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  #81  
Old 05-29-2008, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tiberius1964 View Post
I can also acknowledge that "Turnabout Intruder" offers two tour-de-force acting jobs - William Shatner's (getting in touch with his feminine side?) and Sandra Smith's (channelling William Shatner). I suppose I'm more disappointed with Turnabout Intruder than the others, though, because it could have been so much more. The episode, as you have all noted, is covertly sexist while overtly deploring sexism.

I think it could have been better. There is (imho) a subtle inference in the episode that Janice Lester was passed over for command because of her weakness. Not that she's weak because she's a woman, but that she personally was weak because she was borderline psychotic. I'd like to think that StarFleet's psych evaluations would catch her latent instability and paranoia and invalidate her for command on that basis (read Lt. Hornblower for the effects of a paranoid captain).

I think emphasizing that approach, and tweaking the episode a bit, results in a more satisfying (though perhaps still heavy handed) take on sexism. This way, Kirk sympathizes with her initially about being passed over for command, but then comes to adjust his thinking (once transferred into Lester's body) when he realizes why she was passed over. At this point, the character could be male or female and it wouldn't make a difference in the story (except for the excuse that the Lester character imagines is the "real reason" he/she was passed over - "he" could just as easily been a black man). Leaving the character as female allows us to focus on the ideas of "are women treated unfairly?" (dumb question, I know, but you have to hit some people over the head) and "why, and what can we do about it?" Throw in some observations between McCoy and Spock about the general fitness of women to command (Spock could mention female Vulcan ship commanders, and McCoy could agree human society has strange hold overs from earlier ages). At the end of the episode, Kirk (having been restored to his body) maybe makes that observation that she could have had so much - if she'd just accepted her personal situation (instead of the "just be happy being a second class citizen" comment he does make). Then he and Spock and McCoy leave the bridge. At the lift doors, he stops, turns and says, "Lt. Uhura, you have the con."

Boom! Done! Star Trek comes out and says "Women can be in command - just not this particular woman, Dr. Lester". This kind of treatment also emphasizes taking individual responsibility for who we are and what we do - Lester gets passed over for command precisely because she would not have been able to accept getting passed over (I hope that makes sense). As I said, maybe heavy handed, but I think it could have been more effective that way, and not suffered from the mixed message that it does.

Ah well, I guess I shouldn't complain that all TOS episodes aren't perfect...keep the ideas and comments coming...
If it's any consolation, GR himself, later said the line was just sexist. But it was 60's TV, keep that in mind as a context.

I liked your explaination, and think that would be a "real world" approach! If it were done today, that would the way it would go!
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  #82  
Old 05-30-2008, 06:38 AM
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Though I have already listed my pick for underrated episodes, from the perspective of influencing the future of Trek, the episode that stands out but does not often appear in the top 10 list would be "Journey to Babel". From this episode we got Andorians & Tellarites, further definitions for Orions and Vulcans, the ever popular Sarek and Amanda, another Spock face slap, the beginnings of "the needs of the one verses the needs of the many", a nice peek at Federation politics, the Spock/Sarek saga (butchered by TNG). The fallout from this episode appears throughout future ST. We are even going to see some of it again in the new movie. Though not mentioned often when people list their favorite Trek episodes, JTB seemed to influence the future of Trek a great deal.
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  #83  
Old 05-30-2008, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by civilian View Post
Though I have already listed my pick for underrated episodes, from the perspective of influencing the future of Trek, the episode that stands out but does not often appear in the top 10 list would be "Journey to Babel". From this episode we got Andorians & Tellarites, further definitions for Orions and Vulcans, the ever popular Sarek and Amanda, another Spock face slap, the beginnings of "the needs of the one verses the needs of the many", a nice peek at Federation politics, the Spock/Sarek saga (butchered by TNG). The fallout from this episode appears throughout future ST. We are even going to see some of it again in the new movie. Though not mentioned often when people list their favorite Trek episodes, JTB seemed to influence the future of Trek a great deal.
Nice choice, it is underated!
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  #84  
Old 08-11-2008, 04:28 PM
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I like "Arena", "Friday's Child", "Journey to Babel", "Who Mourns for Adonais?", and "Catspaw". Those are five very overlooked & underrated episodes.

Last edited by camillojl : 08-11-2008 at 04:31 PM.
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  #85  
Old 08-12-2008, 07:00 AM
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Whom Gods Destroy is a good one. So is Let that be your last battlefield.
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