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Episode 3.24: Turnabout Intruder

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Here we are, the last episode of The Original Series! Unfortunately, it's a bad one, which relies on awful sexist stereotypes that are woefully out of date now, let alone in the enlightened future of the Federation.

The line "Your world of starship captains doesn't admit women" has been the subject of much analysis and debate by commenters on this episode. One interpretation is that Starfleet does not allow females to attain the rank of starship captain - which was a glass ceiling that stunted Janice Lester's ambition. Another interpretation is that Lester wanted to travel with Kirk as "the captain's wife", but that this was not allowed by regulations. I've gone with the latter here for the sake of the joke.

When I began Planet of Hats, the goal was to reach this episode, and then decide what to do next. I have decided to continue with Star Trek: The Animated Series, after locating a DVD set available here in Australia. But next week will be the season 3 recap, followed by a few weeks break.

Transcript

1
Captain's log, Stardate 5928.5. Distress call from Camus II.
Coleman: Our expedition leader has radiation sickness.
McCoy: Maybe it's PLAGUE!
Spock: Your leader is a woman?
2
Coleman: Let me distract you by showing you something outside, Mr Spock, Dr McCoy.
Spock: Yes, Jim knows how to treat a woman when left alone.
McCoy: Hur hur!
3
Lester: Jim, I loved you back in Starfleet. But your world of starship captains doesn't admit women.
Kirk: Exactly. The ship's effectiveness would be reduced if I couldn't freely make out with alien space babes.
4
Lester: Check out this alien mind transfer device.
Kirk: What does it do?
SFX: ZAP!
5
Kirk's Body: Ha ha! Now I, Dr Janice Lester, will command the Enterprise! And you, James Kirk, will be stuck in a woman's pathetic body!
6
{Enterprise sick bay}
Kirk's Body: Keep "Dr Lester" sedated! Dr McCoy, you're off the case! Dr Coleman here will "look after" her! Ha ha ha!
7
{Kirk's quarters}
Kirk's Body: {filing nails} Mad!? What do you mean, mad?!
Spock: You are displaying erratic behaviour and hysteria. If I did not know better, I would say you were behaving like... a woman.
8
{Sick bay}
Lester's Body: Spock, it's me, Jim!
Spock: Mind transfer? That has never been done anywhere in the Galaxy.
Lester's Body: Except when I swapped minds with Sargon and you swapped minds with Henoch.
Spock: Oh, yes.
9
Spock: You are not Kirk.
Kirk's Body: I'll court martial you, Spock! This woman has tricked you with her witchy wiles! She's jealous of natural male superiority!
10
Scotty: The captain's actin' all emotional and out o' control, like... a woman. I believe Spock.
McCoy: Yes. We'll vote for Spock in the court martial.
11
Kirk's Body: Traitors! I'll execute you all! And all male members of the crew! Aaargh!!
Spock: The mind transference is wearing off.
12
Kirk: Poor Janice. Driven mad because she couldn't accept the female role in society.
McCoy: Yes. A good note to end this series on.
Spock: If only... If only.


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