Is The Way to Eden *really* that bad?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Dale Sams, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    wherever I go
    The Way to Eden is in my "so-bad-it's good" category, though some distance behind Spock's Brain.
     
  2. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Outer Graceland
    Nice character moments for Chekov. Adults exasperated with the youth, but Spock sympathetic, that's a nice character touch too. Plus I like it, which has little connection with reason, I suppose. I like the music too; as noted above, that's a haunting "Yay, brother" moment over the fallen crew. The bicycle wheel girl, too. Yup, we reach, this episode and I.
     
  3. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    The idea isn't that bad at all and many of the themes are fitting for TOS.

    A disillusioned group, people seeking harmony with nature, disaffected outcasts turning their backs on technological conventions and authority, the common TOS idea of finding a paradise... these could be worked into a very Trekkian story.

    That they used an obvious analog of '60s hippies was perhaps too on-the-nose, especially dating it.

    TOS has used stand-ins for Communists and Soviets and Vietnam and other modern-day institutions with success.

    I wonder if "Eden" would have worked better if the story characters weren't so blatantly space hippies. If their ideas and purpose were similar, but maybe portrayed as something less obvious.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Location:
    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    I've never had a reactionary dislike of "The Way To Eden" and I was born in 1959. By 1970 when I first saw the episode I was already aware of hippy culture even if I didn't fully comprehend it. In the end it often seemed to me that the hippies and many (but not all) of the youth movement were rejecting established convention yet without any real alternatives.

    I didn't take the episode as a direct allegory of the times. I simply accepted it as an adaptation of the hippy or youth movement idea put into a science fiction story. Like "Spock's Brain" there is a worthy story at the heart of it, but like "Spock's Brain" it isn't fully explored and fleshed out. Star Trek was still essentially an adventure/drama and had to get on with the story. It's rather like The Dark Knight Rises getting cut up because it doesn't fairly and fully address the social divide between rich and poor---Hello! It's a comic book superhero story dressed up with some sense of "realism."

    Actually you might argue "The Way To Eden" gets its point across more clearly than The Dark Knight Rises.