‘THE PARADISE SYNDROME’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This isn’t really one of my favourite ‘Star Trek’ episodes from ‘The Original Series’. It’s not a terrible episode, but it didn’t excite me as other episodes since it was about a planet with American Indians in it.
An asteroid is on its way to collide with an Earth-like planet with American Indians on it. Kirk, Spock and Bones beam down to investigate and discover this obelisk that is controlling the asteroid’s path.
Kirk soon falls into a trapdoor and ends up underneath the obelisk. He gets attacked by an alien device that causes him to lose his memory. He soon begins a new life on the planet and gets happy.
The idea of an American Indian culture on an alien planet is interesting enough. However I did find the concept far-fetched as it is rather unusual that this culture would survive spreading out to space.
Saying that, this could be where it all started the American Indian culture that featured in the ‘TNG’ episode ‘Journey’s End’. This could also be where Chakotay’s character from ‘Voyager’ comes from.
The idea of Kirk being a god to these American Indians is not bad. It just seems unusual that the people would accept Kirk so readily into their society, especially when he can’t remember who he is.
There is a dramatic moment in the episode where Kirk saves a boy’s life from drowning. The way he does it amazes the American Indians and they accept him as a god immediately which was intriguing.
Due to his memory loss, Kirk is renamed ‘Kirok’ during his time with American Indians. Kirk also finds himself extremely happy and at peace with the American Indians and he soon forgets his former life.
There’s a romance in this episode between Kirk and Sabrina Scharf as Miramanee. This, I felt, was rather forced upon during the episode, even though Kirk and Miramanee love each other devotedly.
There was a moment when Miramanee reveals to Kirk, after they’re married, that she’s pregnant with their child. This was a little off-putting for me as it has implications later on during the episode.
Rudy Solari as Salish is the only one who doubts Kirk’s immortality as a god. He also becomes jealous when Kirk takes his title as the medical doctor as well as taking Miramanee as his wife who he loves.
There’s a tense moment where Salish confronts Kirk in the episode and cuts his hand with his knife. Salish sees Kirk bleed and it confirms his disbelief that he is a false god and he plots to humiliate him.
Meanwhile aboard the Enterprise, Spock and Bones return to deal with the asteroid approaching the planet. Spock takes command to destroy it, but the asteroid seems very indestructible to phaser fire.
There are some tense scenes between Spock and Bones when they’re in Spock’s room. Bones is concerned for Kirk’s safety whilst Spock is preoccupied with decoding odd markings from the obelisk.
I did like it when Bones soon becomes concerned for Spock’s health and orders him to rest. Spock refuses at first, but eventually agrees in order to get Bones out of the room and return to decoding.
The episode ends rather tragically with Kirk losing Miramanee after she was injured from the people stoning her and Kirk at the obelisk. Even for this episode, I did find this very heart-breaking to watch.
‘The Paradise Syndrome’ isn’t one of my favourite ‘Star Trek’ episodes from the series, but it isn’t terrible. It was interesting Kirk was able to find paradise by becoming a god to the American Indians.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 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 Paradise Syndrome’ (TOS) rating – 6/10
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