The Long Trek 22: The Return of the Archons

The Enterprise is exploring a planet that looks like the American old west, which is explained away as a less developed planet, but is most likely just an attempt to reuse the Western sets from “Miri.” They even put on old-timey clothes, with Kirk dressed like Gene Hackman in “The Quick and the Dead.” I’m guessing the premise of this episode came about when Shatner said he wanted to dress as a sheriff. I would like to know why most of the aliens on this show look like humans despite having apparently never come into contact with them. And there are SO MANY planets in the universe that are carbon copies of Earth. I guess at some point in the creation of everything, God started getting lazy and just hit copy and paste on the entire galaxy.

The citizens of the Western planet walk around like zombies and talk about peace and tranquility. So sort of like the set of a Clint Eastwood movie, if instead of gunfighting he just smoked weed all the time.

(Idea for a movie: High Noon)

The planet is also inhabited by monks with magic pipes, who go around zombifying people. Sulu and a flavor-of-the-week crewmember get zapped by the monks’ pipes and turned into love zombies. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy go down to Westernland to figure out the source of the zombie monks.

After arriving, the away team bears witness to “the red hour,” the designated time where all the young women and men on the western planet start making out and breaking shit, also known as “festival.” After a while, they’re all smashed out, and everyone snaps back to zombie state and pretends like nothing happened.

I mean, so far it sounds like an awesome planet to live on. But Kirk thinks something is up. By talking to some old men there, they learn that the people on the planet have been “absorbed into the body” of Landru, their god. I can imagine the process through which they came up with this guy’s name.

WRITER 1: What should our alien god be named?
WRITER 2: Buuuuuh…. Andrew?
WRITER 1: That’s your name.
WRITER 2: Drrrrr… Lll… Landrew.
WRITER 1: That’s perfect.

One of the old men turns the Enterprise crew over the zombie monks, known as Lawgivers. Kirk tells them no, which freaks them out. They escape the room while the monks are busy trying to figure out what “no” means.

The crew is imprisoned and one by one turned into the emotionless heralds of Landru. Kirk and Spock continue to plot a way to escape, when the now Landru-tized McCoy overhears them and tattles on them to the monks. Having blown any chance of a subtle escape, the crew beat up the zombie monks and steal their robes. They then demand to be taken to see Landru. I mean, once you’ve started punching monks, you may as well keep going until you’ve beaten up the Pope.

Upon arriving at Landru’s secret lair, the god is revealed to actually be a computer that wants everybody to be happy. While their phasers have been disabled, Kirk is able to use a circuitous logical paradox to convince the computer to blow itself up. If science fiction has taught me two things, it’s (1) that humanity will be conquered one day by the huge metal machines, and (2) that they will in turn be defeated by a “chicken and egg” question.

This episode it was revealed that Starfleet has a non-interference clause in their contract when it comes to dealing with alien races, which is preposterous. Kirk should have been court martialed 20 other times prior to this if that were the case. But in this case they justify it because the god in question was a robot, regardless of whether or not it ruled over people. Kirk is pretty pleased with himself, having ruined perpetual world peace, and goes off to mess up another planet.

Last Episode: Court Martial

Next: Episode: Space Seed

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3 Responses to The Long Trek 22: The Return of the Archons

  1. Pingback: The Long Trek 21: Court Martial | Rory McCarty: Journalism Guy

  2. They do come up with an explanation for why humanoid life is so common in TNG, but yeah making sense was definitely trumped by budget in the early days.

    I like your explaination of where the name of their “god” came from. I’m sure a similar process was used for Darth Andeddu from today’s Penny Arcade. http://penny-arcade.com/2012/01/25

    I’ve got a couple paradoxes saved up in case a computer does end up taking over, but if there is anything I’ve learned from Portal 2 it’s that even “this statement is false” might not be enough to save us.

  3. Pingback: The Long Trek 23: Space Seed | Rory McCarty: Journalism Guy

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