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Star Trek – The Lights of Zetar (Review)

This July and August, we’re celebrating the release of Star Trek Beyond by taking a look back at the third season of the original Star Trek. Check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the latest update.

The Lights of Zetar is another third season ghost story.

The third season of Star Trek is populated with these weird stories about long-dead souls refusing to pass on. There is Kirk’s haunting of the Enterprise in The Tholian Web, the dead world of Scalos in Wink of an Eye, the replicas of the long-dead Losira in That Which Survives, the title character in Requiem for Methuselah, the escapes into the past in All Our Yesterdays. It is almost as though the third season is working through its anxieties, a season television trapped between two cancellations.

Flash of inspiration.

Flash of inspiration.

The Light of Zetar features yet more death and destruction. The mangled bodies inside the Memory Alpha facility, contorted over the furniture. The lone survivor, screaming in agony. The eponymous spectral apparition that “cannot be a phenomenon of nature.” The inhabitants of Zetar, rendered non-corporeal through the destruction of their world, refusing to acknowledge that they have truly been dead for thousands upon thousands years. The argument that Mira Romaine must sacrifice herself so that the Zetar might live.

More than a ghost story, The Lights of Zetar is an exorcism story.

More like Memory Omega.

More like Memory Omega.

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