Star Trek TOS S1E21: The Return of the Archons
Vietnam-era Kirk doesn't have much respect for indigenous rebels.
See the Star Trek TOS Rewatch Index page for links to all the episodes covered so far.
“RETURN OF THE ARCHONS” Rating: 6.0
“Return of the Archons” is a pleasingly shambolic outer space version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with 19th century dress and, somehow, even more blatant anticommunism. There’s a touch of horror, a dash of totalitarian dystopia, and more than a bit of farce.
Watching the episode this time, though, I was most struck by how the Vietnam-era plot portrays local resistance forces. The on-the-ground knowledge of resistors is vital, and our heroes would be dead and/or assimilated without them. Nonetheless, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) treats his local helpers with steadily consistent contempt. By doing so, he inadvertently calls into question his own status as heroic liberator.
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