Thursday, 1 August 2013

TOS - 2.9 - Metamorphosis

Star Trek - Metamorphosis
Let me just get a sample of this jelly.
One scoop should be enough for dinner.
Ok, another scoop for Jim.
When I make the big statement in my review of TOS episode 2.2 "Who Mourns for Adonais?" that all ideas in all sci-fi movies come from Star Trek TOS. I still don't think it's too far off the mark. What is even more close to the mark is when it applies to all Star Trek movies.

Here are some examples:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) is derived from the story in TOS episode 2.3 "The Changeling" where a probe that was launched from Earth in 20th century has changed into something enormously powerful. With a might that could easily destroy earth, and in fact, on a mission to do so. And it's up to the Star Trek crew to save the day. There's also the mistaken identity. In episode 2.3, Captain Kirk is mistaken for Roykirk, its creator. In the Motion Picture, V. Ger isn't recognised as Voyager. Maybe all these are mere coincidences. Really?

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), the infamous Khan Noonien Singh is created in TOS episode 1.22 "Space Seed".

This brings me to a well known character that enters the Trek lore: Zefram Cochrane. He's debut in this episode. He's yet another character appears in Star Trek movie Star Trek: First Contact (1996). Like many interesting characters and alien races that came before, Zefram Cochrane is created by the lesser known Gene, Gene L. Coon. He also created Khan and the most beloved of alien race the Klingons. If Gene Roddenberry created the skeleton amd muscular structure for Star Trek, Gene L. Coon created the organs. Or that Roddenberry created the Star Trek world, Coon populated it with peoples and cultures. Without this unsung Gene, Star Trek would be less interesting. At least, not how we know it today.

I'm not going to give a whole laundry list of such examples. I'll give more examples in future reviews when the need arises. These few should be suffice to make my point.

In more ways than one, the story of this episode shares many similarities with episodes 2.2 "Who Mourns for Adonais?" and 2.5 "The Apple".

These 3 episodes all could be described in general term as follows:
The superior alien provides human or humanoid (that almost identical to human) with all their basic bodily needs of food, shelter, safety, and even love, but neglect their higher emotional or spiritual needs. But the 'love' of these superior beings are love defined by them, not their charges.

The 3 aliens (and/or their machines) all have good intentions. But they demand the charges in their care without considering all their needs. Their 'children' are well looked after, but they have no freedom of individuality. In other words, these aliens are benevolent dictators.

This 3 episodes further reinforce the new trend or theme I suggested in the review of episode 2.1 "Amok Time" that in Season 2, the time of bashing of Homo Sapiens in Season 1, and revering more higher evolved alien beings was over. It's time to bash the alien races. There's no better example than episode 2.7 "Catspaw" where at the end, the audience see these "superior" alien as they really are, absolutely ludicrous. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw the bird-like puppets that the aliens really look like at the end.

Of course, as I repeat it like a broken record, the aliens in Star Trek simply represent different human groups, may it be cultural, anthropological, geogrphical, historical, racial, or ethnical. In Season 2, another distinct but related trend is to show that despite all our barbarism, and primitive urges and impulses, we have come a long way since. These flawed aliens represent those remote past (ancient Greek, Biblical societies, etc) that we have left behind.

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