(This is part of my journey going checking out Star Trek Judgment Rites. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
Sometimes I really wonder how Starfleet is set up with its operations. Do its ships just kind of meander here and there, waiting for anomalies and distress calls, or is there some sort of headache-inducing scheduling office back at HQ that has to manage all of these ships and their various functions? You may say “scheduling office” but I would point to the shows as examples of how the crews kind of always bumble into the important spontaneous events of the day.
Anyway, distress call. Go go Enterprise! Oh wait, first a word from Grammar Policeman Spock:
Thank you, Commander Buzzkill. Go back to reddit to argue with the rest of the internet.
The distress call is coming from a barren planet that only has two life forms on it. The away team beams down, utterly creeped out by how empty and desolate this place is. Then again, it has a building, which is cause for some investigation.
Inside the building, the team finds lab equipment (!) and Kirk has a bit of fun stunning slime off of a tube. Meanwhile, Ensign Jons bursts out with a non sequitur about how he senses evil nearby that could imperil their very souls. It’s always interesting when Star Trek — a largely humanisticshow — tries to tackle religion and the soul. Usually there follows much confusion and tripping over high concepts.
So the crew bumps into a hologram of Vizznr, a representative of one of two sides of peoples on this world that are (were) locked in a struggle, each trying to annihilate each other. Jons brings up angels and devils again, which is just so out of left field that it’s making me wonder if the writers felt they had to suddenly thrust this character into the mix for the purposes of the story analogy.
On the other side of the building is Azrah, the angelish being. Now these are all projections, and as McCoy points out, the real beings are hidden — one side multiplying and dying rapidly, the other side multiplying and dying slowly.
The solution — to meld the two races of cells together — for some reason offends the weirdly moralistic Jons, who sees this as pollution of the “angels.” Again, this whole line feels forced from a character we know nothing about who’s acting bizarre, just giving Kirk a chance to talk him down from Mount Crazy.
The new creature’s hologram isn’t quite working right, so that requires us to go outside and fix a bunch of satellite transmitters for some reason. I think I missed something in this mission because nothing makes sense. Who set these things up? They’re described as being recently placed, yet the only life forms on the planet are little single-celled beings. Maybe they contracted out.
In other news, I got to order Sulu to fire the Enterprise’s phasers about six feet from where we are standing. Spock is now sterile.
Well now things make a — little — more sense. Apparently this was another test site for the aliens known as Brassians, who are continuing experiments on Kirk and company as they did in episode 2. They don’t explain why, of course, but that does help things fit into place. Kirk vows to seek the Brassians out, which leads right into the next episode.
So far, these “Brassian” eps are significantly less interesting than the other ones, offering puzzles but not so much in terms of narrative or nifty developments.