Star Trek : Turnabout Intruder

September 15, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid


This week’s classic Star Trek episode is Turnabout Intruder. It is the last episode of season three and the last episode of the original series. The Enterprise answers a distress call from a scientific expedition on Camus II. Upon arriving the landing party finds only three survivors. One of which is Dr. Janus Lester an old flame of Kirk’s who despises Kirk for her inability to achieve command of a starship. Leaving Kirk alone with Lester the others leave to see to an additional survivor. While alone Lester who is not injured traps Kirk in an alien machine that can transfer the life essence of an individual from one body to another. Lester uses the machine to switch bodies with Kirk and take his place as Captain of the Enterprise.


Although Lester knows the ins and outs of a starship captains duties her hate for Kirk and her insanity prevent her from pulling off the ruse. After Spock becomes suspicious of Lester in Kirk’s body he goes to Kirk in Lester’s body and using the Vulcan mind meld learns the truth. After Spock tries to free Kirk/Lester a court martial is ordered by Lester/Kirk. After hearing Spock’s story and seeing Lester/Kirk’s irrational behavior the crew refuses to obey her orders and she loses control of the mind transference briefly. Dr. Coleman Lester’s accomplice says that the only way for the transference to remain permanent is for Kirk/Lester to die. During the struggle in which Coleman and Lester/Kirk try to kill Kirk/Lester the transference weakens and is eventually reversed.


I really like the re-mastered planet shot. Camus II now has rings like Saturn. Other than that this is really a forgettable episode. The part of the episode that just makes it bad is the statement by Lester that “Your world of starship captains doesn’t admit women” something that goes against what Star Trek’s vision of the future embodied. I guess one thing you could say is that Shatner’s performance as Lester trapped in his body had that campy sci-fi feel but that doesn’t even make the episode watchable. At least no red shirts were harmed in the final episode. It is too bad the series was canceled before its time and didn’t get a proper ending. Just like another great sci-fi animated series did recently. At least they made up for the lack of a nice ending with Star Trek VI.


With this being the last episode of the original series I can’t help but to wonder what could have been. Star Trek was ground breaking. It wasn’t just another monster of the week sci-fi show. Had the network gotten behind the series and given it another season or two had they not played musical chairs with its time slot and had they given them the resources to make the show the best it could be the future of Star trek could have been much different. Unfortunately we’ll never know. The third season had its flaws but we wouldn’t have even gotten that had it not been for a fan letter writing campaign that saved Star Trek for another year.

I wonder what the people who made the decision to cancel the show thought back in the early seventies as syndication kicked in and Star Trek grew and grew instead of fading away.

One additional thing concerning the post cancelation pre movie era. I would like to recommend a book called Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series. It covers the time in the seventies where Star Trek was going to be brought back to TV but eventually morphed into Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The book explains how a new network was to be formed with Star Trek as its flagship. It goes on to tell the story of the proposed series and how it eventually became the film. There is concept art interestingly enough some even done by Star Wars icon Ralph McQuarrie, the show’s writers bible first drafts of In Thy Image which would become the movie and scripts of the first proposed thirteen episodes several of which were adapted and used in The Next Generation.