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

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Old October 13 2013, 11:29 PM   #16
Harvey
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Re: COTEOF - Question

Melakon wrote: View Post
It took Harlan almost the entire first season to finish his first draft according to reports, so maybe he had no idea who the chief engineer was.
Any "reports" that indicate it took Ellison "almost the entire first season" to finish his first draft are simply wrong. The first draft was delivered on June 3, 1966. To put that in perspective, 'Mudd's Women' (the fourth episode produced, after the two pilots and 'The Corbomite Maneuver') had only completed its second day of photography on that date.
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Old October 13 2013, 11:44 PM   #17
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Re: COTEOF - Question

But why do homework when it's easier to spout the same old (disproven) stories again and again. Btw, have you seen Scotty? He has my drugs...
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Old October 13 2013, 11:52 PM   #18
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Re: COTEOF - Question

I've thought about blogging about certain myths about the episode, but, honestly, there's very little that Ellison doesn't deal with comprehensively in his book about the whole affair. Anyone who is interested in the making of the episode or has heard a thing or two about its making (particularly from Roddenberry) in the past should read it.
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Old October 14 2013, 12:48 AM   #19
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Re: COTEOF - Question

Melakon wrote: View Post
^ But then the episode's over before the first act ends, and we never learn about Edith Keeler.
They could have omitted the subduing of McCoy and had the landing party be distracted by the Guardian. This would have avoided leaving the man with the serious medical problem just streached out in the dirt.


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Old October 14 2013, 01:21 AM   #20
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Re: COTEOF - Question

I always like McCoy's first line when arriving in the past. "YOU! What planet is this?!" And the Rodent is going through a WTF moment.
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Old October 14 2013, 03:21 AM   #21
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Re: COTEOF - Question

Unspeakable wrote: View Post
A question that alway comes to me watching this episode is, immediately after subduing McCoy, why wasn't he beamed up to the ship and sickbay?

He had a dangerous overdose of a drug in his system and they just let him lay on the ground while they examine the Guardian.

They could/should have done both, sent McCoy immediately back to the ship, and examined the Guardian.

If you really want to be sensible and avoid all thrilling (read terrifying) adventures, as real people would, then when McCoy beams himself down, Kirk should just lock onto the lifeform reading down there and beam McCoy right back up. And then Kirk could say, "Going somewhere?"
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Old October 14 2013, 03:24 AM   #22
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Re: COTEOF - Question

^ But didn't Sulu in the teaser say something like "Scanners are blanked, Captain. I'm getting a mass of readings I've never seen before."

Or is that a different episode?
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Old October 14 2013, 05:19 AM   #23
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Re: COTEOF - Question

I always assumed the Guardian was putting out so much interference as to make a transporter lock ineffective.
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Old October 14 2013, 05:23 AM   #24
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Re: COTEOF - Question

The Dead Mixer wrote: View Post
First, good lord that's an ugly acronym.
Not as bad as FTWIHAIHTTS. Maybe that's why most simply call it "City".
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Old October 14 2013, 05:31 AM   #25
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Re: COTEOF - Question

^ Oy. That is a bad acronym. And I thought "TANSTAAFL" was lame...
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Old October 15 2013, 03:03 AM   #26
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Re: COTEOF - Question

Harvey wrote: View Post
I've thought about blogging about certain myths about the episode, but, honestly, there's very little that Ellison doesn't deal with comprehensively in his book about the whole affair. Anyone who is interested in the making of the episode or has heard a thing or two about its making (particularly from Roddenberry) in the past should read it.
Still think you should because it'd be great to have an online source to cite as a means of combating these myths. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to see Engineer Scott about some drugs.
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Old October 15 2013, 05:46 AM   #27
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Re: COTEOF - Question

Hey, leave my dealer alone!

Anyway, I agree that Harvey should tackle the City issue because not everyone is going to have access to the book, let alone read Ellison's (overlong by about 8 times) debunking of the popular and oft-repeated myths.
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Old October 15 2013, 06:25 AM   #28
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Re: COTEOF - Question

Melakon wrote: View Post
^ But didn't Sulu in the teaser say something like "Scanners are blanked, Captain. I'm getting a mass of readings I've never seen before."

Or is that a different episode?
Not COTEOF, maybe The Galileo Seven (TGS).
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Old October 15 2013, 06:37 AM   #29
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Re: COTEOF - Question

Unspeakable wrote: View Post
A question that alway comes to me watching this episode is, immediately after subduing McCoy, why wasn't he beamed up to the ship and sickbay?

He had a dangerous overdose of a drug in his system and they just let him lay on the ground while they examine the Guardian.

They could/should have done both, sent McCoy immediately back to the ship, and examined the Guardian..
Well, the main reason seemed to be that Kirk was actually considering taking McCoy back a day in time and avoiding the hypo accident, so I suppose you could say he was taking care of McCoy.

On the other hand, I don't know how Kirk was planning on doing this. It makes sense, in that Kirk was one to be able to utilize available resources on the fly. That was part of his nature. But how would they go back in time and replace themselves?
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Old October 15 2013, 12:29 PM   #30
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Re: COTEOF - Question

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
But how would they go back in time and replace themselves?
Bingo. Again, we run up against the nonsense of time paradoxes. Depending on which church of physics you belong to, time travel may not even be possible. (Not that we simply don't know how to do it, but actually impossible.) Since no one has time traveled, or at least documented their account of such, sci-fi stories must fall back on logic. Invoking paradoxes chucks out logic, meaning the writer can do anything he wants, and the reader must simply accept it.

Some writers try to BS their way around the problem with quantum explanations—the root of "magic" in real physics. (Theoreticians can declare anything they want because they have math that "proves" it.) For example, Orson Scott Card's PASTWATCH depicted time as quantized, like the frames of a film. Thus, when the traveler was displaced backward in time to alter history, his own existence became an effect without a cause. History, right up to the moment he was displaced, was altered, along with his stepping into the time machine. But the "frames" of his existence after displacement continued to exist without a cause. Ergo, magic.

This approach is fatally flawed. It completely nullifies causality because the traveler can exist without a cause. Yet the whole point of altering history is to create a desired chain of causality. The writer can't have it both ways. If he nixes causality, one could rightly expect all of existence to be random flashes of entirely discontinuous things every "instant" of time.

Another problem with the a-causal time travel is that time becomes both directional and non-directional. By time traveling, the writer is showing that effects can precede causes. Yet for some reason—just because the writer wants it that way—the chain of causality runs only forward into the future, but not backward to eliminate the time traveler.

"City" never gets into such explanations, it merely invokes several paradoxes. Ellison could have kept logic on an even keel by invoking alternate universes. In which case, McCoy would have disappeared into an alternate time, with Kirk and Spock having to chase him down. But the Enterprise would still exist and the landing party would not be abandoned in time. Also, Kirk might have stayed in the alternate history with Keeler. The others would then have to appeal to his sense of duty to return, to not abandon his command. (That's not as emotionally compelling as the "saving millions of lives from Hitler" argument used in the episode.)

Logic destroys the schmaltzy, star-crossed lovers appeal of "City." I enjoy the episode for its atmosphere, but it is a "check your brain at the door and just emote" tale. That is why I do not rate the episode among TREK's best. Ellison could have crafted a tale where the characters were truly and logically trapped by time and fate, but settled for "good enough," the hallmark of most television writing.

"Tomorrow Is Yesterday" actually puts the "replacing themselves" idea on screen, with the beaming of the pilot and the air sergeant directly into themselves. Explain that one, and why it is that both suddenly forget everything.

While I'm on a roll, let me comment on SEVEN DAYS, a time travel series where a special agent can be sent back in time just seven days to alter catastrophic events in the world. I haven't seen every episode, but if I remember correctly, the time travel missions were chosen carefully, as the amount of exotic fuel was limited. However, if the writers had really thought about it, the fuel would never run out. Each time the agent time traveled, he erased the need for his trip in the first place—weekly paradoxes. This means that he would never have traveled, and thus the fuel would never run out. Perpetual motion.

Again, take any time travel story that invokes paradoxes with a grain of salt. Compare "City" to "Assignment Earth," which is a reflexive causality, but not a paradox.
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