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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

View Poll Results: Which episode is better?
How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth 6 35.29%
The Infinite Vulcan 11 64.71%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 15 2011, 12:30 PM   #1
Botany Bay
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How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

Each week we eliminate an episode till we find out which is the greatest TAS episode of them all...

Up next :

How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

Which one is better?
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Old May 15 2011, 01:09 PM   #2
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

I'm sure some aar going to say I need my head examined, but I'm going with "The Infinite Vulcan." The Phylosians looks damned cool and I rather like the story. The only part that's WTF! is the fifty foot clones---why-oh-why did they have to do something so stupid??? When you read the ADF adaptation you can imagine you don't see that. But everything else is pretty good.

"How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth" is more-or-less a retelling of "Who Mourns For Adonais?" And can anyone tell me how a winged serpent is supposed to command such high tech when he doesn't have any manipulative limbs? His ship looked kinda nice.
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Old May 15 2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

I think there's a lot to like about The Infinite Vulcan, and if they'd ditched the giant clone aspect for, oh say, just a normal clone, it would have made a world of difference.

I voted for Serpent though.
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Old May 15 2011, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I'm sure some aar going to say I need my head examined, but I'm going with "The Infinite Vulcan." The Phylosians looks damned cool and I rather like the story. The only part that's WTF! is the fifty foot clones---why-oh-why did they have to do something so stupid??? When you read the ADF adaptation you can imagine you don't see that. But everything else is pretty good.

"How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth" is more-or-less a retelling of "Who Mourns For Adonais?" And can anyone tell me how a winged serpent is supposed to command such high tech when he doesn't have any manipulative limbs? His ship looked kinda nice.
You don't have to use limbs to control a ship...mind link technology would work just fine...
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Old May 15 2011, 02:34 PM   #5
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

QuasarVM wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
And can anyone tell me how a winged serpent is supposed to command such high tech when he doesn't have any manipulative limbs? His ship looked kinda nice.
You don't have to use limbs to control a ship...mind link technology would work just fine...
How did he build it? Or did he contract it out or coerce someone else into building it?
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Old May 15 2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

I liked "Serpent's Tooth" well enough, but arrogant gods eventually annoy me. I hated the giant clone aspect of "Infinite Vulcan," but I LOVED the asparagus people, so I voted for it.
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Old May 16 2011, 12:06 AM   #7
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

"Serpent's Tooth" may have won TAS an Emmy but I still like "Infinite Vulcan" better. If I recall correctly, Mr. Koenig never had the giant clones and plant people in his original script. That was put in to make it "exploit" what animation could show that the original series couldn't. There might even be some storyboards of what the original Phylosians looked like on the TAS DVD extras. It's been a while since I last saw them but I think it was there.
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Old May 16 2011, 02:17 AM   #8
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

This is a tough one, because they're both highly problematical episodes from a conceptual standpoint, yet both have points in their favor.

The Phylosians in "Infinite Vulcan" are fairly interesting, but the rest is flawed. Even aside from the giant-clone nonsense, Keniclius's backstory is hard to reconcile. He's a product of the Eugenics Wars in the 1990s, and yet his plans called for spreading supermen across the galaxy? How did he even get out into space? And the chronology is screwy -- at one moment, Keniclius reveals knowledge of "the galactic wars" and the Klingons and Romulans, but in the next, Kirk is saying he's been out of touch for 200 years. True, the discrepancies are a product of when it was written, a time when Trek chronology was still rather vaguely defined, but it doesn't fit well with what we know now, and it was only marginally less problematical even when it was made.

"Serpent's Tooth" is ambitious and visually impressive, but as stated above, it is pretty much a beat-for-beat revamp of "Who Mourns for Adonais," and it's got a lot of problems. Considering it was co-written by a Native American screenwriter trying to increase the representation of his people, it does a pretty cruddy job of depicting Native American history and mythology. The legends of Kukulkan described in the episode are nothing like the real myths, and the chronology and history of ancient cultures, both American and elsewhere, are grossly misrepresented in service of the conceit that all Earth cultures were imperfect replicas of Kukulkan's ideal city. And really, how could a pyramid built by ancient technology and powered by mere sunlight have the ability to send a faster-than-light transmission to Kukulkan?

It's hard to give a totally fair assessment since I've watched "The Infinite Vulcan" recently but haven't yet gotten around to "Serpent's Tooth." But I think I have to give the edge to TIV. As strange and silly as some of its aspects are, at least it doesn't do a disservice to history and cultural lore, and at least it isn't a rehash of a story that had already been done.
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Old May 16 2011, 03:15 PM   #9
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

I like both just fine. If you like, chalk it up to the fact that they're cartoons. I have a greater suspension of disbelief.

But I have absolutely no problem with any of the "impossibilities" mentioned above, so long as they're in service of the story, and I even don't mind towering clones; would we have felt any imperative threat from them if they weren't so large? Their size added to their characterization, and hence threat, and created suspense as a result.

I just love how people complain about such supposed problems, while overlooking that FTL travel is impossible. Or that a starship would travel faster than the photons in its own phasers. Or that a sonic disrupter by definition is useless in space. Or that shockwaves cannot be felt in space, sending the crew tumbling. Or-

Sheesh, go along with the story and have some fun, people!
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Old May 16 2011, 03:42 PM   #10
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

Warped9 wrote: View Post
QuasarVM wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
And can anyone tell me how a winged serpent is supposed to command such high tech when he doesn't have any manipulative limbs? His ship looked kinda nice.
You don't have to use limbs to control a ship...mind link technology would work just fine...
How did he build it? Or did he contract it out or coerce someone else into building it?
I would think slave labor -- like Ra used in Stargate...:-)

But, had they used the Kukulkhan legend correctly, Ku could have been a humanoid that could either project or take the form of the feathered serpent -- and then, problem solved! :-)
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Old May 16 2011, 05:22 PM   #11
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

jayrath wrote: View Post
I like both just fine. If you like, chalk it up to the fact that they're cartoons. I have a greater suspension of disbelief.

But I have absolutely no problem with any of the "impossibilities" mentioned above, so long as they're in service of the story, and I even don't mind towering clones; would we have felt any imperative threat from them if they weren't so large? Their size added to their characterization, and hence threat, and created suspense as a result.

I just love how people complain about such supposed problems, while overlooking that FTL travel is impossible. Or that a starship would travel faster than the photons in its own phasers. Or that a sonic disrupter by definition is useless in space. Or that shockwaves cannot be felt in space, sending the crew tumbling. Or-

Sheesh, go along with the story and have some fun, people!

Preach it.
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Old May 17 2011, 10:51 AM   #12
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Re: How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth vs. The Infinite Vulcan

..Keniclius's backstory is hard to reconcile. He's a product of the Eugenics Wars in the 1990s, and yet his plans called for spreading supermen across the galaxy? How did he even get out into space? And the chronology is screwy -- at one moment, Keniclius reveals knowledge of "the galactic wars" and the Klingons and Romulans, but in the next, Kirk is saying he's been out of touch for 200 years.
I don't think the homework was too badly done... Nobody says the first Keniclius traveled to the stars, back in the 20th or 21st century. He's only stated to have disappeared - after having been found to be dabbling in cloning processes. No need for him to hijack another DY ship in the 1990s and follow hot on the heels of Khan Singh!

Quite possibly it was his first or second clone who first traveled to the stars in the ENT era, after having shared some history with mankind. This history would thus include the first clashes with Klingons, Romulans and Kzinti (Xindi?), as specified, but not the alliances that would give the galaxy the peacekeeping force that Keniclius thought was lacking. (And note that he expressed these thoughts in his "latter essays", not necessarily back when the original Doctor was still Earth-bound...)

Or then this clone might have left Earth a tad earlier, and heard of the Klingon, Romulan and Kzinti (Xindi?) troubles through intermediates. No matter what the truth, Kirk might assume this second case because he would be aware that the Doctor had originally disappeared 200 years prior to the episode and would be thinking in those overall terms.

I had forgotten how the episode features the return of the stun setting for the ship's phasers. Nice to see the Kzinti referred again, too. And animated plants are a cute concept in an animated episode... My vote goes for "TIF" despite the rather superfluous size fetish thing.

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