Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season, Episode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 22, “The Return of the Archons”, Episode 23, “Space Seed”, and Episode 24, “A Taste of Armageddon”
Setting the Stage: I started at 7:00 pm on January 8, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. Professor Zoom and Tempura were present for all three episodes. My husband really wanted to watch “Space Seed”, so he joined in for that. We had finally finished Season 5 of Babylon 5 earlier in the evening (only a few movies and Crusade is left) – my first run through of that series as well. I get to pick the next TV Series we watch together, I’m thinking Scrubs since he’s never seen that. We’ve been heavy in science fiction and I think we’ll need some humor in our future.
Quick Summary with my reactions: “The Return of the Archons” opens with Sulu and O’Neil wearing weird outfits. They’re chased down by dudes in cloaks, Sulu is attacked and then beamed up. He’s acting strange… and where’s O’Neil? Wait, is Spock wearing drag? Oh he’s hiding his ears, but for a moment he totally looked like a Russian grandmother. The people in town are weird, then the clock strikes 6 pm, “the red hour”, and everyone freaks out. The landing party makes it to safety, and one of the old men in the room reminds me of one of the scientists in “The Cage”. At 6 am, the chaos stops,but the weird dudes in capes are back. This Landru guy takes over people, and some of the party, until we meet the third guy who is immune to Landru as he “changes” Spock and Kirk because he believes them to be the fulfillment of prophecy. Kirk decides that Landru must “die”, once he realizes that it’s a computer and “the man behind the curtain”. Kirk badgers the machine until it implodes and they leave a sociologist behind to help rehabilitate the society.
“Space Seed” opens with the Enterprise encountering an old ship just chilling in space, so it goes on full alert. The Eugenics War apparently happened in the 1990s and was the last world war, and this is where the ship likely comes from. Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Lt. McGivers beam down to the abandoned ship and find 73 people in stasis, one of those wakes up; the infamous (to even non Star Trek folks like me) Khan. Looks like we’ve found the Slytherin of the Star Trek group! Turns out Khan is hell bent on taking over the world, and the universe, but first… the Enterprise. Kirk and Spock escape from Khan’s control and flood Khan’s location with gas. A fight ensues, we have to prove Kirk is a manly man after all, and he somehow overpowers Khan. Kirk chooses to strand Khan and crew on a planet, along with McGivers.
“A Taste of Armageddon” starts with an ambassador and Kirk butting heads over a diplomatic mission, as the planet they are approaching has a “do not approach” order. Turns out this planet is at war with a neighbor, but the war is virtual and the “casualties” are sent to a disintegration chamber in order to avoid physical damage to the planet. Scotty is left in control of the Enterprise and he knows whats up and doesn’t give one iota of a fuck when the ambassador tries to get him to back down. He really is one of the smart ones on the ship, and now we see why he’s fourth in command. There’s also some more Vulcan mind magic, and some more manly man Kirk fight scenes before Kirk is finally in control of the situation. He gives the planet an option – war or peace? They choose peace and Kirk and crew leave the mess they just made, or maybe they helped clean up?
My Impressions: In “The Return of the Archons” I wonder how they knew to beam down in local outfits? At first I had the impression that it was a weird cult, but then we find out that it’s a Matrix-like society that’s been taken over by the machines. I really liked that Kirk explained how freedom needed to be earned and then tried to help the planet be rehabilitated, but what the people really needed was a butt-ton of therapy. That’s just my professional opinion, but I did go to counseling school so there’s that.
“Space Seed” had the very best McCoy line, I use in the image above. He doesn’t take shit from Khan, and Khan approves. I’m not sure it makes up for McCoy’s other bad behavior to Spock and some of the female characters he has encountered, but it’s a pretty badass attitude. I was also super glad a non-White actor was used as the “superior specimen”. One thing I don’t understand is why the historian fell so damn hard for Khan. I mean I get the whole “man out of time” thing would be appealing to a historian, but get a grip girl! Apparently this is the only time I’ll see Khan until the second movie – which I find interesting given how I’d heard of Khan even though I’ve never watched Star Trek. Up until now, it’s been “adventure of the week”, and having just finished Babylon 5 with it’s whole series story arc, it’ll be interesting to see how some of these events play out in the grand scheme, or if they don’t matter at all.
“A Taste of Armageddon” has an intriguing premise of war without the actual physical damage, but having folks report to be killed is essentially enforced suicide and that’s not great. I don’t understand how they keep their population up enough to kill as many people as they have been for the last 500 years, somehow the math is not working out at all. I liked seeing Spock do his thing. My favorite line was when he says “I don’t approve but I do understand”. It shows that he understands the logic behind it but still thinks it’s a shitty practice and won’t go along with it. Just because something is logical does not mean it’s the best course of action.