It’s The Enterprise Vs The Pantheon in the episode that originally aired on September 22, 1967. This is Who Mourns for Adonais?
Captain’s Log Stardate 3468.1
After encountering a ‘giant hand’ in space, the crew of the Enterprise are kidnapped by beings who claim to be the ancient Greek Gods. Beaming down to the location of these aliens, Kirk and team are welcomed to Olympus where they meet the God Apollo who claims that the rest of the Gods have drifted into the cosmos. It is soon clear that this ‘God’ has no intention of releasing the Enterprise and, after Kirk and his team stir some inner turmoil among Apollo and his chosen lover in the form of Lt Leslie Parrish who has become smitten in him as well. Kirk and the others soon discover that the ‘Gods’ powers come from a nearby temple. Enterprise destroys the temple rendering Apollo powerless and the Enterprise crew is able to escape. In the end, however, it is still speculated that Apollo’s species may have indeed been the actual Greek Gods of old.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I really love the concept of this episode, What If the Gods of old were actually an alien species? I mean, this isn’t really a new theory, or even one that wasn’t considered when this was originally broadcast. The idea of Ancient Aliens being responsible for humanity’s evolution is a valid one, although, if true, I doubt they would still be running around in togas and calling themselves Apollo, Zeus and such.
The Gods in this episode are very aware of who they really are, even Apollo notes that he was ‘like a God’ to the people of Earth although they were technically not ‘Gods’. It is interesting to note though that Kirk mentions that they no longer have need of these particular Gods as ‘one is enough’ implying that humanity has embraced a single religion. The problem with this is that, according to Gene Roddenberry and the later canon of the franchise, Religion has been essentially removed from humanity at this point in the future as Humanity was no longer in need of mythology or a belief system because they could fully believe in themselves.
While Star Trek never really fully explored the idea of ancient aliens past this episode it was, in a way, picked up by another series by the name of Star Gate. In that series it was a full exploration of the Ancient Aliens theory, albeit, without the Enterprise…until later ish.
One aspect of this episode that I really love is the character development that is attempted in it, although not really continued as it should have been. We get to see Scotty in an actual relationship, much to Kirk’s chagrin for some reason, but what really stands out is Uhura’s engineering prowess. In this one, we see her manually repairing the communication station although she has ‘not dont this kind of work in years’. What is great about this is that this small bit of character building really shows how skilled of an officer Uhura really is plus it would later be lightly referenced in the Star Trek films.
Overall, this is a really cool episode that I really wish had been explored more fully. Heck, we should have had some reference or follow-ups in STNG or one of the later series. It was not to be so unfortunately.unless these are the Q as well? Maybe?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We never hear from these ‘Gods’ again, although technically they are still out there.
- I’m not sure why, but it seems like many of the women of the Enterprise tend to fall for aliens or powerful adversaries to ultimately betray the crew at some point. Seems a little forced if you ask me.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Amok Time
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Late To The Game 2/14/2022
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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