Thursday, August 14, 2014

Star Trek 3x3 "The Paradise Syndrome"

rating: **
Memory Alpha summary

So, unlike the tepid "Omega Glory" effort late in the second season, "The Paradise Syndrome" is a full-blown Star Trek version of Native Americans In Space.  It's the episode where Kirk loses his memory, is adopted into the tribe, and has an honest-to-Gene wife.
via Trek Core
All that's fine.  It's not a fantastic episode.  Other than the typical trying-to-do-every-story-type nature of the experience that the series by this point had made a well-known trope (and wasn't finished exploring yet!), there's a franchise precedent for a couple later episodes in a prophecy seemingly being fulfilled and a character being mistaken as a god.  Prophecies were a major part of Deep Space Nine, and the idea was also exploited by a couple of Ferengi in Voyager's "False Profits."  Picard was mistaken for a god in Next Generation's "Who Watches the Watchers?"

There's all that.  Native Americans were featured perhaps more flatteringly in Next Generation's "Journey's End" and Voyager's first officer Chakotay.

It's an episode that you take for what it is.  Kirk had to lose his memory to make a lasting commitment to someone, although the bride's dead by the end of the story, not to mention the groom having his memory back.  All the same, it's basically similar to any number of other series episodes, including Spock's experiences in "This Side of Paradise" (another episode that, like "Omega Glory," serves as an archetype for a much more overt exploration of a cultural topic, which in that case is hippies, a topic better known from "The Way to Eden" late in the third season).

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Majel Roddenberry

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