Tread Perilously’s annual Star Trek month begins with an underwhelming episode of TOS called “The Alternative Factor.”
During a routine patrol, the Enterprise encounters a “blink” in space localized to the planet it currently orbits. Unimpressed with Spock’s assessment of the situation, Kirk beams down to the planet. There, he encounters Lazarus, a self-professed time traveler locked in battle with an invisible enemy. But when that foe turns out to be Lazarus from another universe, Kirk must way the alternatives and chose which Lazarus to believe.
Erik and Justin fail to hide their disappointment in what may be the most mediocre episode of TOS. But they use the episode title and the name of its director to create the Federation’s #1 subspace chat show — “The Alternative Factor.” Captain Kirk turns out to support chicken independence. Lt. Charlene Masters and guest actor Janet MacLachlan easily earn episode MVP. The distinction between He Who Remains and Kang is emphasized. DeForest Kelley gets praise even as Dr. McCoy gets worse. The bad wrestling and psychedelic imagery get called out. The look of dilithium crystals gets described and Erik suggests Lee Majors as Kirk.