Second Union

Second Union

STAR TREK REWIND: “The Terratin Incident”

“For the love of heaven, be careful where you step!”

This Land of the Giants derivation of the classic Star Trek format could not have been made within the carefully crafted milieu of the original series. Where Land of the Giants proffered in oversized props and matte photography to perpetuate the show’s running concept of little people on a big planet, Star Trek would have had to borrow or purchase those elements to make an episode such as “The Terratin Incident.” It would have required specialized oversized props like elements from the bridge and transporter room or the communicator seen in the accompanying picture. This would have been prohibitively expensive for regular series production.

The Enterprise is in orbit about a planet called Cepheus where a mysterious signal with the word, “terratin,” has been transmitted. The ship is being bombarded with something Spock calls, “X-waves.” Scotty reports the dilithium crystals have been shattered; not exactly shattered but reduced in size. What quickly follows is shrinkage. Either everything’s getting bigger or the crew is getting smaller. Lieutenant Arex is dwarfed by his navigation console and Uhura has to climb onto her communications panel! Christine reports the animals in the sickbay are so small they’re escaping from their cages. McCoy notes that only organic material is being affected.

Spock climbs up to his science station and programs the computer to calculate how long the crew can maintain the ship. Sulu is injured falling from his helm station. Christine tries to grab a microscopic laser but she falls into a fish tank. This is so cute! Kirk beams down to Cepheus to see if he can put a stop to the “X-waves.” Kirk is of normal height (with a tiny communicator) on the planet where an active volcano is spewing hot, nasty lava. He is transported back to the ship at normal height to discover his crew has been taken to the planet.

He talks to the “little people” on the planet who tell him the planet is dying because of the volcanic activity. They needed help but they couldn’t be heard because of their size. The crew is restored, as with “The Lorelei Signal,” by way of the transporter. Kirk ferries the tiny people of Cepheus to another, safer planet. This is a decent episode (written by Paul Schneider) that would’ve worked in the Original Series, if not for budget limitations.

Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!

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