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Strange New Worlds 

Wednesday, Aug 31 2011
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In 1969, in one of the final episodes of the original Star Trek series, the writers beamed hippies aboard the Enterprise. Hippies. In Stardate 5832.3. "The Way to Eden" begins when freethinking young people try to escape the Enterprise in a stolen spaceship, barefoot. They don’t wear shoes in space. One of them tells Captain Kirk, deadpan, that they “recognize no authority save that within ourselves,” and they bond with Spock, who plays psychedelic Vulcan lute in a jam session in quest quarters. How did you not know all this? Sulu nearly has free love with someone barefoot. The hippies seek the planet Eden, which is possibly a reference to the Garden of Eden — yes? After square-jawed hippie Charles Napier (later to be cast as Rambo’s commanding officer) sings far too many songs for any viewership save an intoxicated one, the hippies beam down to Eden, but the lush plants are poisonous, and hippies die — which is really saying something bitter about the ideals of the young generation when the show aired, don’t you think, Gene Roddenberry? Who hurt you? In any case, if any Trek episode needed to be redone with live actors and presented in a tiny theater that recognizes no authority save that within itself, it’s this one. Star Trek Live: The Way to Eden also has a video trailer hinting to its genius, set to Gil Scott-Heron’s music with rehashed “the Federation will not be televised” lyrics. Spock plays bass, which is the least amazing thing about it. Go make it viral, then find paradise at Eden.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Sept. 2. Continues through Sept. 24, 2011

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Michael Leaverton

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