Monday, May 4, 2020

Review of "How Sharper that A Serpent’s Tooth," episode 5 of season 2 of Star Trek: The Animated Series

Review of

How Sharper that A Serpent’s Tooth, episode 5 of season 2 of Star Trek: The Animated Series

Five out of five stars

Powerful point for diversity

 All evidence indicates that humans have an  instinctual desire to create gods. Many of these creations, such as the Greek gods, are based on humans with greater powers, yet still captive to human emotions. However, there are some that are not augmented humans.

 Some of the gods of the Natives of Central and South America were not derived from humans, many of them were essentially of animal form. One specific example is Kukulkan, worshiped by the Mayas and depicted as a feathered serpent. Another origin theory for the human development of gods is that they were space travelers that landed on Earth and interacted with humans.

 This episode uses a combination of the space traveling god along with the Mayan god Kukulkan. The Enterprise encounters a spaceship that has the shape of a serpent and it is recognized as Kukulkan by Native American bridge crew member Walking Bear. Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, and Walking Bear are transported onto the ship into what appears to be an ancient Mayan village. They are told that this is a test of their reasoning skills. It also becomes clear that the creature expects to be once again worshipped as a god.

 The Enterprise crew members solve the puzzle while Spock is able to break the containment field holding the Enterprise. This combination overwhelms Kukulkan and it is forced to release the Enterprise and drop the pretense of godhood.

 A Native American appearing on the bridge and being essential to the survival of the Enterprise is a powerful point in favor of diversity. Featuring a “god” that is not based on Greek-Roman mythology is another powerful point in favor of diversity. Finally, the “god” of the story has a non-human form, a cultural fact that is sorely neglected in western education.

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