Assignment: Earth?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 28, 2008 in Star Trek |

Above is a debate from a recent episode of Larry King which is a debate if UFOs have been involved with missile misfires — the premise of the show gave me a bit of deja vu and the it hit me: This was the plot from the 1968 Star Trek episode Assignment: Earth:

“The starship USS Enterprise time travels to 1968 Earth for historical research. Suddenly, the Enterprise intercepts a highly powerful transporter beam from thousands of light-years away. A man dressed in a business suit materializes on the transporter pad. He carries a black cat with a diamond collar with one hand and a briefcase with the other. He converses with his cat, Isis, then introduces himself to Captain Kirk as Gary Seven.

Seven tells Kirk that he is an Earth human from a far more advanced world. His ancestors are humans taken from Earth over 9000 years ago and trained to intercede on Earth to help it survive. Seven refuses to reveal his home planet and warns Kirk that history will be changed and Earth destroyed if he is not released immediately.”

Star Trek - 1968 - Assignment: Earth

That episode was in fact a pilot for another series that Gene Roddenberry had hoped to produce, but sadly the show never got off the ground. But the concept of the episode mirrors the fear of a nuclear winter that shadowed the Cold War era, and the idea that a more advanced and enlightened civilization would save us from ourselves was very appealing.

Although I wonder of that premise is a bit egotistical of us? If the universe is brimming with intelligent life that was capable of interstellar travel then wouldn’t those aliens be so advanced as to be hands off when observing our primitive civilization? For example one of the things I always hate about nature films is that the crew never interferes. Never mind that I’m clearing rooting for a peaceful escape when a poor creature on Meerkat Manner is being chased by an eagle, the snotty apathetic humans never rescue our hero. So this begs the question why someone would want to save us dumb humans?

Unless of course you want to take that premise in a very different direction and assume that those creatures are humans from the future (ala the crew of the Enterprise from Assignment: Earth) have their own selfish survival at stake by mixing it up with our primitive civilization.

Now getting back to our current situation here in the early 21st Century: I wonder if this reintroduction of the concept of “aliens trying to save us” reflects a new subconscious fear that we’re once again on the edge of destroying human civilization? Between global warming and the new micro Cold Wars we see being introduced (like between India and Pakistan or Israel and Iran) I get a sense that that feeling of uncertainty about our collective future is back.

Comments are closed.


Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.