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Paramount Studios presents
Star Trek: The Original Series—Volume #5 (1966)

"I'm a scientist, trust me."
- Dr. Roger Korby (Michael Strong)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: December 14, 2001

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
Other Stars: Nichelle Nichols, Michael Strong, Majel Barrett, Sherry Jackson, Ted Cassidy, Morgan Woodward, James Gregory, Marianna Hill
Director: James Goldstone, Vincent McEveety

Manufacturer: Panasonic Disc Services Corp.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, dubious science)
Run Time: 01h:40m:43s
Release Date: November 23, 1999
UPC: 097366000577
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B C+AB+ D

DVD Review

"Mr. Spock, have you ever been engaged?" Nurse Christine Chapel

Star Trek: The Original Series-Volume #5, Episode 10

What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Stardate: 2712.4
Airdate: October 20, 1966
Directed by: James Goldstone

The first of two episodes featuring scientists run amok, this episode finds the Enterprise sent to locate the long-missing Dr. Roger Korby (Michael Strong), the "Pasteur of archaeological medicine," whatever that means. We are introduced to Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett) in this episode. Chapel happens to be Korby's fianceé, and hopes to see him again, since his last contact was five years earlier, just after discovering a set of caverns on Exo-III. Korby, when located, asks that only Kirk and Chapel beam down, due to the nature of his discoveries. When Kirk brings two security men with him, they are promptly dispatched by the murderous android Ruk (Lurch himself, Ted Cassidy), created by an ancient race. Korby has discovered their method of creating androids and duplicates Kirk in order to take his operations to another planet where his android army can infiltrate the populace.

There are some interesting facets here, such as Chapel's visible irritation at discovering that Korby has kept himself company with a scantily-clad android woman, Andrea (Sherry Jackson). Even more amusing is watching Kirk, who as he speaks to Andrea is clearly not looking at her face. Korby's attempts to justify his android "geisha," as Chapel puts it, is pretty entertaining as well. It's always nice to see Lurch, and he delivers a few mighty wallops to the hapless captain.

Random stuff: Not only a shirtless Kirk, but pantsless as well. Make that two shirtless, pantsless Kirks. Plenty of android smooches as well; it seems that the captain isn't all that discriminating and will take women alive or mechanical. Ruk for some unknown reason is wearing a Zippy the Pinhead type muu-muu; apparently the ancient ones had serious fashion sense problems. Spock appropriately takes offense at being called a "half-breed." Not very PC, Captain. Kirk seems to be under the impression that Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan were intent on programming people or replacing them with androids. What a nitwit. Body count: 2 red shirts.

This episode rates three Enterprises out of five.



I must now use an ancient Vulcan technique to probe into Van Gelder's mind. Spock (Leonard Nimoy)

Star Trek: The Original Series-Volume #5, Episode 11

Dagger of the Mind
Stardate: 2715.1
Airdate: November 3, 1966
Directed by: Vincent McEveety

The Enterprise stops by Tantalus, a penal planet, to beam down some supplies. When they beam back up a box bound for Stockholm, they find a stowaway, Van Gelder (Morgan Woodward). He's dangerous and crazy, but when they capture him, it seems that he's not a prisoner, but one of the keepers! Kirk goes to investigate along with Dr. Helen Noel (Marianna Hill), who happens to have been the captain's conquest at the last Christmas party at the science lab. Oops. It seems that Dr. Adams (James Gregory), the keeper of the colony, has been working on a neural neutralizer, which he claims Van Gelder tested on himself. Kirk stupidly decides to try it out for himself, with predictably disastrous results.

This episode is best known for introducing the Vulcan Mind Meld, which Spock uses to find out what's blocking Van Gelder from explaining what dangers face Kirk (unfortunately, Spock doesn't think of this until after the captain has already been strapped into the neutralizer, but oh well). It's amusing to see Kirk get his comeuppance by having to deal professionally with one of his cast-off romances, lending him a human quality that is usually absent. Muchas smoochas here, especially when Dr. Adams programs the neurally neutralized Kirk to believe that he's deeply in love with Dr. Noel. Oops. James Gregory makes a great villain, as usual, gleefully inflicting torture. You've gotta love that in a penal colony director.

Random stuff: Kirk keeps his shirt on. The neural neutralizer machinery shows up again on Volume 36 in episode 71, Whom Gods Destroy. Dr. Noel looks good in her micromini, so it's no wonder that Kirk got jolly with Noel last Xmas (ouch). Amusingly, Spock warns Bones that he (McCoy) won't be affected by the mind meld on Van Gelder; it's hard to imagine why he thought that warning necessary, but I suppose it increases the tension or something. No redshirts are killed, but three are knocked unconscious with a single blow. Glass jaws are apparently a requisite for being a red shirt, in addition to poor self-preservation skills.

This episode rates two and one-half Enterprises out of five.



Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Once again, the DVD version of these programs puts every other format, including the original broadcasts to shame. Although the special effects shots look awful, the picture is quite nice overall. Color is excellent and blacks are rich and deep. This is probably better than these were ever intended to look, since DVD detail allows us to see the seams in Lurch's—I mean Rak's—makeup, and the snowdrifts on Exo-III are revealed to be sheets of fabric!

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: For the most part, directionality of the 5.1 audio is fairly subtle. However, in Little Girls, the sound of the rotating android production machine sweeps in a circular motion through all speakers. This is a bit on the flashy side, but it works well enough to tolerate. Hiss and noise are practically nonexistent, though as usual the music is a little on the shrill side.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
2 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: As is par for the course on this series, the extras are minimal. We do get some less-than-excellent quality trailers for these episodes, and fairly thorough (though slightly paraphrased) subtitling. The booklet contains a few trivia factoids, and that's about it.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Another round of beautifully restored but rather silly episodes, featuring science (or is that scientists?) gone mad. Will Kirk ever learn that requests that he beam down alone signal trouble? No, probably not. He's clearly not trainable.

 


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