Welcome one and all to 2016’s first Star Trekkin’!
Now folks, I know that you’d lost faith in my continuing journeys to view every episode of Star Trek; I can sense that you were thinking “this is done, it’s over. That stupid, bearded, asshole has completely lost all intention to complete his task and he has left us cold and alone, devoid of his judgement and without hope that this mission is one that can ever be completed by any *man”… well you’re all fucking wrong, ‘cos I’m here and I will not be defeated!
The main reason it’s taken a while to get some posting together is the advent of my newborn son; I know Bif has explained this to y’all, and I stated something about it in one of the last brewdyssey posts.
Forgive me? Good.
Without any more procrastination, that doesn’t concern Trek (there’ll be plenty of procrastinating about the show), let’s kick this one into warp speed and get going with…
127 TOS Catspaw
Holy mother of bullshit; what on earth can I actually say about this episode?
It’s a pretty badass episode, albeit a little cringeworthy to watch. It’s one of those installments that you can’t help but love, but feel a little dirty in doing so.
Firstly, let’s talk about the setting; we are given a wonderful vision of a medieval earth, albeit an exaggerated version which would be far more at home in a rousing game of D&D than in, you know, reality.
That’s great, I love D&D and I love fantasy… but this is pretty bad. It’s the kind of fantasy setting an 8 year old boy would create, resplendent with dodgy fake stonework and stock creepy wizard.
You know what though…??? That’s ok. If we put our ‘let’s forgive the low budget, low tech era’ hats on we can, well, forgive this. Particularly as, actually, it factors into the story in something of a magnificent way… in many respects it’s meant to be a god awful recreation of early fantasy… why’s that? I can’t tell you, it will ruin the story too much.
So beyond the ‘setting’ what’s actually going on with the plot; Sulu and Scotty have beamed down to an unihabited planet and have failed to return. The triumvirate of Kirk, Spock and Bones have beamed down to see what the fuck’s happened and wander into the afore discussed setting, only to be captured and locked in a dungeon by … Sulu and Scotty (though first they also come across three witches a la Macbeth).
They then find out that Sulu and Scotty, henceforth referred to as S2, are under the control of the wizardy folk in the above picture… and, well, that’s where it all goes to shit for the crew.
This is where we can accept this episode for being something fabulous; there is a major discussion on the nature of mythology and the indication of who we are as humans. There’s also a mind expanding notion of existence outside of the physical realm, how creatures extrapolated from the dimensionality of our corporeal form may be present and how a ‘bleed’ between these frameworks could occur. We also get that trusty Trek theme of potency and it’s uncontainable nature within creatures guided by a will to only self actualise their desires…
Ok, there are some seriously dodgy effects, and I fucking hate cats at the best of times, but hey I love the brain bending found in this episode…
128 TOS Metamorphosis
Is an entirely different beast to catspaw. Though it still rsounds with an unending desire to question, postulate and break norms.
I’m going to spoil the fuck out of this episode, there’s just too much I want to say about a core principle in the story. If you’d rather not have me ruin it for you then skip down to the next episode I discuss (its directly below; or better yet, fire up this ep and come back to get involved in the discussion!
In this episode we meet Zefram Cochrane; he’s the main dude from First Contact. He’s the reason any of this whole star Trek bullshit exists, without him there would be no space flight, no alien communication and, well, Kirk may not even have been brought unto the earth.
In this episode, though, we find that Mr Cohrane is fit and healthy, despite the fact that by this pont in time he is meant to be ridiculously fucking old… his secret is not a beauty regime but rather the life restorative nature of an ethereal Alien creature.
Why has this alien been keeping ole Zeffy alive? Well, it transpires she’s ‘female’ and loves him.
Now the way this is discussed in the episode is that gender is a universal constant, this leads the crew to figuring she’s a she and that she loves him; now I have some issues with this. First and foremost is the limitation of the understanding of gender- there is unequivocally discussion to be had here concerning the fact that we can certainly imagine alien races that defy the ‘male/female’ constant we see on earth. In fact, even that is bullshit, because we know there are genderless animals that exist on our fair planet.
Secondary to this is the notion of complete gender identification; we as humans have created a number of different aspects of our gender identities and, whilst this is something that primarily exists within our understandings of our ‘selves’, I defy anyone to deny the existence of such natures of gender. With relation to the show I absolutely want to emphasise that the ‘creature’ in love with Zefram pretty much inhabits a realm outside of the physical; as such a definition of her own gender is entirely within her grasp.
My third point is that, well, this whole thing feels a little homophobic… well, not necessarily homophobic, but more denying of homosexuality. Whilst watching I just couldnt help but feel that if the creature was ‘male’ the writers would not have writtent that it was in love with Mr Cochrane.
So already with this we have a lot of food for thought… but this isnt even my main point! My main point involves Mr Cochrane’s eventual learning of the creature’s love for him; this is because he is absolutely disgusted.
Now the Enterprise chaps all discuss how it’s completely fine that the creature loves him, after all intelligent life is intelligent life and Love is something intelligence is able to hold within it’s being. What’s more is that, well, you can’t help who you love… but cochrane aint having none of it. Until, that is, the very sick diplomat human female that’s travelling with Kirk and McCoy and Spock dies and the creature can inhabit her body. Once this occurs Zef is all over that ass like a bad case of syphilis!
Now what on earth does this all mean. Well, I think it’s a comment on race.
The reaction that Zef has is akin to a reaction many older white folk in the states would have had to a mixed race relationship in the 60’s/70’s… the ‘completely fine’ nature of the relationship is extolled by the younger generation (the crew).
Now this is where debate could definitely occur… what the fuck is the adoption of the human form saying?
I’m hoping a general reaction would be disgust at the sudden ‘acceptance’ of love when someone changed their form… but then when we look at the episode with less of a metaphorical mind we can’t help but wonder about things like sex… if the creature is not capable of a physical sexual encounter is this something that is a basis for a lack of relationship?
Gosh darn, this one’s an episode we could spend hours questioning; please comment below with your views! For now Im gonna move ontoooooooo….
129 TOS Friday’s Child
This episode was fucking brilliant… I’ll start by saying that it’s a wonderful exercise in cultural acceptance and staying away from anachronism… we also get some good understanding of the nature of franchise, and the relationship between commerce, agreements and warfare.. watch it and see why.
What I want to discuss is one thing, and one thing only, and that is how crack up fucking funny the alien race is.
Why are they funny? Because they look like this
Which I thought was hilariously bad… and thought was even funnier when it was pointed out to myself that there’s a line of fetish wear that may be based upon these outfits. Seriously, check…
We can also discuss that whole sexism thing I spoke about a lot with previous posts… but maybe we’ll save that for another time, invariably it’ll come up again.
What I will say is that my partner watched this episode with me and she pointed out that slapping women is definitely not part of any kind of oath to protect patients…
Sigmund Freud is Judging Handsy Dr McCoy