It has been a long time since I did a Trek review here so here we go – Episode 8 of Star Trek: The Original Series – seven things I have noticed
…two expeditions have failed to find (Dr Korby).Captain Kirk (TOS: What are Little Girls Made of?)
Yes I am starting off with picking some nits. Dr Korby stopped sending messages, two expeditions failed to find him, and the Enterprise finds him in two minutes. Perhaps that should have been a sign of something being very much amiss. Still it makes for a nice short and effective teaser.
When it comes to TOS I am seeing it through the lenses of someone born twenty-one years after it was first seen. As such I often feel like I am not the target audience. As it turns out there is a good reason why Korby hasn’t been communicating but I would like to have seen a bit more suspicion.
It isn’t my custom to send an away team of one.Captain Janway (Voyager: Hunters)
Dr Korby requests that Kirk beam down alone. This too should have been a sign of there being something wrong. Starfleet has some pretty silly regulations but you would think even they wound’t let a Captain beam down to an unknown situation without escort. Then again you would think a typical landing party won’t consist of the two senior most officers and the CMO – incidentally Dr McCoy doesn’t appear in this episode.
I’m the guy…who dies to prove the situation is serious.Guy (Galaxy Quest)
In this episode we get two red shit deaths. This was where it all began. There were deaths before this but this was the first time red shirted security people had died. And did you know red was actually the safest colour? This video explains.
So that is how the solids experience intimacy.The Female Changling (DS9: Favour the Bold)
When Kirk and Chapel arrive on the planet they are met by Andrea. Andrea is wearing a costume so skimpy that she is, putting it as delicately as I can, likely to fall out of it if she turns too quickly. Naturally Chapel is not too pleased to discover that her husband has been spending time with a young attractive woman. Korby decides to put her mind at ease but does it in a very strange way. He tells her that Andrea is just a machine and talks about the impossibility of loving her – she only responds to orders.
The implication being that sex cannot exist without love. As assurances go this is like claiming you couldn’t eat the ice cream because you didn’t have a spoon. It also seems to be stating that Andrea is not a sapient being which begs the question, this is where it gets a little blue, if Korby had slept with her would that be cheating or an advanced form of masturbation?
The 1960s really must have been a different time. Meanwhile in the modern world a man is admitted to hospital with an injury involving a stuck kethup bottle. He claims he was up a ladder and landed on it butt first. A claim the doctor might have humoured him over – assuming the man could explain why he put a condom on a ketchup bottle. Given this information, for which I apologise, I think that a human and an anatomically correct android is not so far fetched. And by the way this episode has been reviewed by SFdebris – I happen to agree with him:
I like the Yellow OnesThor (Stargate SG-1: Small Victories)
This one has nothing to do with anything but when Chapel and Kirk are served dinner on the planet it is coloured cubes in gravy. This is something I have seen in other franchises; SG-1 as mentioned above. For some reason there is this idea that food as we know it would fundamentally change and be reduced to coloured cubes.
I also find it odd that Kirk stays on the planet. With the transporter they are five minutes away and surely there would be some regulation about this. Over the course of TOS there are some rather silly regulations that are shown – such as bureaucrats and flag officers with no command experiences having the right to take charge and nearly getting everyone killed. A lot of episodes would be far shorter if characters had a bit more common sense. When Ruk, as Kirk, says they will be staying on the planet what if Spock had questioned that?
Spinning is so much cooler than not spinning. I’m the General I want it to spin.General Hammond (Stargate SG-1: 200)
When a robot of Kirk is made he is placed on a spinning platform. This scene looks very silly but perhaps it is being used to disorientate the viewer. When watching TOS the effects are always going to look dated. It is quite amazing how much special effects have come on since that time. And the less said about the phallic shaped rock at the end of the episode the better. As I said in number four the 60s really were a different time. Maybe no one in the production team noticed. Maybe none of them had the chutzpah to point it out.
Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.The Emperor (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
Well there had to be a sinister plot around here somewhere! Yes Korby plans to create android duplicates to take over the galaxy. (Cue evil laugh)
Why does everyone want power?
It is a common theme of TV shows and films isn’t it? The person who wants to take over the world. It sound like far too much paperwork if you ask me! Usually these people have vast resources, and thus they can do a great deal anyway, and it is very rare that the reason for wanted to take over is valid. That said Korby at least wants to take over for the betterment of mankind. Although couldn’t he do that with the points I made in back at number 4?
No. I am not suggesting he take over the world with sex robots but Korby could sell them for a variety of purposes. Despite later information to the contrary money does exist in TOS. So Korby could start a business and he would be very rich very fast. It is more of a long game than just replacing key figures but surely more effective.
Aren’t you doing exactly what you hate most in Humans: killing with no more concern than when you turn off a light?Kirk, Korby, and Chapel (Star Trek: The Original Series: What are Little Girls Made of?)
I am not a computer. Test me. Ask me to solve any… Equate… Transmit… Christine! Christine, let me prove myself!…
Don’t you see Roger? Everything you’ve done has proved it isn’t you.”
I AM Roger Korby!
Korby is revealed to be an android too and shortly afterwards he vaporises himself and Andrea. Doing this ends the threat and the galaxy is safe.
This episode review has been in draft for a long time. The truth is that I don’t really have many thoughts on it. In fact while watching TOS it felt to me like there was a bit of a hump to get over before getting into a string of really good episodes.
I struggle with TOS. When I think of where I would place it in a ranking of all the Trek series I don’t know where to put it. I think I now know the reason for my confusion…
Watching TOS is live visiting an elderly relative. That sounds weird but here me out because I have thought this through…
Visiting grandma is usually fun. You play games, have chocolate, watch television, perhaps help her with her housework, and have a nice conversation. However sometimes Grandma will say something wrong. Well not wrong exactly but something that indicates the generational gap. She might describe a black person as ‘coloured’ for instance. And it is not because she harbours any racism necessarily she is just using the language in the way she grew up with it. (Incidentally I wonder what words of mine my nephew will cringe at in thirty or forty years.) And so we cringe inwardly and move on.
Watching TOS is like that for me. It has some great episodes and ideas but some of the ideas and the lines haven’t aged well at all. Kirk can be a bit creepy at times, mind you so can Riker but we’ll get to that much later, and so I have to remind myself when it was made.
I feel that TOS hasn’t aged too well. When I first saw it it must have been at least twenty years old. TNG is now over thirty and it feels like it has aged far better. Although TNG still has its moments of cringe.
What are Little Girls Made Of? is an interesting episode but in my view it is also unremarkable. There are lots of better episodes which we will get too soon – next up is: Miri.
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.
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