s01e15: Shore Leave. A bit of fluff. I was thinking this was an episode that hadn't been referenced by popular culture outside of the Star Trek sphere, but apparently the planet was called Omicron something, which Futurama of course took up. I have the feeling I'm going to gain a whole new appreciation for Futurama from watching Star Trek. Not that I needed one, but anyway.
A landing party that eventually includes Kirk beams down to a planet that winds up bringing whatever they're thinking to life. Kirk is thinking about space-hotties. Bones is thinking about Kirk's shortskirt yeoman. Some dude named Rodriguez is thinking about a tiger, and the female crew member whose fiance died in the episode prior is thinking about nothing at all. Not her dead fiance, anyhow. At the beginning of the episode, she seems to be hitting on someone else. Nothing sacred in space, I guess.
After putting the moves on Kirk's yeoman, Bones got in on the action with two fuzzy-boobed space-showgirls:
Anyway, a fun episode with all the hallucinations and whatnot, and definitely lighthearted after all the battling with the Romulans in the episode before. It's incredible though that for how enlightened the show was in terms of dealing with race how when it comes to gender, it does nothing but reinforce traditional roles. Sure, you have Uhura as the lieutenant, and even in the episode before this one, she took the navigational post for a bit, which seems higher than answering the call signals, which is what she's usually doing, but by and large, it's just one disposable space-hottie after another.
The thing about it too is, in the pilot, which later became "The Menagerie," Captain Pike's second in command was a woman. So at some point, someone must have had the thought of putting women on an equal plane to men and backed off from it. So you have this seemingly post-racial world that's still complete male-centered. Fascinating in what it says about the politics of its time.
Still, more good Sulu stuff here. They seemed to be dedicated at this point to developing him as a character, having already established Bones, Spock, Kirk and a few others. I'm waiting for Scotty to have a real character moment.
I guess you could take your time to develop characters though when you had 30 episodes in a season to do it.