episode #13 - The Ambergris Element

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episode #13 - The Ambergris Element

Post  BoG on Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:36 pm

Air Date: 12/1/73  Like a Star @ heaven  written by Margaret Armen

Before WATERWORLD (1995), there was this Star Trek animated episode. The Enterprise arrives at a planet mostly covered in water as research into helping another world which will soon have planet-wide quakes similar to ones which converted this one. 4 of the crew take an aqua-shuttle to the surface and are attacked by one of the huge water beasties. Kirk & Spock are lost; they're found 5 days later, altered into water-breathers (their lungs are different; the only surface physical change is webbed hands). Kirk can't command the Enterprise from a water tank so he and Spock head back to the planet; they find a race of fishmen who have a pathological fear and hatred of air breathers.

Perhaps due to the short length of an animated episode, this seems to take a few awkward shortcuts. It's mentioned that Kirk's and Spock's memories of the past 5 days have been wiped away, but nothing is detailed; nor do we learn anything about the process which changed them to water breathers. It's simply mentioned that several of the younger generation of fishmen converted them to save their lives - but why? There are some land masses remaining; why not place Kirk & Spock on some land instead of the extreme decision to alter them? Why do they need to go through convoluted methods to obtain a reversal cure for their condition - shouldn't a way to reverse the process be readily available, just like the process that altered them? Though there are these nagging questions, there was an adult depiction of an alien generation gap and this was another animated episode which could not be done with  a live action show. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10

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