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|The Original Series||2||0||2||0||0||0||0||1.00|
|1||23||1.5||The Return of the Archons||Stunt double||Lieutenant Sulu and Lieutenant O'Neil are investigating the planet Beta III. The starship Archon was lost at the plent a century ago, and Starfleet has never been there since. However, the pair were discovered as outsiders amongst the population and forced to flee. Sulu is fired at by some sort of staff weapon as he beams out, arriving on the ship with an oddly docile manner.
Captain Kirk beams down with Spock, McCoy, Lindstrom, Leslie and Galloway to investigate what has happened. They find the whole population acting rather like Sulu; walking around in a kind of docile mindless daze. However, as "the red hour" arrives everybody launches in an instant into "the festival", a period of debauched rioting. Hiding from the crowds the landing party take shelter with Reger, renting a room. In the morning the festival ends, and in a moment everybody reverts to a docile placidity again. Their questions about the festival make Reger realise that they are not "of the body", and he asks if they are "Archons". As they talk a pair of lawgivers arrive, robed figures bearing the weapon used on Sulu earlier. The lawgivers demand that Kirk and the party accompany them to be "absorbed", and appear confused and at a loss as to what to do when he refuses.
Reger takes them to a safe place, but on the way the population begin to attack them - with Lieutenant O'Neil amongst them. They use phasers to stun the crowds and escape. Reger explains some of their history; the planet is ruled by Landru, who controls everyone's mind to make them docile and obedient - of the body, as it is called. Anybody who is not of the body can be absorbed by Landru, overcoming their mind. In the past the Archons came to the planet, but their ship was pulled from the sky and they were either killed or absorbed by Landru.
Hearing this, Kirk contacts the Enterprise and finds that powerful heat beams are being fired at the ship from the planet. The shields are holding up to it, but it is taking all of the ship's power - with nothing for engines, escape is impossible and the orbit is steadily decaying. Unless the beams can be terminated at the source, the ship is doomed.
Landrus is able to home in on the communicator signal and the landing party are stunned and captured. They wake in a cell, with McCoy, Galloway and O'Neil missing. McCoy returns, displaying the same docile placidity of the others - he has been absorbed. Kirk is taken next, then Spock. However, they have more luck than McCoy - the priest who runs the absorption process, Marplon, is a rebel who works against Landru. He faked both Kirk and Spock's absorption, leaving their minds intact.
Back in the cell Kirk and Spock talk about the situation. They cannot believe that Landru is a person, suspecting that the society is arranged along machine lines. Kirk is determined to destroy the machine, though Spock worries that this might be a violation of the Prime Directive. Kirk argues that the prime directive in intended to apply to living, growing cultures rather than stagnant cultures like this one.
Marplon takes Kirk and Spock to a chamber called the Hall of Audiences, where a projection of Landru appears to his followers. Kirk blasts through a wall and finds that Landru is in fact an ancient computer system which has been running Beta III. Kirk is able to convince the computer system that in stifling creativity it is harming rather than helping the inhabitants, thus provoking it into destroying itself. The ship is saved, and Kirk leaves a team of specialists behind to help in rebuilding the planet's society.
|2||39||2.2||The Apple||Native stunt double||The Enterprise is visiting the planet Gamma Trianguli VI. A landing party finds the planet to be a paradise, with a planetwide warm climate. However, a call from Scotty on the ship brings trouble - the ship is experiencing a minor problem with the antimatter pods, possibly related to abnormalities in the magnetic field of the planet itself. Spock's tricorder detects underground vibrations coming from all directions, vibrations which he thinks are artificially produced. As the landing party scouts around they detect a life form nearby, apparently somebody watching them.
They proceed towards a nearby village, but along the way the planet offers up a few surprises. A rock explodes when tossed to the ground; a plant fires poison darts; a freak storm suddenly blows up and Spock is struck by lightning. It appears that Gamma Trianguli VI is not so pleasant a place after all!
Meanwhile on the Enterprise, the problem becomes worse - the antimatter pods have become completely inert, as if some external force had extinguished them. Without main power the ship is all but helpless and unable to beam the landing party up.
They reach the village, although two of the landing party are killed on the way by the planets strange dangers. Kirk manages to capture the native who is watching them, and they demand to know what is going on. The man claims to be the "leader of the feeders of Vaal." They continue on to the village with the man, who is named Akuta. He agrees to take them to Vaal - which proves to be a giant stone head reminiscent of a reptile. The head is surrounded by a powerful forcefield, making any approach impossible. They go back to the village to rest. Kirk notes that there are no children there - prompting confusion from the natives, who apparently have no idea what children are. Vaal, they say, has forbidden men and women to touch one another, and there is no reproduction allowed - much to McCoy's disgust. The Doctor scans the people and finds every one of them to be in perfect health, without any sign of ageing amongst them.
Vaal calls the villagers, and they bring supplies of food to place inside the head - the forcefield apparently allowing them in to feed their god. Kirk ponders whether Vaal might become weaker if it is denied the regular influx of food. Kirk and McCoy seem determined to destroy Vaal, claiming that it is stifling the right of the natives to a "free and unchained environment" and any chance to grow and develop as a culture. Spock warns that they are simply applying human standards to a culture which they may not apply to - the villagers surely have the right to choose a system that clearly works to provide them with long term stability.
Scotty reports that they are detecting a steady decrease in Vaal's power readings, possibly a result of the food being used up. He is working to boost the output of the ship's impulse engines, though this will take a good eight hours to accomplish. In not much longer than that the ship will fall into the atmosphere and burn up.
In the village, two of the natives observe Chekov kissing one of his female comrades and become curious as to what it is like. This apparently angers Vaal, who communicates with Akuta to tell him to kill the landing party. Vaal provides instructions on how to use violence, and the natives mount an attack. However, although one of the Enterprise crew is killed the natives are quickly defeated.
Scotty manages to complete his modifications and boost the ship into a slightly higher orbit, but he only gains an extra hour or so. Kirk decides to starve Vaal in an attempt to weaken it, and then orders the ship to direct a phaser barrage at the force field around it. Vaal is forced to expend its remaining energy to defend against the attack, and becomes inert. Without the field affecting the ship, full power is quickly restored.
Kirk tells the natives that the Federation will provide them with assistance until they can cope with life on their own. Although Spock expresses some concern with their actions the Captain is happy at the outcome, and the ship proceeds on course.
|Copyright Graham Kennedy||Page views : 1,538||Last updated : 21 Jul 2013|