CBS All Access (Original TV network: NBC)
December 15, 1973
Run Time: 24 minutes
Episode 14 – “The Slaver Weapon”
Spock, Uhura and Sulu aboard a transport ship with a slaver box that starts glowing. This only happens when it is near another slaver box. Time stands still inside a slaver box, explains Spock. An alien race that sees human beings as food is on an icy planet with the other slaver box.
How will the encounter with the alien race develop? What is the slaver box, really? Why does it exist?
This is one of the more thought-provoking episodes of all episodes. I miss this kind of deep-thinking Star Trek. The current era Star Trek, the Alex Kurtzman Trek, if you will, is lacking these types of episodes. I’ve read and seen videos where he’s called it “monster of the week” and that’s a dismissive and disrespectful way to look at the original Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry and company weren’t just going through the motions. Sure, sometimes they were, and admitted it, but episodes like this that make you think are the bread and butter of the franchise.
I digress. My only criticism for the episode is I missed Captain Kirk. An episode that doesn’t have him feels like drinking soda without sugar. Taking away a star for his omission but that might be unfair. It is also kind of cool that they experimented having an episode intentionally without Kirk. You’d think they could have shoehorned him into the episode somehow. Like perhaps a radio message with the ship and captain, at least?
Through the first 14 episodes, the original airings were weekly. Curiously, this episode (December 15, 1973) skipped a week from episode 13 (December 1, 1973)? Maybe there was some special back then, I don’t know what changed the pattern. If anybody reading knows the answer to this, please let me know in the comments.
With modern day TV shows, they are either binged like Netflix does with the entire season released at once or often on changing release episode schedules. Rarely, it seems that TV series new episodes are released weekly like The Mandalorian on Disney+. Unselfishly, I think this is the optimal way to release a TV series. Sure, I’d like to binge the entire season at one time, like Cobra Kai on Netflix, but there is something mystical and cool about getting a new episode every week. Being forced to consume a TV series a week at a time, that I just find captivating.
Episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️