Thursday, June 21, 2012

STAR TREK: LOG THREE by Alan Dean Foster

Star Trek: Log Three (1975) contains three more TV-script-to-novella adaptations by Alan Dean Foster based on episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series: “Once Upon a Planet,” “Mudd’s Passion,” and “The Magicks of Megas Tu.” Here, the Enterprise returns to the Amusement Planet from the TOS episode “Shore Leave,” encounters Harry Mudd for the third time, and travels to a magical planet at the center of the galaxy.

This is easily the weakest entry to this point in the series. For one, Foster is not at his best here. Foster’s treatment of the material lacks energy, and the pacing is sluggish. Throughout the series, Foster jumps abruptly from one character’s head to the next, and it’s worse here than ever, to a jarring degree. Unlike the previous Log books, this one is riddled with errors, including an egregious number of cases of “it’s” where it should be “its.”

Granted, these stories are based on cartoons, but the second and third entries feel especially cartoony, which is a problem Foster was largely able to avoid in the previous volumes. Not that this is completely his fault; the source material is frequently silly: dinosaurs, love potions, magic, a friendly Lucifer. And “The Magicks of Megas Tu” features much in common with the worst parts of the plot of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Why they went to that well twice, I can’t imagine.  

Star Trek: Log Three gives you three mediocre adaptations of forgettable episodes. You can do better.