4/22/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Catspaw"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S02E07
Air Date:  October 27, 1967
Written by: Robert Bloch
Directed by: Joseph Pevney

Premise
The crew go to the land of witches and warlocks in a special Halloween episode.

Review
When a landing party is late for a check-in, Kirk tries to contact them and gets only one crew member, Crewman Jackson, who, when he beams up onto the ship, falls down to the floor dead. From his lifeless lips, he murmurs something about the ship being cursed. That they all so go back from where they came. But Scotty and Sulu are still on the planet. So Kirk defies the curse of the dead man and beams down. Because Goonies never say die!

Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to the planet and find it to be a spooky land of darkness and fog machines. When they start looking around they suddenly find a group of three witches floating around in the sky spouting bad poetry and warnings to go back. Eventually they find a huge castle in the middle of nowhere. So that seems like the most logical place to start looking for Scotty and Sulu.
Yeah, this is totally the kinda place Scotty would hang.
When they go in, they are immediately greeted by a feisty little black kitty. They follow the kitty until suddenly the floor gives out below them. The fall knocks them out, and when they wake up, they are in a dungeon, tied up by a chain to the wall. That's when Scotty and Sulu appear, but something's wrong with them. They're pretty much zombified. Not decaying, or anything, but just... slow and blank and under control. They free Kirk, Spock and McCoy and take them to their leader: Korob.

Korob is all decked out in wizard attire as he greets the crew and welcomes them. He implores them, like everything else, to leave without asking any questions and leave Sulu and Scotty behind. He tries to convince them by offering them food and gemstones, but Kirk says they can manufacture all of this back on the Enterprise - they're useless to them. Then Korob reveals that everything that has happened to them has been a test to prove their bravery, loyalty and incorruptibility. All the while, Korob is talking to what appears to be his pet kitty. The kitty leaves the room and returns as a beautiful woman: Sylvia.
With the eyes of a tiger and hair straight from the drier.
Sylvia says she can perform sympathetic magic. And she proves it by running a model of the Enterprise over a flame and making the actual Enterprise too hot to touch. After that, Korob encases the model in a block of crystal and the Enterprise is suddenly surrounded by a force field. And all the while, Kirk is like "WTF??" And then everyone is returned to the dungeon as if nothing ever happened. Meanwhile, Korob and Sylvia argue about staying and experiencing these sensations that they'd never been able to feel on their home planet. So, basically, their planet doesn't have bullies, and she likes it.

Meanwhile, McCoy is zombified like Sulu and Scotty. So when Zombie McCoy takes Kirk away to see Sylvia, that's pretty much what Kirk expects to happen to him, too. But she doesn't. In stead, she wants to have more sensations: sexitime sensations. So Kirk takes advantage of this to get information from her. He learns about their matter transmuter, the source of their power. She finds him out and sends him back to the dungeon. This time, however, Korob comes and releases them. He is regretful and just wants them to get out while they can. When suddenly...
A WILD KITTEH APPEARS!
Sylviakitteh chases Spock and Kirk around for a while, but then Kirk threatens her with the matter transmuter. That's when she turns back into a human and tries to negotiate to get it back. It's not very effective. Kirk takes the matter transmuter and smashes it onto the table. And suddenly EVERYTHING disappears. Kirk is on the planet surface, Spock comes around a corner to find him, and the zombification spell seems to have warn off of everyone else as they wander into view. They look down and there's Sylvia and Korob in their true form: little blue squidly puppet aliens. Spock recognizes a great opportunity to study these creatures, except in a moment they fall down dead. And the crew returns to the Enterprise.

Overall Thoughts
As far as Halloween specials go, this wasn't so bad. The point of the whole spooky vernier was that it was taken from the human's genetic memory, buried in the corner of their minds as the scariest things of the past thousand years. I'm not sure how believable that is, but *shrug* it's Star Trek - whatever. I'm just glad they were proven to be loyal and brave and incorruptible. Hooray humans!