The Great Star Trek Rewatch: The Lights of Zetar

En route to the Federation library on Memory Alpha, the Enterprise runs into a mysterious creature travelling at warp speed. The mere sight of the creature is enough to paralyse all of the bridge crew, but it has an especially potent effect on new lieutenant Mira Romaine. Has the creature formed some sort of link with Romaine, or is she just suffering the stress of her first deep space assignment?

Once again, I have to admit that, until I rewatched this episode, I barely remembered what it was about – and so it’s no surprise that, on seeing it again, I wasn’t overly impressed. Yes, this is another lacklustre latter half of season three episode, where nothing much happens for a while, and then just as the Enterprise crew manage to avert the danger and wrap everything up in a neat little package in time for a postscript in which Kirk banters with Spock and McCoy. So a lot like the last few episodes, except this is also the “Scotty is extremely patronising” episode. Our red-blooded Scotsman has taken a shine to Lieutenant Romaine, which mainly expresses itself in giving her bad advice, treating her like an idiot, and generally trying to make her as helpless and pathetic as possible. Kirk and McCoy are little better, referring to Romaine, a qualified member of Starfleet and the Enterprise crew, as “the girl”. She has a name, guys.

The Sexism of Zetar

  • The library outpost Memory Alpha is of course the namesake of the Star Trek wiki Memory Alpha.
  • Despite being placed in a high pressure chamber at two atmospheres, with a swift increase of one atmosphere per second, Lieutenant Romaine’s body shows no ill effects. Perhaps the aliens protected her?
  • Apparently, being extremely pliant is enough to allow aliens to take over your body – hence why none of the manly men of the bridge crew were affected.
  • Apparently no natural phenomenon can travel at warp speed, even though we’ve already seen various energy creatures travelling at warp speed. Some of them might qualify as natural phenomena.

Summary – The Lights of Zetar: Most boring episode to date.

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