Last night, I watched the Halloween-themed Star Trek episode, “Catspaw.” This is one of the few times in the Star Trek franchise that an Earth holiday is mentioned. Here are my viewing notes, with a little bit of trivia thrown in as well.
The member of the first landing party who dies is refereed to as “Crewman Jackson.” However, he is wearing the rank of lieutenant. Usually on the show, the word “crewman” is used for enlisted personnel.
It’s not a Halloween episode without witches. After they warn the second landing party to leave by uttering a threatening spell, Kirk and Spock have one of the funniest exchanges in the series:
Kirk: Spock. Comment.
Spock: Very bad poetry, Captain.
Kirk: A more useful comment, Mr. Spock.
Although it didn’t air until October 27, 1967, “Catspaw” was actually the first episode filmed for the second season. It’s also the first episode filmed that featured the character of Ensign Chekov, who was added to the show to appeal to younger viewers. His mop-top hair style was influenced by the popularity of Davy Jones from another TV show, The Monkees. Chekov’s hair may be the most ridiculous looking thing in an episode full of ridiculous looking things.
When Kirk and the others are locked up in the dungeon, it’s a nice touch that Dr. McCoy, whose nickname is “Bones,” is shackled next to the skeleton.
That pendant of the Enterprise is very cool. I believe it was donated to the Smithsonian.
For some reason, there is an extreme close-up shot of Korob that is used a couple of times. It really stands out, not necessarily in a good way.
Antoinette Bower, who plays Sylvia, is fabulous.
The trick photography portraying the cat as a giant is pretty cheesy, but it fits the tone of the episode.
Regarding the actual physical appearance of the two aliens, the less said the better.
Until next time…