‘ASSIGNMENT: EARTH’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The second season of ‘The Original Series’ of ‘Star Trek’ comes to an end with an exciting time-travel episode back into Earth’s past. This time, the Enterprise travels back in time to Earth in its year 1968.
It was intriguing and unusual that the Enterprise travels back in time to Earth’s past on a special mission. Usually it’s by accident as in ‘Tomorrow is Yesterday’ and ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’.
But on their voyage back in time and in orbit of 1968 Earth, the Enterprise intercepts a transport beam. Soon the transporter picks up an uninvited guest – a man in a smart suit with a little black cat.
The man happens to be special guest star Robert Lansing as Gary Seven. Lansing was a well-known TV, film and stage actor as he’d also appeared in ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ and ‘The Twilight Zone’.
Gary Seven is a secret agent from 20th century Earth. He seems to possessed great knowledge about the future and space-travel. His mission is something he won’t share with Kirk aboard the Enterprise.
I liked it when Gary Seven manages to escape from the Enterprise with his own pen gadget, that’s like a sonic screwdriver from ‘Doctor Who’. He also uses it to dazzle people and send them to sleep.
Gary Seven also had his own headquarters within New York City and keeps a special computer to keep track of everything that happens with his mission. It involves sabotaging an Earth space rocket.
I was curious about what Gary Seven’s mission was and what his origins were as a character, especially since Kirk didn’t trust him. Gary Seven has returned to ‘Star Trek’ in the books and comics.
The black cat in this episode is a ‘she’ and she’s called Isis. Previously, there was black cat featured in the episode ‘Catspaw’. Although very mysterious, Isis is not an evil cat and is really Gary Seven’s pet.
Isis seems to be well-trained for a cat. Gary Seven can understand what Isis says when she’s talking to him through her mewing. I wondered if this was an alien cat or that Gary understood ‘cat-speech’.
Teri Garr guest stars as Roberta Lincoln, a secretary for Gary Seven in the episode. Roberta is an attractive blonde, who gets pretty bewildered and bemused by the strangeness during this episode.
Roberta doesn’t realise that Gary’s a secret agent until she finds the technology he uses so unusual, including a voice-activated type-writer. Will Roberta help or stop Gary Seven with what he’s doing.
It was funny when Kirk and Spock beam down to Earth to try and find where Gary Seven is. Spock as usual wears a woolly hat to cover his ears. 😀 Roberta gets a shock when she takes Mr. Spock’s hat off and sees his ears.
It was very interesting and tense with how Gary Seven tries to sabotage the space rocket on Earth. Seeing the space rocket made me nostalgic for dreams of space travel that were in that 60s’ heyday.
There are lots of humorous moments throughout the episode that make it worthwhile. This involves Kirk and Spock trying to avoid people getting to see the Enterprise when beaming back up on board.
‘Assignment: Earth’ is a very enjoyable ‘Star Trek’ episode about time-travel back to 1968 Earth. It’s a very good way to end Season 2 of ‘Star Trek’ with a time-travel story and it is gripping throughout.
Here’s an interesting piece of trivia that I’ve discovered. Gary Seven and Roberta would have had their own spin-off series had this ‘backdoor pilot’ of an episode had been a success. Very interesting!
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 7 of the original DVD and Disc 8 of the re-mastered DVD of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 2’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
On Disc 7 of the original DVD of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 2’, there are the documentaries ‘To Boldly Go…Season Two’, ‘Life Beyond Trek: Leonard Nimoy’, ‘Kirk, Spock and Bones: Star Trek’s Great Trio’, ‘Designing the Final Frontier’, ‘Star Trek’s Divine Diva: Nichelle Nichols’, ‘Writer’s Notebook: D.C. Fontana’ and ‘Star Trek’s Favourite Moments’. There are also some Easter Eggs called ‘Red Shirt Logs’ and trailers for the DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’; ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Star Trek: Voyager’.
On Disc 8 of the re-mastered DVD of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 2’, there are the documentaries ‘Life Beyond Trek: Leonard Nimoy’, ‘Kirk, Spock and Bones: Star Trek’s Great Trio’ and ‘Star Trek’s Divine Diva: Nichella Nichols’.
‘Assignment: Earth’ (TOS) rating – 8/10
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