What Horrorthon is Teaching Me About TOS

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 Horrorthon Posts

For me, the best part of all this TOS discussion is that I keep learning stuff I didn’t know before; sometimes it’s basic, elemental ideas that I can’t believe I’ve missed for thirty years, and other times it’s somebody’s clever insight that I’ve never thought about before.

Looking at the new/old versions of the imagery from “The Corbomite Maneuver” emphasized how that whole story’s about games of scale, like gauging bets in a card game. I love that Kirk is correct and it turns out everyone’s bluffing; I don’t think I quite caught that before.

JSP pointed out that Spock/Kirk deduce the necessity of a duplicate Kirk very quickly in “The Enemy Within” and what a relief that is. I’d never thought of that before, but it’s totally correct.

The unabashedly cerebral writing (combined with the skilled performances) really creates an enjoyment level that’s comparable to the sensations of theater, wherein you happily overlook the cardboard walls etc. because the intensity of the theatrical talent (writing/acting/directing) is so palpable.

“Enemy Within” has (I realize now) an unabashedly Freudian, progressive message. The script makes absolutely sure you understand that Kirk, when stripped of his “evil side” (a psychological rather than a physiological distinction) cannot command the ship; he keeps screwing it up. In 1967! That’s just so cool; but there it is on film. They really did it, in the Johnson/Nixon era.