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Old November 7 2009, 10:55 PM   #1
Joel_Kirk
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Carbon Creek-So much potential....

This was the worse Star Trek episode I have seen.

To start--being nitpicky--the Vulcan make-up was...well...'goofy-looking'....[Actually, the make-up, IMO, has not really been 'all that' since TOS where the Vulcans were cool, sexy, mysterious. Here, they are weird-looking here in Carbon Creek...and using contractions...!]

Interestingly, at this time of the episode, it was obvious to the audience that there were 'Asian'-looking Vulcans...as well as dark-skinned Vulcans....(It would have made some interesting storytelling if one 'ethnic-looking' Vulcan was on that survey ship had crashed). It gives us a story possibility, for instance: If there are Vulcans of different colors, how do they see 'us' during that time when the civil rights movement was rising; McCarthy-ism, etc...the Korean War was just ending...etc...etc..(That wasn't an innocent period, especially if one was a person of color).

The film 'Pleasantville' did a wonderful job of commenting on that era.

Sidenote:
It was interesting that Miral (I know I'm spelling and typing his name incorrectly) is not questioned by his very apparent upswept eyebrows...or even the one who looked like 'Moe Howard' gettin away with only covering his ears with this hair.

If one of the Vulcans who looked 'non-white,' maybe was the color of Tuvok, or at least had features not considered 'normal' (for that time) I highly doubt he (or even she) would have been 'welcomed' into the town as easily as we saw onscreen. (Given from what I know of the era, there might have been lynching, or something else just as bad). As aforementioned, there was a chance for this episode to comment on that time period, comment on humanity.

I have a feeling this could have been on par with 'Far Beyond the Stars'....with the Vulcans looking at humanity, (and maybe answering why they won't acknowledge us until the 21st century) but the writers don't even touch the surface, they don't dig deeper with the characters...

It's like a first draft that was allowed to be put into production without a brainstorming session to make it better.

What did others think about this episode?
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Old November 8 2009, 01:32 AM   #2
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

The last thing Trek needed was another heavy handed episode about racism. I'm glad Carbon Creek didn't end up infused with preaching.

I loved the episode, it was very attractive to watch and intriguing. I always find it inconsistent that a Vulcan can just don a hat and pass as a human without people noticing how awful they look and asking if they are sick, LOL. But they are all less green than in the first eps of TOS so I accept it.

Mestral is a great untold story, I would love him to turn up in Trekdom somewhere.

Funny you posted this because not 10 minutes ago I was listening to my 13 year old and his trekkie friends discussing which episode they were going to watch and one of the boys said, "Carbon Creek, that's a fantastic episode!" (They ended up watching One Small Step from VOY though.)
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Old November 8 2009, 02:19 AM   #3
Nerys Myk
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

Data is the guy who doesn't use contractions. Vulcans have no such restriction.
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Old November 8 2009, 03:50 AM   #4
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

Strangely this is one of my favorite episodes of Enterprise and is one I always try to catch when it's on in reruns (didn't bother with the Enterprise DVDs because I wasn't a big fan of the show).
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Old November 8 2009, 04:57 AM   #5
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

The problem with the town trying to lynch some or, a Vulcan, is that according to Sisko they're three times faster and three times stronger than a human is, and by human, he was probably referring to his own abilities which were probably near olympic level since when he had his barfight with that Vulcan he was young and trying to make his way through Starfleet academy which would probably turn away anyone who wasn't in superb physical condition.

Seen Rambo First Blood recently?

They would have a hard time not taking over the planet if some tried to work in opposition to their good demeanour, if they couldn't firewall themselves from further human interdiction as they're defending themselves over an over again because of outside observation.

It's a snow ball.

I liked it a lot, right up till they rescued those people from the cave in with their laser(?) when it would have been grand to have seen their super human strength palming boulders the size of baby carriages and heft them to one side effortlessly.

special note. TNG + Ent to that date = 200 episodes.

Giving the finger to DS9, this was a special celebratory number for the killer Bees.
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Old November 8 2009, 06:49 AM   #6
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

That would have most definitely been a different episode. A little thing like the race aspect of that era would basically demolish the story that Carbon Creek did tell. Not that there isn't a story there, there most certainly would be. Maybe in a MU Carbon Creek?

Star Trek had already given us Benny Russell. Other than this, direct wrestling with our own history of civil rights isn't something that comes up too often in Trek. Personally I rather prefer more characterizations like LaForge, Guinan, Hoshi, O'Brien, et al, where not once that I can recall race in a historical context was even mentioned. However it certainly was an issue where aliens were concerned, such as the Ferengi and the Klingons. In those respects, cultural criticisms and race were intertwined it seems. Since alien races were, for practicality's sake, antagonists simplified for an hour of television.

Either race matters or it doesn't. I like how Star Trek portrays people of different races getting along without it coming up in conversation. Especially as I for one am reminded on a daily basis of how I'm "supposed to be" - and usually, in a negative assessment - based purely on "outsider" status.


I guess I'm saying rather than wallowing in contemporary issues, Trek offers an alternative point of view.
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Old November 8 2009, 08:34 AM   #7
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

After the deaths of 600 million people in the Eugenics war and WWIII and the collapse of almost every government on the planet, and from the looks of things religion too, it seems that racism was just silly when it was almost impossible to find some healthy non irradiated (Then Colonel Green's deathtoll was added to the agreed upon figure 7 years earlier.) strange.

Racists had to decide if they wanted to have children who are blind with three noses or to put racism aside and boink any healthy person of any ethnicity and "deal" with an unusual colour after the fact. Actually, I'm amazed considering the world I am describing that there were any distinct ethnicities left which we in the 21st century would recognise.

But then it took a hundred and 70 years for a Vulcan to hop on top of an earth women with any sincerity.
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Old November 8 2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

Wow, I found this one way more entertaining than any episode of Enterprise I'd seen up to that point. Maybe I'm sick of anomalies and aliens of the week...
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Old November 8 2009, 11:40 AM   #9
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

K. Do we think she was lying/joking, and do we think that she was drunk?

I swear i saw her steadying herself against her chair arms.

Yes, yes the purse, but that could have been anything, and even to do with a very similar story which was truthful.
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Old November 9 2009, 12:01 AM   #10
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
Wow, I found this one way more entertaining than any episode of Enterprise I'd seen up to that point. Maybe I'm sick of anomalies and aliens of the week...
Don't get me wrong, I hate anomalies of the week myself...!

I guess different episodes affect different people (of course, since I'm a writer and film/actor guy, I see things a bit differently and more...more...uh...--the word is at the tip of my fingers.

Too, I don't want a heavy-handed preachy story, but I think the story could have had a bit more meat to it...[Again, it's the writer in me...]

Everyone gave some good answers though....
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Old November 9 2009, 01:44 AM   #11
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

Sounds to me your main problem was they didnt tell the story you wanted them to. Since its their story I cant say they were wrong.

Of course if you want a story about racism Star Trek has more than a few. In fact how the characters handle racism, bigotry and intolerance is almost a running theme in Enterprise. You have Archer and T'Pols intolerance of each others cultures, the Xindi arc, the Suliban, the Terra First movement and few more. They seem to spend more than a few episodes examining these themes and even have characters overcome them.
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Old November 9 2009, 02:12 AM   #12
Joel_Kirk
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Sounds to me your main problem was they didnt tell the story you wanted them to. Since its their story I cant say they were wrong.
Actually, my initial post said they could have gone several ways with this story.

Looking at the racism of the era is one of those aspects, but not something they could have based the entire episode on.

Whether or not it was the story I would have told, it didn't hit me as good storytelling, IMO.
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Old November 9 2009, 02:58 AM   #13
Nerys Myk
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Sounds to me your main problem was they didnt tell the story you wanted them to. Since its their story I cant say they were wrong.
Actually, my initial post said they could have gone several ways with this story.

Looking at the racism of the era is one of those aspects, but not something they could have based the entire episode on.

Whether or not it was the story I would have told, it didn't hit me as good storytelling, IMO.
Still you wanted a different story(ies) than what they wanted to tell. I dont think thats bad storytelling. The story they told was fine.
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Old November 9 2009, 02:32 PM   #14
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

he was young and trying to make his way through Starfleet academy which would probably turn away anyone who wasn't in superb physical condition.
...Wesley?

Jake Sisko's father might not have been all that fit in his tender youth, is all. Not that it has got anything to do with the lynchability or nonlynchability of Vulcans, though. T'Pol certainly got her share of knockout punches and bondage scenes, in the hands of people who were only barely outpowering the brave but ah so non-Vulcan Captain Archer. Was she an atypical weakling of her species, or does triple strength count to nothing much in the end?

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Old November 9 2009, 07:30 PM   #15
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Re: Carbon Creek-So much potential....

I have to say that I liked Mostral. He was before his time in his outlook towards humanity, so 'fascinated' by them, he chose to stay....I wonder what became of him.... it would be interesting, to see him being a 'stranger in a strange land', exploring our society...the velcro thing was kinda neat....(and we thought Scotty was the first to fiddle with Earth advancement a wee bit)and T'Pol's ancestry, revealed...
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