Star Trek TOS S1E29: Operation: Annihilate!
The squicky Communist menace must be genocided.
See the Star Trek TOS Rewatch Index page for links to all the episodes covered so far.
“OPERATION: ANNIHILATE:” Rating: 6.8/10
“This Side of Paradise” was Star Trek’s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. “Operation: Annihilate!” is closer to Robert Heinlein’s Puppet Masters, which also featured repulsive slimy things stabbing into people’s backs to control their minds.
The first third of the episode admirably captures Heinlein’s aura of squicky Cold War paranoia and mistrust. The rest isn’t really willing to follow through by converting the ship’s crew to evil, though. Instead, the story lurches towards scientific detective work with a predetermined victorious outcome. Scriptwriter Stephen W. Carabatsos and director Herschel Daugherty seem to have seen their plotline heading for genocide and blanched. As a result, the season ends, not with a bang, but with a squelch.
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