Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 20

The Way to Eden

Aired Unknown Feb 21, 1969 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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out of 10
172 votes
  • Turn on, tune in, and drop out! The hippies are feelin' groovy. It's the Brady Bunch on acid meets the Manson Family, and they're sticking it to THE MAN, er, Captain Kirk. Spock can grok it, tho.

    Seriously, though. This is a really bad episode that almost deserves the "Jumping the Shark" rating. It's approaching the "Poochy" level of badness of adding some "hip" and "relevant" characters to try garnering falling ratings. It both capitalizes on the hippie movement and critiques the hippie movement at the same time. How's that for confusing?

    Chekhov's girlfriend has perhaps an even more hokey accent than he does and the two of them have even less chemistry than Anakin Skywalker and Queen Amidala in Episode II. Talk about painful to watch. They're wretchedly bad.

    Meanwhile the show manage to include a few musical numbers lip synced and played on prop swords with strings and bicycle wheels. Amazingly these instruments sound like guitars. Spock's Vulcan instrument sounds like a guitar with a little bit of organ in the background. Those are some hep space cats. The groovy spell their music casts on the crew is funny. The people dancing and grooving to the music look really awkward. Also the "Wilma Flinstone" girl in the band (you'll know who I mean when you watch) looks a little out of place and embarrassed.

    Meanwhile, any sense of why these kids might be doing what they're doing is completely missing. Though there was a reference to "Planet Tiburon," it's about as much context as we get. Tiburon is a rich, white enclave in the Bay Area across the bay from San Francisco. Presumably, many of the rich white parents of the 60s were confused as to why their promising and smart kids were hanging out in the Haight-Ashbury or Berkeley and rebelling against authority, dropping out of school (or life), smoking a lot of dope, having a lot of sex and "ruining" their upper-middle-class achievement potential.

    At least the hippies of the 60s had some legitimate reasons for rebellion, even if a good number of them were simply protesting so that they could smoke more weed and make more love. Certainly it can be argued that the Vietnam war, minority civil rights, womens rights, free speech, and environmental concerns were all issues that deserved to be addressed. Who can blame hippie kids for feeling they had to create their own culture in opposition to a culture that refused to address many real issues and pushed to maintain the status quo. That, plus they were feelin' groovy and indulging their hedonistic side.

    But since The Enterprise and The Federation is pretty much portrayed as a Utopia (aside from a few jerks in Star Fleet Command and women being mini-skirted and sexified), why are the kids starting a counter-culture? There is something vague about computers in there, but is there any reason they'd doing anything beside simply indulging themselves?

    It's a weak episode, though entertainingly bad at times.

    You've also got to love the one hippie dude's prosthetic elephant ears.
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