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Episode A.21: How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth


Yep. Only one episode of any of the original cast series of Star Trek won an Emmy award, and it wasn't any of the original live action series. "Balance of Terror"? Nope. "Amok Time"? Nope. "The City on the Edge of Forever"? Nope. It was this episode of The Animated Series.

I suppose it recycles so many of the storylines of original series episodes that we've already seen multiple times that it can stand as a proxy for about eight different episodes.

The idea is actually cool, and using a Meso-American deity rather than a European one is a nice touch, but introducing Ensign Walking Bear for one episode just so he can handily be present as an authority on all native American cultures is a bit awkward. And Kukulkan is yet another one-dimensional arrogant semi-omnipotent being. And the resolution of the whole encounter leaves a lot to be desired.

Nevertheless, I have fond memories of this one from when I saw it as a child. I just thought the whole talking winged snake thing was awesome. Which it is, really.


Captain's log, Stardate 6063.4. Tracing origin of a mysterious probe that scanned Earth.
Arex: Alien vessel has trapped us.
Walking Bear: Kukulkan! Who left Earth and promised to return!
Kirk: Ensign Walking Bear, explain.
Walking Bear: As a Comanche I have studied my ancestry, so of course I know all about Mayan culture.
Spock: Fortunate you were on duty and not Mr Sulu.
Kukulkan: {off panel} Solve my puzzle before I talk to you!
Kirk: Turn the snakes to face the pyramid!
Walking Bear: Erich von Däniken never figured this out?
Kukulkan: I showed you how to build pyramids, and you never called me! Ungrateful children!
Kirk: You don't happen to know Apollo, do you?
Kirk: I saved you from this Capellan power cat that we released! We're grown up now and don't need you!
Kukulcan: I am sad, but shall leave you be.
McCoy: There's a line from Shakespeare...
Kirk: How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child.
Spock: This episode won an Emmy??

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