Thursday, November 13, 2014

Trek Thursday: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

#48: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

In case you forgot: Kirk and Nurse Chapel square off against Chapel's (ex?) fiancé, Roger Korby, and his android henchmen, including Ted Cassidy. Twist ending: Korby is himself an android.

This is the only episode where Nurse Chapel (aka Future Mrs. Roddenberry) gets to have some time off the Enterprise. While Kirk spends most of the episode being the hero, Chapel at least doesn't get endangered or in the way, which is refreshing. (Though, if she hadn't been a major recurring character in the series/dating the head writer, she might not have been spared.)

Spock is also sharp enough to catch on to robo-Kirk right away and takes immediate and sane action, compared to other possessed/fake/etc Kirks that pop up later in the series. Not catching on to a body-snatched individual right away is one of my biggest Trek-related pet peeves. In the course of daily life here in the real world we of course never encounter that kind of situation but this is Star Trek, for fuck's sake. Everyone on the Enterprise has probably seen weird, freaky shit we can't even imagine. Body-snatching seems like it would be pretty high on the list of "weird shit that happens in space."

(Weird Shit That Happens in Space would be a good alternative title for Star Trek.)

The whole court scene in Turnabout Intruder bugs me for this very reason.

Korby attempting to prove his humanity to Chapel and Kirk is a little bit funny and a lot bit sad.  ("I'm not a computer. Test me. Ask me to solve any... equate... transmit...") His suicide comes totally out of left field, too, so that's a bit of a gut-puncher.

Somehow Kirk manages to get an android to fall in love with him, just by forcibly kissing her? Ugh. I don't think I need to explain how unappealing that is. (Thought: how awesome would it have been if Kirk had taught Ted Cassidy the power of love, instead of Sherry Jackson?) Really, the whole "androids are people too!...or are they?" theme is another iteration of "why man is superior to the computer" and it never brings anything new to the discussion.

What bugs me the most, though, are the implications of the method Kirk uses to foil the android-making process. If he is so easily able to "overwrite" his friendship and fraternal feelings for Spock by just focusing on one snarly bigoted comment about Spock's Vulcan heritage, how deep is the friendship, really?

No comments:

Post a Comment