"Slaver Weapon" ****
An shuttlecraft bearing Spock, Uhura and Sulu is intercepted by aliens while transporting a valuable ancient artifact.
Part of he appeal of this story is its novelty in the sense that Spock, Sulu and Uhura are the only familiar cast in it. Kirk, the Enterprise
and the rest are nowhere to be seen or heard of.
There's a bit of world building here with references to the aggressive Kzinti having fought past wars with humanity and having lost them all. It's also referenced that by treaty the Kzinti are not allowed weapons of any kind...unless of course they steal them. Here the Kzinti are presented as operating like pirates much like Orions. Their actions are apparently unofficially sanctioned by their government unless, of course, they're caught whereupon they would be officially disowned.
Another neat little idea was having the story take place on an airless, icy asteroid rather than a more familiar Class M planet. There's also a reference to Kzinti of the past having fed upon human flesh---definitely a subject beyond the usual subject matter of '70s era Saturday morning programming.
Overall I can't help but feel this could have been a dynamite episode done live-action given, of course, figuring out a way to depict the catlike Kzinti. Frankly, though, the Kzinti shown here don't come across as particularly bright. Just about any alien race could stand in for the Kzinti and the story could be told, but it's more fun with distinctive looking aliens. It's also hard to find aliens very threatening when their spacesuits and spaceships are...pink.
On the downside I found some of the voice acting rather stilted, most particularly by Leonard Nimoy of all people. His exposition doesn't flow naturally, often seems redundant and sounds very much like he's just reading off a page. On the flip side we get to see Spock perform a Kirk style flying kick on the Kzinti Chuft Captain. Neat.