It’s the return of the Klingons and this time, they want to mine! Originally broadcast on December 1, 1967 this is Friday’s Child.
Captain’s Log Stardate 3497.2
Enterprise arrives at Capella IV to negotiate mining rights with the locals but it seems the Klingons have arrived first and have been stoking the easily angered locals into a fury. Now with the Capellan society nearing a breaking point and the Klingons vying for a way to mine the planet Kirk and his crew find themselves in a situation where they have to help out. Soon the Enterprise itself is lured away from the planet by Klingons, essentially trapping Kirk and his team on the planet below. Kirk’s team eventually defeat the Klingons and manage to introduce a new Teer (the cultural leader) on Capella IV who’s mother, Eleen, begins to work to reunify the people. The new Teer is named, of course, ‘Leonard James’ after Kirk and McCoy.
Is this a ‘good’ episode?:
Friday’s Child is an interesting episode showing, once again, Kirk, Spock and McCoy facing a life threatening circumstance on a planet they have come to negotiate on. Sure, it’s rather formulaic with some classic ‘culture/language’ barriers in place, but then again, this is early Star Trek and 60’s scifi so I have to keep reminding myself to look at these through that lens.
Looking at it from that perspective, this is actually a pretty clever multilayered story with Kirk’s team facing potential death while initiating negotiations, while the Enterprise itself is dealing with a potential distress call that turns out to be a trap. Not only that, Kirk and his team are faced with managing what is essentially a revolution that they kinda sorta caused (not without a Klingon’s influence of course). The problem lies with the fact that it is clear that the citizens of Capella IV are a prewarp civilization. This is an issue as it completely violates the prime directive in every way as, even with the existence of needed mining opportunities, the Federation would have banned any and all contact with this species. Sure, they would probably have tried to prevent the Klingons from involving themselves as well, but, this should absolutely not have been allowed in any way from the start. Sadly, this is well before the firm establishment of the Prime Directive rules as they have become known, but there is so much potential that is left hanging.
Overall, not a terrible episode. Certainly one that has it’s merits showing Kirk’s distrust of Klingons and his dedication to his mission and his friends. It’s an episode full of action, intrigue and danger, that works. Outside of the fact that the prime directive is smashed to pieces and we get an early more Romulan-like Klingon, it’s passable and not a terrible entry to the franchise.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Kirk and Spock use their communicators as weapons that cause ‘sonic’ disruptions and eventually an avalanche.
- They also fashion bows and arrows and know how to use them rather effectively.
- McCoy delivers a baby.
- Enterprise faces off with a Klingon ship with Scotty in command. I have to admit, Dude is determined and dedicated.
- Chekov claims that the phrase ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’ was invented in Russia. Interestingly, according to Star Trek history, Russia doesnt exist by this time period as neither does the United States.
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: Who Mourns for Adonais?
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Late To The Game 2/11/2022
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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