Star Trek
Star Trek, The Original Series: “Devil In The Dark”

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Horton Heals a Horta
Another Jumpsuit wanders the caverns and gets attacked by the cameraman throwing a blanket over him. This time we sort of cruise along with the blanket as it makes "fiery noises" through the tunnels before making a perfect circle in the wall through which it exits. We still haven't gotten any sort of look at the thing. I'm thinking it's to build up the dramatic tension, so we're really scared next time we eat at an Italian restaurant. Kirk hypothesizes with Spock, Bones, and Vanderberg, but he's interrupted by the lights flashing. Vanderberg shouts that there's something happening in the reactor room. In the caves, Bones examines the charcoal outline of the toasted Jumpsuit while Kirk and Spock are stymied by the perfectly round hole in the wall. Kirk stretches out his hand but Spock cautions, "I wouldn't touch it, Captain -- an extremely active corrosive." Vanderberg snaps at them to hurry up, and they crawl through the hole into the reactor room. Apparently the blanket has made off with some floozlebinder needed to run the reactor. Enterprise has nothing like it on board. Ooh, the tension is rising, because the reactor pump supplies heat, air, and life support for the whole colony, but without the floozlebinder, they'll be flooded with radiation. Kirk sums this up for us: "We seem to have been given a choice: death by asphyxiation or death by radiation poisoning." "Do you think either of those are going to appear on a Bennigan's menu anytime soon -- right next to 'Death by Chocolate'?" the Evil Dr. Mathra wonders. Scotty's really skeptical that he can help the colony out with their technical problems. He's taken on the tone of someone who's just been asked if they can attach a punch card reader to his Blackberry. You know, ever since Scotty told Geordi in "Relics" that he should always lie about engineering deadlines, I don't put too much stock in anything he says. Regardless, he's gonna try his best to please his captain and beam down in a few days. Kirk and Vanderberg piss and moan a bit about the reactor breaking and the miners dying at the hands of a Wombo Combo. Vanderberg wants to find the pizza and kill it where it bakes in a wood-burning oven. Spock thinks that the blanket stole the floozlebinder on purpose. "You...think...the...creature...is...tryingtoPUSH...the...colonists...offtheplanet?" Kirk asking, pouring out some coffee. Spock does. While Bones just stands there and sort of reacts to their cerebral conversation, Kirk and Spock decide that they can't figure out why the blanket chose to strike now when the colonists have been there for over fifty years. Spock walks over to the medicine ball and theorizes, "Life as we know it is universally based on some combination of carbon compounds -- but what if life exists based on another element?" Intrigued, Kirk sips his coffee. "For instance...silicon," Spock reveals. The music really wants us to be amazed by this revelation. In fact, Kirk is SO intrigued, he lowers his cup without even taking a sip! Bant-BAN! Bones laughs at Spock's "fantasies." If I heard some of Spock's fantasies, I don't think laughter would be my reaction. Ahem. Of course, Kirk shuts Bones down, saying, "I've heard of a theoretical possibility of life being based on silicon." Yeah, but then the dot-coms went bust. And just WHERE do they get off trying to convince ME that in his spare time KIRK is listening to Talk of the Federation: Science Friday on National Public Subspace with Ira Pluto? After the two brains minus Kirk hypothesize that the setting of Phaser I wouldn't be able to hurt such a lifeform, Kirk has his big moment of revelation: "All. Right. HowaboutTHIS: A...creaturethat LIVES...DEEP. Inthe...planetbelowus...at...HOME insolidrock...itseemstomethat...inorderto SURVIVE...itwouldHAVEtoHAVE...SOMEform...ofNATURAL. ARMORED plating." Spock blinks and says it makes sense, especially since the colonists are only armed with Phaser I. "ButOURpeople have Phaser II!" Kirk announces. Do the colonists feel at all cheated that they haven't received a phaser upgrade since Weapons 2260 came out? Spock thinks he can jigger their own phasers to be more effective against silicon. "Sili-cone-based life is physiologically impossible," Bones states. He clearly hasn't met Anna Nicole Smith. And I can make that joke because DeForest Kelley insists on getting the pronunciation wrong. Spock argues that it's possible. Bones thinks he's cracked. Kirk ignores Bones and orders Spock to get the Jumpsuits ready with their adjusted Phaser IIs. Spock doesn't say anything, just stares at the medicine ball on the desk. Kirk walks around the desk and leans over the medicine ball, trying to use his chest to attract the Vulcan's attention. Unfortunately, since Shatner's nipples aren't putting in an appearance -- something about demanding three hundred thousand dollars per episode plus insisting on undisclosed quan-titties of Tiger Balm in their dressing room -- he fails. "You...seemFASCINATEDby...THISROCK." And he's not talking about the one in his pants. "Yes, Captain," Spock says, picking up the ball. He's trying to work it into his Pilates routine. Spock remembers that Vanderberg mentioned finding a ton of the pretty shiny things in the lower level caverns, "at the level which the machinery opened just prior to the first appearance of the creature." They wonder if the balls and the creature are related. Bones walks over and squints at Spock, who adds, "I have already given Dr. McCoy sufficient cause for amusement -- I would prefer to cogitate the possibilities for a time." Cogitate away, Spock. Kirk reminds him that they have very little time.

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