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Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 2 [DVD]
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All 26 episodes from the second season of the Star Trek series that started it all. 'Amok Time' sees Mr Spock behaving most illogically: Kirk deduces that he must be returned to Vulcan for an ancient mating ritual. In 'Who Mourns for Adonais?', a giant hand grabs hold of the Enterprise, and its owner claims to be the Greek god Apollo. 'The Changeling' sees a space probe called NOMAD enter the Enterprise after mistaking Kirk for its creator. In 'Mirror, Mirror', Kirk and a landing party are transported into a savage parallel universe where Spock has a beard. In 'The Apple', Kirk and friends discover the people of Gamma Trianguli VI enslaved to a despotic computer shaped like a serpent's head. In 'The Doomsday Machine', the Enterprise crew rescue Captain Decker from the crippled USS Constellation. In 'Catspaw', Kirk and his crew encounter the mysterious but deadly aliens Sylvia and Korob. In 'I, Mudd', the galactic conman Harry Mudd is found living on a planet surrounded by beautiful androids. 'Metamorphosis' sees Kirk, Spock and an ailing Federation Commissioner forced to land on a planet where they meet Zefram Cochrane, inventor of the warp drive. In 'Journey to Babel', the Enterprise accompanies a number of diplomats to a conference, one of them being Spock's father, Sarek. In 'Friday's Child', the Enterprise crew race to prevent the Klingons forming an alliance with the inhabitants of Capella IV. 'The Deadly Years' sees the crew of the Enterprise subjected to rapid ageing through an alien disease, and a senile Kirk becomes unable to command the ship competently. In 'Obsession', a murderous cloud attacks the Enterprise, and Kirk realises he has encountered it before. In 'Wolf in the Fold', Scotty finds himself the chief suspect in a series of female murders. In 'The Trouble with Tribbles', Kirk and crew find themselves besieged with small furry animals while guarding a consignment of grain. 'The Gamesters of Triskelion' sees Kirk, Uhura and Chekov captured by powerful aliens, and forced to become gladiators for their entertainment. In 'A Piece of the Action', Kirk and company discover a planet where the culture is based on Earth's Chicago gang scene. In 'The Immunity Syndrome', the Enterprise discovers a huge space-born being that destroyed the USS Intrepid. In 'A Private Little War', Kirk discovers war on the planet Neural. In 'Return to Tomorrow', the crew of the Enterprise encounter some energy beings who want to borrow their bodies to help them construct androids. In 'Patterns of Force', Kirk finds that the Prime Directive has been broken, and a planet has developed in an unnatural way so that the society reflects that of Nazi Germany. In 'By Any Other Name', the ship is hijacked by a scouting party from Andromeda. In 'The Omega Glory', the Enterprise comes across the USS Exeter, a missing starship where the crew have been wiped out by a mysterious virus. In 'The Ultimate Computer', Dr Daystrom uses his new computer to play war games, but unfortunately the super-computer malfunctions - and begins to act on its own. 'Bread and Circuses' sees the discovery of a civilisation based on the Roman Empire on Earth. Finally, in 'Assignment: Earth', the Enterprise travels back to the 1960s, where it discovers an alien presence trying to alter time.
One of the most popular and influential shows in the history of television, for many viewers the original Star Trek (1966-9) defines good science fiction: however much it tries to be about the future, it cannot help but reflect the values of its own time, and Star Trek's vision was very much a product of creator Gene Roddenberry's 1960s liberal-humanist idealism. Conceived at the height of the Cold War and during the escalation of the Vietnam conflict, his was a radical vision of a world where national and racial differences have been put aside and all people work together. With a policy of non-intervention in the affairs of other civilisations, and violence only as a last resort, Star Trek embodied a lost dream, a fantasy of what America could have been had John F Kennedy not been assassinated in 1963. Captain James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner) had the middle name of a Roman emperor, but otherwise shared his initials with the late president, and both were young, good-looking, womanising, charismatic popular heroes. If Kirk didn't uphold truth, justice and the American way from the White House, a big white starship was the next best thing. There was even a Russian, Mr Chekov (Walter Koenig), on the bridge, and the show delivered network TV's first inter-racial kiss between Kirk and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols). Even though there was a white American male in control, it was still all a bit much for 1960s mainstream TV, hence the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, boldly going on its five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, only lasted three seasons and 72 episodes before being cancelled in 1969, the year man first walked on the moon.
While the once-ground-breaking special effects now look routine, and the then-radical politics have now become part of the politically correct global mainstream, Star Trek retains an enduring popularity due to its strong storytelling--the show employed such top science fiction writers as Robert Bloch, Harlan Elllison, Richard Matheson, Norman Spinrad and Theodore Sturgeon--and admirable characters. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and Scotty (James Doohan), Sulu (George Takei), Kirk, Chekov and Uhura remain icons for a world short of real heroes: loyal to the end, honest and utterly dedicated, these were the friends and colleagues who week after week trusted each other with their lives. Devoid of cynicism and self-interest the crew of the USS Enterprise never, ever let anyone down, and ultimately that is a very big reason for Star Trek's enduring popularity. -- Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.