‘SHORE LEAVE’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘Shore Leave’ is one of my favourite ‘Star Trek’ episodes. I loved the fantasy element in it as it is about whatever dreams you can think of becoming reality on the pleasure planet the Enterprise visit.
It all starts when Dr. McCoy sees the White Rabbit and Alice from ‘Alice in Wonderland’. I assumed this episode was going about ‘Alice in Wonderland’ from the start’. But it was more interesting later on.
What appeals to me about this episode is the idea of visiting a planet where your dreams and fantasies come to life. That’s the sort of planet I’d like to visit if I became chosen to travel into space.
Whenever the Enterprise crewmembers think of something or someone in their heads, it immediately comes to life. This includes Kirk meeting an old school bully to a sweet girl he had loved.
The episode features Sulu joining the away team down on the pleasure planet. Sulu’s dreams and fantasies include an old-fashioned pistol that he likes and fighting a Samurai warrior out of nowhere.
Emily Banks guest stars as Yeoman Tonia Barrows in this. I suspect Tonia Barrows fills the Janice Rand role of ‘Star Trek’ after Grace Lee Whitney left. It’s such a shame she stars in just this episode.
Yeoman Barrows is a lovely girl that’s easy on the eye and she forms a semi-romantic bond with Dr. McCoy. I liked that moment when Barrows fancies herself as a princess and gets to dress up as one.
The episode also guest stars Perry Lopez as Esteban Rodriguez and Barbara Baldavin as Lt. Angela Martine (who’d previously appeared in ‘Balance of Terror’). Both get chased by a WWII plane in this.
Kirk encounters some faces from the past that appear on this planet. There’s Bruce Mars as Finnegan, an old bully from Starfleet Academy he once knew. He gets to have a good fight with him.
There’s also Shirley Bonne as Ruth, an old flame of Kirk’s. Those scenes where Kirk is reunited with Ruth were sweet and lovely to watch. It’s easy why Kirk would want to stay on the pleasure planet.
Spock also gets to beam down on the planet to join Kirk and the others. He becomes curious when things become strange for Kirk and everyone on the planet and makes some interesting discoveries.
Eventually however, things get serious and become dangerous for the Enterprise on this pleasure planet. For one thing, Bones gets stabbed by a medieval knight riding a horse and he ends up dead.
It was quite a shock and Captain Kirk, Spock and everyone else are shocked by this. They then begin to discover the clues to what’s going on as everything they see on this pleasure planet can’t be real.
This is where Oliver McGowan as the Caretaker makes his appearance in the episode. He explains to Captain Kirk and everyone else about what’s been happening and why they have seen these things.
I would definitely love to visit a planet like the one seen in this ‘Shore Leave’ episode. I can get to live my ‘Doctor Who’ fantasies and even fall in love with the girls that I like in my life if I visited the place. 😀
‘Shore Leave’ is one of the finest ‘Star Trek’ episodes ever made and one of my favourites. It is an episode about fantasy and escapism, but then we do all need some escapism in our lives, don’t we?!
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 4 of both the original and re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ – Season 1′, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘Shore Leave’ (TOS) rating – 10/10
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