draconian 1984-styled political rules). So, Yesteryear ended up as the first episode broadcast in L.A.
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