Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Star Trek: Who Mourns for Adonais?

Episode: "Who Mourns for Adonais?"
Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 2, Episode 2
Original Air Date: September 22, 1967
via Memory Alpha
Another story on the road from Charlie X to Q, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" recounts the Enterprise's showdown with the actual Greek god Apollo.  The sun god, along with all of his Olympian colleagues, is revealed to be an extra-terrestrial being who so impressed ancient humans that they could only have been regarded as divine.  Apollo tries to recruit the crew to worship him but, apart from anthropologist/archaeologist Lt. Carolyn Palamas, they're not interested.

It's a good episode but there are some troubling spots.  At one point, Kirk argues that humans have progressed spiritually since ancient times and "one God" is good enough for them now.  Apparently, Hinduism has fallen out of favor by Trek's era.  Also, late in the story, Apollo roughs up Palamas a bit when she spurns his advances, then we're expected to feel sympathy for him at the very end.  Maybe he didn't really hurt her but he certainly meant to scare and intimidate her - a bit icky.

*****
via Wikipedia
Michael Forest (Apollo) certainly looks the part.  He was born Gerald Michael Charlebois, April 17, 1929 in Harvey, North Dakota.  Somewhat surprisingly, given his appearance as a younger man, Forest has built an impressive career mostly as a voice actor, especially for anime.  Most notably to this blogger, he performed "additional voices" in Miyazaki's The Castle of Cagliostro.

13 comments:

  1. I remember (approximately) Scotty's line: Ye cannot do tricks like that without energy. And the crew proceeds to pull the plug on Apollo. It was a lesson in practical thinking, in engineering, that the human love of liberty and equality is subordinate to nobody.

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  2. I think I remember seeing him in some other shows. He looks very familiar.

    Son keeps telling me about all the voice actor he knows from the games and shows he watches. I think voice actors are very under appreciated they have to do everything in their head no other actors to bounce off of.
    I remember one anime convention I took daughter to, I met some of the voice actors for one of my favorite Japanese anime "Sherlock Hound" they were a hoot. Doing subtitles/voice overs is even harder.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Under appreciated, maybe, but very well paid. It's actually a great way to make a living - great pay for significantly fewer hours than are required in a normal acting gig. And you're right, it's not easy. There's a reason one sees the same names over and over again in voice casts: not everyone can do it well.

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  3. Very tricky when the religious card gets in the way.

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    1. Yeah. Again, great efforts in general towards sensitivity but they dropped the ball on that one.

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  4. This is another one I just have just blocked right out of my memory. Thank goodness you're bringing all these back! I'm gonna have to start watching the episode, then sit down with my Star Trek Compendium and my Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkies so we reminisce the right way! :) LOLOLOL

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    1. I'd love it if people were interested in watching these and writing about them "together."

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  5. Michael Forest was ripped for his time.

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    1. I was thinking that, too. That was about as perfect as anyone expected a male body to be in those days. Now you have to look like Brad Pitt toward the end of Fight Club. Or whatshisname from "300." (Glad I'm not a dude.)

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    2. Yes, he definitely was.

      Fortunately for some of us, Stephanie, there are those who find tall and lanky perfectly acceptable.

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  6. I watched this one when we revisited TOS as a family last year, but it didn't stick. Your points about the moral/social ickiness are interesting ... I find myself struggling with that a lot with TOS. The treatment of women is just really hard to get past; it's no better in any other shows from that era, and probably worse, of course. It just goes to show how dramatically our moral sensibilities have shifted. For the better. But very fast. The moral landscape of 1867 was not nearly so different from the moral landscape of 1914. I'm glad we have such clear documentation of the shifts.

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    1. Sometimes I wonder if we've come as far as we think. Laws are certainly getting better but we still have no ERA. Where TOS deserves a lot of credit is in putting women in high-ranking military positions. Even so, a shapely figure certainly didn't hurt one's career prospects.

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