Thursday, July 02, 2020

Star Trek -- Season 2 Episode 13 (Obsession)

I’ve come to realize that Star Trek had a lot of contrivances that the subsequent series didn’t have.  For instance, The Enterprise encountered a lot of one-of-a-kind creatures.  There were also a lot of emergencies that could have easily been handled by some other means.  Add to this reused plot devices and you have an episode of Star Trek.

In Obsession, The Enterprise is due to pick up some perishable medical supplies from the USS Yorktown.  For some reason, they’re doing a planetary survey first.  On that planet is a gaseous life form that can drain a person of hemoglobin.  Kirk recognizes this as the same creature that killed half the crew of the USS Farragut, Kirk’s first assignment out of Starfleet Academy.  Kirk is determined to kill the thing before it manages to spawn thousands more like itself.

Ok, so how do they know that there’s one of this thing?  If it goes back to its home planet to reproduce, it’s conceivable that there are thousands or even millions of these cloud creatures draining the hemoglobin out of unsuspecting people.  For that matter, how does it survive like that?  There are plenty of life forms that don’t have iron-based blood.  The Enterprise’s first officer is one such life form.

So, Kirk puts off meeting with The Yorktown.  Why can’t the Yorktown deliver the supplies if it’s so important?  Why schedule two ships to meet up in the first place?  It’s to give Kirk a deadline.  That’s why.

The entire episode seems built around Kirk getting revenge.  You’d think at least one other Starfleet officer would have the same concerns.  Half of the crew of The Farragut survived.  Isn’t there someone Kirk could talk to who would understand?  I’d think Kirk would call one of the surviving crewmates or the relatives of the fallen crewmates to let them know what happened.  Even a passing comment in a later episode would have been nice.


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