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Botany Bay May 7 2011 01:04 PM

The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
This week in our TAS episode showdown :

The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing

Will The Survivor be the survivor? Or will One Of Our Planets be the one to go missing? :rolleyes:;)

Vote for the one that you think should go through to the next round...

Warped9 May 7 2011 01:29 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
Up until now the choices have been rather easy for the most part, but this one is tougher.

Firstly "The Survivor" features one of the coolest looking aliens ever seen in Star Trek, a Vendorian. Add to that it's not a bad story and we finally get to see a female security officer, Lt. Ann Nored. The part that threw me out of the story was the bit about the Vendorian assuming the form of the ship's deflector shield. :wtf: :wtf: :wtf: I couldn't swallow that one even when I was 14 years old. Now if he had assumed the form of some of the shields damaged components then I might have been able to swallow that a little more easily...maybe.

"One Of Our Planets Is Missing" is something like "The Doomsday Machine" crossed with Fantastic Voyage. It's also a decent story even though it feels somewhat derivative. But it certainly feels like something that could have been done live-action if TOS had had access to slightly better f/x resources. However it, too, has its own :wtf: moment when Spock reaches out to communicate with the mind of this thing and it turns out to be intelligent enough to understand him. This is where the episode felt somewhat more like "The Devil In The Dark." It's not totally off-the-wall in the context of Star Trek, but it still strikes me as rather out there.

All that said I think I'll have to give the nod to "One Of Our Planets Is Missing" because it's WTF moment isn't quite as WTF! as "The Survivor." :lol:

Lieut. Arex May 7 2011 03:21 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
Quote:

Warped9 wrote: (Post 4946173)
Firstly "The Survivor" features one of the coolest looking aliens ever seen in Star Trek, a Vendorian. Add to that it's not a bad story and we finally get to see a female security officer, Lt. Ann Nored. The part that threw me out of the story was the bit about the Vendorian assuming the form of the ship's deflector shield. :wtf: :wtf: :wtf: I couldn't swallow that one even when I was 14 years old. Now if he had assumed the form of some of the shields damaged components then I might have been able to swallow that a little more easily...maybe.

Alan Dean Foster makes this change in the novelization. The idea of the Vendorian becoming the actual shield is highly implausible. As that action takes place off screen all that was needed to fix this was a simple dialogue changed, but I imagine the writer and producers felt having "Carter Winston" become the shield was (a) more exciting and (b) simpler for the younger audience to grasp.

Christopher May 7 2011 04:24 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
Quote:

Warped9 wrote: (Post 4946173)
Up until now the choices have been rather easy for the most part, but this one is tougher.

Agreed -- I'm having a hard time deciding. They're both strong in their own ways, but neither is really a great one. "The Survivor" has a fairly good character story and, yes, a terrifically imaginative alien design. The story structure has some weaknesses, though, with all the quick knockouts and impostures one after the other coming off as a little repetitive. It's also implausible that neither Spock (who's very observant) or McCoy (who works in sickbay every day) would've overlooked the extra exam table.

As for "One of Our Planets...," it's more of a grand cosmic adventure-type story, but it has some nice character touches with Governor Wesley. It has some fair-sized conceptual problems, though. How did they conclude the cloud was of extragalactic origin? Since when is a nebula the size of three gas giants "immense?" Real nebulae are light-years across. The tech talk about having a separate "antimatter nacelle" is weird and hard to reconcile with subsequent understandings of warp technology. And Spock's ability to do a remote mind-touch, not to mention the computer's ability to translate his thoughts into speech, is a power boost that's hard to believe.

In terms of which one I just plain like better, I don't think I can choose. But in terms of which one holds up better under analysis, I'm inclined to go with "The Survivor" (assuming we go with ADF's explanation for the deflector issue).


Quote:

"One Of Our Planets Is Missing"... certainly feels like something that could have been done live-action if TOS had had access to slightly better f/x resources.
Interesting you should say that, because they essentially did just that six years later. Think about it. A vast cosmic cloud demonstrating great destructive power is headed toward a human-occupied planet. The Enterprise travels into the cloud and discovers it's an intelligent entity. The ship heads toward its brain center, and Kirk orders Scotty to ready the self-destruct. Spock makes mental contact with the entity and discovers it doesn't understand that the humans on the planet are people. Ultimately it's persuaded to go away just in the nick of time.

Where else have we seen that sequence of events? In Star Trek: The Motion Picture. People always compare TMP to "The Changeling," but I've always found it bears a striking resemblance to this episode instead.

Timo May 7 2011 06:58 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
Quote:

Now if he had assumed the form of some of the shields damaged components then I might have been able to swallow that a little more easily...maybe.
How is this interpretation excluded by the episode?

We only hear Spock speculate on the Vendorian's activities in the vaguest of terms. We don't see whether he exits the ship via shuttlebay (like his original escape plan appeared to have been) and becomes the shield directly or whether he enters the engineering area and becomes the missing component instead. However, because we see him enter the bridge immediately after the combat action is over, without any further mention of shuttlebay door activity, it's pretty natural to assume that he never departed the ship...

Quote:

The story structure has some weaknesses, though, with all the quick knockouts and impostures one after the other coming off as a little repetitive. It's also implausible that either Spock (who's very observant) or McCoy (who works in sickbay every day) would've overlooked the extra exam table.
Basically, I think that in live action, we would have seen an extremely fast-paced ongoing chase, where neither Spock nor McCoy would really have had time to react to the altered sickbay. The way the animation clumsily portrays this chase, with one character moving and the others staying put, stunned and immobile, is the dramatic weakness that tilts my personal vote to "One of Our Planets Is Missing"... The plotline of that episode was more forgiving to the shortcomings of the animation.

Timo Saloniemi

Christopher May 7 2011 07:56 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
There was no chase preceding the scene with the extra exam table. Kirk and Spock had just left sickbay after talking to the fake McCoy, they decided he'd been acting strangely, they went back in and found the genuine article recovering from a "nap," and then Kirk noticed there was something wrong with the sickbay ward. He then threatened the "exam table" with acid, and it turned into the Vendorian and fled. The chase scenes came afterward.

Maurice May 7 2011 08:59 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
I'm going with The Survivor because there's some character drama and intrigue.

Tallguy May 9 2011 10:22 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
Quote:

Christopher wrote: (Post 4946410)
Where else have we seen that sequence of events? In Star Trek: The Motion Picture. People always compare TMP to "The Changeling," but I've always found it bears a striking resemblance to this episode instead.

Arguably it's both. But I'm glad to see someone else get's the TMP / OfOPIM connection. I get the same vibe that I get when watching Changeling: "Good grief they just walked right off with this for TMP, didn't they?"

I'll go with Planets. I might need to watch Survivor again, but I have a really hard time getting around Shatner as Carter Winston. Doohan and Majel doing more than half the voices gets tiring, but the moment Shatner (or Nichelle Nichols for that matter) tries to do a new voice I think about organizing a re-dubbing project. (Was this Shatner's only "guest role" other than "young Kirk" from Counterclock?)

Also on the same topic Doohan as Bob Wesley in Planets is just awesome. It's the only time in TAS that not getting the original actor doesn't feel all that bad.

KeepOnTrekking May 10 2011 12:43 AM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
^ I believe it was Ted Knight that provided the voive for Carter Winston. :)

Christopher May 10 2011 04:39 AM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
It was definitely Ted Knight as Winston. Shatner didn't play any characters in TAS other than Kirk (or in this case, the Vendorian impersonating Kirk). Knight did a lot of voices for Filmation, including most of the supporting cast in the '68 Batman cartoon and the lead roles in Fantastic Voyage and Lassie's Rescue Rangers, as well as serving as the announcer on those shows and Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends. And it never occurred to me that anyone could mistake his voice for Shatner's. Shatner's voice wasn't that deep in the '70s.

Tallguy May 11 2011 03:43 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
I have no doubt you're correct. If anyone told me that they'd mistaken Ted Knight for William Shatner I'd have thought they were nuts too. But I'm listening to it again. The thing that got me: In the transporter room Winston sounds like he's talking in an intentionally higher voice. A far cry from Ted Baxter. In this episode at least Kirk's voice is deeper than Winston's.

When I was listening the other day I did think that his voice became less "Shatner" as the episode goes on. I figured they recorded it in more or less one take and Shatner got better as he went. Orrrr he was just Ted Knight all along.

Now I've listened to an episode I didn't think I liked very much twice in two days. It's much better than I recalled but I'm still going with One of Our Planets is Missing.

Hey at least I always knew Balok was Ted Cassidy despite what the Star Trek Compendium said. :)

Christopher May 11 2011 03:56 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
Quote:

Tallguy wrote: (Post 4955486)
The thing that got me: In the transporter room Winston sounds like he's talking in an intentionally higher voice. A far cry from Ted Baxter.

Rather, I think Ted Baxter's voice was intentionally lowered from Knight's normal delivery. His Baxter voice was a variation on his announcer voice, but more pompous. His Winston voice was probably closer to how he normally spoke.


Quote:

Hey at least I always knew Balok was Ted Cassidy despite what the Star Trek Compendium said. :)
The fake Balok was Ted Cassidy. The real one was dubbed by Vic Perrin, just as the Compendium says.

Tallguy May 11 2011 04:18 PM

Re: The Survivor vs. One of Our Planets Is Missing
 
Quote:

Christopher wrote: (Post 4955514)
The fake Balok was Ted Cassidy. The real one was dubbed by Vic Perrin, just as the Compendium says.

Well this has just been a humbling experience all around. Have we started talking about The Albatross yet?


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