The Rewatch 39: Obsession

Series: Star Trek (The Original Series)
Episode: 2.13 Obsession (12-15-67)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 5/20/43

Notable Guest Stars:
Stephan Brooks – Ensign Garrovick

Review:

 This episode is incredibly similar to The Doomsday Machine from earlier in this season.  Unlike before, the Captain Ahab in this story is Kirk himself.  Kirk, as a young Lieutenant, had come across a gas-like entity that killed half of his crew, including the Captain.  It has haunted Kirk for the last 11 years.

While on a planet having found rich deposits of a rare mineral that is essential to life support systems on several colonies, he comes across the entity again.  He becomes overly focused on it, to the point that both McCoy and Spock are concerned.  The ship is meant to rendezvous with The Yorktown, a ship carrying perishable medical supplies desperately needed by a colony.

This episode does carry the Moby Dick storyline well as a futuristic version of it, perhaps a tad better then previously.  However, it doesn’t set well with what we have seen of Kirk before.  I expected him to leave and come back later.

It does give a backstory for Kirk.  He apparently served on the Farragut for several years, at least two ranks.  He was well respected and continues to be.  Kirk has an inward sense of guilt though that strongly affects him.

This episode has a high death count. 5 crewmen die over the course of the episode.  This season so far has been more deadly.  Season 1 had a death count of 23, and this season is only halfway through with a count of 20.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by Ralph Senensky
  • Written by Art Wallace

Pros:

  •  Kirk backstory

Cons:

  •  Kirk being so singularly focused on the entity that he wouldn’t go get the medications seems a little off from his usual characterization.

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