What I've got is the new releases with the enhanced special effects - I'll comment on these as best I can, shame I haven't got the originals to compare and contrast, but such is life. I put up the "spoiler" just on the off chance that there's someone here that hasn't seen all these a million times - you never know, I suppose.

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I've fallen way behind in this discussion (12 pages? Yikes!), and it's a shame because the vast majority of my favorite episodes are from the first season. A "Neat Idea" attached to this episode in later years is that Trelane is actually a member of Q's race. I don't have a problem with that. There has been a comic book as well as a prose novel linking the two. At least one of them was written by Peter David. William Campbell makes a much more convincing Trelane than he does a Klingon.

William Campbell makes a much more convincing Trelane than he does a Klingon.

Well, Tribbles was back in the day, long before all Klingons were viewed through the TNG-era Klingon lens.  In context -- which very much includes the fact that Tribbles was a comedy episode -- I thought Campbell's Koloth was fine.  (DS9 does not count.)

That said, I'm now imagining Koloth performed as a very fey, Trelane-like character and it is awesome.

The basic story of Trelane and the Squire of Gothos is the same story as the first Challengers of the Unknown, where they are in a glass terraium on the cover...or the Infant Terrifble from FF #23, or any number of interpretations where the parents come in at the last moment to rescue the humans from the childlike torments of their offspring. It happens again and again.

The book by Peter David that Jeff referred to is Q Squared. David did a neat bit of retro continuity worthy of Roy Thomas - not only did he tie Trelane to Q but he also made Q responsible for Gary Mitchells cosmic powers in Where No Man Has Gone Before.

The plot of "The Squire of Gothos" was essentially stolen from Gore Vidal's anti-war first-television-then-Broadway play "Visit to a Small Planet", right down to the ending. I've never heard of any other "enfant terrible" (pardon my French) endings before this one. 

 RE: "The Squire of Gothos"

  • The voice of Trelane's father was James "Scotty" Doohan.
  • Perhaps there was some connection to "Charlie X" which also saw the danger of great power with great immaturity!
  • I once read in some fan book that while Trelane was looking for a physical form to emulate, he came across and was quite taken by Koloth. And I agree about his DS9 appearances being out of character. "The Iceman", indeed!!
  • Trelane reappeared in DC's Star Trek #45 (Ap'93) titled "A Little Man-To-Man Talk!" where the Squire, now a bit older, comes to Kirk to learn about women and how to interact with them as he is quite confused on the subject. Uhura volunteers to "educate" a very flustered Trelane!
  • But man, did the Enterprise crew encounter a LOT of seemingly omnipotent beings! 

THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS, annoying at first, then moreso in reruns (mainly because it seemed to turn up at random more often than it should), really grew on me in the last 15 years.  Nowadays, anytime it's on, I have a blast watching.

The funny thing is, I always find myself wondering if I could have gotten along with Trelane if I met him for real.  Unlike Charlie X, who was, if anything, far more self-centered and seemed more likely to just get angry than actualy wanting to stop and learn something.  (Or Gary Mitchell, who was an egotistical, manipulative jerk from the get-go.)

Arena:

Teleplay by Gene L. Coon/From a story by Fredric Brown

 

Synopsis: Kirk is made to fight a lizard-man.

 

Thoughts:

1)"Rank hath its privileges." "How well we both know that, huh?" Ah-ha-ha, you smug sack of crap.

 

2)Doctor McCoy: Racist or Bigot?: "Doctor, you are a sensualist." "You bet your pointed ears I am." Again, imagine him saying to Sulu: "You bet your slanty eyes I am."

 

3)First use of photon torpedos here.

 

4)The grenade launcher looks a little too much like a prop.

 

5)"We are the Metrons" You can't be Metrons, you don't have Cosmic Chairs. The Metrons come across as somewhat hypocritical - anti-violence, but willing to stage a fight to the death.

 

6)I like the look of the Gorn, lucky for Kirk it's clumsy and slow.  One imagines that peace came between Earth and the Gorns when the Earthmen gave them the secret of sore throat lozenges.

 

7)I like watching Kirk realize how he can build a weapon. "He knows, Doctor. He has reasoned it out."

 

8)"Diamonds - the hardest-known substance." I thought rodinium was the hardest-known substance?

 

Overall:

Another fun episode with Kirk winning by using his brain against a stronger opponent.

Here's the most famous two that I can think of. Note, they're both by the same artist...

FF #24 "The Terrible Infant" 

Challengers of the Unknown #1 "The Human Pets" 
Awkwardman said:

The plot of "The Squire of Gothos" was essentially stolen from Gore Vidal's anti-war first-television-then-Broadway play "Visit to a Small Planet", right down to the ending. I've never heard of any other "enfant terrible" (pardon my French) endings before this one. 

Part of the stereotyping, along with others you've mentioned, is the show insinuating that the Southerner McCoy is a bigot. Over and over again he demonstrates how much he cares about Spock. It's hard to reconcile some of his dialogue with this, but I believe actions speak louder than words. I believe he always says these things to Spock's face, not behind his back. I think he's usually trying to break through Spock's stoicism, and he thinks this will get a rise out of him.

A footnote to this "Arena" episode.  Parental groups were up in arms over NBC's airing of this episode...because they had divulged the ingredients of making gunpowder to millions of ambitious curious trouble-making kids.

Now, it may be true that they didn't give you the proportions, but still... charcoal, salt petter, projectile, container..and they show Kirk assembling it.  How irresponsible of them!

I still remember the backlash!  The problem was, the more you protested the poor decision making of the producers, the more publicity you drew to the episode itself.

PS: I never saw the opening sequence to this episode...with the great set-up... So, anytime that it came on in syndication, I was always seeing it from the "chase in space" with both ships getting "seized".  When I finally saw the opening sequence, I had NO idea what episode I was watching. I was mystified how one could have slipped past me!

What I mean by an "'enfant terrible' ending"  is one where a seeming middle-aged sophisticate and lover of all things bellicose turns out to be, as we saw, a child, thus casting aspersions on those who lead others into war. The ending of "Charlie X", while similar, lacks the pacifist message.

The ending described above is "borrowed" almost verbatim from Gore Vidal's play--about the only thing different is that the "Star Trek" version doesn't take place on Earth. I don't want to leave the impression that I dislike "Star Trek" for its lack of originality--it's a message that bore repeating, particularly during Vietnam.

I haven't read "Challengers of the Unknown" No. 1, and have no idea if it borrowed from Vidal's play (which premiered on TV in May of 1955). I'll reread the "Fantastic Four" story that Kirk G. thoughtfully posted above, and tell you what I think.

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