Why the original Star Trek is cool

Why is TOS cool? | Cool Pix | My favorite TOS eps | Kirk and the Prime Directive

Why is TOS cool?

I'm not sure I can explain it myself, but here are some thoughts:

How about a Captain whom you can like and trust, with his sidekick Mr. Spock, the scientist's scientist? How about bright, campy sets and costumes? How about episodes that dealt with serious issues in a coded way (as opposed to modern Star Trek, which deals with lesser issues in a heavy-handed way)? How about Uhura, Scotty and Sulu instead of Worf, O'Brien and Kim?

How about timelessness?

How about a show that drew from a rich literary tradition of science fiction short stories, instead of a show with burnt-out hacks who graduated from other TV shows and have spent the last ten years repeating themselves? How about "ray-gun" style phasers instead of apocalyptic-looking phaser rifles? How about Blacks portrayed as computer/electronics, radio or scientific professionals and doctors (Uhura, Boma, Daystrom, M'Benga) instead of as security officers or generals or drug-addicted soldiers (Worf, Tuvok, Sisko, the Jem'Hadar)?

How about a show that spoke to the hopes and fears of a nation in a time of crisis, as opposed to a cash cow being milked for all it's worth in a time of shallow contentment?

I think I've made myself pretty clear. Disagree? Drop me a line at athena_sappho 47 yahoo.com.

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Check out these pix I stole from another site. Bwahahaha.

Kirk and Spock in fine form gawking at a Horta. "Devil in the Dark"

Spock looking like he's seen better days in the turbolift with Kirk. "Amok Time"

These images come from Alidar Jarok's Star Trek Image Library.

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My favorite Star Trek episodes, in no particular order

Other episodes I liked for one reason or another - "Mirror, Mirror," "The Ultimate Computer," "Amok Time," "The Naked Time" (nice "Tess of the D'Ubervilles" reference in there, that no ones seems to have noticed but me), "The Paradise Syndrome" (I just fast forward through the Miramanee scenes), "The Cage," "Dagger of the Mind," "I, Mudd," "This Side of Paradise," "The City On the Edge of Forever" and "By Any Other Name."

TOS episodes that sucked - "Court Martial" (a few tiny changes would have improved this episode a lot), "Arena" (grunt, grunt, pow! TNG "Darmok" was way better), "Turnabout Intruder" (Kirk takes a stroll in a universe of anti-matter), "Spock's Brain" (a laff a minute - and it wasn't intended to be funny), "The Cloud Minders" (blah), "The Doomsday Machine" (Supposed to be great, but the papier-maché 'doomsday machine' really ruined it for me. We're talking criminally bad fx.) "The Enterprise Incident" (stretched the premises and the characters way too thin), "Plato's Stepchildren" (again, not all of it is bad, but it's awful enough that you wince all the way through - kind of like some episodes of Voyager), "The Omega Glory" (one of the worst Star Trek episodes of all time) and "The Deadly Years" (with a title like that-!).

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Kirk and the Prime Directive
Kirk gets accused of playing fast and loose with the PD. But really, how many times did he break it? Let's take a look at the record, shall we?

Well, those are all the violations (4) and possible violations (4) I could think of. Frankly, I think if you tally Janeway, you'd probably do worse, although VOY has had twice as many episodes, so that may not be fair. Obviously, both captains are willing to break the PD if they believe they have good reason, something Picard would (almost) never do. Actually, I can't think of a single instance where Spock informs Kirk that the Prime Directive applies and Kirk doesn't break it! (On the other hand, can you think of a case where Tuvok protests that the PD applies and Janeway doesn't break it? Sure, she follows it sometimes, but any time Tuvok pipes up about General Order Number One she takes that as her cue to strafe it with phaser fire and kick it down the disposal chute.)

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This page created 2.8.00 by Berli. Last modified 2.9.00.
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