Timothy Sandefur Gets Star Trek ALMOST Right

Timothy Sandefur is carving a niche for himself as the Libertarian apologist for Star Trek. First comes an article in the Claremont Review called "The Politics fof Star Trek," then a podcast interview about it on Libertarianism.org, and finally another podcast interview on The Space Show. I won’t lie to you: I’m a little jealous!…

STTOS – Space Seed

The question about Space Seed will always be: what brought it to the attention of the producers of Star Trek II as the episode on which to base the movie that saved the franchise? I don’t know whether this episode was a particular fan favorite before that movie, but it certainly is today – and…

STTOS – Return of the Archons

Return of the Archons is an excellent episode right up to the end, when it suddenly turns incredibly, disappointingly lame for no good reason. This is the first in what will be many “Kirk kills a supercomputer just by talking to it” outings. From the opening teaser, it’s evident that this one’s ever-so-slightly off the…

STTOS – Court Martial

Writing in Trek Today, Michelle Erica Green says that “Star Trek has always done courtroom drama surprisingly well for a genre series.” Which is funny, because I was thinking just the opposite. I thought Measure of a Man was horrible, and Court Martial is not much better. The Enterprise puts in at Starbase 11 for…

STTOS – Tomorrow is Yesterday

Time travel is super-advanced Theoretical Physics. Some of the most intelligent people in the world spend all their free time thinking about it and never really coming up with anything. What this means for science fiction writers is that unless you’re prepared to put in some overtime, you really need to stay away from time…

STTOS – Arena

Arena is another fundamentally bad episode that’s saved by its magnificent pacing. As we open, we’re in the Enterprise transporter room as Kirk, Spock, McCoy and their tactical team are readying to beam down to Cestus III – a colony on the remote edge of Federation space. McCoy in particular is happy about this because…

STTOS – The Squire of Gothos

Oh look! Another episode about an all-powerful teenager! The Squire of Gothos is basically Charlie X told a bit more competently. Rather than plotholes about how Charlie got on board without anyone noticing that he’s a demigod, in this one the Enterprise stumbles across Trelane’s planet on its own. Instead of an idiot plot in…

STTOS – The Galileo Seven

The Galileo Seven is one of those episodes I love to hate and hate to admit I love. It’s a fraud from begining to end, but a fraud so blatant that there’s something strangely liberating about it. Right off the bat the setup begs questions. The Captain’s Log tells us the Enterprise is en route…

STTOS – Shore Leave

Shore Leave is the glaring exception that proves the rule that STTOS has exceptionally good pacing for a TV show. This one is a one-trick pony – a good central idea that, unfortunately, got stated too bluntly to drag out over an hour. The Enterprise encounters a planet that has no fauna at all –…

STTOS – Balance of Terror

Balance of Terror was always my single favorite hour of Star Trek – and rewatching it now I feel confident predicting that it will continue to be. This is the episode that introduced the Romulans. Lots of people seem surprised to find that the Romulans predate the Klingons, seeing how the Klingons are ultimately more…