‘SPECTRE OF THE GUN’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is ‘Star Trek’s version of doing ‘The Gunfighters’ from ‘Doctor Who’. I recall watching this episode back in 2004 before I even came across ‘The Gunfighters’ story from ‘Doctor Who’ on DVD.
I must admit I was very unfamiliar with the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral event in American history. Now that I’ve been influenced by the ‘Doctor Who’ story, I’m able to understand what this is about.
In this ‘Star Trek’ episode, the Enterprise comes across a warning buoy in space before they’re about to enter Melkotian space. They should have learnt their lessons from ‘The Corbomite Maneuver’. 😀
The Enterprise hopes to make peace negotiations with the Melkotians on the planet Theta Kiokis II. But the Melkotians warn the Enterprise to stay away from the planet or else they will destroy them.
Captain Kirk however ignores the warning as he, Spock, Bones, Scotty and Chekov beam down to the planet to meet the Melkotians. The Melkotians become angry that they ignored heir warning buoy.
As a punishment, the Melkotians place Kirk’s party in a death-like scenario that is a psychic illusion from Kirk’s memories. It happens to be the Gunfight at O.K. Corral in Wild West Tombstone, Arizona.
As I said before, I knew little about this historical event before watching the ‘Star Trek’ episode and the ‘Doctor Who’ story. But recently for this review, I have now gained a clear understanding of this.
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a dispute between the Clantons and the Earps. From the ‘Doctor Who’ story, I have been able to recognise some of the names from this event including Doc Holliday.
In the ‘Doctor Who’ story, the Clantons were seen as the bad guys and the Earps were the heroes. This is the reversal in this ‘Star Trek’, as the Earps are seen as villains and the Clantons as the victims.
And that’s because Kirk’s party are the Clantons. Kirk is Ike Clanton; Spock as Frank McLuary; Bones as Tom McLaury; Scotty as Billy Clanton and Chekov as Billy Claiborne. It’s very interesting and peculiar.
I like the historical context of this ‘Star Trek’ episode, since its cowboys and an old Wild West town. But it is incomplete as the Melkotians use this simulation of events for their purposes of execution.
During the episode, Kirk and the others realise that their minds are being played with by the Melkotians as the laws of physics don’t apply in this simulation. It makes it so mind-boggling indeed.
In the episode, Chekov finds himself falling in love with a beautiful woman called Sylvia, played by Bonnie Beecher. It’s nice for Chekov to have a romance in this, even though she calls him Billy here.
The townspeople of Tombstone, Arizona seem to accept Kirk and the others appearance and attire and refuse to consider them as not the Clantons. This makes things difficult for Kirk in negotiations.
The cast also includes Ron Soble as Wyatt Earp; Charles Maxwell as Virgil Earp; Rex Holman as Morgan Earp and Sam Gilman as Doc Holliday. The Earps are different in this tale from ‘Doctor Who’.
I was anxious when Chekov got shot during the episode and it seemed like he was dead. It was even tenser when Spock, Kirk, Bones and Scotty were getting shot by the Earps at the end of the episode.
‘Spectre of the Gun’ is an intriguing mind-boggling episode that is an interesting take on the O.K. Corral Gunfight incident by ‘Star Trek’. I’m just so glad ‘The Last Chance Saloon’ ballad wasn’t in this.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 2 of both the original and re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 3’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘Spectre of the Gun’ (TOS) rating – 8/10
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