Episode 31 – TOS 2×02: “Who Mourns for Adonais?”

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This week’s special guest-host, Trisha, summed up the episode pretty nicely: “hand jobs and sexism.”

In this episode, our brave crew finds themselves on a planet with a seemingly all-powerful being to claims to be one of the ancient Greek gods. The relationship does not begin in a way we can define as “smooth;” namely, said god reaches out a giant green space-hand to grab the ship, and then introduces himself by means of projecting his giant head into space to start delivering orders.

face in space
Not what Emily Post would have described as a cordial introduction.











What follows is a genuine shitshow of carelessly sexist nonsense in which our sole lady guest star falls so head-over-heels inexplicably in love with said ancient short-skirted deity that his command that the Enterprise crew abandon ship and become simple sheep herders and him-worshipers seems like, y’know, no big deal.

To be fair, there are some interesting beats in this episode: the Ray Harryhausen-esque effects; a number of semi-interesting mythology-as-sci-fi nods that feel very like they may have informed the basis of the Stargate franchise, and of course, let’s not forget the frankly amazing costumes worn by guest stars Michael Forest and Leslie Parrish (miracles of fashion and engineering).

guest star costumes
I couldn’t find a picture that showed both of them full-length, so I prioritized Michael Forest’s tiny, tiny skirt.












We talked a lot more about the definition of a god than you might expect for an episode we all so roundly disliked, but for the most part the takeaway was outrage at the idea that some alien with some fancy tricks might set himself up as lord and commander of our destinies; we’re intelligent, sentient beings with a spaceship, damn it. As it happens, James Kirk agrees with us, as his face throughout most of the episode is this one:

Jim Kirk's unimpressed face
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

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