09th May2010

Hey Star Trek! dijoo GET HOT IN HERE!?

by jerad.formby

This blog post began with us researching the Prime Directive to help a friend out with a story she’s writing. Researching the Prime Directive involves watching certain tent-pole episodes to observe how the rule is applied and how it might be broken.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Federation Law School.

We just might have uncovered more than we ever wanted to know about Gene Roddenberry and the topic of sex. It’s just possible that the Great Bird of the Galaxy left something in his tapestry designed to illuminate his own sexual desires.

Read on, gentle reader, we’re all friends here, right?

Star Trek and sex is a favorite amongst Trekkies. They’ll deliberate on who the sexiest characters are, but we’ve decided to look for the sexiest episode –since our research pointed at one obvious choice, we wanted to weigh the others.

Right away, people might gravitate toward the sexiest ongoing characters. The battle between Seven of Nine, Jadzia Dax, Ezri Dax, T’Pol, Saavik Alley, Saavik Curtis, Deanna Troi, Beverly Crusher, and Hoshi Sato doesn’t interest us here at Hey Star Trek!

We answered that question for Subspace Communique.

The only things we’re letting into the room are actual episodes that have sexy content.

A search for a list to help us get started turned up very little on google, so we held a cattle call and let each sexy episode pitch itself to us. Hey Star Trek!

The desire to see Star Trek’s sexiest women as sex-pots is almost as ongoing as Star Trek’s mission. The trouble is that Star Trek does not rock a sex-pot character in any of the casts. Beautiful women are presented, but they’re not set up as creatures with the intense sexual appetites that so many wish they were.

Which is why the Holodeck comes in handy. Seven of Nine can do a number of sexy things that people want to see, but it’s very safe for her to do these things in the Holodeck. Human Error manages to take Seven’s almost child-like curiosity in the opposite sex near a level everyone’s wanted to see since her costume was revealed.

One thing the episode has going for it is that it is the true Seven of Nine going through these motions. There’s an innocence in Seven exploring her sexuality in a safe environment like the Holodeck.

The trouble is that she does all of these things for a fake Chakotay. Human Error rocks the continued Star Trek point of view on “safe sex” that is showing off its characters in sexy situations that don’t actually matter. It’s a way for Star Trek fans to see something they want but not really shake up the universe too much.

This other use of the Holodeck on Deep Space Nine shows Kira in a different light.

She is a total sexual fantasy version of Kira –with very little actual Kira going on. It’s a sexy way for us to see the Kira body doing things Kira would never do. In the story, Odo walks away from her because it’s not the real thing. He only wants the real thing and we can relate to him, because we do too.

There are ramifications for these Holosuited versions of popular characters. Sometimes they encounter their counterparts for comedic bliss, but mostly these scenes exist for us to see the women in sexier situations –too sexy for the universe proper.

One of the most enlightening things about Enterprise was its ability to look sexy but never really feel sexy. We’re not here saying it’s not sexy because they showed too much, we’re here saying –really? That’s how you’re getting there!?

Body rubs and massages are sexy in theory, but it seems to us that the images and the content of the scenes just couldn’t quite get there.

We were amongst those fans that never bought into the Trip’s sister massacre. The traumatized Trip needed to strip down with T’Pol for focused meditation to cope. This clumsy shot at a “sincere” way to get them out of their clothes simply stunk of gratuitous sex and it never really redeemed itself for us.

Which is too bad. T’Pol and Trip are favorite characters, even if they never figured out sexy.

The Naked Now actually succeeds for us on the level Enterprise tried for four years.

Through simple character dynamics, humor, and the briefest encounters of skin, this episode succeeds in playing off as sexy. The moment between Tasha and Data plays a million times better than the one he had in First Contact and what’s her name.

The sexiness is earned on this early Next Generation episode. In fact the first season flirts a lot more with sexy than any other season of the show –dare we say a promise that was never really as fulfilled as we might have liked.

Somewhere in there, Star Trek decided that safe-sex was the way to go. It was decided that massaging was hot somewhere. It was decided that different costumes qualified as hot somewhere.

It’s possible that Star Trek went backward and not forward with sex.

Somewhere in the vast legacy of Star Trek, sex just took a detour. Don’t worry, friends and neighbors, we haven’t forgotten the huge and notable exception of…

Yes, the Mirror Universe rocks a very sexy atmosphere. It’s wonderful to observe counterparts of characters we know so well delving into areas that would never happen in Star Trek.

It is fun to watch all of our characters run around with their aggression boiling. It’s fun to watch a universe where violence boils just beneath the surface of every scene. It’s fun and it’s sexy.

Because in the Mirror Universe, violence and sex go hand-in-hand. Not necessarily at the same time, but sexual characters who are ready to get anything they want by any means under their control is very hot.

Let’s put it another way.

Let’s face it, the women rule the Mirror Universe all day long! It’s their devotion to their own ego maniacal causes that makes watching these episodes so addicting. The women are basically man-eaters who exploit every male around them, flaunt their sexual power, and almost always get what they want.

And why shouldn’t they?

If being downright evil is sexy, then in the proper universe, we will most likely not find a sexy episode featuring a major player in the power role. If Star Trek appears to get progressively safer with sex the newer it gets, it looks like the sexiest episode must have happened in the 1960’s.

Not only do we believe this to be true, we did meet an episode in the casting call who seemed to measure up.

This episode is actually most famous for its stance on the Vietnam War. It’s usually read as Roddenberry saying that the Vietnam War was an evil that had to shake itself out only through “a balance of power.” We Hey Star Trek! took that line right from Captain Kirk from a scene where he and Bones refer to the “brush wars of 20th century Asia.”

So it’s thought of as a preachy episode and you can see our “Prime Directive” target painted on it.

All of the Roddenberry episodes are preachy, it can be said. What’s crazy is that Roddenberry’s teleplay credits for Star Trek can be counted on two hands. In all of the many hours of Star Trek, the creator himself actually didn’t get teleplay credits very often.

We know his fingers were all over the pie, but it’s still interesting that the scripts shot with his name as sole writer are few and far between. So we suggest that maybe those episodes pack a greater punch of pure Roddenberry philosophy than the rest of the show’s canon.

The story of A Private Little War involves Klingons arming a primitive people so that they might take over the planet and rule it for their empire. Kirk decides to arm the other side with equal advancements. That’s about the gist of the Star Trek story.

But there is a ton of other stuff going on. A ton, brothers and sisters, a ton.

The appearance of Mind Control in this particular context screams from a very dark and sexual place. Here is a man who doesn’t even feel like he’s married to this woman. He is quick to point out that she tricked him with her dark magics, but he’s more than happy to let her work some more of that mojo on him.

Her control over him is so intense, that even after she leaves his embrace, he still thinks they’re together.

Because this is one of Gene Roddenberry’s few actual teleplays, we can’t help but wonder if he wasn’t including some ideas about what he himself thought of as fantastic and sexy. The truth of the scene is that it plays. The woman herself isn’t exactly what we here in the office have in mind, but the scene weaves a spell all the same.

Nona wraps us around her little finger in that scene and, don’t be shocked, we can’t wait to see who will be wrapped around her next.

Who knows what the heck is going on in the Vietnam “A” story, because right now, we’re on the edge of our seat wondering who this mysterious woman is. She is said to be able to cure the bite of a Mugato.

It just so happens Kirk was attacked by one of these creatures (a classic Star Trek monster) and will die without her immediate help. Yet this woman, a warrior, will not help Kirk unless she knows everything about him (especially his superior weapons). She only helps when she thinks she might be helped.

Read “she” and not “she and her boy Tyree.”

Once Kirk is healed, Nona claims to “own him” as their souls have “joined.”

That scares the hell out of Bones and he spends the rest of the episode hoping it’s not true. He’s really out of his element when it comes to her people’s “magic cure,” because it also somehow dissipated both the wounds on her hand and the wound on Kirk’s shoulder.

Some other stuff happens in the Klingon plot, but we’re totally hooked on what will happen next when Tyree’s woman shows up again. We’ve watched scenes where we find out that she wants Kirk’s technology to be able to destroy their enemies. Kirk refuses her wish. Bones hopes that means he’s not “owned.”

We hope Bones is wrong.

You might be wondering why Spock isn’t in the middle of all this noise. He was. He just got shot early on and the Enterprise has him. For awhile in this episode, both Kirk and Spock are dying in separate places. We saw how Kirk came out of it, wanna see how Spock got out of it?

Spock concentrates all of his mental capacity into healing the bullet wound. When it looks like he’ll be unable to break his own concentration, Spock demands Nurse Chapel slap him. The timid nurse starts things off slow, but with Spock urging her to slap harder and harder, we wonder if this is part of the sexual landscape of A Private Little War.

Sexual Landscape. Yes. A Private Little War addresses sex in a much different way than any other episode we can think of. The sex story seems to bully the main story, tugging and pulling its own breathless desires into other scenes.

Maybe, gentle reader, you disagree.

But you’d be wrong.

The story with the Klingons comes to a head when Nona decides to steal Kirk’s phaser and run it over to the enemy camp. Her decision to betray the men under her control is a head-scratcher for us. It’s difficult to see why she wouldn’t just run to Tyree with the phaser or keep it for herself.

It seems this last minute betrayal might be suggesting that no good can come from an evil-man-eating lady. Her approach to the enemy camp brings her sexual power to a fall. The men from the other camp are so turned on by Nona that they choose to force themselves on her. Being a warrior woman, she holds her own for awhile, but gets stabbed after a series of shoves and gropes that are just this side of inappropriate.

Kirk shows up too late to the fight. Nona dies. She gets no fancy last words. She just takes Star Trek’s most sexually aggressive episode to the sky above.

Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek is known for pushing sexual boundaries, but we find it illuminating that his name’s on this particular episode as a writer. The story is credited to another fella, but Roddenberry adapted that into an allegory for Vietnam. Somewhere along the way, he also introduced a powerful female who no man could resist.

We have to wonder if we just might not be getting a glimpse into Roddenberry’s own wants and desires for sex. We just might be peeking into Roddenberry’s own desire for female dominance. If that’s true, than we highly recommend that none of Roddenberry’s offspring ever watch this particular episode –it would be like watching your parents have sex.

We do choose A Private Little War as the sexiest episode of Star Trek. We do not choose it because Nona is as dominant as anyone in the Mirror Universe. We do not choose it because it’s story is both sexual and brutal.

We choose it because somehow, the little sex story that could seemed a whole lot more fun than the Vietnam allegory. We choose it because somehow the sexual aspects of A Private Little War seemed to inform the Enterprise’s C-Story, even though it was out of range of the planet.

The story mattered and the sex was part of the story. It wasn’t gratuitous or forced. It was captivating and informed the choices of the characters. To make sex matter in a story is tricky to begin with.

To make it matter in Star Trek is very unique indeed.


Read Back Issues of Hey Star Trek!?

  • http://apizzagirl.blogspot.com Pizza Girl

    I am amused by the tags you’ve put on this post. “Mugato bite” I’m just imagining what other posts might possibly be tagged that and I was a bit disappointing to see that there aren’t any.

  • Ranga

    Personally I thought “Patterns Of Force” was pretty sexy. 🙂 But I may be biased towards a shirtless Spock. Also, “His Way” has to get points for possibly the sexiest kiss ever. Two high ranking officers making out in public after years of sexual tension (even if it was one-sided) is pretty hot.

  • Pingback: Why Alice Eve in Her Underwear is Nothing New For the Star Trek Franchise | We Minored In Film()