In which there just had to be a Title Drop, McCoy gets some, and the status quo is god.
This is one of the titles that makes me think someone tried to sell a script to Analog and couldn’t. I hope to be proven wrong. The Enterprise is facing off against a squadron of chemically propelled missiles. Of course it dispatches them with ease because it has phasers which travel at the speed of light. Gods I hope this is a reference to the SDI program well before it was ever really a thing. Meanwhile, McCoy and Chapelare arguing with each other, because McCoy has some disease with 13 syllables that won’t actually affect his ability to do his job but will kill him in a year. Well, that sucks. No, really. I spent most of the first season railing about how he’s the worst doctor in the fleet, possibly ever, and so shortly after he becomes competent, he gets a disease where he’s going to die? Such a tragic waste.
Meanwhile, the ship approaches an asteroid which appears to be a rogue and also the origin point of the missile. Correction, it’s not a rogue planetoid, it’s powered. Probably crewed by orks. Orks orks orks! Especially since the asteroid-ship appears to be on a collision course for an inhabited Federation planet.
That asteroid is nowhere near large enough to sustain an atmosphere. Which must be why the super-hot sash-wearing high priestess and her argyle-poncho wearing goons live underground and only come up via elevator. The world is called Yanada, and like every other damn technological society that isn’t human they have weird-looking doors. There’s also a tech-priest thing going on. To open the automatic door she does some weird ceremonial motion to open it, and everything she says indicates their society is no longer a technological one. Although, give this episode credit, so far it’s better than “Spock’s Brain.”
The good news is that the computer core controlling the asteroid appears to be super-advanced. It’s more capable of linguistic analysis than the Enterprise computer, at least. So it’s probably going to be able to cure McCoy, once it’s finished torturing the away team as a prelude to peace talks.
When they wake up, some weird old dude with a subcutaneous LED talks about how once upon a time he climbed the mountains high enough to see the curvature of the asteroid, figured out that the local dogma is wrong. Then he dies, but not before giving everyone some Flintstones Chewables.
Kirk and Spock are going to go try to find the steering wheel, but not without Kirk expressing how hurt he is that the priestess doesn’t want to jump his bones, but would prefer to jump his Bones. This makes the second love interest that preferred McCoy, although the first one was because he helped deliver her baby. Stilted romance dialogue aside, this might be one of the hidden gems of the series. It’s not among my three favorites so far, but of the episodes whose names I’ve never heard of, so far this is the best of that subset. I realize that doesn’t necessarily mean anything to you guys. If you don’t like it you can write your own blog.
Spock recognizes some of the writing, it turns out. These inhabitants are descendants of a species whose home start went supernova. Or at least the ship was created by those people. Seems like there’s a deliberate attempt at deception, according to the heiroglyphs. Unfortunately, Kirk and Spock get caught and are sentenced to death. McCoy manages to get their sentence commuted to exile in exchange for letting the high priestess make him one of them, implanted obedience device and all. Given that the asteroid has about a year before it smashes into a planet and McCoy has about a year before, I dunno, his blood turns into glass or something. I guess he might as well stay.
During the marriage ceremony, McCoy gets to see the instruction manual for the asteroid ship and calls Kirk to let him know the colony could be saved. His little cranial bomb goes off but Kirk and Spock manage to save him . They explain the whole situation to the priestess, but the Oracle computer sets off her cranial bomb rather than let her out of the dogmatic strictures. McCoy saves her by removing the cranial bomb, the computer retaliates by trying to cook everyone, and they save the day by reading the instruction manuals. The techie crew didn’t feel like coming up with another alien console so they just used an Enterprise console and threw in a line about how the asteroid consoles aren’t that much different from the Enterprise. le Sigh. And, as predicted, the asteroids shipboard Wikipedia just happens to have enough information to cure McCoy.