Although it spawned an entire universe of films and cultural arcana, Star Trek‘s original series only made it through two-and-a-half seasons before NBC pulled the plug. The very last episode, “Turnabout Intruder,” has long been regarded as a redheaded stepchild for its retrograde gender politics and an unfortunate note for a groundbreaking shot (that was otherwise notably progressive) to end on.
In it, Captain Kirk and his team field a distress call from a planet on which a jealous, bitter woman from Kirk’s Starfleet days has been marooned. She swaps their consciousnesses and takes over the Enterprise, only to prove that she’s not capable of handling the job — all but inviting a mutiny from Chekov and Mr. Sulu.
Ouch. Well, what better way to reclaim that astro-turd than by turning it over to D’Arcy Drollinger and a troupe of drag kings at Oasis? Led by Leigh Crow, the world’s female William Shatner impersonator, this crew of tongue-in-cheek space adventurers boldly goes where an earlier crew of men went once before and did a really mediocre job. Drollinger plays the scientific seductress Janice Lester with Laurie Bushman as her associate, Dr. Coleman. On the bridge, it’s Allison Johnson in even more blue eyeshadow than Leonard Nimoy as Spock, Ammo Eisu at the helm as Sulu, Zelda Koznofski makning dubious diagnoses as the dour Dr. McCoy, Emily French keeping the ship running as Mr. Scott, and Dene Larson as Nurse Chapel.
Having previously tackled such male-fantasy episodes as “Mudd’s Women,” this cast knows how to demonstrate that the 2010s are actually more forward-thinking than the 2260s, plus it’s also a great excuse to wear go-go boots in a period-appropriate way.
Star Trek Live!: Turnabout Intruder, Feb. 16-March 17, 7 p.m., at Oasis, 298 11th St., $22-$250; sfoasis.com