For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
Episode

063

For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

McCoy is dying. And he’s in love! And he’s getting married to a woman who lives on a spaceship set to crash into a planet. Lots happening as we put For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky in the Mission Log.

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Discussion

  • Will Wright

    For some reason – this episode kind of reminded me of Space 1999. I wonder why?

  • nathankc

    “Ex Machina” novel is a good sequel to this episode as well as a sequel to The Motion Picture. Kirk as computer killer is a big player in the book.

  • Low Mileage Pit Woofie

    The regime on Yonada did seem harsh by our standards – or anyone’s standards really – but the results were that their society appeared to have remained stable and unchanged for millennia, far longer than any on Earth. It was possible that if they knew they were travelling on a spaceship, generations living, working and dying, most of them to reach a world that they might never see, the society could have radically shifted or even broken apart.
    Revisiting it reminded me of the recent TV series Wayward Pines, where a rural community lived in the eponymous town never realising they had been cryogenically frozen and revived in a post-apocalyptic future, secretly watched and protected by a select few who knew the truth, keeping it a secret because the reality of having lost the world and everything in it would be too much for many to bear…

  • KatieN

    It was interesting what Jon was saying about the dubious reason for such a level of control. Usually, when you see a society clamped down like this, you can point to a bunch of rich oligarchs or a corrupt despot and say, “okay, I see what’s going on here.” Or, you can look at a police state and analyze the turbulent road that led them there. But in THIS case, we are dropped into a world with no evidence of their history and no one person or group taking advantage. There is an explanation that we’ll never know, but in a way, I think it’s a cool, unique take when we are left in the dark.

    Obviously, this system is not ideal. Freedom and all that. BUT, I think it creates a more dynamic discussion when there is no evil leader laughing maniacally at the epicenter of this society. This culture is presented almost neutrally. The people are fed and cared for. They are not abused or exploited (except when they have those pesky critical thoughts!). Even the oracle, the “police” in the police state, is relatively fair when it doesn’t punish Bones by association when Kirk and Spock break the rules and even welcomes Bones (a dissent risk) into their culture. It even pardons the two rule-breakers at Natira’s request! I mean, you can tell this society is practically on the up and up because Kirk’s first instinct isn’t to take a crowbar to the computer.

    All that being said, I think that leaves the discussion wide open to talk about what freedom means. If it were possible to create a long-lasting society with generally satisfied, cared-for people, would you relinquish freedom of thought? Ultimately, the show says no and I agree. If you live as a sheep, you risk running head first off a cliff and never even seeing it coming.

    Of course, this premise is familiar ground that this series has tread before (see: Landrew). However, unlike other episodes, I think the argument is a little more nuanced. The episode ends not with a smoking computer but with Natira CHOOSING to be separated from the mechanism of control and Kirk leaving it up to her to decide how to proceed. And I think that makes the message more resonant.

    Should there ever come a day when we become Yonada, a realistic ending will not be a handsome stranger swooping in to smash our controller to smithereens. It will end with us painstakingly extricating the truth from our ingrained beliefs, a long and arduous process that we must do for ourselves. And this is the note on which we leave Natira.