For Valentine’s Day — 14 Star Trek TOS Romances; Both Awful and Wonderful.

Star Trek could be awfully romantic at times. And although most of the love stories featured Kirk, there was an occasional nod to lesser character’s love life. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I present to you 14 relationships that warmed or chilled our hearts. Be sure to relate your faves in the comment section. Happy Valentines Day ❤

Eve Huron and Ben Childress: Not the best love match. Why Eve stays with grumpy Childress is beyond me. She’s tough and has independence in her blood. She deserves better than a man who admired her only on face value and bitched about her cooking.
So let me get this straight–she knew and said outright that Ben was looking for a woman who was “selfish, vain, useless” yet since she ‘believed in herself’ she could look as beautiful on the outside without the Venus Drug? True love knows no ugliness. You’ll never convince me that in the whole universe there isn’t a better man for her than Childress! I’d like to think she ditched him after a year or so and started her own agricultural empire.
Khan and Marla McGivers: Alas, Marla is so enamored of this ‘superman’ from the past, she cannot see that he’s a total megalomaniac. Their first meeting in sickbay should have been a huge red flag as he totally disregards her professionalism, grabs her by the arm and plays with her hair. Sure, he might be a passionate lover, but playing passive-aggressive mind games with her later and forcing her to kneel before him and demanding her loyalty would make for a hellish, toxic marriage. If she accepted her court martial instead of exile with him, she very likely would have lived longer. And happier.
Spock, T’Pring, and Stonn: Marriage by decree and selective politics. Despite their great intelligence, Vulcans still would insist on antiquated arranged marriages for their progeny; giving no choice in their children’s lives as to who they might marry. It might be logical to help carry on the family line, but it is such an archaic and patrilineality system I doubt there would be any (secret) joy in it. I applaud T’Pring for listening to her heart, selfish as it was. I’m pretty sure Spock knew he didn’t want to marry T’Pring from the start, but came out of duty and the threat of death. As for T’Pring; Stonn wanted her, she wanted him.
Logical. Flawlessly Logical.
Kirok and Miramanee: Free of any Starfleet responsibilities, let alone his memories and actual name, Jim was free to have a truly loving and devoted marriage with Miramanee. Although she married him out of duty, you could see they were blissfully happy (despite Salish’s jealously). In the original script, Miramanee survived the stoning and gave birth.
I wish the the original script had held; imagine Kirk being a Daddy/Captain and running the Enterprise as well.
Zephram Cochran and The Companion: Zephram Cochran is initially appalled that the companion is a female and that he let her …crawl around inside me, into my mind, my feelings? … It fed on me. It’s disgusting!” Yet once The Companion inhabits and revises the dying body of Nancy Hedford, suddenly he “knows that I love her”. As Spock states “The matter of gender could change the entire situation.” This brings to mind the idea of unconditional love. No doubt it is very romantic and satisfying that The Companion united with a lovely, yet lonely young woman who had ‘never had love’ and as both entities finds lasting love with Cochrane. I bet if Metamorphosis was written today, Hedford could have been a non-human or even a human male and I’d like to think the result would be the same. For as the Companion/Nancy said: To touch the hand of man; nothing is as important.
Nona and Tyree: What Nona wants, Nona gets. This Kanutu Woman had power and passion. Did Nona love Tyree? Certainly she was aroused by him, as she did put him under a spell to make him want her, and uses certain herbs from “The night of madness” to ‘keep him’. However she wasn’t loyal, toying with Kirk right under Tyree’s nose. Did Tyree really love Nona? His anguished cry and passion for vengeance at her murder answer that question.
Spock and Leila Kalomi: Darn fun while it lasted wasn’t it? A blast of pollen was worth it just to see Spock cavorting in the woods and swinging from a branch! Although all this lusty playfulness was brought out by the spores, you cannot deny that under all the stoicism, Spock’s human half is not only as playful and joyous as any child, but to his astonishment, devotedly in love. You can see that he truly loved her and was happy. I wonder what happened during the transfer of Sandoval’s people to Starbase 27? Did Leila and Spock have more conversations? Did they settle on a (perfectly logical) friends-with-benefits package? Did Nurse Chapel climb the walls? Which brings us to…
Christine Chapel and Dr. Roger Corby: Christine tends to fall for men who love their work more than her. Roger is a brilliant scientist, but one has to wonder if he really loved Christine so much, WHY didn’t he make an android that looked like HER instead of Andrea??? You could understand Chapel’s jealousy of the scantily-clad, submissive Andrea. Would the real Roger have expected Christine to be the same? Turns our Roger was an android replica too, so you dodged the bullet on that one, Christine!
Christine Chapel and Spock: Pity the heart of unrequited love. Roger Who? Well, once she got over her late fiancé she couldn’t help but notice that tall glass of Plomeek Tea that was Spock. McCoy chided her “You never give up hoping do you?” (Shame!) but I have no doubt her love for him was real. When forced to kiss him by the Platonians, she protested, but you know darn well she was delighted. She slobbers all over his hands in The Naked Time declaring her love, to which Spock sincerely replies “I’m sorry, I am sorry!” for even if he consented to loving Christine his heart may be elsewhere.
Carolyn Palamas and Apollo: Honestly, if you had the choice between and Engineer married to his work or a Gorgeous Greek God, well Carolyn initially is very cool toward Apollo, but he charms her into his arms. She is dazzled by his glory and falls for him, and they are one. hot. couple. But does he really love her? I’m on the fence, on one hand he truly seems devastated when his power is taken away, yet he is still another power-hungry dictator who actually rapes Carolyn (in the original script, Carolyn becomes pregnant). Carolyn, stick with Scotty.
Spock and Zarabeth: Another case of Spock forgetting who he was, and Zarabeth was all the luckier for it! True, Zarabeth set her cap for the handsome Vulcan within moments of seeing him, and she was a tad manipulative (stressing ‘alone’). Again, Spock is astonished that he feels attraction to this woman, and together they indulge in bliss. Saddest part is he couldn’t take Zarabeth with him, but he couldn’t deny he had regressive passion for her. I wonder how it could have evolved if Spock and McCoy stayed stranded? Would Spock have killed McCoy? How many children would have been born between the three of them?
Amanda and Sarek: Opposites attract! Well, you know darn well that Sarek’s beloved human wife Amanda was not chosen for him by his parents! Despite knowing that he’d most likely outlive her, Sarek followed his heart and married the loving, no-nonsense Amanda. She knew it wouldn’t be easy married into the Vulcan culture, but her heart ruled too for this most elegant and remarkable Vulcan. The were in for the long haul. And Sarek loved
Amanda so, his next wife was also a human. (I deny that Star Trek V and Sybok ever existed—it was just a fever dream of Kirk’s!)
Jim Kirk and Edith Keeler: I have no doubt that Edith and Miramanee were Jim Kirk’s dearest loves. Plenty of flirtations of course, but these two each took his heart. But his romance with Edith would be disastrous even if she lived. Since she died, time was restored to it’s proper place, but had she lived, Kirk, McCoy and likely Spock, would cease to exist in the first place. Could Kirk take her with him to the future? That would likely open a whole new can of Space/Time/Continuum worms. So Kirk was fated to only have Edith in his memories and dreams. But he’d never forget her.

Kirk and Spock: Okay, I know. Diehards would say that Kirk and Spock were the best of friends, like brothers. A true Bromance. (And I agree) But considering how the original fanzines of the 1970s pretty much invented “Slash” and “Spirk” this ‘relationship’ has been a fan-fic trope ever since. Check out any of the Star Trek fan art on DeviantArt.com and you’ll find half of it devoted to these ‘space husbands’. And you must admit there are times in TOS one can see Kirk gazing at Spock in pure awe, if not affection! A while back, Shatner was asked by a fan who was Kirk’s greatest romantic conquest? “SPOCK!” Shatner joked. Now, the theory goes that Kirk is Bisexual while Spock is Gay (i.e. Spock: “Jim, when I feel affection for you, I’m ashamed!”) I say that I have no doubt that Kirk and Spock are loving brothers. But I say that while since Jim with his rampant hormones could possibly be Bi, Spock is merely Logical.
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! ❤

7 responses to “For Valentine’s Day — 14 Star Trek TOS Romances; Both Awful and Wonderful.

  1. Great article. I would add:

    On the positive side: Kirk and Carol Marcus. Although we only get a sketch of their past relationship, they once contemplated spending their lives together. She might have actually been Kirk’s greatest love. I also think she was the “little blond lab technician” Gary Mitchell references.

    Honourable Kirk mentions go to Ruth in Shore Leave and Janet Wallace in The Deadly Years, and (unfortunately) Janice Lester in Turnabout Intruder.

    On the awkward side: Scotty and Mira Romaine, The Lights of Zetar. I wanted Scotty to have a good relationship, but this was one-sided and a little creepy. For poor Scotty, see also Kara in Wolf in the Fold and Caroline in Who Mourns for Adonais?

    You said Apollo rapes Caroline. I know that in the script and in the James Blish adaptation, she is pregnant at the end, but I don’t recall any indication that the sex was non-consensual. The relationship is accelerated (as all are in fiction, from Romeo and Juliet to Rayna in Requiem for Methuselah) but everything that happens in the episode indicates Caroline may have been willing to have sex with Apollo.

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    • Good point about Carol Marcus –There’s a Trek novel about Kirk and Spock’s early days with Carol and Leila -can’t remember the title at the moment, but will post later.
      Now for Carolyn Palamas, I’m strictly referring to the TV episode — When Apollo grows angry with her when she rejects him. he racks up a storm and from the way the scene is filmed, Carolyn is screaming as she flails on the ground as Apollo’s visage grows larger and larger upon her. She is clearly NOT consenting in that scene and to me, that’s rape. She may have been willing to have sex with him before she broke it off, but NOT in that scene. It’s quite frightening.

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      • I have just rewatched that scene, and you make an excellent point. We don’t know that he raped Caroline; we don’t know for sure that there was sex at all, as the pregnancy was not referenced on screen.

        However, Apollo is a petulant egomaniac and the way the scene is shot and Caroline’s state at the end — yes, it’s certainly a fair supposition. I am glad I read your article.

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      • Thanks! And the final scene where McCoy tells Kirk she is pregnant was filmed, but not used. Probably considered too controversial at the time. The scene is referenced and stills shown in Star Trek: Lost Scenes by David Tilotta and Curt McAloney. The situation is treated with levity, but it’s obviously a serious outcome.

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  2. One other thing: her name is Carolyn, not Caroline. I should have gotten that right.

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  3. Btw, the name of the book I mentioned earlier is ‘Inception’ by S.D. Perry and Britta Dennison.

    Liked by 1 person

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