Star Trek 71: Whom Gods Destroy [Import]
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It's the supporting players who provide the most watchable performances in the 1969 "Whom Gods Destroy," one of the best episodes from Star Trek's final season on NBC. Running an errand to the planet Elba II, an inhospitable place housing a remote hospital for the hopelessly insane, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) discover that a longtime patient and Starfleet icon, Captain Garth (Steve Ihnat), has overtaken the facility. Suffering delusions of absolute power, Garth declares himself master of the universe, though his mastery fails to lure the rest of the Enterprise crew into a trap.
With Kirk and Spock subdued prisoners of the brutal Garth, the story opens to Ihnat's flamboyant yet sympathetic performance. You can see behind the character's crazy veneer to the bold starship commander whose exploits fired Kirk's imagination as a cadet. Equally good is Yvonne Craig as Garth's would-be queen, the very sexy Marta, a compulsive killer whose seductive dances, wayward intelligence, and exotic, green skin make her one of the most striking females from the original series. Newbie Trekkers will be happy to know that the story by Lee Erwin and Jerry Sohl clarifies a couple of biographical points about Kirk and Spock, including the captain's own reference to his Starfleet career track before becoming an explorer. --Tom Keogh
From the Back Cover
Garth, a criminally insane madman from planet Elba II, captures Kirk with the ultimate goal of taking over the Enterpriseand becoming master of the Universe.
Keye Luke (Governor Cory) is perhaps best known for playing Number One Son in the Charlie Chan films. He later starred as Master Po in the Kung Fuseries.
This episode establishes Spock as the first Vulcan to be admitted into Starfleet.
Top Customer Reviews
Garth has somehow been transformed into a shape-shifter (one of many far-fetched components of the plot), and takes the place of the governor, so when Kirk and Spock beam down, they are easily captured. After several extremely campy scenes, they of course escape and Garth is medicated, apparently on the road to recovery.
Nearly everything about the episode is an attempt to fill the allotted time. While the dance done by the green-skinned woman is very good, it is much longer than it had to be. Spock and Kirk's dialogue is much wordier than usual and the climactic scene where Spock is trying to decide which of the two "Captains" is the real Kirk, goes on much too long, and naturally involves Kirk fighting hand-to-hand. Spock is of course an expert in logic, so all he had to do is come up with a simple question that only the real Kirk would know. Even human students of logic could do that in a matter of seconds.
Garth has also invented an incredibly powerful explosive, so powerful that a single vial could destroy the planet. This would make it more powerful than anti-matter, making it an absurdity. When watching the episode, I wondered why this feature is even included.Read more ›
Much of the dialogue here is aimed at obfuscating plot inconsistencies and stretching out the thin storyline; first and second season episodes generally did not feel this way. Plot implausibilities were also reaching absurd proportions. The transporter / password subplot did not make sense on any level, so this ended up being nothing more than a Kirk in danger story. Spock's behavior during the fight scene between the two Kirks likewise was totally irrational (for lack of a better word).
A telling scene has Kirk and Spock seated, with Garth and his cohorts standing behind them.Read more ›
This episode also contains one of my favorite lines from the series which is said by Garth: "Don't beg Marta, it's degrading!"
Most recent customer reviews
Though true Star Trek fans are appaled at this episode, and I admit in many ways it is just plain dreadful, it is a lot of fun if you don't take it too seriously. Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2002
In "Whom Gods Destroy," Captain Kirk and Spock meet a legendary man named Garth who has turned evil since being in prison. Read morePublished on May 23 2001 by jao
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