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

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Old October 16 2012, 04:23 AM   #61
UnknownSample
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

foxhot wrote: View Post
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.
I remember watching this with my sister on the very first airing. She predicted that the styrofoam lump who would be destroyed would be the black man, thus devaluing a black man, and reinforcing the sexist, patronizing "too pretty to die" attitude we saw on TV a lot. She was surprised at how it actually turned out...
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Old October 16 2012, 09:16 AM   #62
t_smitts
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

UnknownSample wrote: View Post
foxhot wrote: View Post
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.
I remember watching this with my sister on the very first airing. She predicted that the styrofoam lump who would be destroyed would be the black man, thus devaluing a black man, and reinforcing the sexist, patronizing "too pretty to die" attitude we saw on TV a lot. She was surprised at how it actually turned out...
Granted, there weren't that many people of color on the series to begin with, but can't recall any dying.

I'm glad a number of people agree with me that the two halves of this show don't really mesh.
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Old October 16 2012, 01:31 PM   #63
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

Ensign Watkins from THAT WHICH SURVIVES is the only black crewperson to perish in clasic TREK. He's also the final crewman to die in classic TREK going by stardate and episode production order.
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Old October 19 2012, 09:04 PM   #64
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

foxhot wrote: View Post
Ensign Watkins from THAT WHICH SURVIVES is the only black crewperson to perish in clasic TREK. He's also the final crewman to die in classic TREK going by stardate and episode production order.
Ah, so you're saying he was the Token Black Death, as an afterthought, when they finally realized all those dead red shirts, and not a one of them black
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Old October 19 2012, 10:47 PM   #65
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

No. I'm saying Ensign Watkins from THAT WHICH SURVIVES is the only black crewperson to perish in clasic TREK. He's also the final crewman to die in classic TREK going by stardate and episode production order.

There is SOME merit to the black-man-dies-first urban legend in movies, though I think it's less true for TV shows of this period. It is true they had usually much less dialogue on TV.
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Old October 20 2012, 10:27 PM   #66
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

I thought the "black guy is the first one to die" myth was largely a result of horror and action movies where you have an isolated group of varied characters and it always seemed like the "black guy" was the first or one of the first to be killed off.

IIRC, Wesley Snipes in referring to "Demolition Man" actually made a humorous comment about it referring to himself that "this time the black man lasts an hour and a half".
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Old October 20 2012, 11:32 PM   #67
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

In the original ALIEN, both women survive the five men but all the white males buy it before Yaphet Kotto. That being said, no black MAN has yet to make it out of an ALIEN film alive.

Anyone who says ''it's always t.b.g.w.d.f.'' hasn't seen LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III. But why would they want to? It stinks.
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Old October 21 2012, 01:01 AM   #68
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

M wrote: View Post
Just a theory, but since the great Jerome Bixby shares the teleplay credit for this episode with D.C. Fontana, wouldn't it be possible that she's somewhat responsible for the shift in tone at the end of the episode?

Not to belittle Fontana's work (I've always been a huge admirer of her's), but the tone definitely doesn't befit Bixby's other efforts for the series, which were always more earnest in tone. The light tone actually seems more in line with Fontana's work.

So my theory is that there was a moment during the writing of this episode, where Fontana rewrote Bixby's script or "took over" from where he left. If true, I wonder what the original ending looked like. Is there someone here who knows more about what happened during the writing?

Anyways, "By Any Other Name" is one of my favorite episodes not only from the second season but the series as a whole. The Kelvans are good villains (especially Warren Stevens as Rojan), the pacing of the episode and the blocking of the scenes is wonderful. This is just one of these episodes I never get tired of watching.
Seeing as no-one ever really followed up on this, I guess I'm the only one who cares, but I just found a bit on the MA page for this episode, where it is said, that Bixby once told an interviewer, that he initially wrote the episode in a much more serious vain, but that Roddenberry stepped in and ordered a re-write by Fontana, who made it a somewhat "lightweight" story.

So the theory I had posted earlier is actually true! That's very interesting and makes me want to read Bixby's original outline/teleplay even more. It's a pity that no-one seems so have anything like that. I wonder if Bixby's son, who himself is a film producer, would know something about that.

EDIT: One more thing: The MA article refers to a book called "The Star Trek Interview Book" by Allan Asherman. Does anyone have this book lying around? What else does Bixby say about "By Any Other Name"? Does he also mention "Requiem for Methuselah"? Anyone care to share a scan?
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Old October 21 2012, 12:54 PM   #69
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

I only have Asherman's COMPENDIUM. But I remember reading in a STARLOG interview Bixby's cooments that his original script for ''BAON'' emphasized the loneliness of leaving their familiar galaxy. I get the impression the paralysis field may have been a Fontana addition. The cocaine blocks were Roddenberry's idea, according to Shatner. I'm dying to get a hold of this original script, but no luck.
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Old October 22 2012, 02:41 AM   #70
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

foxhot wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote:

''I'm surprised nobody was seen picking them up; it's a wonder they weren't accidentally stepped on.

I should hope that Kirk and the others carefully gathered up all the crew and put them away somewhere in a closet or box where they'd be safe from being broken. And of course, I'd hope they were set back in a big enough space when they were restored to human form.''


Do you really expect senior officers like KirkSpockandMcCoy who are joined at the hip to menially take time to pick up disembodied crewmen from the floor? That's a yeoman's job, and at that moment all the yeomans were converted to coke blocks, or worse. So let's have Scotty do it. He's not top-billed, he won't mind.

More seriously, Rojan wouldn't allow Kirk to stow them away. He wouldn't be so stupid as to walk into one (nor would Kirk, Spock or the Kelvans), but if Kirk tried anything else, there's 430 more cessated hostages available if needed. It's rather like being transformed without materializing, when one thinks about it. Wonder whether the Kelvans tested their devices on anyone or anything in the past.

Big spaces for crew restoration shouldn't be a problem if a few are restored at a time. I'm curious whether Kelvan paralyzers or body-erasers have limits in proximity or number of subjects at a time. Since Shea was brought back in the exact same position after basically being thrown upside-down onto the ground as coke, then safe restoration should be easy. But, there's just one more thing.......Chekov and Uhura were wiped from existence while sitting upon their chairs, so having then restored in ANOTHER non-bridge location could lead to the funniest fourth-act conclusion since the all-time yukathon GAILIEO SEVEN. You think?
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In other words, they both fall on their asses while Spock barely represses a smirk as we roll credits.
I think there have been examples of characters being beamed away in a sitting position and being rematerialized upright, so it's not a huge stretch.

Case in point: Chakotay being beamed away while piloting the doomed Maquis ship in "Caretaker". We seem him walking off the pad, rather than getting up off the floor.

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
I thought the "black guy is the first one to die" myth was largely a result of horror and action movies where you have an isolated group of varied characters and it always seemed like the "black guy" was the first or one of the first to be killed off.

IIRC, Wesley Snipes in referring to "Demolition Man" actually made a humorous comment about it referring to himself that "this time the black man lasts an hour and a half".
foxhot wrote: View Post
In the original ALIEN, both women survive the five men but all the white males buy it before Yaphet Kotto. That being said, no black MAN has yet to make it out of an ALIEN film alive.

Anyone who says ''it's always t.b.g.w.d.f.'' hasn't seen LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III. But why would they want to? It stinks.

I remember there was a comedy called "Canadian Bacon" (notable mainly for being directed by Michael Moore and for being one of John Candy's last films) in which they listed various movies in which "the black guy dies". I don't remember most of them, but I remember they specifically included ST2.

I think people have gotten wise to this cliche in recent years, so it may not be as common now.

foxhot wrote: View Post
I only have Asherman's COMPENDIUM. But I remember reading in a STARLOG interview Bixby's cooments that his original script for ''BAON'' emphasized the loneliness of leaving their familiar galaxy. I get the impression the paralysis field may have been a Fontana addition. The cocaine blocks were Roddenberry's idea, according to Shatner. I'm dying to get a hold of this original script, but no luck.
For some reason, I'm skeptical of anything from Shatner. Still, it's not like Gene Roddenberry was incapable of a bad idea. I'd rather not cite examples, but I'm sure we can all think of a few.

I actually liked the idea of the paralysis field. It's a simple effect that made the Kelvans formidable, without necessarily being murderous. I'd prefer the episode dispense with the blocks altogether and simply employ the paralysis field. Instead of coke blocks, we'd have corridors full of frozen crew-members, in the vein of "Wink of an Eye" or "Timescape".

And yes, I know you almost certainly couldn't leave them like that for days, let alone centuries. (The paralysis field probably wouldn't protect you from dehydration or starvation, for instance). It might've been a short term solution to neutralizing the crew until the Kelvans could figure out something long-term.

Best of all, that would prevent the unnecessary murder of Yeoman Thompson, eliminating my main grievance with this episode, leaving us to enjoy a much lighter story.
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Old October 22 2012, 12:04 PM   #71
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

I have Ashermans Interview book at home, I'll have a look when I finish work. But it's a collection of Starlog interviews so it's likely the same interview as you've already read.
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Old October 22 2012, 10:19 PM   #72
Foxhot
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

T. Smitts wrote: I think there have been examples of characters being beamed away in a sitting position and being rematerialized upright, so it's not a huge stretch.

Case in point: Chakotay being beamed away while piloting the doomed Maquis ship in "Caretaker". We seem him walking off the pad, rather than getting up off the floor.

Most likely that's done for the actors' convenience.....like when Ro and Geordi are intangible yet avoid falling through the deck floors. We can't be sure if the GALILEO SEVEN survivors didn't beam up in sitting positions, but we DO know Kirk, McCoy and Bailey had to crouch low before being transported to Balok's ship in THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER.

Both Enterprise transporters and Kelvan neutralizings involve temporary nonexistence of sorts. But since Shea was brought back right side up after being bounced around, it stands to reason Uhura and Chekov would return in sitting position whether chairs are beneath them or not....
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Old October 23 2012, 12:22 AM   #73
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

I think there have been examples of characters being beamed away in a sitting position and being rematerialized upright, so it's not a huge stretch.
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Old October 23 2012, 07:02 AM   #74
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

Indeed, it seems to be routine for the transporter to adjust the pose of the transportee to secure a safe "landing". Sometimes this means lifting a sitting person to a standing position, sometimes just lifting a standing person's leg to match the contours of the ground he's going to be standing on. The opposite basically never happens. Well, except in "Manhunt", but obviously Picard did it on purpose.

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Old October 23 2012, 01:31 PM   #75
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Re: Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

In REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAZZZZZZZZZ, Flint not only freezes the Enterprise crew as Rojan did, but also miniaturizes them for Kirk to see. Kirk says they are ''worse than dead'' and Flint announces they are ''suspended.'' Could he be referring to life functions?
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