8/26/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Practical Joker"

Vital Information
Series: The Animated Series
Episode: S02E03
Air Date: September 21, 1974
Written by: Chuck Menville
Directed by: Hal Sutherland

Premise
After running through an energy cloud, the crew of the Enterprise starts experiencing a bunch of crazy practical jokes. Also there is a holodeck.

Review
While going along in space, the Enterprise is attacked by a Romulan ship that claims they have entered Romulan space. Of course, this is preposterous, because if they were going to go through Romulan space, Kirk would have put on his pointy ears. Regardless, they're under attack, so they have to find a way out. And that energy cloud up ahead seems like a real good idea at the time.

The energy cloud shakes them up a bit, but they temporarily lose the Romulan ship. During dinner later, however, their glasses start leaking what appears to be milk all over them. Scotty is about to write it off as a technical malfunction in the replicators, but Bones recognizes it as a practical joke that he and his friends used to play back at the academy.
Yes. Milk.
Around the ship, several other things go wrong in strange ways. Spock finds a device near his console that puts black rings on his eyes, there's ice in the corridor, the replicators spit out mass quantities of food at Scotty, things like that. So, Bones, Sulu and Uhura decide to take a break in the newly discovered holodeck just to get away from the madness. Meanwhile, Kirk and Spock figure out that the practical jokes are being played by the computer. Which is now totally in control of the holodeck. With the three now trapped in a frozen wasteland, their lives now depend on Kirk finding a solution to the computer's practical jokes. And that's when the Romulans decide to attack again.

The computer takes control of the navigational controls and decides to play a joke on the Romulans. It blows up a huge Enterprise-shaped balloon and tricks the Romulans into shooting at it. This only angers the Romulans who redouble their efforts against the real Enterprise. Suddenly, Kirk pretends to have a crippling fear of the energy cloud they had gone through earlier. With the computer detecting his fear, it perceives that it would be a great practical joke to go back through. When it does, the systems shut down and the computer returns to normal. Meanwhile, the Romulans, who followed them through, experience practical jokes on their own ship.
"WHOEVER WROTE 'VULCAN RULES' ON MY NOTEBOOK CAN GO DROWN THEMSELVES!"
And they all lived happily ever after and learned a valuable lesson about which jokes work best.

Overall Thoughts
This episode would have made a great live action episode. It was pretty funny as an animated episode, but there was just so many other things they could have done. In either case, I love it when Star Trek does a funny episode.