STAR TREK REWIND: “The Pirates of Orion”

“Blasted Vulcan, why can’t you have red blood like any normal Human?”

I don’t understand why there are outbreaks of disease on starships. I remember being told one time that vaccines are usually kept at airports in case they have to make a long trip to another location in the event of an epidemic. I always thought it would be more prudent to keep them in hospitals. This time, it’s choriocytosis but McCoy has managed to wipe out the disease with a synthetic antidote, but Spock succumbs to it because of his green blood.

Kirk arranges for a rendezvous with the Huron which obtains the strobolin necessary to cure Spock. Choriocytosis is another disease, like xenopolycythemia that apprently starves blood cells of oxygen. I’m sure the medical files of the Fabrini could’ve cured this ailment. The Huron is hijacked and the crew attacked by Orions (frustratingly pronounced “Oree-an” by everyone in the episode). The Orions take the Huron’s cargo, including the strobolin.

Kirk tries to reason with the Orions, telling them he doesn’t care what other cargo they may have taken as long as he can have the strobolin. Spock is dying. They arrange for a truce, but the Orion captain doesn’t trust that Kirk won’t report the incident, as it would negate Orion’s neutral status. They’re pirates. What do they care? The Orion captain has rigged a bomb made from stolen dilithium. Kirk and the Orion captain struggle and Scotty beams them both aboard.

The Orions in this episode resemble characters from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Spock is cured, but McCoy still can’t resist the urge to gloat over Spock’s supposedly superior green blood. This a fun, fast-paced episode as well as the premiere of the abbreviated second season of Star Trek: The Animated Series. The show was enormously popular with its target demographic as well as fans of the Original Series, but the limitations of the shortened running time and format made it nearly impossible to tell rich, complex stories.

Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!

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