‘THE MARK OF GIDEON’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is a peculiar ‘Star Trek’ episode. I found it engaging and unusual, as Captain Kirk beams down from the Enterprise…to the Enterprise, where there’s nobody on board and he’s alone on the bridge.
‘The Mark of Gideon’ has the Enterprise visit the planet of Gideon to make peace negotiations for them to join the United Federation of Planets. Only Kirk is permitted to visit their council on Gideon.
When Kirk is beamed down by Spock from the Enterprise to Gideon, he is under the impression that he hasn’t left the Enterprise at all. This was most unusual and I wondered what it’s all about and for.
It transpires that the Enterprise that Kirk has beamed down to is actually a duplicate of the starship by the Gideons. Big question! How did the Gideons get to duplicate the Enterprise in the first place?!
Kirk is alone when he searches throughout ‘the Enterprise’, until he comes across a beautiful woman called Odona. Both Kirk and Odona accompany together in order to discover what all this mystery is.
Sharon Acker guest stars as Odona in this ‘Star Trek’ episode. I actually liked Odona as she’s a beautiful young woman and gets to be a romantic interest for Kirk. This romance though is different.
I found the romance formed between Kirk and Odona rather intimate. It isn’t so over-the-top as previous romances that Kirk has had in the past and it would have been lovely if they were together.
However Odona’s seeming innocence get unravelled as it turns out she was deceiving Kirk for her father and Gideon council. Odona soon gets ill and has a disease that Kirk had on a previous mission.
The disease is Vegan choriomeningitis which Kirk acquired and the Gideons found out about. They injected the disease into Odona so that she can become ill and Kirk can help with their problem.
It turns out that Gideon is an overly-populated planet with people who have nowhere to go and have no privacy. Kirk was abducted by the Gideons so he can resolve the population explosion issue.
Meanwhile, aboard the real Enterprise, Spock receives contact from the Gideon council, led by David Hurst as Ambassador Hodin, Odona’s father. They inform him that Kirk never arrived on their planet.
Hodin is a rather frustrating person, since when he talks to Spock he becomes evasive and refuses anyone to beam down to their planet to look for Kirk. This gets everyone annoyed on the Enterprise.
Spock however manages to keep his patience, bearing Hodin’s evasiveness and Starfleet’s bureaucratic manner when dealing with this matter. Eventually, Spock decides to go against orders.
He makes the decision of beaming down to Gideon without consent. The clue is in the coordinates given by the Gideons since they don’t match with another set of coordinates later on in the episode.
I had to listen closely to the two sets of coordinates given by the Gideons and how Spock and the others compared them. I noticed the difference and was so surprised they didn’t match each other.
Very soon, Spock beams down to the duplicate Enterprise on Gideon and manages to find Kirk with Odona. I liked how the episodes with Kirk smiling happily and he’s not being angry with Odona at all.
‘The Mark of Gideon’ is an unusual episode in the ‘Star Trek’ series. I’m not sure how well the story works in terms of logic as Spock would say, but I liked the romance between Kirk and Odona in this episode.
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 3’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘The Mark of Gideon’ (TOS) rating – 7/10
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