The Galileo Seven (Star Trek: The Original Series) Review

"Ready to explore some new galaxies?"

“Ready to explore some new galaxies?”

Episode: The Galileo Seven – Season 1, Episode 16 (1966)

Director: Robert Gist

Teleplay: Oliver Crawford and S. Bar-David

Story: Oliver Crawford

On the way to Makus II with “badly-needed medical supplies,” the Enterprise diverts to the Murasaki 312 quasar system for an exploratory interlude. From the beginning, the set-up feels a little forced. On the one hand, the ship is due for the medical rendezvous in something like five days; on the other, Kirk has standing orders to explore quasars whenever he finds them.[1] 

Actually, Kirk’s central mission is to piss-off Galactic Commissioner Farris (John Crawford) who is on his ass the whole episode re: being late with the medicine. Kirk could come back later, but with Commissioner Douche haunting his bridge, our captain does the only logical thing: pack his three most important officers (Spock, Scott, McCoy) into a flying short bus and drop it into a cloud of ionizing radiation. Too bad he didn’t include Sulu and Uhura for the royal flush of command incompetence. Predictably, the Galileo is in open space five minuets before crash landing on local planet Taurus II.[2]

Once the officers and attached scientific specialists encounter the gigantic, spear-chucking locals, the bodies pile up. Every “logical” command Spock issues proves to be naïve, insensitive, or rock stupid. My personal favorite is when he tells the already petrified Lieutenant Gaetano (Peter Marko) to wait behind, out of sight of the shuttle craft, and stand guard over a fog-shrouded cliff face. Hey, put on a red shirt while you’re at it.

Spock’s “logical” command style only results in resentment and casualties. McCoy reprises his role as a space-going Florrie Capp. Lieutenant Boma (Don Marshall) can’t stop crying about wanting to bury people. The yeoman (Phyllis Douglas) emphasizes major plot points for the audience: “We’re moving!” when the ship begins to move; “It’s so hot!” when the ship is burning up. Scotty is the only one to keep a level head and do his fucking job.  At least Lieutenant Latimer (Reese Vaugn) has the good grace to catch a spear early on.

Overhead, Kirk manages to refrain from punching the good Commissioner for just long enough. Spock  gets the shuttle back into orbit and signals its position in a bit of derring-do, igniting their remaining fuel in a giant flare visible even with the Enterprise’s degraded sensors.

The episode wants to argue that, in removing emotion from his decisions, Spock is somehow a bad commander. I’m not sure I buy it. Sure, mistakes were made, but how many of the mishaps on Taurus II were the results of the nitwits in his care? Scotty didn’t give him any problems, and it was his cooperation that got everyone (minus two idiots) back home. What’s more, everyone gathers on the bridge to give Spock shit afterwards. Was the fuel ignition maneuver somehow a flash of emotionally-tinged inspiration? Can they browbeat him into admitting it? Spock clams-up like the wise Vulcan he is, but his eyes say it all: Next time I leave your bitch-ass on the planet, McCoy.


[1]     So why not drop off the goods and come back? It’s not like the quasar is going anywhere.

[2] If the system is unexplored, why do the planets have names?  Clearly, this is all a dick move on the captain’s part.

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1 Comment

Filed under Childhood Memories, Star Trek Original Series

One response to “The Galileo Seven (Star Trek: The Original Series) Review

  1. Perry Armstrong

    This has never been one of my favourite Star Trek episodes, and you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head with your observation that Spock’s (so-called) logical decisions for much of the story don’t actually make much sense, whilst his entirely logical ‘fuel ignition manoeuvre’ is somehow labelled as emotional. At least we got a sweet shuttle prop out of the episode.

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