Monday, February 9, 2015

Star Trek Favorites: The Squire of Gothos

Howdy space cowboys and cowgirls and welcome to Day 1 of Star Trek Favorites. Skipping through the ranks of three seasons, it seems only fitting and proper we cover the first phenomenal creature that can alter space, time and matter itself to suit its means. With an 8 day mission of relief supplies for one of the existing colonies under the Federation, a rogue planet seems to be formed out of nothing. Marked as a future exploration and setting back on course our space explorers find they cannot leave orbit. With investigation under way our team looks into this further. This is Star Trek: Squire of Gothos.

Roguish air of mystery or foppish dandy?

Lt. Sulu (George Takei of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Miami Vice, Return from the River Kwai, Kim Possible, Star Trek: Shattered Universe and Heroes) is whisked away by no means of conventional transporting and no sooner has Captain Kirk (William Shatner of Incubus, The Twilight Zone, 77 Sunset Strip, Impulse, T.J. Hooker, Tekwar and Boston Legal) is an alert for his missing crew member, he himself is also taken to parts unknown.

The planet is classified as toxic to most forms of life and Commander Spock (Leonard Nimoy of Wagontrain, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, Transformers: The Movie, The Simpson, Futurama, Fringe and Star Trek Into Darkness) hypothesizes that they have very little time to mount a rescue party and give both men medical aid. Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley of Trackdown, Bonanza, Death Valley Days, Star Trek, Night of the Lepus and Star Trek Adventure) preps his landing party for hostile environment and breathing apparatuses..? Um apparati? Damn mail-in Latin correspondence course. 

Sulu, you beef?

 Breathing masks at the ready the team beams down to a lush forest that should not be there under the previous scans let alone a Gothic castle where both Kirk and Sulu are fine and healthy. They are being treated well and the food is nourishing. This brash man in 17th century garb calls himself General Trelane, retired (William Campbell of Night of Evil, Dementia 13, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Blood Bath, The Streets of San Francisco, Star Trek: Judgement Rites and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) offering conversation, food, drink and entertainment from their long journey. Kirk urgently explains their ongoing mission but Trelane will hear none of it. Spock manages to lock transporter beams on all carbon based lifeforms and beams them up. Trelane's readings made no sense to the sensors, not unlike the planet itself. Annoyed that his guests were abducted back, Trelane scoops up the entire bridge crew and demands he be heard.

Can the crew escape from this being of almost deity quality? Will they have to challenge its authority? Doesn't this almost feel like being judged on high by the Q?

Here are some fun facts about the episode and its actors.

William Campbell comes back to Star Trek playing a Klingon commander in The Trouble with Tribbles. The description of matter transmogrification from shifting energy into matter and creating different matter is almost a precursor to the holodeck technology of Star Trek: The Next Generation or even the replicator tech they had for food, tools and supplies.

According to an interview with William Campbell in The World of Star Trek, in his hunt of Captain Kirk in the forest, he fell down and dislocated his shoulder. Due to the agonizing pain, he flung his arm directly up and it popped right back in the socket. The episode's filming went a day over schedule being filmed in seven days instead of the standard six. This episode inspired comic book writer/author Peter David's novel Q-Squared claiming Trelane was in fact a teenage Q still reliant of technology rather than his own matter transference skills.

The manly art of combat!