Season 6, Episode 16 “That Which Survives” (TOS) with Darren Mooney

It’s ghost planets and undead beauty queens this week as we contemplate “That Which Survives”!

Author and critic Darren Mooney returns to the show to discuss an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series that continues the show’s third season’s themes of death and decay. The Enterprise has found a planet that should not be, but when the landing party attempts to explore it, the ship is thrown nearly 1000 light-years away. Now, Spock with have to race the Enterprise back before a beautiful and deadly woman delivers Kirk a touch of death!

The third season of Star Trek was beset by many behind-the-scenes crises and is often thought of as the show’s worst and most off-brand effort. But in fact, much of what we think of when we think “Star Trek” is present in the third season, and the repeated themes of infection, loss, and decay reflect not only the show’s immanent cancellation, but also the social upheaval and turmoil that was the societal backdrop of the late 1960s. On this episode, we talk about the brain drain present in TOS’s third season roster, the perhaps unfairly maligned Fred Freiberger, the development of Trek’s utopia in its third year, the show’s frequent cynicism about contemporary counterculture, the third season’s obsession with preserving order and status quo, how Trek presaged the depressing sci-fi or the ’70s, and why the Original Series wasn’t quite as progressive as its reputation suggests.

We also discuss pitching Michael B. Jordan, Viking samurai bikers, the Curse of Michaels Richards, jerkass Spock, double dates and Communism, TOS kids vs. TNG kids, Kirk and JFK, Spock’s calculator, comics as a building material, upping the sex factor, and a SPOOKY ghost planet!

For the world is hollow and Catwoman touched this guy!

Follow Darren on Twitter, listen to his podcast, read his blog, and check out his work on the Escapist!

Get your hands on Darren’s books!
Opening The X-Files: A Critical History of the Original Series
Christopher Nolan: A Critical Study of the Films

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Listen to “Season 6, Episode 16 “That Which Survives” (TOS) with Darren Mooney” on Spreaker.

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