"Star Trek, Vol. 23: Private Little / Gamesters (Full Screen)" [Import]
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"A Private Little War," Ep. 45 - Kirk and company beam down to a primitive planet visited by Kirk 13 years ago. But some of the once-peaceful natives now have sophisticated weapons, courtesy of the Klingons. "The Gamesters of Triskelion," Ep. 46 - Kirk, Uhura and Chekov are enslaved on the planet Triskelion. There they are trained in the art of combat so that their unseen masters, the "Providers," can make wagers on the outcome.
Top Customer Reviews
A Private Little War is a slightly improved remake of Friday's Child (Volume 16). In this episode, the overall tone is darker, the parallel to the Vietnam conflict is driven home more clearly, and the ending is more ambiguous--fitting, considering how the real Vietnam War ended. Booker Bradshaw is featured in his first of two appearances as Dr. M'Benga, a specialist in Vulcan medicine.
The Gamesters of Triskellion is one of the weakest episodes of the Original Series. Kirk, Uhura, and Chekov are zapped several light years from their original destination, dressed in kinky S&M obedience collars, and assigned drill thralls--essentially companion slaves (poor Chekov's drill thrall looks like a drag queen from the Jerry Springer show). Kirk once again gets the girl, and lectures the "advanced" race on the errors of their ways. This plotline has been examined--more effectively--in The Cage and Bread & Circuses. The saving grace of this episode is that Chekov and Uhura are at last given more to do that recite "Course plotted" of "Hailing Frequencies Open."
The sound and picture are up to the standards of the other issues of this series, but because of the weak writing, this DVD is recommended only to die-hard Star Trek fans.
The Gamesters of Triskelion-This episode, in which the enslaved crew are forced by giant brains to engage in arena combat, was a big step down from prior episodes. In fact, I would argue that the drop in quality attributed to the 3rd season really started here; only one of ten remaining second season shows was truly strong (A Piece of the Action). I for one would take the first ten shows of the 3rd season over the remaining ten from the second season.
But that's another story. The Gamesters of Triskelion is a very nasty episode. In addition to violence for it's own sake, there is the strong suggestion that Uhura is violated as the show fades to commercial. It's really unforgivable that the subject is never adressed in the rest of the episode. We also have one of the true bimbos of Trek in the nubile Shana, who is made to utter some truly stupid lines. There isn't much going for this episode; with a bit less action, it would belong in the latter part of season three.
Tidbit: Angelique Pettijohn, who played Shana, went on to adult film fame. (2 stars)
A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:
Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: Maintaining a balance of power to preserve both sides; cultural contamination
Notable Gaffe/Special Defect: In the long shots of Kirk battling the mugato, it's fairly apparent that the good captain has been replaced with a stunt stand-in.
Historical Milestone: The first (and so far the only) appearance of the dreaded mugato!
Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: None
There ain't too much I can say 'bout this particular show, mainly 'cuz I had quite a bit o' trouble tryin' to figure what to discuss and opine about! All I can say is that the healing ceremony scene between Nona and Jimmers after the mugato attack seems almost- well, kinda naughty, if you get my drift. It's a scene that lends credence to those Hollywood legends regarding Gene Roddenberry's libido, and how he'd try to write subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) sexual undertones into his work. Then again, it could just be some amazing coincidence. Yeah, RIGHT...
Oh yes- Spock manages to recover from a gunshot wound that would've been fatal had he been fully human. That's right, kiddies- you're treated to yet another showcase of his amazingly different (and highly resilient) anatomy that the show's writers loved to exploit at least three times a season! I guess you could say that Spock is the Timex of Star Trek: he takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!Read more ›
"A Private Little War" is Trek's take on what was then our expanding participation in Viet Nam. Here, Kirk and crew journey to an idyllic Eden of a world populated by noble nomads and settled villagers and, unfortunately for everybody, fair game for the Klingon empire. Though barely on the edge of the industrial revolution, villagers are now armed with flintlocks, and have engaged in a genocidal war against the nomads -a noble band led by the heroic Tyree. A close friend of Kirk's on his last sojourn their, Tyree allows Kirk to hide within his tribe while he and McCoy investigate Klingon backing of the villagers. Spock is unluckily struck by one of the primitive flintlocks and spends much of the episode in the Enterprise's ICU. Down below, between ducking Klingon's, Kirk and McCoy bitterly debate the morality of bringing the tribes into technological parity with the villagers, with Kirk in favor of giving Tyree's people a fighting chance, and McCoy arguing how that would only prolong a bloody and suicidal war (almost a completely win-win situation for the Klingons).
This was a great episode, deftly referring both to Viet Nam and treatment of indigenous tribes in 19th century America. McCoy especially shines in his moments arguing with the Captain, while the script gives Kirk the coldly logical position normally reserved for Spock (it would probably have been too cold; perhaps that's why they had him shot down in the opening scene). Also look for 1960's TV fixture Nancy Kovack as Nona, Tyree's bewitching wife. Kovack had a recurring role as Darrin Steven's former flame on "Bewitched", exposing her to all sorts of nose-twitching witchcraft. As Nona, a "Kunutu" woman, she now gets to cast the spells.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Two of Star Trek's second season episodes that are quite memorable appear on the Volume 23 of this DVD collection. Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2002 by Jared Insell
Shanya (Angelique Pettyjohn) rubs lips with Kirk in "Gamesters"
Hey! Hands off, she's mine! Read more
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