Alright, so admittedly I’ve never been much of a trekkie. I was always one to prefer the action and tragedy packed Star Wars over anything. And yes I do mean anything, I have likely forgotten more about Star Wars lore than anyone should ever rightly know. (And no, don’t ask me about the sequels, we don’t discuss that unless you want a twenty minute long rant about everything those films could have done better.)
However, all this being said, as of late I’ve embarked upon the journey to the final frontier, with the original Star Trek series. I have, honestly found myself taking quite the liking to it.
The hope for the future, the interesting political topics, the amusement I feel wondering how anyone could think Spock and Kirk were ‘just bros‘ and the amusement over well, just about everything else. From Kirk’s magically disappearing shirt, to the alien dogs, to the incredible fight scenes. It has truly been a joy to watch. And originally, this was just going to be a fun thing for me to watch without criticism, that is until, I got to the episode Space Seed.
Now quite frankly, there is a lot wrong with this episode, from the brown face, (I’m aware Ricardo is Latino and probably tans darker, but he is not as dark as the picture shown above, and there are scenes where its glaringly obvious he’s wearing darker makeup. I’m sure we all know this could have been easily avoided but alas, the 60s I suppose.) to one of the weakest female characters I’ve ever seen in my life. Who falls head over heels for Khan because she is a historian, and he is a piece of history.
Perfectly understandable until she winds up betraying her crew to please him, even though she begs him not to, and could have just got up, left, and told Kirk immediately what happened. But I digress.
Even for all it’s bad, I think it had a lot of good as well. For one, Ricardo plays Khan incredibly well. He genuinely made my skin crawl every time he was on screen. Which I didn’t expect from someone I know as Carmen and Juni’s grandpa from Spy Kids. He felt powerful, he felt intimidating and manipulative. I also enjoyed the albeit not long enough discussion of eugenics, and war, and whether any of these things were actually beneficial. Spoiler: They’re not.
(Also I can’t lie. I’m a sucker for writers quoting Milton)
Ultimately it ending with mercy, with Kirk choosing to send them to an uninhabited planet, is what really sold me on the episode. For all it’s flaws, it truly is a solid Star Trek episode. Although I know years later when, as Spock says, they see the result of the seed they planted, it ends badly. It is exactly this show of mercy I love about Star Trek. Showing the human race trying to find a better way. Showing how vital it is to always try to find that better way. It’s exactly why Star Trek has prevailed in the hearts of so many, including mine.
And honestly this is a whole article on it’s own. But that is also why so many have been so supremely unsatisfied with the new Star Trek shows coming out as of late. They’ve forgotten what made Star Trek so magical. It wasn’t the aliens, or the fancy tech, it wasn’t even the act of going out to space, no. It was the simple thought that mankind can, and will do better. That we were given the capacity for mercy for a reason.
I am excited to continue my watch-through, and eventually get to the movies. For all it’s flaws (and BOY does it have flaws) it still reminded me exactly why I love and watch this show. So, until next time.
Live long, and prosper friends. This is Rev, signing off.