Beyond the Farthest Star vs. Once Upon A Planet

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Botany Bay, Apr 30, 2011.

?

Which is better?

Poll closed May 7, 2011.
  1. Beyond the Farthest Star

    18 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Once Upon A Planet

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    No contest whatsoever. I love "Beyond The Farthest Star." It's a genuine final frontier type story going where no man has gone before.

    I would have loved to see this live-action, and that's one of my favourite praises for one of my favourite TAS episodes. That said TOS would have been very challenged to do anything remotely like this in the '60s. For me this is one of those ideal stories for Star Trek and something I'd like to have seen done on the big screen. I'm really tired of the "bigger explosions, bigger action" and elevation of dumbness that's become so prominent in film, and yes that certainly includes ST09 as well as other Trek films and so many other sci-fi movies.

    I love to imagine seeing that enormous alien starship, regrettably wrecked, found orbiting that negative star mass and having it explored by the Enterprise crew. This really utilized the advantages of animation.

    This was actually the very first TAS episode I had seen, and back then I remember thinking "Whoa!" if this is what TAS is going to be like it will be amazing!

    "Once Upon A Planet" is also a good story, but if feels too much like "The Doomsday Machine" crossed with Fantastic Voyage.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  3. Lieut. Arex

    Lieut. Arex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Once Upon a Planet" is the "Shore Leave" sequel. You're thinking of "One of Our Planets is Missing".
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Oops! :eek: you're right. Then the choice is even more obvious. "Once Upon A Planet" feels much like a retread until towards the end.
     
  5. Basill

    Basill Captain Captain

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    Yeah, no question- "Beyond the Farthest Star" hands down.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Once Upon a Planet" is a nice sequel, and I like the fleshing out of the shore leave planet. But it's one of too great a number of TAS episodes that are derivative followups to TOS episodes. "Beyond the Farthest Star" is much more imaginative and intriguing. Gotta love that alien ship. Great Filmation art.

    The main thing that bugs me about BtFS is the ubiquity of the life-support belts. It's a convenient plot point, having everyone in force-field belts so they won't be killed when the entity shoots phasers at people, but it's hard to reconcile with the rest of Trek, even the rest of TAS. And why would it be necessary for the whole crew to immediately go to the belts just because life support got shut down on their decks? It's not like the air would go anywhere in a hurry. They'd have hours before the carbon dioxide buildup became toxic or the waste heat levels grew too great. Plenty of time to evacuate to other sections.

    The main thing that's bugged me about OUaP in the past is something I've always taken as a coloring error, the way the shadows of the robot thingies holding Uhura captive in the overhead shots were painted the same color as the robots themselves. But I just had an idea when rewatching the episode recently -- maybe those aren't meant to be shadows, but reflections in a shiny floor. Although the silhouetted figures of Uhura and later Kirk and Spock have neither shadows nor reflections. So it looks kind of odd either way.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I've always thought the life-support belts were a very sci-fi idea that I couldn't reconcile with scientific credibility. Maybe I'm wrong, but as a concept it bugs me. Sure I understand the basic idea such as using a forcefield (such as a plasma window) to keep air out (or in) but that air has to be recycled. Where's the air supply? Also I guess life support belts are easier to draw than spacesuits and easier for the viewer to recognize the characters.

    As I understand it, though, the life-support belt idea was initially conceived during the production of TOS, but they decided to go with environmental suits as seen in "The Tholian Web."
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The air supply has long been a problem for me too, but I'm becoming more forgiving. The forcefield isn't exactly skintight; there are a few centimeters of space in between. And the belts do have largish "fanny packs" on the rear. Some kind of very compact air tanks and CO2 scrubbers could be in there. I can't buy the force-field belts for long-term use, but for maybe an hour or so in vacuum, or for filtering toxins out of an atmosphere, I can buy them.
     
  9. TigerOfDarkness

    TigerOfDarkness Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I had assumed they used them to save having to draw lots of frames of Kirk etc. in space suits, however some details of the story would have to be different without them.
     
  10. Tallguy

    Tallguy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Funny, I made the same mistake confusing "One of Our Planets is Missing" with "Once Upon a Planet". OoOPiM wins that one, largely because of the life support belts.

    In the actual contest "Beyond the Farthest Star" without question. Although my choice is almost entirely because of the first half. It is really the awe and majesty that TOS always wanted to do but didn't have the budget for. Then we get to the second half and it feels like an episode that TOS could have done better. An odd mix.

    The life support belts just seem like an accident waiting to happen. They kind of work in the beginning, but are (to me) a distracting plot device in the end. I've thought about what this episode would look like if it were filmed with environmental suits but it's pretty tough to make the Scotty scene work with a suit. Armor I guess?

    But it's still one of the four or five best episodes that TAS did.
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ If Scotty had been wearing some form of protective gear then then I think that scene could still have worked. I, too, think the life-support belts aren't really credible and even if so I imagine it as a temporary measure. If I had to go EVA I think I'd rather have a self-contained environment around me that didn't rely on some power source that just might cut out and then leave me totally exposed...and immediately dead.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    TOS already featured breathing masks packing their rebreathing gear or extra O2 in much smaller space - see "Squire of Gothos". The air supply doesn't seem to present a problem, really. Instead, the remaining bulk of the belts makes one wonder what other functionalities are hidden there!

    As you say, "Beyond" would be inconsistent with "Slaver Weapon" if we assume that the belts protect our heroes from hurt-level phasers in the former and then note that they don't even stop stun phasers in the latter. But why should we think the belts do protect Kirk from the disciplinary phasers in this episode? After putting on his belt (a necessary move because the entity has just turned off life support), he repeatedly gets hurt, by phasers that are fired so that he would obey the beast; they aren't set for kill, then. Subsequently, he surrenders to the beast; this is what makes the alien stop firing at him, not any protection offered by the belt! So there's no inconsistency there or elsewhere: portable forcefields manufactured by Starfleet are never shown to be capable of stopping kill or even stun phasers.

    Life support was deliberately shut down in order to hurt those people. Certainly they'd be within their rights to take exceptional, maximal protective measures!

    (Such as a spacesuit?)

    For all we know, forcefields are less prone to catastrophic failure than mechanical suits. It's inconceivable that a forcefield would get punctured, for example. Just install a failure-proof power pack there; Starfleet must have plenty of those in stock, or else its starships would go kaboom at random when antimatter containment hiccuped...

    I sort of wish they had introduced the belts in TOS already; they are tech on par with the magical transporters and phasers, while the tinfoil suits and later rigid suits of armor look rather anachronistic in comparison.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Then how about a forcefield AROUND a pressure suit?
     
  14. Rom's Sehlat

    Rom's Sehlat Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How about a pressure suit around a force field?
     
  15. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps the life support belt is sort of like a stasis field. It stops the body's requirement for oxygen, temperature regulation, air pressure, gravity fields, etc.

    Nah...that's a dumb idea. Skip that.
     
  16. Tallguy

    Tallguy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, they don't trust their force fields so much that they don't put doors on their shuttle bays. As for catastrophic failure: Unless you run into the Squire of Gothos or some such, a space suit can't just be turned "off". Further evidence that they aren't such a swell idea is that both before and after TAS they used suits.

    Some ideas from TAS caught on (holodecks, unfortunately) some didn't.

    Didn't Space Academy use some kind of life support belt?

    Someday someone will actually re-animate TAS in 3D or live action or whatever. It would be interesting to see if it could be re-edited to eliminate the belts.

    Obviously Once Upon a Planet is way out of it's league on this one. Maybe we SHOULD match up Beyond the Farthest Star and One of Our Planets is Missing.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which makes it really inconvenient to use in boarding party duty. Perhaps the very reason our heroes chose the belts for their "BtFS" foray to the alien vessel?

    OTOH, if life support belts were standard issue for boarding parties, we would have missed all the excitement in "The Naked Time". Instead of donning thermal garments that allowed contamination, our heroes would have worn airtight forcefields on Psi 2000. And the plot complication in "Omega Glory" would also have been removed, as the interior of the Exeter would have stood no chance of infecting them with the pulverizing disease.

    While from the practical viewpoint there exist parallel niches for nifty but not so protective life support belts and clumsy but safe physical suits, Star Trek would probably become much less exciting if the belts really were utilized outside TAS. Although I'm quite convinced we saw them in ST:TMP still, as evidenced by those oversized belt buckles...

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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