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Old April 7 2012, 08:53 PM   #61
Maurice
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

^^^Yep. Doc John left.

I'm not going to address the episode per se, but I want to talk about Povill's script, which I always found problematic.

  • The crew's blind acceptance of this child given the weird circumstances really stretches credibility.
  • Kirk's inertness always grated. He makes no decisions. As Middyseafort likes to say, he's "reactive not active". At the end, he doesn't even get to make the final decision, he gets pushed aside and others make the choice. That's not Captain Kirk.
  • Also, technically, it's neither an "immaculate conception" (which refers to the mother's lack of original sin from her moment of conception), nor a "virgin birth" (virgin meaning someone who's never experienced sexual intercourse, which I doubt would be the case for an adult Deltan). It would have been funny for Xon (or in the recent episode, Spock) to correct someone on this point of nomenclature.
  • When the crew starts to suspect the alien device is doing things to them because of the child, no one thinks to try putting her in a shuttlecraft and sending her outside the ship to see if the focus of the "attacks" shift to the shuttle instead of the ship.
  • The introduction of the macguffin of deciphering an alien term for the final test is a poor dramatic choice, and inconsistent with the previous tests. If each test had a word associated with it, and the child had to puzzle it out, then it would have worked. But as is it's a too convenient way for the characters to magically come up with the answer by doing magical hand waving (mind melds and the sharing sight).
  • Finally, "Just as humans pass through all evolutionary stages from single cell to human being within the mother's womb"—aka “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” or "recapitulation theory”—is the worst kind of Haeckelian rubbish and been known to be so long before the original script was written. Even Darwin knew it.
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Old April 7 2012, 09:07 PM   #62
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

Harvey wrote: View Post
beamMe wrote: View Post
John Kelly has become really good as an actor - I like watching him the most besides Bobby Rice since Jefferey Quinn isn't Phase II's Spock anymore.
Isn't Kelly being replaced with a new actor now, too, though?
John Kelley is still our Dr. McCoy for our upcoming "Kitumba" and "The Protracted Man" episodes, but we shot much of "Mind-Sifter" with Mr. David Sherin in the role. But there's been talk of Doc John returning to the Dr. McCoy role with Phase II. We'll see what the future holds.
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Old April 7 2012, 09:50 PM   #63
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

Commenting as a totally non-professional inexperinced actor/writer/producer with absolutely no credentials to draw upon, I think the episode would have been much better with some serious rewrites.
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Old April 8 2012, 12:38 AM   #64
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

I hope Doc John returns - I think he does a great performance as McCoy!
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Old April 8 2012, 01:54 AM   #65
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

John especially comes into the role in "Kitumba"! I actually cheered in several places.

But then David knocked the emotionally charged "Mind Sifter" out of the park as well!
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Old April 8 2012, 02:03 AM   #66
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

How come Iselles wears a wig or has hair? I notice a wig on a wig block in her quarters and shes sleeping with a wig on which is silly if it's a wig and not actual hair. Deltans are naturally bald aren't they?

Chekov is cute. Peter hurry up and get a hair cut!

This wasn't the best phase 2 but it was very well made made and entertaining. Where was Uhura?
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Old April 8 2012, 02:57 AM   #67
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

Solarbaby wrote: View Post
How come Iselles wears a wig or has hair? I notice a wig on a wig block in her quarters and shes sleeping with a wig on which is silly if it's a wig and not actual hair. Deltans are naturally bald aren't they?

Chekov is cute. Peter hurry up and get a hair cut!

This wasn't the best phase 2 but it was very well made made and entertaining. Where was Uhura?
From time to time, one or more of the regular cast might not be in an episode. (There were fourteen episodes that Nichelle Nichols wasn't in.) Generally, it's due to actor unavailability.
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Old April 8 2012, 03:25 AM   #68
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

Maurice wrote: View Post
^^^Yep. Doc John left.

I'm not going to address the episode per se, but I want to talk about Povill's script, which I always found problematic.

  • The crew's blind acceptance of this child given the weird circumstances really stretches credibility.
  • Kirk's inertness always grated. He makes no decisions. As Middyseafort likes to say, he's "reactive not active". At the end, he doesn't even get to make the final decision, he gets pushed aside and others make the choice. That's not Captain Kirk.
  • Also, technically, it's neither an "immaculate conception" (which refers to the mother's lack of original sin from her moment of conception), nor a "virgin birth" (virgin meaning someone who's never experienced sexual intercourse, which I doubt would be the case for an adult Deltan). It would have been funny for Xon (or in the recent episode, Spock) to correct someone on this point of nomenclature.
  • When the crew starts to suspect the alien device is doing things to them because of the child, no one thinks to try putting her in a shuttlecraft and sending her outside the ship to see if the focus of the "attacks" shift to the shuttle instead of the ship.
  • The introduction of the macguffin of deciphering an alien term for the final test is a poor dramatic choice, and inconsistent with the previous tests. If each test had a word associated with it, and the child had to puzzle it out, then it would have worked. But as is it's a too convenient way for the characters to magically come up with the answer by doing magical hand waving (mind melds and the sharing sight).
  • Finally, "Just as humans pass through all evolutionary stages from single cell to human being within the mother's womb"—aka “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” or "recapitulation theory”—is the worst kind of Haeckelian rubbish and been known to be so long before the original script was written. Even Darwin knew it.
I pretty much agree here although in the episode Cawley's Kirk is almost immediately way too suspicious of the kid. But other than that the lack of leadership of Kirk made this very hard to sell the episode. We never see any real investigation of the heavy to see. We have no evidence that the object and the girl are connected till they shoot at it about 2/3rd of the way through the episode. Yet Kirk pretty much insists that they are connected while the rest of the crew seems to not really care.
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Old April 8 2012, 03:33 AM   #69
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

Zeppster wrote: View Post
I pretty much agree here although in the episode Cawley's Kirk is almost immediately way too suspicious of the kid. But other than that the lack of leadership of Kirk made this very hard to sell the episode. We never see any real investigation of the heavy to see. We have no evidence that the object and the girl are connected till they shoot at it about 2/3rd of the way through the episode. Yet Kirk pretty much insists that they are connected while the rest of the crew seems to not really care.
For what it's worth, Kirk is the first (and only) person on board the Enterprise to suspect that the Vampire Cloud in "Obsession" poses any kind of risk. There is great skepticism from the rest of the crew, until the cloud creature turns and attacks the Enterprise 2/3 of the way through the episode. We've seen the Kirk is pretty good with these kinds of hunches.

But, all in all, we agree: "The Child" is not the perfect episode.
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Old April 8 2012, 03:44 AM   #70
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

I think Kirk's experience with children on his ship previously probably has him suspcious of halflings on board in general.
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Old April 8 2012, 05:10 AM   #71
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

Zeppster wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
  • The crew's blind acceptance of this child given the weird circumstances really stretches credibility.
I pretty much agree here although in the episode Cawley's Kirk is almost immediately way too suspicious of the kid. But other than that the lack of leadership of Kirk made this very hard to sell the episode. We never see any real investigation of the heavy to see. We have no evidence that the object and the girl are connected till they shoot at it about 2/3rd of the way through the episode. Yet Kirk pretty much insists that they are connected while the rest of the crew seems to not really care.
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
For what it's worth, Kirk is the first (and only) person on board the Enterprise to suspect that the Vampire Cloud in "Obsession" poses any kind of risk. There is great skepticism from the rest of the crew, until the cloud creature turns and attacks the Enterprise 2/3 of the way through the episode. We've seen the Kirk is pretty good with these kinds of hunches.
By "the crew" I meant Bones, Uhura, etc. I should have called out Kirk as the exception.

As to "Obsession" I can see others being skeptical of Kirk's take on the vampire cloud because they don't have the personal experience he does. In "The Child", though, they see a fellow crewmember impregnated and giving birth to a child three days later. That's NOT normal, and everyone's brushing it off is unbelievable.

(Then there's the idiocy of flying through the "nebula" in the first place. Their sensors show the radiation to be withing acceptable limits, but how do they know what acceptable limits are when they just said the field wasn't like anything they'd ever seen before. Excuse me, anyone remember the galactic barrier in "Where No Man Has Gone Before". It read "negative" and still fried the ship. To fly through something that unknown given past experience is foolhardy. Again, a problem with the script going right back to the 70s.)
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Old April 9 2012, 04:20 PM   #72
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

As always, the production values are amazing. Just a few comments about the characters, since most everyone before me has touched on the finer points of the episode already:

Spock: I know it's difficult to create consistency when you have to change actors as often as you do, but Spock is of vital importance. Yet it never feels like that's the case in Phase II. I was never a big fan of Jeffrey Quinn in the role, but at least there was a hint of a relationship between Kirk and Spock. Now, their deep friendship doesn't seem to exist. Spock just kind of fills a role as stoic alien to impart exposition and take McCoy's insults. Brandon Stacy looks right, but he's too sedate, maybe even bland. There's more to Spock than a monotone recitation of lines. When he gave the dire prediction that they would all die, every ounce of energy and import was drained from the moment. Hopefully he'll stick around long enough to have a better grasp on the role and for Kirk and Spock to once again have that important friendship aspect.

The original Xon was written out of TMP was because it was felt his presence would be redundant. Two Vulcan science officers? That was the right decision, but sometimes I feel like SPOCK is the one who is becoming redundant here. Xon isn't necessary unless you have plans for Spock to be written out. If you do, I don't think it would impact the show too greatly, since (thanks to the actors remaining with the run) the Big Three is now more like The Big Two. It feels like the Kirk/McCoy show at this point.

McCoy: John Kelley is really the shining star right now and having just read he'll be leaving is distressing. He's really gotten into the character (although some cutting down on his badgering speeches would be great). He started out limited in range way back when, but now he IS Bones. He has nailed Bones more to me than James Cawley has embodied Kirk (sorry). Also, McCoy has the friendship with Kirk that is missing with Spock. When the new actor comes in, that will impact the chemistry greatly. Another friendship lost? Will The Big Two become The Big One? I liked how McCoy had some banter with Spock, but Spock - as is - let us down, his presence just isn't that strong.

DeSalle: More please. Ron Boyd's being wasted and I loved how DeSalle developed early on in the series.

Chekov: is it me, or does he look like a young Scott Bakula? He could stand to lose the swagger. His scene with Kirk in the teaser has him coming off as too hip or slick. Jonathan Zungre is a good actor, he just needs a toning down there.

Scotty: he's problematical as he's always being given some really bad lines in NV/P2 (from "all right beastie, time to ring the dinner bell!" to "we'll stoke the furnace" or whatever that was). On the plus side, it was GREAT to see him so sweet with the child and having a relationship with her, which is what I'd have loved to see more of. Charles Root was really good there. Also, I'd like to see him a little more short fused under pressure. Scotty in Phase II is too calm and laid back. He's supposed to be a "very excitable repairman" remember? ;-) But really, it was off-putting to see how he fell asleep, cradling an empty bottle of scotch like a lover (was that a half eaten bagel?). I know he likes to drink, but that bit came off like he has a serious problem.

Again, I know how hard it is to be consistent with an ever changing cast of non-paid, mostly non-professional actors doing it out of love and whatever free time they have. If you agree with any of my comments at all, a lot of them can be addressed in the writing and direction. Whatever, even if ignore tham all, my respect for what you've done is boundless. Even with these little complaints, I still look forward to every episode. Thank you for making them.
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Old April 9 2012, 11:13 PM   #73
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

We I really enjoyed "The Child," and the production value of the show gets better with each episode. Lighting was quite good as was the direction. However I did have some issues:

1) Kirk just seems so dang passive in a lot of these episodes. Having directed myself in a short and produced multiple shorts I was acting in I know there are a lot of behind the scenes rigors that can take their toll on the actor/producer. I've wondered if this might be the reason Kirk seems to take a back seat in a number of the productions... James is trying to juggle a lot and he probably is more willing to give up screen time for the sake of the production. But keep in mind the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic made that show go.

2) This episode... like some of the other Phase II productions really has a problem with Act II. The opening and final acts are always top notch, but somewhere along the way the episodes often.... meander. There's a lot of good stuff happening, but there's a lot of filler too that really doesn't add a lot or leaves the viewer scratching their head.

For example, while I love the acting in the scene between Irska and Scotty it really comes out of nowhere and in the end seems more a plot contrivance designed to explain how Irska can fix the ship. The scene would have worked had you established an earlier scene between Scotty and Irska to indicate a friendship or surrogate parent relation... just very out of the blue.

other areas in Act II just needed to be tightened up with some judicious cuts here or there... but otherwise great stuff.

Keep up the good work!


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Old April 10 2012, 12:21 AM   #74
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

If I understand right, the passivity of Kirk comes straight from the nature of the original 1970's Phase II. They were presenting Kirk as an older, calmer, more seasoned captain. A man who's deliberately taking a backseat approach, trying to build up Decker as the possible new Captain/star (replacing Kirk in mid-season if long-term contract negotiations with Shatner failed). This dynamic carried over almost untouched to the early Picard/Riker relationship.

In this case with no Decker, they're perhaps presenting Kirk in this manner (near the end of the five-year mission) to show he's gotten a bit worn-down. Not exactly burned out, but the last few years have taken a toll on him. (This'll be especially true after Mind Sifter.) Maybe making him gradually more willing to accept a promotion to Admiral if offered... or am I reading too much into it?
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Old April 10 2012, 02:18 AM   #75
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Re: STAR TREK PHASE II: "The Child" Full Episode Now Released on YouTu

^^^I think it's more basic than that. Beginning writers frequently fail to grasp the basics of drama, and that one of the basic tenants of it is that the main character has to make a difficult decision in order to resolve the problem, and what's important is what the character learns or fails to learn from that experience. As David Gerrold said many years ago, the climax of a story really involves three climaxes:
  1. An emotional climax: wherein something drives the character to make the decision
  2. An intellectual climax: wherein the character decides what to do
  3. An action climax: wherein the character finally acts on the emotional and intellectual climaxes and does what's needed to resolve the problem
You have to have all three for the climax to be satisfying. "The Child", arguably, has none of them.
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