Star Trek: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Apollo: "I am Apollo!"
Chekov: "And I am the Tsar of all the Russias."

(Ben and I apologize in advance for the high level of snark in this review. We just couldn't stop ourselves.)

Another outing with a God-Like Alien. The difference is, this was one of Earth's own God-Like Aliens. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if they had tackled the Judeo-Christian god? No, too controversial. Let's do a twenty-foot guy wearing gold lamé, instead.

I'll again give Star Trek credit for an interesting story idea that was a year ahead of its time, though. (See the infamous 1968 best seller, Chariots of the Gods.) I wish it had been a bit more original, instead of a rehash of "The Squire of Gothos" and "Space Seed." I mean, let's look around. Apollo has to have the equivalent of Trelane's magic mirror somewhere. Wait! What about the temple? It's the only non-tree in sight. That must be it.

Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas' specialties were archaeology, anthropology, and ancient civilizations, heightening her resemblance to historian Marla McGivers — as in, yes, it's her specialties and background that have made her such a pushover for the guy. Like McGivers, even though she was immediately in love with her new super boyfriend, Carolyn came through in the end. I think we were supposed to feel pity for Apollo. Poor guy. All he wanted to do was enslave everyone. I personally think it was a bit naive of Apollo to think that humans capable of building starships would still be interested in herding goats.

Speaking of irrational, what the heck happened to Scotty? He was always so mature and intelligent and matter-of-fact, and here, he suddenly started acting like an irrational teenager suffering from an overdose of hormones. At least Chekov was fun, starting a long trend of giving Russia credit for every literary masterpiece and technological invention in history.

And Spock saved the day again, and was an effective commander at the same time. Not at all like his faulty command style in "The Galileo Seven." Maybe he finally had time for those classes on command and effective supervision.

Ben says...

One of the few instances in which a God-like alien actually showed off his god-like... well, see the image below.



Varying reactions:

Spock: "That skirt and these sight lines are most illogical... and yet hot."
(Okay, Spock didn't beam down, but I wanted to draw a cartoon Spock.)

Scotty: "I can see Nessie from here."

Chekov: "I can see the Kremlin from here."

Lt Palamas: "Stupid sexist bosses, I should just find some way to tell them to all go fu... HELLLO! interesting specimen!"

Kirk: "Confusion, hate, lust, must not look, must not look..."

Wait... my tricorder is indicating that these comments have actually hit a new low. And perhaps it says more about me than Apollo or the episode. But I stand by my frivolity. History will judge.

Back to Billie for bits and pieces:

— Stardate 3468.1. The unimportant M class planet, Pollux IV. You'd think all M class planets would be important, though. Don't the expanding human and humanoid populations need new planets to live on? Are there so many perfect planets that they can toss them away?

— Chekov is only 22. It would have made more sense if he'd acted like a teenage hormone bomb instead of Scott.

— The huge hand squeezing the Enterprise was a nice touch. Although I kept thinking of The Addams Family. It's an intergalactic Thing on the loose.



— Apparently, there was supposed to be a final scene on the Enterprise where McCoy tells Kirk that Palamas is pregnant with a possible godling of her very own. That would have been an interesting coda to the story.

— Cool costumes are usually lost on me, but that incredible pink thing that Leslie Parrish wore was pretty outrageous. And it went so well with Apollo's frightening gold toga. Seriously. A simpler and less showgirl-like costume might have made Apollo a lot less silly and easier to... I think I'd better stop now.

Quotes:

McCoy: "She's a woman. All woman. One day, she'll find the right man. Off she'll go, out of the service."
Kirk: "I like to think of it not so much as losing an officer as gaining... actually, I'm losing an officer."
I know, 1967, but strike one.

Apollo: "Do not bring that one. The one with the pointed ears. He is much like Pan, and Pan always bored me."

Kirk: "Insulted, Spock?"
Spock: "Insults are effective only where emotion is present."

Apollo: "They defied me. Until they felt my wrath."
Scott: "I would like to point out that we are quite capable of some wrath ourselves."

Apollo: "You seem wise for a woman."
Strike two!

Chekov: "The Captain requires complete information."
McCoy: "Spock's contaminating this boy, Jim."

Chekov: "He disappeared again. Like the cat in that Russian story."
Kirk: "Don't you mean the English story? The Cheshire cat?"
Chekov: "Cheshire? No sir. Minsk, perhaps..."

Kirk: "Mankind has no need for gods. We find the one quite adequate."
Strike three!

Carolyn: "Love you? Be logical. I'm not some simple shepherdess you can awe."

Kirk: "Would it have hurt us, I wonder, just to have gathered a few laurel leaves?"
In a word, yes.

One of out four gold lamé togas,

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

5 comments:

Tom L said...

Did something happen? I expected the quote Sunday episode to come out, but it didn't.

And there hasn't been any new reviews.

:(

Billie Doux said...

No excuse, Tom L. -- just had a really busy weekend. Since there are about fifty premieres this week, there should be a bunch of new reviews pretty soon. And I'm planning to do a Buffy quote installment next Sunday. The topic: history.

Andrew said...

Well Billie,

I disagreed with you on Operation Annihilate!!......BUT I totally agree with you on this clunker. This episode is just lame and pretty boring. Not much else to say really. I generally love Season 2, but this one is an exception.

tinkapuss said...

I think one's affection for such an episode is often less about the narrative or dialogue or themes, and more about the age one was and the memories one has of the time they first viewed it. For this reason, this is still a favourite of mine because I remember so fondly loving it as a young teenage girl when I really identified with the ideals of Star Trek and needed it in my life in order to escape reality. I can be critical of it now but still retain the same sense of joy and wonderment I got when I first saw it 33 years ago.

One little bit of trivia you may or may not know: Leslie Parrish later became the 2nd wife of Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Two of his later books were about his relationship with her, "The Bridge Across Forever" and "One'.

And, just one last thing... is it just me, or does Apollo not look the spitting image of Ted Bundy here?

tinkapuss said...

Oh bloody hell! I have to admit it. I love this episode!! Carolyn is a living doll who really came through in the end; Scotty is sweet and loveable and a big doofus for once; Kirk is both righteously indignatious and compassionate (love him for that); Spock is brilliant in Command; and Uhura gets an actual job for once that no one else could manage! Love it. Love it. Love it.

The only thing I do not love is that Kirk says that humans are satisfied with only one god. That's 1960s bullshit and, therefore, I do not take it against him. I still don't believe he is silly enough to 'believe'.