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Digression into Generalities
From: Marc Thomas
Hi Trek TV Friends Initially I disliked this one because I was a kid and I generally didn't like shows with kids in 'em. Old as I am I loath ….The Children Shall Lead with as much vigor as even the urgent bloom of youth could muster. Its almost hard to say why, exactly, I get a clammy dyspeptic sense of un-ease watching this. It sucks so deeply that I feel disturbed at the quautum level, the position and portion of my displeasure distort if I look at it to closely. There is at least one obvious flaw, a nice firm element of dreck I can site…..Gorgan He's boring both as an alien and as a villain It doesn't help that I just finished the new audio version of Solaris by Stanislaw Lem an amazing story of alien menace, done right Gorgan is just a monster, no interesting motivations. the notion of feeding off bad vibes will be played out much more successfully sooner than later here in season three Gogan wasnt even played by an actor. I used to work right around the corner from Melvin Belli's law office in 1997 when he died, but I'm totally innocent, and I never really blamed him for this episode anyway, so I got no motive, see? I wanna see my lawyer! The lead girl was played by actress Pamelyn Ferdin. Man, you couldn't miss her in the 60's and seventies. Her distinctive voice got her lotza work, She was Lucy in the Charlie Brown cartoons and she seemed to play every girl on TV. She was Felix' daughter on The Odd Couple,was in tons of other stuff and played all three of the Brady Bunch girls, and the boys too probably. I usually like these episodes which use the enterprise as its primary setting. The Bottle Shows as they are called . I really don't care much for the crew quarters, corridors or engine room, but the TOS bridge is the grooviest space ship interior ever. I love the circularity of the room, the colors oscillating under black, the protuberating doodads and monitor screens. And the sounds…..even my sister, no trekkie her, once confessed to a certain sense of domestic tranquility associated with those sounds wafting thru the house. Season three is so universally dissed that I feel especially compelled to note what its got going for it. Mainly the props and sets. They are standardized at last and so very shiny and cool. I love TOS phasers , best sci fi ray guns hands down. The handle forward in the design set them apart from six shooters, lugars, and glocs of modern times. I appreciate that the beam emminates from a small jutting christaline nipple and that the electromagnetic particle stream, so often a brilliant cyan, can either stun or gently envelop and dissolve a foe with no peripheral harm to adjacent matter. I don't now but did love Star Wars when it was new, but even then despised Lucas' rejection of the ray gun aesthetic in leu of the phallic realism of conventional firearms. If anything the death ray should have experienced a post light saber renascence, as the technology to portray a continuous beam in motion became available. A fuller realization of the mythical weapons potential might have been had, instead by the first Trek movie, thru TNG and onto JJ, phasers have been nurtured and demoted to something much less imaginative than their forebears I guess I like phasers because I don't really like big dirty guns, and because they can heat up rocks if your cold, I like to think that they can also, conversely freeze rocks if your hot Why am I talking so much about phasers during a review of an episode which does not really feature them much if at all.? When in fact phasers are probably the least interesting aspect of Star Trek to me? Because I have so little that is nice to say about And The Children Shall Lead and so much to say about Trek generally that I never have to chance to, bogged down, so typically, am I , in the minutia of most other episodes finer details. But I'd rather devote a paragraph to phasers than anything that has anything at all to do with this piece of shit I mean come on, that stupids rock paper scissors,always ending in rock to the tune of nursery rhyme chants that kids that age would never cotton to? The morbid indifference to new found orphanhood redeemed by grief as the feel good ending to the story? I cant even evaluate if its good on an artistic level because I recoil from it so. Interstingly I am no longer put off by the presence of kids themselves, but rather by the bad trip induced within me to see kids under the care of such a sick fuck. This is Like Star Trek: Special Victims Unit. Maybe something of value is being expressed concerning the fragility of youth, maybe this is a fable or an after school special, Don't take your kids camping and then die? Who knows. At least there is no creepy May-December flirtation as seen in the prior Kinder-Trek outing, Miri But aren't tri corders cool? I love the tiny cathode ray screen insets and the moire pattern which can tell it user so much about the world or any other world, once said user has been educated in the mysterious language of spinning graphic fractals. What three things are tri-corders recording? I keep meaning to look that up. And the Enterprise itself, how elegant is that? I'm so glad the trek franchise has maintained the gist of this design thru-out its life. It's so considered, Rodd made sure his crew wasn't merely hauling ass across space time in a generic metallic cigar or flying saucer but rather, a flying saucer joined to three metallic cigars. Look at the trek TV banner, how simple. I really like it because its so and only Star Trek. No other fictitious space ship cuts such a distinctive silhouette. And it's okay if occasionally the adventures contained within that sublime form, are lame Next time we get to talk about an entirely different kind of bad episode The awesome Kind. Marc Thomas