Star Trek’s Halloween Episode: Catspaw

The Original Star Trek Series actually has a Halloween episode called Catspaw. It was the first episode filmed for Star Trek’s second season but it’s broadcast was delayed so that it came out for Halloween.

The witches of Catspaw

Second Witch: Wind shall rise. 
Third Witch: And fog descend. 
First Witch: So leave here, all, or meet your end. 
[Wailing witches cackle and vanish] 
Captain James T. Kirk: Spock. Comment. 
Mr. Spock: Very bad poetry, Captain. 
Captain James T. Kirk: A more useful comment, Mr. Spock? 
Mr. Spock: What we’ve just seen is not real. 
Captain James T. Kirk: That’s useful

Hair today….

Probably the scariest thing about this episode is Chekov’s hair, the actor was brought in to capitalise on the popularity of Davy Jones in ‘The Monkees’. Walter Koenig hadn’t had the chance to ‘grow out his hair’ for the role and wore this terrible wig.

The central concept of the episode – that any advanced technology could appear to be magic, was one that the series would return to, to greater effect, notably in The Next Generation episode ‘Who Watches The Watchers’.

This was one of three episodes written by the late, great Robert Bloch (best known for writing Psycho). Unfortunately, this was not a particularly great episode, memorable for some terrible effects (even by 60’s standards).

Even average Original Series episodes are pretty good though, and as usual, the banter between the leads is pretty good. At one point, Kirk and McCoy are manacled in a jail, Kirk turns to McCoy, starts to address him as “Bones,” notices the skeleton behind him and changes it to “Doc.”

Likewise, I always liked the following exchange:

Kolob: (to Spock) “You see all this around you and yet you do not believe.”
McCoy: “He doesn’t know about trick or treat.”

The tremendous trio…

The episode is also full of wonderful cliches, Kirk trying to seduce the beautiful Sylvia who is confused by the hormones in her human body.

Also, the voodoo scene, where the enterprise is miniaturised and held over a candle is wonderfully creative. Incidentally, that model now resides in the American Air and Space Museum).

Who says all Star Trek aliens have bumpy foreheads?


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