Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Animated Series 2x1 "The Pirates of Orion"


Memory Alpha summary

via Star Trek; we're not just green, you know
If it's the start of a new season from a series featuring Kirk as captain, you can bet it's an episode featuring some trauma happening to Spock.  Yeah, the second season of the original series kicked off with the classic "Amok Time," while the third with the infamous "Spock's Brain."  This time it's "The Pirates of Orion."

The problem this time is a little like condensing "Amok" and "Brain" into one, Spock in a straight-up medical emergency that sends the crew scrambling to save him.  I shouldn't need to point out that this is the third episode to focus primarily on Spock (after "Yesteryear" and "The Infinite Vulcan"), demonstrating a clear series preference for the character.

Beyond Spock, as the title suggests "Pirates" also features the enigmatic Orions, usually at that point best known for their green-skinned "slave girls," or for that surprise element of "Journey to Babel" in which they were saboteurs.  In Deep Space Nine, two episodes ("Honor Among Thieves" and "Prodigal Daughter") focus on the Orion Syndicate, which might be considered an update of the eponymous pirates, how the culture in general tends to act when not dominated by their women (as revealed in one of several Enterprise appearances, "Bound").

As the image suggests, the episode features Orions who are not, in fact, green-skinned.  This is commonly considered a production mistake.  But obviously humans feature diverse pigmentation, and so do Klingons and Vulcans.  If this series is to be considered canon at all, "Pirates" might as well be considered canon establishment of the same for Orions. 

It's a fine episode that stays away from the weirder inclinations of the series and a strong link to the rest of the franchise, in various and surprising ways.

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

notable guest-stars:
George Takei
Majel Roddenberry
James Doohan


  1. Great visual imagery, I do believe Scotty said once, Green is good! So lets bring on the green orion saboteurs.


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