Feb 25, 2019
Star Trek (TAS) “Once Upon a Planet” (part 3 of 5)
Kirk says their phaser bore can cut through twenty meters of rock per minute. He calls up to have it beamed down, but he’s cut off halfway through the request. But Kirk’s people ain’t dumb, and Scotty tries to beam the phaser bore down, only to find out the transporter isn’t working.
Back down on the planet, Sulu spots some sort of metallic object, and the gang, with nothing better to do, check it out.
The inscription is in several languages, one of them English. Okay, kudos to the writers for that. McCoy says, “The Keeper’s dead!” and Spock points out McCoy is stating the obvious. Cut the man some slack, Spock; this is what McCoy is there for. Does he bitch and moan every time you say “fascinating”, or every time Kirk seduces the high priestess?
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On the Enterprise, Scotty is not sitting idle; he’s ordered a rescue party to the shuttle bay. However, the bay doors won’t stay open. Scotty quickly figures out the malfunctions have something to do with the planet, and nothing to do with him fudging the maintenance log for the past month.
Lieutenant M’Ress notes that the planet isn’t programmed for hostile behavior, and Scotty points out programs have been changed before. Much like all those kids switched to a different program when Uhura started singing.
Speaking of Uhura, she continues trying to talk sense to the computer while she thinks about how to shut it off. The computer grabs her before she can make a move for the off switch. How she knew it was the off switch, I have no idea. I mean, look at it.
Is there a sign over it just off camera that says “Off switch, do not touch”? It looks like a key or something might fit in it.
Uhura is shocked when the computer explains it can read any thoughts that are “emotionally charged”, and it sounds pretty damn bitter about it. Uhura points that out, and the computer says his life has been one of service and “It’s time for a change.” I’d be a hundred percent behind this guy’s wanting to switch careers if it wasn’t for the whole attempted murder and kidnapping.
The four members of the away team go with Plan B, which is looking for an entrance to the planet interior. Kirk thinks about his desire to find an entrance to see if maybe one might spring up, but nothing happens. Probably because the computer picked up the captain’s manic desire to kill his kind whenever he finds them. Seriously, in the course of the Original Series, whenever Kirk encountered artificial life in any form, they died. Kirk is like the anti-Bender.
Sulu thinks the planet is fighting them, and suggests there must be a faster way. McCoy angrily asks Sulu if he wants signs pointing the way, then apologizes when he says he’s worried about Uhura. Better late than never, eh, Bones? It is then that Spock points something out.
Because even computers can be smartasses. Kirk figures the AI is playing another prank (I’d call attempted murder and kidnapping more than just pranks, Jim), but since they don’t have any other alternative, they go along with it. Several signs later, they reach a cave… and purple pterodactyls.
Kirk tells everyone to think calm thoughts, and when the purple dinosaurs attack, he and Sulu try to shoot them. Naturally, the phasers aren’t working, and Kirk orders the gang into the cave. As the entrance is blocked by purple pterodactyls, Spock notes that the amusement planet is no longer content to amuse. Considering how last time the planet actually killed McCoy, beat the shit out of Kirk, and tried to strafe some of them with gunfire from WWII era fighters, I don’t think anyone should be surprised at this turn of events.