The Way to Eden (Star Trek TOS)
Ah, the third season of the Trek Original series was and is considered the worst season of the TOS era of trek, and for good reason. The third season saw the departure of most of the writing staff and Gene Roddenberry, who at this point abandoned the show. The show lost most of its strength in the writing department. Fred Freiberger took helm of the show and the episodes dipped in quality.
The Way to Eden pretty much sums up the problems in the plagued the rest of the season. Eden is about Space Hippies. That’s right you heard correctly. The episode is about a group of space hippies taking over the Enterprise. These aren’t genetically enhanced soldiers or powerful aliens, but weed-smoking teenagers. This is a stupid idea that is just comes across as embarrassing.
Did I mention the space hippies also sing throughout the entire run of the episode? They sing some very hippie songs. At one point, Spock joins them in a jam session.
One of the other aspects of the 60s culture that saturates this episode is the total disgust from the Starfleet officers. There is a total culture clash between officers and hippies. I have to wonder if Fred Freiberger brought some of his political views against the youth counter-culture in this episode? It just comes across as very narrow-minded by today’s standards. If this episode were made today, the hippies would be religious nuts from a right-wing side.
Then, there is the concept of the acid filled planet with the plants and grass being painful to the touch and there is poisonous fruit. Also, the planet they seek (Eden) is inside Romulan space. But, no Romulans show up.
The episode is boring and stupid. How did the space hippies take over the ship? This is something not even Kahn could do. If you want to watch it for the camp factor, by all means check it out.
-Charles Napier guest stars in this role. He looks so young! He also sings most of the songs in the episode. He’s a great character actor.
-There are a few aliens among the hippie group. That is a nice touch.
-Herbert-Herbert!: Man, that got really annoying.
FX updated clips
Actually, this is a very nice FX shot from the re-mastered episode.
In the future, all singers have the Auto-tuned gene in them.
Kirk: “What is that horrible noise?”
Spock: “I believe that is the song from the alien monster Lady Gaga called “Born This Way.”
_________________________________________________________Kirk: “If we don’t stop this Gaga music, she’ll destroy the entire ship!”
Spock: “Agreed, Jim. But how?”Kirk: “We need to start playing some Madonna music to counter the Gaga stuff. Quickly, go to my quarters and get my music card.”
_________________________________________________________Spock: “Wait, you have a Madonna music card?”
Kirk: “Greatest hits, damn it, Spock.”
The entire ship is destroyed by the Gaga noise.