Monday, April 28, 2014

astro picture for the day/ Star Trek - The original series

ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope image

Good Sci-Fi is rare. There's only a handful - Things to Come, 2001, War of the Worlds, Forbidden Planet.  One could name a few more here and there, but things get questionable after awhile. Star Trek multiplies the number of good Sci-Fi by more than two! I don't suppose that I've watched all the Star Treks and have said everything about it and every episode; but, I'm posting now.
  Star Trek was a great Sci-Fi series because it made scientific puzzle stories, and stories about rationality versus irrationality.

Sometimes they made stories about primitive cultures, sometimes about advanced. Sometimes, they just made stories that were like scientific puzzles.  The Man Trap is one such scientific puzzle episode.  If otherwise, this would have been some bad 1950s B movie as they call them.

Star Trek also had a great dynamic about the military versus the scientific viewpoints. Farely recently, there was an effort that appears to have fallen on its face; the effort was to set up a government system that keeps business, military, and science from influencing one another.  I agree with this.  I would further state that part of the American success has been the splitting of church and state.  Star Trek makes this split in the characters of Spock, Bones, and Captain Kirk.

Somemore that should be said about Star Trek is the technologies.  Star Trek had a variety of technologies that seemed impossible - hand held lasers.  The 'phasers' had a stun mode to indicate social progress from dealing with people violently to only using violence in the most peaceful of ways.  Other impossible technologies were faster than light travel and "beam me up' technologies. Quantum physicists have over the last few decades suggest that wormholes are possible.  These wormholes would be stabilized by negative energy from the cassimir affect.

The beam me up scotty technology may be possible.  But this technology will still be a hard/advanced technology even in the approaching quantum computer and nanomanufacturing future. I'm sure I've lost track of an article that tried to see what it could see about making beam me up technology using today's entanglement technology.  All I remember was the possibility of entangling all the atoms of a human and beaming the information somewhere else is immense.

In the Man Trap, changelings need salt.  The crew of Star Trek are initially confused because all they see is an old woman and man who couldn't possibly suck salt out of a human body like that.

Where No Man Has Gone Before,

Where no man has gone before was one of two 'pilot' episodes for Star Trek, when they were first establishing the cast/characters.  The first pilot episode was classic - the Cage.  Unfortunately, it's not currently availably on youtube.  It used to be available and all the Star Treks were not available!

'Where no man has gone before' is a contrast between friends/love and scientific power.

- What Are Little Girls Made Of?,

'What are little girls made of? is a pretty good Star Trek about robots.

The Menegerie parts 1 and 2 are a Captain Kirk redo of the first Star Trek episode "the cage".  The first Captain Kirk actor chose to go back to Broadway; he died in an accident(something simple like falling down a stairs). 

- The Conscience of the King,

A routine mission goes wrong.  The Doctor "Bones" and the Volcan Spock argue about rationality while they fight off cavemen throwing Neolithic spears at them.  They take a great gamble to solve their problems; an altogether underrated episode, imo!

An Extraterrestrial puts different species(including the human species) in a contest to see who can innovate from an almost stone age state of technology to beat the other)

One of many going back to the future Star Treks.  This one is a kind of inverse ufo movie where humans encounter humans from the future(the ufos).  Star Treks have comedies like "Shore leave" "Trouble with Tribbles" and "Mudd's women".  For various reasons, I choose the more serious versions.  This episode has both serious and comedy aspects.

- The Return of the Archons,

Return of the Archons considers pre-science cultures and societal conformity.  The culture uses technology to play out older cultures.

Two cultures are fighting a nuclear war.  Captain Kirk uses logic once again to open their minds to the problems.

Khan is a genetically engineered human.  He was also someone who tried to take over the Earth back in the 20th century.  He's found by Captain Kirk centuries later. The story explores issues of charismatic leadership and dictatorship from a very distant perspective(time and space).

Klingon's are taking over a humble troublesome people; or are they something more?

- The City on the Edge of Forever,

- Mirror, Mirror,

Star Trek has great dramas about rationality versus irrationality.  Usualy, they find primitive and sometimes advanced irrational cultures that they have to outwit.  Here, Star Trek turns makes an alternative U.S.S. Enterprise crew against each other. 

Star Trek also has lots of alternative realities shows; but, this episode combines and is the best of those, imo.

The Changling,

The U.S.S. Enterprise crew encounters an advanced alien robot.  This show is the has often been considered the for-runner of the first Star Trek movie, which was about a space cloud that comes back after collecting knowledge all through the universe.

- The Apple,

Another great episode about primitive cultures and brainwashing

- Friday's Child,

- A Piece of the Action,

- Patterns of Force,

- The Omega Glory,

- Bread and Circuses,

- The Cloud Minders,

- All Our Yesterdays,

- For the World Is Hollow...
- That Which Survives,

Another good Star Trek: the Original Series is "A private little war." But, I cannot find it on youtube.


  1. The Cage, the first Star Trek episode, and ultimately one of the best anyways!

  2. , Return to Tomorrow , a kind of transhumanism episode.