Thursday, February 12, 2009

Star Trek Initiation: "The Naked Time" (episode 104)

Alas, this episode does not include a cameo from Professor Dumbledore...though it does include almost everything else. This week begins as the crew of the Enterprise is sent to watch a planet explode. Sounds exciting, right? But also, obviously, dangerous. Everyone needs to be as competent as possible or the ship will be pulled into the planet's shifting gravitational field and explode.

Two crewmen are sent down to retrieve the scientists who are still living on the doomed planet, only to find them all inexplicably dead. It soon becomes apparent that the scientists were killed by a disease that is spread by human contact, and even more apparent that said virus has made its way onboard the ship. The physical symptoms include excessive sweating--which is how the disease is spread--and reduced inhibitions. This usually leads to excessive laughter. Sulu begins challenging everyone to fencing matches. A crewman takes over the control room and serenades the crew with Irish songs. Oh, and Spock has a nervous breakdown. It all ends with the crew imploding their own engines and discovering they can travel back in time.

There was a lot going on in this episode. I was trying to figure out all of the ways the crew was screwed. First, they are lost when their communication system is compromised. They have twenty minutes to hack into the hijacked control room. It's interesting how the doors have become a hindrance in almost every episode. When they're supposed to be keeping someone in, they fail. When people are supposed to be able to access a room, they're locked out.

Of course, once they cut a Texas-shaped hole in the wall and get back into the control room, we find out that there isn't enough time to get the engines warmed up before they spiral down to doom. So they decide to try this formula--which only has a 1 in 10,000 shot of not blowing them all to kingdom come--and the man behind the plan (Spock) is crying for his mommy. Although, to be fair, the doctor has come up with a cure by this time. So they get better just in time to implode the engines.

And then there was the time-travel bit. They only traveled back in time three days. Does this mean there's another Enterprise now for the next three days? Are they going to meet themselves in the next episode? There was some foreshadowing about using the time-travel formula at some point. Now they can also boldly go WHEN no man has gone before!

Favorite character this week: Sulu. I laughed out loud when he appeared dressed to fence and challenging everyone. Incidentally, where people surprised when George Takei came out of the closet?

The 3-D chess made a brief appearance, along with what I believe was 3-D checkers.

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