TREK-A-DAY: Spectre of the Gun
EPISODE FIFTY NINE: Spectre of the Gun
Here’s yet another thing we can blame Val Kilmer for: he ruined this episode. I was once bashing Kilmer when a friend insisted I watch Tombstone to get a sense of what the dude is actually capable of. He plays a swaggering, awesome Doc Holiday in a kick ass western about the shoot out the OK Corral. Awesome.
Here’s the problem: in this episode, Kirk and Co get sentenced to ironic death by an alien that looks like a budget Halloween decoration and thus find themselves as the cattle rustlers who were terrorizing the town until Holliday and Wyatt Earp wrecked them. Tombstone has Earp and Holiday immortalized as ass kicking heroes…but Kirk and Co are there to be executed by them…so our heroes are the villains, which would be fine if everyone in town didn’t constantly talk about how much they like the rustlers and how the historical heroes of the town are jerks. It’s just weird, and while granted Tombstone hadn’t come out and these characters weren’t as established in pop culture (though certainly present in American mythology), it’s very hard as an audience member to reconcile the clear villains of the situation being presented as well loved because we love the people playing them. Odd.
Anyway, there’s fun to be had here, it boils down to a mind-over-matter solution (involving our heroes shrugging off a firing squad) and Kirk gets to irrationally yell at a guy and shake him until he gives him some info, which is always fun. Also, Chekov gets lucky, then dies, but it was all an illusion…sort of…
Not the best genre episode, but a neat premise. Now I’m going to go watch Tombstone.