Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before
We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:
- Synopsis or summary of the episode
- Story structure
- Character analysis
- Our likes and dislikes
We’re going to discuss the Return of the Archons. And what we have here is the Enterprise visiting a peculiar planet where all sorts of odd things happen.
So basically it begins with Lieutenant Sulu and O’Neil on the planet. This is called Beta III. They’re on the planet, they’re undercover, they’re dressed in some 19th century garb, and they’re being surrounded by violent people. They’re walking like zombies. And two lawgivers.
These are men and hoods with staffs. So what happens is that Sulu makes an emergency call back to the Enterprise. They want to be teleported back, but O’Neil is captured. Sulu is brought some under some sort of energy field and his personality changes by the time he gets back to the Enterprise.
Now because this has happened, one man is missing and the other man’s personality has changed, and Sulu is talking about things like the body and Landru and peculiar things like that. So Kirk has to go down to Beta III and try to figure out what’s going. And there they find exactly what Sulu and O’Neil found, that the people are walking around like zombies.
They have flat expressionless faces with odd smiles. They talk in a very strange sing song manner. They don’t seem to understand anything. They don’t seem particularly intelligent, and they’re accosted by this guy called Bilar who asked them whether they’re there for the festival.
And Kirk has no idea what this is. However, he and the crew managed to get rooms in a nearby what is that, A hotel or something? And they witnessed what this festival actually is, it goes on from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM and it’s utter chaos. There’s violence, there’s debauchery, there’s screaming, there’s laughter.
It’s completely out of control. And when the clock strikes six in the morning. Everybody’s back to normal, zombie-like smiling stupidly and things go on as usual. So what happens is that Kirk knows that these people are under the control of something called Landru. And Landru, according to what he understands from Reger, who is the inkeeper for lack of a better word, the hotel keeper or whatever is a profit kinda individual who keeps the entire planet under his control, and Landru wants peace.
He wants stability. And he has gathered all these people under a singular personality trait. The characteristic. And he calls them the Body. And Landru now knows that Kirk and the crew are not part of the Body. Neither is Reger and there is an underground there. So Kirk interacts with the underground.
Basically what happens then is that they’re caught by the law givers. All sorts of things happen. Landru appears as a projection. He can’t hear anything Kirk says, so there’s a dead end there. And then Landru, because Kirk and the crew are not integrating into the body. Landru decides to take them away and have them mind wiped or brainwashed and then integrated back.
However, the person who’s supposed to do that procedure is also part of the underground and Kirk gets out. And then to cut a long story short, what happens is basically Kirk decides that he has had enough of this nonsense with Landru and he manages to get an audience with this character. And by now, he has deduced at Landru with his odd focus, logic and sterile environment he’s created has to be a computer. And so when he finally comes face to face with this large computer, Kirk being Kirk, outwits the computer and causes it to self-destruct, freeing all the people there. And finally, the Enterprise can leave.
That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!
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