TREK-A-DAY: The Gamesters of Triskelion
EPISODE FORTY-FIVE: The Gamesters of Triskelion
…yep, it’s that kind of episode.
When Kirk, Uhura, and Chekov get abducted by gambling addict brain-creatures (evolved beyond bodies into coloured jelly brains!), they are forced to fight in gladiatorial games for the amusement of said brains. Kirk, being awesome, not only seduces the above green-haired Lady Gaga, but also manages to talk the aliens into gambling all their Thrall’s freedom on a 3-on-1 throwdown with galactic unarmed champion Shirtless Captain Kirk.
Meanwhile, Spock is a pretty good captain (though he gets no love) and yeah…that’s about it. The above clip is from Kirk’s escape plot; he apologies afterward, but needed to knock her out for her keycard (she was his keeper). Kind of like that first guard from the Bunker II level in GoldenEye 64…but in a silver space bikini.
Ultimately, aside from the usual fun of gladiator fights and some of the hammiest Kirk yells to date, this episode is a prime example of the sense of pride the writers were going for with humanity. I’ve mentioned this a few times before (and am reminded of it playing through games like Mass Effect where being human is a huge part of the politics of the game), Star Trek always has other races in awe of humanity, but to this end they have had to highlight what aliens would be impressed by. This list boils down to: tenacity, inventiveness, adaptability, and emphasis on emotion and sentiment in decision making (most illogical…). Hearing the jelly brains express these ideas, I couldn’t help but marvel at what Roddenberry was trying to do with this ongoing point: he was pointing to the great, basic traits of our very species, so easy to overlook when not surveying history, and putting them into the mouths of aliens.
We don’t often consider why we’re a nifty species anymore, because we’ve messed a hell of a lot of things up…but now and then, it is worth looking to our strengths to help us move our planet and ourselves toward a better future.