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Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 6, Episodes 12 & 13: Miri/ The Conscience Of The King
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"Miri", Ep. 12 - After beaming down to a planet that's identical to Earth, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a landing party find a decaying 20th century city inhabited only by diseased "ancient children." "The Conscience of the King," Ep. 13 - There's a mass murderer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise! Kirk beams up a man he believes to be Krodos the Executioner, thought to have died 20 years ago.
The continuing adventures of the starship Enterprise, as recorded for posterity on DVD, move into their sixth volume with a very interesting pair of shows from the original series. "Miri," one of the most popular episodes, featured a couple of soon-to-be-semi-icons from two very different kinds of films from the late 1960s: Michael J. Pollard (who would appear in Bonnie and Clyde) and Kim Darby (John Wayne's costar in True Grit). The intriguing story concerns a race of children on an Earth-like planet who are in fact 300 years old, kept pristine in the summer of their lives by a disease that also causes madness and death with the onset of adulthood. The Enterprise's landing party, including Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), are instantly contaminated and forced to remain on the planet until McCoy can find an antidote. In the meantime, Darby's character, Miri, falls for Kirk and becomes jealous of his attentions toward anyone else. Easily one of Star Trek's strongest shows, "Miri" is a must-see for Trekkers and Trekkies.
Also on this disk is "The Conscience of the King," a memorable drama about a traveling Shakespearean troupe led by one Anton Karidian (Arnold Moss), who may or may not be the same man as Kodos the Executioner, former governor of a Federation planet who oversaw the mass murder of thousands of people rather than watch them starve to death during a food shortage. (Shortly after the deaths, Federation supply ships arrived and Kodos disappeared, right around the time that Karidian arrived as a classical actor touring the planets.) A nice twist: among victims of Kodos's wrongheaded mercy killings were relatives of Captain Kirk (William Shatner), adding a personal note to the mystery of Karidian/Kodos. Well-written (by Barry Trivers) and sensitively directed by a not-well-known but very interesting Hollywood filmmaker, Gerd Oswald.--Tom Keogh
- Volume 6 Contains 2 Episodes: Episode #12 Miri (Airdate: October 27, 1966) and episode #13 The Conscience Of The King (Airedate: December 8, 1966)
- Digitally Enhanced and Remastered
- Special Added Bonus: Original Broadcast Preview Trailers
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A scientist who claims he has invented a food substance that will save the populace of another planet suffering a famine summons the Enterprise to Planet Q. Soon after they arrive though they discover the story is a ruse. The scientist, an old acquaintance of Kirk's, explains to him that he is certain that an actor in the traveling troupe visiting Planet Q is the infamous Kodos The Executioner. Kodos was responsible for the death of 4,000 colonists on Tarsus IV, a colony that both Kirk and his friend were part of when the massacre occurred; now some twenty years later only a few eyewitnesses who can identify Kodos remain alive. Kirk is skeptical at first but when his friend turns up dead and a consultation with the ship's computer reveals that seven of nine eyewitnesses have been murdered while the traveling troupe is in the vicinity, this coincidence persuades Kirk to arrange to transport the actors to their next destination. After attempts are made to kill Kirk and Lt. Riley - another eyewitness - the captain finally forces both the assassin and Kodos to reveal themselves.
While this episode is one of the series' better-acted and directed shows it painfully reveals the series 1960's origins. In attempting to proof that Karidian is actually Kodos Kirk uses information provided by the ship's computer and later a voiceprint analysis. DNA evidentiary findings weren't in vogue at the time of production, but certainly fingerprints were! And wouldn't a Federation appointed colony governor have been sufficiently processed by a clerical system to have some sort of records that could provide damning evidence too? Despite this glaring oversight the show succeeds in providing sufficient suspense and a terrific finale. Also contained within the story is another worthy round in the continuing Spock vs. McCoy ethical debates; eventually they confront the captain - both as friends and as staff officers - to determine his questionable motives, a scene that is handled brilliantly.
Note: William Shatner would later co-star with Barbara Anderson in an episode of Mission: Impossible (post Leonard Nimoy years); but the tables would be turned this time, as Ms. Anderson would set a trap for the villainous Shatner. By the way, does the figure seven of nine ring a bell to anyone?
"Conscience of the King," directed by Sean Penn's father, Gerd Oswald, is an unusual episode in many respects: scoring, sets, and general mood. The only plot points I will give away are that Kirk faces a ghost from his past, and picks up a real looney chick who likes to talk about his "surging and throbbing" starship.
But seriously, even though the network censors were thankfully snoozing when these episodes were screened, these are well crafted stories featuring some fine acting from the consistently underrated William Shatner.
William Sargent ... Dr. Leighton
Natalie Norwick ... Martha Leighton
David Troy ... Larry Matson (as David-Troy)
Karl Bruck ... King Duncan
Marc Grady Adams ... Hamlet (as Marc Adams)
Bruce Hyde ... Kevin Riley
Great episode where we learn about how life is lived in that far distant century that is Star Trek.
We see the costumes, design and how Kirk picks up girls at parties.
Also, we not only learn of the beginnings of Man's colonization, but also of the hard times and sometimes difficult choices made by others. Others of a Hitlerian eugenics program!
Dr. Tom Layton is a pal of Kirk's. He called the Enterprise in saying he discovered an artificial food source. He faked it. In reality he learned that the guy playing Hamlet from a visiting troupe of players is Kodos the Executioner. Only nine witnesses survived the massacre including Kirk.
Now there's only three.
Oh wait, now there's only two. Kirk and Reilly.
Kirk picks up the troupe ostensibly to give them a lift to the Benicia colony. In reality he wants to form an opinion and study evidence that may prove Mr. Coridian is in reality Kodos. But he has a hard time of it.
The assassin cannot resist and begins knocking off Reilly (or attempts to) and then takes a stab at Kirk.
The killer is a bit of a surprise.
The way that Kirk formulates his ideas and the way that Spock butts in and tries to find out the same thing is interesting, as well as Kirk's unusual reaction against Spock for doing his own brand of research.
More character development between Spock and McCoy as their feud unfolds.
Also the sexual innuendo is hilarious: "The ship is surging and throbbing and under control. Is that you too Captain?"
Surging and throbbing, huh?
Lighting Effects: Quite impressive. The spotlight on the woman's eyes as she is clearly insane and babbling is nicely done.
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