Charles Wallace on Camazotz

Category: Trekabout

Trekabout Episode 24: All Pretentious About It

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We’re pleased to be joined by Zack Handlen, who writes weekly Trek reviews for The Onion’s AV Club. He’s nice enough to answer some questions about his writing, and then sticks around to discuss “A Piece of the Action” and “The Immunity Syndrome” with us. Plus! Richard wants a zoot suit.

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Trekabout Episode 23: The Hamsters of Triceratops

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It’s kind of weird how TOS episodes fit into nice pairs sometimes, isn’t it? Both “The Trouble with Tribbles” and “The Gamesters of Triskelion” don’t have a whole lot of plot. It only works in the episode about cute little furry creatures–and no, we’re not talking about Chekov. Also! Richard has done entirely too much research into the life of the guy who played Harry Mudd.

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Trekabout Episode 22: Robert Blech

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“Obsession” is kind of like “The Doomsday Machine” only with Kirk being crazy but of course he can’t actually be crazy, because he’s Captain Kirk. “Wolf in the Fold” is kind of like Robert Bloch’s nightmares (we assume) only with Scotty being crazy but of course he can’t actually be crazy, because he’s Scotty. It’s the best Robert Bloch episode we’ve seen, though, which says nothing complimentary about Robert Bloch. Also! Ensign Garrovick is dreamy.

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Trekabout Episode 21: The Deli Years

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Our pairing of episodes this week bring us full circle on the cycle of life. In “Friday’s Child”, a woman gives birth to a premature baby, and in “The Deadly Years”, a woman dies of premature old age. Also! The Klingons and the Romulans come back.

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Trekabout Episode 20: Nora Ephron

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Mothers and children feature prominently in both of our episodes this week. In “Metamorphosis” it’s a needy energy being who holds Zephram Cochrane captive until Kirk and company land and turn their relationship into some sort of Oedipal horrorshow. In “Journey to Babel” we have Spock trying really hard not to emote all over his mother. Plus! Richard really wants a live teddy bear.

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Trekabout Episode 19: A Gigantic Waste of Money

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Both “Catspaw” and “I, Mudd” feature a variety of professional actors hamming it up, but only in “Catspaw” does the ham actually smell a bit off, probably because of the giant cat. No, seriously: a giant cat. Meanwhile, in “I, Mudd”, the cast of The Original Series engages in improv theater, which results in one of the most fun episodes of the show. Plus! Richard is really interested in learning about Trek slash.

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Trekabout Episode 18: A Lot of JJ Abrams This Week

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Welcome to this week’s Trekabout, where we give you a master course in Christian theology. In the beginning (“The Apple”), God was there with some guys and gals, and then Satan (Kirk) came and gave them the knowledge of good and evil (sex). Skip ahead a while (“The Doomsday Machine”) and God (Starfleet) sends his Son (Commodore Decker) to atone for the sins of the world. Plus! Shut up, Chekov.

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Trekabout Episode 17: Heterosexuality Is Evil

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An evil mass-murdering robot? Why, it must be time for “The Changeling”, which tries to answer the question “what would happen if a robot could feel sad?” and kind of succeeds. “Mirror, Mirror” tries to answer the question “what if the Federation were the kind of organization that built mass-murdering robots?” and also kind of succeeds. Also! A bonus discussion about Deep Space Nine.

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Trekabout Episode 16: Fuck Chekov

We made it! Welcome to season two of The Original Series. “Amok Time” is among the series’ best, what with all the soup-throwing, bell-playing, and Kirk-dying insanity, while “Who Mourns for Adonais” is among the series’ middling episodes, but we get a lot of mileage out of both of them. Richard thinks Sulu is sleeping with Chekov, Eric thinks Richard should shut up already, and they both think that “Who Mourns for Adonais” is, like, super sexist. Also! Richard misuses the Guardian of Forever.

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Trekabout Episode 15: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Deneva?

Well, we’ve done it–we’ve reached the end of the first season of The Original Series. While “Operation–Annihilate!” has a pleasingly campy title, the episode doesn’t really add up to much–unlike our long discussion of television theory. It’s so long, in fact, that we pushed “Amok Time” to next week. Sorry, loyal listener–we’ll never lie to you again. Well, no, we will– but we’ll make sure it’s not as easily found out. Plus! Richard cries.

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