The players are strutting and fretting and the stage is set for MURDER as we catch “The Conscience of the King”!
Author and game designer Robin D. Laws joins the show this week as we investigate an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series that’s a little bit noir, a little bit Shakespeare, and 100% SPACE MYSTERY! When Kirk meets an actor that he suspects is Kodos the Executioner, he invites the former governor and his troupe aboard. But, when the bodies begin piling up like Act V of Hamlet, he’ll have to confront his past connection to the massacre on Tarsus IV . . . and an unexpected assassin!
Our examination of low-rated but high-quality Trek episodes continues with this “talky” tribute to epic pathos and noirish fatalism, where the “bad guy” is sympathetic, the hero is devious, and the femme fatale is extra fatal. During the show, we talk about Trek’s intersections with the Bard, how to light your ship for “noir”, the police procedural roots of Trek, finding emergent play in RPGs, Kirk getting a little “Bond”, and the parallels between Shakespearean dialogue and technobabble!
Plus, we discuss the lethality of Windex, having red wine with fish, the classic “half-a-fur-coat” look, the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, sexy diegetic cocktail themes, Star Trek: Discovery as a Belgian Sour, the return of the Myth of the Sexy Kirk, Last Unicorn’s Trek RPG, Aaron talks his dissolute actor past, and Robin plants a maple leaf flag in William Shakespeare! This show is the stuff dreams are made of!
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Listen to “Season 3, Episode 13: “The Conscience of the King” (TOS) with Robin D. Laws” on Spreaker.