Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Ebony and Ivory live together in perfect harmony...
Okay, maybe not perfect harmony according to the episode Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, of course in this situation we are talking about the "half blacks" and the "half whites" of the Planet Cheron. One of my more favorite episodes of Star Trek for the following three reasons: The story seemed well done, Frank Gorshin's performance as Bele, and Spock's play by play at the end of the episode.
The story in a nutshell is The Enterprise intercepts two travelers that are bent on destroying each other, see one is black on the right side, the ruling class of Cheron, and the other is white on the right side making him an outcast. Kirk is on a mission to save another planet, Ariannus from a plague when Bele, Frank Gorshin, takes control of the ship so he can return Lokai, played by Lou Antonio, back to Cheron to stand trial. Kirk threatens to destroy the Enterprise to re gain control which works, upon finishing their primary mission to decontaminate the planet of Ariannus, Bele once again takes control and propels them forward to Cheron, where it turns out that the two factions have destroyed each other years ago, both Bele and Lokai blame the other and take their battle to the planet surface where the Enterprise leaves them to their life long battle, the last two members of their society.
So, with that of the way we have a reproduction again produced by EMCE of the classic Mego action figure called Cheron. Obviously Mego took some artistic license with the character, the whole head is black and white, no brown hair as is the body suit, plus the name is the name of the planet and not something like Bele or Lokai. I think these differences between the toy and the actual show can easily be overlooked. I always thought this was an interesting figure so I couldn't wait to get one in hand. I'm not entirely sure, but most of the original Megos have what is called "Cheron Rot" or "Cheron Mold" where the white part of the body suit has had a reaction with the plastic used for the body, cast in black, and has started to stain the body suit. To find one without this is a pretty big deal and could cost a pretty penny, so I was glad that this figure made the list of being reproduced. The plastics used today should be far better and prevent this color change from happening again, so little Cheron here should be safe for as long as I live.
Playmates Toys released a more accurate version in their 9 inch scale and of the character Bele, they can still be found on Ebay at good prices, matter if fact I'm thinking of picking one up soon. I wonder why neither company chose to make the reverse character, that of Lokai? Did Bele when the final confrontation and is now the last citizen of Cheron standing?