Sigma Iotia II was one mixed-up planet. In the original series episode A Piece of the Action, Captain Kirk and the USS Enterprise had to do damage control on this world because the clumsy crew of the ship Horizon left some items on the planet, including leaving behind some books. One book was called Chicago Mobs of the Twenties, and the inhabitants of this world – viewing it as some sort of holy relic – have modelled their entire culture on it.
Before you know it, Kirk, Spock and McCoy find themselves involved in drive-by shootings, Tommy guns, mob hits, molls and gun-running schemes. Kirk also gets to invent the card game of Fizzbin and Spock gets to complain about Kirk’s driving and poor gear-shifting. It’s a comedy episode that doesn’t take itself too seriously. But what if those crazy Iotians had used some of the other books instead?
1) Lord of the Rings: Sigma Iotia II gets renamed as Middle Earth, the South Side is the Shire, and everybody uses rings for currency. Unfortunately for the crew of the Enterprise, a rivalry has erupted between Jojo Frodo and Bela Sauronxmyx, and both sides have raised their armies in dispute. But when the locals believe that Spock is Legolas because of his ears, it inspires Kirk to take on the role of Aragorn and try to get both sides to work things out. On the downside, the locals also assume that McCoy is Gollum, and things get worse from there…
2) Images of The Beatles: In a world populated with mop-top hairstyles and occasional long moustaches, two factions have come to power – Sergeant Oxmyx’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Get Back Jojos. One wants to give peace a chance, but the other wants a revolution. It’s just a day in the life for Kirk, and Spock is more than willing to help!
3) The Encyclopedia of Professional Wrestling: Jojo “The Animal” Krako is ushering in an era of attitude to Sigma Iotia II, but “Hollywood” Bela Oxmyx isn’t about to tap out just yet. The only way to avoid things getting too hardcore is for the Federation to intervene. Enter the Enterprise Authority, a faction represented by Killer Kirk, Stone Cold Mister Spock and The Real McCoy. Shields up!
4) Superman – The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel: Does anybody remember Monty Python’s Bicycle Repairman sketch? That was set in this world. Everyone is dressed as the last son of Krypton, with the Iotian’s main cities being Metropolis, Smallville and Kandor. Will Mister Oxmyxzptlk succeed in taking over the world? Will it be Lexo Luthero? It’s time for Kirk to fight for Truth, Justice and the Federation way…
5) The Royale: If you don’t get it, watch the Next Generation episode. It was a dark and stormy night…
6) Twilight: Some of those wild and crazy Iotians have sharpened their teeth to look like vampires, others have attached tribbles all over their bodies to look like werewolves, and every teenage girl on the planet is struggling to decide who they want to be with. Into this melodrama arrive those Enterprise new kids in town. McCoy’s time with a Salt Vampire has given him some strong opinions on the situation, Spock gets mistaken for Nosferatu and Kirk is left to wonder why so many people are wearing glitter.
7) The DaVinci Code: With architecture modelled on the Louvre, a Swiss bank and an assortment of cathedrals, Sigma Iotia II also holds the record for having the most Smart Cars on the planet. It’s also the planet with the highest number of odd albino monks, cryptex, and the most graffiti on paintings. When Bela Oxmyx is found dead by Kirk, Spock and McCoy, our heroes race about solving puzzles that expose Jojo Krako as a villain, even if it’s blatantly obvious from the beginning.
8) Also Sprach Zarathustra: It’s the Nietzsche book that’s fun for all and for none! It may have turned the population into a bunch of wanderers who all bemoan various factors of existence in ways that are good, bad and highly overrated. Spock understands what they’re on about, McCoy complains that they lack the capacity to enjoy life and Kirk decides that it isn’t against the Prime Directive to throw a luau for Oxmyx and Krako to loosen them up, and in turn overthrow their whole societal system.
9)The Cat In The Hat: Thing Oxmyx and Thing Krako have been entrusted with cleaning up their planet of all its problems, but have made a mess of everything. Spock realises this and understands that the best way to get them to listen to reason is for Kirk to take his shirt off and appear in a very large striped top hat. In the meantime, McCoy is baffled by the existence of talking goldfish on this planet.
10) And Then There Were None: Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a planet where every single person is dead, the entire world’s population suffering one of ten different fates, from choking on poison to hanging themselves. They then have to unravel exactly what happened, in a fashion of which Agatha Christie would have both approved and been mortified by.