Star Trek: The Animated Series: Season 2, Episode 3

The Practical Joker (21 Sep. 1974)

TV Episode  |  TV-Y7  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 140 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 2 critic

The computer of the Enterprise gains partial sentience and starts playing practical jokes on the crew.

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(created by), , 1 more credit »
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Title: The Practical Joker (21 Sep 1974)

The Practical Joker (21 Sep 1974) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Capt. Kirk (voice)
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Mr. Spock (voice)
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Dr. McCoy (voice)
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Sulu (voice)
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Uhura (voice)
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M'Ress / Computer voice (voice)
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Scott / Arex / Search party 7 Crewman (voice)
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Storyline

To avoid a confrontation with Romulans, Kirk orders the ship through a unknown energy field. They escape the Romulans, but the energy field has changed the ship's computer into a prankster. It begins pulling more and more complicated practical jokes on the crew, finally to the point of endangering McCoy, Uhura, and Sulu on the Recreation Deck. Besides those three's lives, the Romulans re-appear and threaten the ship. The practical-joking computer actually helps distract the Romulans for a short while, but then the ship is once again set upon. Kirk tricks the computer (using reverse logic) into re-entering the energy field, which restores the computer to normal, but makes the Romulans' computers into pranksters instead. Written by Tony-B4

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Details

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Release Date:

21 September 1974 (USA)  »

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(technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first appearance of a holodeck - called a Recreation Deck - in the "Star Trek" universe. See more »

Goofs

Kirk says he discovered the message on his shirt after he put it on. This would not be possible as the message is on his back. See more »

Quotes

Dr. McCoy: Lieutenant Uhura, I have to hand it to you. This is just what the doctor would have ordered.
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Connections

Featured in Drawn to the Final Frontier (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
kid's stuff.
12 April 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

As I always point out, the animation for this show is pure crap. Low cell counts (with jerky, robotic movements) and ugly drawings are the norm for this series--and this one is unfortunately no exception. Even by 70s TV cartoons, this one is butt ugly.

The show begins with Romulans attacking Enterprise. The Captain takes the ship through an energy field to avoid them and in the process the computer aboard the ship is affected--becoming goofy and with a bad sense of humor. Dribble glasses, pies in the face graffiti on the Captain's uniform and other simple-minded pranks start occurring and everyone aboard laughs like crazy. Mostly, however, it looks like stuff most children watching the show would have laughed at instead of adults. Well, they eventually discover that the computer is behind all this.

This episode is clearly one that kids would love--because they would have thought the computer's jokes were funny. As for older audiences (and it's amazing that adults really embraced this show), it's harder going due to its silliness--which grates on you after a while. My verdict is an 8 for kids and a 5 for adults.

By the way, it is interesting that this show debuts the holodeck-- something I incorrectly assumed was created on "Star Trek: The Next Generation".


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