Series: The Original Series
Air Date: December 15, 1968
Written by: Art Wallace
Directed by: Ralph Senensky
The spirit of Captain Ahab inhabits Kirk's body and mistakes a blood-sucking cloud for his infamous whale. At least that's what I prefer to believe.
I'll be honest, I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on this one. It doesn't merit time. But it did happen, so it will be mentioned. The biggest mistake the creators of Star Trek made in this episode was mistaking Kirk for the kind of captain that would be obsessed of his own free agency. Not only is it not in his character to dwell on the perceived mistakes of the past, it also seems to be a bit beyond Shatner's acting ability. Or, if not, beyond what his understanding of the character had become. Perhaps the only redeeming part of this episode is the redshirt body count.
When a landing party that was comprised of mostly redshirts runs into a gaseous foe, Kirk recognizes its sweet aroma and remembers an encounter with it from the past. On his first commission, the USS Farragut, then Lt. Kirk was the only survivor of of this entity's attack. The captain, a good friend of his, also died, but his son, Lt. Garrovick, was now stationed on the Enterprise under Kirk's command. So when this entity kills Garrovick's best friend, Kirk offers him a crack at the entity.
|He should have at least changed into a blue or gold uniform.|
So now he's in the same boat as Kirk, apparently. Meanwhile, all this time the Enterprise is supposed to deliver medical supplies to some other planet and that planet is slowly dying while Kirk works out his obsession. No big deal, right? Well, it does cast a bit of doubt on Kirk's commands in Spock and Bones's views, so they confront Kirk about it, but Kirk is insistent that they go after the vampire cloud. Aaaand now the vampire cloud is going into space.
|Because of course gaseous anomalies can travel at warp speed.|
Later, Kirk tells Garrovick nothing was his fault and goes on to tell him stories about Captain Garrovick of the USS Farragut. Whatever.
Nope. Don't like this one. Kirk is not one to be obsessed over a cloud at the expense of the lives of the people who need him to deliver aid. I'm just going to go ahead and pretend this episode doesn't exist.