|The Alternative Factor|
I was amused to discover that there had been a vote by Star Trek fans to identify the least popular Star Trek television episodes. As a Star Trek fan who likes to complain about the shortcomings of Star Trek, I'll join in with the spirit of that "10 worst" list for the rest of this blog post. I've previously made a list with 10 of my favorite episodes.
Trek 31. 'The Alternative Factor' was a Season Two episode. Previously, when I went through all of the Season Two episodes and picked out some of them for comment, I skipped right over 'The Alternative Factor'. I have a general dislike for all of the "parallel universe" episodes of Star Trek.
|2001 seconds of boredom|
|A warrior's semi-private boob nuzzling|
|How to select a nice brain.|
Marj Dusay died in 2009.
|Kirk and Miramanee|
For Spock, there was the planet Sharpeidon where he could live happily with Zarabeth. Similarly, in 'The Paradise Syndrome', for Kirk there was Miramanee, a curvaceous alien living on a planet with a peaceful low-technology culture.
Margaret Armen died in 2003. Sabrina Scharf became a state senator in California.
|McCoy's asteroid girl|
Trek 34.9 McCoy's hollow asteroid saga. Science theme of the week: I'd rather be lucky than smart. An inversion of 'The Paradise Syndrome' gives the dying Doctor his chance for one last fling. Then he gets lucky a second time when it turns out that ancient records inside the asteroid/spaceship contain the cure for McCoy's rare illness.
|Tina, Janice and Charlie|
|dealing with Medusans|
|Specter of a Sci Fi Western|
Some of my earliest memories are watching other people watch Westerns on T.V. By the time I was six years old, I did not want to ever see another Western.
This episode was tedious, with an effort by the Enterprise crew to make "knockout gas", but in the end they realize that they are in some kind of virtual reality where nothing (including their gas) is real.
|Fast woman: able to side-step a phaser beam and run Kirk ragged.|
|Kirk grabs a quickie|
Kathie Browne died in 2003.
|Spock's jam session|
If there is an award for anachronism, this episode is a contender. When Jack Vance wanted to create a fictional variation on the 1960s, he imagined a culture where free-love hippy types were the norm and a revolution of young people went in the opposite direction towards hard work and neat appearance. If only the rushed Star Trek crew could have been half that creative.
|alien mind transfer device|
From a technical standpoint, we can ask: what would be involved in the transfer of minds to and from a human body? Mind transfer is a plot device that was used in 'Wolf in the Fold', 'What Are Little Girls Made Of?', 'Return to Tomorrow' and 'Turnabout Intruder'.
|telepathy is useful|
This blog post (above) is the third in a series celebrating the first 50 years of the Star Trek era.
Other posts in the series:
1) season 1 episodes
2) season 2 episodes
Also: Star Trek: Galactic Core (fan fiction)
10 fun Star Trek episodes
Next: Star Trek Phase IV
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