Sunday, September 10, 2006

Favorite Star Trek episode

During this week of the 40th anniversary of Star Trek, I've thinking about which one of the classic 79 episodes is my favorite. My choice has shifted over the years; the pacifist in me has long loved "Errand of Mercy" (with the Organians, and John Collicos as the first Klingon, Kor).

But I actually think the most beautiful writing the series ever saw was in Jerome Bixby's script for "Requiem for Methuselah" (the one with the thousands-of-years-old human named Flint, who had been Brahms, da Vinci, and a hundred other geniuses, and his quest to make the perfect android woman, Rayna).

It ends with this fabulous little soliloquy by Dr. Leonard McCoy. Captain Kirk has been totally heartbroken, and has fallen asleep, his head in his arms, on the work table in his quarters, while Spock and McCoy look on. Says McCoy (the "him" he refers to is Kirk):

You wouldn't understand that, would you, Spock? You see, I feel sorrier for you than I do for him, because you'll never know the things that love can drive a man to: the ecstasies, the miseries, the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures -- and the glorious victories. All of these things you'll never know simply because the word "love" isn't written into your book.



At September 10, 2006 9:36 PM , Blogger Lou_Sytsma said...

It is tough to choose one episode.

Your choice is a great one and the whole concept of one man being all those famous people was awesome and sad at the same time.

I am torn by Amok Time - Spock's open hearted 'Jim!' always gets me, plus Bone's, 'In a pig's eye!' Doomsday Machine, Journey to Babel, and of course City of the Edge of Forever vy for top honours as well.

I have read Ellison's original teleplay for City. An awesome script. The war vet character was a poignant one.

At September 10, 2006 10:13 PM , Anonymous Dwight Williams said...

That soliloquy(?) of McCoy's is probably one of the most ironic of the series, given subsequent tales of the characters. Even then, we'd seen enough to know Spock subsequently reminded us by his actions.

I think of some of the novels that have taken Flint and run with him as character, concept, plot device...and I have to admit his presence makes them better works in my eyes. The context he provides makes a difference somehow for me.

I don't think I'm going to be able to nail down one specific favourite episode from that lot until perhaps an hour after I'm dead. If there's still a "me" with a mind -- or whatever -- fit to make decisions with at that point.


Post a Comment

<< Home