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Star Trek – The Conscience of the King (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

The Conscience of theKing continues the work of Balance of Terror in fleshing out the fictional universe of Star Trek. While the first few episodes of the show gave little thought to this universe’s shared history and our characters’ origins, The Conscience of the King offers us a glimpse into the past of Captain James T. Kirk. Like Dagger of the Mind, another episode borrowing its title from Shakespeare, it builds off the suggestion that humanity is still a long way from perfection, and that the fact we have reached the cold expanse of space does not mean that our troubles can be left entirely behind. In contrast to some of Roddenberry’s later decisions about the Star Trek franchise, it is clear that utopia is a path, and not a clear destination.

His mask is slipping...

His mask is slipping…

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Star Trek – The Naked Time (Review)

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

Star Trek is, by its nature, an inherently optimistic television show. I seem to keep mentioning that in these reviews, as the first season of the show subverts and plays with the notion of an idealised future. However, despite the suggestion that evil is necessary in The Enemy Within or the death of the last of a species in The Man Trap or the suggestion that man’s next evolutionary phase would be truly horrifying in Where No Man Has Gone Before, Star Trek is still a hopeful vision of a possible future. It’s a story about a world where mankind hasn’t wiped each other out and where we can go (relatively) peacefully among the stars. It’s a world without racism or classism. There is sexism in Star Trek, but I’ll give the producers the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s not intentional.

So The Naked Time feels a little weird, being – as it is – a story about the collapse of civilisation at the end of a world. Not our world, mind you, but there’s a very clear sense of social collapse mirrored in the literal collapse of planet Psi-2000.

How logical...

How logical…

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