Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 2 (1967-68)
SPOCK: Oh, yes. You humans have that emotional need to express gratitude. You’re welcome, I believe, is the correct response. However, Doctor, you must remember I am entirely motivated by logic. The loss of our ship’s surgeon, whatever I think of his skill, would mean a reduction in the efficiency of the Enterprise and therefore –
MCCOY: Do you know why you’re not afraid to die, Spock? You’re more afraid of living. Each day you stay alive is just one more day you might slip and let your human half peek out. That’s it, isn’t it? Insecurity. Why, you wouldn’t know what to do with a genuine, warm, decent feeling.
SPOCK: Really, Doctor?
MCCOY: I know. I’m worried about Jim, too.
Where Season 1 started with the well developed and complex relationships between the core triumvirate of Spock, Bones and that brash frat-boyish Captain Kirk almost immediately in place, it was the ambitious concepts and ideas within the stories that I found — while good right off the bat — just growing in stature, confidence and brilliance by the end. By Season 2 they were ready to go, with just so much great stuff to explore.
There was “The Changeling” episode, which I now realize was an early forerunner to my-by-far-favorite Trek movie, the first one, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, with it’s idea of a lost terribly-powerful probe looking for its creator. “Who Mourns for Adonis” posits that our ancient Greek Gods were actually aliens, who left the Earth and have slowly and sadly died off, having always desperately desired to again be treated as Gods (the kind of an idea a great filmmaker like Tarkovsky could work with). There’s “The Doomsday Machine”, the episode I found perhaps the most intense of Season 2 (as well as being one of the only episodes I actually remember as a kid), with a really memorable score and working with a favorite theme of the show, namely responsibility, both on the level of what that means in Captaining a ship (the guilt-ridden character of Captain Decker is a powerfully haunting figure) and on the global (Earth) level in regards to man’s obsessive determination to create a ‘doomsday weapon’ (i.e., nuclear bombs).
There’s also really interesting episodes further developing and revealing our favorite half human/half Vulcan First Officer Mr. Spock, with the season opener ‘Amok Time’ (written by one of my favorite authors, Theodore Sturgeon, who I learned created and introduced herein the ‘Live long and prosper’ Vulcan salute), in which the suddenly aggressive Mr. Spock is revealed to have to return to Vulcan and mate, or die. This episode does what only occasionally any of the films (such as the sixth entry — and second favorite for me — The Undiscovered Country) or the series do, and that is to reveal Spock at his most effective – a scary, imposing, almost supernaturally powerful and frightening presence who may not be driven by any attachment to human empathy or compassion. We also get a view of the brutality of Spock’s Vulcan world in this one.
And, of course, there was the amusing and fun “Trouble with Tribbles” episode. I’m so glad to not only be turning my daughter onto this show, but to get to see it for the first time myself!