Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Star Trek: One of Our Planets Is Missing

My friends and I are embarking on a new journey to watch all 22 episodes of Star Trek's animated series.  We'll be posting on Wednesdays.  All are welcome to join us for all or parts of our adventure.

Episode: "One of Our Planets Is Missing"
Series: Star Trek: The Animated Series
Season 1, Episode 3
Original Air Date: September 22, 1973
via Memory Beta
In this week's story, the Enterprise takes on a planet munching cloud.  Through a mind meld with the cloud, Spock manages to convince the entity of the damage it is doing to other living beings.  The cloud agrees to leave the galaxy.  The solution works out fine for our friends but what will the cloud subsist on now?  Can it survive only on uninhabited worlds?  Can it tell the difference?  Is the planet feast okay as long as it's happening in someone else's neighborhood? 

Among TAS episodes, "One of Our Planets Is Missing" is generally well-regarded for its adherence to basic Trek principles of respecting all life, even that which is initially perceived to be hostile.  To me, the mind meld feels a bit hokey but hey, it works!  My favorite part is the anatomical diagram they create for the cloud.  The ship enters one end of the digestive tract and exits via the other.  Reminds me of that old joke:

Q: What do you do if you get swallowed by an elephant?
A: Run around and around until you get all pooped out.


Robert Wesley
via Memory Alpha
Mantilles is the Federation colony in the cloud's path and Bob Wesley, a retired Starfleet officer, is its governor.  Wesley first appeared in the second season TOS episode, "The Ultimate Computer."  In that episode, he was portrayed by Barry Russo but in TAS, he is voiced by James Doohan.

James Doohan (Scotty) began his show biz career in radio.  After his World War II military service, he found work in Canadian radio dramas.  He estimated that he performed in over 4,000 radio programs.  A master of voices, his Scottish accent for Montgomery Scott was just one of many he'd considered trying.  He offered creator Gene Roddenberry several choices but the producer wisely let the actor choose his own favorite.  This experience was invaluable when the animated series came along as Doohan was the go-to choice for miscellaneous male voices (Majel Barrett was the default choice for the females).

If you would care to join us for all or part of our travels, please add your link to the list below.  In the meantime, please visit my fellow travelers.  Next week: "The Lorelei Signal."


  1. I never heard that old joke before.
    That's kinda gross.

    1. I'm pretty sure my father told me that one. He's got loads of those...

  2. I've been watching a few of these with my son, but not enough to contribute. He is hooked! We're a geeky bunch, anyhow...this is just fuel.

  3. I'm hooked on TAS now. Pure brilliance on Scotts part using antimatter villi to recharge the ships engines.

    1. I'm delighted to help fuel the habit! I liked that bit, too. TAS really was Doohan's chance to shine. More on that next week - again.

  4. I wonder if I saw this one because it sounds very familiar. Or I am mixing it up with another show ?
    Must look to see if this is on nexflix.
    I have picked my movie from the movies already watched for the next film blog.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. I've narrowed it down to two movies - depends on whether I'll be watching with the family or not.

  5. Sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  6. When the animated series began, my life was wrapped up in work and family. Now is a different time. Where and how do I find them?

  7. The mindmeld usually works:) My ex is a major trekker(not trekkie) and he told me James Doohan was a bit of a nut in war time. I believe he was a pilot and would fly under hydro wires etc... just to scare the hell out of people.

  8. How alarming--planet-munching clouds. It makes great fiction, though.