Talk:Plato's Stepchildren

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Highlight Reel[edit]

After a little google research, every use I can find of "Plato's Stepchildren" as a title for a highlight reel is authored by someone with the same name as the user who wrote that part of the article. Someone who thinks he's clever is trying to get his oh-so-clever wit into the lexicon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


I #think# when the BBC showed the original series a while ago this was one of the three episodes they decided not to broadcast.

It wasn't shown in the original screenings back in the late 1960s/early 1970s or in the repeat runs. The 1992-1994 repeats of the entire TOS included all three previously unshown episodes. Timrollpickering 11:30, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Were the 1992-1994 repeats on the BBC or were they shown on Sky? (talk) 19:25, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

The Kiss[edit]

So did Shatner and Nichols actually kiss, even though it was not seen on screen? NorthernThunder 09:24, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Of course, in all that talk about inter-racial - is hispanic a race ? And does half-French count as non-white ? -- Beardo 08:06, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Some of the counterexamples given here sound a bit disingenuous. When people talk about this being groundbreaking as TV's first interracial kiss, they're referring to a mouth-to-mouth kiss, not a quick peck on the cheek or forehead. WaxTadpole (talk) 17:36, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Who wrote Maiden Wine?[edit]

Does Spok's Maiden Wine song come from some Star Trek writer's head, or is it cribbed from some old book? Google only seems to turn up this episode, but I wouldn't necessarily expect it to turn up a line from an old medieval ballad or whatnot. -- Epastore 15:25, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I read somewhere that Leonard Nimoy wrote the poem himself, and that it appears in one of his books of poetry. Can't find the details on it, though. — Loadmaster (talk) 22:45, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Nimoy sings it on his 1969 studio album The Touch of Leonard Nimoy (to a slightly different tune), which implies that he did indeed pen the words. — Loadmaster (talk) 00:36, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Spock/Uhura Trivia Point[edit]

I made a slight correction to the blurb about Spock being scripted to kiss Uhura. Shatner discussed that in "Star Trek Memories," and I'm 99% certain that he and/or Nichelle said it was supposed to be Kirk/Uhura in the original script, that the Spock/Uhura change was suggested (or may have even been temporarily implemented) during all the fights over that scene, and that Shatner finally put his foot down and said, "No, I'm doing it." Unfortunately I don't have a copy of "Star Trek Memories" handy any more - I loaned it to someone I haven't seen in about five years - but if anyone else still has a copy I know it's all in there somewhere, so that we can get that point properly cited (and be 100% certain it's correct). --Zequist 15:13, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

The problem was Spock's popularity. You can find a cross reference in Nimoy's I am Spock. These days they're all friends, but back then they were working for a living and competing for airtime and money. Shatner was hired to play the lead and he served his ego (and pocketbook) at the expense of the others. It was dog-eat-dog. Initially, Spock kissing Uhura was considered "Safer" than Kirk kissing her. Spock was not only green-ish, but alien, and impotent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 18 August 2009 (UTC)


I placed a "dubious" tag on the claim in the article that the episode is loosely based on the story Telek because the reference given is the The Encyclopedia of Speculative Fiction article on the episode, which, like Wikipedia, is an online publication that anyone can edit. I cannot find any reliable source in a Google search. It all appears to be opinion. If it is true, great, but let's see a reliable source. The writer of the episode deserves that. Thanks. 5Q5 (talk) 18:14, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

The link given was to a fan site/wiki, which just doesn't cut it as a proper cite. I scrubbed it and a agree with the above. Alastairward (talk) 20:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)


The spoken-word bit that Alexander speaks ("brekekekex, ko-ax, ko-ax") is a direct reference to "The Frogs," a play by Aristophanes. In the play, those syllables are repeated from time to time by The Frog Chorus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

"not really the first"[edit]

The section on the kiss begins with what is conspicuously someone's research project on interracial kissing. And without commenting on the quality of said research, the fact that the research had to be done at all suggests that many or even all of these prior incidents didn't "count". I question, for instance, whether presenting France Nuyen as an alien or Barbara Luna as a woman of no particular race was seen by anyone at the time as significantly "interracial". I also question whether Emergency – Ward 10 was ever seen in the USA before the days of videotape sales. The evidence presented suggests that the claim of priority is true within the confines of a kiss between black and white adults as a deliberate part of a US program. Mangoe (talk) 16:14, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

The fact that research had to be done at all doesn't mean that those incidents don't count, it just means that the whole thing isn't very important, but the nature of Star Trek fandom means that anything which makes Star Trek fans think Star Trek is important in the real world is going to get blown out of proportion. When one incident involves Star Trek and another, similar, incident doesn't, the one which involves Star Trek is always going to be mentioned a lot more simply because anything whatsoever related to Star Trek is going to get mentioned a lot more. It's how the Internet works.
Also. remember the whole verifiability-not-truth kerfluffle. Wikipedia shouldn't be showing false or misleading information just because a source says so. Claiming that that's the first interracial kiss is going to mislead our readers.
Furthermore, although you suggest that "the claim of priority is true within the confines of a kiss between black and white adults as a deliberate part of a US program", that is a highly qualified statement which is certainly not the way it's described in the article. And even your version of the statement doesn't include all the qualifiers that the claim is subject to--you'd have to say something like "within the confines of a kiss on the mouth between black and white human adult characters as a deliberate part of a US fictional program". Ken Arromdee (talk) 04:05, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate your objections, and I would agree there is room for improvement. My issue is with the research. Someone came along, apparently on their own, and hunted up various earlier examples which, to my mind, are not really equivalent cases. If we could find someone outside the Trek world to address this point, I would be much happier. So let's see: OK, there are many, many, many citations out there for "first interracial kiss". I don't think that this is something that only registered in fandom. Here's a bit more subtle view, though:

The first black-white kiss on American network television is often credited to the Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren" aired on November 22, 1968. The kiss occurred between Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Lieutenant Uhura (Michelle Nichols), an African American. It was the first kiss that was not sterotyped, in that Lieutenant Uhura was not a maid, housekeeper, or some other variant of the mammy caricature. [....] Star Trek did in fact feature other interracial kisses: in the episode "Space Seed" (1967) a white woman fals in love with and kisses a Hispanic. On December 20, 1968, shortly after the Shatner–Nichols kiss, in the episode "Elaan of Troyius" Shatner kissed half French, half Vietnamese Nguyen Van-Nga. The fact that neither of these episodes received any particular comment would suggest that resistance was greatest to interracial kissing when it involved blacks and whites. (Citron, Lana (2011). A Compendium of Kisses: Facts, Quotes and Curiosities. Harlequin. p. 189. )

Obviously this isn't the best authority around, and one can find citations for the Sammy Davis Jr./Nancy Sinatra kiss and for the British case. But everyone seems to think that this is the one that mattered; I was unable to find anyone dismissive of that point. If we talk about the earlier cases, we need to avoid quibbling them to death, as was the case before. Mangoe (talk) 04:44, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
It really isn't true that everyone thinks it's the one that mattered. You have Star Trek fans (and people who repeat what they say third- and fourth- hand without researching, which the book you quote is) claiming it matters. You also have a lot of people who think it doesn't matter. But people who think something doesn't matter aren't going to bother talking about it (unless there was a market for Star Trek fan debunking, which there's not, or unless it becomes a political hot potato like creationism). After all, it's not important--people don't talk much about unimportant things!
The fact remains that saying that it's the first interracial kiss on US TV gives readers a false impression. We're not supposed to do that. If you don't want to mislead people, you need to either put all the qualifiers in (and there are so many qualifiers that putting them all in would look comical) or quote the other examples. Ken Arromdee (talk) 14:55, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, my problem with the previous version was that it too looked like a kind of fannish obsession, only of a different kind of fan. My personal reading of the evidence is that the various precedents that were listed before I excised them mostly represented situations which were either not truly comparable (all the non-blacks and the kiss on the cheek) or weren't seen in the US (the British case); the Sammy Davis Jr. incident is the only one that seems to have come close. Do we have documentation of a reaction to that? My sense is that Roddenberry and the actors thought they were doing something daring, and that the Paramount execs thought he was doing something risky (though of course that's filtered through the production crew), but that in the end there wasn't that much reaction, either because it wasn't seen by many or because people shrugged it off. I would tend to bet on the latter because if the former were the case, we would know of a later kiss which did draw a big reaction.
If you can point me to a reason to believe that people think that it was not the one that mattered, I'd love to see it, and I would especially like to see references for another one that did matter more. Right now I'm thinking that the best compromise version perhaps would be to say "widely (but inaccurately) reported as the first interracial kiss" in the text and put the list of precedents in a footnote. The old version came across to me as a fannishness battle between TV nerds and SF nerds, and it disrupted the flow of the text too much. Mangoe (talk) 18:04, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
The "goal" (claim) keeps changing as Star Trek keeps losing. The claim went from: (1) the first interracial kiss on TV; to (2) the first interracial kiss on American TV; then (3) the first white and black kiss on American TV; and now (4) the first interracial kiss on TV that "mattered" to "people."
  1. failed: that UK program beat Star Trek.
  2. failed: I just added info re. The Wild, Wild West having a white-Asian kiss (intentional & voluntary, not involuntary & coerced like here) over 2 years earlier. (But I guess to some (racists?), Asians don't "matter" (i.e., count).)
  3. it sounds like the Davis-Sinatra kiss beat it. (I'm not familiar with this, so will not say.)
  4. the latest standard: who decides what "matters"? How do you measure if something "matters" and to what extent? Who are these "people" who decide how much it "mattered"? Take a survey nowadays? Of whom? Can't go back in time and take a survey (of the entire US population?). Go by what people w/a bias or vested interest in the conclusion say (of those who are still alive) or said?
Seems like Trekkies, having invented this goal -- "Star Trek had the first interracial kiss on TV!" -- keep moving the goal (redefining it), in order to say Star Trek still wins. Trekkies should just admit they were wrong and be done w/it. Phantom in ca (talk) 04:44, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

File:Plato's Stepchildren kiss.jpg listed for deletion[edit]

A file that this article uses, File:Plato's Stepchildren kiss.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion to see why it has been listed (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry). Feel free to add your opinion on the matter below the nomination. Thank you. postdlf (talk) 13:43, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

misleading quote from a critic[edit]

The following, although sourced, is blatantly wrong. Kirk is forced by the telekinesis to kiss Uhura, it is not a decision of his to save the ship.

As one TV critic put it, "The underlying message was, 'If I have to kiss you to save my ship and crew, by God, I'll do it.'"[3

I'll remove it.--345Kai (talk) 19:56, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

poor episode[edit]

No one has mentioned that "Plato's Stepchildren" is a poor episode. It's contrived to Make Several Important Points, and is so heavy-handed that it's embarrassing. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 18:14, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

  • Well, calling it a poor episode is a matter of opinion, which is not proper for a Wikipedia article. Now, I agree with you -- I also think it is a poor episode, a VERY poor episode, the poorest of all original Trek episodes, but, you see, that is my opinion, not a fact. You can certainly link to a critical article, or such citation, where someone has called it a poor episode and state "Joe Bigshot, reviewing the episode for the Blah Blah Journal, called it a poor episode." See what I mean? Sir Rhosis (talk) 04:33, 7 April 2016 (UTC)


I cut the following sentence that seems to me like unimportant trivia. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:53, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Professional dancer Armando Gonzales doubled as Spock to perform the [[flamenco]] near Captain Kirk's head in the first act.<ref>{{cite book|last1=Okuda|first1=Michael|last2=Okuda|first2=Denise|title=The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future|location=New York|publisher=Pocket Books|date=1999|isbn=0671034758|page=379}}</ref>