The “shore leave” is almost at an end as Lower Decks is set to return soon. But, we take a look at another Animated Series episode where the Enterprise encounters a giant space cloud that seems to consume whole planets! The cloud begins to go after an inhabited planet, and will destroy it in 4 hours. The Enterprise heads into the cloud to find that some pieces within are about to hit it. They are able to dissolve them, but find they are stuck in the middle of the cloud.
They figure out that it is a sentient being of some kind, and is feeding on giant objects. The crew get a read of the insides of the creature and register they must be in the digestive area. Column-like structures seem to be destroying several planet pieces and Scotty discovers the columns are antimatter digesting pieces. If the Enterprise hits them they will explode. They are also losing power while flying through the cloud and could get stuck. Scotty figures out he can beam pieces of the antimatter to fuel the engine, and succeeds to give some temporary power.
They reach the “brain” of the creature and Kirk has decided to destroy it…yet has some reservations. Spock volunteers to reach out with his mind to the creature, and through the ship’s communication. It succeeds and he convinces it to not devour planets and return to its point of origin. The planet is saved and so is the Enterprise.
With that, here we go with our thoughts on the episode!
Mr. Daps: “I enjoy the music but I think it’s going to be common to recognize that a lot of it is reused from other episodes. It definitely is a sign of the times.”
Murray: “It is getting hard to tell if there is any specific music with this episode as opposed to others. This had a very ethereal feel to the score once they were in the cloud. It gave it an ominous feeling with the dire circumstances. But, I wouldn’t say this soundtrack stuck out more than others.”
Mr. Daps: “I thought this week’s designs were kind of interesting. I don’t know if the designs for the cloud was advanced for its time, but it kind of felt like it might have been. I also agree with Murray that the Enterprise really looks good. I also noticed the planet was not just a stereotypical design.”
Murray: “Something that I didn’t notice in other episodes is how beautifully drawn the Enterprise is. I say I just noticed it also wondering if it’s just this episode. But, it is so meticulously rendered like it’s a model! Besides that , the interesting structure of the cloud was well done and thought out. I liked how alien it was, yet was still something that fit to be internal organs.”
Mr. Daps: “This episode had a solid story. I thought it was an interesting challenge for the crew of the Enterprise to take on. I also thought the resolution was very true to Star Trek as well. It also reminded me a little bit of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I have to wonder if perhaps there was some inspiration there.”
Murray: “This had a great pace to it. It kept growing in danger, and the solutions were very smart and remarkable. It reminds me of more recent Trek series episodes, yet had a great fast pace to it. To me, it put to shame a whole Discovery season when they faced a mysterious new entity that was devouring whole areas, and they couldn’t even communicate until like halfway through the season.”
Hit or Miss?
Mr. Daps: “I thought this week was a solid hit. I think there were some really vintage Star Trek moments that were very enjoyable. I also liked how different characters got to shine as the crew of the Enterprise sought out a solution for this problem. I also liked that Kirk had to face the moral quandry in this episode. Overall, I think this was a very enjoyable episode. I am really impressed with how much they put into these short episodes. They really are enjoyable!”
Murray: “A big hit for me. I think this is my favorite episode so far. I liked Scotty’s solution to power the engines a lot. It showed the great genius of Scotty to figure that out. Then there’s the dilemma that Kirk puts himself in, and trying to save a planet. It speaks to the Star Trek II moment between he and Spock, and whether the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or one.”