Bearing a striking similarity to, although perhaps not directly influenced by, Fredric Brown's story Arena, this episode of Star Trek has Kirk shanghaied by a race of incredibly powerful aliens and forced to fight the captain of a rival alien ship with the lives of everyone on their respective ships as the stakes while his crew watches it all on video.
This episode is the only appearance of the Gorn in the original series, which is somewhat disappointing, because this story sets up a scenario that seems like it would have been interesting to explore. On the other hand, 1960s episodic television wasn't really prepared to handle ongoing story lines, so it may have been just as well that they never tried to pick up the threads from the episode in subsequent installments. Be that as it may, it seems like the Gorn could have been at least a semi-regular adversary for the Federation in the series, as they seem to have been at least as interesting when they were introduced as either the Klingons or the Romulans. Alas, despite this moderately promising beginning, the Gorn were mostly cast aside and have been treated as almost an afterthought by Star Trek writers in the years since.
Taking up where the writers of Star Trek left off, Five Year Mission shows us the true face of the Gorn, who is just a hard-working guy who only wants to get through his difficult day. After being ripped off by guitar thieves, dealing with stores prejudiced against dogs and Gorn, and having his dog stolen, is it any wonder that the Gorn is just a little bit testy?
And no, I don't know what magic keeps Andy Fark's glasses from falling off.
Dream Five Year Mission Set
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