Fridge horror for The Apple

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Vandervecken, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Captain Captain

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    So--I've been rewatching TOS, and I'm starting to hit the episodes I'm not too crazy about. For me, The Apple is mainly about laughing at redshirts falling like flies.

    While I was watching it, the whole discussion of whether or not the PD should be violated seemed moot to me, as this wasn't a PD situation. It was a self-defense situation for the Enterprise. There was no alternative but to destroy Vaal.

    BUT, after our intrepid non-security survivors left, that's when it me: these people (the Gamma Triangulans) had NO idea of how to deal with childbirth. Kirk leaves them with a "you'll figure it out," and we, the audience, are supposed to just chuckle and think only about the fun and pleasure of the conception and not what happens 9 months later (or however many months the Gamma Triangulans' fetuses will gestate).

    But with not a clue about what childbirth is, heavy infant and mother mortality are inevitable, and there aren't that many of them to begin with--and no Vaal to keep them healthy or perform whatever miracles Vaal might have performed. Can this population possibly survive? Hell---will they even understand what it means when the mothers' abdomens start to grow? Will there be horrific attempts to excise what will first appear to be unknown growths? Eeesh.

    And let's say they get past the point of childbirth--is there ANY way to avoid inbreeding and the fixing of lethal recessives plus all kinds of chromosome breakage, with a population this small? At least they might have avoided the worst pairings, if they'd had a little instruction from the crew.

    And not even McCoy says a word about staying a little while to give them some basic sex ed.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    DC's Star Trek comics did a storyline where the crew returned to Vaal's planet, some twenty years later, to discover that everything had gone to hell . . . .
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Earlier episodes like "The Return of the Archons" mentioned leaving a sociological team behind or sending in Federation advisors to help a liberated civilization adjust. I'd expect the same thing would've been done here.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    A story like "The Apple" leaves me wondering if the small group of natives could possibly be the only ones on the planet. If not then were other villages living the same kind of existence with their own copies of Vaal? Was the relatively small amount of energy (in the rocks) really all there was to power Vaal? If so it seems rather dumb by whoever set up this whole thing.

    This was a real case of leaving a lot of questions unanswered.
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, there was often lip service to the idea that qualified Federation relief workers would arrive in the aftermath of such incidents. I think I always assumed that was the case here, even if it wasn't mentioned.
     
  6. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    It didn't even take that long in a fanfic I read. Six months was quite sufficient.
     
  7. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Look the natives are better off ditching the whole planet and starting again new somewhere else.

    How could you have kids running around there with exploding rocks and poisonous dart throwing plants?

    Kirk for once ;) didn't think things through.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think the idea was that those were defenses controlled by Vaal, and with Vaal shut down, they were deactivated. At least that's how the comics sequel mentioned above interpreted it.
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Teaser: The Vaalians are seen again in my next Trek book, No Time Like the Past, and I interpreted the exploding rocks somewhat differently.
     
  10. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmmm...very much looking forward to this.

    Must say I am happy with the amount of TOS novels being pumped out at the moment. Please keep them coming :)

    I remember the DC sequel as well, it was very bleak, and Spock, from memory was not a fan of Kirk's decision to 'liberate' the natives.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah... I wasn't a fan of Mike Carlin's run on the DC Trek comic, but the "Apple" sequel was one of his stronger efforts.
     
  12. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    One minor quibble with the OP: this was a Prime Directive situation, regardless of the danger posed to the ship and landing party. It was established--I think in "The Omega Glory" (another shitty episode; seriously. I've loathed it and "The Apple" both since I was a child)--that a starship captain was required to sacrifice his life and the life of his crew if saving them meant violating it.

    On another note, did anyone else catch that this is the only time we see a landing beam down in shifts, solely for the plot-driven reason that there needed to be a very high red shirt body count?
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Clearly Kirk doesn't think that the PD applies to societies ruled by super-computers. See also: Return of the Archons, Spock's Brain, For the World is Hollow, etc.

    Maybe there's an anti-AI footnote buried in the PD somewhere, known as Kirk Amendment? :)
     
  14. GregHenley

    GregHenley Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    It has it's cheezy parts, no doubt, but I always liked The Apple.
    Yes, some of those scenes with Chekov AND the natives are a bit embarrassing to watch. But I loved the extended phaser v shield battle as the Enterprise opens her full phasers on Vaal!

    I also thought it was sad that 3 security guys are killed, but when the natives attack, the skinny yeoman on the landing party knocks out 3 of the natives. Or was it 2? Anyway....put HER in charge of security and the hand to hand combat course on the Enterprise!
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, that's a great moment. One of the few times that a female crew member got to go all Emma Peel on someone.
     
  16. GregHenley

    GregHenley Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    She got to go "Emma Peel" and I don't recall there being ANY female security officers in TOS. In the new fan series "Star Trek Continues" there is a female security team member who gets in on some action. Cool.
     
  17. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Yes, the "Prime Directive only applies to growing, developing cultures" argument, invoked explicitly here and in Archons. In "For the World Is Hollow..." the threat posed by Yonada's collision course with a populated Federation world is all the justification Kirk needs, iirc.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm sure many have caught that over the years; I certainly did, and it's always annoyed me. They really went overboard with the gratuitous deaths here, although "Obsession" has a higher body count (though the victims were originally going to come back to life at the end -- perhaps explaining why Mr. Leslie is still around later despite dying in the episode).


    There were several in the animated series, though -- Anne Nored in "The Survivor" and various extras in "The Lorelei Signal."
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I never thought that a captain was required to let his ship and crew be sacrificed for the sake of the Prime Directive. In fact I assumed that protecting one's ship would be justifiable reasons for VIOLATING it.

    And the PD clearly doesn't apply here, for Strudel's point is accurate. Vaal's rule over those people is obviously unnatural and artificial, and the PD is not meant to protect things like that. The PD is meant to protect the natural development of civilizations, and Vaal's very existence prevents such development.
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think toasting Vaal is going to get rid of the land mine rocks, since I presume those are the same rocks that power Vaal.