Monday, March 2, 2015

The Animated Series 1x11 "The Terratin Incident"

rating: *

Memory Alpha summary

Honestly, if Deep Space Nine hadn't also done an episode where the crew shrinks ("One Little Ship"), I'd be tempted to dismiss "The Terratin Incident" as completely skippable.

And there you are, too, what happens for the majority of the episode: the crew shrinks, making various comments about their predicament.  It's exactly the kind of episode you'd expect from a show that can get away with anything without worrying about the budget.  The later (and in fact final) episode "The Counter-Clock Incident" features a similarly silly premise, the crew aging backward all the way to infants! but at least features a guest character who can carry the dramatic weight that otherwise keeps the action grounded in something fans can take a little more seriously.

via Tumblr.  Look at the size of that Kirk!  (Best I got.)
You have to wait until the end of the episode for any other element to be featured, which actually isn't that bad.  Honestly, a lot of otherwise bad stories, not just from Star Trek, could easily be redeemed if the good stuff weren't buried.  In this instance, "Terratin" turns into a kind of Kirk version of Brainiac from Superman lore.  Brainiac is a collector of worlds, famously creating the Bottle City of Kandor in the midst of Krypton's last days.  Unlike Brainiac, Kirk is doing the Terratins a favor.

Some allusions could be made to other franchise adventures in population relocation, but none of them like this.  

Otherwise, this is a silly episode.  It's a prime reason why most fans have a hard time taking the series seriously.  But then "One Little Ship" had to happen later.  And so we have yet another reason to reappraise the show's creative decisions, for good and otherwise.  

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Nichelle Nichols
Majel Roddenberry
James Doohan

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