skyfyre: Sumeragi Hokuto from X/1999, Smiling (not an bricklayer. nor yet an escalator.)
skyfyre ([personal profile] skyfyre) wrote2010-05-17 06:26 pm
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So, I just watched an episode of Star Trek. I haven't watched an episode in months. Now that I don't have school work distracting me, I can get back to watching it.

I watched "Bread and Circuses" ("ah, that one", said my mother) and it was just chock full of Spock/McCoy, wasn't it?

So, in this episode we have a modern version of ancient Rome on this planet. On this planet, Rome never fell and everyone conveniently speaks English. Never mind that if Rome never fell, English wouldn't be the predominant language. Really, I'm more than happy to roll with the Universal Translator bit of hand-waving. It's like a technological version of saying "a wizard did it".

And near the very start of this episode, Our Heroes (being Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, apparently deciding that normal away teams that involve security officers are for other, lesser star ships) recite the Prime Directive, proving that they do, in fact, know that it exists. Now that I have an actual defenition of the directive, I kinda want to go back and write down all the times that they ignore the order.

Also, you'd think that with the Prime Directive in place, they would have learned how to lie to the locals better.

Native: Who are you?
Kirk: Um. People.
Native: Where are you from?
Kirk: We're from sp- I mean. Um. We're from around.
Native: ....
Kirk: We come in peace?

And one thing leads to another and Spock and McCoy end up fighting in Gladiatorial games. They win and are thrown back into their cell, while Captain Kirk gets threatened some more by the guys in charge. And by "threatened" I mean "fed grapes to" and by "the guys in charge" I mean "the nubile slave girl". I bet McCoy gave Kirk an earful for that when they get back to ship. McCoy nearly dies and Kirk gets an actually pretty gratuitous scene with a blond who will do anything.

Which is not to say that McCoy didn't get some love in that jail cell. I mean, really. He only want to show Spock how grateful he is for saving his life. And then he shoves Spock into a wall and talks about Spock's human heart. And then he licks his own lips. I'm not kidding. That whole scene screamed slash. Though, of course, they'd be thinking of Captain Kirk the entire time.

Then there is the whole thing with the Christianity metaphor that quickly moves out of metaphor into, as Mom says, a layer of cheese all over the place. It starts with Doctor McCoy thinking he's funny.

McCoy: You know, just once I want to beam down to a planet and proclaim 'I am the angel Gabriel!'
Me: Very funny, Doctor! Also, you are never allowed on an away mission ever again. Also also, that relies on the planet you're beaming down to to be familiar with Christianity. It's a big universe, Bones, don't make assumptions about other planet's religions.

Oh, show. You just wanted to prove me wrong, didn't you?

Because through this episode there are mentions of the false gods Jupiter and Saturn (mentioned mostly because they have cars named after them). And then there is the Sun God, the word of whom has been spreading throughout Rome. The word of the Sun God says that we're all brothers and shuns violence. There are a bunch of people spreading this word. Now, I could have been cool with just this! We had enough to lead us to "Oh! This is like Christianity! Christianity is one of the possible causes of the fall of Rome! How cool! The mention of Gabriel is totally enough to plant the idea of Christianity in the minds of the viewers! But it's not Christianity, because it's the Sun God and that's cool!"

Instead, at the end, they decide to beat our heads in with it and Uhura (Because she's been paying attention to the episode and isn't a fool like Our Heroes, who didn't figure it out) explains to us that it isn't the Sun God, it's the Son of God. And it really is Christianity here to more awesome than anything.

Now, I'm a fan of Christian symbolism and metaphor. I think it's nifty keen! I just think it's something better kept subtle. Because I'm a Catholic and it bothers me when it gets in my face about it's existence. It's poor story telling to just tell us that it's the Son of God. It takes away the viewers sense of accomplishment when they figure it out themselves what you were getting at. And, seriously, the mention of Gabriel was all we needed to bring us to Christianity.

I'm actually thinking that Nazis in Space makes more sense than this episode. At least there were Nazis where there shouldn't have been because of outside interference. This Roman Empire existed even without outside interference and it makes no sense. It's a different planet with different people and different events. They should not have our history repeating there. It is, as Spock would say, illogical.

Speaking of Spock:

McCoy: I am a doctor!
Spock: You are a slightly advanced baboon. Congratulations. You're bipedal.
McCoy: You are a rather like a computer! Quick! Compute how much of an ass you are!
Native: Do they hate each other?
Kirk: I don't think they themselves are even sure.
Me: Don't worry, they'll just make out for a bit and get right back to solving the actual problem.


[identity profile] 2010-05-18 07:42 am (UTC)(link)
i think i haven't seen this one...

hrm. time to invade my dad's house and kidnap his collection again, holding it for ransom [last time i kidnapped, it was his vinyl collect of the Hitchiker's Guide radio plays, and he quickly paid the ransom of the complete Dr. Horrible DVD set. which the dirty bastard had BORROWED from me weeks before, and wasn't returning!]

erm. my family [and me, as i am part of my family] = totally crazy

[identity profile] 2010-05-19 09:57 pm (UTC)(link)
That's okay. Crazy is just another word for awesome.

[identity profile] 2010-05-20 05:33 am (UTC)(link)
hehe - that's what my dad says, too :)

[identity profile] 2010-05-18 04:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I vaguely remember the first time I saw this, and that I _assumed_ the slaves were talking about Christianity, because, y'know, the Roman Empire, gladiators, there had to be early Christians.
I think there's a cut from a mention of 'the Sun/Son' to the sun in the sky, but I missed the misdirection. Because I'm slow that way.

[identity profile] 2010-05-19 10:02 pm (UTC)(link)
All I ask is a little bit of subtlety. Mentioning Gabriel in the beginning was really all we need to connect the necessary dots.