Monday, January 12, 2015

The Animated Series 1x4 "The Lorelei Signal"

rating: *
Memory Alpha summary

This is the "space sirens" episode.  You remember sirens from The Odyssey, surely?

But enough about that.  If "Lorelei Signal" is significant or worth talking about at all, it's not for the elements that make it look like one of the worst possible episodes to sell you on the series, but rather its heavy focus on the female members of the crew.  Uhura takes command of the ship after all the male officers are compromised by a society of aliens who seem to come straight from...the worst episodes of Next Generation's first season.

Yes, Uhura in command!  Your one and only opportunity to see that happen!
via Mister Comfy Pants (let's just forget about that, shall we?)
The downside is that the episode, whether considered subsequently or not, also heavily features Nichelle Nichols in voice work for other characters in the episode.  A voice actor she is not.  Majel Roddenberry is not much better, and she's got a bunch of voices, too.  Which means if you want to enjoy and/or appreciate this rare Uhura spotlight, there's a very tall price to pay.  I was originally going to make this one of the rare episodes I wouldn't recommend for any reason, but "Lorelei" is at least significant even if it also happens to be tough to watch.

All that being said, not until Voyager would there be an opportunity for women in Star Trek to so thoroughly grab the spotlight.  Any lingering concerns on how the franchise viewed the female sex in its earliest years at least has the making of an argument with this episode.

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
Nichelle Nichols
Majel Roddenberry
James Doohan

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