Star Trek TOS S1E15: Shore Leave
Down the rabbit hole to boring genre fare.
See the Star Trek TOS Rewatch Index page for links to all the episodes covered so far.
“SHORE LEAVE” RATING: 5.6/10
Shore Leave deliberately takes a vacation from the usual Trek formula of suspense and science-fiction. Foreshadowing many a Next Generation holodeck episode to come, the plot is a whimsical fantasy romp. Renowned science-fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon clearly had a great time throwing tigers, samurai, and giant rabbits into his supposedly future tech script.
In pushing the edges of what could be in Trek, though, Sturgeon also inadvertently showed just how rigid and narrow many of those edges were. A Star Trek episode about anything you can imagine somewhat disappointingly reveals that a network show in the 60s could imagine little beyond banal daydreams and stale genre fare. The episode gestures towards Lewis Carroll’s bizarre rabbit hole, but never goes down it.