It has been a long time since I wrote one of these. I am going to put it down to my thoughts being a jumbled mess. I have several drafts but I have now decided to go with a simple plan. Sit at my Freewrite – write for 15 minutes and then edit and post. Will it work? Who can say.
Shore Leave is not one of my favourite episodes. That said it is not actually bad. This is a show where the ship would one day be taken over by a group of children. The children were controlled by an alien, played by a lawyer, and dressed in a shower curtain but still. In that company everything else is excellent.
The problem here is that the story has little intrigue. It feels like a lot of running around until the Caretaker appears and explains what is happening.
I do like the teaser. McCoy spotting the White Rabbit and Alice is a great WTF moment – it effectively sets up the mystery and the episode demands to be watched.
I like how Spock manoeuvres Kirk into going down to the planet.
“I picked this up from Dr. McCoy’s log. We have a crewmember who’s showing signs of stress and fatigue. Reaction time down nine to twelve percent, associational reading norm minus three.“
“That’s much too low a rating.“
“He’s becoming irritable and quarrelsome, yet he refuses to take rest and rehabilitation. Now, he has that right, but we’ve found —“
“A crewman’s right ends where the safety of the ship begins. That man will go ashore on my orders. What’s his name?“
“James Kirk. Enjoy yourself, Captain. It’s an interesting planet. You’ll find it very pleasant. Very much like your Earth. Scouts have detected no animals, artefacts or force fields of any kind. Only peace, sunshine and good air. You’ll have no problems.“Spock and Kirk – Shore Leave (Star Trek: The Original Series)
The ending presents an interesting idea. The race that built this place are highly advanced but they still play. In my opinion little is done with this. I would like to see less of the tiger and fighter planes and more of the exploration of this idea.
Obviously showing an alien factory would have been prohibitively expensive and what we are left with is a story that doesn’t give us much of an insight into any of the characters.
Kirk gets into a fight, gets his shirt ripped, and meets one of his former lovers – or a facsimile of her anyway. If they added in talking a computer to death that would be the Kirk set. I do have to concede that those clichés were not as established at this point.
Yeoman Barrows continues the TOS strange approach to women – at least in my book. This is a woman who has joined the military (Starfleet is a military I don’t care what Roddenberry or Captain Picard says) and wishes to explore space – and yet she still has the fantasy of a princess and a knight in shinning armour.
I am not saying that these things are completely antithetical. It is perfectly possible to like things that don’t feel like they go together. However having watched all of TOS they certainly like to find ways to get the female characters into fancy (and sometimes impractical) dresses.
Sulu finds a gun on this planet and immediately starts firing it – which doesn’t seem like the best idea.
I like that this shore leave is taking place on a random planet rather than just a Federation port. I nice idea that shows the vastness of space and gives a real feeling of being out in the unknown. (Even if it doesn’t completely make sense. Finding an M class planet when you need one is an amazing stroke of luck.) Well that is 15 minutes and that is all I have to say. See you next time.
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.