Sunday, May 10, 2009

Star Trek--"What Are Little Girls Made Of?"

Sadly, “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” is another episode that I thought was great in my younger days, but now recognize its many flaws. Most of my positive feelings for the episode centered around my fondness for another childhood favorite, The Wild Wild West. I could draw so many parallels to a typical JamesWest adventure. There was an implausible science fiction element that never really gor explored, mad genius villain like Dr. Loveless, a giant henchman like his assistant, Voltaire, and a pretty girl inexplicably there just to serve as eye candy. If I did not know better, I would say it actually was a rewritten script for The Wild wild West.

You cannot blame me for that. There had only been a handful of TOS episodes aired by this point, yet two major plot elements were repeated here for the second time. First, there was another Kirk double like in “The Enemy Within.” second, Dr. Roger Korby turned out to be a replacement for the deceased original like Nancy in “The Man Trap.” The idea this was n adapted, unused script from another show is more comforting than to think the writing is so lazy and unoriginal.

But lazy it is. A fine opportunity was missed to explore the sentience of androids, the value of human frailty, or even a logical reason why one would want to rule the galaxy in the first place. There is no exploration nto the nature of the androids. They could have been organic aliens just as well. The discussion about emotions crippling humanity was reduced to a couple throway lines between Kirk and Korby. The fatal flaw that kirk can introduce racist attitudes into his robot double in order to arouse suspicion escapes poor Korby. Odd, since he is an android, too. His plot to take over the galaxy is reduced to little more than a criminal endeavor with no grandiose scheme whatsoever. He just wants power.

I also have to question the wisdom of making Nurse Chapel Korby’s fiance. He has been missing for five years, so she joins Starfleet to look for him? Highly implausible. We had not been given the slightest hint before she had any such motivations in her previous appearance in “The Naked Time.” She got over it pretty quickly, too, since she spends the rest of the series pining for Spock. Like McCoy with Nancy, she lost a long lost true love, but the sting went away rather quickly.

We have a mediocre episode here with lukewarm ideas that are never fleshed out. Oddly enough, variations on the story--created androids are eventually feared and deactivated/destroyed by their creators-- is going to be repeated throughout Trek regardless. Some panned out better than others. The best effort is dr. Noonian Soogn shutting down the humanlike Lore in favor of Data, thus creating a sibling rivalry. The Worst is “Prototype,” the VOY episode in which Torres gets the whim to repair a robot she finds out in space only to rekindle a genocidal war. The robot, Automated unit 3947, was from a series a robots who rose up to slaughter their masters rather than be deactivated like Ruk and his brethren had done to the Old Ones. Leave it to VOY to ape a really bad episode of TOS.

About the only bright spot, aside from my nostalgia for The Wild Wild West, is Ted Cassidy as Ruk. He serves as a memorable character is spite of the poor material he was forced to work with. An interesting bit of trivia; everyone knows Cassidy’s most famous role was Lurch on The Addam’s Family. On TNG, Carel Struycken plays Mr. Homm, a longsuffering assistant to to the obnoxious Lwaxana Troi who has a similar appearance. Apparently, others took notice, because Struycken eventually played Lurch in two big screen versions and one direct to DVD of The Addams Family in the ’90’s.

Then there is this:I am am not passing judgment, mind you. Just pointing it out. kirk and ruk seemed to have a little something going on there, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Ratings; ** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment