Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 4, Episodes 8 & 9: Charlie X/ Balance of Terror

9780792156789: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 4, Episodes 8 & 9: Charlie X/ Balance of Terror
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"Charlie X," Ep. 8 - The cargo ship Antares transfers Charlie Evans (Robert Walker Jr.) to the U.S.S. Enterprise on his way to Alpha Five Colony. When the Antares is destroyed and crew members vanish, Kirk realizes that Charlie is responsible but has little control over his deadly powers. "Balance of Terror," Ep. 9 - It's a game of cat and mouse for Kirk and the Romulan commander (Mark Lenard), whose cloaking device renders his ship invisible--and very deadly!

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Volume 4 from the DVD collection of original Star Trek programs includes broadcast episode 2, the memorable "Charlie X," starring Robert Walker Jr. as a troubled teen presenting two big problems: pathological immaturity and powerful telekinetic powers. After he wills the destruction of a starship that drops him off with the Enterprise, the titular delinquent stalks a female member of the crew and creates havoc using his terrifying ability to make people, in his own words, "go away."

Also on this disc is "Balance of Terror," a terrific drama that was essentially an outer-space version of a 1950s submarine movie. Writer Paul Schneider introduced both the Romulans and the concept of a "neutral zone" to Trek lore, wrapped up in this story about the first encounter between a Federation and Romulan ship in 75 years. The resulting face-off between two vessels and their strong, noble captains--Kirk (William Shatner) and his Romulan counterpart (Mark Lenard, who later played Spock's Vulcan father, Sarek)--is directed and edited with suspense worthy of the classic sub movie, The Enemy Below. It's an example of how the original Trek series took lots of risks and constantly invented itself, in contrast to the more codified look and feel of The Next Generation and subsequent series. --Tom Keogh

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