The Rewatch 60: Plato’s Stepchildren

Series: Star Trek (The Original Series)
Episode: 3.10 Plato’s Stepchildren (11-22-68)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/2/46

Notable Guest Stars:
 Michael Dunn – Alexander.  He was known for his role as Dr. Loveless on Wild Wild West.
Barbara Babcock
– Philana.  She has been appearing on various episodes both physically and as voice acting. And as I mentioned previously, she was one of the co-stars of Dr. Quinn
Lian Sullivan
– Parmen.  Known more for his broadway work

Review:

 I don’t particularly like this episode, but I’m going to watch it anyway.  Well, skip through it anyway to refresh my memory. Perhaps its not as bad as my memory serves.

(EDIT:  Well, if you get to the end, you’ll find I didn’t do much, as I really don’t like this episode.)

The Enterprise arrives to reply to a distress signal to find a planet of ‘perfect’ beings who call themselves Platonians.  They have telepathic abilities and were the result of a eugenics program that picked the 38 Platonians who live there, who are mostly in their 2-3thousands.

The problem is they are also here to entertain the Platonians.  Which is a remarkably like the episodes The Gamesters of Triskelion.  A higher being using kidnapped members of the crew to entertain them.

Chapel, Spock, Kirk, and Uhura are chosen to be their playthings and act out whatever the Platonians want, including dancing, fighting and kissing while McCoy is forced to watch. Chapel and Spock are forced to kiss, which despite Chapel’s crush on Spock I seriously doubt either wanted this.  Meanwhile Uhura and Kirk are forced to kiss.  This episode is a big blur of consent issues, and while I believe that is the point of the episode, I never really hear that in discussion.  So much more discussion on the fact that Kirk (a white guy) and Uhura (a black woman) kissed on television.  Which was considered progressive for the era.

Kirk and Spock are forced to fight each other.  Honestly the only good thing about this episode is the acting (they did well with what they got) and the costumes. I’m not a fan of the subject matter.

The result is that the Platonians are shown to be cruel and sadistic and apparently not being at the top of their ‘power’ food chain scares them into compliance.  We think.  There is no guarantee that these people learned anything.

We shall just put this down as more reasons the Enterprise crew need some therapy.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by David Alexander
  • Written by Meyer Dolinsky
  • Notable for being one of the first interracial kisses shown on TV. Also why I find Kirk’s interest in Uhura in the Kelvin timeline a bit creepy because they have shown no interest in each other in this universe bar this episode and its another being forcing them to kiss.
  • One of the episodes banned by the BBC because they saw it as a children’s show and it had torture in it.

Pros:

  •  Costumes and acting
  • The general premise is good, I suppose, but I really don’t care for this episode.

Cons:

  •  Consent issues, big time
  • Odd colorization/lighting.
  • Exploitation

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