8/28/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Counter-Clock Incident"

Vital Information
Series: The Animated Series
Episode: S02E06
Air Date: October 12, 1974
Written by: John Culver
Directed by: Hal Sutherland and Bill Reed

Premise
The Enterprise goes to a parallel universe where time runs backwards and events aren't canon.

Review
We're just going to ignore the fact that Commodore Robert April and his wife Dr. Sarah April claim to have been the first captain and chief medical officer of the Enterprise which Dr. April claims was the first starship with warp drive and chalk it all up to senility brought on by their old age. It's because of this old age that they're being escorted to a ceremony for their mandatory retirement. Though, with the state of their memory, I imagine the mandatory part has more to do with their mental state than their age. Since, ya know... Bones was, like, 130-something before he quit.

Anyway, along the way, the Enterprise encounters another ship coming straight for them at impossible speeds. When they try to hail it, the pilot of the ship seems to be speaking backwards. And she's headed toward a nova star. The Enterprise locks onto the ship with tractor beams, which, instead of stopping it, drags the Enterprise along... which... should have broke the beam... but whatever... They all end up going through the nova into an alternate universe where space is white and stars are black.
Or they fell into a tub of cookies and cream ice cream.
When they hail the other ship again, her words come out the right way. Which is odd since if her perception wasn't altered in our universe, ours shouldn't have been in this universe... Is the writer paying attention at all? I think he might be distracted by the pageful of technobabble he has ready for the next scene. That's the scene where they go to the backwards universe's Earth to figure out a way back home. They meet the other ship's pilot's "son" who is older than her (again, something that isn't really explained... when people are born here, do they rise up from the ground and when they die, do they crawl into their mother's vagina?) and then they take a whole five minutes to explain the process of getting back.

Once they figure it out, they realize they only have a limited amount of time before the Enterprise crew turns into children... WHAT?? Is the passage of time now not only backwards but accelerated?! When did this happen, and why weren't we warned?! Eventually, everyone is too young to operate the ship except for Commodore Robert April and Dr. Sarah April who have reverted to the prime of their life.
"Honey, I do believe I have my virility back, if you know what I mean."
They end up doing whatever the heck it was that they were talking about back on the planet and get to the normal universe. The whole crew is still younger, though. How do we fix that? Well, obviously, the transporter can fix everything. It holds their normal patterns in the buffer, so all they have to do is beam out and back in again and they'll be fine. But the Aprils have a decision to make: do they go back to their old selves, or relive a younger life? Old and busted, or new hotness? Old and busted it is! Because no regrets, or something. THE END.

Overall Thoughts
There's only one thing missing from this episode. One thing that would change the whole mistaken, non-canon, illogical, busted up crapfest into a work of art. And that thing is Scotty waking up at the end with a hangover after a night of hard boozing, revealing it all to have been some terrible dream and then puking into his sonic toilet. It's no surprise that this is the final episode of The Animated Series. After this, who could ever watch it again?