From super-powerful aliens on to a variation of the good old ‘officer gone mad’ plot. I think this is the first time we’ve really seen a Star Fleet officer gone bad (as opposed to other Federation personnel, which has happened a couple of times).
The Yangs versus XXX subplot had me a bit more confused, the ‘Americans versus Communists’ thing seemed like a departure driven more by ‘how do I finish this episode, I have fifteen more minutes to fill’ than any kind of original idea. Maybe the idea of ‘parallel evolution’ didn’t quite seem as silly 40 years ago, but I kind of doubt it.
Kirk’s deep devotion to his ‘most solemn oath’ in the Prime Directive would be a lot more convincing if he hadn’t been blatantly violating it time and time again through the rest of this season. And then Kirk talks himself out of his own violations with the good old ‘but I was just reading out the constitution’ argument.
Another Red Shirt in this episode.
52 down, 685 to go.