8/20/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Jihad"

Vital Information
Series: The Animated Series
Episode: S01E16
Air Date: January 12, 1974
Written by: Stephen Kandel
Directed by: Hal Sutherland

Premise
Kirk and Spock embark on an epic quest with a rag-tag party of D&D nerds to find the Soul of Al'arr and stop a holy war from starting.

Review
In this poorly-conceived fan fic, Kirk and Spock are summoned to a crazy planet with all sorts of dangerous stuff on it in order to search for the Soul of Al'arr. Apparently, this rare artifact, the very soul of the Skorr's messiah, is the only thing keeping the peace in this sector, so unless they find it soon, war will break out. So they come together with a crack team of people who have no idea what they're doing and start wandering around a bit.

One of the members of the team is the only female in the galaxy that Kirk has ever turned down. And it's because she's coming on so strong. She's a hunter and a tracker and makes no bones about how much she wants in Kirk's pants. The rest of the team have their own little quirks but they're not nearly as interesting. One of them, for example, flies. He's a yellow bird-man that I'm going to go ahead and assume is descended and evolved from the children of Tweety and Big Bird. His name is Tchar and he's a Skorr.
"And I can pick locks!"
So they walk across the planet and avoid a bunch of obstacles like lava and earthquakes and stuff and eventually they come to this building. Sure enough, inside the building is the Soul of Al'arr. They climb up to get it, but eventually Tweety Bird is revealed to be the one who stole it in the first place and he's not going to let the party get their grubby little non-winged hands on it. He wants his race to grow out of their docile state and become the great warriors they were meant to be by starting a Jihad. So, he fights against the party for a while, but is eventually subdued. Obviously.

They group takes the artifact back to where they came from and it's explained that they'll cure Tchar of his warlike insanity and wipe this whole disastrous episode from everyone's mind. When Spock and Kirk get back to the Enterprise, they find they'd only apparently been gone for about two minutes. I'm still waiting for this episode to be wiped from my mind.

Overall Thoughts
This episode was like an avid player of Dungeons & Dragons wrote a Star Trek fan fic and Roddenberry was like "hey, that's pretty cool, I'm gonna have Hal draw it." Can we all just agree that Dungeons & Dragons is fun with a group of friends, but not on screen?