REVIEWED ITEM: Star Trek® Original Series DVD Volume 26: Return to Tomorrow © / Patterns of Force ©
RETURN TO TOMORROW © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:
Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: Coping with human frailties; taking risks
Milestone Moment: First appearance of Diana Muldaur on Star Trek, as Ann Mulhall. She would appear in a later episode of the original series ("Is There in Truth no Beauty?"), and spend the second season on NextGen as Dr. Crusher's replacement.
Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: None
The rehashing of the aliens-who-take-human-form-and-start-acting-human-but-cannot-handle-it story (also covered in 'By any Other Name' and 'Requiem for Methuselah') doesn't exactly make this particular outing a paragon of originality. Fortunately, Shatner's exaggerated gestures and pantomimes during the scene where Sargon's consciousness takes over Kirk's body helps lighten things up quite a bit. I also loved the piping up of the Star Trek love theme when Kirk grabs his first glance at Ms. Mulhall. Man, the guy just ain't got no self-control at all, does he! It's like he's the Bill Clinton of Starfleet- well, except he has far better taste in women!
Oh, and let's not forget his "risk is our business" spiel, which I consider to be THE most overdone bit of heavy-handed monologue in the whole series! Talk about driving your point home with a sledgehammer...
PATTERNS OF FORCE © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:
Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: Cultural contamination; the horrific result of a cause gone wrong; the folly of hatred
All right my fellow Trekkies, let's go down our list:
A planet of 1930s-era mobsters (A Piece of the Action)- check.