"Operation: Annihilate" is undoubtedly the only science fiction drama in history in which the requisite Scary Monster resembles a three-dollar item from a novelty store--specifically, a rubber puddle of fake vomit. Moreover, the shooting locale for much of the story, which is set in a research community on the Federation planet Deneva, brings to mind the plush, friendly, L.A. exotica of Frank Capra's Shangri-La in Lost Horizon rather than an extraterrestrial outpost. Having said all that, however, this episode is deservedly a minor classic that becomes most interesting in its final act. Rushing the Enterprise to Deneva is Captain Kirk (William Shatner), whose brother Sam and his family are among the victims of an unknown invader that feeds on human nervous systems, driving people wild with pain and ultimately killing them. Once arriving, Kirk's problems are compounded when Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is attacked by one of the nasty "flying pancake" killers (blobby critters of the aforementioned fake-vomit variety). The script (by Steven W. Carabatsos) feels as if it did not survive the series' editorial committee process intact. There's a certain amount of obvious padding in the action, while next to nothing is made, dramatically speaking, of Kirk's discovery of his brother's fate. The best bits are reserved for a story twist in which Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) develops a cure for Spock's ailment that is almost as bad as the affliction. --Tom KeoghFrom the Back Cover:
Kirk finds his brother Sam dead, and the people of the planet Deneva are victims of an epidemic of mass insanity.
If you look closely when Kirk rolls over his dead brother Sam, you'll see that Sam is William Shatner with grayed hair and a mustache!
Child actor Craig Hundley (now composer Craig Hundley) later appeared in "And The Children Shall Lead" and composed the "Genesis Project" music for Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
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