Speed of Life, TOS: S3E11 “Wink of an Eye”

The Enterprise beams down to the planet Scalos in response to a distress call, only to find no evidence of life at all. When one of the disposables suddenly disappears, the ship experiences bizarre malfunctions orchestrated by some mysterious ‘enemy’. Kirk doesn’t know what to do, so he just lets the situation play out. While … More Speed of Life, TOS: S3E11 “Wink of an Eye”

Plato’s Tyrannical Republic, TOS: S3E10 “Plato’s Stepchildren”

One of the most iconic episodes of the original Star Trek, “Plato’s Stepchildren”, claims the first interracial kiss portrayed on television. Aside from the groundbreaking milestone, the philosophy behind the story walks the well-trodden ground of absolute power and its ensuing corruption. Kirk and crew respond to a distress call from the Platonians, a group … More Plato’s Tyrannical Republic, TOS: S3E10 “Plato’s Stepchildren”

A Dimension of Mystery, TOS: S3E9 “The Tholian Web”

Space is a vast and endless mystery. In addition to what we can see, there are other forms of existence stretching beyond our capacity to imagine them. One of these is the possibility of surviving in other dimensions. Our brains belong in three dimensions, and experience consistently forward moving time. How would we withstand a … More A Dimension of Mystery, TOS: S3E9 “The Tholian Web”

The Human Spectacle, TOS: S2E25 “Bread and Circuses”

In the darkest periods of human history, we consigned some people to be sources of entertainment.  The more barbaric of these times, when the Roman empire forced enslaved people to fight for their amusement, is long past.  The original Star Trek seemed to love imagining alternate histories for Earth, however implausible they would be on … More The Human Spectacle, TOS: S2E25 “Bread and Circuses”

A Shift in Power, TOS: S2E21 “Patterns of Force”

If “A Piece of the Action” was a cursory view of cultural contamination, this episode’s adventure is a fully realized infection of the worst disease in philosophy.  Much like the mafia planet, the citizens of planet Ekos were introduced to an outside viewpoint by a Starfleet bungle.  This time, a historian and cultural observer John … More A Shift in Power, TOS: S2E21 “Patterns of Force”

Brain Drain, TOS: S2E20 “Return to Tomorrow”

Kirk and Spock seem to have no shortage of mind-altering adventures, which is reasonable considering one of the final frontiers still beyond our understanding is the mind.  If space offers anomalies and aggressive aliens, the human body provides complex mystery and questionable theories.  Brushing up against this frontier, Kirk, Spock, and Lt. Cmdr. Mulhall respond … More Brain Drain, TOS: S2E20 “Return to Tomorrow”

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”

The Invisible Hand of God, TOS: S2E2 “Who Mourns for Adonis?”

In a seemingly empty part of space, the Enterprise is suddenly held hostage by a giant hand.  Held at its mercy, nothing seems to break Kirk’s team free from this oddly-shaped force field.  They are soon introduced to their captor, a god-like being called Apollo, who exerts complete control over the ship and crew.  In … More The Invisible Hand of God, TOS: S2E2 “Who Mourns for Adonis?”