The Slaver Weapon
The Animated Series
Disc No :
First Aired :
15 Dec 1973
Keep an eye on Spock's life-support belt; it vanishes during one scene.
The Kzin and the Slavers are elements from Larry Niven's 'Known Space' stories, a collection of tales which depict a completely different history and technology to that shown in Star Trek.
My year for this episode is estimated from the Stardate; it falls between 'Bread and Circuses' and 'A Private Little War'.
Spock, Uhura and Sulu transport a "stasis box" in the shuttle Copernicus. Relics of an ancient and highly advanced civilisation, the boxes often contain highly valuable advanced technology. Each box can act as a detector for others, and when the Copernicus's box indicates the presence of another one nearby, Spock decides to investigate. Unfortunately he walks straight into a trap and is taken prisoner by the Kzinti, long-time enemies of the Federation.
Crossover stories can be fun for fans, but it's rarely a good idea to do it for real - and especially when you re-write history to accomodate one franchise within the other rather than simply having the two separate cultures clash. Although Lary Niven's Known Space stories are largely excellent, they are a poor fit with the Star Trek universe and suddenly announcing a centuries-long acquaintance with the Kzinti feels forced, to put it mildly. Similarly, the idea of Slaver stasis boxes with technological treasures hidden inside is a fascinating one - they are surely one of the better McGuffins ever invented because they are so flexible, literally anything
can come out of them, or nothing at all! Yet these boxes would be so important that surely we would have heard of them before. The Slaver weapon itself seems a little arbitrary in it's behaviour - there seems little logic in making a weapon like this, except of course that it drives the plot.