The second season in space

Published March 22, 2020

Captain Kirk

The enforced hibernation that the world is undergoing right now means I’ve managed to whip through the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series is super quick time. After highlighting five of my favourite episodes from the first series, it seems only right to do the same for the second.

I enjoyed this season more, mostly because the characters seemed more settled in themselves. The trio of Kirk, Spock and McCoy had more meaningful conversations alongside some fun banter and what appeared to be real, genuine friendships. There were some episodes that didn’t quite live up to my high expectations but mostly, I thought it was a great season, and here are five reasons why:

1. Mirror, Mirror

When transporting back to the ship, Kirk and friends are somehow thrust into a weird mirror image universe where everyone is basically horrible. It was fascinating to see what a cut-throat place a starship can be when everyone is power hungry and conniving to get to the top. The Enterprise only functions when people respect boundaries and are, relatively speaking, nice to each other.

2. The Doomsday Machine

I wasn’t completely convinced by the big bad in this episode, a planet eating thing, but it did throw up some interesting logistics. The Commodore who joined the party this time outranked our Captain and so dealing with the logistics of rank and command when someone is not acting in the best interests of everyone else was very interesting.

3. The Deadly Years

Similar to the last one, I thought this episode threw up some interesting ideas about how to deal with the chain of command. The captain was clearly debilitated, through no fault of his own, but at what point do you start to intervene - his memory going, making decisions difficult, but he’s still the captain.

4. Obsession

Confronting an enemy that has haunted you from so long ago, are you doing it out of revenge or because you think it is what’s right?

5. The Ultimate Computer

I was amazed how relevant this episode is, wherein a new computer is brought aboard the Enterprise to practice a war game, which requires very few personnel as the machine can do all the work. How much do we trust the machines around us, and what do we do when they a) take over everyone’s jobs and b) then go rogue and try and kill everyone?

Whilst there were lots of good stories in this series, I do have to ask: what’s the deal with that Tribbles episode? Fluffy things that ate a lot? Weird.

But hey, one more series to go to complete the set!

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