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Star Trek

When I was at college, a friend and I wondered what minimalist Star Trek would look like. We decided that nothing very much would happen and it wouldn’t happen over the course of an hour.

The episode opens with a shot of a barren landscape, nothing but a sandy floor stretching for miles (or at least the edges of the studio set with their force perspective hills that didn't really work) and a dark night sky (or backdrop with stars projected on it).

After a few seconds, Kirk beams in, phaser outstretched. We cut to close-up. His eyes darting backwards and forwards in alarm as he realises he’s can’t move. After a few seconds and some dramatic music, cut to titles.

Back from titles and Kirk still can’t move, his eyes still looking about, but every few seconds we can see that they’re repeating the same motion we saw in the teaser.

Spock beams in opposite him, tricorder held aloft. He too is paralysed and can’t move.

“Spock!” Kirk shouts in surprise.
“Captain --” Spock replies as though he’s about to say something important.
“Spock!” Kirk shouts in surprise.
“Captain --” Spock replies as though he’s about to say something important.
“Spock!” Kirk shouts in surprise.
“Captain --” Spock replies as though he’s about to say something important.

And they’re both caught in the time loop and as we cut back and forth between them, the only thing that changes is the star field behind with imperceptibly moves. This continues for about five minutes, dramatic music, cut to commercials.

Back from commercials:

“Spock!” Kirk shouts in surprise.
“Captain --” Spock replies as though he’s about to say something important.
“Spock!” Kirk shouts in surprise.
“Captain --” Spock replies as though he’s about to say something important.

For a bit. Then Dr. McCoy beams in next to the both of them.

“Bones?” Kirk asks.
“Jim –-“ McCoy replies as though he’s about to say something important.
“Doctor?” Spock asks.
“Spock –-“ McCoy replies as though he’s about to say something else important.
“Bones?” Kirk asks.
“Jim –-“ McCoy replies as though he’s about to say something important.
“Doctor?” Spock asks.
“Spock –-“ McCoy replies as though he’s about to say something else important.

Now all three of them are stuck in the time loop, but the events have changed now that McCoy is there. Dramatic music, cut to commercials.

Back from commercials and the scene is, as you’d expect, much the same.

“Bones?” Kirk asks.
“Jim –-“ McCoy replies as though he’s about to say something important.
“Doctor?” Spock asks.
“Spock –-“ McCoy replies as though he’s about to say something else important.
“Bones?” Kirk asks.
“Jim –-“ McCoy replies as though he’s about to say something important.
“Doctor?” Spock asks.
“Spock –-“ McCoy replies as though he’s about to say something else important.

Which carries on for longer this time.

A Klingon beams in. He looks fierce and has a disrupter pointed directly at the three of them. The party look startled. Dramatic music, commercials.

Back from commercials.

The party look startled.
The party look startled.
The party look startled.

Then we see that that Klingon is inching forward slowly and that Spock is moving towards him and that Kirk is reaching for his communicator but that it's all in slow motion. Each time someone beams in the time loop is extended and with the fourth man it's breaking completely.

Kirk is able to hold the communicator to his mouth.

“Scotty?”

Jim, Spock and Bones are beamed away leaving the Klingon alone in the landscape. He’s startled. And because he’s the only one left, the time loop has returned to the way it was when Kirk originally beamed in. Which means…

He’s startled.
He’s startled.
He’s startled.

For the rest of eternity or his ship mates find a way to get him back.

Cut to credits.

Well, I'd watch that. Wouldn't you?

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