Space… The final frontier…
Captain Kirk always beat the aliens, got the girl and got his Enterprise home. Sometimes the girl was alien, providing action along with intergalactic romance. Yeah, James Kirk’s space babe was occasionally green. It’s how true American legends are born.
Star Trek’s a legend, but not all adventures are television classics. Some tales of Kirk’s crew were pretty bad. Thankfully, only a few were awful. Here are those I love to hate.
Live long and prosper – even if aliens surgically remove your brain!
This shocks with an outrageous sci-fi premise. An alien space babe boards Enterprise, renders the crew powerless and “steals” Spock’s highly logical brain. The aliens need the Vulcan’s gray matter as replacement for their home planet’s computer.
What to do? Dr. McCoy rigs a gadget to Spock’s brainless skull and leads Spock around like a remote controlled toy to reclaim his pilfered brain. A true turkey if there ever was one – even the title sounds like a sci-fi B movie ala They Saved Hitler’s Brain.
The Way To Eden
I love space hippies almost as much as space vampires! This one is bad, but also the grooviest! If there was any Star Trek episode that planted the real time frame of the television show itself as being from the 1960’s, it’s definitely this musical masterpiece.
Yes, a musical! There are several funky numbers that will make die hard Trekkers move and groove to a spacey psychedelic beat. Look for Spock to jam with his Vulcan harp as one of the prime musical moments of this hippy dippy love fest! Best “so bad it’s fun” moment: After Bones gives a space hippy a physical, he sings: Gonna crack my knuckles and jump for joy, I got a clean bill of health from Dr. McCoy!
Captain Kirk gets a sex change. Well, sort of.
This was the last of the original episodes and deals with the classic premise of body swapping. What may have been a risqué, even fun comedy episode here isn’t played for laughs, at least intentionally. After beaming down to a planet with weird alien machinery, Kirk is subdued and put through a body swapping gadget, which swaps his brain waves with a long lost flame.
What follows is a pretty bizarre portrayal from William Shatner which nearly borders on a mincing gay stereotype, though for the time I guess it wasn’t that horrendous. Today, when we look at the Captain becoming hysterical and going through screaming fits, it looks as if Kirk failed to take his Midol.
Star Trek meets The Addams Family.
It’s the best way to sum this one up. It’s the only way to sum this one up. The Enterprise is “stolen” – the entire ship is shrunk and encased in plastic by an alien who goes around thinking she’s a witch. She’s assisted by a big fat guy dressed in flowing robes named Korob. Is Korob eating too much carob? Korob needs Celebrity Fit Club!
It may be fun on Halloween, with all the spooky imagery, but it’s about all this one has.
And the Children Shall Lead
An obese Guardian angel terrorizes the Enterprise.
A bunch of children’s parents are slaughtered by something on an alien world. The crew finds only kids and the colonist’s graves. During the trip to bring them back to Earth, it’s learned the kids are influenced by a hugely fat alien masquerading as their guardian angel. This alien leeches off the children’s misery, which makes him stronger.
When summoning, the alien or Gorgon, the kids sing a creepy nursery rhyme, “Hail, hail, fire and snow, Call the angel we will go… Far away, for to see… Friendly Angel, come to me.” Gorgon was played by Marvin Belli, the most famous criminal defense lawyer of the day. Was Star Trek commenting on lawyers leeching off human misery? Who knows, but Belli did act sporadically after this, his first professional acting role.