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

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Old July 2 2009, 01:57 PM   #1
Captain Al
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More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, gym

Charlie X is a standout episode not only for its story and writing, but for the fact that it's one of the scant few episodes where we see how some of the crew spends its leisure time. Later series, i.e. TNG, show the crew in Ten Forward, or in the Holodeck, etc., but in TOS, we rarely got a glimpse of the crews' lives outside of their work routine.

So, in Charlie X, we got to see some of the crew hanging out in the rec room, which I've always thought was kind of cool. We also saw Kirk and Spock play chess, which IIRC, happened only a few times in the series.

in Charlie X, we see an interesting insight to Spock's character: he plays a Vulcan lyre instrument in his leisure time. (And, IIRC, this happens only one other time in the series, doesn't it? Didn't he also do this in The Way to Eden?)

Spock chose to be in the rec room and mingle with the other crew rather than in the isolation of his quarters. He is the First Officer of the Enterprise, yet there he is, acting just like one of the guys, hangin' with the crew. And playing his lyre brings him obvious contentment.

What I'm wondering about is others' reactions to this scene. Is it normal for Spock to mingle with the crew in the rec room? And was he insulated when Uhura started singing, or did he not mind it at all? I watched CX last night and could not tell from his reactions. As she continued to sing, he accompanied her--whether he was playing backup to her, or if she was singing to his melody, I couldn't tell--and he was smiling to himself. Was his emotional side reacting to this? Or was it simply so early in the series that the producers hadn't nailed down Spock's character just yet?

Secondly, would you have wanted to see more rec room scenes, provided they contributed to the story? I believe it made the environment of the Enterprise more human-like, rather than so static.

Thirdly, when Kirk was at the gym, he interacted with "Sam." Do the crewmembers lose the formality of rank titles when the uniforms come off? Kirk seemed to know Sam very well, and never referred to him as Lieutenant Smith, just "Sam." I almost expected Sam to call Kirk "Jim."
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Old July 2 2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

Captain Al wrote: View Post
in Charlie X, we see an interesting insight to Spock's character: he plays a Vulcan lyre instrument in his leisure time. (And, IIRC, this happens only one other time in the series, doesn't it? Didn't he also do this in The Way to Eden?)
He played it in "Amok Time", just before he smashes the monitor in his quarters.

Captain Al wrote: View Post
And was he insulated when Uhura started singing, or did he not mind it at all? I watched CX last night and could not tell from his reactions. As she continued to sing, he accompanied her--whether he was playing backup to her, or if she was singing to his melody, I couldn't tell--and he was smiling to himself. Was his emotional side reacting to this? Or was it simply so early in the series that the producers hadn't nailed down Spock's character just yet?
I don't think he was "insulted", I just think we were supposed to get the impression that Uhura stepped on Spock's chorus (a jazz musician will understand what I'm saying...when you're playing a solo, it's considered poor etiquette to "join in") and it was a common occurance. In early episodes it wasn't unusual to see Spock smiling.

Captain Al wrote: View Post
Secondly, would you have wanted to see more rec room scenes, provided they contributed to the story? I believe it made the environment of the Enterprise more human-like, rather than so static.
There was a cut scene from 'Elaan of Troyius" that showed just that; Spock practicing his lyre in the Arboretum, bragging about how he captured second place in the All-Vulcan music competition (his father took first!). Also, the rec room scene from "Conscience of the King" has Uhura playing the lyre and singing.

Captain Al wrote: View Post
Thirdly, when Kirk was at the gym, he interacted with "Sam." Do the crewmembers lose the formality of rank titles when the uniforms come off? Kirk seemed to know Sam very well, and never referred to him as Lieutenant Smith, just "Sam." I almost expected Sam to call Kirk "Jim."
Since we don't know anything about "Sam", you could speculate on all sorts of reasons for their apparent familiarity. When I was in the Army, one of my best friends (who was at one time my college roomate)eventually rose to the rank of CW4 and commanded our unit; after he got his commission I never referred to him by name, unless we were off-duty. That could be the case with Kirk and "Sam".
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Old July 2 2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

Hambone wrote: View Post
Since we don't know anything about "Sam", you could speculate on all sorts of reasons for their apparent familiarity. When I was in the Army, one of my best friends (who was at one time my college roomate)eventually rose to the rank of CW4 and commanded our unit; after he got his commission I never referred to him by name, unless we were off-duty. That could be the case with Kirk and "Sam".
Sam gets the surname "Fuller" in the novel trilogy, Errand of Vengeance, by Kevin Ryan. He's a significant character in the books, which take up the action straight after "Charlie X".

Fuller's father, Michael, is a major player in the sequel trilogy, Errand of Fury.
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Old July 2 2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

On the subject of the "rec-room" scene, anyone notice the exchange between Uhura and Rand just before Uhura does the song?

As Spock starts the music, the two ladies give a silent giggle. Rand looks as if an idea just hit her, and she grins mischeviously and cocks her head in Spock direction. Uhura slowly nods, winks, and begins her song.

As the crew all share the joke at the Vulcan's expense, Rand keeps her gaze focused on Spock, at one point biting her lower lip in anticipation.

And of course, when Uhura finishes, Rand calls for an encore!

Hmm...conspiracy, anyone?
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Old July 2 2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Sam gets the surname "Fuller" in the novel trilogy, Errand of Vengeance, by Kevin Ryan. He's a significant character in the books, which take up the action straight after "Charlie X".
Interesting. Conversely, in the James Blish adaptation, Sam is Sam Ellis.
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Old July 2 2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

^Yeah, but the Blish Books should probably taken with a BIG chunk o' salt, considering how they contradict practically every single episode of The Original Series...
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Old July 2 2009, 10:12 PM   #7
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

...Of course, it's also possible that Sam was a civilian brought aboard for his unparalleled skill in practicing and/or teaching martial arts...

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Old July 3 2009, 03:52 AM   #8
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

I'm glad you brought this episode up in this respect. I also noticed a few of the subtleties going on... very revealing of crew leisure time and interaction, especially this bit with Uhura and Rand on Spock. The edited version bypassed most of it and other really great material... it wasn't until many years later seeing the remastered versions with all the edits put back in that I found so many of the episodes "come to life". This is one of them. It was a shame we didn't see more of this "real" side of the crew.
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Old July 3 2009, 04:14 AM   #9
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

It is a bit of a joy to see them acting like regular people. It's something I think we all would have liked to see more of. I personally never liked the music bit, I found it to be a bit contrived, but overall the ep was a unique one, and quite entertaining.
I like to think that Spock enjoys the company of the crew, though whether he'd admit it is questionable. There's only so much distance one can keep between oneself and coworkers in close quarters for five years. Plus, Uhura's so very charming and personable.
Great ep, thanks for putting it in the spotlight.
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Old July 3 2009, 08:59 AM   #10
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

Really good episode, but that one scene creeps me out so much I still can't watch it to this day. You know what I am talking about.
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Old July 3 2009, 04:07 PM   #11
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
^Yeah, but the Blish Books should probably taken with a BIG chunk o' salt, considering how they contradict practically every single episode of The Original Series...
But weren't Blish's adaptations based upon actual script drafts that he was given to work from?
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Old July 3 2009, 05:46 PM   #12
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

Dark Journey wrote: View Post
Really good episode, but that one scene creeps me out so much I still can't watch it to this day. You know what I am talking about.
the .... face?
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Old July 3 2009, 11:21 PM   #13
Rush Limborg
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

But weren't Blish's adaptations based upon actual script drafts that he was given to work from?
Yeah--early drafts, many of them.

Still...you'd think he'd have the good sense to WATCH the episodes as they came out....
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Old July 4 2009, 03:38 AM   #14
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
But weren't Blish's adaptations based upon actual script drafts that he was given to work from?
Yeah--early drafts, many of them.

Still...you'd think he'd have the good sense to WATCH the episodes as they came out....

Why? These are novelizations of the episodes. There's no reason to assume that they have to mimic the episode in exact detail. Alan Dean Foster's novelizations of the animated show didn't either.
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Old July 4 2009, 09:55 AM   #15
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Re: More on Charlie X: Rec Room scene, Spock's lyre, Uhura's songs, g

seigezunt wrote: View Post
Dark Journey wrote: View Post
Really good episode, but that one scene creeps me out so much I still can't watch it to this day. You know what I am talking about.
the .... face?
Yes, or I should say the lack of one.
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