Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Star Trek: The Gamesters of Triskelion

Episode: "The Gamesters of Triskelion"
Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 2, Episode 16
Original Air Date: January 5, 1968
via Memory Alpha
While trying to beam down to one planet, Kirk, Uhura and Chekov are whisked away across the galaxy to another one, light years away: Triskelion.  They have been abducted by beings called the Providers to become gladiators.  But rather than seeing the Providers directly, our heroes are controlled and trained by their fellow slaves, known as thralls. 

Apart from the Thunderdome element, this episode shares similar themes with "The Apple."  Shahna, Kirk's lovely lady jailer/trainer, was born on the planet, a product of selective breeding.  She is completely naive to the concept of other worlds or another way of life.  Kirk and friends set out not only to free themselves but the other thralls as well - from their slavers and, ultimately, their own innocence.

*****
via Wikipedia
Dick Crockett served as stunt coordinator for the episode and also played one of the thralls, the Andorian in the ring with Kirk at the end.  He was born February 27, 1915 in Maywood, Illinois.  As a stunt supervisor, his biggest television gig was Peter Gunn: 76 episodes.  Among many movie credits, he was associate producer for four films: The Pink Panther, The Great Race, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? and Gunn.  He died in 1979 of a myocardial infraction.

10 comments:

  1. This crew visited standard story types of the time the way the Simpsons travel the globe. The Simpsons are going to Canada! Kirk is becoming a gladiator!

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    1. I think the Simpsons are more easily forgiven for retreads - 552 episodes and counting. I realize that, overall, it's more than that for Trek but they were still comfortably in double digits in 1968. The Simpsons have already used up just about every story imaginable. Isn't there a South Park episode about that?

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  2. Joseph Ruskin was such a wonderful character actor and this was one of his finest performances. A memorable episode indeed A.C.

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  3. I was especially impressed with the performance of Angelique Pettyjohn, who was basically given the appearance of a brainless go-go Thrall but managed to play the role with some depth, strength and compassion --essentially making Shahna a pivotal character.

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    1. You're absolutely right. The story couldn't have worked without her. The other thralls were too ogrish to evoke sympathy.

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  4. Looks like a pretty interesting episode.

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  5. "Fifty quatloos on the newcomer!" :-) This is a phrase that I've seen far more often in parodies and shout-outs than in the original. It's been ages since I watched this episode.

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    1. I wonder what the current quatloo exchange rate is these days.

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