Trelane channels his inner Liberace.
happens on a planet ruled by a being named Trelane, who has unnatural powers. When he attempts to force his will on the crew, Kirk determines to leave - a decision that is easier made than implemented.
It all started when the Enterprise
was just on its way to Beta VI and crossing a "star desert" when they come across a rogue planet comprised primarily of iron-silica. Sulu is just going to steer around it when BOING!
He disappears! Kirk soon also disappears with a similar BOING!
Soon after, the Enterprise
receives a text greeting in Old English Font. After a quick scan, Spock assigns three officers (no Red Shirts
this time) to rescue the Captain and Sulu. The place they beam down to has thick vegetation, a manor house in French style architecture and they can't get a communication signal. Maybe they're in Louisiana?
No such luck. The landing crew investigates the manor to find it filled with unusual artifacts, including their old nemesis, the Salt Vampire.
Sulu and Kirk are frozen like wax figures, but freed with a touch. Slam goes the door.
Tinka-tinka-tink goes the harpsichord. They are introduced to General Trelane (retired), the Squire of Gothos.
- Affably Evil: Trelane fancies himself a retired general with an elegant home to show his captives every hospitality in. Or to at least play at doing so.
- Aliens Steal Cable: Trelane wasn't receiving radio signals, but clearly was limited by speed-of-light transmission when he thought that 18th-century fashions and behavior were the latest things for Earth people, there on his planet some 600 light years from Earth. Then again, he was merely a child from a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and might be excused from making such a mistake.
- Bilingual Bonus: Trelane counts to four in German and says "Gehen wir mit dem Schießgewehr!" (We go with the rifle shooting!) Jaeger responds with "I'm a scientist, not a military man." (However, his last name does mean "Hunter".) Trelane asks DeSalle (in French) if he can speak French. (If anyone's curious, "De Salle" means "Out of room")
- Except if you say "Il sort de salle.", it's not accurate. "De" means generally "of" or "from". In this case, "Salle" isn't literraly a room, but the name of a place. His ancestors could have been the lords of Salle or simply people from Salle.
- Bling of War: It's unlikely he did anything to earn them, but Trelane believes no general costume is complete without a few medals.
- Continuity Nod: The salt vampire from "The Man Trap" is among Trelane's collection.
- Deus ex Machina: Trelane's parents show up and take their son away, also giving Kirk the ability to return to the ship.
- Dance of Romance: Trelane starts his idea of one with Not-Yeoman-Rand while Uhura plays the harpsichord. (After he magically gave her the ability to do so?)
- Distracted by My Own Sexy: Trelane likes admiring his reflection. Of course, this makes sneaking up on him difficult.
- Energy Beings: What Trelane and others like him (Fanon theory: the Q Continuum, and the novel Q Squared uses this interpretation) are when they aren't pretending to be human.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: There was still a very vague idea of just how far into the future the series was set, but going from this episode it's at least the 27th century given the statement that Trelane's information is 900 years out of date. The TOS era would later be firmly set in the 23rd century.
- Fanon: Trelane is commonly believed to be a young Q, after The Next Generation introduced the Continuum.
- Flynning: Justified, as Trelane is a fan of swordfighting but has never actually tried it before.
- Glove Slap: Kirk uses one of Not-Yeoman-Rand's gloves to challenge Trelane, who is all too eager to take part in an old fashioned Duel to the Death.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Trelane believes this. The Regency style gown with Opera Gloves he zaps Not-Yeoman-Rand into is a fine shade of lavender.
- Hanging Judge: Trelane makes believe at being one, complete with powdered wig.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Kirk staying behind to distract Trelane so that the Enterprise can escape from orbit. This would have two possible outcomes - either the vengeful Trelane kills him or Kirk dies from oxygen deprivation after defeating him. It's subverted when Trelane's parents show up just as he is about to finish Kirk off.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: The passionate, if quick tempered Trelane has a pair. Granted, he may only be wearing them because they were fashionable in the timeline he's trying to re-create, but it still fits.
- Humans Are Bastards: Trelane believes this. That's why he admires them so!
- Immortal Immaturity: Trelane is an extremely powerful near-god and hundreds if not thousands of years old, but acted like a child...and by the standards of his race, he was—his parents showed up at the end to drag their whining kid home.
- Insult Backfire: "I can't imagine a mirage ever disturbing those mathematically perfect brain waves of yours." snipes Bones at Spock. Spock thanks him for the compliment.
- Japanese Politeness: Trelane bows to Sulu and calls him "Honorable Sir." Sulu responds "Is he for real?"
- Kangaroo Court: The trial Trelane "presides" over makes Q's court case look like People of the State of California vs. Orenthal James Simpson.
- Large Ham: Trelane.
- Mood Whiplash: Goes from a whimsical "we're dealing with a weird alien" plot to a God-like Trelane going berserk over Kirk's actions.
- And back again when we find out Trelane isn't God, just a spoiled brat.
- Must Have Caffeine: Not-Yeoman-Rand serves up cups of coffee for everyone on the bridge at the opening of the episode. Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that they're allowing open beverages near what is probably very important electrical equipment?
- Negative Space Wedgie: Sulu tries to get the Enterprise away from Gothos at warp speed, only to find the ship on collision course with Gothos! No matter where the Enterprise goes, there's Gothos, right in front of them!
- No, Captain Kirk, I Expect You To Dine: Trelane insists on it. Too bad his beef tastes like straw and his brandy tastes like water.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Trelane repeatedly complains that hunting Kirk is "too easy" to be any fun.
- Reality Warper: Trelane. Which brings us to....
- Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Trelane is a godlike alien reality warper who creates new worlds to suit his whims. He torments the Enterprise crew with his powers, but just as he's about to kill Kirk, his parents show up and remonstrate him.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kirk dishes one out to Trelane, along with a couple of bitch slaps.
- Scheherezade Gambit: Kirk convinces Trelane to spare him because it would be more fun to Hunt The Most Dangerous Game.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Kirk and co. try to pull this at first. Trelane punishes Kirk for attempting to do so by briefly transporting him to another part of the planet with a noxious atmosphere. When Trelane is distracted by his broken toys, Kirk and co. beam back to the Enterprise where Kirk tells Sulu to floor it. (not that this works either)
- Silly Walk: On hearing the name of the meteorologist is Karl Jaeger, Trelane does an exaggerated goose-step while counting in German. Lt. Jaeger is not amused.
- Spoiled Brat: What Trelane ultimately is. He drops his suave gentleman act when his parents show up and starts acting like a whiny little child. The parents apologize, realizing that it's partially their own fault for over-indulging him.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The blonde Yeoman was very likely written as Janice Rand until Grace Lee Whitney was fired.
- Sword Fight: Trelane and Kirk get in one. Trelane doesn't fight fair.
- Trial Of The Mystical Jury: Kirk is put on trial by Trelane, as will another Starfleet Captain by another super powered alien.
- Wacky Sound Effect: Along with the usual "BOING" whenever anyone disappears, we get a calvacade of goofy noises when Kirk shoots out Trelane's mirror, where he's been hiding the power source of his illusions.
- Where's the Fun in That?: Kirk asks his captor, "Where's the sport?" in simply hanging him, as he had planned. Instead, Kirk talked his captor into staging a "royal hunt". This bought Kirk enough time for a Deus ex Machina rescue.
- You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You: Bones tries to tell Uhura what Trelane is like, but gives up. She'll soon find out for herself anyway.