Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before
We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:
- Synopsis or summary of the episode
- Story structure
- Character analysis
- Our likes and dislikes
The synopsis: We have the US’ Enterprise orbiting a planet called Gamma Trianguli VI, and a landing party has beamed down on the planet’s surface. This landing party has Spock, Kirk and Chekov.
There’s a new character called Martha Landon and a lot of red shirts, at least three or four of them, and McCoy. They go down to this planet and it looks a lot like a peaceful garden of paradise, except for the fact that the sky is a violent orange, but we shall ignore that for now. In any case, they’re down there, they’re examining this planet. The temperature is a very beautiful 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Everything is very temperate. There’s a lot of greenery. It’s very lush. It’s beautiful. But as is a case with planets like these, there are always hidden secrets. As they wander, one of the red shirts is killed by a peculiar plant that turns in his direction and fires darts at him.
It kills him instantly. And then now Kirk is disturbed because there is danger on this planet and it’s not as peaceful as it looks. Kirk has already lost a man. Scotty reports from the ship that something has gone wrong with the ship. The ship is losing power from the anti-matter pods, and they’re not able to use the transporter to get the ground crew back onboard the ship, and this is a problem. So, while this is going on, Kirk and the crew have to stay down there, examine the planet, and Spock also reports that there’s some sort of humanoid following and they have to figure out what that is, and they have to find a way to stay down there and stay alive while Scott does whatever repairs he can do on the Enterprise in space.
Spock finds a peculiar rock that looks strange. It looks attractive. There are multiple colors on it, but as he tosses it aside, he finds that it explodes like a landmine and things go quickly downhill from there because more red shirts are killed with these landmines and then they find that there’s a village nearby that they should not interfere with according to the prime directive, but they may have to anyway. They find the humanoid trailing them and Kirk gives him a punch, which makes him cry, for some reason. This humanoid is a strange looking, coppery skinned person with white hair and a pair of antenna sticking out of his neck and a lot of war paint. And this humanoid is apparently a speaker and a listener of some entity called Vaal, which controls the planet. And they also learn that Vaal can control not only the humanoid, but he also controls the weather.
He can change it in the blink of an eye. Kirk and the crew, they go to this village. They find a group of very strange and childlike people who thinks Spock’s name is very funny. They try to integrate with the people there, but it’s very difficult because there are so child like there are no children there. So obviously there are a lot of things missing. It’s feeding time for Vaal. They want to go and see what this Vaal is. Vaal is a stone snake head that’s dozens of feet tall with a yawning, gaping mouth. The villagers of this planet go in there, give Vaal some sort of nourishment and keep it active.
And then Spock finds that there are a lot of subterranean frequencies coming from under the planet’s surface and it’s spread out over a large area. So they come to the conclusion that Vaal is some sort of a computer. It is not only draining the Enterprise’s power, from down here. It has also kept the villagers in some sort of fugue for about 10,000 years, and there’s been absolutely no change in that civilization for about 10,000 years. It’s a stagnant civilization. And now because of these outsiders, the villagers start picking up different, more bold habits, like they have no concept of love or romance, and then they find Chekov and the ensign kind of getting very friendly with each other, and then they try to mimic that, which makes Vaal very angry because he has forbidden all such interactions.
And he gives orders to Akuta, who is his listener, to have the landing party killed. But of course, these villagers have no idea how to kill anybody. They kill one red shirt because the red shirts have to be killed. One red shirt is killed. That’s the last of the red shirts. Everybody else is not a red shirt. The villagers look physically very strong, but they’re absolute weaklings. They cannot handle any sort of pressure. Their temperament is childlike. So the landing crew of four or five manage to overpower these people. They keep them in a hut and then they go to Vaal to try and deactivate it.
And Kirk with a little technical knowhow and some wizardry manages to get Scotty from the Enterprise to fire phasers at Vaal, forcing Vaal to drain all his energy, trying to defend itself. And then short circuit itself, which is, which is a very short scene towards the end. Then they go back to the Enterprise and all as well. And the, basically you have Kirk and McCoy as usual, trying to rag Spock, who’s naturally very confused because he does not understand human humor.
That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!
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- Intro music: Music from anchor.fm
- Shotcut for editing the podcast
- References: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/