Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Classics: TOS 1:3 & 1:4 (Capsule Reviews)

TOS 1:3 - Charlie X
"Can you imagine what he'd do in an open, normal environment? I've talked with him, listened. He's a boy in a man's body, trying to be an adult with the adolescence in him getting in the way."  
TV Guide Summary: The Enterprise takes on an unsocialized teenaged passenger whose mental abilities are more than the crew can handle.

Steph's Comments: The word "adolescent" is used repeatedly to describe Charlie in this episode, but I don't think that's the correct term. To me, it appears that Charlie's emotional development was arrested the moment he crash-landed on Thasus -- i.e., when he was three. Preschoolers have tantrums when they don't get their way; adolescents are more likely to use subtler forms of disrespect. That being said, this is a decent character study. Charlie's weirdly innocent sociopathy fits rather well with the backstory the writers give him, and Kirk's taking on the role of responsible adult guide is actually mildly interesting to watch.

Steph's Rating: 7.3


TOS 1:4 - The Naked Time
"Sir, level two, corridor three reports a disturbance. Mister Sulu chasing crewmen -- with a sword?"
TV Guide Summary:  An epidemic of bizarre behavior sweeps the Enterprise after an away team brings back a previously unknown pathogen.

Steph's Comments: We're dealing with an incredibly fruity premise here -- and I must say that Sulu's running around bare-chested with a sword leaves me cold. Still, the writers do manage to squeeze something worthwhile out of this story idea the moment Spock is infected. While the rest of the episode is pretty silly, Spock's scene actually reveals something genuinely important about the character. Spock's apparent lack of emotion, the writers tell us, is really the result of discipline, not biology -- which opens up the possibility that he feels just as we do beneath the surface.

Steph's Rating: 6.0

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