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Star Trek 8



Science Fiction
Setting: Star Trek


Star Trek: TOS Novelizations


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# Date Publisher Binding Cover
1 1972-00-00 Bantam  

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IBDoF Note: This book contains novelizations of the original Star Trek TV series episodes listed below -- Brad

"Spock's Brain" (episode 61, season 3, screenplay Gene L. Coon, who ought to be ashamed. Since he wrote this as "Lee Cronin", maybe he was; the only first-rate episode produced under that name was "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield".) A woman from a culture experiencing a literal, centuries-long war between the sexes steals Spock's brain to implant as the new controller for the life-support machinery of her underground city. There's even a gadget acting in a D&D magic paradigm: it imparts sophisticated knowledge, which for plot/play balance purposes wears off quickly. There are so many things wrong with this episode that it oughtn't to be first in this collection's line-up; Blish just doesn't have good stuff to work with here.

"The Enemy Within" (episode 5, season 1, screenplay Richard Matheson). One of season 1's character-development episodes. Kirk beams up from an expedition to Alfa 177 feeling sick; tests run with an animal on the transporter result in two animals, one aggressive, one docile. Spock realizes that Kirk's 'gentle' and 'aggressive' aspects have been split into two separate physical bodies, which can't survive long separately - and the 'evil' Kirk resists the recombination. Interesting points made here: Kirk *needs* his mean side, which contains his decisive aspects that let him function as a commanding officer.

"Catspaw" (episode 30, season 2, screenplay by horror-writer Robert Bloch, originally aired around Halloween) On Pyris VII, the ENTERPRISE makes contact with Korob and Sylvia, a mysterious humanlike couple with many of the trappings of magic, including a castle and something like a magic wand - a transmitter for their peculiar power. Unfortunately, Sylvia in particular is inclined to treat humans as toys, and not only in her alternate shape as a black cat. [Frankly, I never thought highly of this episode, which colours my perception of Blish's adaptation; see "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" for a better sample of Bloch's efforts.]

"Where No Man Has Gone Before" (episode 2, season 1, screenplay Samuel A. Peeples) While investigating the 'energy barrier' at the edge of the galaxy, several ENTERPRISE crew members are seriously injured, all but two of whom die: Kirk's old friend Gary Mitchell, and psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. Mitchell begins intermittently displaying ESP, seems to be increasing in intelligence, and his eyes begin turning silver - but far more disturbing are his emotional changes. (For instance, he callously reveals to Kirk that while they were in the Academy, he subtly sabotaged Kirk by arranging for a girl to distract him, giving her pointers on how to do it effectively - a very cruel revelation, as Kirk, stunned, reveals that he nearly married her.) As Mitchell's abilities grow, he becomes more and more detached from humanity - all except Dehner, and in her case, Mitchell forces her to realize that she too is undergoing these changes, only at a slower rate. How can the rest of the ENTERPRISE crew protect themselves from people who can read their minds at will?

"Wolf in the Fold" (episode 36, season 2, screenplay Robert Bloch) McCoy and Kirk are out for a little R&R with Scotty on Argelius II - they've been worried about him lately, since a recent incident seemed to have made him unnaturally wary around women. He seems back to normal as the trio are watching a belly dancer perform - but when he's found standing over her murdered body after walking out with her, they must defend him from a murder charge that even he can't refute, having suffered a blackout. A local dignitary's wife volunteers to use her empathic powers to help determine the truth (very seance-type feel to that) and is herself murdered after crying out the names of many murderers from history. What is the connection between serial killers spread out over many light-years and centuries?

"For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" (episode 65, season 3, screenplay Rik Vollaerts) One of several episodes in which one of the trio Spock/Kirk/McCoy is presumed dead or dying. Chapel, learning that McCoy is suffering from a rare condition leaving him only a year to live, reveals his secret to Kirk, as her duties as a nurse and an officer of the ENTERPRISE must come before anything else with her. Consequently, when the ENTERPRISE soon afterward encounters a generation ship built from a hollowed-out asteroid, McCoy is willing to spend his last days among the generation ship's inhabitants - who have long since forgotten that they're aboard a ship. The high priestess Natira, for her part, would rather have a year's happiness with a man she loves than no life with him at all, and arranges to have him adopted among her people. McCoy, however, is more knowledgeable than any native-born Yonadan, and gains information that must be communicated back to his old comrades, whatever the cost.

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