You Let Our Child Watch What?!?

Geek Culture

Star Trek: the Original Series

Those of you who have not been following the blog should know that recently, I have attempted to indoctrinate the Pup into that bastion of geek culture, Star Trek: the Original Series.  When last we observed my efforts, I’d made the potentially tragic mistake of exposing the Pup to an episode whose favoritism was based more upon a cherished camp-value ("Return of the Archons"), than of a more classic Trek value.  The mission was in peril.  The geek-daughter was ready to write off the entire venture as another failure, alongside Kung Fu and "Night of the Living Dead".  I needed the most solid classic Trek episode I could find.  Help me, Mark Lenard, you’re my only hope!

StbalofterrorStbalofterror"Balance of Terror"

This episode has always been a personal favorite.  Mark Lenard‘s Shakespearean-quality performance coupled with the Swiss-watch timing of the plot made this an episode to remember out of a series of memorable episodes.  And say what you want about Bill Shatner, he held his own against an actor like Lenard in this episode.  Don’t confuse a detached performance from a lame one.  Shatner, you did well here.

The Pup’s Response

She was totally hooked, and has been ever since.  The tension of this episode could be cut with a knife.  The sympathy between Lenard’s primordial Romulan and Kirk was extremely effective.  Ultimately, I think it was the cat-and-mouse/hunt-and-chase between Kirk and the unnamed Romulan commander (Lenard) which gave us both life-threateningly tension tempered with the compassion and understanding between commanding officers which gave the episode – and the series – its full weight.  Since showing her this episode, the Pup has ever had only one response: "More!  More!"

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