Planet News Views

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Favorite Star Trek Episode

With so many great episodes, how could anyone pick one over the others? But I did and will explain why.

By Scott McLean

I might as well begin with what I feel was the best episode in terms of having a wonderful plot, touching moments, the unexpected and an incredible surprise ending.

“Return to Tomorrow” was a brilliant look at what might happen to a civilization that becomes too advanced and powerful.

The Enterprise crew is used to beaming down to planets but not deep beneath the surface of a planet as they do this time. (Most people know how they get from a starship circling a planet down to the planet's surface, but if you don't, I won't spoil it for you. At least not until the next article.)

When they get there they find beings that no longer have bodies and are something like pure mind and energy, and the energy is almost gone, as they are being kept alive by artificial means. The one being able to speak claims they have ties to the human race, going way, WAY back in time.

This could be a sweet, little reunion of sorts, except for one small catch: These beings want to spend some time in the bodies of three crew members. Of course, Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) the First Officer, a Vulcan who is part human, say they will let the beings use their bodies, add in a female crew member, and this story begins to show signs that it is special.

The problem is these beings are in this predicament in the first place because their civilization became too powerful, and, well, uncivilized in the way they treated each other. So then one might wonder whether letting them use bodies is such a good idea.

Then the big issues, which Star Trek is superb at bringing up, come forward as these beings show maybe they can't be trusted. At the same time side plots are developing wonderfully, the eternal battle between mind and emotion, so well displayed in the life of Spock, brings him nearly to the brink of disaster as the being in his body goes out of control.

Spock is the central character in "Return to Tomorrow", and this is perhaps Leonard Nimoy's finest performance in the original Star Trek series.

This is my favorite episode because the writers deal with such important issues, it's so exciting and has a wonderful surprise ending.


At 12:12 PM, Blogger Golden Silence said...

I agree. RTT is a good episode. It let Nimoy break out of the "emotionless" Spock character for a moment.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Deb S. said...

This episode aired yesterday on one of the cable stations, but I didn't get a chance to watch it because of an appointment. Darn! Hopefully, it will air again soon. I also want to see "Return to Tomorrow." I saw your post, and I am really intrigued. I didn't know that episode existed, but as a huge Spock fan, I hope to see it soon.

BTW, you have a really interesting site. Your writing is fresh, and I like your links to Asian news sources. I'm going to bookmark you.


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