Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season, Episode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 29, “The City on the Edge of Forever” and Episode 30, “Operation: Annihilate!”
Setting the Stage: I started at 5:00 pm on January 12, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. I had a special request from the husband that he be present to watch the first episode, but after that he disappeared. Thor and Professor Zoom were around, but Zoom was tuckered out. He had way too much birthday yesterday. He would, however, love to know if you think he’s the best pupper… so you should leave a comment on his birthday post.
Quick Summary with my reactions: “The City on the Edge of Forever” opens with Sulu’s panel exploding and McCoy having to do some dangerous medicine. The ship rocks and McCoy accidentally injects himself, goes crazy, and beams himself down to the planet (that’s having some weird time stuff). I love seeing Uhura in the landing party, glad to see her getting out and stretching her legs. The party finds a weird structure that begins talking and showing them Earth’s history, when McCoy suddenly jumps in, and the Enterprise vanishes because McCoy has changed time! Spock and Kirk jump into time a little ahead of where McCoy might be, they land in the 1930s, and Kirk falls in love. Turns out, Kirk’s lady love needs to die in order for history to go back to the way it was. Watching Kirk make the choice to not save a woman he is in love with is one of the saddest things I have watched. Not as sad as that scene in John Wick, but it’s up there.
“Operation: Annihilate!” is the season finale and it doesn’t disappoint with the drama of some ship making a beeline for the sun of that system and being excited about being “free”. The landing party finds Kirk’s brother dead, but his nephew and sister-in-law have survived the strange creatures that seem to have taken over the people of the system. While investigating, Spock gets attacked by a creature and is incapacitated until he can lean on his Vulcan side to avoid the pain. McCoy blinds Spock in trying to kill the creatures, but we find out that it could have been avoided! As McCoy and Kirk are all despondent, and the creatures on the planet are dying, Spock regains his vision due to Vulcan anatomy magic. A very bittersweet ending to Season 1.
My Impressions: “The City on the Edge of Forever” is an episode I have been looking forward to because husband and work mom hyped it up. They were not wrong about it’s awesomeness, mostly because it had to do with time travel and didn’t make my head hurt! They corrected whatever McCoy had done and got back as if no time had passed with presumably nothing changed in their own past. It was quite funny to watch Kirk being absolutely terrible at improv when they ran into the police officer, and so terribly sad when Kirk’s lady love had to die. I also enjoyed watching Spock in total disgust at having to work with such “subprime” tools and materials, but also being able to put together what was needed.
Uhura and Scotty were both fantastic in “Operation: Annihilate!”. Uhura doesn’t take shit from Kirk when he’s being impatient and is able to explain that it just can’t be done. Scotty doesn’t take shit from Spock, even though Spock is his superior officer and gave a direct order. They may not have had many lines, but they were my absolute favorites.
Overall, I thought Season 1 of Star Trek: The Original Series had its ups and downs. There were some episodes that did not age well, did not sit well, and had some real strange choices made. There were other episodes that still ring true today, or were relatable in some way. To see what technology is still science fiction in the 2020s and what things we are maybe decades away from is interesting. I am absolutely “Team Spock”, it’s clearly the logical choice. Tomorrow, I’ll begin Season 2. Here’s to hoping there’s more Sulu and Scotty.