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-   -   The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=140866)

Botany Bay April 22 2011 12:47 PM

The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
Happy easter, guys. This weekend in between easter eggs, sit down, watch, vote and then have your say on :

The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal

Which episode is better?

TigerOfDarkness April 22 2011 02:01 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
The ludicrous sillyness of The Lorelei Signal means I have to vote for it...

Warped9 April 22 2011 02:03 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
"The Jihad" is an awesome story. No contest.

"The Jihad" fully utilizes the advantages of animation to tell a story that would have been practically impossible as live-action. Only today with cgi could something like "The Jihad" be done.

The Skorr T'char is an awesome alien design, but wholly impossible as live-action back when TOS and TAS were made. Today it would be wicked to see something like that.

"The Lorelei Signal" isn't horrible, but it's fluff compared to "The Jihad." "The Lorelei Signal" is noteworthy for two things, though: it shows us female Starfleet personnel in action as well as Uhura assuming command, and the story's basic idea predates TNG's "Man Of The People" by about twenty years.

SchwEnt April 22 2011 06:09 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
^^^ I see the similarities to "Man of the People". I suppose the difference being "MotP" dealt with emotional/mental energies versus "TLS" sapping physical vitality.

I tend to think of "The Lorelei Signal" = "The Deadly Years" + "Wink of an Eye"

Not bad really, just nothing special.
I like "Jihad" better.

Phantassm April 22 2011 06:37 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
No contest: The Jihad.

Christopher April 22 2011 06:46 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
"The Jihad" is definitely better, though I'm not happy with its perpetuation of the common Western mistake of equating jihad with an aggressive holy war, the equivalent of a Christian crusade, when it's actually defined as a defensive struggle to protect the faithful from invaders or oppressors. (Islamist militants like al-Qaida have to go to extreme lengths to contort logic and distort facts in their efforts to convince their followers that their acts of aggression are actually self-defense.) But that's another discussion, and I guess I couldn't have expected a writer in 1973 to know better, given how little-understood it is even today (and given that it's not immune to being abused in the Muslim world). Indeed, I suppose one could argue that the Skorr would have considered their war to be a defensive retaliation against an outside assault on their faith, so maybe jihad could be a valid analogy for it after all, at least in terms of how they rationalized it to themselves.

Anyway, it is a cool episode for the reasons stated above -- lots of interesting aliens and concepts, a story that TOS could never have pulled off, and lively characters. It's odd to see a story that's just Kirk and Spock teaming up with a bunch of guest characters, but it works pretty well. It's also just about the only TAS episode even to come close to giving Kirk a romantic subplot.

One problem I have with it is the plausibility of the "Mad Planet" and how quickly its conditions change. But I can buy that a young planet that had turbulent geology and weather could go through such changes at nearly that pace. I simply assume that what we saw was time-compressed for our benefit and that the events of the story "really" spanned several hours or maybe a couple of days.

As for "Lorelei," I was sour on it for a long time, but I've raised my opinion of it recently. In general, I hate "rapid aging" stories because they're so unrealistic; even if someone did suffer from a condition that caused the equivalent of rapid aging, like progeria, it wouldn't cause their hair to turn white or their skin to wrinkle in just hours. It would be more like a progressive breakdown of body functions with little external change. The one time this was done right was in an episode of Sliders in, I believe, its fourth season. Also, I found this episode's use of "life force draining" as an excuse for the rapid aging to be silly. I hate stories based on that notion, that we have some fixed reservoir of life energy in us and that aging is caused merely by its depletion, like burning a tank of gas. (I hate the "life energy transfer" stuff in Babylon 5 for the same reason.) It's easier to suspend belief about something like "The Deadly Years" or "Unnatural Selection," because there it could be attributed to genetic damage causing a shutdown of bodily functions akin to aging (although Kirk's swift recovery in TDY is still stupid).

But in retrospect, I find I can gloss over the "aging" in "Lorelei." For one thing, their hair doesn't change color, which is refreshing; even if their follicles stopped making pigment, it would still take days or weeks before the white roots started showing. As for the wrinkles, that could just be attributed to a loss of body fluids making the skin hang loose, or something. Spock did describe it in terms of aging, but maybe he was just using that as an analogy for their deterioration. So in some ways it's easier to rationalize than most "rapid aging" stories. (Don't get me started on "Man of the People.")

Aside from that, "Lorelei" is a nice episode to look at. The architecture and scenery designs on the planet are beautiful, and the women are nice to look at too, though I could've wished for more variety in their color schemes. And it is good to see that there are female security guards on the Enterprise and that Uhura is able to take command effectively -- though it's very '70s that it required the men being incapacitated for us to see it.

jayrath April 22 2011 08:55 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
I have green memories.

RAMA April 22 2011 11:39 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
Jihad is my second favorite episode. I like the occasional big quest story. This episode would have made a great adaptation to movies!!

RAMA

KeepOnTrekking April 23 2011 03:52 AM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
"The Jihad" has always been one of my favorites from TAS. When The Search for Spock came out, my first thought when seeing the Genesis planet in its death throes was that it was another "Mad Planet" like the one in this episode. :lol:

SchwEnt April 23 2011 04:27 AM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
Ahhh. So I'm not the only one who saw the Mad Planet/Genesis Planet connection. Excellent.

CorporalCaptain April 23 2011 05:05 AM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
I spotted the Mad Genesis Planet connection too.

Well said points so far, everyone. I'll just add some additional ones.

Frank Herbert's Dune and Dune Messiah, in which crusade-like jihads figure so prominently, predate TAS: The Jihad by several years. I wonder whether this had any influence on the usage of the term.

The Jihad writer Stephen Kandel also has story or teleplay credits on all three TOS/TAS Mudd episodes.

Corrected voice credits for Lara and the Vedalan are given at http://www.danhausertrek.com/AnimatedSeries/Ji.html, with an explanation. Apparently, it was not Majel Barrett, but rather Jane Webb, who voiced them both. Em/3/Green was of course voiced by none other than David Gerrold. I find the characters in The Jihad remarkably vivid.

Personally, I think both of these episodes exhibit relatively mature themes for Saturday morning cartoons, like many TAS episodes.

Christopher April 23 2011 01:28 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
Quote:

CorporalCaptain wrote: (Post 4908784)
Frank Herbert's Dune and Dune Messiah, in which crusade-like jihads figure so prominently, predate TAS: The Jihad by several years. I wonder whether this had any influence on the usage of the term.

I'm sure it goes back centuries longer than that. It's just normal human ethnocentrism, the tendency to assume that anything you observe in other cultures is just the same thing your culture would do, but under a different label. Europeans waged crusades, aggressive wars of religious conversion, so when they came upon the term jihad, they assumed it was the same thing as a crusade, rather than making the effort to understand the differences between the concepts. And to be fair, there have been times in Muslim history when conquerors have co-opted and misused the term jihad to justify their actions, just as al-Qaida does today, and that would tend to confuse the issue for outsiders.


Quote:

Personally, I think both of these episodes exhibit relatively mature themes for Saturday morning cartoons, like many TAS episodes.
Yup. War, religion, death, even sex to a degree.

Basill April 23 2011 05:44 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
The "Jihad" by a mile. That chick trying to get into Kirk's pants is such beautiful irony. I actually like the "Lorelei Signal" and its Homeric echoes, but it doesn't make the score next to "Jihad."

CorporalCaptain April 23 2011 06:19 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
What I meant was, I wonder whether the Dune series, being so prominent in science fiction, Dune winning the Hugo and Nebula and all, had any influence specifically on Stephen Kandel's usage of the term when writing that particular episode.

Christopher April 23 2011 07:08 PM

Re: The Jihad vs. The Lorelei Signal
 
^You mean, was it an influence on Kandel's use of the concept of a holy war as a story point? Possible, I suppose.


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