Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 10

Plato's Stepchildren

6
Aired Unknown Nov 22, 1968 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

7.2
out of 10
Average
149 votes
  • Why is this one so badly rated?

    8.5
    A group of aliens who influenced Earth and later fled, who adopted (cherry-picked) certain mannerisms of the Greeks develop telepathic and telekinetic abilities. They in turn act cruel towards one of their own who never developed the ability, and when one of their own gets injured need to bring in some help...

    The whole setup of the piece states it all. The Platonians are a despicable, ruthless lot. They repay Kirk's good intentions by humiliating and torturing him. Ditto for Spock. All to get McCoy to stay behind, and we all know that there is no way any of them would be let go anyway. There are some really gut wrenching scenes at work - never mind the low budget; it's that they play it straight and it's the ideas and acting that what count; a big budget only adds icing to the cake. When Kirk and Spock are forced to threaten Chapel and Uhura with whips and other means of torture, it's blood curdling. Spock's scene of reclaiming himself after the torment inflicted upon him by the Platonians is equally moving, and poignant. and the Southern states probably allowed the kiss scene because it was more "torture" provided by the Platonians and therefore not "real" in the eyes of censors, who half the time don't know what to think anyway. Sci-fi allows expression and Trek (the original) has always done it best. One way or the other, the kiss is a milestone in TV history and I'm glad the actors and production team were so daring. And that, just as much as the plot, makes this installment very worthy.

    Once 'the big three' fathom how to beat the Platonians at their own game (which makes one wonder about McCoy's medical bag of tricks and how big it is, but otherwise...), Kirk and Spock see right through the empty promises of the Platonians. As usual, Star Trek (the original )delves into human behavior (and not telling people how TO live, which is what all the spinoffs preferred to do). Most people heckle this one because it's third season and who likes Kirk anyway? (apart from me and other people who can enjoy the series for what it was all about, and the context it was made in - not bad for a person who's half the age of a Baby Boomer...)

    Oh, and for Kirk to play a horse as the latest form of torture imposed by Parman, he does a superb job. Intercutting with Michael Dunn as Alexander packs home the point as well (Michael Dunn's performance also makes this episode a solid, worthy piece.)
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