Star Trek Remastered - 2x16 - The Gamesters of Triskelion.avi (Size: 350.11 MB) (Files: 1)
Star Trek Remastered - 2x16 - The Gamesters of Triskelion.avi
* S O U N D T R E K K E R ' S B L U R B *
Hi, fellow trekkers!
It’s trek remastered time again, this time you’ll get the second season episode “The Gamesteres of Triskelion”, shown on CBS in late October.
The Story - the Performance
This is a rather mediocre story about the abduction of three crewpeople (Kirk, Uhura and Chekov) by the powerful „providers“ (a group of disembodied entities whose only objective is to stage combat games in order to entertain themselves). On their planet, they encounter other gladiators as well, each of them wearing a collar around their neck which can be manipulated by the providers to force obedience by inflicting pain and suffocating to the bearer. Kirk and his people are assigned each a “drill thrall” of their own, and they have to wear the collars also. With his ship including its entire crew finally at stake after it also gets taken captive by the providers, Kirk risks everything to get them free – including all the other gladiators they encounter on the planet. His proposal: he alone will fight three of the “drill thralls”, and if he doesn’t win the fight, he will loose his entire crew to the providers to become gladiators as well! If he wins, all of them will be freed once and for all! The providers, who like to gamble, accept Kirk’s proposal, and Kirk finally wins the wager, as is to be expected, thus ending the slavery on this strange planet!
The message of the story is rather simple, defending the right of every individual to live in freedom, and our crew has to endure much harassment like abduction, mistreatment and being forced to live as slaves before finally freeing themselves and helping the other slaves to become free people also. The providers are not as bad as they may seem initially, but rather some beings bored to death and trying to amuse themselfes in the only possible way they can muster! One can only hope they get some nintendos or playstations (or maybe even some Wii’s!) linked to their brains, or they may very well die of boredom in the end, which they wouldn’t have deserved after being such good sportsmen!
As said before, this is not Star Trek at its best, but the simple plot provides a lot of action and some good comic-book entertainment and should be enjoyed as such!
Besides the action scenes, there are also some rather funny moments, especially the scenes between Chekov and his rather… nice drill thrall, an alien female named “Tamoon”, (Jane Ross) who isn’t shy when expressing her sympathy to a bewildered Chekov! Mrs. Ross clearly steals the show during her short scenes with Chekov making our young ensign crazy with desire – the desire to get away from her! She shows a flair for comedy that makes her characterization one of the more pleasant features of this episode! Alas, CBS chose to cut this hilarious scene completely to get it down to 44 minutes, but if you have the original in some form, go back to it and take a look – you won’t be disappointed! (In the original version, the Chekov/Tamoon scene begins at 14:16).
In an earlier draft, the part for Walter Koenig was initially planned to be played by George Takei as Lt. Sulu, but Takei wasn’t available for several weeks in the second season due to his part in the movie “The Green Berets” (USA 1968), a war movie starring John Wayne, in which Takei played the role of Captain Nim. Koenig took the opportunity to great effect – I don’t think Takei would have been able to express all this embarrassment and sheer panic like Koenig does in his scenes with Mrs. Ross!
The script also gave Nichelle Nichols the opportunity to do something meatier, other than saying “Hailing frequencies open, Captain”. Here she shows all the courage and resourcefulness of Uhura which, most of the time in the series run, were kept secret due to her usually small parts in other episodes.
Mickey Morton as Kloog had a very impressing part, due to his unusual size – imdb.com lists him as being 6’7 ¼” (2.01 m)! His combat scenes with Koenig in the first act are priceless, as Chekov tries everything he can to control him – and fails miserably, of course!
Joseph Ruskin as Galt, the master drill thrall, who answers directly to the providers and controls the collars around the neck of Kirk and company, is an actor with an acting career spanning half a century, who oftentimes played the bad guy in countless tv shows of all possible genres (imdb.com lists an unbelievable number of 136 roles between 1955 and 2006!!). He would later return to trek in Deep Space Nine (three guest appearances), Star Trek: Insurrection (as Son’a officer # 3), Star Trek: Voyager (as Vulcan Master in “Gravity” 1999) and in Enterprise (as Suliban Doctor in “Broken Bow: Part 1”). He is 83 now, and his latest appearance was in an episode of “Bones” (2006). Very impressive!
Angelique Pettyjohn, a fan favourite for many years, adds some eye candy to the episode as Shahna and gives Kirk the usual opportunity to teach an alien some things (like freedom and kissing techniques – I’m not sure which was more important for the captain!). This role made her immortal amongst fans of TV Sci-Fi, and this lead her to appear on countless Star Trek conventions as main guest of honor, and she always appeared in her outfit of the Shahna character. That was in the early 80ies up until 1989, which saw her final appearance. Three years later, in 1992, she died rather young of cervical cancer at the age of 49!
Script and Direction
Margaret Armen wrote this tale years before trek, and Star Trek was the perfect show to present the story, after adapting it to the special trek surroundings. The characters are well scripted, and Kirk is full in character when he tries to outthink the providers in the final act (like he did several times before and after when trying to outmaneuver some bad computers with his speeches). The scenes on the Enterprise are also beautifully written – the various dialogues on the bridge between Spock, McCoy and Scotty are full of the typical Spock/McCoy banter which became more and more developed during the second season! Scotty is also very well in character when having to deal with the various technical problems, and he always is a very amused witness to the Spock/McCoy disputes!
Margaret Armen would return later in the series with her story and script for “The Paradise Syndrome”. Her last contribution for live trek would be her script for “The Cloud-Minders” (story by David Gerrold and Oliver Crawford), to be followed by two more scripts for the animated trek series in 1973 (“The Lorelei Signal” and “The Ambergris Element”).
Gene Nelson, who had his only direction job in trek with this episode, was a multi-talent: he was a dancer, tv actor, producer, soundtrack writer and director. It’s quite possible that his dancing background was influencing the way he staged the combat scenes in the small arena of Triskelion; he was helped by stunt co-ordinator Dick Crockett, who was responsible for the countless stunts demanded by the script (and who himself starred as an Andorian drill thrall in the episode). Crockett was also the man behind the well-remembered fight sequence in “The Trouble With Tribbles”.
No original music was written for this episode, but it is full of very well chosen tracked music from various earlier season two episodes (the responsible editor was Jim Henrikson): the gripping fight scenes in the arena are underscored by parts of Gerald Fried’s scores from “Amok Time” and “Friday’s Child”. Some of Fried’s cues from “Catspaw” also found their way into this episode. Other tracked music were from Fred Steiner (the “danger” motive from “Mirror, Mirror”, some cues from “Who Mourns for Adonais” and “Charlie X”) and Sol Kaplan (some Enterprise flyby cues from “The Doomsday Machine”), while George Duning’s love theme from “Metamorphosis” was used again, this time for the romance between Shahna and Kirk.
First we see a new digital version of the planetoid Gamma II, with the Enterprise entering orbit into. Gamma II looks terrific: CBS kept the reddish color, but added some really large craters on the surface, indicating the absence of an atmosphere, and also some rings around it. In the second Enterprise orbit shot around Gamma II, we can see one of the rings just below the ship, and the ring is a moving mass of particles, a rather spectacular sight! We see more different orbit shots around Gamma II, before the Enterprise leaves the planetoid to trail the missing crewman. Some shots of the Enterprise cruising and hurtling through space follow, one of them highlighting the main deck from above, with a good look on the bridge dome!
The planet Triskelion, with brown landmasses and a few large white spots, which could be some oceans or seas, is first seen at the beginning of act I (superimposed by the episode title), still without the orbiting Enterprise, and the digital team added three suns in various sizes and colors (a big white one, a somewhat smaller blue ond and a red dwarf) around the planet, as alluced to by Kirk after arriving on the planet (“it’s a trinary sun”). Well done!
Okay, that’s it for today, except to remind you, as usual, to seed after downloading, or I will have you abducted by the providers to Triskelion for two weeks to be drilled by Tamoon – you don’t want that, do you? (Okay, Lt. licwidnel, you would, I bet!)
"Metamorphosis" – Some new, beautiful digital shots of the Galileo II, a new version of the Companion in space (the planet-bound Companion was untouched!), and a new Companion planet.
All right, people, that’s it for today! Take care, and