Tuesday, 4 June 2013

TOS - 1.17 - The Squire of Gothos

Star Trek - the Squire of Gothos
Am I doing an impression of Mozart (without the wig of course)?
Or is Liberace doing an impression of me?

Me, me, me, me...doh rei me me me...
It's all about me me me me me...doh rei me me me...
This episode introduces one of the most enduring and endearing character in Star Trek Land (sorry, Space).

On one level, this episode bears a striking resemblance to episode 1.2 "Charlie X", which in turns reincarnated from the 2nd pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". You could say not only there's an evolution of characters in TOS, but their stories as well.

The parallels between the central character of Charlie X and of this episode Trelane are considerable. Even the endings of these 2 episodes are the same (I couldn't really come up with a better ending either). They're both spoiled kids with unfathomable powers who toy with the Enterprise crew for their own selfish, childish needs.

While Trelane (or the Squire of Gothos) is considerably older than Charlie X, ostensibly, Trelane is very much a juvenile like Charlie X, emotionally . Besides, the physical form that we see of him is for the benefit of the Enterprise crew. 'He' doesn't actually have a form that we could understand, or see, or at least reveals to us in this episode.

Now, those are the similarities. Let's look at their significant differences.

Let me try to recall what Spock says about Trelane, "I reject intellects without discipline; power without constructive purposes".

The 2nd sentence is surely describing both Charlie X and Trelane, but the 1st sentence depicts only Trelane. He, or as he likes to introduce himself as "General Trelane, retired", is an infinitely more sophisticated, intelligent and most importantly, delightful character to watch than Charlie X.

His lively, colourful and eccentric quality brings the very light-hearted and whimsical touch to this episode the only way he could. You got to love him. Bring him back!

They have.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this Trelane character, who exists in a higher dimension than human, is a forerunner, an early model, a TOS prototype for the 'Q' character, who drops into The Enterprise in future episodes of The Next Generation from time to time, playing dress-up, role playing, stirring things up, judging humanity and whatever shenanigans he could come up with.

To put it another way, Micthell (in "Where No Man Has Gone Before") evolves into Charlie X, who evolves into Trelane, who finally evolves into 'Q', who's the finest specimen in the perfection of a long line of evolution of this pedigreed character.

And to William Campbell who played Trelane, encore! Or play it again, Will!




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