When a colony is attacked by flying parasites, it’s up to the Enterprise Crew to put a stop to it! Originally broadcast on April 13, 1967 this is Operation…Annihilate!
Captain’s Log Stardate 3287.2
Getting word that the Deneva colony has been hit with some sort of plague of insanity, the Enterprise investigates to determine what is going on. Spurred with the fact that Kirk’s brother Sam and his family had been stationed to the planet, they arrive to find a strangely silent place that should be quite busy. The away team is soon attacked by a group of men who yell that they dont want to hurt anyone and eventually find Kirk’s Brother’s family alive but with Sam himself dead.
Aurelan, Sam’s wife, informs James that some creatures arrived that would attach themselves to people forcing them to build ships. She tells them about these strange creatures and, ultimately dies from extreme pain.. Soon Spock is attacked by one of the creatures and is taken back to the ship where McCoy finds a strand of tissue in Spocks wound that matches some that were found on Aurelan’s body.
Spock awakes and attempts to take the Enterprise out of orbit but, when he is stopped he finds a way to return to the planet with the intention of capturing one of the alien creatures in order to determine what it is doing. They soon find that these creatures are essentially a giant flying brain that attaches to living creatures in order to further their lives. They drive their hosts insane and them move to a new host. Determined to find a way to save the colonists, including Kirk’s own orphaned nephew, the crew discover that the creatures are vulnerable to UV light and deploy UV satellites above the planet to wipe them all out. During the test, Spock is temporarily blinded but it is his Vulcan inner eyelid that saves him from it being permanent. The Enterprise leaves orbit with the colony saved.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
For a generic SciFi adventure episode, this isn’t a bad one, but honestly, it’s also not the best in the series. While we do get a chance to ‘meet’ Jim Kirk’s brother Sam, the story itself is basically another monster-of-the-week but this time with a loose mystery of ‘what is driving the colonists mad’ storyline. We get a little action, a little suspense, but, the stakes doesn’t really feel as high as they should have felt even though it’s clear that this threat of madness is something that Starfleet has been tracking for some time. I almost wish that this madness had been mentioned or explored earlier leading up to this finale giving it a real sense of finality for the season, instead of a one and done episode dealing with Kirk’s short lived brother and his family.
What really bothers me about this episode is that, even after the deaths of Sam and Aurelan Kirk, we never really find out what happens to Jim Kirk’s Nephew Peter. He is just sort of forgotten by the end of the episode and, sadly never even referenced again in the entire series. In fact, he isn’t even alluded to again in any way, form or factor even though the young man had literally just lost his entire family. I wish we could have gotten some sort of closure for this character and his sudden abandonment seems like such a lost opportunity to me.
Overall, this is a lackluster and rather droll episode that really doesn’t do much for the overall narrative or even the history of the series as a whole. I am sure, at some point we will encounter the Parasite creatures again, but until then, lets just forget about them shall we?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn of the Vulcan inner eyelid.
- Sam Kirk is played by William Shatner but with a mustache…so the family resemblance is uncanny.
- The Powerman 5000 song Operate Annihilate from the album Tonight the Stars Revolt! was likely inspired by this episode.
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: Season 2 Ep 1 Catspaw
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Late To The Game 2/4/2022
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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