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Old January 29 2009, 06:06 PM   #1
Albertese
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The Fesarius and the First Federation

Would anyone care to speculate on the First Federation and the Fesarius? Were Balok and the Fesarius the only ship and crew the FF employed or are there a whole fleet of those things? What do you suppose the capabilities and facilities of the Fesarius would be?

Discuss!
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Old January 29 2009, 07:07 PM   #2
JNG
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

If it was towing Enterprise somewhere, I don't imagine that single ship is all there is to the First Federation, especially if he is the only crew member.

He described the larger ship as a "complex," which is interesting. I don't know if the whole ship is set up anything like we might expect. It does not necessarily have life support or anything like that throughout its structure. I do expect Fesarius is built for for a peaceful purpose, but its systems, e.g. tractor beam, are high-end by Starfleet standards and allowed it to play a threatening role effectively. I don't know what a ship so big would necessarily be up to; perhaps it gathers and stores resources of some kind or is a refinery ship or something. I don't think it was on a mission of exploration.
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Old January 29 2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

Perhaps they pulled asteroids back to a central point where they melted them down with a huge array of solar mirrors.

Or they put tanks of water inside the asteroids and heated them to a near liquid state and the steam pressure caused them to inflate then they used them as ships or habitats.

Think large-scale construction and mining operations. Something that big and powerful would have a secondary offensive/defensive application just by virtue of it's brute force.... Like the "Killdozer" from a few years back. (Wiki it)
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Old January 29 2009, 08:01 PM   #4
Timo
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

If it was towing Enterprise somewhere, I don't imagine that single ship is all there is to the First Federation, especially if he is the only crew member.
But that could have been just a ruse - and Balok admits that most of his antics were a ruse, including the "engine failure" during the towing. To arrange for that ruse, he needed to be towing Kirk's ship somewhere... Even if nowhere.

Interesting speculation on the purpose of the ship. One might do two extremes here:

- The ship was created solely for show, by a powerful species that doesn't really even need such ships. It serves no practical function.

- The ship is all that remains of the First Federation, and holds either the remaining population in live and awake form, or the hopes of that population in the form of cryopreserved bodies, or embryos, or abstract patterns or the like. It is of relatively primitive make, and thus has to be fairly large to perform its mission of simply sailing forward and trying to find a new home, or at least a safe place in empty space where friendly allies guarantee peace and quiet.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old January 30 2009, 02:04 AM   #5
Albertese
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

Timo wrote: View Post
If it was towing Enterprise somewhere, I don't imagine that single ship is all there is to the First Federation, especially if he is the only crew member.
But that could have been just a ruse - and Balok admits that most of his antics were a ruse, including the "engine failure" during the towing. To arrange for that ruse, he needed to be towing Kirk's ship somewhere... Even if nowhere.
...
- The ship is all that remains of the First Federation, and holds either the remaining population in live and awake form, or the hopes of that population in the form of cryopreserved bodies, or embryos, or abstract patterns or the like. It is of relatively primitive make, and thus has to be fairly large to perform its mission of simply sailing forward and trying to find a new home, or at least a safe place in empty space where friendly allies guarantee peace and quiet.

Timo Saloniemi
Interesting. I would also wonder about Balok's "antics"... is it standard operating procedure to try to destroy incoming ships which violate the perimeter marked off by the spinning cube buoys? That's pretty extreme, suggesting a seriously xenophobic society. But I like what you suggest here, that the Fesarius is the last of the First Federation. That's a very interesting take on it that would have never occurred to me. This would almost make the Fesarius into and "Ark" of sorts. Making a nice explanation for the huge ship with only one little guy.

cool...
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Old January 30 2009, 05:54 AM   #6
Praetor
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

Timo wrote: View Post
If it was towing Enterprise somewhere, I don't imagine that single ship is all there is to the First Federation, especially if he is the only crew member.
But that could have been just a ruse - and Balok admits that most of his antics were a ruse, including the "engine failure" during the towing. To arrange for that ruse, he needed to be towing Kirk's ship somewhere... Even if nowhere.

Interesting speculation on the purpose of the ship. One might do two extremes here:

- The ship was created solely for show, by a powerful species that doesn't really even need such ships. It serves no practical function.

- The ship is all that remains of the First Federation, and holds either the remaining population in live and awake form, or the hopes of that population in the form of cryopreserved bodies, or embryos, or abstract patterns or the like. It is of relatively primitive make, and thus has to be fairly large to perform its mission of simply sailing forward and trying to find a new home, or at least a safe place in empty space where friendly allies guarantee peace and quiet.

Timo Saloniemi
I wound tend to think more towards the former theory - a ship built for a show of force against hostile species, but the First Federation themselves aren't particularly interested in starships or exploration anymore... just hiding behind their buoys and being weird and drinking tang, er-'tranya.'
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Old January 30 2009, 06:39 AM   #7
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

But counldn't the whole First Federation been part of Baloks ruse. Maybe Balok is just some crazy hermit who built a ship for unknown reasons.
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Old January 31 2009, 12:02 AM   #8
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

It is possible, but seems extremely unlikely. It's the product of a sophisticated technology, as was the buoy, and resource-intensive to go by its size. We would not typically question that an advanced civilization with a significant population is responsible for building such things...even if they enjoy puppetry in their interstellar brinksmanship

It's awfully hard to imagine that the buoys are scattered through space wherever and, whenever one detects a foreign ship, he flies the Fesarius to it and assumes the newcomer is hostile. I imagined the buoys deployed in a perimeter of some kind around a system or group of systems and the ruse is applied to invaders who take action against the buoy that indicate they may be dangerous.

Balok's actions are definitely weird the more closely they are examined, but damn, is that a good episode. The dialogues are very thoughtful and technical. Watching it again recently, I had forgotten how great it is. Plus it's fun when Sulu goes, "I knew he would" about nothing. If I had a Trek-related radio show or podcast, whenever there was dead air, I'd just play the clip of Sulu saying "I knew he would."
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Old January 31 2009, 12:22 AM   #9
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

JNG wrote: View Post
It is possible, but seems extremely unlikely. It's the product of a sophisticated technology, as was the buoy, and resource-intensive to go by its size. We would not typically question that an advanced civilization with a significant population is responsible for building such things...even if they enjoy puppetry in their interstellar brinksmanship

It's awfully hard to imagine that the buoys are scattered through space wherever and, whenever one detects a foreign ship, he flies the Fesarius to it and assumes the newcomer is hostile. I imagined the buoys deployed in a perimeter of some kind around a system or group of systems and the ruse is applied to invaders who take action against the buoy that indicate they may be dangerous.

Balok's actions are definitely weird the more closely they are examined, but damn, is that a good episode. The dialogues are very thoughtful and technical. Watching it again recently, I had forgotten how great it is. Plus it's fun when Sulu goes, "I knew he would" about nothing. If I had a Trek-related radio show or podcast, whenever there was dead air, I'd just play the clip of Sulu saying "I knew he would."
It is a wonderful episode. It was the first TOS ep I had on VHS when I was a kid and I watched it over and over and over. And I agree with your scenario regarding the buoys. Regarding Sulu's 'I knew he would' line, I always thought he was referring to Balok running the clock down to the last minute and not flinching.
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Old January 31 2009, 07:51 PM   #10
Timo
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

...Supposedly Balok was to give a final "You Have One Minute, Earthlings!" ominous warning that never made it to to soundtrack.

Was this amended in TOS-R? Or did the new syndication cuts remove the whole line?

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Old January 31 2009, 08:16 PM   #11
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

I coulda sworn the DVD version has that line in it. I'll have to check. Others may know already.
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Old January 31 2009, 09:44 PM   #12
Albertese
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

Timo wrote: View Post
...Supposedly Balok was to give a final "You Have One Minute, Earthlings!" ominous warning that never made it to to soundtrack.

Was this amended in TOS-R? Or did the new syndication cuts remove the whole line?

Timo Saloniemi
I was looking for this, and no, there is no change in the remastered version.
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Old February 5 2009, 05:12 AM   #13
Myasishchev
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

JNG wrote: View Post
Balok's actions are definitely weird the more closely they are examined, but damn, is that a good episode. The dialogues are very thoughtful and technical. Watching it again recently, I had forgotten how great it is. Plus it's fun when Sulu goes, "I knew he would" about nothing. If I had a Trek-related radio show or podcast, whenever there was dead air, I'd just play the clip of Sulu saying "I knew he would."
My favorite line was Bailey's: "Now he's starting a countdown!" I found that surprisingly self-aware for TV dialogue, not to mention hilarious.

My notion is that the Fesarius is a city-ship, not the entirety of the First Federation but rather their preferred mode of living.
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Old February 5 2009, 01:11 PM   #14
Albertese
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

But if it's a city ship then where are all it's citizens? Balok laments of his loneliness and that even an alien's company would be welcome. Plus he states openly that he runs the whole "complex" from his tiny ship. No, one way of another, he was alone on the Fesarius. whether or not that was usual is another question. I guess it could be a city ship that was deserted for some reason...
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Old February 5 2009, 02:59 PM   #15
Praetor
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Re: The Fesarius and the First Federation

Myasishchev wrote: View Post
JNG wrote: View Post
Balok's actions are definitely weird the more closely they are examined, but damn, is that a good episode. The dialogues are very thoughtful and technical. Watching it again recently, I had forgotten how great it is. Plus it's fun when Sulu goes, "I knew he would" about nothing. If I had a Trek-related radio show or podcast, whenever there was dead air, I'd just play the clip of Sulu saying "I knew he would."
My favorite line was Bailey's: "Now he's starting a countdown!" I found that surprisingly self-aware for TV dialogue, not to mention hilarious.

My notion is that the Fesarius is a city-ship, not the entirety of the First Federation but rather their preferred mode of living.
The actor who played Bailey did a really good job overall in that episode, IMHO. I was actually sorry he never came back. He did a good portrayal of an inexperienced man cracking under pressure.

And city ship could be believable... the term 'complex' that he uses might be most indicative of what the writer originally intended. Maybe there just aren't that many of Balok's race any more, or maybe they've given up city-ship living and Balok just has border patrol duty. Or maybe they used to explore via city ship but have since given it up.

Incidentally, since they called it the 'First Federation,' does anyone think that the UFP had been thought of yet? I was always under the impression they didn't come up with it til later but the way he emphasizes 'First' also always made me wonder.
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