Monday, August 01, 2016

TLR Chats With Author Will Stape About Star Trek Sex

It's hard to believe that Star Trek officially reaches the half century mark in September.

Creator launched a TV show in 1966, which, despite being compellingly unique, lasted only three seasons. it became the television series which not only wouldn't die - it spawned copious novels, an Animated Series, comic books, video games, feature films and countless other collectibles.

I rarely discuss non movie related stuff on TLR--but thought you guys might want to know about this. Author William Stape's new book is available just in time for Trek's 50th Anniversary bash, a new movie Star Trek Beyond, and a new TV show coming in 2017--called Star Trek: Discovery.

I caught up with him recently for a reunion.  We met in college, just as the first trek episode he wrote was being broadcast on prime time TV.  These days, Will's on a promotional tour for his book, Star Trek Sex: Analyzing the Most Sexually Charged Episodes of the Original Series, published by BearManor Media.

OK.  First things first.  Let's get this out of the way.  Why are you so sex crazed about Star Trek?

(laughs) Maybe I am.  I'd really like to ask that question of Gene Roddenberry, if I could.  In fact, after some accused Star Trek of treating women as sex objects, Gene said this during a lecture in the 1970's, " be fair, we will continue to use men as sex objects as well. I’ve played one myself. It’s great fun.”

I think it really sums up Trek's playful and fun treatment of sex and sexuality, something I tried my best to put into my book.  Over the years, much has been made of Captain Kirk's roving romantic eye and his galactic love conquests.  The real truth is ST allowed much of its crew and alien guests to get randy and romantic in all manner of ways -  and even with all manner of species.  

What was the biggest surprise, if any, you got while writing the book?

More of a satisfaction and confirmation than surprise - just how well and mature and even relevant Trek's love stories still are.  These are tales where men and women (and others) are searching for and longing for the same kinds of romantic relationships you'd see in any time or era.  Like much of Star Trek, the romance is breathtakingly timeless.

Pick your favorite episode or moments, for sheer sexiness or plain, old fashioned romance.

For mind bending sci-fi sexiness, The Man Trap has to be my #1.  The episode is creepy and it utterly fascinates.  It encapsulates what great Trek can offer - mystery, adventure and a sense of the truly otherworldly.  

Joan Collins in City On The Edge Of Forever dazzles.  It's the most romantic Trek romp of all time.  Collins, in her lovely prime, weaves a physical chemistry with William Shatner's Kirk that's simply unforgettable.  Once again, by using a plot device like The Guardian of Forever and layering a temporal/time twist to the narrative, Trek infuses a cerebral sci-fi concept with the very human need for love and romance.

Is there room for more Sex in Star Trek in your future? In OUR future?  Another book?

I'd love to work on another volume!  Next Generation and Deep Space Nine aren't as purely sexual as the Austin Powers like vibe of the real 1960's with the original series, but there's definitely good stuff in all the incarnations of Roddenberry's cosmic vision.  As my favorite Ferengi Quark might say, "For every kind of flavor, there is a market!'

Longtime readers may recall that Will was my one time Blog Talk Radio cohort and is an occasional guest contributor for the blog. He wrote the original script for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that became Homeward--as well as the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine segment Prophet Motive. I hope he'll return to help commemorate Trek @50 before the year ends. You can follow him on Twitter @WillStape for updates including fun polls 

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