Wednesday, August 19, 2009


From Wikipedia:

"The Alternative Factor" is a first season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. It is episode #27, production #20, and was broadcast on March 30, 1967. The episode was written by Don Ingalls, and directed by Gerd Oswald.

In this episode, the crew of the Enterprise encounters a "reality jumping" madman. This is the first Star Trek episode to deal with parallel universes.

More here.

Okay, I like this one, but I have to be honest. It's got some problems. For starters, it's got that first season awkwardness I've written about for earlier episodes, mostly due to the guest star, Robert Brown, who was cast at the very last minute because Drew Barrymore's father, John, failed to show up when they started shooting, apparently something he did often--it's tough playing a psycho in the first place, but doing it with very little preparation was something Brown just couldn't pull off. But it's not all his fault. The dialogue gets weird in places. For instance, Shatner had no idea how to deliver the episode's final lines, "But what of Lazarus? What of Lazarus?" To be fair, as an actor myself, I have no idea what I would do with such faux poetry, either. A lot of the episode just looks plain cheesy, too. The negative image shots look cheap, which they are, and I knew it even when I was a kid. But the continuity errors with Lazarus' beard are simply insulting. Is it a thick and manly beard? Or is it thin and wispy? Depends on what scene he's in, I guess.

But for all that, it continues to engage me. Parallel universes, holes in the fabric of reality, time travelers who jump from dimension to dimension. The idea of a man from our universe, which is made of matter, touching his duplicate from an anti-matter universe resulting in the destruction of all reality is something that captivates my imagination to this very day. I mean, these are the sci-fi ideas that made me a geek.

I don't know. Maybe you'll like it too: