Friday, November 5, 2010
QUARK: "All The Emperor's Quasi-Norms"
Vorgon is accompanied by his daughter, Princess Libido, who finds herself instantly infatuated with the cold, Vegeton science officer, Ficus. ("Are you saying that Princess Libido is exhibiting that condition which you animals refer to as romantic affection at initial visual perception?") Meanwhile, Vorgon has convinced himself that Quark knows the location of It - a mysterious treasure that he greatly desires, and threatens to kill Quark's crew if he doesn't reveal Its location.
What I like the most about "All The Emperor's Quasi-Norms" is that, while it borrows character iconography from the old Flash Gordon serials (Vorgon the Malevolent - played by the awesome Ross Martin of The Wild Wild West - is clearly inspired by the merciless Ming), the story itself isn't a parody of a particular film or TV show. Most episodes of Quark were clearly based on specific installments of Star Trek or films like Star Wars and 2001, but "Emperor's" is more of a broad spoof of space opera in general.
Libido is nonplussed when Ficus fails to react to her passionate kiss, and Ficus must explain the differences between animal and vegetable love: "Libido, this is where we're going to have a problem.You see, where I come from, we don't kiss, we polinate." When asked to demonstrate, Ficus drops to the floor, lies on his back, sticks his arms and legs in the air, and says, "Bee bee bee bee bee bee bee bee bee bee bee...."
Libido joins him on the floor and they both chant. After a moment or two, Ficus asks: "Is it good for you?"
"I think so. Is this what you Vegetons find pleasurable?"
"It would appear so."
"What do we do next?"
"We wait for the bee."
Damn, I laughed just typing that. Needless to say, they are soon interrupted by her father, who is enraged that his daughter is pollinating with a Vegeton, and orders that Ficus be hauled away by the guards. This gives Kelton a chance to do his Sean Connery in Goldfinger impression:
"You know what others say? They say that I dwell too much on torture and murder. They say that I'll kill for the joy of it. They say I wipe out whole civilizations at the touch of a button."
"Are they right?"
This episode even has a couple of alien monsters that aren't too shabby by the (Sid & Marty Krofft) standards of the time, a predatory Lizagoth (great name!):
Benjamin is particularly good in this one though, and seems to really be having fun. He clearly enjoys sparring with Ross Martin, gets to demonstrate his skill at physical comedy in several scenes, and gets lots of close-in work with the twins.