"The Galileo Seven," Ep. 14 - Spock learns the trials of command when Kirk sends him, along with Scotty, McCoy and a shuttlecraft crew, to investigate a quasar-like phenomenon. "Court Martial," Ep. 15 - Kirk's reputation and career are at stake when he faces a court-martial for negligence that resulted in the death of a crew member.
Volume 7 in this excellent DVD series of original Star Trek
programs includes "The Galileo Seven," which teleplay writer Oliver Crawford says was inspired by his viewing of a 1939 film called Five Came Back
. (A catty footnote: David Gerrold, scribe of the famous "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode, called "The Galileo Seven" a rip-off of the Jimmy Stewart film The Flight of the Phoenix
. Meow.) Five Came Back
concerned a plane crash in the Andes and the survivors who faced the constant threat of surrounding headhunters. Crawford toyed with the idea and came up with a story line in which Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), and a couple of other crew members crash on the surface of a hostile planet during a shuttle mission. With communication between the small craft and the Enterprise
disrupted by quasar activity, Spock and the others must defend themselves against a formidable threat with only primitive, handmade weapons. That's the scenario, but the real drama is in the rising conflict between the half-Vulcan Spock's coldly logical approach to survival and the passions of his human crew, who soon come to regard him as a hateful, unfeeling monster. This is an interesting episode, both as a taut action piece and, somewhat indirectly, as a portrait of intolerance (specifically, an intolerance of individual differences) developing under stress.
Also on this disc is "Court Martial," a courtroom drama in which Captain Kirk (William Shatner) stands trial for negligence in the death of an Enterprise crewman. As the proceedings rumble on, Spock investigates some hidden truths about the dead man and the apparent computer malfunction that led to the tragedy. While "Court Martial" is a lesser episode from the Star Trek canon (the action is a bit mired in trial proceedings), it's still a lot of fun and features a supporting role from veteran Hollywood character actor Elisha Cook Jr. --Tom Keogh