And here’s another one… The squire of Gothos is another comedy episode to be taken lightly like the horrible Shore leave. And at such a short distance (that was number 14 in the season, this is number 17) I didn’t expect another one of those comic episodes that, as it should be clear by now, I don’t particularly enjoy.
This time, the USS Enterprise arrives at an uncharted planet and, when it gets too close, both Sulu and Kirk are kidnapped by a very efficient teleport. Spock naturally spends hours searching for them and finally sends McCoy and two others (DeSalle and Jaeger, played by Michael Barrier and Richard Carlyle) to the area of the planet where the two missing crew members are most likely to be. They find them, but there’s something unexpected: they are kept prisoners in a sort of medieval/renaissance castle by a creature that apparently is a jovial French nobleman who admires Napoleon and wants to spend time with the crew of the Starfleet ship.
Let’s face it: perhaps without this being called Trelane (William Campbell) there would have been no John DeLancie’s Q in subsequent Star Treks. But this is not enough to save such a weak and uninspired episode from my fierce criticism, for what it’s worth. The episode wearily advances dragged by Trelane’s desire to play always opposed to Kirk’s firm reaction in a repetition of the same scene over and over that seems to never end. And when finally there’s what appears to be the resolution (breaking a mirror, for some strange reason), everything goes back to square one with Trelane judging the captain for some alleged crime. Incidentally, this is another thing that makes me suspect a lot about the possible relationship Trelane – Q (see Encounter at Farpoint). But in this TOS episode the character lacks the depth of Q, which despite being extremely over the top has usually been used to convey intelligent messages.
In The squire of Gothos, Trelane is just a boring capricious child and eventually his parents, two incorporeal beings, stop him, apologizing to Kirk, and the mission of the Enterprise can continue. And I can’t shake off the feeling of having lost an hour of my life in vain, a feeling aggravated by the fact that the previous episode (The Galileo seven) was so interesting and infinitely more intelligent and well made than this one! Let’s hope that the next one will be better… Ciao!
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