On this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at Star Trek episode Shore Leave (S1, EP 17).
It’s time to look at Star Trek’s Shore Leave. We’re starting out this week’s episode with Bones McCoy getting dead-eyed by the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. So, this week’s episode was written by the guy who kept trying to sell everyone in the Star Trek writer’s room acid? Bones calls for Sulu like he was Fred Flinstone beckoning Wilma.
Captain Kirk is sending down his crew for shore leave, but Spock doesn’t understand the concept of fun, or play. Or sports. Bones calls Kirk, and tells him about his acid trip. Spock gets Kirk to order himself to take shore leave and yeah. This episode is already hilarious.
Kirk and Tonia Barrows land and find Bones. Bones ’60s era trip causes Kirk to cancel shore leave. This upsets Barrows who can’t seem to keep her hands off of Kirk. Oh Kirk, you scamp. Before any more can be said, Sulu starts shooting a gun. Sulu is a card-carrying member of the NRA apparently.
Kirk and Bones track the rabbit and the girl, where it’s revealed that Bones has a natural hatred for all things bunny-related. Out of nowhere, Kirk’s old arch-nemesis from his academy days, Finnegan, pops up and slugs Kirk. Barrows screams and Kirk is off to investigate. As one does after a figure from your past assaults you.
Barrows drops the big reveal, that the planet seems to be acting like a storybook. On a planet that can make anything come to life, what does Kirk want? A pretty woman. Kirk knows what’s up. The woman is an old love interest that Kirk hasn’t seen in 15 years, which has Spock wondering what the heck is going on.
Bones makes a move on Barrows, and apparently being a doctor has its perk in any century. Bones, with moves as smooth as butter, convinces Barrows to change out of her Starfleet skirt and into a princess dress. All the while Esteban Rodriguez is trying to get Bones to come and rescue him from a freaking Bengal tiger. Bones is too busy bringing his princess fetish to life to help, however.
Sulu then runs away from a samurai. So it’s this kind of episode.
Bones and Barrows stumble upon an actual knight after Bones attempts to be a tough guy. The knight decides to joust with Bones’ face, and it goes about as well as you’d think it would. Kirk then goes all Elliot Ness on the knight. Bones is “dead”. Spock reveals that the dead knight isn’t actually a living being and that everything here is some sort of creation.
Finnegan shows up again, mocks Kirk, laughs like a hyena, and runs off. The inspiration for Ed from the original Lion King, ladies, and gentlemen. After beating up Finnegan, Kirk and Spock realize that the planet is bringing it’s deepest thoughts to life.
The host of this planet pops out and explains that this is just a giant theme park. Bones comes back with two showgirls and Barrows is not happy about this at all. Shore leave commences and we’re out.
Let’s go to the scores.
Acting: Some of the scenes are hammy and it shows.
Writing: The dialogue and scene structure isn’t great. It’s done for a point but it’s done as well as it could.
Design: There’s not a lot of design work in this episode outside of a few stereotypical outfits and items.
Special Effects: There’s really no “special effects, just practical. Outside of the transporter effects that is.
Enjoyability: This was goofy and odd. I like goofy and odd.
Overall: 19/25 (76%)
What a weird and wild episode. It’s beyond bizarre to see Bones go full creeper. Amusing, but bizarre. A planet like this should have been revisited a lot in Star Trek, yet it hasn’t. It only has one more appearance to its credit, as part of the Star Trek animated series.