Thursday, 24 October 2013

TOS - 2.22 - By Any Other Name

Star Trek - By Any Other Name
Tell me Captain, what's your choice? Money or
the box. Before you consider the choice, let me
remind you that each of this box is your crew member.
To ressurect them, just add water.
The theme of this episode is very similar to episode 2.20 "Return to Tomorrow" in reinforcing the main thrust of Season 2, which is praising the human race that despite of, or in fact because of our flaws that's what make us special and interesting, and so desirable to aliens across the galaxy.

In episode 2.20 "Return to Tomorrow", the ETs are so much more advance than human in their mental capacity that they can make the Enterprise do anything they demand. And in this case, the aliens are much advanced than human technologically, and again that they can make the Enterprise do anything they demand.

In the review of episode 2.20 "Return to Tomorrow", I asked the question why don't these superior beings put their minds into human body instead of androids. And I thought they may use that idea in another episode. Well, we didn't have to wait very long. In this episode, the alien simply make full use of human bodies right from the beginning because they need it to make full use of the Enterprise.

While the aliens are turning all human crew into chalks of cuboctahedrons, the human are in terms turning all Kelvan crew into humans. (The "cubes" look quite nice, I don't mind having my ash turned into one of these after my body is cremated. Why not? It's probably cheaper and easier than turning our ash into diamonds as some people have already done).

Well, they're already human physically, but the 4 remaining Enterprise crew try to turn them into more complete human by making them more human emotionally. So each in their own way goes on to work on their alien. Captain Kirk, in his usual charming way with the lady, goes on to perform on the alien female with the "pressing of the lips", or in some human quarters "sucking of faces", or "swapping of spits". It's "kissing" by any other name. Well, that's not what the title of this episode refers to. But it isn't too far off.

At the end, the aliens learn to live with these rather curious and strange human emotions. Well, we are learning to live with these rather curious and strange human emotions, too. Isn't this the central message of the episode? Curious and strange emotions are wonderful. That's the stuff that makes us human, unique, infuriating, frustrating, colourful, and worth living for.

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