Whom Gods Destroy
Kirk and Spock are on a medical mission to deliver sanity saving drugs to an institute for the incorrigibly criminally insane. Bad news though; one’s a homicidal, master-strategist shape-shifter. He takes over the asylum, with an eye on taking over the Enterprise. Can Kirk and Spock defeat him? Well… yes. Dude’s insane. But HOW do the defeat him? Find out when we put Whom Gods Destroy in the Mission Log.
Tags: asylum, Elba II, Garth of Izar, Lord Garth, The Original Series, The Original Series Season 3, Whom Gods Destroy
Found behind the scenes pic:
I give you this. Designed by Mike Cope:
RIP Batgirl. http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/aug/19/yvonne-craig-the-original-1960s-batgirl-dies-aged-78
Really sorry to see her go. All of her performances were so fun and energetic.
Well said, and I couldn’t agree with you more.
In 2014, an independent film project was started that is intended to explore the heroic history of Garth of Izar. Funded on Kickstarter, it exceeded its $10,000 goal, raising over $100,000 instead. This 21-minute “Prelude to Axanar” on YouTube is to be followed by a full-length, feature film called Star Trek: Axanar, covering the battle that made Garth the hero of young Jim Kirk.
It’s tough to find a good message about this. On the surface, we see Kirk’s consistently liberal and sympathetic view of the criminal mentally ill, constantly assuring them and the audience that these people are not responsible for their actions and need treatment and not punishment.
On the other hand, they’ve been moved to an isolated planet with a forcefield covering the entire planet (that technology could have been useful for the 812 times Earth has been attacked in Star Trek’s vaarious incarnations), and the patients are represented by the sort of over-the-top melodramatic psychiatric cliches one would see in some old comedy (at least, those aren’t just consigned to the background as minions). Little wodner the BBC banned it from broadcast for so long for its depiction of the mentally ill.
Certainly most of patients we see on Elba II don’t seem dangerous enough to warrant being placed on a planet light years from their respective homeworlds in the middle of nowhere with a forcefield wrapped around them. Sure, Garth had a shapeshifting ability and an implausible penchant for creating the universe’s most powerful explosive (why would the scriptwriter even want to put that little nugget in, when he could have more realistically said that Garth improvised some chemical found locally into an explosive, something I might expect a Starfleet veteran to do?). But what about the rest of them? Did Marta really warrant more security than just a guard who wouldn’t succumb to her lethal charms?
Does the Federation have a universally accepted standard for psychiatric normalcy amongst its citizens, some of whom may have cultural and even biological variances (the Vulcans’ denial of their emotions would be seen as abnormal by others, as would the Andorians’ preponderance for violence, the Tellarites’ argumentative natures, and of course the Terran obsession with 20th Century pop culture and long speeches about humanity)? Would Harry Mudd’s casual attitude towards the law classify him as someone needing the same treatment?
The ending, with the treated Garth not remembering his past deeds, seems to fall in line with the treatments Dr Adams was providing in Dagger of the Mind, as well as what was probably the contemporary attitudes towards psychiatric treatment, something we probably don’t espouse as much now. Personally, I don’t know which would be better: to be cured and have the chance to start fresh without my past memories and the consequent guilt, or to be able to understand how and why I got to where I am now…
Trivia addendum: Governor Donald Cory was played by Keye Luke, who had quite an extensive career — and is most well known as Master Po, in the 1970’s TV series, Kung Fu.
Hope this is the last torture episode. Really getting on my nerves.
What I admired most about this episode is how perfectly suited every single outfit was for going to Burning Man.
Very true. Followed closely by “The Way to Eden” maybe?
I actually found this episode an interesting study in our radically changing view of mental health. The idealistic future they are trying to paint already seems barbaric to modern sensibilities (isolated, kept in cells, that mind wiping device). That’s pretty rare for Star Trek- we have yet to live up to most of its hopeful, future ideals. And that’s not even really a criticism of the show, more a marvel at how far our understanding of mental illness has come.
Our modern care needs to catch up with our professionals’ understanding, but our idealistic vision of a facility for the “criminally insane” (of course we wouldn’t actually use that terminology) would look radically different if this episode were made today.
One thing I will also note is that this is one of the very few times we get such a various group of intergalactic characters. I know the show is limited by certain factors, but it’s nice when we get a glimpse into an aspect of the federation that actually includes co-mingling of species.
Also, Garth’s character reminded me a lot of Bobo from Wynonna Earp (a fantastic show I highly recommend). From the costume to the “madness” to the band of fringe outlaws that follow his lead. They even have similar complex backstories that led to their sinister storylines. Bobo is one of my all-time favorite baddies so it might have positively colored my enjoyment of Garth in this episode a little bit.