[7.3/10] I have to say, it’s nice to see Uhura get to be the driver of an episode for once. TOS was pretty exclusively the Kirk, Spock, and Bones show, with Scotty occasionally getting to be the main character for an episode, so it’s pleasant to get to see one where Uhura takes command of the ship, uses her wits, and saves the day.
The premise of the episode is somewhat silly, but nicely sci-fi. The Enterprise is in the intergalactic Bermuda Triangle (after coordinating with the Klingons!) just in time for the mysterious event that happens every twenty-seven years to happen. It turns out to be a planet of sirens, who lure men to their planet and suck their life force away after tempting them and plying them with this or that.
I’d almost call it a sexist metaphor if it weren’t for the fact that this is probably the most capable and sharp the franchise has ever made Uhura seem. Kirk, Bones, and even Spock get suckered in by their enchantments. (And Scotty sings an old Scottish air, seemingly just to pass the time). The episode drags a bit in places as this whole thing is obviously a trap and none of the men can seem to resist it, but that’s pretty much the point.
(I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there’s some more great design work for the palace and grounds of the women on the planet. For all the stiltedness of the animation, the show does know how to make the most of the cartoon setting to create some nicely elaborate and beautiful “sets.”)
The only thing that really keeps this episode from being higher is that there’s a lot of extraneous, silly stuff in it. The women’s technology being operated by tones made me laugh out loud. The entire end bit with the men of the Enterprise being de-aged using the transporter was unnecessary (just have the women reverse the process or something) and opens up a big can of worms. And the whole belaboring the resettlement of the women on the planet felt like more than we needed.
Still, seeing Uhura and Nurse Chapel not only avoid befalling the latest alien wizards’ spells, but then taking control and winning the day, is a real treat. (And for a Spock-Nurse Chapel shipper like me, it was nice to hear a dying Spock call her Christine and implore her for help.) Another fun outing from the show.