Sunday, 29 September 2013

TOS - 2.20 - Return to Tomorrow

Star Trek - A Return to Tomorrow
I'm doing the Lunar Walk. Don't confuse it
with Moon Walk. I know it looks pretty looney.
"You don't have to be beautiful to turn me on"

Boys and girls, don't do this at home !
When I saw the title, I thought it was going to be an episode about time travel like episode 1.19 "Tomorrow is Yesterday". After all, the synonyms of this title would be "Back to the Future". Well, it's not about time travel.

When I heard the god-like booming voice addressing the whole Enterprise crew at the beginning, I thought this may be one of the episode more like episode 2.2 "Who Mourns for Adonais?", I was on the money.

Let me do a quick recap. Star Trek TOS Season 1 is all about superior god-like aliens calling human a dumb-ass, but Season 2's main thrust is that those superior aliens aren't so great after all. Some are quite silly and misguided as shown in episode  2.2 "Who Mourns for Adonais?", 2.5 "The Apple",  2.7 "Catspaw", and 2.9 "Metamorphosis", and this episode.

All these episodes in Season 2 seems to try to convince us that while these ETs are more highly evolved, more superior than us, and has truly astounding mental capacity, but that's no reasons  to look up to them. In fact, they need us and envy us. Lucky us. There's no better episode than this one to illustrate this idea.

Sargon and the inhabitants on this planet has evolved to a point so high in the evolutionary ladder that they have no physical body. They exist as pure energies of their minds. Any human (that include me, who acknowledged it grudgingly in Season 1, but beginning to warm up to the idea in Season 2) who watches this episode would find this god-like aliens rather sad and pitiful.

It brings up the very interesting philosophy as RenĂ© Descartes put it, "I think, therefore I'm". This may be true. But to make life worth living, I say, "I feel, therefore I'm". To live life devoid of all sensations are no life. This is why these bodiless aliens want our help, to make themselves an androids. Well, an androids are quite pathetic, but what's the alternative?

It would be having the Enterprise do the deeds for them and breed many little Kirks and Spocks, and Nurse Chapels to populate the barren planet. Well, they haven't thought of that. At least, this isn't that episode.

Lenard Nimoy put on one of his rare animated performance. Up until now, there're only 3 episodes where Spock shows his emotion. Episodes 1.4 "The Naked Time" and 1.24 "This Side of Paradise" where Spock's emotion wells up to the surface because he loses his inhibition due to external element. In episode 2.1 "Amok Time", he loses it because of his pon farr or what I would call the Vulcan male menstral period.

In this episode, because he's 'possessed', and he takes on the emotional state of Henoch who occupies his consciousness. And Henoch isn't a nice character, and so you can feast your eyes on some sinister expressions from Spock.

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