Trek TV is free to enjoy but not free to produce. Please consider encouraging new episodes with one of our Membership levels.Go!
Playdough and Step-Kids
From: Marc Thomas
Hi Trek TV Friends, So here it is, the first interracial kiss on American TV. I'm not quite old enough to have thought this was a big deal. In fact, young as I was during even the early days of syndication, I was old enough to have a massive crush on Nichelle Nichols. I don't usually like it when the Trek woman are attired in non Star Fleet gear, but oh… my urgent pre-pubescent God! Uhurah, in that Grecian tunic! Believe me, her proud African heritage and subsequent phenotypic characteristics were the last thing on my mind. Yeah, for me it was all about what the chromosomes had accomplished. Exquisite! It's really depressing that this was a big deal, and I've met plenty of assholes for whom it still is, which is of course, worse. But there is another bigotry simmering unattended on the back burner, here. The very patronizing treatment of little people. Kirk treats Alexander like a child throughout the episode culminating in his "I've got a little surprise for you" communicated to Scotty at the end. Michael Dunn was a well employed actor though, and good. I remember him from Wild Wild West, Bonanza, Get Smart..all kindza stuff, he died in the early seventies from complications derived from the same condition which caused his dwarfism, I remember being sad. I enjoyed that some one different could thrive in a world of blandly ordinary people. A non Star Trek appreciating friend of mine recently showed me uTube videos of Dunn on Shat back and Spock's flamenco tap dance around Kirks vulnerable head, then begged to know what the Hell was going on and why some people were so keen on this, by all evidence ,ridiculous program. Shortly there after ,Plato's Step-Children was next in order to review and I am left to answer that question here. Because Star Trek, is collectively awesome, if any number of randomly selected bits and pieces are decidedly not. I love the wider universe that the characters inhabit, where there is intelligent communicative life throughout the galaxy and beyond, and the means to know it and learn from it, exists. It may well never be possible, but I'd rather immerse my self in this optimism than wallow in the self defeating nihilism of cyberpunk or post-apocolypticana which I feel dominates modern science fiction. Fuck the exponents of that shit who think they're too cool for school, dissing our higher art for its perceived naivete. That said, I hasten to add, that some of the new space opera volumes by Alistair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton,and the unstoppable Ben Bova are absolutely wonderful. I like various works non genre specific types of fiction, which may be generally considered literature, with all the bragging rights intact and useful at academic cocktail chatterfests, but Star Trek trained me to find the greatest intellectual delight in storyies that takes place in outer space and wherein science is regarded as something good and not simply the means to frighten all the visionless little luditites at bedtime. In the tradition of the Greek philosophers who required no experimentation or objective confirmation, I will simply assert upon my authority as the philosopher king of my own apartment, that Star Trek is one of natures immutable perfect forms, the TV shows themselves, can only seek to approach this essential beauty not responsible for having failed to master it, as they are only mortal. Star Trek sure did like Hellenic motifs. I can't believe I was asking for more in Elaan of Troyius. We already had Apollo and in an up coming episode called 'The Cloud Minders' we see another futuristic take on the idea of a philosophically rich society exploiting an under-class. Yeah Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, it's all good, foundation of western philosophy, but it had to be massively overalled and consigned to the dusty back shelves before experimentation and real science could begin. The political notion of the Republic was envisioned, great, good job! But with slavery intact, which the founders of my own nation saw fit to emulate, and as far as art goes, great leaps foreword, frog hopping over the static iconography of prior traditions, but it took a long time to allow for true expression beyond adherence to the newer Olympian but eventually, equally narrow, ideals. Star Trek had a complicated relationship with ancient Greece. I can't believe how much I can talk about an episode that I don't really, on the whole, care much for, but that's Trek for ya. What's great about Star Trek isn't that it's good, just that it is. I wanted to say one more thing, one more thing quietly in my night time voice, one more thing before I go before I go I was thrilled to see another addition to the fan art page and by Benjamin, so a new contributor there too. He took pains to match the resolution of the Tracy photo to the chosen screen cap, I just wanted to point that out. Only nine more to go, Ben Hope all you people in Trek TV's international community had a nice Thanksgiving, it's three in morning and mines fine so far Marc