Friday, June 12, 2009

Star Trek--"Wolf in the Fold"

Remember a couple days ago when I said from here on out there would be many episodes of bad ideas poorly executed? Here is another fine example. I am sad to say the great Robert Bloch’s three turns of trek were all lackluster, but unfortunately, they were. It is a double shame, too, considering this is the only episode that centers around Scotty. It paints him in a bad light even though he is cleared of the crime for which he gets accused

Kirk and McCoy accompany Scotty on shore leave to a peaceful planet with many loose women. Scotty is recovering from an injury caused by a female crew member. Kirk thinks Scotty can be cured of his animosity towards women by getting laid. He winds up leaving with an exotic dancer, but shortly thereafter she is found stabbed to death with Scotty nearby, in a daze, clutching a bloody knife.

Scotty did not kill the woman, of course. It was a floating entity of evil which fed off fear. Said entity was responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders. That was a completely unnecessary touch. Is there some compelling reason why so much of Earth’s history is so important to the rest of the galaxy? I will concede I may be unfair here since “Wolf in the Fold” was probably one of the first stories in pop culture to use Jack the Ripper, but it has become so cliché, I cannot appreciate it. Chalk it up to my youth.

I am also bemused by the crew doping up in order to avoid fear for the entity to feed on. Talk about courage in a shot. I suppose it is more analgous to Prozac these days, but I cannot help but think it isa nudge to certain *ahem* “mood enhancers” popular with the young crowd that watched TOS.

Oddest line of the episode? It is a tie between two uttered by Spock. One, he described the planet as peaceful, with a gentle non violent population when their method of potentially executing Scotty for murder is death by slow torture, an unusually sadistic manner. The other was Spock’s declaration that everyone feeds off fear--even vegetarians. I am going to go with the latter. Your milage may vary.

Rating: * (out of 5)

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