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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

View Poll Results: Rate "Balance of Terror"
1 1 2.08%
2 1 2.08%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 0 0%
6 0 0%
7 1 2.08%
8 4 8.33%
9 18 37.50%
10 23 47.92%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 9 2014, 07:27 AM   #16
T'Grinch
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Loved it. But I love the Romulans *and* Mark Lenard, so win-win for me.
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Old March 9 2014, 11:50 AM   #17
Runetouch
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

In my opinion, this episode was the best TOS episode.
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Old March 9 2014, 04:44 PM   #18
Pauln6
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

I need to watch it again. It does trouble me that they seem to be able to spot and shadow a cloaked vessel with normal equipment although a small vessel with only sub-light engines might not run its cloak all the time if there are no other ships within sensor range.

I like the fact that everyone understands that sensors are not infallible (a fact that is largely forgotten for plot convenience) and that you get a sense that space is vast,especially at sub-light speeds.

The sub-light thing doesn't make a whole lot of sense (presumably a cloaked warp-capable vessel was waiting to rendezvous inside the Neutral Zone) but it's no more silly than the shuttle scenario in the Galileo 7.
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Old March 9 2014, 04:52 PM   #19
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Not a perfect episode, but closer than anything so far, and certainly in the top tier of episodes. Clichés such as Spock hitting the wrong button hurt it, though that particular example is more in the execution than anything else.

9.
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Old March 9 2014, 06:08 PM   #20
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

I like this one very much. The guest performances are all terrific, and the tension builds throughout the hour.

The episode's depiction of space combat is more naval and less automated than anything else in Trek except, perhaps, Meyer's version. I like that it makes the Enterprise seem bigger, and its massive crew seem more essential. On the other hand, it makes things decidedly less futuristic.

That embrace between Kirk and Rand, a moment that subsequent versions of the Writer-Director Guide would criticize, is another low point.

9 out of 10 for me.
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Old March 9 2014, 08:48 PM   #21
J.T.B.
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

I've always liked this episode. It's very good for the main characters, especially Kirk and McCoy. Kirk striding confidently through the corridors as the alert rings and people run to their battle stations is one of the most powerful images for the character in the whole series. As Harvey said, the whole crew seems more purposeful in a way that was rarely achieved in other episodes.

I like the way the battle was presented as happening way, way beyond visual range as you would expect in a space battle, though that did seem at odds with Mr. Stiles advice that the way to tell a Romulan ship is by the paint job. I liked the Bird of Prey model a lot.

When I was a kid I always thought the round flashes when they fired their weapons were a representation of phaser fire seen "end-on," flashing through black space toward the viewer, which I liked, but I guess they were really supposed to be depth charge-style explosions.

I have to knock off a point because it was such a wholesale lift of The Enemy Below; not only the battle but the character interactions too. I felt like they could have Star-Trek-ized it a little more; it seemed like they just went down a list, "Substitute 'cloaked' for 'submerged,' 'impulse' for 'electric drive,' 'Praetor' for 'Fuehrer'..."

I'll say 8.5, rounds to 9.
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Old March 9 2014, 09:31 PM   #22
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
It does trouble me that they seem to be able to spot and shadow a cloaked vessel with normal equipment ...
The impression I got was that the Enterprise and the outpost only could determine generally where the cloaked ship was, but couldn't pinpoint it.

The sub-light thing doesn't make a whole lot of sense
Some of us believe the Romulan ship had a warp drive powered by fusion reactors / impulse power. The behavior of the "fireball" shot at the Enterprise requires the Romulans to have some knowledge of high speed warp drive.

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Old March 9 2014, 10:40 PM   #23
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

Runetouch wrote: View Post
9.5. Rounding off, it's 10. One of the best Star Trek episodes of all time.
It and Doomsday Machine are my two favorites.
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Old March 10 2014, 12:53 AM   #24
mach7
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

[QUOTE=T'Girl;9339913]
Pauln6 wrote: View Post

The sub-light thing doesn't make a whole lot of sense
Some of us believe the Romulan ship had a warp drive powered by fusion reactors / impulse power. The behavior of the "fireball" shot at the Enterprise requires the Romulans to have some knowledge of high speed warp drive.


That's what I have always thought. The Romulans had to have
kind of warp drive. The distances seem to great. Uhura says the attacker traveled from outpost 2 to 3 in 1 hour.



The Enterprise uses the matter/antimatter reactor to generate
the energy for the warp field. It appears (to me) that the Romulan ship uses the fusion reactor to generate the energy, and they are very energy limited.
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Old March 10 2014, 01:34 AM   #25
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

publiusr wrote: View Post
Runetouch wrote: View Post
9.5. Rounding off, it's 10. One of the best Star Trek episodes of all time.
It and Doomsday Machine are my two favorites.
They used to always tie for me too, and then years went by and I realized I had never seen THE EMPATH, even though I'd probably seen ARENA 30 times by then. EMPATH is the third leg for me, and the oddest one, since it has nearly zero action.

I always thought that if they rebooted TREK that they could just do an expansion of BoT, perhaps making it the ship's first mission under Kirk, so nobody knows Spock and that gives a LITTLE credence to the spy thing. I actually posted a summary here (probably 12 or 14 years ago), and I remember my expansion got them off the ship briefly, rescuing survivors trapped inside one of the asteroid-stations, and that the decision to attempt the rescue, which was seriously foolhardy Kirk, is what leads to a discovery that gives them an edge later with the BoP, but it is an edge it takes Spock to implement -- idea being that neither of them alone would have been able to make this happen, but together ... (also figured that if we included McCoy in this aspect, it would be too much too soon.)
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Old March 10 2014, 03:36 AM   #26
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

My take on the impulse-only thing was that in this prototype, they could only travel impulse while cloaked...the episode made a big deal out of what a power drain the cloak would be. They only could have warped out by dropping the cloak, which would have negated their advantage over the Enterprise.
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Old March 10 2014, 03:52 AM   #27
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
My take on the impulse-only thing was that in this prototype, they could only travel impulse while cloaked...the episode made a big deal out of what a power drain the cloak would be. They only could have warped out by dropping the cloak, which would have negated their advantage over the Enterprise.
Unfortunately, not even this (quite reasonable) theory stands up to the actual dialog in the episode. At first the Romulan ship is trying to escape while not under cloak. If she had been going at warp, Scott's dialog later that all the ship has is simple impulse power wouldn't make sense.

In my opinion, this is an example of when canon can't sustain a literal interpretation. The journeys to the galactic edge and the center of the galaxy made by Kirk's Enterprise and/or Enterprise-A probably fall into this category of glitch also, but that's really especially apparent only when you try to reconcile with later canon. Arguably that's the fault of later writers for not sticking to the foundation (wibbly-wobbly as it is) laid by TOS/TAS/movie-era writers, but I think the larger problem is the earlier writers making the galaxy seem too small. The fundamental problem is that it's just hard to tell good stories in interstellar space when it's anywhere near as hard to get around the galaxy as it is in real life.
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Last edited by Cookies and Cake; March 10 2014 at 10:32 AM.
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Old March 10 2014, 05:01 AM   #28
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

I explain it as an example of complicated vocabulary. The word impulse has more than one meaning in Scotty's technical world.

Like the shuttlecraft in "Metamorphosis" and "The Galileo Seven," the Romulan ship simply must have warp drive. The word "impulse" used to describe it is coincidental to the better-known but unrelated sublight engine.
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Old March 10 2014, 08:13 AM   #29
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
I explain it as an example of complicated vocabulary. The word impulse has more than one meaning in Scotty's technical world.

Like the shuttlecraft in "Metamorphosis" and "The Galileo Seven," the Romulan ship simply must have warp drive. The word "impulse" used to describe it is coincidental to the better-known but unrelated sublight engine.
Ugh.
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Old March 10 2014, 08:24 AM   #30
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Episode of the Week : Balance of Terror

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Ugh.

And yet it happened.
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