Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Star Trek 3x7 "Day of the Dove"

rating: ****

Memory Alpha summary

Following Kor  ("Errand of Mercy") and Koloth ("The Trouble with Tribbles"), the appearance of Kang in this episode completes the debuts of the big three Klingons featured in the series who would later appear in the Deep Space Nine episode "Blood Oath."

Like "Errand," "Day of the Dove" is about a conflict between Klingons and Kirk that revolves on weirdo manipulative aliens.  Being that as it may, it's a true highlight of the oft-maligned third season, showing a real flair for the budding Star Trek landscape, something the season did surprisingly often.

By this point, Klingons had appeared often enough that they weren't just familiar but a key component of series lore.  What's interesting is that it seems to anticipate the more nuanced role these traditional foes would develop over the course of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Next Generation, and DS9, where they weren't just the enemy and in fact could even cooperate with Kirk when necessary.
via Danger Mouse. Leading to this improbable image.
Where fans tend to associate diminished quality with the season and diluted concepts, an episode like "Day" suggests, rather, how the creators began to loosen up a little, in a good way.  Far too often you'll see a critic dismiss genre entertainment for taking itself too seriously.  I have no idea what that means.  But I remember that some of the best material from the second season ("Tribbles," "A Piece of the Action") had exactly this attitude of letting the concept breathe a little.  I do think as the season progressed, it became a little more utilitarian and thus didn't really capitalize on its best instincts, but such a trend suggests that if there had been a fourth season, arguably the best material of the series had been yet to come.  A thought.

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Michael Ansara

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