September 7, 2016
So, depending on your point of view, this episode is either a condemnation of accidental colonialism, an apologist screed for colonialism, or is saying something chilling about casual gun violence.
…orrrr it’s a thinly-veiled excuse to have James Kirk cosplay as Al Capone.
About a hundred years ago, we learn in the cold open, the proto-Federation ship Horizon visited Iotia, and may possibly, slightly, just a little bit definitely fucked up their cultural evolution. The visit happened before the introduction of Starfleet’s non-interference directive, which also explains why the mysteriously-vanished Horizon‘s report took so long to reach Earth (we never do learn what happened to the Horizon, either). The Enterprise is just now getting around to checking on Iotia, and they find that “interfered” is not quite strong enough a word for what contact with the Horizon has done to Iotian culture.
Namely: inspired the Iotians to perfectly mimic Hollywood 1920s Chicago, with a heavy emphasis on the mob.
This is mostly a hijinks episode, not unlike The Trouble with Tribbles – and interestingly, is one of two Original Series episodes DS9 writers considered returning to when they were creating Troubles and Tribble-ations. Kirk and Co. are forced to adapt quickly, first appearing utterly alien in both time and place, and then to play along with a farcical situation that eventually has Kirk adopting a movie-Capone role and “taking over” Iotia in the name of the Federation.
How this turned out in the long run is anybody’s guess – canon gives us conflicting reports on the fate of Iotia – but we do know that we’d love to see Kirk’s report on this particular mission.
June 23, 2017
June 14, 2017