An on-going series of Star Trek Original Series episode reviews
Hi, I’m Sue. There are only 4 days until Dragon Con and I haven’t started packing yet, and I am a very scattered Anomaly.
The thing about preparing for a convention at which you are a panelist is that they really like it when you are actually caught up on the shows that you’re supposed to be talking about at said convention. So most of my television time this week went into making sure that I’m current on stuff that’s airing now. And I only got to two more Star Trek Original Series (TOS) episodes…
2×05 The Apple
Summary: Kirk and the crew are exploring Gamma Trianguli VI, and Eden-like planet, where the indigenous peoples are ruled by a machine that they treat as a god.
Thoughts: Okay, the story is not new, not even for TOS. Again, we have a machine controlling a planet, and a culture that has been “stagnant” for quite a long time. At least this time, Spock tells Kirk and Bones that they need to stop judging other cultures by Earth standards – fat lot of good it does, though. They destroy the machine, which admittedly was about to cause the destruction of the Enterprise (although there was no attempt made to NOT destroy the machine), and leave the people of this planet with no caretaker and no guidance. They’re legitimately (and understandably) upset and scared. Kirk’s response? “Don’t worry. You’ll like it.” And then he leaves. Wow.
2×06 The Doomsday Machine
Summary: The Enterprise picks up a distress signal from the USS Constellation, which has had an encounter with a superweapon that is capable of destroying entire planets. Commodore Decker, who is the commander and sole survivor on the Constellation, leads the crew of the Enterprise on a mission of revenge.
Thoughts: Soooo… Moby Dick much? Decker goes all Ahab, seeking revenge for the ship and crew he lost, without any regard for the safety of the ship and crew he’s currently commanding. In general, I kind of like it when sci-fi shows come across “planet destroyers.” Why would any race or culture ever have need to build something like this? That does nothing but destroy everything in it’s path. That’s what intrigues me. This episode is a great example of the “morality play” aspect of TOS. Between the “technology left unchecked will destroy us” and “humans will just continue to make bigger and badder weapons” tropes, there’s some pretty good sci-fi going on in this episode. And yet, I still kept losing focus. In fact, I had to watch it twice, because I realized that I had no idea what had actually happened the first time the credits rolled. But perhaps that more to do with me, and my familiarity with the underlying story, than it is with the episode.
There will not be a TOS Project entry next week as I will be away at Dragon Con (and likely won’t have time before I leave to watch any more Star Trek TOS, anyway). So weeks 8 and 9 will be posted together on September 7. And I’ll be posting my Con schedule a little later this week, so if you’ll be in the Atlanta area this Labor Day weekend, stop by and say “hi.”