Elaan of Troyius - Mess of an episode

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Terran_Empire, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I completely agree that Kryton's motivations, such as they were, did not cut it. It felt thrown-in and out of place, somehow. He's been bowing, kneeling and answering Elaan's orders like a good boy and that's all we saw of this "relationship" with her. It almost seems like she's just making it up. Would it have killed "them" to show the two alone, having their little moments where he could at least say that he's been working on a plan to ruin this mission, but he won't tell her more to keep her protected.
     
  2. Joe_Atari

    Joe_Atari Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Could someone please explain the sabotage of the engines? How did we get from Kryton planting a bomb (which we never see, do we?) to needing dilithium crystals (and how would that even help)? Was there something in the script that was cut from the final episode? Thanks!
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It seems Kryton simply did a thorough job. First, there's the bomb that will lead to immediate Klingon victory if detonated - and it was probably meant to be found, so that Kirk would be paralyzed rather than killed, and the Klingons could have their way with him. Then there's further sabotage, including destruction of the dilithium converter and supposedly the crystals within; this slows down Kirk's attempts at regaining control of his ship, attempts the Klingons must realize would otherwise soon be successful.

    The "bad news" suggest Scotty going through everything with a fine comb and finding all the deadly traps one by one; for all we know, he found a dozen, and this is the only one he can do nothing about, so he needs to report rather than repair.

    We did see Kryton working with this very piece of equipment that generally is associated with dilithium, so the story is surprisingly techno-consistent there.

    And it makes it rather clear that peace and agreement did not stem from the King being bought off or calmed down with a woman or five. An agreement came first, and the marriage was the symbolic seal to that.

    In the long term, people of old may have been interested in dynastic lines and such. Yet that's a very long-term, that is, slow-acting concern. The problem these two factions have with their nuclear weapons is rather modern and acute, and won't be defused by goodwill gestures or sex bribes - obviously, the Troyian despot could purchase trophy wives of his liking by other means. Something significant must have happened between the two factions on the brink of annihilation, after which this symbolic marriage would come to play.

    The other option is that it's simple hostage-taking. And since Elaan is the party having to relocate, she'd be the hostage and Troyius the faction with the upper hand. One has to wonder, though... Would the Elasians really care? If this was their iron-fisted ruler being taken away from them, would they rather launch a thousand ships or rejoice?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is why I think Elaan of Troyius is a sexist episode:

    (I'm qualifying this by saying that it was made in the 60s and I accept that there were different standards then)

    1. They were forcing a woman to marry someone she didn't want to.

    2. Kirk's remark "Mister Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim."

    3. McCoys remark about Elas women " Now the women, they're supposed to be something very special. They're supposed to have a kind of subtle, mystical power that drives men wild."

    4. Kirk threatening to spank Elaan - infantilises her.

    5. The overall message of the episode that Kirk managed to tame the unruly woman and teach her how to be good for her Troyian husband.

    6. Although well intended putting Elaan in Uhura's girly room instead of some regular guest Ambassador's quarters is condescending.

    I'm ignoring the slow pan of Elaan's outfit. I'm not against keeping the sexy in Star Trek.

    Now the episode makes it seem OK to treat a planetary leader (the Dohlman) with condescension if they are unpleasant and are a woman.

    I doubt Kirk would threaten to spank a male Dohlman.
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    :cardie: I must have missed that memo.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Strikes me you are predisposed to find what you want to find and interpret things within a narrow framework. Whatever.
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    I don't care what decade it is, that's one of the best lines in Trek. :p
     
  8. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes its taken my great imagination to insert sexism and negative female stereotyping into this great feminist episode.;):lol:

    Yes its pretty funny.
     
  9. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    You're right, Jim would punch the guy out and explain why he did it later after he wakes up.
     
  10. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agree entirely. This is one of my bottom 5 unwatchable stinkers.
     
  11. Ara

    Ara Cadet Newbie

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    Well after reading this thread I watched the episode, didn't skim it, gave it my full attention. I liked it, I think it had a good mix of what I enjoyed about TOS.

    I've enjoyed Trek since about 1972 so I don't have a problem with any of the dated looks, characterizations, or features of the show.

    I didn't have a problem with how the Klingons were portrayed. I happen to enjoy their one-note presentation.

    I didn't like the stabbing non-death of the ambassador-- the fellow who looked like an Andorian w/o the antenna. The way the stabbing was introduced, the audience was being told thru cues (musical, visual, and performance) that the man was dead. He didn't end up too badly, as it were. I think if you write a character who's as hard as the Dolman, and you present a scene like this, the man has to be dead. Otherwise it's false drama.

    The false death card can be played, and TOS played it well in Amok Time, but I didn't like it here.

    The only other part I didn't "believe" was the sabotage in Engineering. Maybe they showed us too many moments of tinkering. If we saw less, we would have believed more.
     
  12. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The story isn't the best -- basically, "The Taming of the Shrew: -- IN SPACE! :lol:;) That said, this was the first first-run TOS episode I ever saw on NBC (at the age of 6 years old - very into NASA and the space program even at that age) -- and I've loved STAR TREK ever since. Also, really like a lot of the music from this episode.
     
  13. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. Beschdel was 8 when the episode originally aired, so expecting it to meet her criteria is somewhat ridiculous.
     
  14. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I like this episode. I'm voting a 7 when the poll gets put up sometime about 2 years from now.


    The battle with the Klingon was great! I think if for nothing else, that's makes this a good episode.

    I didn't really have any problems with the episode.

    It's not one of my top ten, but it's certainly not in my bottom eight, either.
     
  15. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

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    I liken this episode to "Journey to Babel". Both have overstuffed plots with action, political intrigue, space battles and a bit of comedy. But "Babel" is much more balanced and has a really strong Spock story at its core. "Elaan" doesn't have that - it's not a very personal story for Kirk, and Elaan, while nicely-written and acted, isn't much of a character.

    Still one of the better third season episodes. Would have fit in well at the end of the second season.
     
  16. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, think of how much entertainment follows that formula. Even Science-fiction. Take the true progenitor of Star Trek, for instance-- Forbidden Planet = The Tempest - IN SPACE!

    If you're going to copy ideas, you can do worse by copying Shakespeare.
     
  17. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    Whilst one could, perhaps, argue for apparent sexism in this episode, I also see it from ... a different perspective:

    Unlike the strong, empowered Elaan, Ambassador Pedri is relatively weak ... and effeminate. All of her clothes have a metalic sheen, suggesting hard chrome, or perhaps steel. His clothes are soft material with warm tones. Would anyone be surprised to see Elaan wearing The Pants, after her "marriage" has begun in earnest, if Pedri represents a Typical Male on his planet - specifically, his own ruler? Much like the ending of this episode. itself - she's full of surprises!
     
  18. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    ^ One could also note that Petri (Jay Robinson) would bring his outstanding acting abilities to Sid & Marty Kroft's Saturday morning SUPERSHOW as the mad scientist Doctor Shrinker in the mid-1970s.
     
  19. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TOS didn't have enough women in its main cast to pass the test.

    This episode was a product of the 60s. TOS was probably seen as progressive at the time with women serving in the military, having women scientists and a woman enemy Fleet Commander.

    This episode is not the one I'd show a woman to introduce her to TOS. I have been lucky to see the many excellent TOS episodes so I can see past this episodes flaws and admire the good things in it.
     
  20. cgervasi

    cgervasi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I liked the space battle parts better. I don't care for the sexist message of the other part. An effeminate man failed to get her under control. She needed a man's man, like Kirk. Kirk is rougher with her, which causes her to hit on him. Once he fancies her, she responds to his rough ways, asking him twice to teach her about "spanking". (Yes, I note all the kinky parts.) It's almost like it's saying a bratty woman needs a tough guy who will dominate her, causing her to become docile and happy. That's fine for a kinky story, but in this episode it felt like bona fide seixm. The writers aren't winking at you that they put something kinky in. They think this is a formula for a fun romance.