TREK-A-DAY: A Piece of the Action
EPISODE FORTY-SIX: A Piece of the Action
Another fun genre episode, this one finds the crew on a planet inspired by Chicago mobsters, leading to all manner of “Funny talk, see?” dialogue, gangster slang, Kirk telling Spock to “Cover ’em, Spocko” and all manner of fun.
The most important thing to take from this episode, is a glimpse at how genre episodes were handled by Trek before the application of the Holodeck. Instead of a random character having a fantasy they live out on the deck, the writers had to justify why there was a planet that had the genre capabilities. In this case, the people of the planet are highly impressionable and imitate things; when a ship last left, it left behind a book on Chicago Mobsters, leading to the whole fiasco. That a race could so embrace an idea that within 100 years’ time they ARE that thing is a lot of fun and justifies the fun locale. This is handled much, much better than that time there was a whole carbon copy of Earth floating around, or the subconscious fear of…dungeons and skeletons? It’s neat and inventive and fits the universe nicely.
All-in-all, an incredibly entertaining genre episode. I especially enjoyed Scotty threatening to send a guy to the bottom of a river wearing “concrete galoshes.” Fun.