MORTAL KOMBAT!!!!! Or rather Mortal Trekbat? Anyhow, the crew find themselves in the fight for their lives on the episode that originally aired on January 5, 1968. This is The Gamesters of Triskelion.
Captain’s Log Stardate 3211.7
Kirk, Uhura and Chekov beam down to a planet to conduct a routine check on an installation when they are suddenly taken prisoner by alien warriors. They soon discover they have been taken to some sort of prison where they have been fitted with ‘Collars of Obedience’ and will be forced to fight for their lives in an arena.
While the Enterprise searches for their crew members, Kirk must fight round after round making every attempt to keep his crew members safe while trying to survive. All the while disembodied voices, known only as The Providers, run the show prompting Kirk to discover who runs this horrific game.
Kirk soon finds himself involved with a fellow prisoner named Shahna, who is really being used by the Providers as a ‘thrall’ and uses her feelings for him to distract her in order to free Uhura and Chekov. The Providers intervene and make a deal with Kirk that if he fights the three other thralls in hand to hand combat, they will let Kirk and his people go. He agrees and after beating all but one thrall, he is forced to fight Shahna. He wins despite not wanting to fight her and the Providers let them all go.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Oooof. Another bad one. Well, that’s not entirely fair, this is just a very basic and derivative one that really has no redeeming qualities. If anything, this episode is the equivalent a filler episode on an anime series. It’s basic in every way and serves no purpose to the overall narrative while providing some quasi-interesting narrative that, unfortunately, does nothing to further even a little character development.
In fact, this episode goes to great lengths to not only be a terrible narrative but also dives so deep into it’s misogynistic nature that it languishes there to a fault. Everything from the extremely dated ‘sexy warrior’ costumes to even the idea of slaves being ‘matched’ with each other screams of being born of someone’s horrible sycophantic wet dream.
I mean, really, It’s that bad. So bad in fact that this doesn’t even warrant a full breakdown or a deep exploration. It was a pain just getting through it for this review series and honestly, I don’t want to bore you to death. So….my suggestion, leave the Gamesters of Triskelion to themselves and skip this episode at all costs.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- I still do not understand why the senior officers insist on going on these away missions if all they ever do is get captured or get put into danger. You’d think they would learn something from this.
- We never find out who the Providers are and there is no real resolution to this episode in any way. I like to think that the Providers were early Ferengi betting on slave battles. It just makes more sense that way.
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: Obsession
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Late To The Game 3/16/2022
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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