Series: The Original Series
Air Date: January 10, 1969
Written by: Oliver Crawford and Lee Cronin (Gene L. Coon)
Directed by: Jud Taylor
The Riddler tracks down American Martin Freeman to the Enterprise and teaches us all a valuable lesson about racism.
In this infamous episode, we find the Enterprise on a decontamination mission to Ariannus when suddenly a stolen shuttlecraft races out of the atmosphere and straight past them. It's been severely damaged and Spock deduces that whoever's driving the thing could be suffocating from the lack of oxygen. So Kirk orders that the shuttlecraft be taken in. After another beautiful display of the shuttle bay, Lokai walks out and collapses on the floor. He displays an unusual appearance: black on left side of his face, white on the right.
They take Lokai to sickbay and spend about fifteen minutes deliberating on how he could possibly have evolved such an unusual skin tone. Lokai gives off an air of righteous indignity when he's questioned about the shuttle, so Kirk plans to drop him off at Starbase 4 to face a trial after they're done with their mission. Meanwhile, an invisible ship shows up on the sensors. That is, sensors indicate there's something out there, but there's nothing to be seen. And it's on a collision course with the Enterprise. RED ALERT DANCE PARTY!!!!
|CUE THE DANCING BIKINI GIRLS!|
Meanwhile Kirk is caught in the crossfire. He has to take care of the stolen shuttlecraft situation, so he says he's going to drop them both off at a starbase. But Bele's not really into that idea, so he takes control of the Enterprise with telekinetic powers and directs it toward his homeland, Cheron. And then Kirk's all like "What! No! You can't do that! This is MY ship!" So he does the only thing he knows how. He bluffs. With the help of Spock and Scotty, he activates the self destruct sequence as slowly and as close-up as humanly possible and sweats it out with Bele.
|Meanwhile, Scotty's mustache begs to be let out of captivity.|
And thus ends the greatest racism allegory in Star Trek canon.
Ok, congratulations on being forward thinking with your progressive ideals about racism and everything, but the execution of this episode was just terrible. And maybe that's just because the direction and editing was extremely dated and indicative of the most popular 60's productions, but you don't make a show about the future stressing progressive themes by relying on popular production tactics of the day. Seriously. The Red Alert Dance Party? What's that all about?