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Star Trek - Wolf in the Fold

episode 2.14
Raumschiff Enterprise - Der Wolf im Schafspelz

USA 1967
produced by
Gene L. Coon, Gene Roddenberry (executive) for Desilu, Norway Corporation/NBC
directed by Joseph Pevney
starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, John Fiedler, Charles Macaulay, Pilar Seurat, James Doohan, George Takei, Charles Dierkop, Joseph Bernard, Tanya Lemani, John Winston, Virginia Aldridge, Judith McConnell, Judi Sherven
written by Robert Bloch, created by Gene Roddenberry, music by Gerald Fried

TV series
Star Trek, Classic Star Trek, Star Trek (original crew), Jack the Ripper

review by
Mike Haberfelner




Scotty (James Doohan) is accused to have killed a dancing girl (Tanya Lemani) whom he escorted home from the place she danced at on a pleasure planet - and sure enough, the evidence is damning, he is found over the victim holding the knife, and he claims to have no memory of the incident. The authorities are somewhat baffled as murder is virtually unheard of on this purely hedonistic planet. So Captain Kirk has Lt. Tracy (Virginia Aldridge) beamed down with a device that will help find the truth - but once she's left alone with Scotty, she turns up dead as well. Sybo (Pilar Seurat), wife of the planet's ruler Jaris (Chales Macaulay), suggests a seance - which culminates in her screaming out a few unrelated names, then the lights go off, and when they go on again, she's dead, with Scotty holding her body. Kirk suggests to take the whole investigation to the Enterprise, and soon enough it's found out what the names Sybo screamed mean, those of serialkillers across the galaxy, one of them being a lesser known alias for Jack the Ripper - and it turns out Jack the Ripper's actually on board the Enterprise ... the pleasure planet's Federation administrator Hengist (John Fiedler), who has used his position to kill across the galaxy. Of course, he's apprehended in the end and beamed into outer space.

 

This episode really falls into two parts, with the first, the planet-bound part being properly creepy, with Scotty as a possible serialkiller and a séance, with the set design really lending itself to the dark goings-on. Once the story is moved to the Enterprise though it gets silly - it really seems that the need to exonerate Scotty was overriding everything else, thus a space-travelling evil entity that once was Jack the Ripper, which is not only far fetched, the concept is also too close to the very previous episode Obsession. Now would the story have stayed closer to its horror roots, it might have worked fine, but the forced sci-fi finale doesn't do it any benefit - which is a pity.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD