Star Trek
Star Trek, The Original Series: “Arena”

Episode Report Card
Keckler: C+ | Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Jimmy crack Gorn and I don't care
Kirk and Bones tête-à-tête in the transporter room about their impending away mission. Kirk says something about Commodore Travers always having a "well-set table." "I wonder if he brought his personal chef to Cestus III," Bones speculates. "Probably," Kirk chuckles, "rank hath its privileges." Did he just say "hath"? The Commodore comms them to request that they bring their tactical people along with them. Kirk ten-fours, and Spock innocently wonders why the Commodore is so insistent that they schlep their tactical team down. I have to say, it sounded like a mild request to me, but if Spock thinks it was "insistent," then I guess we're supposed to think it was "insistent." Between you and me, I wouldn't trust anything that came from someone who called himself "The Commodore." The title sounds so stagy and too much like a man who parades around with lots of plumed hats and belt buckles, demanding tea and bickies in The Flame Trees of Thika, to be real. Kirk makes sure the viewing audience -- and by "viewing audience," I mean myself, Mathra, and Hunca Munca. Poppadum pleads hairballs at the sight of Kirk's paunchy pecs -- knows that the settlement on Cestus III is remote, alone, way out in the middle of nowhere, and far away. Spock still doth protest muchly, but Bones tells him to lay off the skepticism: "Isn't it enough that the Commodore is known for his hospitality? I for one could go for a non-reconstituted meal!" "Doctor, you are a sensualist," Spock informs him dismissively. "You bet your pointed ears I am!" Bones agrees, giving Spock the once-over. Spock looks askance. The beepity-boppity music (not to be confused with Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo music) plays to signal A Light-Hearted Whimsical Moment Without Any Corned Beef Slash Being Served Up In Great Steaming Quantities At All. I love that music -- they play it in "Shore Leave" a lot. It has a Smurfs-walking-through-the-forest-and-right-into-Azriel's-mouth sort of glockenspiel-y quality about it. And speaking of the mouth of the beast, the away team beams down...to a settlement that exists no longer. Smoke and fire scars on the ground jump up to tell us that there was a mighty duel. Kirk comms the ship: "Cestus III has been destroyed." Does this mean that the well-set table is gone? Okay, here's a bit of pathetic trivia for this particular episode. This was such a Wal-Mart production that the Star Trek people had to use a set built for a 1930s movie that was scheduled to be destroyed because it was in danger of collapse. Voila! Cestus III was born. Apparently, if you look closely, there are tell-tale signs from the movie, The Alamo. I didn't look closely. I've never seen The Alamo. I just giggle that Star Trek got thirty-year-old hand-me-downs.

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Star Trek

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