Verbose, isn't he?
A Kirk quote from this episode almost inspires me to rename this blog "Olympian Generalities." The following should explain why I was convinced otherwise.
This is a mildly interesting episode whose core argument is weak and biased, covered up by an unflatteringly dated camp that leaves little beyond nostalgia to appreciate. The characters seem unfamiliarly written and strange; the plot, contradictory and muddled.
My instinct tells me this concept could have once been an examination of mythology's place in modern life, or the anachronistic effects of god/religion on modern man. Unfortunately, through whatever misfortunes of the production process -- be they self-censorship or studio inflicted -- little beyond hints remain.
At very least the crew is given the appropriately Trek-related central conceit: optimism. The antagonist is assigned a very jaded, un-optimistic point of view. Unfortunately this conflict is scarcely exploited to its dramatic potential.
Man thinks he's progressed, but he's merely forgotten the things that gave life meaning.
The climatic revelation of Apollo plays on the disappointing surface-level concept of Gods having no place in life, leaving our crew only to ponder the ramifications of loosing the true inspiration for thousands of years of human life. With such a fascinating set up, more universal concepts than were ultimately used suggest themselves to no inclusion or expounding.
Like many Trek ventures, this episode flirts with huge concepts without delivering to the level that the franchise is associated with and revered for. Setting it apart, still, is the fact that such thematic content was attempted in the first place.
We shall not debate, mortal.