8/20/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Eye of the Beholder"

Vital Information
Series: The Animated Series
Episode: S01E15
Air Date: January 5, 1974
Written by: David P. Harmon
Directed by: Hal Sutherland

Premise
The crew meet some giant slugs who seem to be impressively smart. Finally, a brain in the Star Trek universe without the matching beauty.

Review
So the Enterprise makes its way over to Lactra VII to search for a missing science team and they meet a wide variety of wild animals including dinosaurs and such. There's not much else for them to do except get attacked. So they're running away from non-sentient beings for awhile until finally they're captured by some giant slugs. Assuming they're just as non-sentient as the rest of the beasts that were terrifying them, they struggle to get free until the giant slugs take them to what appears to be a giant slug city.

There, the giant slugs put the landing party inside of a zoo environment along with the missing science team. And then they just sit there and observe the bunch. Meanwhile, the landing party try to figure out what to do with themselves and what to make of the slugs. The party is devoid of their phasers and communicators, so they have no way of requesting a beam up. They seem to be as trapped as Pike on Talos. And then they learn that the slugs are telepathic.
"Captain... I believe they are saying... 'facetentacle'."
Armed with this new knowledge, Kirk gets one of the younger, more impressionable slugs to hand over a communicator. Once it does, Kirk calls up and asks for a transport, but the slug takes the communicator away before they can lock on. When the transporter activates, it beams up the young slug. And now there's a slug on the Enterprise. It wanders around and harasses Scotty for a while, but eventually beams back down.

Back on the surface, the young slug tells his slug parents all about the Federation and races it comprises. Spock picks up that, knowing everything there is to know about the Federation now, they deem it to be non-threatening and allow the crew to go back to the Enterprise. And the day is saved!

Overall Thoughts
What a wonderfully delightful concept that is so completely underdone. I just want The Animated Series to be over now, k?