The Great Star Trek TAS Rewatch: The Jihad

The Vedala summon a group of specialists

The galaxy is in imminent danger. The Skorr have lost their most precious religious artefact, and unless it can be retrieved, they will launch a devastating interstellar jihad. Desperate to prevent this outcome, the Vedala summon Kirk and Spock to participate in a dangerous mission to recover the artefact.

Here we are at the end of the first season of TAS, and we close out with an episode that doesn’t feel like Star Trek at all. It’s essentially a cut and paste of the old “eclectic group of specialists go on a dangerous mission” plot, with the usual twist that one member of the group is a traitor. Bland stereotypes like the tough guy, the cowardly thief and the sassy woman are all present – and of course said woman spends the entire episode trying and failing to get into Kirk’s pants. I guess you know it’s serious when even Kirk doesn’t have time for a shag.

As is customary with this series, the short runtime of the episode means there isn’t time to develop anything beyond the flimsiest and most shallow of frameworks. As I watched it, what I felt wasn’t enjoyment, but rather a nostalgia for all the other animated shows that are so much better than this one. Still, season two is only six episodes, so at least the end is in sight now.

Other notes

  • For budget reasons, the Skorr look exactly like the Aurelian seen in Yesteryear. Either they share a common ancestry, or it’s a case of convergent evolution.
  • Tchar stole the artefact in order to launch a jihad, but then instead of doing that, he kept the theft a secret and participated in efforts to retrieve it. Was this all an elaborate way of leaking the information about the theft without directly connecting it to himself? Also, presumably he wasn’t present on the first few expeditions, so why did he join this one?
  • If the Vedala have the technology to return Kirk and Spock moments after they left, and to ultimately wipe their memories of the mission, why did they lack the ability to retrieve the artefact themselves? Maybe they weren’t naturally suited to the planet’s climate, but as the oldest spacefaring race, they must have developed life support technology.
  • When the lava starts flowing towards the ground vehicle, it seems to reach it almost immediately. However in the next scene the lava is still far away, and there is ample time to divert it and make an escape.
  • Presumably to fill time, the episode cuts to an exterior shot of the Enterprise at one point, even though the Enterprise isn’t involved in the mission and there is no subsequent scene aboard the ship.
  • The swooping dragonlike creatures are seen for a third time in this episode – reused footage ahoy!

Summary – The Jihad: An eclectic band of heroes are the galaxy’s only hope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.