Thursday, October 22, 2015

Trek Thursday: Parentheticals and Elaan of Troyius

And as we close in on my favorite TOS episode of all time, I'm pulling back for a minute to address some mistakes.

Some mistakes?

Somehow, certain episodes got overlooked. This text file was written up in a browser, then hurriedly copypasta'd into a text file, then copypasta'd back here. So things got lost in the move, as it were. If I haven't gotten to your favorite (or least favorite) episode yet, that's why!

The first correction today is Elaan of Troyius.

Where it should have been on the list: #68, so a pretty rotten episode all around.

In case you forgot: The Enterprise's mission this week is to facilitate negotiations between two kind of backwoods-y planets. To broker peace, one planet (Troyius) has offered up Elaan, who is a princess or something, in marriage. She doesn't want to at first, but Kirk helps her see the error of her silly woman ways. Also Klingons are involved, somehow.

 France Nuyen portrays one of the tougher, cooler ladies of Trek,...until she goes doe-eyed over Kirk.

TOS was not kind to women, most of the time, and this episode is a stellar (hahahah "star" pun, I slay me) example of that. "Elaan" treats the titular character like a spoiled child and every other woman on Troyius with utter contempt—there's a throwaway line about how all women on the planet are basically too uppity for their own good and that it's only the power of their love potion tears that keeps the men of Troyious beholden to them. And what's a civilization advanced enough for interplanetary space travel doing treating women like chattel? We stopped using marriages to broker peace and seal treaties quite a long time ago, because as we got smarter we learned that (surprised!) women are people, too. I don't think a culture could get smart enough for spaceships but stay too dumb for feminism.

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