Wednesday, May 3, 2017
50-year overdue review: Star Trek: What Little Girls Are Made Of
This episode was on one of the antenna channels tonight, and boy does it hold up.
It has the ingredients of the best episodes of the old show:
Introduce a scientific concept.
Debate the wisdom/dangers of the scientific concept.
And the icing on the cake: a cool fistfight/spaceship battle, and scantily-clad alien women.
This is what set Star Trek apart from other shows on back then. It was written by and for smart people.
Let's look at the scientific concept: They're talking about artificial intelligence 30 years before the term was even coined! Bonanza never did that!
And the only Star Trek film to discuss theoretical science was "Wrath of Khan" with the Genesis device.
Scientific concept, debate wisdom of scientific concept, cool spaceship battle, Kirstie Alley at her hottest. And not so coincidentally, it's still the best film.
Another thing interesting about this episode was the introduction of Nurse Chapel.
Some backstory. It gets a little complicated: Gene Roddenberry wanted to give his girlfriend, Majel Barrett, a job.
Oh, wait, that wasn't complicated at all.
The story was Nurse Chapel joined Starfleet to hopefully find her one-time lover Roger Korby who went missing.
They find him, but he turns out to be a robot, so the search continues.
Only it didn't. Her whole backstory was forgotten. They set up a starting point which could have lead to two or three episodes and they totally dropped it. The only thing she had to do after this was have a crush on Spock.
And if she weren't superfluous enough, in the first film, she's a doctor. So the ship has two doctors.
One final point to go over: Holy crap, that jumpsuit on Sherry Jackson!