Temporarily embarrassed proletarians

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. FlexFantastic
    January 3, 2014 @ 7:26 am

    I love this episode. You hit on all the creepiness and atmosphere, and the philosophical tweaking this episode does that continues what some other TAS episode have already started in taking some of the broad, thematic strokes of Star Trek and making them much more interesting and amenable than they were in TOS.


  2. K. Jones
    January 4, 2014 @ 7:46 am

    I just love the notion of a region of 3-dimensional space described as a "Triangle". I think Futurama lampooned it by having their crew pass through the "Bermuda Tetrahedron" (the closest thing you can have to a triangle in 3-D space, since from four sides it looks like a Triangle. But there's something noteworthy about a triangle in space being literal – 2-Dimensional in both regards (that of the static existence within, three lines drawn between stars on a flat plane that act as a portal or a seal to something unnatural. Appropriate for something called a "Time Trap".

    In a more Trek-historian context, this episode is effectively a sequel to both "Errand of Mercy" as well as "Day of the Dove", since it features Kor, but also a plot where otherworldly forces force mortal enemies (arch-enemies, in fact) to work together to escape a fate worse than death. Though really, now I think of it, in the case of "Errand of Mercy", while ardent foes, neither Kirk nor Kor realized they were caught in a world of magickal beings, either, trying to plant flags on a fairy-world. The best Klingon episodes have a whiff of magick about them that does at least jive well with the eventual evolution of the Klingons in the narrative of Star Trek (despite the mix-up where they swap roles with the Romulans).

    And hey, cameos galore. I can't even imagine how good this episode would be live-action. A defined rival crew. A Romulan with a name. A Gorn!


  3. Daru
    February 10, 2014 @ 12:03 am

    Josh: "The idea is to bring learning and knowledge from one world to the other while maintaining an existence in both, to be a kind of spiritual teacher."

    Yes – and the teaching brought back to support material social progress.

    I meant to suggest after reading I think The Magicks of Megas-Tu, or one of your recent essays discussing dimensions, Edwin Abbot's small but lovely book, Flatland. Ah, found it – it is in response to a quote from the aforementioned essay, where you say: "…where particles appear to disappear from one location and reappear in another. The theory goes they're not phasing in and out of existence, but travelling in higher dimensions that humans cannot measure."

    Flatland is a perfect description of this where the one, two & three dimensional worlds interact and completely misunderstand what they perceive, as those dimensions ' lower down' cannot fully grasp what is passing through their realm. I have heard similar proposals made regarding so-called UFO sightings and Faerie world experiences as perhaps being glimpses of higher dimensional interactions with our realm, which then in our attempt to understand, we wrap around them images that help create a more comfortable narrative.


  4. Daru
    February 10, 2014 @ 12:05 am

    And to add – I really love the look of the artwork in the still above!


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