Monster of the Day #64

The Captain learns what it’s like on the other side of having an overly self-satisfied alien dude mack on you.

  • Ericb

    Ok, I guess we can bring up the “what is a monster” debate with this one. Can a sophisticated, high-tech, space-faring civilization be considered monters?

  • brandywine

    That episode pisses me off so much I can’t watch it. Are the writers seriously trying to make us believe there’s any moral equivalency between Kirk and the Gorn? Do they actually think the wholesale slaughter of all colonists including women and children *while they’re trying to surrender* and begging for their lives is a perfectly reasonable and understandable response to people encroaching, knowingly or not, on your territory? Adding this to the fact that the Gorns then lured the Enterprise to the planet and ambushed them, Kirk was right in trying to destroy them.

  • Toby C

    Considering the destruction they inflicted on the Federation colony – slaughtering women and children who were trying to surrender, and all because they had unwittingly encroached on their territory – yes, I’d call them monsters. Hell, at least the Sheliak gave them some warning.

  • You have to remember – during this time there was an EXTREMELY strong trend to equate us with the Soviets. Any rational observer, looking at the respective freedoms adn activities of the West and the Warsaw Pact would probably conclude that the USSR was a statist totalitarian nation, but not American intellectuals.

  • BeckoningChasm

    I think the sheer monstrousness of the Gorn was one of the factors that allowed SPOLIER ALERT!! Kirk’s mercy to be so surprising to the Metrons.

  • Ericb

    Weren’t the Klingon’s supposed to be the Star Trek Soviet equivalent? They (and the Romulans) weren’t necessarily any more moral than the Gorn but they probably wouldn’t get the “monster” tag.

  • Reed

    As The Next Generation taught us Klingon women typically have teh hawt buubz. Once that was established secondary morality concerns went out the window.

  • Thw Klingons were indeed supposed to be the Soviets, as is made abundantly clear on several occasions – the Organians pretty much came out and said so, for instance. But the “moral equivalence” fumes seeped over to the Gorn too.

  • Not that having aliens with personalities was all bad. The Demon in the Dark, with what seemed to be an outright monster at the start, ended up kind of cool as everybody was happy that the hostilities had ended.

  • BeckoningChasm

    “Devil in the Dark” is a favorite. I can’t think of any written SF of the time that would have a horrific monster be justified in killing humans. That neither side was wholly good, or wholly evil.

    It’s such a great-looking beast, too.

  • Rock Baker

    ‘Arena’ was, needless to say, the first episode I wanted to see as a kid. I liked it too, since it was more action and monster driven than most other episodes. I had to get a little older to fully enjoy the more intellectual episodes, but even as a kid I got a big kick out of ‘Devil in the Dark.’

  • Plissken79

    I am not the biggest fan of the Star Trek series, although some of the films are very good (especially Wrath of Khan). But anyone who cannot see the Klingons as a stand in for the Soviets in Star Trek III and VI is frankly blind and deaf

  • Terrahawk

    I don’t think it was meant to be moral equivalence. Actually, it just shows the typical shallowness of so call “highly evolved” beings. If I remember correctly, the Metrons intervened because both ships entered their space.

  • BeckoningChasm

    As I recall, Terrahawk, you’re right, the Metrons could not (or would not) distinguish between types of violence. To them, killing done in self-defense was the same as killing for pleasure. They were pretty much “You kids are on my lawn for the last time. Put on these boxing gloves and we’ll settle this for good.”

  • Ericb

    “them, killing done in self-defense was the same as killing for pleasure”

    And they were planning to destroy the ship of the loser. Self-righteous and hypocritical omnipotent beings are really annoying.

  • BeckoningChasm

    Self-righteous and hypocritical omnipotent beings are really annoying.

    Yeah, especially when they have the media in their pocket!

  • “Self-righteous and hypocritical omnipotent beings are really annoying.”

    So Rick Berman found out when he took over the Star Trek franchise.

  • Marsden

    This is one of my favorite episodes of any show, ever!

    One of my absolute favorite moments is when Captain Kirk lifts a large rock over his head to hurl it down the hill and hits the Gorn captain square in the chest and bounces off without really bothering him, then the Gorn lifts this bolder of his head and throws it up at Kirk and he has to dodge! Talk about a strength/durability mismatch!

    Maybe the Gorn don’t have a distinction between military and non combatants in their culture, in that case the Federation colony on Cestus III would have been considered like a forward base to launch further expeditions into their area.

    Personally, I don’t consider him a monster, but I don’t object to his inclusion here.