8/6/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Lorelai Signal"

Vital Information
Series: The Animated Series
Episode: S01E04
Air Date: September 29, 1973
Written by: Margaret Armen
Directed by: Hal Sutherland

Premise
All the men of the crew fall into the hands of life-sucking women, so the female crew takes over!

Review
While buzzing through space, the Enterprise picks up a signal from a distant planet. And the guys are all like "Oooo! It's so pretty! It's like it's calling to us! Beckoning us!" But the girls are all like "What? What are you talking about? It's just some kind of sound." So, since there's a man in command, they follow the signal. While on their way, all the men start hallucinating. They see beautiful women doing sensual things in serine places. It's like they have softcore porn on in their mind, except it's dumbed down for a cartoon viewing audience.

When they arrive at the planet where the signal is coming from, Bones, Kirk and Spock all beam down and find an ancient city filled with beautiful women in gold dresses. Naturally, they try to establish communications. But no sooner do they start to enjoy themselves than they are knocked unconscious by the alien women. And when they wake up, they have a band around their head and have aged quite considerably. Meanwhile, back on the ship, Scotty sings an old Scottish sea shanty.
While Uhura and Chapel look on with concern.
Well, back on the planet, Bones tries to counter the aging effects, to no avail. They try to sneak away, but they're quickly spotted, so they run and hide away in a big... cistern... type thing... in the garden. Turns out to be a good hiding place because the women can't find them, but it's a terrible hiding place because now they can't get out due to their aged physiology and it's starting to rain. Spock is the only one, as a Vulcan, who is able to get out, so he crawls away and looks for their communicators. Upon finding one, he tries to send a message back to the Enterprise, but is caught.

Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise, Uhura has taken command, recognizing that all the men are behaving irrationally. She and Chapel put together a crack team of women to beam down to the surface and save the men! So, they beam down, confront the native women and learn that they had fled from a dying planet only to arrive here where they encountered a life-draining force. The women developed a biological resistance to the force, effective only if they can replenish their own life-force every 27 years. So they use the lorelai signal to capture men to drain their energy.
Because they're worth it!
That's all well and good, but Uhura came here to find the captain. So the women use their fancy schmancy computer to find them (because they couldn't do that before?) and discover that they're about to drown in the cistern. Uhura goes out and shoots the cistern which spills the water, Bones and Kirk all out into the garden. The day is saved. And the women promise never to use the signal again as long as the Federation can come and relocate them to a planet that doesn't have a life-draining force. The End.

Overall Thoughts
I kind of wish there would have been a women-taking-over episode of The Original Series... but I guess it's fine that we have it here. By this point I'm learning to live with the animation and just suspending disbelief in order to follow the story. (Even though in this episode Nurse Chapel's sleeve becomes red for an instant.) The story here, however, leaves a little to be desired when it comes to believability. There is only so far my disbelief can be suspended. And it has nothing to do with the women taking over, it has to do with how the women on the planet are able to call their victims and drain their energy. Oh well. ONWARD.