Happy 50th Birthday to Star Trek’s Mirror Universe

Image: CBS

On Oct 6, 1967, Star Trek delivered an part that stays a bullion customary for together universes. Half a century later, “Mirror, Mirror” stays a undying idol of scifi storytelling, and one of a best episodes of Star Trek, full stop. Because as cold as a grounds is, it’s a sign of what creates Trek’s heroes so noble.

The bequest of “Mirror, Mirror” in 2017 is unquestionable. Beyond Star Trek, Mirror Spock’s sinister goatee combined a cocktail enlightenment icon, a now-standard visible language for communicating an immorality swap chronicle of a character. In Trek, of course, a Mirror Universe was revisited mixed times—on TV in both Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, giving us glimpses of what a Mirror Universe looked like before and after a classical episode, while large novels and comics have given us new insights by a lenses of The Next Generation and even a Kelvin Timeline movies.

But “Mirror, Mirror” could’ve unequivocally scarcely been nowhere nearby as impactful as it came to be. Early drafts for a story usually featured Captain Kirk being whisked divided to a strange, swap reality, one that was distant reduction sinister than a Mirror Universe we finished adult with—instead of arrangement us what happened to a Mirror counterparts eliminated to a “prime” universe. That’s something that would’ve attacked us of a final product’s biggest success, that was not only throwing a incomparable expel of a unchanging characters into a Mirror Universe (in a tangible part Uhura, Scotty, and McCoy all assimilated Kirk), though saying their mean counterparts flung into “our” world, too.

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“Mirror, Mirror” was ideally timed. It’s not an part that would’ve worked in Star Trek’s initial season, when we were only removing to know a Enterprise overpass crew. It thrives on being means to strongly expel a swap counterparts into such a extravagantly hostile characterization that saying Sulu clad in confidence red, stomping about a place, or Chekov so frankly contemptuous in his try to overpower Kirk’s authority (and a offensive cost he pays for unwell to do so—the anguish booth!) is so definitely jarring.

For all a laxity of a Mirror Enterprise’s environs, give or take a few majestic insignia, it’s a impression work on arrangement that unequivocally sells a grounds of only how messed adult and vicious this swap existence is. Our heroes are understandably repelled a notation they seem in a Mirror Universe, since of only how visitor a actions on arrangement are to them.

But a many effectively chilling work is with a one impression who isn’t so extravagantly opposite from their “prime” counterpart: Spock. Kirk jokes during one indicate that a Mirror Spock “is unequivocally most like a possess Mister Spock,” though in all seriousness, he’s right. While a rest of a expel has a whale of a time vamping it adult as their swap immorality selves, Leonard Nimoy’s opening is splendidly understated. Facial hair notwithstanding, Mirror Spock is unequivocally most like a Spock we know and love, cold and calculatingly stoic; he only happens to have had his dignified core totally flipped. And where a other Mirror versions of a organisation thrived on that immeasurable disproportion to their counterparts, Mirror Spock’s scary laxity is what creates him such a disconcerting impression to watch.

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At a finish of a episode, Spock Prime informs a returned Kirk and organisation that they detected a bad guys in their midst most some-more fast than a organisation of a I.S.S. (Imperial Star Ship) Enterprise managed to—because it’s most easier for good people to fake to be monsters instead of a other approach around. But what creates “Mirror, Mirror” such a undying square of Trek is a moments where a differences between a two, between cruelty and compassion, between togetherness in division, are most some-more formidable to spot.

So many happy returns, “Mirror, Mirror.” Please enclose a goatee and be an asshole for a rest of a day in celebration, everyone.

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