Director: Robert Gist
Writers: Oliver Crawford and S. Bar-David
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Don Marshall, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, John Crawford, Peter Marko, Phyllis Douglas, Rees Vaughn, Grant Woods, Buck Maffei, and David Ross
Composer: Alexander Courage
Air Date: 1/5/1967
Production #: 6149-14
While en route to Markus III, the Enterprise makes a pit stop near Murasaki 312 when Kirk orders seven crewmen to investigate the quasar-like object, much to the chagrin of Commissioner Ferris (John Crawford). Shortly thereafter, the Galileo shuttlecraft crash lands on Taurus II, leaving Spock and his “emotional” subordinates stranded and defenseless against a tribe of savage humanoids.
Though this episode’s premise relies on an uncharacteristic decision from Captain Kirk, “The Galileo Seven” nonetheless offers an excellent character study. Leonard Nimoy fans will appreciate Spock’s subtle transition to a more humanlike individual, whereas those who admire the Star Trek characters for their ingenious solutions to complex problems should enjoy watching Spock, Scotty, and McCoy work together under pressure.
Despite the fact that the goofy alien costumes are bound to elicit laughter from many modern viewers, the giants’ presence in this narrative serves the purpose of enhancing preexisting conflict among the seven main characters. On one hand, Lieutenant Boma (Don Marshall) and his crewmates insist that deadly force is the only way of dealing with a primitive, brutal lifeform. In contrast, Spock’s limited empathy clouds his otherwise logical judgment, leading him to falsely believe that the creatures will reasonably interpret a simple warning sign as would a higher evolved species. Ultimately, this inability to assess difficult situations through both his Vulcan and human intuitions causes Spock to clash with those under his leadership, most of whom perceive him as a pompous, insensitive commander, quite unlike Captain Kirk in many respects. Of course, Spock’s frequently annoying behavior gives the audience a great deal of insight into his conflicted personality, while also leading up to an unpredictable and highly memorable finale.
One major flaw with this episode’s setup involves the manner in which the seven travelers wind up on the hostile Taurus II planet. When Kirk commands the away team to examine Murasaki 312, he justifies his actions to Commissioner Ferris by relaying his standing orders to investigate all quasars and quasar-like phenomenon. Normally, this course of action would make sense given the Enterprise’s ultimate goal of exploration; however, Kirk’s decision to interrupt a medical supply mission for a non-urgent matter seems grossly illogical for a man of his experience. Even worse is the fact that he chooses to risk the lives of his chief engineer, senior medical officer, and most valued scientist on such a trivial pursuit. Perhaps with a more realistic foundation, “The Galileo Seven” could have easily earned a place among season one’s greatest hits.
As mentioned earlier, this storyline marks the first instance in which Spock actually embraces his human half, albeit reluctantly. Just as computers cannot necessarily solve problems that require unorthodox reasoning, Spock eventually comes to realize that pure logic, for all its benefits, will never allow him to consider possibilities that only an “irrational” human mind could conceive of. For this reason, “The Galileo Seven” should be commended for initiating a character journey that would continue throughout Spock’s adventures over the next several decades.
“The Galileo Seven” contains strong characterizations that help to advance Spock’s personality beyond his machinelike attributes. Likewise, Star Trek enthusiasts may wish to view this entry simply because it features the first onscreen use of the famous Galileo series shuttlecrafts.
Overall Quality: 9/10
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