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YMMV / Star Trek S3 E10 "Plato's Stepchildren"

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  • Fair for Its Day: The famous interracial kiss is often criticized for its Unfortunate Implications, because they were Kissing Under the Influence thanks to aliens. Due to the racism of the time, the showrunners and actors had to fight very, very hard to get even that to happen — the executives ordered them to shoot alternate takes without the kiss (which William Shatner deliberately messed up every time by pulling faces), they wanted Spock to kiss Uhura instead (because he was an alien, so it didn't count), and they outright would not budge on allowing it to be consensual. Even so, stations in the Deep South refused to air the episode at all, resulting in it being the lowest rated episode of the entire original series.
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the suggestions for the "kiss scene" from the execs was to have Spock kiss Uhura instead. Cut to the Abramsverse 40 years later, and Spock & Uhura are in a rather passionate relationship involving significant amounts of kissing.
  • Moment of Awesome: Alexander's realization, after having gotten to know the Enterprise visitors, that he is worthy of respect as an individual.
    He's right. I should have warned you. They were treating you the same way they treat me, just like me... only you fight them. All the time, I thought it was me — my mind that couldn't move a pebble. They even told I was lucky they bothered to keep me around — and I believed them! The arms and legs of everybody's whim. Look down. Don't meet their eyes. Smile. SMILE! Those great people... they were GODS to me. But you showed me what they really are. Now I know... Don't you see? It's not me or my size. It's them! It's them! It's them!
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  • Narm: Some of the "terrible" things the crew is forced to do come off as more silly than menacing, especially Kirk acting like a horse while being ridden by Alexander.
  • Older Than They Think: Contrary to popular belief, this wasn't the first interracial kiss on US TV. That honor most likely goes to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, with other contenders being Robert Culp and France Nguyen and even an earlier episode of Star Trek, "Mirror, Mirror", which had a kiss between Barbara Luna (who was Eurasian) and William Shatner. "Ah," you may think, "but it was the first black/white interracial kiss." Still, no. As far as can be determined, the first black-white interracial kiss was shared between Sammy Davis Jr. and Nancy Sinatra on Sinatra's 1967 TV special, Movin' With Nancy, where Davis plants a kiss on her after the two share a song. It does, however, appear to have been both the first white/black French kiss on American television, as well as the first white/black kiss on a seasonal television show as opposed to a special.
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  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The Kirk/Uhura kiss. Seriously. We humble Tropers can, in truth, probably not over-emphasize how big a deal this was at the time. Not only did the cast and crew have to fight tooth and nail to make it happen, but another facet to consider is that miscegnation laws had only been declared unconstitutional nationwide a mere sixteen months prior to the episode's first airing. It was still refused an airing in much of the country and made general news headlines. It's quite possible every interracial romantic moment on American TV in the following half-century owes a nod to TOS for being among the first to kick down that door at all. And yet today, the scene comes across as pedestrian and even kind of unfortunate in ways.
  • Signature Scene: For history, it's the kiss between Kirk and Uhura. For the fans, it's the scene where Alexander rides Kirk like an untamed horse while Kirk makes ridiculous bellowing sounds.
  • Theiss Titillation Theory: Gender flipped. The peplos worn by the women display the shoulders and arms, but are still modest compared to the scanty tunics Spock and Kirk are forced into.
  • The Woobie: Alexander, after being used for centuries as Parmen's Chew Toy.
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