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-   -   Problem I had with "By Any Other Name" (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=189730)

t_smitts September 30 2012 10:44 PM

Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
For the most part, it's an interesting show, with an impressive adversary in the Kelvin. We get some fun moments, like Scotty getting the one Kelvin drunk with his "green" booze. My problem was the this:

After they've been defeated, we go to a peaceful, Roddenberry-ish solution, with Kirk talking about them becoming friends.

Problem is they murdered a pretty young yeoman at the start of the episode, so I didn't particularly want a peaceful solution. Yes, the Horta and the Gorn killed people too, but they were acting in some form of self-preservation. The Kelvin leader reduced people to cubes and crushed them just to make a point. As it actually played out, It's hard to want anything to do with them after that.

If they'd ommitted that part, the episode would've been a lot lighter, (something along the lines of "I, Mudd") even if they Kelvins had threatened or even attempted to kill people, but didn't. Instead, it's hard to not want Kirk to respond in kind.

That was just my point.

Greg Cox September 30 2012 11:00 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Agreed. The change in tone doesn't quite work. I guess they needed to kill off poor Yeoman Paperweight at the beginning to establish the Kelvans as a credible threat, but the happy, smiling finale is at odds with the callousness of her execution at the beginning of the show.

Kirk could have still made peace with the Kelvans at the end, in the best STAR TREK tradition, but they didn't have to be so chummy. It would have better if the peace had been a bit more of a strained, wary affair--like with Khan at the end of "Space Seed."

t_smitts September 30 2012 11:11 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Quote:

Greg Cox wrote: (Post 7037188)
Agreed. The change in tone doesn't quite work. I guess they needed to kill off poor Yeoman Paperweight at the beginning to establish the Kelvans as a credible threat, but the happy, smiling finale is at odds with the callousness of her execution at the beginning of the show.

Kirk could have still made peace with the Kelvans at the end, in the best STAR TREK tradition, but they didn't have to be so chummy. It would have better if the peace had been a bit more of a strained, wary affair--like with Khan at the end of "Space Seed."

True. They had a similar strained, wary peace on Voyager in "The Killing Game". They suffered some losses (at least one off-screen fatality), but they gave at least as good as they got. (And just like "Space Seed", their settlement would come back to bite them in the @$$).

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way about "By Any Other Name".

foxhot September 30 2012 11:42 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
I've seen this point made a few times in the past, and made it myself once or twice, but it's a good one. Thompson's death proves that ''the black guy always dies first'' is slightly exaggerated. In fact, Ensign Watkins, Scotty's assistant in THAT WHICH SURVIVES, is the only black crewman of either sex to die in classic TREK's TV episodes. He's also the last crewmember to die on the show if we go by stardates or episode production order.

There's a slight possibility had Lt. Shea been white, he might have been killed in typical security-guard fashion. But this way is less predictable storytelling and works better. At least Thompson wasn't sentient at the time. I hope.

Part of the problem is, she's never mentioned after the beginning of Act Two, which contributes to the disposable nature of so many redshirt characters. All the other crewwomen who died were blueshirts, unless you count Marla McGivers after the series ended....

Theoretically Rojan could stand trial for the execution, but since Kirk and company needed to make peace with the Kelvans, it was apparently swept under the rug. Putting him on trial might not sit well with now-friendly Kelvans.

The episode for those reasons begs for a sequel. As it turns out two or three writers have made stories on the web involving Yeoman Thompson's death. The shortest and probably best of them is ''No Apologies'', which can be accessed by googling ''Death of Yeoman Thompson, Star Trek.'' To summarize:

Rojan and the Kelvans are applying to colonize their last planet and make peace with the Federation. Two things stand in their way: Yeoman Thompson's parents. Both are scientists and doctors, and have seen their share of the deceased. They tell Kirk and Rojan that they won't stand in the Kelvans' way, providing their daughter is restored to human form. Rojan explains that wouldn't be pleasant, but the father insists. Rojan reluctantly complies, what's left of Thompson is restored, and the now-humanized Kelvans freak out at what Rojan did. Kelinda gets sick, and Hanar decks Rojan, shouting at her ''She was beautiful!'' Kirk phasers the Yeoman's remains at her father's request. Then the father tosses Rojan out of his house, but won't deny him Federation membership.

Now THAT's a suitable ending in my opinion. It smells like..... victory.

t_smitts October 1 2012 04:14 AM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Quote:

foxhot wrote: (Post 7037350)
I've seen this point made a few times in the past, and made it myself once or twice, but it's a good one. Thompson's death proves that ''the black guy always dies first'' is slightly exaggerated. In fact, Ensign Watkins, Scotty's assistant in THAT WHICH SURVIVES, is the only black crewman of either sex to die in classic TREK's TV episodes. He's also the last crewmember to die on the show if we go by stardates or episode production order.

There's a slight possibility had Lt. Shea been white, he might have been killed in typical security-guard fashion. But this way is less predictable storytelling and works better. At least Thompson wasn't sentient at the time. I hope.

Part of the problem is, she's never mentioned after the beginning of Act Two, which contributes to the disposable nature of so many redshirt characters. All the other crewwomen who died were blueshirts, unless you count Marla McGivers after the series ended....

Theoretically Rojan could stand trial for the execution, but since Kirk and company needed to make peace with the Kelvans, it was apparently swept under the rug. Putting him on trial might not sit well with now-friendly Kelvans.

The episode for those reasons begs for a sequel. As it turns out two or three writers have made stories on the web involving Yeoman Thompson's death. The shortest and probably best of them is ''No Apologies'', which can be accessed by googling ''Death of Yeoman Thompson, Star Trek.'' To summarize:

Rojan and the Kelvans are applying to colonize their last planet and make peace with the Federation. Two things stand in their way: Yeoman Thompson's parents. Both are scientists and doctors, and have seen their share of the deceased. They tell Kirk and Rojan that they won't stand in the Kelvans' way, providing their daughter is restored to human form. Rojan explains that wouldn't be pleasant, but the father insists. Rojan reluctantly complies, what's left of Thompson is restored, and the now-humanized Kelvans freak out at what Rojan did. Kelinda gets sick, and Hanar decks Rojan, shouting at her ''She was beautiful!'' Kirk phasers the Yeoman's remains at her father's request. Then the father tosses Rojan out of his house, but won't deny him Federation membership.

Now THAT's a suitable ending in my opinion. It smells like..... victory.

That's pretty dark. No way would they do something like that, Reminds me of a fanfic I once read that took place after "In Theory" that included a scene of Enterprise-D crewmen cutting through a deck to free the body of Lt. Van Mayter.

I'd prefer no one died in that episode. As Greg said, it was totally inconsistent with what should've been a lighter episode. Imagine if the Iotians machine gunned a couple of crewmen at the start of "A Piece of the Action", or Norman the android started the episode by breaking someone's neck.

Timo October 1 2012 06:51 AM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Well, "The Apple" featured cartloads of quite comical deaths (redshirt replaced by a stain on the ground) at the start, and lots of sex education -themed giggling later on, plus the destruction of a way of life via the destruction of a papier-mache monster. It's not as if the writers or the directors really felt the need to steer away from "mixed bag" type stories... To the contrary, it seemed that there was often a drive to insert some comedy to overtly somber episodes.

Also, the coda to an episode was rather seldom in the mood of the episode itself anyway. But it always served the higher purpose of making it clear that our heroes would face no consequences of any sort, and there would never be a sequel. The ability to alter history discovered? "Let's get the hell out of here." Kirk is under such a strain that he breaks into a sobbing fit over a fembot (or perhaps her master and creator?)? "Forget."

Timo Saloniemi

ToddPence October 3 2012 10:56 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Here's Kirk's letter to Yeoman Thompson's parents: (scroll down)

http://inthelineofduty.tumblr.com/

Bubbles McGee October 6 2012 06:01 AM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Bloody Brilliant! :rofl:

JimZipCode October 6 2012 11:30 AM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Quote:

t_smitts wrote: (Post 7037134)
Problem is they murdered a pretty young yeoman at the start of the episode, so I didn't particularly want a peaceful solution. ...
If they'd ommitted that part, the episode would've been a lot lighter.

There's a drastic change of tone about halfway thru the episode. It's very tense up thru the passage thru the galactic barrier, and the self-destruct scenario. From that point on, it's a very light episode. Each half works, but the halves don't work together.

Another drawback to this episode is, Kirk's decision not to use the self-destruct option, seems weird when contrasted with his use of it in Last Battlefield. The stakes were much lower in Battlefield, yet Kirk seems more determined in that story. For the sequence in that episode to make sense, Kirk should have tried to blow up the ship in this episode. (Tried and failed, I guess, maybe the Kelvins anticipated.)

This episode has that epic groaning musical theme, when Scotty gets the Kelvin guy drunk. I don't believe we hear that in any other episode looking forward to learning about it when the TOS CD's come out next month!

Anyway, I agree with you. Not a wholly successful episode, though it has some nice parts.

Timo October 6 2012 05:42 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
But in "Battlefield", Kirk bluffs. In "Name", there would be no chance of bluffing: Kirk would have to commit suicide without letting the Kelvans know that they were going to blow up.

And Kirk has never been suicidal. He has never seriously considered self-destruct as an option, unless one counts the extended edition of ST:TMP; every time he has inserted the suicide code, he has made damn sure that he himself will come out alive and well and able to gloat.

Timo Saloniemi

blssdwlf October 6 2012 05:59 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Didn't the folks on that mining colony became very chummy at the end of the episode with the Horta and her kids even though they lost of people (and a couple of red shirts) in the process?

JimZipCode October 6 2012 07:26 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Quote:

Timo wrote: (Post 7065313)
But in "Battlefield", Kirk bluffs.

What makes you say that?

foxhot October 6 2012 11:45 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
JimZipCode wrote:

''This episode has that epic groaning musical theme, when Scotty gets the Kelvin guy drunk. I don't believe we hear that in any other episode – looking forward to learning about it when the TOS CD's come out next month!''



BY ANY OTHER NAME lifted ''Scotty's Theme'' from TRIBBLES.
Groaning?(:
It may have used a third time, but I'm not sure.

Knight Templar October 6 2012 11:54 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
I agree at the change in tone halfway through the episode.

When they notice the Kelvin (Tomar I think) loving the human style food and Scotty taking him to his quarters to get him drunk, the whole thing becomes a farce in my opinion.

I think that the writer realized that he had written the Kelvans as being so powerful that he was going to have to write a "humorous victory" over them as it was fairly obvious that there was no way Kirk, Spock, Scotty, and McCoy had any chance of overcoming them any other way.

Much like lots of the other "victories" over very powerful aliens (such as Q) involved humorous situations.

Knight Templar October 6 2012 11:58 PM

Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"
 
Quote:

blssdwlf wrote: (Post 7065379)
Didn't the folks on that mining colony became very chummy at the end of the episode with the Horta and her kids even though they lost of people (and a couple of red shirts) in the process?

True. But two huge factors probably changed their minds.

1) They had no idea whatsoever the Horta was more than an animal. The revelation that it was the mother of an ancient race probably changed their thinking a great deal. As for the fact that they had been destroying the eggs unthinkingly.

2) With the Horta offspring doing all the digging, the miners could sit back and simply get rich, without having to do much work or risk their lives in the mines (mining is always dangerous).

Lots of money changes feelings fast.


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