The World of Star Trek by David Gerrold
Were human beings, with the blood of a million savage years on our hands...but we can stop it.
- Kirk, A Taste of Armageddon
I found this on my parents bookshelf, looking as though it hadnt been touched since 1971. When I opened it, the cover fell off.
While I love the original Star Trek, and while David Gerrold wrote The Trouble with Tribbles, one of the very best episodes of the series, this is a very haphazardly-organized book. There are a number of interviews with members of the cast that are more like extended monologues without any theme in common; a list of episodes, non-chronological (I could not figure out how they are organized, if in fact they are); black-and-white photographs of the cast; examinations of Star Trek fandom that warn, apparently seriously, against the excesses of trimming your eyebrows to look like Spock and/or practicing black magic rituals to make Leonard Nimoy fall in love with you; and pedantic explanations of fanzines and science-fiction conventions that made my eyes glaze over.
The books final section is perhaps the most interesting; Gerrold describes how the exigencies of TV production resulted in what every fan of the original Star Trek knows, deep down- the show did not reach its potential. In my opinion, at least, approximately 1/3 of the episodes are excellent, 1/3 are decent, and 1/3 (mostly those in the final season) are almost unwatchable. NBCs cavalier handling of the show, Roddenberrys departure, tight budgets and shooting schedules, all conspired to make the third and final season the sad spectacle that it was. How many times, after all, can Kirk fall in love with the high priestess of a tribal society that worships a cosmic computer, or convince a renegade machine to commit suicide by demonstrating that its been behaving illogically? In how many episodes can the away team beam down to an unknown planet and find that some mysterious force has rendered communications and the transporter inoperable? Youd think Starfleet would eventually invest some money so that every has-been computer gods fly-by-night energy field wouldnt be able to cause such problems for its flagship.
Maybe the most compelling criticism Gerrold makes is that the show never really challenged the idea that the Enterprises mission was essentially benign. Broadcast as it was during the Vietnam War, there was an opportunity for the show to question the rightness of American interventionism in foreign countries. Kirk broke the Prime Directive (the edict stating that members of Starfleet must never interfere in the development of the alien cultures they encounter), after all, in just about every other episode - he altered the course of civilizations development (just off the top of my head) on the Nazi planet, and the gangster planet, and the planet that had developed along the lines of the Roman empire, and the planet where they thought they were the descendants of the ancient Greeks, and the planet where they didnt know about copulation (obviously unacceptable to Kirk)...he may even have altered history in a mirror universe! But very rarely was the audience prompted to consider that the culture the Enterprise crew came into contact with might have been better off left alone. It seems that stories along these lines would have clashed with Roddenberrys idealistic vision of the future, which is admittedly part of what gives the original Star Trek its charm, and the Federations role as galactic peacekeeper.
Kirk can sure make an inspiring argument, though. Listen to what he says to Anan, in A Taste of Armageddon. In this scene, he and Spock have just destroyed the computer thats allowed Anans planet to wage a civilized war (casualty numbers are reported after computer-simulated attacks, and the casualties then walk voluntarily into disintegration chambers) against its closest neighbors:
CLIP: Star Trek - A Taste of Armageddon
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Next Episode Previous Episode. The Enterprise arrives at a planet to establish diplomatic relations and finds itself in the middle of a "peaceful" war that threatens to destroy the ship. Who was the Episode MVP? Watch Online Prime Video. Episode Discussion. Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions. Watch Full Episodes: Star Trek.
A Taste of Armageddon Poster. Kirk and Spock must save their ship's crew Episode complete credited cast: William Shatner Capt. Kirk · Leonard Nimoy.
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Fox demands that Kirk disregard the signal, but Kirk refuses to allow the ambassador to beam down until he has made certain it is safe, and finds himself in the midst of a society waging a year-old war with neighboring planet Vendikar entirely by computer. The landing party witnesses a "battle" on monitors and are told that all crewmembers aboard Enterprise have been declared casualties in an attack that has also devastated the main city, causing thousands of people to be sent to disintegration chambers where they willingly give up their lives. In this way the cities and civilizations on Eminiar and Vendikar continue orderly, peaceful daily life. But Scotty will not lower the shields to beam down the Enterprise crew, and Kirk and Spock escape custody to destroy first disintegration chambers, then the main war computers. When Kirk tells the High Council of the Eminian Union that their only remaining options are to make bombs or make peace, they opt for the latter, and Fox agrees to negotiate an end to centuries of hostilities. Analysis: "A Taste of Armageddon" is one of the more stylish episodes of the original series, an anti-war tale wrapped up in an extremely entertaining package which allows Kirk to do things that only Kirk could get away with.
Sign in. Alex Borstein , RuPaul , and other stars at the Emmys answer our fans' burning questions. Watch now. Title: A Taste of Armageddon 23 Feb On a mission to establish diplomatic relations at Star Cluster NGC, Kirk and Spock beam down to planet Eminiar 7 to learn that its inhabitants have been at war with a neighboring planet for over years. They can find no damage nor evidence of destruction but soon learn that their war is essentially a war game, where each planet attacks the other in a computer simulation with the tabulated victims voluntarily surrendering themselves for execution after the fact. When the Enterprise becomes a victim in the computer simulation and ordered destroyed, Kirk decides it's time to show them exactly what war means.