Tag Archives: Sci Fi

Hey, Did You Know “Star Trek: The Animated Series” Was a Thing?

Even as an involved internet Trekkie for two decades, I was only vaguely aware that Star Trek: The Animated Series existed. It was a low-budget cartoon produced the early 1970s, intended to be a kind of fourth season for the live-action show. When I did hear about TAS, I assumed it was awful and just never cared… Until a few years ago, when I found out it was all original actors doing their characters’ voices! I saw a few episodes, but as part of this project to watch all the Star Trek ever, I definitely wanted to see it as a whole. There are 22 episodes, each about 24 minutes long, all currently available on Netflix.

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Star Trek’s Subversive Lady Guest Stars

Everyone talks about how sci-fi uses outlandish settings to veil their social commentary. The examples are often laughable, though. I can’t imagine anybody watching Star Trek‘s “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” and thinking “haha, what a ripping adventure which clearly has nothing at all to do with the civil rights movement!” Star Trek used the sci-fi excuse with people who didn’t understand the show, yes, but it goes deeper than those obvious plotlines. They — the showrunners, writers, actors — took more trouble than that. They slipped overtly-political stories in between wacky-space-hijinx episodes so people wouldn’t get too worried. They even popped a euphemistic gay-rights speech into an episode that was otherwise as boring as an episode can possibly be (“Metamorphosis”).

Still from "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," showing two aliens with half-black and half-white faces.

Still from “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” showing two aliens with half-black and half-white faces.

There are more examples of how hidden social statements actually worked, but the relevant one at the moment is how slightly-sexualized costumes for the female characters allowed them to disguise how revolutionary those characters’ positions really were. I talked about this way back in May before Comparative Geeks went self-hosted, but I’m now expanding on it because although I covered the recurring characters decently well, some of Star Trek’s edgiest stuff came from its guest stars. My favorites are T’Pau of Vulcan, the Romulan commander, and Dr. Miranda Jones.

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Binge-Worthy TV: Stranger Things

When Netflix dropped Stranger Things on July 15, I knew I’d have to at least give it a try. The show featured Winona Ryder, who I haven’t been able to get enough of since watching her refuse Christian Bale’s Laurie and embrace Gabriel Byrne’s Professor Bhaer in the 1994 adaptation of Little Women, and even better, it looked to be a little bit sci-fi, a little bit horror, and a little bit 1980s.

I wasn’t wrong, either.

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3 Wacky Star Trek Novels You Should Read

This started as a list of my favorite original-series Star Trek novels, and then it turned out my absolute must-reads are also the three weirdest ones I could think of, so here we are. I’m usually a stickler for characterization, I swear! They coincidentally move from earliest in time forward, and also from least crazy to most…

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Reworking Classics and Fairy Tales

So my thoughts about this are probably a little old, but there has definitely been an increase I feel like in reworking of classic stories and / or fairy tales. This is obviously nothing new as you could even say that Disney has reworked a lot of fairy tales because they definitely try and make the stories a lot happier than they really are. Recently though I feel like there have been a lot of stories that have been completely changed around, telling from a different perspective, and / or adding completely different elements to the stories.

One reason that I find this interesting is that we so often complain about the fact that there is no longer original content, that we are remaking so many things, and yet this increase of reworking classics has been pretty popular. So there are a couple ways I could talk about this, but here are a few of my favorite reworked stories. Continue reading