|A court room of the 23rd Century.|
Specifically, just about every cult TV series in history has, at one time or another, put its heroic lead character on trial.
Through almost universally wrongly accused some of these unfortunate souls have even negotiated -- perhaps in honor of Kafka -- alien and draconian brands of justice and punishment.
Seeing so many episodes featuring sci-fi heroes standing trial, decade-after-decade, franchise after franchise, you might wonder about the "why." Is it just the fact that court-room drama is intertwined with mystery...and who doesn't love a good mystery?
Or has the sci-fi court room drama become a staple of the genre because we all wonder about the shape of justice in our future, a future of new breakthroughs, no doubt. Since sci-fi deals with technology and shifting senses of morality, the sci-fi "crime and punishment" episodes from various programs really get to the heart of human nature and the human quest for justice.
In the first season of the original Star Trek (1966 - 1969), in an episode titled "Court Martial" Captain Kirk (William Shatner) is tried by Starfleet Command. The charge is criminal negligence in the death of a crewman named Ben Finney (Richard Webb). The ensuing trial is prosecuted by Kirk's old girlfriend, Areel Shaw (Joan Marshall), though certainly she should have recused herself, given the nature of the relationship with the defendant.