Thanks to Hulu and CBS, I have been watching Star Trek (the original series) online now for a couple of weeks, lazing through an episode or three a night when I get home from work.
While I’ve seen many of the episodes before, I’ve also somehow missed quite a few of them. And now that I’m an adult, I see them differently anyway. Here are a few observations, which may be interesting to historians as well as Trekkers.
- Race never came up for humans. In fact, it didn’t come up at all unless it was The Issue. You know, The Issue the episode really confronted, such as freedom vs. socialism, the stupidity of racism, the Frankenstein complex. Racism was also not visible. Uhura kicked a lot of butt and has been involved in at least one physical fight, which she won.
- Sexism, however, came up all the time. There haven’t been any negative remarks about race (even the Squire of Gothos is somewhat complimentary when he talks about Uhura being a Nubian or some such silliness) but there are remarks about women in several episodes. MOstly about how we should be warm and fluffy and sweet and kind. To the series’ credit, though, it does show women in important positions fairly frequently.
- Number of times they end up as gladiators, so far: 2. Number of times the crew meets a godlike alien: 2,503.
- Some episodes hold up better than others. Anything based on special effects, for example, is just bleah.
- Some episodes work far better in the novelizations than they do as television. The gunfight at the OK Corral episode for example: Bad TV show. Great story.
- McCoy gets all the good lines. Really. He does. Watch the show. "Why I’m beginning to think I could cure a rainy day!"