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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s a video that hit my stream before I woke up this morning. It’s a mashup of my favorite Star Trek episode (any series), Balance of Terror, and Das Boot.
Here’s an interesting bit of trivia. When the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in DC had a Star Trek exhibit (1992-1993), I read that Roddenberry stated the Romulans represented the Soviet Union (the current threat), and and the Klingons represented China (the growing future threat). Both my uncle and I found this odd. We both always assumed that the Romulans were the Germans, and the Klingons were the Soviet Union. Romulans with cloaking devices resemble German U-boats (the episode was basically The Enemy Below in space), and they were enemies from a prior war. Klingons, on the other hand, were participants in a cold war with the United Federation of Planets. They had never had an actual war with us, but there were several near misses.
Now, if you go on Facebook, MeWe, Twitter, or any social media site, you’ll get disagreement on what on-screen cultures represent what real-world cultures. Everyone has an angry opinion about that. This video, however, is just another piece of evidence as to which position makes the most sense. No analogy will be perfect; it’s just a matter of finding the one that fits better than the rest. Racist makeup aside, there’s simply nothing about the Klingons that screams “Chinese communism” at me.
But back to the episode. Why is Balance of Terror my favorite?
Star Trek was originally about the morality play first and the bells and whistles of advanced technology second, but both were important. This one gave us both wrapped up in a tense combat with both personal and political consequences. What’s not to love?
Best episode ever.