Captain's Blog pt. 83: Operation -- Annihilate!

Time for a stop at the IHOB:

April 13, 1967

Title: (10) Outside of "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky," probably the one that leaps off the marquee the most. To this day I have no idea what it means. Is it what the Enterprise does or what the creatures want to do? Is it a description of what happened to Deneva? Is it Kirk's dramatic inner monologue - the Captain's Blog of his own thoughts? Man.

Guest: (3) When I was grabbing my screencaps for these earlier this year, I kept wondering who this lady was:

She doesn't have many lines, but she's in the background and even center-frame of an awful lot of shots. Not especially surprising for photogenic gals in short skirts then or now, sure, but the amount of screentime she gets stands out. There are equally photogenic guest stars with sizable amounts of dialogue that get less.

Fall catalog shot.
The lady in question:

Apparently, Maurishka was an "exotic and sought-after model," according to Memory-Alpha. She used this clout to land a part on the show, as she was a big fan, which makes her a founding member of a very specific group, as Julian Perez Conquers the Universe points out: celebrities who used their celebrity to get on Star Trek because they were fans. (A group that almost included Tom Hanks and Henry Kissinger among its members.)

It's possible Shatner remembers working with Maurishka more than with Craig Hundley, who played Kirk's nephew Peter. Hell, it's possible Captain Kirk remembers this obscure Yeoman more than his own flesh and blood.

Sorry about your folks and all, but don't expect a birthday card, kid.

I've blathered on elsewhere about how Kirk seems to totally block out the events of this episode. They were either so traumatic that he just transferred his familial piety to his crew or it was the chance he was waiting for to cut all ties with his past.

Visual Design: (4) 

The TRW Space and Defense Park (now Northup Grumman Space Technology HQ, amusingly enough.)
Looks a little funny out of context. Maybe in context, too. I can't tell anymore.
"Their attitude was inconsistent with their actions."
Here we go.

Script / Theme: (7 / 8) I've always enjoyed this episode. The ideas behind it are perhaps more compelling than the script. There are some great moments throughout, no doubt, but it's rather boilerplate. Spock's near-death, off-camera killing of main character's extended family (at least Sam was mentioned once before, in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?") etc. But I don't really mind. Sure the stakes are artificially risen, but it's a fine enough adventure story. The idea of a madness spreading from world to world is a fun one. (We'll return to this theme, both less and more successfully, in "Wolf in the Fold.")

Kirk's sister-in-law's shrieking "They're here! They're here!" as she tries to batten down the hatches is definitely unsettling. (There used to be a club in Chicago that had this looped into some video mash-up that kept coming around on the monitor. The place was otherwise ludicrous, though.) Also, the noise that the neural parasites make is pretty memorable.

My DVDs display these text-tags in the upper left-hand corner when you hover the mouse over them during playback. Each chapter gets a new phrase, always taken from the first episode of the season in question. So, for season one, we get this from "The Man Trap:"

The Needs of the Beast.

Authorial intent is further complicated in our exciting modern age.

Kirk and the Gang: (20) Everyone does good work here. Not an awful lot of Shatner craziness, though there is one bit where he says "Too close, may be a trap, move out" in such perfect Shatner staccato and cracks me up everytime. Wish such things were screencappable.

"Freeze right there, Mister Spock. Or I'll put you to sleep for sure."
Now Spock can mind meld with tiles.
Nurse Chapel tries out a new 'doo. Spock gets blind and can't see it. Poor Christine.

Internal Logistics: (1.75)

"We've tried every conceivable test." Except light, for some reason.
McCoy and his mysterious spray bottles.

I'll give Spock's convenient inner eyelid a pass. This was before the giving Spock some alien characteristic to get him out of a plot twist well-water turned brackish.

Memorability: (4)

Total Points Awarded: 63.75


  1. You're a little kinder than I am toward Spock's inner-eyelid thing; I think it's pretty damn ridiculous. But heck, even I don't really mind it. It's a plot device, and a silly one, but so what? It's a good excuse for Leonard Nimoy to act blind for a while, and that's enough for me to be okay with it.

    I think I've mentioned before how annoying it is that the series never returned to the idea of Peter Kirk, but it's worth re-emphasizing here. Granted, it's more a flaw of the later series/movies than it is of this episode; but since rewatching the episode always hammers it home, it ends up being one of the episode's weak points.

    Overall, though, I like it, hot random yeomen and weird flying alien flapjacks and all.

    1. The inner eyelid "save" is so egregious as to probably be shorthand for contrived plot reversal. Another one for the Children of Tama's dictionary.

    2. The title made more sense given the original storyline: as originally written, Kirk has to destroy the planet Deneva at the end of the episode (and much of the story concerns his wrestling with that decision). That ending was wisely changed, but no once noticed that the title no longer applied (or maybe it was just too late in the schedule to change it).

    3. I'm very happy they kept it!

    4. ... hmmm ... I clicked "add comment". I'm not sure how that got a added as a reply to the first comment.

      Hello, BMcM, glad someone's reading this! And to everyone else:

      Yes, I noticed that this is an old thread. So what? If you're one of those people who feels compelled to comment derisively every time someone adds to a "zombie" thread, then this time tell us why that's a problem.

      (Just kidding, it isn't a problem at all, is it? So just be quiet.)

    5. Hey, I'm just glad people are still discovering these. Comment away!