Welcome back to our Star Trek: The Original Series re-watch with your hosts: Me and Cookie Monster…
Me: The Enterprise is enroute to planet Exo-III to check on the health and welfare of researcher Dr. Roger Korby who hasn’t been heard from in five years. Roger’s fiancee, Nurse Chapel, is on the bridge, hopeful that the love of her life is still alive – despite the planet’s minus 100 degree surface temperatures. Chapel has confidence in Roger’s ability to persevere. Kirk, not so much. As they approach Exo-III, he asks Spock: “Do you think there’s any chance of him still being alive?”. Hey, Capatain Sensitive, the presumed-dead-guy’s girlfriend is standing three feet behind you. “Uh, Jim. I can hear you. I’m standing right here.” Oh. Right.
Cookie Monster: Dey beam down to entrance of underground cavern and, despite planet’s minus 100 degree temperature, dey nice and toasty warm in deir Alpaca fur-lined Starfleet uniforms.
Me: But Kirk is suspicious and asks for a security detail: two redshirts. Finally! Actual redshirted redshirts! One, providing back-up for Kirk and Nurse Chapel, ends up falling off a ledge. Roger’s assistant informs Kirk that it is a bottomless pit. “He’s dead, I assure you,”he says. Whoa, wait a minute. If it’s an actual bottomless pit, then he’s still alive. Why not order the Enterprise to lock onto him and beam him back up? Good idea? Worth a try? Yes? No?
Cookie Monster: Ah, plenty more where dat redshirt came from.
Me: Still, Kirk is even more suspicious now.
Cookie Monster: What tip him off? De Addams Family butler walking around in his bathrobe?
Me: Kirk and Chapel are escorted into a room by the assistant. A door slides open and Roger steps out and his eyes light up – at the sight of Kirk. Seriously. He seems more excited to see him than his fiancee…who seems to notice a full three seconds after the fact: “Oh. Didn’t notice you standing there. Two feet to my left.”
Cookie Monster: Den, Roger introduce his other “assistant”: Andrea.
Me: Okay, I’m going to stop here a moment to proclaim actress Sherry Jackson the most gorgeous guest star in the history of Star Trek – and probably scifi television.
Me: I mean, seriously. If they had cast her in the last episode, Mudd’s Women, all my nitpicks about how and why the men were falling head over heels would have been addressed.
Cookie Monster: Moving on…
Me: I googled the actress to find out if she’s still working and came across a video interview with her. She’s apparently 72 but she doesn’t look a day over 50. And she’s still gorgeous.
Cookie Monster: No offense, but monster need to move dis review along so he have time to go pick up half-price remaindered fireworks.
Me: Okay. So it turns out Andrea is a robot. And so is Roger’s assistant – who Kirk’s shoots, exposing his circuitry.
Cookie Monster: After Kirk execute patented pointless dive roll.
Me: No doubt to confuse his opponent.
Cookie Monster: Den Lurch walk in and grab Kirk.
Me: Robot Lurch.
Cookie Monster: Who, it turn out, it addition to being super strong and stealthy, also do really good impressions of Kirk, Chapel, and Stewie from Family Guy. He be Exo-III’s resident Rich Little!
Me: Roger makes a robot version of Kirk – to prove he can. He is like Kirk in every way, possessed of all of his memories – but, in the end, susceptible to racist rants.
Cookie Monster: Robot Kirk even fool Nurse Chapel – but, to be fair, she not demonstrate best judgement. Referring to Roger, she say: “What’s he’s done may seem wrong…” Seem? SEEM?! He responsible for death of two redshirts. Me understand, dey only redshirts but still. Somewhere, back on Earth, dere be little redshirts waiting for den to come home!
Me: The real Kirk is brought in and he converses with Roger while surreptitiously unfurling some twine from the back of his chair. I’m not sure what I found more amazing, Kirk’s resourcefulness in fashioning a weapon out of his chair or the fact that Lurch and Andrea were standing right behind him and didn’t notice what he was doing.
Cookie Monster: Kirk jump Roger, den make run for it.
Me: Leaving Nurse Chapel behind (“I’m going to get help!!!”). But he is no match for Lurch who corrals him and brings him back. In retrospect, kind of a dumb move on Kirk’s part. Moments earlier, Roger offered him the opportunity to play along with his little charade. Instead of turning him down, why didn’t Kirk just say “Yeah, sure. ” instead of opting for the ridiculous high-tail into the meandering caverns?
Cookie Monster: But Kirk resourceful. He such a player, he even able to seduce a robot!
Me: And, later, he turns Lurch against his creator by using suspect logic (“If I’m a danger to you and I’m here because of Roger, then Roger is the problem, isn’t he?”).
Cookie Monster: Chase ensue. Roger get injured and, in big reveal, we discover…he a robot too!
Me: Meanwhile, Andrea sees robot Kirk and asks for a kiss. He turns her down, so she disintegrates him. Guys, let this be a lesson.
Cookie Monster: It turn out she in love wit robot Roger. Dey kiss, and commit suicide because robot love not meant to be, like comedians hooking up. Remember Roseanne and Tom Arnold?
Me: All in all a solid episode…with a tremendous guest star in Sherry Jackson. Did I mention her?
Cookie Monster: Yes, me tink you did.
Me: Anyway, for those who weren’t able to watch it, here is an abbreviated version of the episode: