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

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Old June 3 2013, 06:28 PM   #91
Gary7
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

LOKAI of CHERON wrote: View Post
Sorry to go off topic, but that's a marvellous avatar, Gary7!
That's very kind of you, Lokai. You're welcome on my planet anytime.
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Old June 3 2013, 08:55 PM   #92
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Nor was there ever any indication that she was in charge of engineering as a whole. She seemed to be the senior officer in the particular subsection of the engineering complex that was responsible for the dilithium circuits, but that's all.
...Perhaps in charge of just dilithium crystal re-amplification, even? It sounds like a rare procedure, and might call for a dedicated blueskirt specialist working with special equipment somewhere far away from Scotty's little kingdom.

It's nice to have two speaking Starfleet parts down at the facility where the Lazari do their raiding - and it sort of makes plot sense that this facility be a small, isolated, never-before-seen one, because the heists would have been much less plausible down at Main Engineering where Scotty generally has plenty of assistants around.

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Old June 3 2013, 09:40 PM   #93
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Christopher wrote: View Post

Nor was there ever any indication that she was in charge of engineering as a whole.

Which was my entire point. Thanks for agreeing with me.
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Old June 3 2013, 11:28 PM   #94
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

^Well, what you said was "The woman could have been in charge simply because Scotty was off-duty." My point was that it was never suggested that she was even temporarily filling in for Scotty as the supervisor of the whole department. She was just working in one part of the overall engineering complex, and she had one or two people working under her, but that doesn't mean Scotty wasn't on duty as her commanding officer at the same time. After all, engineering is more than just one room and a few guys. It's probably the biggest department on the ship other than sciences, so there'd be a whole hierarchy of officers under Scott -- just as Geordi had people like Barclay, O'Brien, Duffy, Gomez, and Taurik working under him. If Barclay or O'Brien reported to Captain Picard, it wouldn't mean they were filling in for Geordi while he was off-duty -- it would just mean that the thing they were reporting on pertained to their own particular specialties or assignments.

After all, as stated, the part of engineering we saw in this episode was one we never saw at any other time. So it stands to reason that it's a subset of the overall engineering complex, and Lt. Masters was an assistant engineer who ran that particular section and reported to Scotty, who was in charge of the whole department. There were probably other sub-departments with their own lieutenants in charge.
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Old June 4 2013, 12:33 PM   #95
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

The total absence of a main character from an episode does raise questions. I mean, a ship's doctor might remain unseen, but McCoy is such a busybody; a chief engineer might be off camera if all went well, but no episode is based on all going well. If these people are absent without explanation and 1:1 replacement, something is lacking.

The secondary bridge heroes have every excuse of being rotated off duty, of course. The odd thing about that is why the sidekicks are so seldom replaced by corresponding other officers; it almost appears as if they are the "A Team", the shift that is awakened every time an adventure is anticipated, and then stays on duty until the credits roll. But there are adventures that start in the middle of the teaser, not prior to it, and nevertheless the "A Team" already occupies the usual consoles...

In TNG, we often had main characters leave the ship and attend various meetings, conferences, competitions, holidays or whatnot. In TOS, nothing of the sort was ever hinted at; shore leaves were rare occasions that impacted on the entire ship, and no courier service could whisk people off the ship for the duration of a single episode (or else there would have been no "Amok Time").

So... Where is Scotty?

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Old June 4 2013, 04:29 PM   #96
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

One thing good to come out of this episode, Charlene Masters. D*mn, she's beautiful!

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old June 4 2013, 09:55 PM   #97
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Supposedly the episode was chopped to heck to remove an interracial romance or something like that. I wonder if the whole ep exists somewhere, and if it is any better.
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Old June 4 2013, 10:12 PM   #98
Harvey
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

That version wasn't shot. The episode was "chopped to heck," but it happened during the re-write process. I've seen it alleged that this happened after Janet MacLachlan was cast because NBC was leery of an inter-racial romance, but I haven't seen any actual evidence to that effect.
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Old June 4 2013, 11:15 PM   #99
Christopher
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

There are overviews of two drafts of the "Alternative Factor" script available at Dave Eversole's Unseen Elements page:

First draft
Final draft
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Old June 5 2013, 12:43 AM   #100
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

Timo wrote: View Post
The total absence of a main character from an episode does raise questions. I mean, a ship's doctor might remain unseen, but McCoy is such a busybody; a chief engineer might be off camera if all went well, but no episode is based on all going well. If these people are absent without explanation and 1:1 replacement, something is lacking.

The secondary bridge heroes have every excuse of being rotated off duty, of course. The odd thing about that is why the sidekicks are so seldom replaced by corresponding other officers; it almost appears as if they are the "A Team", the shift that is awakened every time an adventure is anticipated, and then stays on duty until the credits roll. But there are adventures that start in the middle of the teaser, not prior to it, and nevertheless the "A Team" already occupies the usual consoles...

In TNG, we often had main characters leave the ship and attend various meetings, conferences, competitions, holidays or whatnot. In TOS, nothing of the sort was ever hinted at; shore leaves were rare occasions that impacted on the entire ship, and no courier service could whisk people off the ship for the duration of a single episode (or else there would have been no "Amok Time").

So... Where is Scotty?

Timo Saloniemi
They may not have taken the effort to explain it in-continuity on TOS, but on this type of show, it seems to be pretty standard for most of the actors to get at least a couple of episodes off per season. On TNG, IIRC, everyone but Stewart and Frakes was routinely missing for two or three episodes a season.

And on TOS, Scotty and company weren't even regulars listed in the opening credits...they were just recurring guest stars listed in the end credits.
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Old June 5 2013, 02:59 AM   #101
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

I think JD's contract was for a minimum of 9 out of 13 episodes.
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Old June 5 2013, 05:40 PM   #102
Harvey
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

In the first season, he had a minimum 5 out of 13 deal. In the second season and thereafter, Doohan had contract for a minimum of 9 out of 13 episodes, making him a regular (SAG minimum for regulars was 7 out of 13).
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Old June 6 2013, 02:32 PM   #103
Timo
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

They may not have taken the effort to explain it in-continuity on TOS, but on this type of show, it seems to be pretty standard for most of the actors to get at least a couple of episodes off per season. On TNG, IIRC, everyone but Stewart and Frakes was routinely missing for two or three episodes a season.
...The problem lies in justifying the absence in-universe. Unlike TNG, the plot logic of TOS doesn't provide Scotty with any sort of an "escape pod" by which he could leave the ship for the duration of one episode.

Having Scotty not appear in an episode where the ship isn't facing an engineering crisis and isn't in need of a third-in-command when Kirk and Spock are otherwise engaged would be justifiable. But out of the 78 hours of TOS, it's not easy to find one that meets the criteria!

Certainly "The Alternative Factor" fails in this respect: mere consulting of the ship's dilithium specialist is insufficient for saving the vessel, and Scotty should have been brought in to consider alternatives in case Masters' efforts fail or the crystals can't be recovered from the larcenous Lazari.

...What other Scotty absences were particularly notable? The likes of "Miri" or "Dagger of the Mind", with all the important action taking place off ship, can easily be excused. The likes of "Court Martial", perhaps not so easily. But "The Alternative Factor" still seems to stand out as an engineering-heavy episode without a chief engineer.

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Old June 7 2013, 02:19 AM   #104
Praetor Baldric
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

[QUOTE=Timo;8210536]
But "The Alternative Factor" still seems to stand out as an engineering-heavy episode without a chief engineer.

Timo Saloniemi
How is it "engineering-heavy"?
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Old June 9 2013, 07:15 AM   #105
T'Bonz
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Re: "The Alternative Factor" - Why is it so universally hated?

I actually like this episode, except for the fact that I can never get the two Lazarus characters straight.
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