This was a very unusual episode. Did you know most of the dialogue was ad libbed? Gene Roddenberry had to rewrite the script of this episode after the network complained it was too surreal. He rewrote it on the fly while it was being filmed. Roddenberry had been told to go on vacation before this episode, and it turns out this episode is about a vacation.
Season 1, Episode 15: Shore Leave
Original Air Date: December 29, 1966
Planet: Shore Leave Planet in the Omicron Delta region (no official name)
Featured Alien: The Caretaker
Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu
Main Guest Characters: Alice (Marcia Brown), Yeoman Tonia Barrows (Emily Banks), The Caretaker (Oliver McGowan), Esteban Rodriguez (Perry Lopez), Lt. Angela Martine (Barbara Baldavin), Finnegan (Bruce Mars), Ruth (Shirley Bonne), The Warrior (Sebastian Tom)
Things I Noticed
The planet has no animal life, yet it has flowers. Don’t they require a polinator? But then, this isn’t Earth. Nor is anything real.
This is an unusual episode, featuring figments of the crew’s imagination come to life. This is more fantasy than sci-fi, it seems. It is very difficult to nitpick things, as many of the things that happen really can’t be nitpicked.
Lt. Martine is back, and this time, she seems to have completely gotten over her fiance’s death. Well, that was fast!
Finnegan seems like a stereotypical Irish man combined with a leprechaun.
The old style antenna seems a bit old-fashioned for an advanced world like this.
Why would Kirk run after Sulu, and then take a moment to appreciate a flower? Priorities, Captain?
Kirk seems to be affected by what’s going on the most, or he’s extremely weak-willed. I just can’t seem to resist Ruth, and it takes a lot to snap him out of it.
McCoy is getting pretty close to Yeoman Barrows. Earlier, she massaged Kirk’s back, and he didn’t like it.
Finnegan says he’s still 20 years old, but he looks like he’s in his 30s. Shouldn’t this be from Kirk’s memory?
Before Finnegan flipped him, Kirk’s uniform was intact. After the flip, it was ripped. There was no reason it would have ripped. But you know, no Kirk fight is complete without a ripped uniform.
The tiger has a chain around its neck. Obviously for safety reasons, but why would it appear on this world?
It makes me wonder why humans aren’t ready to understand The Caretaker’s people or where they come from.
Again, they leave at warp 1. Is this standard for leaving a system? I guess it would make sense, taking a lower speed in system.
This was an amusing episode. It was sometimes difficult to take it seriously, as most of the things were quite absurd. But then, a lot of the crew of the Enterprise thought it was absurd. But the acting was also kind of absurd. Shatner wasn’t very good. DeForest Kelley didn’t do very well, either. Actually, there was a bit of overacting. But it makes sense since learning that most of the dialogue was ad libbed.
So, the acting wasn’t that great in this episode. I didn’t think the story was the best, either. It was amusing, kind of weird, but unimportant. It could’ve been removed from the series and no one would have cared. It affected nothing, really. It wasn’t terrible, though. Just fluff.
One thing this episode did show is how irresponsible some of the crew can be! Kirk fights Finnegan, Kirk stops searching for Sulu because of a flower, Martine changing into a princess dress, Sulu shooting a gun, and more. Maybe their minds were affected by this world? I don’t know.
What did you think of this episode? Was it fluff? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments section below.