But today I had the luxury of indulging myself and, being a huge fan of the original series, I turned to the healing power of Star Trek. I own all of the seasons on DVD, which means I am not at the whim of whatever reruns the networks choose for my viewing pleasure. So, blanket in hand, I settled back on the couch with a hot cup of tea and put in Catspaw.
Star Trek isn't known for its holiday specials, but if ever there was a Halloween episode of Star Trek (and I don't think there was another one) this is it. The beginning is spookily atmospheric: swirling fog, ghostly apparitions, witches, black cats, skeletons, and a decidedly haunted-looking castle. Scotty, Sulu, and McCoy are zombified and references are made to Halloween and trick-or-treat. Kirk promises Spock an explanation of these concepts, but never delivers. Hopefully, poor bewildered Spock received an explanation off-camera. As the story unfolds, the Enterprise crew has been drawn to this gothic planet so that the aliens who inhabit it can use the crew's knowledge and abilities to experience "sensations" for themselves. All the talk about feelings and sensations leads of course to the inevitable love scene between Kirk and the female alien. Otherwise, this just would not be a Star Trek episode.
In the end, all turns out well for the crew (with the exception of the red-shirt who lost his life in the opening minutes). But that's the risk you take when you're a minor character in a red shirt. We are never given a reason for the aliens' choice of Halloween imagery in the creation of their artificial world. It likely had something to do with the episode originally airing a few days before Halloween. And that's a good enough reason for me.
And yes, by the end of the episode, my headache was gone, thanks to the magic of Star Trek . . . and perhaps those two extra-strength Advil I ended up taking.