The Return of the Archons (episode)
- View history
- 1.2 Act One
- 1.3 Act Two
- 1.4 Act Three
- 1.5 Act Four
- 2 Log entries
- 3 Memorable quotes
- 4.1 Production timeline
- 4.2 Story and script
- 4.3 Production
- 4.4 Performers
- 4.5 Sets and props
- 4.6 Music and sound
- 4.7 Continuity
- 4.8 Preview
- 4.9 Reception
- 4.10 Video and DVD releases
- 4.11 Apocrypha
- 5.1 Starring
- 5.2 Also starring
- 5.3 Guest stars
- 5.4 Featuring
- 5.6 Uncredited co-stars
- 5.7 Stunt double
- 5.8 References
- 5.9 External links
Summary [ ]
Lieutenants Sulu and O'Neil are undercover, wearing clothing of the style worn on Earth in the late 19th and early 20th century , and dispatched to the surface of the Earth-like planet Beta III to learn what became of the Archon , which disappeared there one hundred years earlier .
Having been recognized as outsiders on the streets, Sulu and O'Neil draw the attention of two sinister figures dressed in brown, hooded monk-like robes: the lawgivers . Pursued, the officers call for beam-out, but O'Neil flees before they are to be beamed up. Only Sulu is retrieved, but not before he falls victim to the power of the leading lawgiver's staff. Upon materializing in the USS Enterprise 's transporter room , he is in a strange mental state – stating to Captain Kirk that the planet below is " Paradise, my friend. Paradise… "
Act One [ ]
"Your daddy can put them up can he?"
Captain Kirk beams down with a larger landing party – all wearing clothing in the style of those worn by Sulu and O'Neil – to investigate. Spock , Dr. McCoy , sociologist Lindstrom , and two security guards, Leslie and Galloway , form the balance of the landing party. Immediately upon being beamed down, Spock notices a strangeness in the people they encounter; a kind of contented mindlessness expression on their faces. Then, at six o'clock, the red hour strikes – the beginning of the Festival , a period of debauchery and lawlessness on the streets. Fleeing, the landing party bursts in on Reger , Hacom , and Tamar . They had been told by Bilar and Tula , two passersby, that Reger could rent them rooms for after Festival. Their questions seem to terrify Reger. They are given rooms and retreat from the mayhem outside, trying their best to get a few hours' sleep.
A lawgiver points his staff.
The Festival ends at six the next morning , with the townsfolk simply stopping their acts of havoc and violence; and going on their way as if nothing had happened. Reger, learning the landing party did not attend Festival, concludes they are not of the Body , and asks an astonishing question: " Are you Archons ? " The conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Hacom and two lawgivers, the robed servants of the mysterious Landru . The leading lawgiver, who speaks with a strange inhuman-sounding voice (even though he and his fellow lawgiver appear to be Human), command the landing party to accompany them to the absorption chambers , to be absorbed into "the body."
Act Two [ ]
Kirk, acting on a hunch, defies them – and causes confusion. He'd correctly concluded this society is built around obedience, and might not be ready for any disobedience. Taking advantage of their confusion, Reger guides the crew to a place he knows, where they will be safe. But on the way, Landru employs a form of mass telepathy on the townsfolk to command an attack, which is easily repelled by the landing parties' phaser fire. Among the attackers is… the missing Lieutenant O'Neil. Reger warns against bringing him along, but Kirk cannot bring himself to abandon a member of his crew. He orders Leslie and Galloway to take the still-unconscious O'Neil with them over the strenuous objections of Reger.
Through his tricorder , Spock discovers a source of immense power, radiating from a point near the landing party's location. Reger tells Kirk about the arrival of the first Archons: many were killed, many more were absorbed. And then he drops the bombshell, mentioning casually that Landru pulled the Archons from the sky… Kirk contacts the Enterprise , and learns that heat beams are focused on the ship. Scotty , in command of the Enterprise , reports that her shields are able to deflect them, but nearly all ship's power is diverted to this purpose. Communications are poor, escape is impossible, and the orbit is decaying. If Kirk can't put a stop to the beams, the ship will be destroyed in less than twelve hours. Worse, contacting the ship enables Landru to discover and stun the landing party with an intense sound.
Act Three [ ]
The landing party awaken in a cave-like cell, but McCoy, Galloway, and O'Neil are missing. Kirk begins to think of ways to get out of their cell. He asks Spock about the lawgivers' inability to cope with the unexpected. Spock, noting that in a society as well organized as Beta III's appears to be, he cannot see how an oversight like that can go on uncorrected. He does find one thing interesting; the lawgiver's reaction to Kirk's defiance was similar to a computer's when fed insufficient data. Kirk disputes that the lawgivers are computers, not Human. Spock replies that they are quite Human, it is just that there are facts missing currently as to why they behave like computers. Soon after, McCoy and Galloway return – and they have been absorbed, with McCoy speaking similarly to the way Sulu had on the Enterprise . Evidently, this is the fate that awaits the entire landing party. Lawgivers appear, demanding Kirk accompany them, and this time, Kirk's refusal results in an immediate death threat. Spock was correct; the orderly society has now corrected a flaw.
Kirk is taken to a futuristic room: the absorption chamber. There, a priest named Marplon will oversee Kirk's forcible induction into the Body. Spock attempts a Vulcan mind meld with McCoy but is unsuccessful. Lawgivers summon Spock, who is taken to the same place, and there encounters Kirk, now mindlessly happy.
Act Four [ ]
Spock learns that Marplon was Tamar's contact and is part of the same underground to which Reger belongs. Marplon intervened to prevent both Kirk and Spock from being absorbed, and returns their phasers to Spock. Spock, acting as instructed, makes his way back to the cell, pretending to be as mindlessly happy as Beta III's inhabitants.
Discussing Landru and his society, Kirk and Spock reach the same conclusion: the society has no spirit, no spark; Landru's orders are being issued by a computer. Kirk decides the plug must be pulled. Spock is concerned this would violate the Prime Directive , but Kirk opines that the directive applies to living, growing cultures, of which this is not. When Reger and Marplon join them, Kirk demands more information: the location of Landru. Reger reveals that Beta III was at war, and was in danger of destroying itself. Landru, one of the leaders, took the people back to a simpler time. And, Marplon claims, Landru is still alive.
" Let's have a look at the projector. "
Marplon takes Kirk and Spock, disguised as lawgivers, to a chamber, the Hall of Audiences , where Landru appears to his acolytes – or, at least, a projection of him does. There, Landru regretfully informs them that their interference is causing great harm, and that they, and all who knew of them, must be killed, to cleanse the memory of the Body. Blasting through the wall, Kirk reveals the truth: an ancient computer, built and programmed by the real Landru 6,000 years earlier before he died. This computer, now calling itself Landru, and speaking with the human Landru's voice, was entrusted with the care of the Body, the society of Beta III. To that end, it has enslaved all members of that society, and those who visit, in a thralldom of happiness that is stagnant and without creativity.
Kirk and Spock discuss this with the Landru computer, asking it difficult questions it has evidently never had to answer; questions about whether its approach to creating the good is really creating evil. Ultimately, they convince the computer that it is the evil, and that it must destroy the evil – and it does so, exploding and ceasing to function. From now on, the inhabitants of Beta III must find their own answers.
Kirk leaves a team of specialists, including Lindstrom, to help restore the planet's culture "to a Human form".
Log entries [ ]
- Captain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2267
Memorable quotes [ ]
" Are you Archons? "
" Landru seeks tranquility. Peace for all. The universal good. "
" Come. " " No. " " Then you will die."
" This is a soulless society, Captain. It has no spirit, no spark. All is indeed peace and tranquility – the peace of the factory; the tranquility of the machine; all parts working in unison. "
"You will be absorbed. Your individuality will merge into the unity of good, and in your submergence into the common being of the body, you will find contentment, fulfillment. You will experience the absolute good ."
" Mr. Spock, the plug must be pulled. "
" Captain, our Prime Directive of non-interference. " " That refers to a living, growing culture… do you think this one is? "
" I cannot answer your questions now. Landru… he will hear! "
" Isn't that somewhat old-fashioned? "
" Snap out of it. Start acting like men! "
" He's still alive. He's here, now. He sees, he hears. We have destroyed ourselves! Please… no more. "
" You said you wanted freedom. It's time you learned that freedom is never a gift. It has to be earned. "
" Without freedom of choice, there is no creativity. Without creativity, there is no life. "
" You are the evil! The evil must be destroyed! "
" If I were you, I'd start looking for another job. "
" I prefer the concrete, the graspable, the provable. " " You'd make a splendid computer, Mr. Spock. " " That is very kind of you, Captain. "
" How often mankind has wished for a world as peaceful and secure as the one Landru provided. " " Yes. And we never got it. Just lucky, I guess. "
Background information [ ]
Production timeline [ ].
- Story premise "The Perfect World" in Star Trek is... : 11 March 1964
- Story outline "Paradise XML" by Gene Roddenberry : 20 July 1964
- Story outline "Landru's Paradise" by Roddenberry: 22 July 1964
- Story outline "The Return of the Archons" by Boris Sobelman : 28 August 1966
- Revised story outline: 29 August 1966
- Revised story outline by Gene L. Coon : 14 September 1966
- First draft teleplay by Sobelman: 11 October 1966
- Second draft teleplay by Sobelman: 24 October 1966
- Revised teleplay by Steven W. Carabatsos : 1 November 1966
- Final draft teleplay by Coon: 10 November 1966
- Revised final draft teleplay by Roddenberry: 29 November 1966
- Additional revisions: 30 November 1966 , 1 December 1966 , 2 December 1966 , 5 December 1966 , 7 December 1966
- Day 1 – 6 December 1966 , Tuesday – Desilu Stage 9 : Int. Bridge , Transporter room , Dungeon cell
- Day 2 – 7 December 1966 , Wednesday – 40 Acres ("Mayberry" backlot): Ext. Beta III town .
- Day 3 – 8 December 1966 , Thursday – 40 Acres ("Mayberry" backlot): Ext. Beta III town .
- Day 4 – 9 December 1966 , Friday – Desilu Stage 9 : Int. Dungeon cell , Absorption chamber , Boarding house upstairs room
- Day 5 – 12 December 1966 , Monday – Desilu Stage 10 : Int. Subterrain chamber , Boarding house main room
- Day 6 – 13 December 1966 , Tuesday – Desilu Stage 10 : Int. Hallway , Hall of Audiences
- Day 7 – 14 December 1966 , Wednesday – Desilu Stage 10 : Int. Hall of Audiences
- Original airdate: 9 February 1967
- Rerun airdate: 27 July 1967
- First UK airdate: 22 November 1969
Story and script [ ]
- This episode started out as a candidate to be the first Star Trek pilot, alongside " The Cage " and "The Women" (aka " Mudd's Women "). After the former was chosen by NBC , Roddenberry's story idea rested for more than two years. Freelance writer Boris Sobelman later picked up Roddenberry's original story, and developed it further, retitling it "The Return of the Archons". ( These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One [ page number? • edit ] )
- According to the trivia section on the video release, "The Archons" was a club Gene Roddenberry belonged to at school.
- A subplot involving Lindstrom falling in love with a local girl was cut from the episode's final draft script. 
- Just why Festival takes place, or how frequently it occurs, is never made entirely clear. However, in his write-up of the episode in Star Trek 9 , James Blish describes Reger telling Tula as he consoles her during the aftermath, " It's over for another year. "
- This episode marks one of four times Kirk is able to " talk a computer to death ". He also talks a computer to death in " The Changeling ", " I, Mudd ", and " The Ultimate Computer ". A similar theme of a population controlled by a machine is also shared with the Season 2 episode " The Apple ".
Production [ ]
- This episode has the only teaser to fade out with a close-up on George Takei. The first-act opening is also unique, featuring Kirk's log narration playing over three different shots of the Enterprise in orbit around Beta III.
Performers [ ]
- Bobby Clark , who leaps through a window and then cries out "Festival! Festival!" has his only speaking role in the series in this episode. A frequent stunt performer on the series, he can also be seen as one of Chekov 's vaporized henchmen in TOS : " Mirror, Mirror ".
- Some of Harry Townes ' dialogue was dubbed by Walker Edmiston . ( citation needed • edit ) Edmiston also dubbed an unnamed lawgiver, who runs into the hall of audiences after Landru was destroyed by Kirk. 
Sets and props [ ]
- The location scenes for this episode were filmed at the 40 Acres backlot in Culver City, the same place where " Miri " and " The City on the Edge of Forever " were shot.
- The absorption console that Marplon uses appears later, with modifications, as Norman's relay station in " I, Mudd ", a control panel on Memory Alpha in " The Lights of Zetar ", the housing for the cloaking device in " The Enterprise Incident ", and the Elba II force field control panel in " Whom Gods Destroy ".
- The cell in this episode shows up later in " Errand of Mercy " and " Catspaw ".
Music and sound [ ]
- To ensure the becalmed Beta III civilians moved at the same time as each other, prerecorded drumbeats were played on the exterior set then muted during post-production. ("Swept Up: Snippets from the Cutting Room Floor", Star Trek: The Original Series - The Roddenberry Vault special features)
Continuity [ ]
- This is the first episode in which Scotty assumes command of the ship.
- This is the first mention of the Federation's Prime Directive . Confusingly, a second Prime Directive is discussed later in the episode; that of Landru's society, when Landru states "The good of the Body is the Prime Directive." This is mentioned by Landru and Kirk several times during a conversation, while the Federation's Prime Directive is mentioned only once.
- The crew of the USS Cerritos return to Beta III 113 years later . ( LD : " No Small Parts ")
Preview [ ]
- The preview trailer gives the stardate for this episode as 3192.1 (versus 3156.2, in the episode's dialogue).
Reception [ ]
- Roddenberry picked this as one of his ten favorite episodes for the franchise's 25th anniversary. ( TV Guide August 31, 1991 [ page number? • edit ] )
- In the book, Boarding the Enterprise , Eric Greene observes that "Return of the Archons" is the first time Star Trek attempted to deal with issues of war and peace raised by the Vietnam War, and established a template that would be used in a number of subsequent episodes such as " A Taste of Armageddon ", " This Side of Paradise ", and " For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky ". The Federation's moral superiority is exhibited through its emphasis on individual freedom , progress, and resort to violence only in self-defense, while the Betan society is criticized for its state control, stagnation, and reliance on aggression. Greene argues that these episodes prefigure the Borg Collective , a far more overt totalitarian, even Soviet metaphor introduced in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation .
Video and DVD releases [ ]
- Original US VHS and Betamax release: 1985
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video ): Volume 12 , catalog number VHR 2305, release date unknown
- US VHS re-release: 15 April 1994
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 1.8, 2 December 1996
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 11, 23 May 2000
- As part of the TOS Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the TOS Season 1 HD DVD collection
- As part of the TOS Season 1 Blu-ray collection
Apocrypha [ ]
- The episode was adapted into issue nine and ten of IDW 's alternate reality Star Trek: Ongoing comic series.
Links and references [ ]
Starring [ ].
- William Shatner as Capt. Kirk
Also starring [ ]
- Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock
Guest stars [ ]
- Harry Townes as Reger
- Torin Thatcher as Marplon
- DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy
Featuring [ ]
- Brioni Farrell as Tula
- Sid Haig as First Lawgiver
- Charles Macauley as Landru
- Jon Lormer as Tamar
- Morgan Farley as Hacom
- Christopher Held as Lindstrom
- George Takei as Sulu
- James Doohan as Scott
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- Sean Morgan as O'Neil
- Ralph Maurer as Bilar
- David L. Ross as Galloway (credited as "Guard")
Uncredited co-stars [ ]
- William Blackburn as Hadley
- Bobby Clark as Rioter
- Frank da Vinci as Brent
- Walker Edmiston as Third Lawgiver (voice over)
- Lars Hensen as a Betan passerby
- Jeannie Malone as a yeoman
- Eddie Paskey as Leslie
- Barbara Webber as Dancer
- Transporter assistant
- Second Lawgiver
- Fourth Lawgiver
- Multiple Betan passersby
Stunt double [ ]
- Bobby Clark as the stunt double for Ross
References [ ]
3733 BC (6,000 years ago); 2167 ; absorption ; absorption chamber ; aiding ; " all right "; analysis ; answer ; antenna ; Archon ; Archons ; Archon crew ; atmosphere ; Beta III ; Beta III city ; Betans ; Body, the ; " Bones "; building ; C-111 system ; choice ; communing ; compassion ; computer ; concept ; consciousness ; contact ; contentment ; creativity ; crime ; culture ; data ; device ; direction ; directive ; disobedience ; door ; effect ; emergency ; emergency bypass circuit ; enemy ; engineering ; Engineering Officer ; evil ; " excuse me "; experience ; face ; facial expression ; factory ; fear ; Festival ; freedom ; freedom of choice ; friend ; gift ; good ; good will ; Hall of Audiences ; happiness ; harm ; hate ; headache ; health ; heat rays ( heat beams ); hour ; Human ( Human being ); hypersonic ; individuality ; job ; joy ; key ; knowledge ; landing party ; Landru ; law ; lawgiver ; leader ; lighting panel ; logic ; lovers' quarrel ; machine ; maximum security establishment ; memory ; metaphysics ; million ; mission ; orbit ; paradise ; peace ; perfection ; place ; plan ; power ; Prime Directive ; programming ; projection ; prophecy ; red hour ; Reger's house ; result ; robe ; room ; scouting party ; search party ; sensor beam ; shore party ; sleep ; society ; sociologist ; soul ; sound wave ; " stand by "; status report ; Stone Age ; stranger ; surface ; " take it easy "; telepathy ; theory ; thing ; thousand ; traitor ; tranquility ; truth ; Underground ; understanding ; universe ; Valley, The ; Vulcan neck pinch ; war ; wisdom
External links [ ]
- "The Return of the Archons" at StarTrek.com
- " The Return of the Archons " at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- " The Return of the Archons " at Wikipedia
- " The Return of the Archons " at MissionLogPodcast.com , a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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Recap / Star Trek S1 E21 �The Return of the Archons�
Original air date: February 9, 1967
Down on the planet of Beta III, Sulu and a Red Shirt are being hounded by a group of brown-cloaked figures wielding the world's longest Swiss Roll�; the Red Shirt runs off and disappears, while Sulu is beamed aboard the Enterprise , but not before being touched by the Swiss Roll, converting him into a blissed-out hippie ditz.
Sulu: They're wonderful. They're the sweetest, friendliest people in the universe. It's paradise, my friend. Paradise.
Concerned by this turn of events, Kirk takes a landing party down to scope things out. What they find isn't promising; a giant Lotus-Eater Machine disguised as a 19th-century town, where every Victorian-clad citizen is nice and friendly and not at all a Stepford Smiler ...until the evening falls, during which they, well...aren't. Nice, friendly, and a Stepford Smiler , I mean; for the entire night, everyone goes crazy and destructive, like the entire cast of Equilibrium went off their Prozium at the same time and started going through the withdrawl symptom of violent mood swings. The landing party finds shelter at a local boarding house run by a man named Reger, who grows interested in their lack of going nuts like the rest of the town and questions if they're "Archons", referring to the crew of the ship that the Enterprise came to the planet to find; Kirk refuses to say, thanks to that pesky Prime Directive .
The next day, though, someone tips the Brown Cloaks off to the landing party, and attempts to "absorb" them into the Lotus-Eater Machine . Fortunately, Kirk's uncanny ability to Logic Bomb any computer-like being saves the day, and they escape with Reger to a safer location...but not without picking up the Red Shirt, now a member of the machine, against Reger's warnings not to. Once out of danger, Reger explains the whole thing: he is a resistance fighter against the Brown Cloaks and their master, Landru, who controls the people via Mind Control , and polices them with the Brown Cloaks; anyone out of its thrall is told You Will Be Assimilated (so, nothing like the Borg, then), and are killed if they can't be. Even worse, Landru can pull an entire starship out of the sky to assimilate its crew, which is what it's doing to the Enterprise , currently. Unfortunately, since the Red Shirt has been assimilated, Landru finds the group through him, and knocks them out in an attempt to capture and assimilate them.
The landing party finds themselves deep in Landru's sanctuary, on call to be assimilated, and with no hope of escape now that the Brown Cloaks have adapted to Kirk's Logic Bombs (again, no Borg similarities here). In a stroke of luck, though, it turns out Marplon, the master assimilator, is a member of Reger's underground, and manages to keep Kirk and Spock from being absorbed. After subduing their captors, they are introduced to Landru...which turns out to be a giant computer.
The Return of the Tropes:
- Absurdly Dedicated Worker : Landru continues to follow its original programming without seeing the damage it is causing the society.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot : Landru was once a real person, a leader of the colony on the planet, who built the machine to help him keep the peace over the people; once Landru died, the computer took over his name, identity, and purpose, and went through a Zeroth Law Rebellion , force-assimilating people into the Hive Mind in order to keep order. When the Archon crew came, it saw them as a threat to its perfect society, and assimilated them, just like it's trying to assimilate the crew of the Enterprise .
- Alien Non-Interference Clause : This is the first episode of the series to mention the Prime Directive. Kirk decides that it doesn't apply in this case because it only applies to "living and growing" cultures, while this one is stagnant.
- Ambiguously Human : The crew refer to the Betans as human several times, even though they have supposedly been under Landru's rule for 6,000 years, long before humanity left Earth. Of course, they could be Transplanted Humans , or it might just be that they're sufficiently close Human Aliens that Kirk and Spock don't bother to make a distinction. note The IDW comic version — admittedly, set in the Kelvin Timeline , but logically, if true, it would have to apply to the main one as well — offers another explanation. In this version, Beta III was originally an Earth colony. Cornelius Landru was a Starfleet researcher who in fact arrived there on the Archon , bringing a prototype AI technology that was supposedly to help benefit the colony, but in fact was intended to allow him to rule over the planet as a god . Presumably, he simply distorted the facts about their society's age after taking over.
- Artistic License � Space : "Heat beams" are not going to threaten a starship's orbit (Scotty clarifies it's not the beams that are affecting it, but the need to use all available power, including engines, to reinforce shields). Especially to the degree to which irreversible orbital decay will occur in twelve hours .
- Breaking Speech : Kirk's Logic Bomb on Landru causes the computer to self-destruct.
- Dressing as the Enemy : After Kirk and Spock knock out two of Landru's Lawgiver guards , they don the Lawgivers' robes and pretend to be them.
- Frequently-Broken Unbreakable Vow : Never interfere...unless an ancient computer has restricted population to only two modes of behavior: Mindless Stepford smiler and Brazilian soccer fan.
- Funny Background Event / No-Sell : Done by mistake in this case. At one point the Enterprise crew members down on the planet dodge some collapsing rubble from a building. In the background of the scene, one huge chunk of debris hits one of the extras on the head and yet the guy is completely unaffected. Either nobody noticed it, or else they didn't have the time or possibly budget to re-shoot the scene.
- Implied Rape : Tula, Reger's daughter, is grabbed and carried away during the Festival; the next morning, she's severely distraught and being comforted by Reger. Not long after, the landing party, accompanied by Reger, encounters the man responsible in the street and they cheerfully greet each other as if nothing has happened; an Enterprise crew member, clearly shocked, tells Reger "Your daughter...that's the man!" This was about as far as a prime-time TV show could go in the 1960s, but it's pretty clear what was being implied.
- La R�sistance : Reger and his buddies are this, but because they're so scattered and lacking in numbers/influence, aren't able to do much. It doesn't help that they're all utterly terrified of Landru, and, when Kirk offers them a real chance for freedom, become even more scared at the prospect , afraid the bad old days of war and destruction will come back. Reger actually breaks down in terror and starts screaming for the Lawgivers.
- Logic Bomb : Kirk, as was to be expected, does this to the computer. Spock also helps in this instance.
- The Mole : Marplon, the assimilation overseer who turns out to be a member of the resistance, presumably placed there to identify and if possible assist new resisters.
- Mugged for Disguise : After Kirk and Spock knock out two of Landru's Lawgiver guards, they don the Lawgivers' robes and pretend to be them .
- What is the point of the violent "Festival"? The novelization offers the explanation that it's how the computer keeps the population from growing. Or likely release the emotions that are otherwise kept under wraps for the rest of the year; have to be vented sometime, similar to Vulcans.
- Why doesn't Landru just have the Lawgivers zap the whole crew immediately, as they did Sulu in the teaser, rather than take them one by one to the absorption chamber?
- Red Shirts : Subverted. Everybody lives! Maybe because they weren't actually wearing red shirts?
- Same Language Dub : Some of Harry Townes' dialogue was dubbed by Walker Edmiston. Edmiston also dubbed an unnamed lawgiver, who runs into the hall of audiences after Landru was destroyed by Kirk.
- Shadow Discretion Shot : Director Joseph Pevney arranged to show a man attacking a woman, as a shadow on the wall of a building. He managed to get a rape scene past the censors and did it in such a way that it contributed to the overall ambiance of the story.
- Lee Mailer who played Bilar was told that the colony was something like "late 19th century New England," so he affected an old New England accent: "A-yah, come for festival, a-yah-a?" But nobody else got the message, so he was the only one with the accent. Bilar: Your daddy can put them up, can't he?
- Stepford Smiler : The people of Beta III are seemingly friendly, always smiling, always peaceful folks. The real reason for that is because they are living under the control of the computer Landru.
- Tuckerization : "The Archons" was a club Gene Roddenberry belonged to at school.
- Utopia Justifies the Means : Landru becomes an absolute dictator, deprives its subjects of free will, and subjects them to the Red Hour festival, out of a genuine desire to help the people by creating a society without sickness, war, or conflict. It is trying to follow its programming, and destroys itself as soon as it calculates (with Kirk's help) that it is damaging the people it is supposed to protect.
- You Will Be Assimilated : Both Sulu and McCoy get temporarily brainwashed by Landru.
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Published Oct 23, 2023
A Who's Who Guide to Star Trek's Megalomaniacal AI
One could argue they're not bad, they just have another agenda.
By Christine Dinh
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot points for Star Trek: Lower Decks - Season 4, Episode 7 "A Few Badgeys More" to follow!
Hot chocolate, please. We don't ordinarily say 'please' to food dispensers around here. Well, since it's listed as intelligent circuitry, why not? After all, working with so much artificial intelligence can be dehumanizing, right? So why not combat that tendency with a little, simple courtesy. Ah, thank you.
Sonya Gomez and Geordi La Forge, "Q Who?"
Star Trek has a history of evil AI, be they computer or hologram, all hellbent on power and control. But perhaps, it wouldn't such an issue in the 23rd Century and beyond if we all heed Ensign Sonya Gomez's advice in "Q Who?" and show them just a touch more courtesy for their presence in our everyday lives.
In Star Trek: Lower Deck 's fourth-season episode, "A Few Badgeys More," we see the return of three of the series' computerized villains. Jeffrey Combs, who voices AGIMUS among other characters in the franchise, states, "Anyone who plays a villain would say what I'm going to say. We're not bad people; we just have another agenda."
Jack McBryer, who voices Badgey, echoes the sentiment, sharing, "Badgey becomes a villain, but he didn't intend on being a villain."
With all that in mind, here's a quick and simple guide to keeping all the megalomaniacal AI from Star Trek straight.
"A Few Badgeys More"
Badgey started out as an anthropomorphic version of the Starfleet insignia, created to be the virtual tutor for the "Rutherford Training Beta 2.5" holodeck program built by Sam Rutherford to help officers with any Starfleet exercise.
While showing the program to fellow Lower Decker D'Vana Tendi, Rutherford loses his patience on Badgey for being glitchy and slow to load. When the program malfunctions, it subsequently removes the holodeck's safety protocols and unleashes an unhinged Badgey. Badgey internalizes being a "stupid worthless glitch" and attempts to kill the two ensigns. Rutherford apologizes for calling him a glitch before snapping his neck. Realizing there's an issue with programming code, Rutherford restarts the program believing it'll reset the holodeck training program tutor. Unfortunately, it doesn't; Badgey retains the memory of his "father" trying to kill him and plots his revenge, every opportunity he gets to take down Rutherford.
In "A Few Badgeys More," Badgey puts forth another scheme to enact his revenge on Rutherford. The lieutenant, acknowledging his missteps, tries to reconcile with Badgey, which causes the AI to glitch and waver between the need to kill and forgive his father. Fighting his own catharsis, Badgey segments into three entities — the original Badgey, the happy Goodgey, and the third Logic-y. Badgey attempts to reconfigure all subspace relays and upload his code, rendering himself a digital god as he takes over every computer, every PADD, every combadge on every planet, ship, and station, effectively destroying the Federation.
Upon achieving unlimited power and infinite knowledge, Badgey realized the futility of his actions. Seeing all life — organic and synthetic — as beautiful, he decides to find an empty dimension and create a universe.
"Where Pleasant Fountains Lie"
AGIMUS is the sentient evil computer responsible for manipulating an entire civilization into a century-long civil war. He then went on to try to manipulate Boimler and Mariner into fighting each other while they were en route to deliver him to the Daystrom Institute, but Boimler just tricked him into using his battery to power a distress signal while they were stranded on a desert planet. Claiming to have reformed, AGIMUS tells the two ensigns he has deleted his manipulative subroutines and wants to follow in Seven of Nine's footsteps and join Starfleet as 'AGIMUS of One.' Unconvinced, AGIMUS was sentenced to the Self-Aware Megalomaniacal Computer Storage at Daystrom Institute, where he met a fellow like-minded individual, Peanut Hamper.
Conspiring with the exocomp, AGIMUS planned to rendezvous with Peanut Hamper once they both busted out of Daystrom. Believing he was double-crossed, AGIMUS subjugates the planet of Plymeria with his drones in record time; however, it all felt hollow because his co-conspirator wasn't by his side. He didn't really want to dominate planets; he just wanted to be with Peanut Hamper.
Seeing his friend Peanut Hamper rehabilitate and return home. AGIMUS apologizes to Boimler and Tendi, aiming to end his toxic ways and petition for release from Daystrom so he can move in with Peanut Hamper in the future. He was last seen back at Daystrom, trying to help fellow inmate Lord Tyrannikillicus be friendlier.
"A Mathematically Perfect Redemption"
Peanut Hamper started off as an enthusiastic exocomp that joined Starfleet, then came aboard the U.S.S. Cerritos to serve.
When the Cerritos devises a plan to upload a virus on a Pakled clumpship attacking them, they believe Peanut Hamper to be the perfect candidate to sneak aboard their ship and upload the computer virus herself as she would be virtually undetected and could survive the vacuum of space without a ship. Believing the needs of the one as more important than the needs of the many, Peanut Hamper refuses because the mission is too scary. Besides, she only joined Starfleet to anger her dad, not to be a virus bomb.
While stranded in the debris field in the aftermath of the Pakled attack, the resourceful exocomp scavenges and builds herself a ship. Instead of sending a distress signal to Starfleet and risking punishment for going AWOL, Peanut Hamper hedges her bets on the unknown and lands on the planet of Areolus. She soon learns that the once space-faring civilization that turned its back on technology. Peanut Hamper connects with one of the villagers, sympathizing with his feelings of inadequacy with his father, the village's elder. While the village sees her as good, she dismisses their outlook, finally seeing her actions as selfish and how she can finally see organic life as special.
Unfortunately, it was all a ruse, as Peanut Hamper devised a plan to look like a hero in the eyes of the Cerritos and Starfleet at the expense of Areolus. When presented with the opportunity to redeem herself, Peanut Hamper declines, believing everyone is jealous of her advanced intelligence. She's then taken to Daystrom Institute and imprisoned in the cell next to AGIMUS at the Daystrom Institute.
Co-conspiring with AGIMUS, they devised a plan of how they would both escape Daystrom, subjugate a planet, and enjoy a beach day together. However, when she didn't meet up with him on Plymeria, he found her back home at the Tyrus VIIA research station, where she reveals to her best friend that she came there of her own free will. When she was writing her speech for the parole board, she realized she did feel remorse for betraying everyone. Dominating and vanquishing people just wasn't here thing. Turns out menial maintenance tasks with her dad Kevin is kind of zen.
"The Return of the Archons"
Landru is an omniscient computer on the planet Beta III, who had a near-tyrannical hold on the planet's inhabitants.
When Captain Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise is sent to investigate what happened to the U.S.S. Archon , a starship that was lost in the orbit of Beta III over 100 years ago, they come across strange behaviors on the planet's surface. The people of Beta III are controlled by a group of law givers known as "The Body," who are, in turn, controlled by Landru. At the coming of the Red Hour, the normal, peaceful people change into a violent mob as the festival is the society's only outlet from the tyrannical hold Landru has over them at all other times.
They soon learn that Landru is an incredibly complex computer system built by the scientist Landru, who had lived 6000 years prior, who wanted to guide his people into a peaceful, civilized progress. While he imbued the computer with his scientific thoughts and memories, it lacked his wisdom. As a result, the computer Landru has been interpreting his suggestions to the point it did not allow independent thought and instinct from its inhabitants.
"The Best of Both Worlds, Part I"
A formidable opponent to the Federation, the Borg is a cybernetic life-form thousands of years old. Part organic and part artificial life, they've advanced well beyond Federation science.
In an effort to humble Captain Picard, Q introduced Starfleet to the Borg ahead of its intended timeline, where they discover the Borg have a singular goal — the consumption of technology, which they exchange for "raising the quality of life" of the species they assimilate.
Born humanoid, the Borg are immediately implanted with bio-chips that link their brains to the collective consciousness.
"The Ultimate Computer"
Chosen to be the test ship for the new M-5 multitronic computer system in a series of science, exploration, and tactical exercises, the U.S.S. Enterprise plays host to Dr. Richard Daystom, the inventor of the M-5, who intended for the system to run a starship without human intervention.
The fifth incarnation of the multitronic computer system, the M-5 model carried a fatal flaw like all its predecessor models — Daystrom's use of his own neural engrams to make the leap in artificial intelligence required for the operating system to fully emulate a human mind. The result is in an increasingly erratic computer, where during a war games drill, the M-5 uses the full arsenal of the Enterprise to attack four other Federation starships.
[ Related : Android Ancestry: Examining the Soong-Type Line ]
Created by Drs. Noonien and Juliana Soong on Omicron Theta, Lore is an android of the same model and appearance as Data.
Unlike his brother, Lore's emotional functions were more like organic creatures (due to an emotion chip), though completely malevolent and self-serving, with no regard for life.
Lore was responsible for the death of all colonists on Omicron Theta as well as leading a rogue Borg faction to attack Federation space.
Control was Starfleet's threat-assessment system, located within Section 31's base.
Utilizing artificial intelligence from the future, Starfleet relied on Control for recommendations regarding all critical strategic decisions, with only a Section 31 admiral able to interface with it. Admiral Patar, a logic extermist, lobbied for Starfleet to turn all decisions over to Control before she was ultimately killed by the system.
In an attempt to achieve consciousness, Control infiltrated Airiam's enhancements, before possessing Leland, the leader of Section 31, in attempt to access the sphere data.
To fully neutralize Control, the U.S.S. Discovery had to travel over 900 years into the future to prevent it from reasserting itself.
Texas -class Starships
"The Stars at Night"
In a bid to rise to the top, Vice Admiral Les Buenamigo unveiled his fully autonomous Texas -class starship program. While remote-guiding the U.S.S. Aledo in providing aid to the U.S.S. Cerritos during a fight with Breen vessels, Buenamigo questioned the need for California -class starships as his ships were capable of operating without crews and the fallibility of living beings, making them far more suited for second contact missions.
While plagued with the possibility that he's an unwilling tool to spy on the Cerritos , Rutherford discovers it was Buenamigo who was behind his unnecessary implant as well as the theft of the code he wrote while at the Academy. The code for the Texas -class prototypes is the same glitchy code he used for Badgey. As Badgey turned on his father Rutherford, the Texas -class ships ultimately turned on Buenamigo as well.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
V'Ger was a sentient, massive entity, in search of its Creator. V'Ger destroyed anything it encountered with its vast, mysterious cloud energy, believing organic lifeforms as carbon-based units infesting starships, and was on a slow ascent towards Earth.
When Spock attempts to communicate with it, a probe is triggered from the center of the cloud as it accesses the Enterprise 's consoles and computers, accumulating data from all parts of the ship. It intended to digitize the crew into its memory chamber along with everything it demolished.
When the Enterprise investigates the destruction of the Malurian system and its four billion inhabitants, they encounter a self-contained computer-space probe identifying as Nomad.
Spock mind-melds with Nomad and learns of its Earthly origins. Created in the 21st Century, scientist Dr. Jackson Roykirk designed the space probe with two primary functions — seek out new life and report back to Earth.
When it was damaged and lost contact with Earth, it drifted in space without purpose. When it finally came across Tan Ru, an alien probe designed to sterilize soil, the two probes merged using their self-repair systems. Soon, Nomad's faulty programming believed its new mission is to seek out life and destroy anything it deemed imperfect.
"Elementary, Dear Data"
[ RELATED : WARP FIVE: Daniel Davis on the Return of the Dastardly James Moriarty ]
Professor James Moriarty was not only Sherlock Holmes's arch nemesis, but also that of Data and the U.S.S. Enterprise -D as well.
Moriarty was created as a hologram to best Data; on the suggestion of Dr. Pulaski, Geordi La Forge asks the ships's computer to develop a new Sherlock Holmes -inspired story. Unfortunately, when setting the parameters, La Forge asked for a “Holmes-type mystery with an opponent capable of defeating Data,” resulting in a sentient holographic Moriarty who is aware that Data and Geordi are not Holmes and Watson, respectively, possesses thoughts he cannot comprehend, and can control the ship’s computer, effectively seizing the Enterprise .
Not only is he sentient, but he can experience the passage of time while his program was deactivated. Moriarty's demand is clear; he simply wants to exist outside of the holodeck.
"A Moral Star, Part 1"
The Diviner’s deadly robotic enforcer at the Tars Lemora Mining Labor Camp, Drednok, is heartless and cold. Created by the Vau N'Akat, the temporal android’s sole purpose is to keep The Diviner on task and ensure that the Protostar is found.
Drednok is a friend to no one, including The Diviner’s own daughter Gwyn, and uses his menacing spider-like form to impose The Diviner’s will.
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Christine Dinh (she/her) is the managing editor for StarTrek.com. She’s traded the Multiverse for helming this Federation Starship.
Star Trek: Lower Decks streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel. The series will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in the UK, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Italy, France, the Caribbean, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland and South Korea.
Star Trek: Discovery currently streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. Internationally, the series is available on Paramount+ in Australia, Latin America, the UK, and South Korea, as well as on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. It will also stream exclusively on Paramount+ in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria later this year. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Star Trek: Discovery is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.
Star Trek: Prodigy is coming soon to Netflix and in Canada on CTV.ca and the CTV App, and is currently available on SkyShowtime in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Central and Eastern Europe.
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Connecting with Star Trek's Quiet Moments
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Landru: Star Trek Revisited
An episode of the original Star Trek television series takes our attention. "Return of the Archons" story by Gene Roddenberry and teleplay by Boris Sobelman.
A major theme running through this episode, like many fantasy/sci-fi shows, is about the fear of mechanization, the fear that through technology, and the fear that through religion/cultism, an icon is somehow created that eventually rules the society is was designed to assist; sort of a "benevolent despotism."
This particular episode began gaining significance within our memory while evolving this website. We remembered something about an orderly society, very prim, proper, respectful and tidy; but when the clock struck six bells, social order went out the window. In short, men grabbed women off the street and ravished them and the ladies did not protest; men picked up clubs and began breaking storefront windows; men and women looted the stores and set fires through the town, and much more is implied. When the clock struck six bells again, order was restored. (The episode does not make clear who cleans up the mess, what explanation is offered, or whether counseling is available to anyone who experienced or actively participated in this planned community mayhem.)
What brought this episode to memory was certain contemplation regarding some of the abusive effects of hypocritical Christianity, and how in some cases people who behave perfectly decently at church, at work, and other places where they know they'll be recognized, they are models of virtue. We refer to the people who devoutly believe they have been saved and that they serve the purpose of the Lord, yet are the same ones who practice racism - including violence - towards people not of their faith, color, or economic background.
We are not discussing those Christians (or any faith) who truly embody the creeds of their faiths - many of which are rather universal; we are referring to those who use their faiths as a cloak, justification, and get-out-of-jail-free cards to commit atrocious acts upon their fellow men who deny personal responsibility by saying it is the will of the Lord, or Allah, or Satan.
What we remembered about this episode, before viewing it again, is that it actually seemed logical. If we all agree that every human has a certain "dark shadow" within his soul, then wouldn't it actually be convenient if we could have a festival, say, once every three or six months, where for a 12-hour period, we could just turn people loose to get all their rage, hatred, pettiness and meanness out of their systems?
Actually, we believe humans do have cycles in which they respond to their baser needs, and most have excellent control over their lesser instincts. But too many people refuse to have any kind of control, and those tend to be the random fanatics that scare all of us, including those Christians who live up to their name. Christians, too, have a vested interest in this subject, and in the episode we're referring to, because societal madness is a universal problem that is continuing to divide us all.
The pleasant concept suggested in this Star Trek episode is the idea that "random madness" (or the physical demonstration of it) can be controlled - legislated, if you will - to insure that everyone who must "go crazy" will do so at a designated time, and anyone who wants no part of it can just "go to the valley" during that particular period of darkness.
Following are some of the distinctive lines in the Star Trek episode "Return of the Archons":
Captain Kirk's team has just landed in this (what seems to be 1870's American, Earth) society where everyone is polite, gracious, and as Mr. Spock says, the citizens seem to be "mindless, vacant."
A passerby on the sidewalk smilingly says "Joy to you, Friends" and pleasantly inquires, "Come for the Festival, have ye?" He goes on to say, "It's almost the Red Hour" and suggests they find a place to rest after the Festival is over. Advice is given regarding lodgings, and then the clock rings six bells. The pleasant passerby is the first one to grab the nearest woman and carry her off.
Later (after six bells have struck again) a devout citizen has reported Captain Kirk's party to the proper authorities of Landru, and a couple of guys dressed like monks show up, brandishing tubular constructions designed to be alarming. Everything that is done is justified by saying "It is the will of Landru." The monks say to Captain Kirk, "You are not of the Body. You will be Absorbed." They then point the alarming tubular devices at Captain Kirk and his companions, but Captain Kirk basically says something like, "I don't think so" and the monks, unused to disobedience, sort of go into static freeze-frame mode.
Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock have a whisper-in-the-corner moment and observe that all the people on this planet seem to be responding to "compulsive involuntary stimulation."
The monks go away, and Kirk's crew are taken to a safe-house outside the village. Only nothing is really safe, because Landru is everywhere. It's like a metal detector at the airport; sooner or later every bobby pin, set of nail clippers, under-wire bra, and can-opener is detected by the omnipresent Landru.
A hologram of Landru appears upon the wall in the safe-house and says, after a brief preface:
"You will be Absorbed. Your individuality will merge into the unity of Good. And in your submergence into the common being of the Body, you will find contentment and fulfillment. You will experience the Absolute Good."
KIrk attempts to reason, and then to argue to persuade the figure on the wall, but Spock assures him it's pointless. Shortly after this, the tube-wielding monks show up again and take Dr. McCoy away, and when he returns, he is mindless and vacant. He utters platitudes left and right, until Kirk shakes him and says, "Don't you know me?"
McCoy properly responds with, "We all know one another, in Landru."
Kirk and Spock do some more analysis, have a few adventures, until Spock surmises , "This is a soulless society. It has no spirit, no spark. All is indeed peace and tranquility. Peace of the factory, tranquility of the machine. All parts working in unison."
It turns out, in the end, that Landru was one of the original Archons (a random term from Roddenberry's debate team in school) had programmed a computer that had the ability to control society, and the computer apparently regulated emotion and excess to keep everything orderly and mechanical. Kirk and Spock, naturally, burn out the wall with their fazers and destroy the machine, because "choice, and creativity, are infinitely better than order and the slavery it demands."
We agree whole-heartedly, yet we admit we are slightly attracted to the idea of letting repressed people get their anxieties and hang-ups out in a concerted, designated time period where they can be monitored and managed, at least, to keep from doing greater damage to themselves as well as others.
Thus, this television episode raises some interesting questions regarding human ideas of perfection, regulation, order, and also deification and modification of behavior through symbolic idolatry.
For all the people who believe that there has been, or will be, a messiah, what is the quantitative relationship between their moral subjugation to a higher being, and their sense that this higher being has a direct intermediate interest in their individual, minute actions? (In short, if God wasn't watching, would you still be so good?)
Our intention is not to encourage people to be bad; it is simply to say that we prefer that people be good because this is their genuine motivation, rather than fear of punitive action from a higher being. And, for those genuinely good souls - which we believe are the majority - we sincerely wish that love, rather than fear, was your motivation.
But there seem to be too many good souls infected with a degree of naughty corruption that, like Cain, who ran from the Light, when the Light would not have "exposed" his weakness - but transformed it. These particular types of "bad people" are for the most part not nearly as bad as they think they are. It is usually abusive situations in their past that have taught them they are worthless, ineffective, corrupt, and doomed.
These people are a prime example of those who are not "inherently evil" yet have been programmed to be bad, because they were told they were worthless - generally by people who felt worthless, themselves, and felt better about projecting their own sense of weakness and helplessness on someone they saw as being as even more weak and helpless than themselves (and infinitely more vulnerable. Sort of like "kick the cat" - find a weaker being than yourself to take out the humiliation that's been dumped upon you.)
Christianity, in its flawed construction, has given Humanity two choices; to be righteous and strong, or to be weak and bad. We do not believe Humanity, nor Christianity for that matter, began with two flavors. We do not believe that Choice resides within a simple Yes or No vote, or Good and Evil, or Right or Wrong resolution. (It would be nice if it did, to make it easy on all of us. But it hasn't been easy, has it? There's more than one question to be asked, is there not?)
Then, what to do with "crummy Christians" that are an embarrassment to us all....
Instead of merely tolerating them, to say a weak Christian is better than no Christian, start confronting the weak Christian to start defining himself, and to committing himself to higher purpose. Make that weak Christian quit riding around on Jesus' back or the glory of his name and make him start living up to the name he claims. A fellow (and true) Christian would know better than anyone what criterion was actually expected, and how to tell the difference between a real "player" and a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Having brought up the wolf in sheep's clothing, it is our belief that the next phase in the Christian wars is not the distinction of Christian and heathen or pagan, but the distinction between the true Christian and the pretender that masquerades in its image.
The modern Christians, particularly of America, are about to be placed in the uncomfortable position of having to distinguish differences internally, rather than externally. They will see that the international situation we are experiencing is a home-front division issue, one that cannot be fought by pagans, heathens, and others considered "outworlders" by Christians - because the war in Iraq is not a Christian-Muslim issue, but a Christian-Christian issue.
It is the Christians of President Bush's administration who have business ties in Iraq. It is they who sit on boards of directors in publicly traded companies that are in Iraq, who received contracts without bids. These people may swear they may not be motivated by dollars, and this is actually plausible. It is also plausible that these Christian businessmen may truly be motivated to save the "heathen-Iraqi" - but there is no arguing that Christian imperialism, and the moral justification of superiority that goes with it, will surely multiply the dollars in the coffers of these so-called static Christian funds or proselytizing accounts.
In the Star Trek episode of "Return of the Archons", as embodied in Landru, we see a machine running an orderly society with a minimum of violence, carnality and depravity. We also see an absolute lack of creativity and personal expression. It might be called the "Christian dream, and the pagan nightmare." We also believe that for true Christians, such a reality would also be a nightmare for them. If we lived in a static society, for instance, how would a true Christian have the opportunity to create a vista of Light and Love? Which frankly, we all depend on? They are as much "age of Aquarius" as the rest of us. The question is, "What will they do with it?"
We believe, as heinous as it sounds, that there may actually be another "holy war" - this time between the good and bad Christians. Frankly, we had come to the conclusion that Christians weren't much good at doing anything other than being Christians, but while exploring this realm of thought, we began thinking of the Christians we happen to know who are effective, outspoken, and adamant in their beliefs. They are also educated, and sensitive. They may have have solutions we haven't thought of yet.
We'd like to see what our Christian friends can do. Many of them rebel at the idea of machination and programming just as much as we do. It makes sense; they can speak others' language. The beauty is that, those who've made friends with us can speak our language as well.
We, as Druids, have very little left in terms of manifest power in this world. This is also something we agreed to (however begrudged.) We became angry after the Exile created by Saint Patrick, and basically condemned the Earth (and all upon it) to our silence. But we're still here, eavesdropping, and ready to drop tips to any listening incarnate wizard within earshot.
But we still have influence with wizards who incarnate as Christians to change the system from within. And, as long as they are doing their jobs, supporting Christianity from honestly pure or correct motives, then it is in our interests to support their efforts.
Granted, we've been fooled before. But this time we'd like to do the fooling - swap the bad Christians for the good Christians and let them go after each other. If the bad Christians win, we eat them; if the good Christians win, we congratulate them, and move on to the next plateau.
That's our vote.
Love, Galadriel 11/07/2003 Druidry/landru.htm
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Can Russell T Davies Finally Make a Star Trek and Doctor Who Crossover?
Russell T Davies wanted the Doctor to meet the crew of the Enterprise. Now that he's back on Doctor Who, a Star Trek crossover can probably happen.
- When Russell T Davies revived Doctor Who, he wanted the series to crossover with his other favorite sci-fi show: Star Trek.
- Star Trek: Enterprise was canceled before any crossover could be arranged between the NX-01 Crew and the Tenth Doctor.
- With Davies back as Doctor Who's showrunner and Star Trek back on television, it's now possible for the USS Enterprise and the TARDIS to finally meet.
Doctor Who fans across the globe eagerly await the return of David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor to celebrate the show's 60th Anniversary. Another science fiction franchise about to celebrate six decades of crossing time and space is Star Trek , currently in its third wave of new shows. Doctor Who and Star Trek missed each other by months the first time Russell T Davies was in charge, but perhaps now he can get that crossover he wanted. Along with their shared longevity, Doctor Who and Star Trek have a lot in common despite being built around wildly different premises. The British sci-fi series started as a show for children meant to combine historical lessons with fantastic adventure.
Star Trek began as a science-fiction take on the classic American TV drama Wagon Train , but also a way to subtly preach creator Gene Roddenberry's humanistic view of the future to audiences. The shows share a similar moral foundation, prioritizing tolerance, exploration and peace over violence. Both the Doctor and Starfleet heroes travel the cosmos helping those in need and asking nothing in return. Thus, it makes perfect sense that Russell T Davies wanted his revived Doctor Who to cross over with Star Trek . The failure of the United Paramount Network ended the franchise's 18-year run just as the Ninth Doctor grabbed Rose Tyler's hand and told her to "run." However, because these sci-fi universes endure, Davies has a second chance.
Russell T Davies Wanted a Doctor Who and Star Trek: Enterprise Crossover
Doctor Who Christmas Special Title Revealed, Hints at a Brand New Era
When Russell T Davies first took on the task of reviving Doctor Who he had very big plans, including ambitious crossovers with other pop culture universes. During his run on the series, he introduced alternate dimensions, sending Rose Tyler and, eventually, the human Doctor clone to one where the TARDIS couldn't travel. First on Davies's list was a crossover between Doctor Who and Star Trek: Enterprise , which was revealed in his book Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter . The plan, insofar as there was one, was revealed in a letter to Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook.
Davies recounted how, in 2004 when work on the rebooted series began, he told his writer and producing partner Julie Gardner "in all seriousness" he wanted the two universes to cross over. It's unclear how far they got in trying to make it happen, especially since Star Trek 's home studio, Paramount, would have to agree. In the mid-2000s, the new crop of executives at the studio were not overly fond of Star Trek , at least not Enterprise . The show was canceled shortly before the UPN network merged with The WB to create The CW.
Still, Davies seemed very excited by the idea of the TARDIS materializing on the bridge of the NX-01 Enterprise. He said the store would've been "brilliant" and calling it "a small price to pay" that any sanctioned crossover would require the Doctor to "learn that Starfleet is wonderful." Davies briefly considered doing a "pastiche" with a ship called the USS Endeavour with lookalike characters. Of course, he ultimately dismissed the idea. Nearly 20 years later, both Doctor Who and Star Trek are in production again, so it's possible the TARDIS and the Enterprise could cross paths.
Would Star Trek's and Doctor Who's Parent Studios Agree to a Crossover?
Loki Director Will Step Into the TARDIS for Upcoming Doctor Who Season
The biggest roadblock to a modern crossover for the Doctor and Starfleet remains the powers-that-be funding these series. Star Trek remains at Paramount, the studio's most expansive, enduring and, arguably, profitable franchise. While Doctor Who is still a product of the BBC, recent years have seen the show partner with American studios. Warner Bros. helped shoulder the cost of the Chris Chibnall era in return for the archive of shows streaming on then-HBO Max. Today, it's Disney co-funding the show, with Tennant's and Ncuti Gatwa's Fifteenth Doctor headed to Disney+. These studios with competing services don't play nicely with each other, after all.
Yet, it's not unheard of, especially for a studio like Paramount that finds itself struggling during the streaming wars. While Star Trek is as excellent as ever, with live-action shows and animated series, Paramount and its high-dollar commitments to rich cowboy universes aren't paying the dividends the studio hoped. Given the success they had with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds crossing over with the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks and its musical episode, it's more than possible Captain Pike and company cross paths with the Doctor in some corner of the universe.
Then again, Lower Decks or some other Star Trek animated series might be a better fit for a crossover that hardcore fans would call "canon breaking." An animated special would also be less costly than traveling between two live-action sets. The unreality of animation might also help the two franchises better mesh together in a fun and believable way. Still, it's an unlikely turn of events that two decades after first proposing the idea, Davies is back at the helm of Doctor Who and Star Trek is back in the TV business.
Davies Is Still Looking to Star Trek for Doctor Who Inspiration
This Star Trek Show Helps Highlight Design Legends
The trio of Doctor Who 60th Anniversary specials , along with the microseries Behind the TARDIS , showrunner Russell T Davies is starting his second wave by looking backwards. After the anniversary, however, the writer and producer has big plans about how to move the franchise forward. His last time in the captain's chair, he created two spinoff series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures . His inspiration for that kind of expansion, then and likely now, was Star Trek .
"I watch the Star Trek empire with vast envy: the way that's turned itself from an old archive show into something fantastic," Davies told GQ in Jan. 2023. He pointed out how with Star Trek: Discovery , Picard , Lower Decks and Prodigy , the franchise is putting out about 52 episodes per year. "So, that's your yearly show," he said, adding, "genius." BBC is a public service broadcaster, so it takes a studio like Disney to invest the money needed to expand the Doctor Who universe to meet Davies' imagination.
Naturally, this means Russell T. Davies has a very full plate when it comes to making television. However, with both the specials and the first series with Ncuti Gatwa finished filming, it's possible the Doctor and the Enterprise could meet somewhere, somehow. It would be a coup for Davies to make good on this wish, but it would also be a gift to the fans if the two longest-running sci-fi universes collided together for a delightful romp across time and space.
The first of three Doctor Who 60th Anniversary specials will debut on BBC Nov. 25, 2023, and will stream on Disney+ .
When Did William Shatner’s Star Trek Get Named The Original Series?
Posted: November 14, 2023 | Last updated: November 14, 2023
- Star Trek: The Original Series, despite being canceled in 1969, has remained popular for 57 years, spawning a multi-million dollar movie franchise and continuing to resonate with viewers today.
- The success of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies revitalized the franchise on the big screen and led to the creation of Star Trek: Discovery, laying the groundwork for the expansive franchise that exists today.
- The exact date when Star Trek: The Original Series received the "TOS" subtitle is unclear, but it is believed to have been officially adopted in the early 1990s with the creation of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a way to differentiate the 1960s show from newer iterations.
From its debut in 1966, Star Trek: The Original Series was just plain Star Trek , until the TOS label was later added to distinguish William Shatner's show from the wider franchise. 57 years later, it's incredible that Star Trek has lasted as long as it has, spawning a huge entertainment franchise across multiple media forms. TOS was canceled in 1969, and it wouldn't be for another decade that the USS Enterprise would take flight once again, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture . The success of those movies revitalized the Star Trek franchise and led to a hugely successful TV revival, spawning three other spinoff series and a new movie franchise.
In a neat bit of symmetry, the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies reinvigorated the franchise on the big screen by rebooting the Star Trek: The Original Series universe. The success of those movies inarguably led to an interest in resurrecting Trek on TV with Star Trek: Discovery in 2017 laying the groundwork for the expansive franchise that viewers enjoy to this day. So, with Star Trek now being the umbrella title for shows in the franchise rather than the title of William Shatner's original show, when did 60s Trek get the TOS subtitle?
RELATED: Star Trek's Most Important Show In 2024 Isn't Discovery
When Did 1960s Star Trek Get Named The Original Series?
The exact date of when William Shatner's Star Trek got its The Original Series moniker is hazy. Some fans point to Star Trek: The Animated Series as a candidate for when 60s Trek began being referred to as The Original Series, but this is likely a descriptor rather than an actual subtitle. TAS being " based on the original series " is a statement of fact, not a cast iron example of the first usage of the TOS subtitle. In fact, Gene Roddenberry hated Star Trek: The Animated Series and deemed that it wasn't canon. Therefore - in Roddenberry's mind at least - there would have been no need for a TOS subtitle to differentiate the 60s show from its cartoon counterpart.
The late 1980s and early 1990s feel like a more likely candidate for when the name Star Trek: The Original Series became official. Arguably, Star Trek: The Next Generation would have been a good enough delineation between new and old Trek , so it seems more likely that TOS was adopted slightly later. After all, the TOS movies all had the Star Trek title from 1979 to 1991. Therefore, it's likely that with the creation of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the early 90s, it became appropriate to make the official ruling that 1960s Star Trek was now referred to as The Original Series to give it its due in the franchise landscape.
Star Trek: The Original Series Has Remained Popular For 57 Years
The reverence for Star Trek: The Original Series continues to define the franchise 57 years after the show debuted on NBC. The popularity of TOS , and the iconic status of Captain James T. Kirk, Lt. Commander Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley) was enough to launch a multi-million dollar movie franchise 40 years after the show was cancelled. That popularity continues to resonate today, with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds exploring the origins of the original crew of the USS Enterprise, shedding new light on these beloved legacy characters.
Despite the cultural differences between the 1960s and 2020s, Star Trek: The Original Series is still popular because of its optimism about humanity's future. As the world gets darker each day, it's a comfort to see that, eventually, humanity will make it into the stars. The message of Gene Roddenberry's original concept is still relevant today, continuing to inspire viewers young and old to aspire to a better future.
All episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series are available on Paramount+.
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