Star Trek Episode Review: Shore Leave (1966)

Synopsis: With his crew in desperate need of a break, Kirk (William Shatner) approves shore leave on a peaceful planet with no people or animals. However, when Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) encounters a large white rabbit and Kirk himself sees people from his past, it is apparent there is something strange about the world.

Review: It's been kind of wet and dreary out there so ended up going home for lunch today. While there, I decided to continue with my Star Trek watching and ended up watching this episode. I wound up having my doubts about it, but it did turn out to be better than I was expecting it to be.

At first, when McCoy saw that white rabbit (Bill Blackburn) and, a short time later, a little girl that looked like the storybook character, Alice (Marcia Brown), I was concerned this would wind up being a bit too campy to be enjoyable. However, that turned out not to be the case.

I think the thing that ultimately won me over was the episode's campy nature was balanced out by a halfway decent mystery. At first, it was easy to write off the occurrences as simple hallucinations, probably from one of the plants. But, once it was revealed the things they were seeing were, in fact, real, that was thrown out and the episode wound up being much more interesting than expected, especially when McCoy is killed by a knight.

Adding to the episode was the power drain on the Enterprise. Was this an elaborate ruse to gain control of the ship? Or, was there something else going on?

I think my biggest complaint about this episode is the scenes with Kirk and his ex-classmate, Finnegan (Bruce Mars) are kind of drawn out. In fact, that ongoing fight between the two men was almost comical to the point I had a hard time watching it (it reminded me a lot of Peter Griffin fighting the chicken on Family Guy).

I also thought the episode dropped the ball a bit by having Spock (Leonard Nimoy) get to the surface before Kirk and crew were completely cut off from the Enterprise, only because I thought it would have been better had the Spock they saw arrive on the planet turned out to be fake. Granted, it probably wouldn't have quite fit in with what was happening on the planet, but it would have been an added twist that could have created some added suspense.

Final Opinion: They could have shortened Kirk's big fight scene. But, overall, I thought this was an entertaining episode. It's probably a little more comical than I would prefer, but the mystery did keep things interesting.

My Grade: B


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