Not even your telekinetic abilities can save this episode, sir!
There are so many names I could give this episode. There’s “Captain Kirk Turns Into A Woman,” “William Shatner Goes Where No Actor Has Gone Before,” or “An Study In Ham.” If you’re wondering, yes, I did spell “mutiny” wrong in the title. See the episode and you’ll know why. “Turnabout Intruder” is the final episode of the original Star Trek TV show. As I’ve said before, that third season was far from decent and this episode is just one example of it. Technically, it’s not the last mission of the show. That’ll have to go to “All Our Yesterdays,” a much better episode than this.
The episode starts out with the Enterprise heading to Camus II to help in a rescue operation. We find out that Janice Lester, a former love of Kirk’s, is there and is one of the injured. When the two are by themselves, Dr. Lester uses a machine to put her mind in Kirk’s body and his mind in her body. Apparently, things didn’t turn out well for her at Starfleet Academy (she didn’t get a command position), so she went bonkers and found this machine on Camus II to make the switch happen. She (in Kirk’s body) tries to kill Kirk (in Lester’s body) but the others come back. They all then head to the ship.
I give the look Scotty gives a lot these days.
Lester does what she can to get her helper, Dr. Coleman, to be in charge over her regular body. She takes command but the crew notices that all is not right. McCoy has Lester (in Kirk’s body) checked up on. Kirk (in Lester’s body) does escape sickbay and tries to tell Spock and McCoy the truth but he’s looked on as crazy. Spock does mind meld with him and learn the truth. Unfortunately, Lester uses her power as captain to conduct a court-martial on Spock. When Scotty and McCoy also begin to side with Spock, she orders to have them all executed. Luckily, the crew isn’t stupid and the process that caused the switch starts to wear off. She and Dr. Coleman try to kill Kirk but the process wears off and they go back into their regular bodies.
This episode is a bit below average for me but it is pretty entertaining. The story is a "body-switch" episode and those aren’t always good. What I do like here is that Spock and McCoy know something’s up from the beginning with the possessed Kirk. They just have to take time to figure out the truth. Even Scotty know something’s not right with Kirk foaming at the mouth during the court-martial. Then there’s Shatner’s acting… oh boy. While it is really hammy and kinda bad, it’s actually pretty entertaining to watch. He is acting as a crazed woman in a man’s body, after all.
Uh... I... Hmm... this rendition of Swan Lake is quite riveting!
Then we get to the weird stuff with the sexism and the weird fact that women can’t be captains. Considering that Trek was pretty progressive, I doubt that’s what was supposed to be conveyed there when Lester said that. Personally, I think Starfleet knew Lester had some bolts loose up there and kept her out of a command position. Besides, considering how crazed she was in the episode, what she said about female captains could be taken with a grain of salt. Even after that, it’s just a pretty below average episode that doesn’t do anything that interesting.
Overall, it’s an okay episode. It’s definitely not the best of the series and it is a letdown of a final episode. I will say that it’s definitely better than Enterprise’s horrid finale. This one didn’t make me tear up at the end for all of its badness. If you’re looking for some unintentional laughs, you’ll find them here.