It’s time for Star Trek Saturdays #9!
Our episode this week is “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” and while it’s not as astounding as last week’s episode, it’s still pretty great.
The plot has the Enterprise arrive at Exo III to figure what happened to the brilliant medicinal archeologist Dr. Roger Korby, as he led an expedition down to the planet five years ago and has not been heard from since. But just as they get there, the bridge crew–with Nurse Christine Chapel, Korby’s fiancee, in attendance–receives a message from Korby’s voice confirming that he is alive and living underground, as the planet’s surface temperature is well below zero.
Chapel, it should be mentioned, is played by Majel Barrett, Gene Roddenberry’s real-life wife and probably best known for being both the voice of the computer and Lwaxana Troi, mother of Deanna, in The Next Generation.
(L to R: Barrett, Barrett as Chapel)
Chapel and Kirk beam down and find Korby (Michael Strong) in an underground cavern, with his assistant, Dr. Brown. But when Korby insists that they can’t contact the Enterprise and Kirk tries to leave, Korby shoots him and accidentally hits Brown, revealing that he is an android. There are also two other androids around, Ruk (Ted Cassidy) and Andrea (Sherry Jackson). Ted Cassidy, of course, is famous for being Lurch on The Addams Family and was also the voice of Balok as he appeared to the Enterprise all the way back in “The Corbomite Maneuver.” He’s pretty awesome.
I don’t know what ever became of Sherry Jackson, but she’s memorable in this episode for wearing a costume that gives a whole new meaning to “va-va VOOM.” Seriously, look at this thing:
And I thought “Mudd’s Women” were pushing it…
So naturally, Chapel is suspicious that her gentle fiancee is all of a sudden hostile, but he has a secret, one that, when revealed at the climax of the show, turns everything on its head.
This is a fine episode and continues the trend of at least one Shirtless Kirk scene per episode. Seriously, I’m starting to suspect Shatner had this as a clause in his contract or something. While “Balance of Terror” is an example of a “bottle episode”–an episode of a show set in one confined space–this has different sets, although not much. Largely, we’re just focused on Kirk, Chapel, Korby and the robots. Such a small cast might have been disastrous had everyone not turned out to have played each other so well. Strong is particularly good as the intimidating yet never threatening Korby and Shatner has some good heroic moments.
I wish Chapel had more of an active role. I get that Kirk is the main hero, but seeing as how Corby is her fiance and all, you’d figure she’d have a bigger role; as it is, we don’t really focus on her much. But still, this is recommended.
Thanks to Memory Alpha, the official Star Trek wiki for the pics and episode information, as well as Amazon Instant for hosting the show. We’ll see you next Saturday and until then, live long and prosper.