Enterprise “A Night in Sickbay” (part 2 of 8)
The episode opens on the Enterprise orbiting over an alien planet. Cut to inside the ship, and perhaps the single most embarrassing part of the Enterprise legacy (which, in turn, makes it the single most embarrassing part of the Star Trek franchise): the decon chamber.
So, it seems this was an attempt to show that in this time period, contact with alien civilization was fraught with danger. The later shows were mostly blasé about the ramifications of crewmembers beaming down to strange, unknown alien territory. Especially in regards to what sort of alien microbes might get passed between species. But at last, they finally decided to go for realism!
So what did they do? If you haven’t seen the show, I wouldn’t blame you for not believing what I’m about to say, but… they invented a room on the ship where crew members would strip down to their underwear and rub each other down with KY jelly. Excuse me, “decontamination gel”.
Obviously, this was conceived of purely for the titillation factor. And frankly, I have no problem with titillation. We all need more titillation in our lives as far as I’m concerned. The problem is, the gel-rubbing was only titillating for a few minutes, in the pilot episode, and then it promptly turned into a big joke for the remainder of the series run.