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Old June 11 2013, 12:23 AM   #106
Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

How is it "engineering-heavy"?
The ship is in jeopardy because things are wrong with her engines/power systems - it's right down Scotty's alley. If not for the engineering jeopardy, Kirk would probably ignore the silly Lazari (and the universe might cease to exist, but Kirk wouldn't know that).

The fate of the ship hangs on the skills of just one main character officer, and it's not Spock (who can't make heads or tails of the anomaly of the week) or Kirk (whose only command decisions after telling Spock to conduct fruitless research of the planet are predicated on him being forced to hunt for his missing dilithium) or McCoy (whose best efforts wouldn't make the insane Lazari any better). It's Scotty, who can extract the ship from the danger and thereby alter the basic parameters of the adventure. Except of course he isn't available to find solutions to the dilithium drain or the dilithium thefts, so the unimaginative grease monkeys just do their work and Kirk has to come up with something else...

...Which is beaming down to capture one Lazarus, which leads him into talking with another, and then to classic fisticuffs. And the universe is saved, but only because Kirk didn't get his ship out of the mess by some other means.

Timo Saloniemi
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