People of the Book, TOS: S2E17 “A Piece of the Action”

A holy book defines a culture.  It provides a basis for what a society values and what it condemns.  These ideals also shape how the stories are told, as the listener uses his or her cultural lens to discern the morals hidden in the tale.  There are many alien races in the Star Trek universe … More People of the Book, TOS: S2E17 “A Piece of the Action”

A Mind for Mercy, TOS: S2E16 “The Gamesters of Triskelion”

We cannot become intelligent beings if we don’t value life. A simpleton lacks empathy, but sensitive, compassionate, and well-rounded people can see themselves in the other. An important step in maturity is the ability to recognize others have needs outside of ourselves. On a larger scale, a certain amount of moral growth prompted our ancestors … More A Mind for Mercy, TOS: S2E16 “The Gamesters of Triskelion”

Additional Multiplication, TOS: S2E15 “Trouble with Tribbles”

In 1788, the first European settlers in Australia brought rabbits as a source of food.  With no native predators in their new home, the rabbit population exploded, and became one of the country’s most devastating invasive pests.  Thus is the inspiration for this Star Trek story.  Perhaps one of the most iconic episodes of the … More Additional Multiplication, TOS: S2E15 “Trouble with Tribbles”

Root of all Fear, TOS: S2E14 “Wolf in the Fold”

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’.  If that is the case, he may not have seen many wild animals, or found himself in a perilous survival situation.  Perhaps his life was never in danger from the most treacherous of all creatures: another human being.  It is possible that … More Root of all Fear, TOS: S2E14 “Wolf in the Fold”

The Misty Whale, TOS: S2E13 “Obsession”

Hell hath no fury like a captain chasing a white whale.  In an episode reminiscent of the vendetta plot from “The Doomsday Machine”, and the body harvesting of “The Man Trap”, Kirk’s old foe is a deeply personal weapon of mass destruction.  Upon finding his surveying party attacked and drained of their hemoglobin, Kirk suspects … More The Misty Whale, TOS: S2E13 “Obsession”

Radioactive Aging, TOS: S2E12 “The Deadly Years”

Aging comes with all kinds of challenges, but our culture has sanitized the process so much that it is rarely in the forefront of a young and healthy person’s mind. Medical science bombards us with trendy new ways to keep healthy and sharp as you move through life, championing the superiority of youth.  In a … More Radioactive Aging, TOS: S2E12 “The Deadly Years”

Perception of Progress, TOS: S2E11 “Friday’s Child”

The Original Series of Star Trek was ground-breaking for its era, even if many of the stories seem dated by our standards today.  During a time when the initial idea of a female captain was rejected, as producers thought a woman would never rise to that level, Gene Roddenberry still pursued his vision of a … More Perception of Progress, TOS: S2E11 “Friday’s Child”

A Puzzle of Hidden Pieces, TOS: S2E10 “Journey to Babel”

Diplomatic missions are tricky business.  An onslaught of conflicting interests and ideals tend to clash with interpersonal conflict and individual quarks.  It takes a range of advanced personal skills to navigate everyone’s interests to the point where they can be mostly satisfied without completely falling out with each other.  In the end, it was up … More A Puzzle of Hidden Pieces, TOS: S2E10 “Journey to Babel”

The Perfect Cage, TOS: S2E8 “I Mudd”

Perfection, beauty, immortality, and safety… are these the things for which every person longs?  The human capacity to reason is more complex than any creature on Earth of which we are aware.  Our language allows for the finest detail, and our behaviours are intricate.  We even have the ability to predict the future, at least … More The Perfect Cage, TOS: S2E8 “I Mudd”