Thursday, September 11, 2014

Star Trek 3x13 "Elaan of Troyius"

rating: **
Memory Alpha summary

Like the later Next Generation ("The Perfect Mate") and Enterprise ("Precious Cargo") episodes, "Elaan of Troyius" is about a bride on the way to a politically-motivated wedding whose journey is complicated by her encounter with a formidable Starfleet officer.
via Trek Core. Looks Egyptian but she's Greek to Kirk!
As the title certainly evokes for me, this is another of the many episodes drawing from classical history, specifically Greek or Roman figures.  "Troyius" owes its origins to The Iliad, the story of the Trojan War, and Elaan is a kind of Helen of Troy figure, a problematic bride if there ever was one.
via Trek Core.  From the little-known Greek Green Goblin myth.
The most intriguing element element of the episode is that it seems to be the quintessential setup for Kirk Is A Cad storytelling, but he in fact resists the easy romance the whole time.  Elaan is kind of like an Orion Slave Girl (less dancing, more like how they were explained in Enterprise), irresistible.  Yet Kirk does resist her.  Picard had a far less easy time of it (though, in fairness, he was matched up against Famke Janssen, while Trip's impossible scenario pitted him against the equally alluring Padma Lakshmi).

Interestingly, this is also a Klingon episode, certainly not famously so, but it does present, if not in broadcast than at least production order (meaning it was created for "Elaan"), the iconic first Klingon starship of the franchise:
via RPF.  I had a model of it.  Glued it badly together myself!
I won't overstate how much you need to see "Elaan of Troyius," but there are reasons to consider it fairly significant in a minor kind of way.  (Such glowing praise!)  And if you're looking for near-Uhura episodes, this is another one to catch in that regard.  We see her quarters.  That sort of thing.

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Majel Roddenberry

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