Thursday, July 17, 2014


I recently watched LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD,  a third season episode of the original STAR TREK series.

 The show was circling the drain by this point in its' run. In this episode, you've got two magnificent hams chewing up every available inch of the scenery. Shatner, as in almost every other third season episode, seems virtually out of control. He's not so much playing the part of Captain Kirk as he's doing William Shatner's catalog of acting tics and gestures.

And guest star Frank Gorshin gives as good as he gets. His part as the half black-skinned, half white-skinned Commissioner Bele is part Gorshin, part The Riddler with a little bit of Kirk Douglas thrown in. I guess the director of the episode was so desperate to get usable footage in the can that he just said, "cut, print, that's fine, let's go to the next shot" after each over-the-top line reading from Shatner and Gorshin.

Of course, the biggest  problem here lies in the script, which strains mightily to be relevant in this "torn-from-the-headlines" tale of racial relations set in the 23rd century. But the worst moment in the entire episode comes when Kirk refers to a planet as being "in the southern quadrant of the galaxy."

Um, no, Captain, I don't think so. I never attended Starfleet Academy. I never beat the Kobyashi Maru (by cheating). I've never been in command of a Federation starship.

 But I'm pretty damn sure that there's no north, south, east or west in outer space.

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