Star Trek: “Return to Tomorrow”

Data
Title: Star Trek“Return to Tomorrow”
Year: 1968
Network: NBC
Episode: the twentieth (of twenty-six) from season two; 50 minutes
Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Director: Ralph Senensky
Writer: John Kingsbridge
Starring: William Shatner
With: Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Diana Muldaur, James Doohan, Majel Barrett
Cinematography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Music: Alexander Courage (theme); George Duning
I saw it: on video and TV several times, most recently yesterday (have on DVD)
Synopsis: god-like disembodied minds need to borrow some bodies, but they’ll give them back, they promise

My reaction
Concept:3/4 (Good)
Story:2/4 (Indifferent) For the most part it’s great (even though the god-like powers mean that our heroes are just along for the ride while the guest characters have their own story), although some nonsense tacked on to the end (after the problems have already been resolved) comes pretty close to ruining it.
Characters:3/4 (Good)
Dialog:1/4 (Bad) They manage to get across some nice ideas, but they have a hard time doing it.
Pacing:3/4 (Good)
Cinematography:2/4 (Indifferent)
Special effects/design:4/4 (Great)
Acting:2/4 (Indifferent)
Music:3/4 (Good) I have to take a point off for the swelling underneath Kirk’s “inspirational” monologue.
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good, 3/4 (Good)). Not just another god-like powers episode. Even though it’s set almost entirely on the ship with no special effects and only one guest star, it manages to have an ambitiousness. It’s close to being great, but badly marred by occasional crappiness – mostly in the form of awful dialog.
Objective Rating (Average):

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