The Great Star Trek Rewatch: Day of the Dove

When the Enterprise hurries to answer a distress call, the only thing they find are the surviving crew of a damaged Klingon ship. The Klingons forcibly board the Enterprise, and despite Kirk’s countermeasures, manage to take over Engineering. As the Klingons and the Enterprise crew get progressively angrier at each other, and weapons start appearing out of nowhere, it seems like some entity must be working behind the scenes to manipulate the two sides into perpetual conflict.

Those blasted energy beings – why can’t they just leave humanity alone for once? This time around, we have one who feeds on anger, hate and general negative emotions, and seems quite adept at a) provoking the seeds of these rage into delicious, edible flames and b) turning everything that’s not nailed down into swords. Which makes for a fairly standard “energy being causes havoc/powerful alien is a dick” episode, but one which I think I enjoyed far more back in the day than I do now. Klingon captain Kang and his wife/science officer Mara are potentially interesting characters, but they don’t really get a chance to shine amongst all the running around with swords and angry racism.

Character anti-development

For all that 23rd century humans are supposed to be evolved, the energy being brings out the worst in them.

  • Scotty gets very gung ho, and starts verbally abusing Spock for being a green-blooded freak. Spock responds by saying he doesn’t enjoy working with humans. Let’s hope the alien was completely controlling their minds, rather than merely growing the seeds of racism that were already there.
  • Chekov becomes convince that the Klingons killed his brother, despite the fact that he’s always been an only child. He even gets a bit rapey when he tries to force himself on Mara, who as a superior Klingon warrior, should have easily been able to fight him off.
  • Even McCoy starts berating Kirk and Spock for not just killing the Klingons, and he’s usually a man of peace!

Other bits and pieces

  • The Klingons claim that there has been peace with the Federation for years – it must be more like a mere 18 months since the Organian treaty.
  • It’s unclear whether the Klingons believe that the Federation are all torturers and murderers, or whether this is an idea planted by the energy being.
  • Kirk claims that the Federation doesn’t mistreat its prisoners, despite the fact that he punched Kang earlier in the episode. Geneva Convention, anyone?
  • Kirk has an emergency button on his communicator that he can use to signal to the ship that he’s in trouble. I hope this is a recent upgrade, or he’s been a real idiot not to use it before.

Summary – Day of the Dove: The power of laughter will vanquish this foe!

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