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Star Trek – For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (Review)

This July and August, we’re celebrating the release of Star Trek Beyond by taking a look back at the third season of the original Star Trek. Check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the latest update.

Well, at least it has a great title.

For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky is one of the great Star Trek titles, at once lyrical and pretension, poetic and absurd. It is a turn of phrase that nobody would ever use in conversation, but which so beautifully evokes the science-fiction concept that drives the episode. It is certainly a lot more memorable and compelling than the stock “The [noun]” naming convention employed all too readily in television production. (The Changeling, The EmpathThe SurvivorThe Battle, The Enemy, The Forsaken. And so on.)

Shockingly bad.

Shockingly bad.

Indeed, For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky seems to be the gold-standard of Star Trek naming. Earlier episodes like The Conscience of the King or Dagger of the Mind had quoted from Shakespeare, while Is There in Truth No Beauty? alluded to the work of Keats. However, it seemed like every subsequent Star Trek title would stand in the shadow of this third season instalment. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine would make a valiant effort with titles like … Nor the Battle to the Strong or Let He Who Is Without Sin…

Unfortunately, the title is very much best thing about For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky. Outside of that, the episode is a rather generic and conventional stew of old Star Trek standards thrown together with a bunch of half-hearted soap opera clichés. It is all rather hollow.

"I will love you forever. Or until the end of the episode. Whichever is sooner."

“I will love you forever. Or until the end of the episode. Whichever is sooner.”

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