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A challenging episode for William Shatner. Captain Kirk has to deal with hostile aliens, tricky diplomatic relations, and the Taming of the Shrew!
TOS episode #57 - Elaan of Troyius
___________TOS 3x13 'Elaan of Troyius' Trailer
In the earlier classic episode, Journey to Babel, the Enterprise hosted about 100 ambassadors from various alien cultures. In this latest venture into Federation politics and diplomacy, there is only one ambassador — Petri is his name, from Troyius.
Oh, and also there's a creature known as the Dohlman, from the planet Elas. A Dohlman?
Quick, the universal translator, please! Translation: Elaan, spoiled brat of a princess, i.e. more trouble than 200 ambassadors.
Ambassador Petri's task: train her in preparation for her role as wife to the Troyiun prince. Some ground rules to observe when hosting a Dohlman:
(1) Kneel in her presence.
(2) Do not speak unless permitted.
(3) Do not leave without permission.
(4) Provide her with the best quarters on the ship.
(4a) Failing that, find other quarters.
(5) Provide breakable objects for her, but no pillows.
The sophomoric attitudes we see here do provide more entertainment than the average 3rd season episode. I guess I like this one for similar reasons to my appreciation for the crazy Whom Gods Destroy — the yelling and the hysterics.
This one again borrows from Shakespeare (as with a few other episodes) — in this case, from The Taming of the Shrew. So in a sense, it's meant to be somewhat comedic. There are added elements of another touchy mission for Starfleet to bring peace to a region of space, as well as an unexpected attack by a Klingon warship.
The warlike Elasians make even the aggressive Klingons seem a bit laid-back by comparison (see also the description of the Capellans in Friday's Child). The story holds together well with all these plot turns in the first couple of acts, and this episode is not boring — that's a given.
There's a switch to even more silly plot contrivances in the 2nd half of the episode, when Kirk becomes infected by Elaan's tears.
According to legend, and 23rd-century biochemistry, tears of such a female enslave all men, causing the man in question to fall hopelessly in love (or in lust?) with the female. This plot turn almost moves the story into childlike fairy tale territory, though I suppose one can liken such an effect to a viral infection.
This also provides another excuse for Kirk to, uh, fraternize inappropriately with an alien woman who is generally regarded as off-limits. It's similar to his tryst with the female invader in Wink of an Eye only a few episodes later. Kirk really got going in this area of interstellar relations during the 3rd season.
BoG's Score: 7 out of 10
Galaxy Overlord Galactus
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)