Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Episode Review - Friday's Child (Original Series, Season 2)

For those who are new to my episode reviews, you can find the post where I establish my point criteria here

Overview – Kirk leads an away team to Capella IV, where Doctor McCoy had previous experience with the local population. Upon arrival, they encounter a Klingon that has begun his own negotiations with the Capellans for their mineral rights to topaline. Before long, Kirk and his team are drawn into a power struggle over the leadership of the Capellans. While McCoy tries to save the life of Eleen, the wife of the former teer, and that of her soon to be born child, Kirk and Spock must outwit the Klinogon and his Capellan allies long enough to survive.

Score: 7/10 – I have a hard time rating this episode. There are definitely some good moments with lots of action. The pace is a bit slow at times, however, and the Capellan outfits are just plain goofy looking. I find it hard to believe that a strict, warrior-class society would wear such bright colors and silly hats. It is interesting to see how McCoy stands up to Eleen, showing his deep understanding of Capellan culture. Indeed, the good Doctor gets a lot of attention as a diplomat and cultural expert in this episode. Speaking of Eleen, we get a great performance from a legendary actress, Julie Mewmar (likely best known for playing Catwoman in the old Batman series). I also quite enjoyed how Scotty commands the Enterprise, using wisdom and courage to support his captain.

Relevance - 1 point. Scoring a point for the first time that Chekov claims that something was invented in Russia. This time it was the “Fool me once…” saying that Scotty used, but it will happen several times after.

Continuity - 2 points. While character and story continuity all check out, I have to make a deduction for the universe continuity. In the footage that McCoy shows the staff in the briefing room, McCoy is seen in a blue tunic identical to the one he wears in this episode (although with a lower ranking insignia than he currently has). While the attention to the lower rank is nice, this previous visit to the Capellans happened before this style of uniform was used. McCoy should have been wearing a uniform that looked like what was worn to the pilot “Where No Man Has Gone Before”.

Character Development – 2 points. Definitely a McCoy episode here. He shows that he is much more than a phenomenal country doctor, but that he is a knowledgeable diplomat. He demonstrates his knowledge of Capellan culture (and his determination to help his patients) when he slaps Eleen as she tries to refuse his help. While this may have been seen as wrong, especially in today’s culture, it was definitely the Capellan way. Finally, we see his lighter side as he coddles and cuddles the newborn baby (giving us the “cootchie coo” line that confuses Spock). Also giving some credit in this category for Scotty, showing him to be an effective starship commander. When a distress call turns out to be a fake, he uses his wisdom to ignore another (likely) faked distress call to keep the Enterprise ready to assist the captain when needed. It was nice to see Scotty as such a good leader in this episode.

Social Commentary – 0 points. Some of these episodes are hard to find anything of particular relevance to society. They can just be a good action episode without saying too much about the world in which we live in. While some may find something to apply to their lives in this episode, I must admit that I can’t even find something that is a stretch. Oh well.

Cool Stuff – 2 points. One point scored for the “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” line used by Scotty. It was a great line delivered perfectly by James Doohan. One point is also scored for the impressive looking Capellan weapon called a “kleegat”. It looks to be an impressive weapon that, among other victims, claimed yet another red shirt on the away mission.

Rank – Lieutenant (14 points). So this episode may not be a “must see”, but it does have some good moments. I would say if you love McCoy, watch this one. Otherwise, it is likely worth at least a single viewing.

If you would like to read other reviews from the Original Series, click on the link here.

If you would like to read an episode review from any of the Trek series, click the following link to get to the series catalog. If the episode you want reviewed has not been done yet, then feel free to request it in the comments and I will see what I can do.

1 comment:

  1. While I'm sure a good writer can come up with a reason for a warp-capable civilization like the Federation having open relations with a culture as primitive as the Capellans, I've never understood how this doesn't go against the Prime Directive.

    Yeah, I can see it happening because the Klingons are involved, who probably made first contact to gain a strategic advantage, if I remember correctly the Federation has relations with other pre-warp planets. The first example that comes to mine is the world Angel One from ST: TNG.