Yes, Constant Reader, we are here again. In Star Trek-land. I told you it was weirdly compelling.
In Mirror, Mirror, a transporter beam affected by an ion storm causes Captain Kirk and his ka-tet to switch places with alternate-universe versions of themselves. The alternate universe turns out to be one in which the Enterprise is in the service of some kind of evil Galactic Empire (wrong franchise?), where officers advance by assassination, torture is the disciplinary action of choice, and people use a salute suspiciously similar to the one the Nazis used to greet their captain. Kirk and his friends must find a way to get home, and, of course, there is a deadline, for no discernible reason other than to ratchet up otherwise sadly lacking dramatic tension.
I didn’t say it made sense.
It is, however, considerably more amusing than much of what else is on television. For one thing, you don’t expect that much because, let’s face it, it was made in the 1960s, it’s going to be rubbish, and so, therefore, you are not disappointed and may, in fact, be pleasantly surprised. (This is fairly unlikely, though.) And although there was a moderate amount of face-whacking in this episode – including a scene in which the ka-tet thought it might be a good idea to attack Alternate-Universe Spock one at a time, displaying the kind of military intelligence that gets whole spaceships blown up unnecessarily – there were still none of those extended fight scenes that bog down a lot of science fiction to no apparent plot purpose. (Matrix Reloaded, I’m looking at you.) And what’s not to love about a world where the worst thing that can happen is a malfunctioning transporter beam?
Dear God, I think I’m turning into a Trekkie.