airdate 02-27-02

During The Next Generation there would be commercials for episodes where Data the android would go berserk searching for emotions. They would run some three second clip that showed him acting way out of character, and it left you thinking that his positronic net had finally snapped.

Like when he was dating that engineering girl, and had written a bunch of sub-programs dealing with proper relationships. The tag line for the ad was a shot of Data pointing at his girlfriend and yelling, "Perhaps there is something wrong with YOU!"

Very dramatic.

Vulcan males are pretty much just like human males.
But that scene was taken completely out of context. Data hadn't snapped with robot love; he was running a program to artificially cause a fight within their relationship. His research proved that making up after breaking up strengthens the couples' love. (This is not why real women start fights, however. It's not artificial -- YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG, like watched Enterprise when you should have been rubbing her feet.)

This same out-of-context commercial ran to promote this week's Enterprise, but in a much more perverse manner. As advertised, a group of emotion embracing Vulcans hop on board the Enterprise, and one of them, Tolaris, becomes involved with T'Pol. But the whole scene where they nuzzle in bed (naked as two green skinned pointed ears can get) was all a part of T'Pol's unsettling dream sequence. (And ours, but that's another story.)

Vulcan foreplay.
The boys in marketing didn't think the actual thrust of this episode was something that would run well as a commercial. The Vulcan boy Tolaris couldn't keep his passion-loving hands off of our favorite alien hottie, and he forced her into a mind meld. It was an analogy for domestic violence.

And this is a good thing. At its best, Star Trek has been about the heavy issues. The original series is revered for having slipped by censors with storylines about race, prejudices and tribble abuse. On TNG, we saw Riker fall in love with an alien that lived in a uni-sex world, an analogy for gay rights. Deep Space Nine dealt with repression, and even had a running story line where Avery Brooks was a black writer in the early 1930's.

Bush and Cheney make cameo appearances.
Heavy issues are what the franchise is built on, not naked Vulcans rolling around in their quarters. Not to say there hasn't been an excuse or two made to attract more 18-35 year old males. Seven of Nine, Jadzia Dax, and of course, Deanna Troi - in the later seasons when she was wearing her Starfleet uniform.

But there were never shots of Troi's chest running as ads. The boys over in marketing need to start watching the episodes they promote, and actually advertise what we see. Because if we want to get off on naked Vulcans there are plenty of places on the Internet, starting with Everythingispointed.net, moving on to NakedVulcanGirlies.com, and FanboyPlanet Editor Michael Goodson's side project, TPolsPanties.com, though really, we could all probably do without seeing him in Vulcan underwear.

Hmm. Okay. I'll take the disturbing dream sequence instead.

Kevin Miller

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