3/5/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Galileo Seven"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S01E16
Air Date: January 5, 1967
Written by: Oliver Crawford
Directed by: Robert Gist

Premise
The Galileo 7 shuttle craft crash lands on a hostile planet, Spock takes command and proves he's a better Vulcan commander than T'Pol.

Review
So the Enterprise is on its way to deliver medicine to a colony on Makus III, like a boy distracted by a penny, they find a weird anomaly and decide they must investigate. The only problem is the fact that High Commissioner Ferris is on board and he is none too pleased at the detour. Makus III needs their medicine! People are dying! Well... throwing up, anyway. Experiencing nausea. Ya know what, this medicine is basically just overpriced vitamins; there's no rush.

So Spock takes six other people with him to investigate the Murasaki 312 quasar formation. And the quasar knocks out their navigation and sensors and such. It blows them off course and sends them hurtling down onto an unknown planet. And all the Enterprise can hear is that they've been blown off course. Well, now they have to go save them, but that means taking out their own sensors and navigation and such. The big, strong Enterprise is able to handle the quasar with a little more stability, but to investigate all the planets within the quasar they'll need to send down more shuttles and investigate with their NAKED EYES!
Can we at least use Geordi's visors or something??
Needless to say, this is going to take a while. And Commissioner Ferris isn't taking a day off. He's ready to scrap the whole thing and leave the Galileo 7 to the elements, but Kirk shows him what's up and sticks around. After all, Bones, Spock and Scotty are all on that shuttle. Kirk can't lose all of his closest friends!

Meanwhile, the crew on the Galileo 7 wake up from being knocked around a bit on planet entry. They immediately set to diagnosing their problems. Scotty says that in order to take back off they'll need to be at least 500 pounds lighter than when they came down. So Spock starts trying to determine what three people to leave behind. And since only two people are wearing red shirts and one of them is Scotty, that makes the decision that much more difficult. Luckily part of the decision is made for him when, while scouting the perimeter Lt. Latimer takes a spear to the back.
AND THEN HE DANCED!
The spear came from a race of giant cavemen. And Spock immediately determines that they are, indeed, hostile. Taking a logical approach to these cavemen, the rest of the team is unnerved by Spock's cold and calculating ways. After dumping some non-essential machinery from the shuttle, Spock observes that they are still 150 pounds overweight. And then he's interrupted by a funeral. A bothersome ritual that will take valuable time away from fixing the shuttle. So while Spock and Scotty set to work filling the fuel with phaser power, the rest of the crew brave the elements to observe the dead.

Meanwhile another crewman wanders off and gets himself killed. While Spock goes off to investigate with McCoy and Boma, he takes the dead man's phaser to help with repairs and Boma gets all uppity about Spock being so emotionless. You'd think he'd be used to Vulcan logic by now. Meanwhile the giants find them and chase them back to the shuttle where they take cover and Scotty electrifies the hull. That holds the giants off for a while, but they'll be back, and the crew knows it.

Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise, Kirk is having little luck in his search efforts. Several crewmen have been injured trying to find the crew of the Galileo 7 and Commissioner Ferris is getting antsy. With only three days left until their scheduled rendezvous, Ferris demands that Kirk set on his way to Makus III. Reluctantly, Kirk agrees, but tells Sulu to go slowly.

Back on the surface of the planet, there's some mourning and some surviving and some arguing going on. And in all this torrent of emotion and lack thereof, Scotty is busy draining phasers to fix the shuttle. The crewmen may not like Spock's methods, but that doesn't matter. Scotty is the one saving the day today. Soon enough, they have enough power from the phasers to make it back up into orbit. Unfortunately, Enterprise is already on its way out. There's no way to get their attention. Unless...
EMOTIONAL DECISION!
Spock makes the least logical decision of his life, jettisons all the shuttle's fuel and ignites it. That gives them a good five minutes of orbital time before they fall back into the planet with no way to survive the crash. Luckily, in those five minutes, the Enterprise sees the flash of green and immediately turns back around! The Galileo crew is saved, and thus ends Spock's first command. Back on the bridge, Kirk pokes fun at Spock about his emotional reaction to being stuck on a shuttle in a decaying orbit. Spock, however, dodges the joke expertly... which doesn't stop the rest of the crew from having a good, hardy laugh.

Overall Thoughts
This episode has some great insight into the mind of Spock. We all know he's logical and tries not to use emotion at all, but this is the first time we really get to see his cold, calculating ways from a command perspective. Spock gets it right, even though no one likes him for it. This is as opposed to T'Pol who gets so caught up in logic that she can't get anything right while in command.