Return of the Archons – Episode 22

This week, Rachel and Chris watch a creepy oldy-timey alien town, that looks a lot like earth in the early 20th century, do some ‘Purge’-like stuff, but then never talk about it again on the original series episode The Return of the Archons!

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Special thanks to Chad Fifer for our theme tune and to Greig Johnson for his vocal stylings!

Next episode: Space Seed!

6 thoughts on “Return of the Archons – Episode 22”

  1. As well as ‘talking a computer to death’ and first mention of the Prime Directive, another recurring Trek theme seen in this episode is the ‘perfect society gone wrong’ – Roddenberry had a utopian vision for Star Trek (that reached its peak in the first couple of seasons of TNG where he still had a major hand in it), but human endeavour and the human condition was at the heart of it. When you take away anything to struggle against or to challenge you, it takes away something essential from humanity. In ‘Return of the Archons’ the perfect society without conflict is achieved by removing creativity and individuals are subsumed into ‘the body’ – we’ll see something similar again within a few episodes where a perfectly passive society is a stagnant society.

    It’s a societal version of what we saw with the individual in ‘The Enemy Within’ – whereas a purely evil force may be ultimately self-destructive, a ‘perfectly’ good force is passive and ineffective. Both the positive and the negative are needed to make the whole (Star Trek V has another example of this with ‘I need my pain!’).

    I’m also picturing a post-credits sequence where the Enterprise’s Personnel Officer is fiddling with a soldering iron, circuit boards and wires, desperately trying to get Landru working again so that he can absorb McCoy again and cut the number of harassment complaints she has to deal with by 90%.

  2. No, not one of the great efforts, but “Are you of the body?” became an in-joke with me and friends in junior high school. We thought it was a funny, ironic and self-aware greeting, but, in truth, we were just fan-girls.

  3. James T Kirk, god killer.

    I always envisioned a series following the clean up crew. Once Kirk shows up and destroys a whole society’s cultural and hierarchical structure, the clean up crew comes in and has to sort it out. In essence, build a whole new society. There would be a whole planet full of academics working full time to clean up all of Kirk’s triumphs. 6000 years of habit be hard to break.

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