To boldly kick the ass of things... the asses of which... um... haven't been kicked... before!

>> Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wired presents a list of "Star Trek's 10 Cheesiest Classic Creatures." No, Wesley Crusher isn't on the list: this is classic Trek, or "ST:TOS" as we geeks like to say. ("Star Trek: The Original Series," for the non-nerds in my family who might drop by.)

The list includes some of the usual suspects, though it strikes me as slightly unfair that The Gorn is on the list. I like Gorn. Yeah, I know: listen to me. Well it gets worse: one reason I like Gorn is that they were one of the coolest races in Starfleet Command. Yes, I have now defended a Star Trek preference by making reference to a Star Trek computer game--you might want to see a doctor now; I can't promise it's not contagious.

The other thought I had going through the list was something I hadn't picked up on before. Wired's fifth choice is "Redjac" from the episode "Wolf In The Fold." What is Redjac, and why is Redjac so cheesy, you ask? Because:

As it turns out, Jack the Ripper was actually a swirling pool of colorful clouds that traveled with humanity into space, killing ever more women and taking on ever more stupid names. It takes control of the Enterprise's computers, and is defeated by a combination of Bones injecting everyone with happy juice and Spock telling the computer to calculate π to the last digit.

Hey, yeah, I remember that episode! But I'd forgotten the part where Redjac turns out to be a "swirling pool of colorful clouds." What I did remember about "Wolf," that isn't mentioned in the Wired article, is that the episode was written by a man named Robert Bloch....

Oh, now I'm being coy. Who the hell do I think I'm kidding? Robert Bloch is only a horror/fantasy/SF legend. He's only the guy who wrote Psycho, after all. (I think Alfred Hitchcock may have made a movie out of it... dammit, there's that faux "coy" gimmick again.)

And here's the interesting connection I made that I hadn't before: anyone who's seen "Wolf" and is familiar with Bloch's work knows that Bloch had a thing for Jack The Ripper--one of Bloch's most famous short stories is "Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper," itself a tale that's been adapted into several TV and movie versions. But it's also a well-known fact that Bloch was one of H.P. Lovecraft's protégés--Bloch and Lovecraft even killed each other in a pair of short stories (Lovecraft's killing of Bloch, by means of an avatar of Nyarlathotep, can be read here, among other places.)

And one of HPL's most famous stories is, of course... "The Colour Out Of Space," in which an amorphous pool of extraterrestrial color crashes in New England and kills a farmer's family....

Well I'll be damned. How did I miss that for so many years? Nice one, Mr. Bloch.


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