Sunday, February 15, 2009


Star Trek. I haven’t watched it since the late 80s. It’s been Remastered. Now it’s being Re-viewed.

“The Savage Curtain”

Because it’s President’s Day on Monday, KTLA gives us this episode which features Abraham Lincoln (this one and “Catspaw” are perhaps Star Trek’s only “themed” episodes).

You all remember this as the one where Kirk, Spock and their respective past heroes Lincoln and the Vulcan Surak team up to fight a gang of infamous bad guys to determine which side is better good or evil. All this goes down under the watchful eye of a giant sentient fudge brownie, called an Excalbian.

There’s not a whole lot for the CBS Digital team to recreate in the computer as most of the action takes place on a paper mache rock planet. The new planet looks appropriately molteny and inhospitable, with a couple of nice flybys of the Enterprise in the mix.

This is a very by the numbers Star Trek episode. The only thing that redeems its “let’s have good and evil fight to see which is better” is the reactions of Kirk and Spock to the deaths of their heroes. Without those beats, this episode would be a total waste. This is a pretty odd story in that we all know that only Kirk and Spock are real. So to follow the unreal Surak’s story as he goes alone to rescue the unreal Lincoln from the camp of the unreal bad guys doesn’t make much dramatic sense. It would be a different, and much better, story if Spock or Kirk had accompanied him and we watched what unfolded through their eyes. Lincoln and Surak were respectively played by Lee Bergere (later of Dynasty fame) and Barry Atwater (of Night Stalker fame as an uber-creepy vampire). Both actors give nice, well-rounded performances here.

The bad guys assembled by the Excalbian rock/brownie being (played by veteran creature guy Janos Prohaska) include two humans, Col. “Shecky” Green and Genghis Khan, Kahless the First Klingon (whose over-swarthy makeup gives him the appearance of a fudge brownie), and some fur-clad chick named Zora who looks like a Phyllis Diller character.

I don’t know why they didn’t shoot this one at Vasquez Rocks. Even though they overshot the crap out of that location, it would have been better than the chicken wire and paper mache rocks set (though, as a kid, I desperately wanted to run and play on that set).

Disclaimer: Star Trek is Copyright 2009 and a Registered Trademark of CBS Studios, Inc. No infringement of those rights is implied.

Thanks to for the Star Trek screencaps.

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