Episode: "The Practical Joker"
Series: Star Trek: The Animated Series
Season 2, Episode 3
Original Air Date: September 21, 1974
|via Memory Beta|
I wasn't too impressed by this episode. I'm not opposed to the humor. Trek can get heavy and comic relief is welcome. But "The Practical Joker" pushes the limit. There's one scene when the entire crew, affected by the nitrous oxide in the cloud, giggles uncontrollably. It runs just a touch too long, feeling like an uncomfortable dinner party.
However, there is one important development for the future of the franchise: the introduction of the rec room, a forerunner to TNG's holodeck. McCoy, Uhura and Sulu seek a break from the practical jokes with a virtual walk in the woods but the computer's mischief extends to their fantasy world. The idea of a computer-generated vacation isn't new for Trek. The planet in the TOS episode "Shore Leave" creates fairy tale scenarios for the amusement of visitors. "The Practical Joker," however, represents the first instance of such capability aboard the Enterprise.
|L to R: Norm Prescott, Hal Sutherland (TAS director)|
and Lou Scheimer, via Wikipedia
As with his co-founder, Norm Prescott, Scheimer filled a number of roles for Filmation over the years. He was credited as a composer (under the pseudonym Erika Lane, a combination of the names of his children) for the musical score of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He died from Parkinson's disease in 2013, two days shy of his 85th birthday.
If you would care to join us for all or part of our travels, sign on to the list below. Please visit the other participants. Next week: "Albatross."