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"You will make an episode with great characters and performances then leave out something important"

  • Dec 29, 2011

Another one of those classic Trek episodes that everyone knows about-the one with the insane man who comes aboard and knows something evil is going on down below on the benevolant planet.  The head Doctor sounding so saccharine that you KNOW he's up to no good, the sexy doctor who goes with Kirk down to the planet and it's another episode where there was plenty of things taken in a classic South Park episode.

The Enterprise just dropped off some supplies to a state of the art mental hospital, but a patient has snuck aboard and demands asylum from Kirk.  Sedated-the man tries to give information about what goes on at the colony but his dementia won't let him get it all out.  Kirk take the Enterprise back to the colony with a lovely doctor to take a closer look at whats going on and find out some unsavory acts are being committed with a new treatment device.

There is a lot about this episode that I like.  If I didn't make it clear above, Marianna Hill as Helen Noel has got to be one of the sexiest women ever in the show's run.  Morgan Woodward as the insane Simon VanGelder, the man who gets aboard the Enterprise is really effective at playing a crazy man without being too caricaturish.  James Gregory as Dr Adams is so dripping with niceness, you KNOW he's evil-playing into the benevolent future of Star Trek and Kirks' assertions to Bones that new mental hospitals are not the dungeons of old, and Helen and Kirk's experimentation on how the treatment machine works is memorable and again it's a story where the a strategy and some thought will win the day, but with a little action mixed in.

Now, here is where I gotta dock this episode, and Charles review below sums it up in the title.  Why is Dr. Adams doing what he is doing?  For the evulz?  For reasons left on the cutting room floor?  Weird experiments?  Yes, we see some pretty vapid faces walking around the institution but what does Adams gain?  We don't know other then we can chalk it up to a pretty twisted man at work, but one we don't know why.

Dagger of the Mnd is also special for the first time Spock uses his Mindmeld, and it's used on Van Gelder with caution that Spock's mind could be damaged.  It was a on the spot creation so that the story could proceed and added considerabbly to how awesome Spock and the Vulcan's could be.  How boring would it be if the say was saved by some lame computer. 

Course if you ask Bones Spock IS a computer, with green blood.

Damn racially insensitve Star Trek characters.  Oh who am I kidding, I love Dr. McCoy.


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Quick Tip by . December 29, 2011
A delivery to a mental institution has a patient escaping on board to the Enterprise and wanting asylum. A great episode with a wonderful mystery sadly ruined by no clear definition as to why this is going on.
review by . May 23, 2008
The most significant item about this episode is that it introduces the Vulcan mind meld. Other than the Vulcan neck pinch, it is the most widely (re)used tactic in the Vulcan lore. The episode begins when the Enterprise completes what should be a routine mission to a penal colony. Unknown to the crew, Dr. Simon Van Gelder, a psychiatrist, beams up to the ship in a container. He is captured relatively easily and Van Gelder exhibits signs of mental instability. As McCoy and Spock investigate, some …
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John Nelson ()
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Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Like the preceding episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", "Dagger of the Mind" is another mad-doctor drama. This time, Kirk delivers supplies to a penal colony on Tantalus V, where he meets the renowned Dr. Tristan Adams. Adams has been working on the development of a neural neutralizer to control and manipulate dangerous patients. When Kirk threatens to expose him as a dangerous megalomaniac, Adams uses the technology on the unfortunate captain. This tense piece set in a madhouse atmosphere makes for a riveting episode, with a few unhinged performances adding to the fun.--Tom Keogh
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Studio: CBS Paramount International Television

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