Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 17, Episodes 33 & 34: Who Mourns For Adonais/Amok Time

9780792167129: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 17, Episodes 33 & 34: Who Mourns For Adonais/Amok Time
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"Who Mourns for Adonis," Ep. 33 - The U.S.S. Enterprise crew encounter a giant hand in space and come under the domination of an alien who claims to be the Greek god Apollo. "Amok Time," Ep. 34 - Spock becomes irrational when he is possessed by an overwhelming mating urge, and Kirk must fight him to the death on the planet Vulcan.

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"Who Mourns for Adonais?"
A nifty idea: the Greek god Apollo turns out to be quite real, a powerful extraterrestrial (Michael Forest) waiting some 5,000 years for the human race to develop enough to meet him out in the cosmos. Catching sight of the Enterprise, he immobilizes the ship and demands that the members of a landing party--Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Chief Engineer Scott (James Doohan), Chekov (Walter Koenig), and antiquities specialist Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas (Leslie Parrish)--bow before him and prepare to spend the rest of their lives being cherished through his insistent love. A doubting Kirk recruits his people to secretly find the mechanical source of Apollo's power to throw lightning bolts, become a giant, and punish his naughty Enterprise children by tossing them around like rag dolls. The stern god gives Kirk a sword, so to speak, by falling for Lt. Palamas, setting the stage for some stormy drama late in the game. Written by television veteran and Greek myth aficionado Gilbert Ralston (with a polish by producer Gene L. Coon that enhanced the story's relationships), and directed by Marc Daniels, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" is one of those classic Trek episodes that lingers in the memory for the creative incongruity of its story line (starships and Olympians) and principal set (an Athenian temple with a few trees, shrubs, and confused Starfleet personnel). Wonderful stuff. A subplot involving Scotty's big-time crush on Palamas provides a rare glimpse into the emotional life of one of the supporting players--even if his gallant efforts to save her from Apollo's wooing result in a concussion or two. --Tom Keogh

"Amok Time"
Easily one of the best episodes from the original Star Trek series, "Amok Time" was written by the novelist Theodore Sturgeon, who came up with a story about a Vulcan mating cycle that occurs every seven years and drives the normally stolid, logical, pointy-eared humanoids wild. When Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is suddenly caught in the grip of pon farr, a crazy-making urge to mate, he sets a course for his home planet despite orders to the contrary from Captain Kirk (William Shatner). Kirk comes around, however, and accompanies Spock and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) to Vulcan, where Spock is to wed T'Pring (Arlene Martel) in an arranged marriage. But T'Pring formally rejects Spock, forcing a duel in which the captain must participate or let Spock die. There's high drama galore in this one, beginning with Spock's feverish savagery and extending to the fascinating complexity of Vulcan rituals, set against the eerie emptiness of the planet's landscape. For good measure, there's also the startling sight of Kirk and Spock fighting it out to the death. Supporting performances are terrific, including that of Celia Lovsky (the real-life wife of Peter Lorre) as the matriarch T'Pau. This is also the episode that gave birth to the split-fingered Vulcan salute (inspired by Nimoy's memories of the kohanin blessing at Jewish temples) and the phrase "live long and prosper." One of Trek's more highly charged episodes, you can feel a certain spontaneous energy here--indeed, some of the more inspired actors even made up their own lines. --Tom Keogh

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