Star Trek S1E09 – Dagger of the Mind

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgThis is more like it. After several episodes of creepy behaviour by characters, we get one where creepy behaviour is expected. But it was surprisingly lacking in that creepiness. But this episode has some fond memories for me.

Season 1, Episode 9: Dagger of the Mind

Original Air Date: November 3, 1966

Stardate 2715.1

Planet: Tantalus V

Featured Alien: None

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura

Main Guest Characters: Dr. Tristan Adams (James Gregory), Dr. Simon van Gelder (Morgan Woodward), Lt. Helen Noel (Marianna Hill), Lethe (Susanne Wasson)

Things I Noticed

Right off the start, the cargo beamed up from the planet is destined for Stockholm, Eurasia. Interesting.

On the bridge, the log recording device looks like a big black tape recorder, and it even has leather straps. How old fashioned.

The first time Kirk sees Dr. Noel, it’s a moment of “Oh my god, not her.” But she’s portrayed as being very beautiful, and Kirk seems quite uncomfortable. But they know each other. It’s actually a fairly humourous moment.

As this is the remastered version, the surface of the planet is quite interesting, including a view of the rings of the planet. Nice touch.

Kirk and Noel embrace in the penal colony’s elevator when it suddenly goes down. I’m not sure if that would be the first response of military officers in a situation like that. It also furthered my wondering about their relationship.

The emblem on Dr. Adams’ uniform is amateurish looking. That hand looks awful!

Lethe is oddly emotionless. Kind of weird.

The inmates’ uniforms look strangely out of place, although not for the 1960s. Tie dyed patterns? Brightly coloured plaid?

First time the Vulcan Mind Meld is seen in the series. Spock is reluctant to use it, as it’s never been used on humans (although it’ll be used in Enterprise), and it’s a deeply personal thing. Doesn’t stop him from using it in later episodes! And McCoy was insistent that he use it. He doesn’t trust transporters, but he trusts the Mind Meld.

Dr. Noel is far too argumentative. She argues against Kirk’s orders so many times, I can see Kirk getting irritated.

Got to love Kirk’s cry/laugh while in pain in the neural neutralizer.

Again, they left the planet at Warp 1. When do they expect to reach their destination?

My Impressions

As you’ve seen with my nitpicks above, there weren’t that many nitpicks. I thought this was one of the best episodes so far in that aspect. I had a more difficult time finding things that were out of place or any continuity problems. The episodes are improving!

The acting was fairly decent in this one. The interaction between Kirk and Noel was good, though Noel seemed far too defiant. She’s extremely stubborn and very sure of herself, that’s quite evident. But I think the friction between the two was shown very well, though they ended up working together in the end far better, once she saw that Spock, McCoy, and Kirk were correct. Dr. Adams was portrayed well, as well. And then we have Morgan Woodward’s portrayal of the tormented Dr. van Gelder. You could see the pain, although it was slightly over the top.

I thought this was a good episode! But, there is one glaring problem. I just couldn’t understand why Dr. Adams was doing this. There didn’t seem to be any apparent motivation for it. It wasn’t explained! Why that approach to rehabilitating former criminals? It made them look like lifeless drones. I felt that he was a weak villain. Despite that, I did enjoy the episode.

Verdict

★★★ 1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? What did you think Dr. Adams’ motive was? Let me know in the comments section below.

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