Lion of the Blogosphere

Star Trek TOS, season 1: “Shore Leave” (sexbots!)

The next Star Trek post will discuss “The Squire of Gothos,” and then “Arena,” and then “The Alternative Factor,” and then “Tomorrow Is Yesterday.” I am now watching the episodes in production order instead of the airdate order used by Netflix.

* * *

The Enterprise discovers a planet where whatever you think about happens. It’s an amusement planet created by an advanced unknown alien race. Initially, no one understands what’s going on.

There’s an epic fistfight where Kirk beats up the upperclassmen from Starfleet Academy who he hated, who is actually an android created by the planet’s super-advanced machinery because Kirk thought about him. During the fight, Kirk’s shirt getting seriously ripped. But Kirk isn’t the only shirt that gets ripped in this episode. The pretty female Yeoman Barrows has her shirt ripped by an android Don Juan. She literally has a bodice-ripping fantasy! And then she changes into a princess costume which includes a hilarious cone-shaped hat with fabric dangling from the top.

Eventually the planet’s Caretaker appears and explains the whole thing.

CARETAKER: This entire planet was constructed for our race of people to come and play.

SULU: Play? As advanced as you obviously are, and you still play?

KIRK: Yes, play, Mister Sulu. The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.

CARETAKER: Exactly, Captain. How very perceptive of you.

Kirk then accepts the Caretaker’s offer to let his crew use the planet for Shore Leave.

This episode is fun! Except when McCoy got killed by an android knight with a lance. But then the aliens put him back together with advanced technology. It’s all fun!

At the beginning of the episode, we have Yeoman Barrows massaging Captain Kirk’s back while he’s sitting on his captain’s chair, but then later in the episode it’s McCoy who gets the girl. A big win for the nerdy sort-of-ugly middle-aged guy!

And what about the sexbots? We see McCoy with two hot babes (who are actually androids), because he was thinking about two girls from a cabaret on Rigel 2. He gets a very nasty look from his new girlfriend Yeoman Barrows, but I can imagine what most of the male crew is going to do on this planet, and it’s NOT suitable to show on broadcast TV! But what happens on the Shore Leave planet stays on the Shore Leave planet.

It’s kind of surprising that Kirk agreed, at the end, to let his crew enjoy the planet. Previous episodes of Star Trek, including The Cage, The Man Trap, and What Are Little Girls Made Of had a very negative view of fantasy women.

The aliens who created this planet obviously didn’t know about holodecks. Holodecks can do anything that this planet does, even better. With less danger. (Except when the holodeck goes bonkers and some holo-character takes over the real-world ship.)

Spock criticizes the whole idea of Shore Leave (before they knew the secret of the planet). “On my planet, to rest is to rest, to cease using energy. To me, it is quite illogical to run up and down on green grass using energy instead of saving it.” Vulcans are too logical to waste their hard-earned money on expensive vacations when they can just rest at home for free.

This is an underrated episode, I was able to enjoy the fun without thinking about plot holes and outdated special effects.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 28, 2018 at 11:57 AM

Posted in Star Trek

21 Responses

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  1. Lion, how many TOS episodes are you watching per day, on average?

    Oswald Spengler

    August 28, 2018 at 12:08 PM

  2. What’s more interesting than Star Trek?

    a) Anything.

    b) French “Dancing With The Stars” — which seems to be sexier than the U.S. version.

    Justice Duvall

    August 28, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    • Why such hate? Many of us enjoy these reviews.

      Mike Street Station

      August 28, 2018 at 4:47 PM

      • Star Trek is divisive. You either love it or are bored senseless. Like the band Yes.

        Justice Duvall

        August 28, 2018 at 8:02 PM

      • Yes, but if you are bored with something, isn’t the proper course of action to ignore it, rather than obsess on it?

        Mike Street Station

        August 29, 2018 at 6:04 AM

  3. “This is an underrated episode, I was able to enjoy the fun without thinking about plot holes and outdated special effects.”

    I thought your last review of “Court Martial” was impressive and pointed out a lot of valid plot holes. Regardless, I still found it an extremely enjoyable episode. But I’ve never cared for “Shore Leave”. It’s one of the few episodes I actually dread and skip.

    destructure

    August 28, 2018 at 1:38 PM

  4. I was able to enjoy the fun without thinking about plot holes and outdated special effects.

    Thank goodness! Now just get your mind out of the gutter.

    I also remember this as a fun, not especially deep, episode. In particular I remember it featuring the recurrent musical bit that I thought of as the “silly music”.

    S.J., Esquire

    August 28, 2018 at 3:14 PM

    • I agree; it seems like Lion is trolling us with the constant references to sexbots in episodes that aren’t about sexbots at all.

      However, I do have to say that I think not enough has been written among Star Trek commentators about how, if TNG-style holodecks actually existed, and were cheap and accessible to everyone, civilization would totally collapse because 99% of men, at least those under 40 or so, would use them to spend every waking minute of every day having sex.

      Hermes

      August 28, 2018 at 4:15 PM

      • it seems like Lion is trolling

        Yeah, it’s all a bit disappointing because it doesn’t seem like Lion is enjoying the show as much as he might have wanted to.

        S.J., Esquire

        August 28, 2018 at 8:38 PM

      • “Yeah, it’s all a bit disappointing because it doesn’t seem like Lion is enjoying the show as much as he might have wanted to.”

        I need to write a post about that…

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 28, 2018 at 10:03 PM

      • “… it seems like Lion is trolling us with the constant references to sexbots in episodes that aren’t about sexbots at all.”

        This episode showed sexbots, although it couldn’t be obvious about it on prime time in the 1960’s, however the implication was pretty clear. Que scene McCoy walking off in the sunset with two showgirls…

        Mike Street Station

        August 29, 2018 at 6:08 AM

  5. I just couldn’t take the episode seriously after the guy in the bunny suit, which was somehow more ridiculous than the guy in the big hairy creature suit in Galileo 7. I also fail to see how having one’s thoughts actualized would be entertaining. Sure SOME might be fun but we all have unpleasant involuntary thoughts from time to time. Talk about an OCD nightmare.

    The fight scenes were pretty good and the sexbot costumes were adorable.

    toomanymice

    August 28, 2018 at 3:17 PM

    • “I also fail to see how having one’s thoughts actualized would be entertaining. ”

      Obviously you’re not a heterosexual male who’s been on a spaceship for a long time.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 28, 2018 at 3:19 PM

    • “I also fail to see how having one’s thoughts actualized would be entertaining”

      No words…:)

      Mike Street Station

      August 28, 2018 at 4:48 PM

  6. Has anyone else noticed the anti-Irish prejudice in Star Trek? First, we have the drunken Riley in The Naked Time. Then we have the villainous madman Finney in The Court Martial. And now we have the bully Finnegan manifested from Kirk’s thoughts in Shore Leave. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if the drunken Riley wasn’t such a stereotype. But throwing that in there really makes the others stand out. Especially considering, as Leon points out, that a lot of these episodes are pushing an anti-bigotry message regarding vulcans/jews. Apparently, that tolerance doesn’t extend to the Irish.

    I’m only half joking. There really is something odd going on with that. It’s so obvious that I even noticed it as a kid.

    destructure

    August 28, 2018 at 6:24 PM

    • I agree, they were racist against Irish.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 28, 2018 at 7:27 PM

    • That is a good point that I hadn’t thought of. Maybe Roddenberry hated the Irish.

      Mike Street Station

      August 29, 2018 at 6:06 AM

      • I could see where that would be true. The Irish are generally physically tough, and often bullies looking for fights, whereas Jews, at least in the U.S., are seldom tough and physical. I went to college with an Irish guy who’d been bounced from Annapolis. He would walk into various frat houses and challenge everyone to fight. Italians are mostly lovers, which is why Jews have little animosity toward them, even if they look down on them intellectually.

        Commercial-Residential

        August 29, 2018 at 2:08 PM

    • Irish are lower class whites, just like always. Star Trek has lots of coded messages about appropriate white status.

      Artifact

      August 29, 2018 at 2:44 PM

  7. One of my favorite ST episodes. McCoy getting lanced was very traumatic for me as a 7 year old watching reruns in syndication.

    I have always felt the technology used by the aliens was the precursor to the holodecks.

    Paul Rise

    August 28, 2018 at 7:58 PM


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