Friday, 17 May 2013

TOS - 1.7 - What are Little Girls Made Of ?

Star Trek - What are Little Girls Made of
I'm not an animal!
I'm not a human! I'm not a man!
The 'villain' in this episode is the much maligned 'mad scientist'. It was Mary Shelley who gave scientist the bad wrap (if not the first, the most well known). Shelley creates Frankenstein, who in turn creates the 'monster'. At the end, the readers know who the real monster is.

While the writer (Richard Matheson) of episode 1.5 "The Enemy Within" was inspired by "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", the writer of this episode (Robert Bloch) was inspired by "Frankenstein". The writers of both episodes put these 2 classics into the Star Trek context. Both are shining adaptations of the 2 immortal classics.

Well, the giant actor in the photo is a dead giveaway that he's playing the Frankenstein's monster. He's only the 1st prototype of many to come.

Just as Matheson added a clever twist to the Jekyll/Hyde dual characters by having 2 physical body Kirks (instead of a single physical body), Bloch also added his smart twist to the Frankenstein character by having machine replacement of human (instead of human body replacement).

Like Frankenstein, Roger Korby the renown exobiologist wants to perfect human with its android replacement, as misguided the nobility as it might be.

You could say this is the 1st Trek episode where the idea of android was born, and gave rise to Lieutenant commander Data in the next Trek series. Well, they don't call this series Original for no reason.

Yet another comparison with episode 1.5 could be made. Both episodes require the appearance of 2 identical Kirks (well they aren't really identical at all. Only on the physical surface, especially if you ask the original Kirk). In episode 1.5, in most scenes where both Kirks appear, one of them always has his back facing us, clearly played by a body double. In this episode, there's a scene where 2 Kirks talk to each other at a table while both are facing the camera.

I believe this is done through chroma key technique (or more commonly known as green screen technique. You could read that in my diary about my own chroma key shooting in an amateur film production). I'm surprise that this technology was already available as early as the 1960s (or maybe even earlier).

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