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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old August 25 2014, 02:00 PM   #46
Warped9
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
EnriqueH wrote: View Post

I would probably also add that Kirk's reference to spanking was not so much a belief in spanking women in general, but rather a spanking to a child.

In other words, I think Kirk was inferring that Elaan was acting like a child.

That's how I've always interpreted that comment.
This is why I think Elaan of Troyius is a sexist episode:

(I'm qualifying this by saying that it was made in the 60s and I accept that there were different standards then)

1. They were forcing a woman to marry someone she didn't want to.

2. Kirk's remark "Mister Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim."

3. McCoys remark about Elas women " Now the women, they're supposed to be something very special. They're supposed to have a kind of subtle, mystical power that drives men wild."

4. Kirk threatening to spank Elaan - infantilises her.

5. The overall message of the episode that Kirk managed to tame the unruly woman and teach her how to be good for her Troyian husband.

6. Although well intended putting Elaan in Uhura's girly room instead of some regular guest Ambassador's quarters is condescending.

I'm ignoring the slow pan of Elaan's outfit. I'm not against keeping the sexy in Star Trek.

Now the episode makes it seem OK to treat a planetary leader (the Dohlman) with condescension if they are unpleasant and are a woman.

I doubt Kirk would threaten to spank a male Dohlman.
Strikes me you are predisposed to find what you want to find and interpret things within a narrow framework. Whatever.
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Old August 25 2014, 02:05 PM   #47
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
2. Kirk's remark "Mister Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim."
I don't care what decade it is, that's one of the best lines in Trek.
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Old August 25 2014, 02:43 PM   #48
CommishSleer
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

Warped9 wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
EnriqueH wrote: View Post

I would probably also add that Kirk's reference to spanking was not so much a belief in spanking women in general, but rather a spanking to a child.

In other words, I think Kirk was inferring that Elaan was acting like a child.

That's how I've always interpreted that comment.
This is why I think Elaan of Troyius is a sexist episode:

(I'm qualifying this by saying that it was made in the 60s and I accept that there were different standards then)

1. They were forcing a woman to marry someone she didn't want to.

2. Kirk's remark "Mister Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim."

3. McCoys remark about Elas women " Now the women, they're supposed to be something very special. They're supposed to have a kind of subtle, mystical power that drives men wild."

4. Kirk threatening to spank Elaan - infantilises her.

5. The overall message of the episode that Kirk managed to tame the unruly woman and teach her how to be good for her Troyian husband.

6. Although well intended putting Elaan in Uhura's girly room instead of some regular guest Ambassador's quarters is condescending.

I'm ignoring the slow pan of Elaan's outfit. I'm not against keeping the sexy in Star Trek.

Now the episode makes it seem OK to treat a planetary leader (the Dohlman) with condescension if they are unpleasant and are a woman.

I doubt Kirk would threaten to spank a male Dohlman.
Strikes me you are predisposed to find what you want to find and interpret things within a narrow framework. Whatever.
Yes its taken my great imagination to insert sexism and negative female stereotyping into this great feminist episode.

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
2. Kirk's remark "Mister Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim."
I don't care what decade it is, that's one of the best lines in Trek.
Yes its pretty funny.
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Old August 25 2014, 03:01 PM   #49
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
Now the episode makes it seem OK to treat a planetary leader (the Dohlman) with condescension if they are unpleasant and are a woman.

I doubt Kirk would threaten to spank a male Dohlman.
You're right, Jim would punch the guy out and explain why he did it later after he wakes up.
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Old August 25 2014, 03:51 PM   #50
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

Terran_Empire wrote: View Post
I have to say that this was one of the more disorienting episodes I have seen so far watching TOS in the remastered episode order. This episode could have been so good, it could have even been great thanks to some outstanding guest performances from France Nuyen and Jay Robinson, a solid premise and the Enterprise as the set and setting.

The problems lies in the sudden and jerky change of focus and plot. As soon as Kirk touched Elaan's tears around midway in, the entire episode was essentially restarted. The arranged marriage is now a background element rather than the primary focus, the Dohlman is now docile and agreeable with her "monstrous savagery" seemingly forgotten and then there is the contrived sabotage angle and shoe-horning of Klingons.

I, personally, wanted to see Kirk and company make a civilized woman out of that royal ingrate. Perhaps taking a turn for comedy or maybe even a memorable Kirk speech about the significance of tolerance for others' customs, etiquette and universal respect.

...But we got a rushed ship duel scene and a bad love story instead.

Now normally I would love to see a damaged Enterprise take on a warbird and swiftly turn a sure defeat into a close victory but I was irritably thrown off by how the original crisis, a fresh and interesting one, was discarded in favor of the Klingons breaking the treaty of the billionth time. Even at the end of the episode it doesn't really seem like the Dohlman has learned anything or grown at all, complaining about her responsibilities and only begrudgingly going along due only to Kirk's insistence (whom she seems to have fallen into a spell for and not the other way around ). And if she has developed it was not truly demonstrated as to how and in what way.

Just a frustrating one overall...
Agree entirely. This is one of my bottom 5 unwatchable stinkers.
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Old August 25 2014, 05:40 PM   #51
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

Well after reading this thread I watched the episode, didn't skim it, gave it my full attention. I liked it, I think it had a good mix of what I enjoyed about TOS.

I've enjoyed Trek since about 1972 so I don't have a problem with any of the dated looks, characterizations, or features of the show.

I didn't have a problem with how the Klingons were portrayed. I happen to enjoy their one-note presentation.

I didn't like the stabbing non-death of the ambassador-- the fellow who looked like an Andorian w/o the antenna. The way the stabbing was introduced, the audience was being told thru cues (musical, visual, and performance) that the man was dead. He didn't end up too badly, as it were. I think if you write a character who's as hard as the Dolman, and you present a scene like this, the man has to be dead. Otherwise it's false drama.

The false death card can be played, and TOS played it well in Amok Time, but I didn't like it here.

The only other part I didn't "believe" was the sabotage in Engineering. Maybe they showed us too many moments of tinkering. If we saw less, we would have believed more.
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Old August 25 2014, 05:58 PM   #52
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

Terran_Empire wrote: View Post
I have to say that this was one of the more disorienting episodes I have seen so far watching TOS in the remastered episode order. This episode could have been so good, it could have even been great thanks to some outstanding guest performances from France Nuyen and Jay Robinson, a solid premise and the Enterprise as the set and setting.

The problems lies in the sudden and jerky change of focus and plot. As soon as Kirk touched Elaan's tears around midway in, the entire episode was essentially restarted. The arranged marriage is now a background element rather than the primary focus, the Dohlman is now docile and agreeable with her "monstrous savagery" seemingly forgotten and then there is the contrived sabotage angle and shoe-horning of Klingons.

I, personally, wanted to see Kirk and company make a civilized woman out of that royal ingrate. Perhaps taking a turn for comedy or maybe even a memorable Kirk speech about the significance of tolerance for others' customs, etiquette and universal respect.

...But we got a rushed ship duel scene and a bad love story instead.

Now normally I would love to see a damaged Enterprise take on a warbird and swiftly turn a sure defeat into a close victory but I was irritably thrown off by how the original crisis, a fresh and interesting one, was discarded in favor of the Klingons breaking the treaty of the billionth time. Even at the end of the episode it doesn't really seem like the Dohlman has learned anything or grown at all, complaining about her responsibilities and only begrudgingly going along due only to Kirk's insistence (whom she seems to have fallen into a spell for and not the other way around ). And if she has developed it was not truly demonstrated as to how and in what way.

Just a frustrating one overall...
The story isn't the best -- basically, "The Taming of the Shrew: -- IN SPACE! That said, this was the first first-run TOS episode I ever saw on NBC (at the age of 6 years old - very into NASA and the space program even at that age) -- and I've loved STAR TREK ever since. Also, really like a lot of the music from this episode.
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Old August 25 2014, 06:02 PM   #53
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
This episode failed the Beschdel test. What a surprise?
I would be surprised if any TOS episode passed.
Agreed. Beschdel was 8 when the episode originally aired, so expecting it to meet her criteria is somewhat ridiculous.
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Old August 25 2014, 06:48 PM   #54
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

I like this episode. I'm voting a 7 when the poll gets put up sometime about 2 years from now.


The battle with the Klingon was great! I think if for nothing else, that's makes this a good episode.

I didn't really have any problems with the episode.

It's not one of my top ten, but it's certainly not in my bottom eight, either.
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Old August 26 2014, 01:49 AM   #55
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

I liken this episode to "Journey to Babel". Both have overstuffed plots with action, political intrigue, space battles and a bit of comedy. But "Babel" is much more balanced and has a really strong Spock story at its core. "Elaan" doesn't have that - it's not a very personal story for Kirk, and Elaan, while nicely-written and acted, isn't much of a character.

Still one of the better third season episodes. Would have fit in well at the end of the second season.
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Old August 26 2014, 03:31 AM   #56
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

Noname Given wrote: View Post
The story isn't the best -- basically, "The Taming of the Shrew: -- IN SPACE!
Well, think of how much entertainment follows that formula. Even Science-fiction. Take the true progenitor of Star Trek, for instance-- Forbidden Planet = The Tempest - IN SPACE!

If you're going to copy ideas, you can do worse by copying Shakespeare.
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Old August 26 2014, 10:05 PM   #57
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode



Whilst one could, perhaps, argue for apparent sexism in this episode, I also see it from ... a different perspective:

Unlike the strong, empowered Elaan, Ambassador Pedri is relatively weak ... and effeminate. All of her clothes have a metalic sheen, suggesting hard chrome, or perhaps steel. His clothes are soft material with warm tones. Would anyone be surprised to see Elaan wearing The Pants, after her "marriage" has begun in earnest, if Pedri represents a Typical Male on his planet - specifically, his own ruler? Much like the ending of this episode. itself - she's full of surprises!
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Old August 26 2014, 10:53 PM   #58
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

^ One could also note that Petri (Jay Robinson) would bring his outstanding acting abilities to Sid & Marty Kroft's Saturday morning SUPERSHOW as the mad scientist Doctor Shrinker in the mid-1970s.
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Old August 27 2014, 05:04 AM   #59
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

Melakon wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
This episode failed the Beschdel test. What a surprise?
I would be surprised if any TOS episode passed.
Agreed. Beschdel was 8 when the episode originally aired, so expecting it to meet her criteria is somewhat ridiculous.
TOS didn't have enough women in its main cast to pass the test.

This episode was a product of the 60s. TOS was probably seen as progressive at the time with women serving in the military, having women scientists and a woman enemy Fleet Commander.

This episode is not the one I'd show a woman to introduce her to TOS. I have been lucky to see the many excellent TOS episodes so I can see past this episodes flaws and admire the good things in it.
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Old August 30 2014, 07:55 PM   #60
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Re: Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

Terran_Empire wrote: View Post
As soon as Kirk touched Elaan's tears around midway in, the entire episode was essentially restarted. The arranged marriage is now a background element rather than the primary focus, the Dohlman is now docile and agreeable with her "monstrous savagery" seemingly forgotten and then there is the contrived sabotage angle and shoe-horning of Klingons.

I, personally, wanted to see Kirk and company make a civilized woman out of that royal ingrate. Perhaps taking a turn for comedy or maybe even a memorable Kirk speech about the significance of tolerance for others' customs, etiquette and universal respect.
I liked the space battle parts better. I don't care for the sexist message of the other part. An effeminate man failed to get her under control. She needed a man's man, like Kirk. Kirk is rougher with her, which causes her to hit on him. Once he fancies her, she responds to his rough ways, asking him twice to teach her about "spanking". (Yes, I note all the kinky parts.) It's almost like it's saying a bratty woman needs a tough guy who will dominate her, causing her to become docile and happy. That's fine for a kinky story, but in this episode it felt like bona fide seixm. The writers aren't winking at you that they put something kinky in. They think this is a formula for a fun romance.
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