Monday, June 18, 2012

Classics: TOS 1:7 - 1:9 (Capsule Reviews)

1:7 - What Are Little Girls Made Of?

TV Guide Summary: A brilliant archaeologist tries to convince Kirk that transferring our minds into android bodies is a peachy-keen idea.

Steph's Comments: The android manufacturing device featured here looks ridiculous even by 1960's standards -- and the androids themselves aren't consistently portrayed as unemotional by either the writing or the performances. Still, there's a general suspicion of transhumanism lurking around in this story that I find mildly interesting. From minute one, Kirk is certain that Korby's quest for material human perfection is a fool's errand, and I don't think he's wrong.

Steph's Rating: 6.0


1:8 - Miri

TV Guide Summary: The Enterprise comes across a world on which a longevity experiment has gone horribly awry -- and only the children have survived.

Steph's Comments: The premise of this episode is pretty flimsy. I don't believe it would take three hundred years for the food supplies to run out after an apocalyptic plague -- and I suspect that in each city, there'd be at least one child somewhere who'd be smart enough to understand and explain, in grown-up terms, what's happened to all the adults. And then there's the unintentional creep factor. Yes, teenagers do develop crushes on adults. And yes -- Kirk would never take advantage of a young girl's affection. (Contrary to popular belief, the man isn't led by his penis.)  Still, Kirk's interaction with Miri gives me the heebee-jeebees for reasons I really can't pinpoint. Basically? There's only one legitimately neat element in this largely weak episode, and it's the fact that McCoy gets to be the hero. Otherwise? Blah.   

Steph's Rating: 4.0


1:9 - Dagger of the Mind

TV Guide Summary: A famous psychiatrist goes all A Clockwork Orange on his patients at the Tantalus Penal Colony.

Steph's Comments: Hmm. I'm sensing a theme already -- something about the dangers of genius. Two episodes ago, we had Roger Korby, who had become so frustrated with the frailties of human nature that he embraced the mechanization of our bodies and minds. In this episode, meanwhile, we have Dr. Tristan Adams, who evidently got tired of trying to rehabilitate his criminal charges the old-fashioned way and therefore resorted to straight-up mind-control. In the TOS universe, it seems, brainy, intellectual people are particularly susceptible to hubris and the temptations of power. And once again, I think the writers are on the right track.

Steph's Rating: 7.3

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