The Finality of Reduction

11Feb07

final_reductions_02.jpg
‘Moss Bros’, City of London

I had this great idea when I was young, that Star Trek represented one very good reason why I shouldn’t embrace any religion. Following one God I reasoned, was pointless when Captain Kirk came across a different planetary diety every Saturday night, so why should that Khan-looking idol in a white gown be worth a cold, hard bench the very next morning?

Last night I watched episode #22, production #24 from the very first voyages of the Starship Enterprise, almost exactly 40 years after it was first aired on February 16, 1967. Hey, I didn’t know any of this at the time – honest – but it’s amazing what you can glean from a hard squeeze of a Trekkie’s shoulder.

If you wish to watch episode 22/24 in the future and not read this spoiler, look away now.

It’s Stardate 3141.9 and in Space Seed, Kirk, Spock, Bones and Lieutenant McGivers, the Enterprises’ archivist (specialising in quaint 20th Century history) bump into an abandoned ship called the Botany Bay.

As they stare at the beautiful screen grab image of the ‘bott-nee’ (in Spock-speak), the jug-eared Vulcan’s sensors pick up heartbeats, they were reeeal slowww – one beat a minute! but crikey, hang on there .. in a quadrant of deep space where human life is rarely found?

To Kirk’s smirks, this just didn’t make sense to Spock who was ill-equipped with logical facts but there she indeed was, a vessel carrying its crew dressed up in Liberace lamé lying comatose in sleeping trays like in a Japanese pod hotel. Historical records prove the SS Botany Bay is a DY-100 class freighter, modified as a sleeper ship for cryogenically-frozen passengers in the late 1990s, escapees from “your so-called Eugenics Wars,” as Spock explains to open-jawed members of the Enterprises’ Bridge.

The leader they bring aboard is Khan Noonien Singh, who turns out to be a genetic hybrid and once-monstrous warlord who ruled over many of earth’s nations during the wars 300 years ago.

It doesn’t really matter what happened to Khan in this yarn (although many of you will secretly know he rears his very ugly head once again in the 1982 film The Wrath of Khan, also portrayed by Ricardo Montalban). Anyway, at the point in the story when Bones is ordered to join the boarding party from the Enterprise to the Bott-nee, he’s clearly miffed. “I don’t want my atoms scattered around the Universe!” he wimpers to his unsympathetic Skipper who drags him off anyway to the Transporter Room.

And I would feel the same, wouldn’t you? Neither in – nor out; half here, half there; in no-man’s-land, caught headless between your trenches and the Huns’. Having one’s molecules fizzed from one place to another is also perhaps, like being in limbo without a paddle. So-to-speak.

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2 Responses to “The Finality of Reduction”

  1. You see I am too young for Star Trek…I am more of a Mork and Mindy bloke…also doesn’t that guy on the Enterprise sell cereals nowadays…what an enterprise…first space and now…Crunchy Nut…?

  2. “There’s Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow ..” was possibly the end to all that was holy about Star Trek. I personally don’t mind seeing Captain Kirk selling his soul to sell cereal because the guy has to eat and clothe his kids, doesn’t he?

    Expect to see him on Celebrity Big Brother soon if his ratings go on the slide. Now that would be a shame.


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