‘DAGGER OF THE MIND’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Dagger of the Mind’ is another one of my favourite episodes from the original ‘Star Trek’ series. It has an engaging plot with mind control and mind alteration. I was on the edge of my seat seeing this.
In this episode, an inmate of a penal colony stows away aboard the Enterprise. Kirk and the crew manage to capture him, but he happens to be more than just an inmate as dark secrets get revealed.
Led into curiosity, Captain Kirk with psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Noel visits the penal colony of Tantalus V to investigate what’s going on. They soon discover the neural neutraliser that has all of the answers.
I liked how things get unravelled in this episode about a deadly plot regarding prisoners on a planet. It’s how Kirk discovers that mind alteration is being used for a deadly effect to condition the inmates.
The episode guest stars Morgan Woodward as Dr. Simon van Gelder, the man who stows away aboard the Enterprise. He is first claimed as a violent inmate that’d once worked at the penal colony.
But through his violent rages and tantrums, van Gelder tries his best to explain to Kirk, Spock and Bones what happened to him. This isn’t easy, as he suffers amnesia and he always gets knocked out.
In the episode, Spock performs a Vulcan mind-meld on van Gelder to calm him down and gets some answers. This is interesting, since this is the first time that Spock performs a mind-meld on a human.
During the mind-meld, van Gelder is calmer and he reveals how he was subject to the neural neutraliser by Dr. Adams. But Captain Kirk and Dr. Helen Noel see this neural neutraliser themselves.
Marianna Hill guest stars as Dr. Helen Noel. Helen’s a lovely character and seems to be a once former flame of Captain Kirk. She reminds him of a Christmas party where they first met each other.
I like the scenes that Kirk and Helen share in this episode. Although it doesn’t end up as a potential romance, there are hints and suggestions that it could possibly be during the events of this episode.
I enjoyed that scene where Kirk and Helen test the neutral neutraliser themselves. Helen plants thoughts into Kirk when he’s sitting in the chair, including a very romantic scene between those two.
However, they get caught by Dr. Adams who’s in charge of the colony and he tortures Kirk by planting harmful thoughts into his mind. Kirk suffers from this and gets incorrect feelings for Helen.
James Gregory guest stars as Dr. Tristan Adams in the episode. Adams at first appears suave and charming when Kirk and Helen visit him. But he later reveals his true colour when he’s torturing Kirk.
I’m not sure what Adams’ motives are for conducting these tests on human with mind alteration. But he’s clearly got a sick mind and he lies to Kirk and Noel when they’re conducting their investigations.
The neural neutraliser is an interesting device used to plants thoughts into unwilling victims. I wonder how such a machine could work like that, but I wouldn’t like to be subject to find out on this.
‘Dagger of the Mind’ is a really gripping episode of ‘Star Trek’ that made want more. I enjoyed the concepts running behind this episode and I was on the edge of my seat when Kirk had got in trouble.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 3 of both the original and re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 1’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘Dagger of the Mind’ (TOS) rating – 9/10
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