The Return of Archons

The complete Star Trek Original Series was a very fantastic show, even marvelous. I mean the themes they choose for episodes and the visual effects and surrounding settings are amazing. What is more surprising was the show dated back to late 1960’s. Really the team of Star Trek has done a marvelous JOB.
In this episode “The Return of Archons”  we could see the suppression of freedom, individualism, creativity for a peaceful, tranquil society and universal good.
I am going to explore some of the concepts in the episode. Here is the short synopsis of the episode..
The Enterprise discovers a planet where the population act like zombies and obey the will of their unseen ruler, Landru.
Here is my synopsis – the episode begins with Mr. Sulu exhibiting strange behavior after beaming up from the Beta-III planet who are almost similar in appearance and thinking to humans. The entire Betan populace is controlled by Landru and his philosophy of ruling the Betan populace is peace and tranquility – the universal good. He does this by controlling the minds of its populace, except there are a few people who can resist mind controlling to certain extent. Over the course of 6000 years, the society becomes One or it seems so. Everyone is used in the service of the Body(the whole Betan Populace), who ever deviating from the course are severely punished by death. The society seems perfect on the surface means there are no wars only peace, tranquility for 6000 years except the society is Soulless. There is no individualism, no freedom, no creativity which means the society hasn’t changed at all for 6000 years. By the end of the episode Kirk and Spock realize that Landru is not a being, it;s a machine designed to control the minds of people and change their behavior for the Good of the Body. That machine was created and programmed by Landru who died 6000 years. By asking several questions to Landru, the machine by Kirk, he teaches Landru that he himself is evil and destroying the Good of Body. So it self destructs itself. USS Enterprise leaves the BETA-III with some crew on the planet who guides for the restoration of the BETA-III culture to a more human form.

Stray Observations:

And the strangers are not  of the Body.
The society functions like a complete body, with each member of the society a part of it. So every member must submit to the will of the Body, there should be no deviations. It’s like complete control of something which should perform only the thing it has specified to do. Something like, programming a device to do something. Any fault in the program hurts the whole device. So everything must be absorbed into the Body. The question we should really ask is ‘Are we humans can be controlled to perform something like of the Body ?’ The obvious answer is a BIG NO. Our History is the evidence for this. We hate being under control from our very bones. Wars has been fought because of this.
Red Hour – Festival
In the episode there is a festival called Red Hour which offers members of the body or Society (the Betan Populace) a way to escape from the Body’s Behavior. Debauchery, Fighting, Sex, etc.. all those emotions and thoughts are being repressed all the days except at the Red Hour. It’s like an escape from the perfect, mundane functioning of the society. There is thing about repressing emotions, it’s kind of always lead to negative things, negative actions. Maybe we must be always cautious about controlling things. Not handled properly it could lead to many bad happenings.
Evidently they are not prepared  to deal with outright disobedience. They’re communing. We have time. Come with me.
When the first Archons, they were free, out of control,  opposing the will of Landru.  Many were killed.  Many more were absorbed.
What would we do when we encounter things which don’t happen regularly like a Black Swan. We try to deal with it but the process is a very complex one. First we get terrified, confused, and angry and then slowly we get used to that uncertainty and hen we think of some possible solutions. Life gets very messy during that period, relationships get strained, our thinking and assumptions are questioned. To be calm in those situations is very difficult.
You have come to  a world without hate,  without fear, without conflict. No war, no disease, no crime. None of the ancient evils.
Sometimes I wonder we strive atleast we think for peace and tranquility. The real question I guess we need to ask is, ‘ Is it possible to achieve peace and tranquility. What are the consequences ??’ I think the world would be more mundane and boring if the evil doesn’t exist. But the problem is the victims of the evil. It’s easy to always think, but being a victim of something and experiencing it is a really heart breaking experience.  It’s good every person has both the qualities and every person becomes a victim of something at some point of time. I really god help you to deal with it.

Sound waves.Stronger, they might have killed.  They rendered us unconscious.
There are already technologies that could use sound for making weapons. Using technology and morality questioning themes, the show makes it worthwhile to watch it.
The peace of the factory,  the tranquility of the machine, all parts working in unison.
I really hate to see society becoming like a machine without spark, creativity and some crazy things. The world is a wonderful place because some crazy things happen.

Well, there was war. The world was destroying itself.
It seems like our present day middle east always at war with countries and inner turmoil. While we can justify war to a certain extent, but continuous war cannot or never should be justified. If we are in a continuous war there is something wrong going with the people than with theories, economics.
It’s time you learned that freedom  is never a gift. It has to be earned.
While we cannot really define freedom, because it means different to each person, but roughly we can say freedom as doing what we want to do within some contextual limits. But freedom presupposes free will. Whatever, if you carefully observe we can point from history and individual lives that freedom is earned than given. We have to work for it. While we may never achieve true freedom, but the process/ actions done in pursuing the freedom makes us happy both individually and creatively.
What have you done to do justice to the full potential  of every individual of the Body?
A nation is peaceful and tranquil when the potential of every individual is realized. But it seems there is a paradox in the notion of ‘All we want is peace and tranquility’. Sometimes realizing the individual potential leads to the disturbance of peace and tranquility. For example you could take cases of terrorist, criminals, murderers. I guess we never can achieve a complete peace and tranquil nation with individualism and freedom as presumptions to peace and tranquility. But it seems this journey is worthwhile, yes there are always going to be victims maybe that is what life and evolution is all about.

One thought on “The Return of Archons

  1. I have carried my avatar name from at least ten years before this episode was aired, but I liked it. I thought the title was ‘Return Of The Archons.’ Must go check. Haven’t watched it in decades. 🙂


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