Friday, December 17, 2010

"Whom Gods Destroy"

From Wikipedia:

"Whom Gods Destroy" is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series
. It is episode #69, production #71, and was broadcast on January 3, 1969. It was written by Lee Erwin, based on a story by Lee Erwin and Jerry Sohl, and directed by Herb Wallerstein. The title is based on a quote often misattributed to Euripides (see his Wikiquote page q:Euripides).

Overview: Kirk faces off with an insane starship captain determined to control the universe.


Watch it

Notes and pics:

* Oh cool, another mental hospital episode. Featuring an insane starship captain inviting those "what if" thoughts we saw in "
The Doomsday Machine." What if Kirk fell to space madness?

Batgirl now. What is it with all the Batman people? Actually, she's pretty good. I used to know a girl or two like her back in Austin.

* Cool, an Andorian and a Tellarite, both insane.

* Alright! The inmates are literally running the asylum!

* "I am LORD Garth, formerly of Izar."

* Garth is doing successfully here what
Joaquin Phoenix failed to do successfully in Gladiator.

* Wow, watch Marta go!

* Garth is a shape shifter. So now we have yet another evil Kirk. I've lost track of how many at this point.

* Oh man, what a fabulous Kirk rage! Of course, it's crazy Garth, not the real Kirk.

* Nice fur coat.

* Scotty in command!

* This guy reminds me of Brando in a weird way.

* Marta: "Why can't I blow up just one of his ears?"

* WTF? Are they a wheelbarrow?

* Garth: "I may have you beaten to death."

* Oh my god, their conversation is sublime. Garth: "Lies, all lies!"

* Garth keeps hinting at unexplored Bob Goldthwait territory.

* Nothing like watching a green Orion slave girl do an exotic dance.

* This is all so awkward and weird. I love it.

* Garth is fucking magnificent, a sort of slow burn Daffy Duck as Doctor Doom.

* Marta's always doing this twitchy shit.

* Isn't that the same chair from "
Dagger of the Mind"?

* At last, Kirk's clumsy weird make out moves are displayed in a context in which they make sense: the insane asylum.

* Yeah, I definitely knew a few girls like her back in Austin.

* Don't trust him Captain; it's Garth!

* Ah,
Lee Kuan again.

* Wait, is that a silver boot paired with a gold boot?

* Kirk's attempt to persuade the Tellarite and Andorian to defect is pure Shatner.

* Nice. The kind of space suit we saw in "
The Tholian Web."

* Nice theatre of the macabre with blowing up Marta.

* Are phaser beams supposed to be blue or red? I never can remember.

* Is that cellophane over Spock's cell door? Seriously, it's got a subtle and interesting look, and I'm not talking about the special effect when he touches it.

* Oh cool, double Vulcan neck pinch.

* Two Kirks, good.

* And now they're fighting, excellent.

* "The medicine seems to be taking effect; it's very encouraging." Actually, Garth looks totally hopped up on Thorazine.

* Okay, this one is a lot of fun, primarily because Garth and Marta are such marvelous crazy people. But, as is by now shaping up to be a defining characteristic of the third season, you have to sort of stretch your understanding and acceptance of what Star Trek actually is in order to appreciate what they're doing. That is, this is another one of those theatrically odd episodes that has its characters behaving in bizarre and artificial ways. It's just not terribly realistic, as far as science fiction goes, but the performances are so wonderfully off-kilter that you just have to wallow in the wackiness of it all.

Maybe I'm going too easy on these late era Star Trek offerings. They are very WTF at many points. And some of them, like "
Plato's Stepchildren," just fail miserably. But there's some really good shit here, too, if you can get into the spirit of things.

I really liked "Whom Gods Destroy." Four stars.