Enterprise encounters a seemingly omnipotent being who just wants to play. Originally broadcast on January 12, 1967 this is The Squire of Gotos.
Captain’s Log Stardate 2124.5
Enterprise encounters a strange phenomenon but, when they try to go around it, it vanishes. Soon members of the crew begin vanishing from the ship only to encounter a man named Trelane who calls himself The Squire of Gothos. Trelane insists that his guests behave themselves and demonstrates that he has unworldly powers to enforce his rule. Trelane begins playing dangerous games with his captured ‘friends’ only for Kirk to spoil the man’s fun forcing an angry Trelane to send them back.
Thinking it’s over, Enterprise continues on only to encounter Trelane again, who kidnaps Kirk to face trial so that he can be executed. Kirk gives Trelane a challenge by conducting a hunt, which Trelane takes literally and begins hunting Kirk. Trelane captures Kirk and Kirk realizes that Trelane has no intentions to do harm, just wants to play with Kirk and his crew like toys. Soon Trelane’s parents arrive and take him back returning Kirk to Enterprise and explaining that Trelane is just a child who clearly needs some discipline.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Outside of Charlie X, Trelane is possibly the single most powerful being the Enterprise crew has met thus far. Not only can this being literally control anything and everything, he is very familiar with his powers and, while technically a child, is quite old compared to the ships crew. What I love about this episode is that the first time someone watches this one, they have no expectations as to where it could go. Trelane’s powers could literally come from anywhere, they could be technologically based, magical or otherworldly, and the episodes even throws in a red herring to make you believe that Trelane is nothing but an technological trickster only for it to flip and reveal that he is not unlike the later trickster Q himself.
Speaking of the other trickster Q, the parallels are uncanny for sure, from the near omnipitant powers to even the court room drama played out in the end, there is no doubt that Trelane is in fact a member of the Q continuum and, could actually be Q or QJr themselves which would make for some fun connections. I do love how they would later cast an actor, John DeLancie, who looked rather similar to the original Trelane actor William Campbell. While it has never been formally confirmed that Trelane is in fact a Q, well, as far as I am concerned this episode marks the first appearance of the tricky members of the continuum.
Overall, this is a tremendous entry for this series that really does a tremendous job exploring the crew facing off against a truly powerful almost godlike opponent. While Kirk does ultimatly get the best of Trelane, giving time for Trelan’s parents to arrive to put this ‘child’ in his place, the episode does feel like there are some actual stakes for once and not just a ‘monster of the week’. Sadly, unless you count Q, we never see Trelane or his people again…perhaps the folks running all things Star Trek will finally make the connection with the next appearance of Q on Picard season 2? One can hope.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Apparently bridge officers get coffee service and in the future, Styrofoam is still used.
- No one actually dies in this one either. Seems they have been playing it pretty safe so far.
- We meet Lt DeSalle for the first time who will be seen again in a few more episodes.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Arena
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Late To The Game 1/10/2022
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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