‘RETURN TO TOMORROW’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Return to Tomorrow’ is a rather unusual ‘Star Trek’ episode from ‘The Original Series’. I did enjoy this one, but it’s not what I call a favourite since it has three alien entities take possession of three characters.
The Enterprise responds to a distress call from a lifeless planet. They soon get contacted by Sargon, who takes control of their ship only so that Kirk and specific crew members come down to visit him.
Kirk with Spock, Bones and Dr. Ann Mulhall visit the planet to see Sargon, who is a telepathic alien intelligence inside a glowing sphere. Sargon takes control of Kirk’s body and he uses to walk about in.
Sargon explains he and two other alien intelligences including his wife Thalassa and former enemy Henoch need Kirk, Spock and Mulhall’s bodies. It is so they can to build new android bodies to live in.
Now whilst I find the concept of this episode interesting enough, I do feel that this is a tried-and-tested method that’s been done too many times before in ‘Star Trek’. It makes it less exciting for me.
It is a different slant on the approach though, since Kirk, Spock and Mulhall willing go through the transfer of the three alien minds’ inside their bodies. Bones however is very much against this idea.
I liked that briefing scene where Kirk discusses with Spock, Mulhall, Bones and Scotty on whether they agree to do this. Kirk supports his arguments that taking risks is part of the Enterprise’s mission.
Diana Muldaur guest stars Dr. Ann Mulhall in this episode. This was the first of three contributions by Diana in ‘Star Trek’. She would later play Dr. Pulaski in Season 2 of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’.
Mulhall’s role in this episode was to provide a host for Thalassa, Sargon’s wife. It’s also to provide a romantic opposite to Kirk as Sargon, as William Shatner and Diana Muldaur kiss a lot in this episode.
I’m not sure that I like this romance between Kirk as Sargon and Ann as Thalassa, since the kissing seems forced. It also makes it unreal as Sargon and Thalassa are using Kirk and Ann’s bodies to do it.
Spock as Henoch was interesting to see in this episode. It allows Leonard Nimoy to deliver an emotional performance for a change, as Henoch can be quite charming and manipulative during this.
There’s a shocking moment when Kirk as Sargon seemingly dies, but it’s unclear whether both Kirk and Sargon are dead or either. It’s confusing and you need to pay attention on whose minds where.
Thalassa is also manipulated by Henoch and tempted to stay as she is in Mulhall’s body. Bones refuses to allow and Thalassa threatens to destroy him with a single thought she does demonstrate.
Eventually Spock as Henoch attempts to take control of the Enterprise. Bones comes up with a hypospray that can kill a Vulcan’s body in an instant. Henoch prevents this and he seems to be a winner.
But fortunately Nurse Chapel injects Spock’s body with the hypospray and Henoch escapes. Spock is still alive though, as his consciousness was stored in Chapel’s mind for safe-keeping which is a relief.
‘Return to Tomorrow’ is one of those episodes where you like it or don’t. I don’t mind it so much, but it’s not really a favourite of mine. It was so nice to see Diana Muldaur in this before starring in ‘TNG’.
By the way, Sargon’s voice when not in Kirk’s body is provided by James Doohan who plays Scotty. Jameson Doohan has a lot of talents since he can do voices as well as provide the Klingon language.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 5 of the original DVD and Disc 7 of the re-mastered DVD of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 2’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘Return to Tomorrow’ (TOS) rating – 6/10
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