- Jan 5, 2001
- Way on Down South, London Town
In the first scene we see a desert planet with indigenous humanoids. I immediately though, "Please not more Tatooine! I'm already sick of Star Wars set on Tatooine!" Actually, it turned out to be more Arrakis, with "god" bringing the rain to them! Of course, the use of music, light and sound to communicate with aliens was a theme of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I have a block of flats nearby with a squeaky gate hinge that makes, by sheer coincidence, that five-note extra-terrestrial tonal phrase every time it is opened.Cadet Nyota Uhura is invited to a meal with other crewmembers in Pike's quarters, where she reveals that she is unsure about her future in Starfleet because she only joined as a way to escape from the pain of her parents' deaths. The Enterprise crew attempt to alter the course of a comet that is set to kill all of the inhabitants of a desolate planet, but it has a force field that prevents this. Uhura joins a team that transports to the comet surface and discovers that it responds to music. A starship of "shepherds" who are escorting the comet position themselves between it and the Enterprise; they believe it is a being called M'hanit who is an ancient arbiter of life. Enterprise distracts them to allow Spock to alter the comet's course, and as it passes by the planet it releases water vapor into the atmosphere that will improve the conditions for life. Uhura decodes music from the comet which indicates that it had expected this interference, and Pike ponders the origins of the comet and whether this was more than coincidence. He also considers the lives of the cadets that he is destined to sacrifice himself to save.
So, while this was a little derivative, it was much better than last week, and while we were introduced to far too many new crew last week, this week only focused on introducing Uhura and the CE. Sam Kirk spent most of the episode unconscious. I also do hope they are going to move on from Pike obsessing about the future, his accident, and the cadets that he saves. I expect it would be something I would obsess upon too, but then I'd go and get some help, because I would be aware that it was unhealthy. In that respect, Number One isn't helping him by telling him it can be changed, as she is only making him think about it all even more.