Star Trek: the Original Series
Those of you who have not been following the blog should know that recently, I have attempted to indoctrinate the Pup into that bastion of geek culture, Star Trek: the Original Series. When last we observed my efforts, I’d made the potentially tragic mistake of exposing the Pup to an episode whose favoritism was based more upon a cherished camp-value ("Return of the Archons"), than of a more classic Trek value. The mission was in peril. The geek-daughter was ready to write off the entire venture as another failure, alongside Kung Fu and "Night of the Living Dead". I needed the most solid classic Trek episode I could find. Help me, Mark Lenard, you’re my only hope!
This episode has always been a personal favorite. Mark Lenard‘s Shakespearean-quality performance coupled with the Swiss-watch timing of the plot made this an episode to remember out of a series of memorable episodes. And say what you want about Bill Shatner, he held his own against an actor like Lenard in this episode. Don’t confuse a detached performance from a lame one. Shatner, you did well here.
The Pup’s Response
She was totally hooked, and has been ever since. The tension of this episode could be cut with a knife. The sympathy between Lenard’s primordial Romulan and Kirk was extremely effective. Ultimately, I think it was the cat-and-mouse/hunt-and-chase between Kirk and the unnamed Romulan commander (Lenard) which gave us both life-threateningly tension tempered with the compassion and understanding between commanding officers which gave the episode – and the series – its full weight. Since showing her this episode, the Pup has ever had only one response: "More! More!"