Flashback TV: Let’s Make a Deal with Captain Kirk
The first episode of the second season of Star Trek: The Animated series feels low-budget, but it has a lot of good things going on. Most of the voices of Star Trek: The Original Series are present, except for Walter Koenig. The plot of this episode centers around Spock, who is dying from a rare disease. The Enterprise goes to collect a cure, but the drug is stolen by some evil pirates. The animation itself isn’t any different than other episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series, but it’s decent enough for 20 minutes.
This is a classic case of good versus evil. There’s not much deep here, except for the consideration of how much Spock’s life is really worth. As if foreshadowing Star Trek II, the needs of the many do not outweigh the needs of the few, in this case. Anyway, Spock makes a point of explaining that picking up the cure should not interfere with their present mission. What a guy.
The evil part of this good versus evil story is represented by some Orion Pirates. Every appearance of the Orions in Star Trek has not been a favorable one, and they don’t come out much better in this animated episode. The unscrupulous Captain is ready to commit suicide rather than give up his stolen cargo and risk exposing his whole race as greedy pirates. Don’t people know that already? The Orion Captain tries to protect his neutrality facade, but Kirk outwits him and saves Spock. Hooray.
In all, “Pirates of Orion” is pretty black and white, and gives the Enterprise something to do other than shoot things. Unfortunately, there’s no green women in this animated episode, but I guess we don’t want to put that in a show for kids. There is a tense conflict, but Kirk tries to make a deal with the pirates for Spock’s drug, offering to buy it from them. Say what? Kirk even promises not to tell Starfleet about the pirates. Say what? Good thing he wasn’t REALLY desperate.