Fridge horror for The Apple

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

  1. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    In response to Mr. Laser Beam: That raises an interesting question, though: if Vaal and Landru were created by the progenitors of the societies over which they preside, why wouldn't they be protected under the Prime Directive? Starfleet is forbidden to interfere with the development of alien cultures, full stop. I doubt it specifies what stage of development (other than that of spacefaring and warp capable, at which point they will by necessity be made aware of the very crowded galaxy they inhabit and deal with the influences of other spacefaring, warp capable civilizations) or allows the captain to disregard the directive if he finds the course the civilization has followed repugnant to his classically liberal sensibilities. If those civilizations, in the course of their "natural" development, decided upon stasis as their so-called endpoint it is still the result of their natural development.

    And, regardless of our personal take on the matter, it was canonically established that self-preservation was not sufficient cause to violate it.

    In response to Maurice: the episode seemed to suggest that Vaal was powered by the literal food the Stupid Loompas gathered for it. By not letting them feed Vaal, the landing party weakened it enough for the ships phasers to zap it. And yes, I know how stupid that sounds but I also had the misfortune of seeing The Reincarnaton of Peter Proud and thus won't put anything past Max Ehrlich, who wrote both that and "The Apple."
     
  2. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    Wasn't Zahra security? Or am I confusing her with her IDW NuTrek counterpart?
     
  3. GregHenley

    GregHenley Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I don't think she was security. It would have been interesting if she was though. If security had a hand to hand tournament like they did in TNG, she probably would have KO', pinned, or submitted all the other security guards. Especially with guys like the ones in Dagger of the Mind, Doomsday Machine, Turnabout Intruder, Charlie X, and The Children Shall Lead. She wouldhave beaten all those guys!

    Greg
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How is that a response? The "food" they fed Vaal appears to have been the explosive rocks, which was my point.
     
  5. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I could have sworn it was just food. You know, food. My bad.
     
  6. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Strudel, don't feel bad. For decades, most of us assumed the Vaalans were "feeding" their "god" fruits and veggies. But with the release of the Blu-Ray discs, the cleaned up footage allowed someone to notice, "Hey, that isn't fruit! They are those ^&*$ exploding rocks!" That observation was posted which prompted other fans to examine the footage. Sure enough, the objects within the baskets were indeed rocks.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  7. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Thank you! I was feeling as stupid as the episode for a second there--now the episode and I are both marginally less cretinous.
     
  8. Jerikka Dawn

    Jerikka Dawn Commander Red Shirt

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    That's covered in Wrath of Akuta.

    Akuta: "All of our women's bellies exploded nine months after we were left here. *admiral* Kirk never bothered to check on our progress."
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But development shouldn't have an endpoint. It's an ongoing process as long as a species exists. Why should these people have to be trapped in perpetual slavery and stagnation just because some guy thousands of years ago decided they should? How is that ancient leader any less alien to the people alive today than interlopers from another planet?

    The Prime Directive is not supposed to be a rigid, inviolable law that gives people an excuse to avoid thinking or taking responsibility for their choices. As Picard once said, "There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute." It's supposed to be a guideline that promotes responsible decision-making, that gives you pause to question your own motivations and biases before you decide whether intervention is the right option.

    Besides, we don't even know who built Vaal. Why assume it was these people's ancestors? That doesn't even make sense. There's no indication that the Servants of Vaal have any kind of advanced technology in their past. There are no ruins, no relics of civilization, no legends of a lost golden age. It's always seemed more likely to me that Vaal was built by aliens, its control imposed on the villagers, perhaps as some sort of experiment.



    She was a yeoman. Before they beamed down, Kirk told her, "I'll want a complete transcript of everything that happens down there, Yeoman." She was there to take notes.


    Interesting. I guess that does make more sense. So maybe whoever built Vaal created the cult around it as a way to exploit cheap local labor to harvest fuel. Perhaps because the villagers were considered expendable, and the builders didn't mind if a few of them got blown up gathering rocks. That really doesn't sound to me like the kind of cultural arrangement that the villagers' ancestors would've made for their own community. It sounds like something imposed by outside exploiters. In which case the very existence of Vaal was a Prime Directive violation and Kirk was just undoing it.
     
  10. GregHenley

    GregHenley Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    A Yeoman, wow! Is there a male security guard from any episode who you don't think she could have taken?? Besides that guy on the DS9 version of Trials and Tribulations in the bar scene...
    Greg
     
  11. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Same here. I can almost swear they were feeding Vaal food and flowers etc.

    While it makes sense, it still seems a bit dangerous. When they were feeding Vaal they didn't seem to be that careful. They seemed to be dancing about a bit. Although maybe my memory is unreliable here as I thought they were feeding Vaal food.
     
  12. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Certainly the discussion has not degenerated into a name calling squabble, but just to prove I'm not simply talking out of my a$$ (that would be an interesting ventriloquist act!), here are a couple of screen captures from Trek Core that reveal Vaal is being "fed" the chemically unstable mineral shards.

    In this first example, one can see the hands of a woman on the far right (plus the tip of her left boob) holding a sizeable rock.

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/2x05hd/theapplehd0853.jpg

    In the second, wider shot, we can see on the far right a young female bending to grasp a rock from a neatly stacked pile. Towards the left of the shot, we can see a male at the front of the line with a fair sized rock, a woman behind him with a much smaller rock, and a male behind her carrying, well, the hint of green could make one reasonably assume it might be something organic with chlorophyl.

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/2x05hd/theapplehd0860.jpg

    As an unrelated bonus, here are two captures of the yeoman going all "Emma Peel" on a native. Too bad there isn't a shot of the actual flip, but you gotta' love the "after" stance! Meow!

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/2x05hd/theapplehd1240.jpg

    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/2x05hd/theapplehd1241.jpg

    Enjoy!

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  13. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Sorry if I implied that I didn't believe you.

    I was too lazy to check TREKCORE myself. I know how to do it. Or I could put my blu ray on.

    I actually do believe you. You have no reason to lie. Its a compliment that I haven't checked. Also I'm lazy.

    I still haven't checked.

    OK maybe I'll check tomorrow. But it doesn't mean I don't believe you. Just that I want to see it myself. Wait you've put the links in. I'm definitely checking now.
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I went another way in the new book. I decided that the exploding rocks were an accidental byproduct of the terraforming process that maintained idyllic, garden-like conditions across the entire planet, and that the poison plants were not toxic to the Vaalians, but only to intruders.

    And, yeah, I assumed the Vaalians were "feeding" Vaal with fruits, vegetables, and other organic matter . . . .which I rationalized as being a sustainable energy source that could be safely provided by even a primitive people without any technological skills.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  15. Search4

    Search4 Captain Captain

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    48 years later, you still learn something! kj;)
     
  16. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, please don't worry. I realized you did not have issue with my assessment. I'm just the kind of guy who tries to support my statements. Because, who knows, I could have been mistaken. (Besides, I just enjoy using the phrase "talking outa' my a$$". ;) It conjures such a bizarre mental image.)

    Plus, it gave me an excuse to see some pretty young lasses with bare midriffs :drool:, a rarity in classic Trek.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm... on the one hand, those screencaps do show them feeding Vaal rocks, so we seem to have been wrong all these years to think it was food -- but on the other hand, the idea that they're feeding it rocks doesn't make a lot of sense. Are these rocks just lying around all over the place? Wouldn't they be depleted eventually if people are constantly gathering them and feeding them into Vaal's mouth? You make a good point that the fuel source would need to be sustainable indefinitely, and a mineral fuel would not be sustainable for long unless the natives engaged in mining, which clearly they don't.

    So maybe this is a case where we have to ignore the "right" answer as implausible and stick to our old "wrong" assumption because it actually makes more sense.
     
  18. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Christopher, in response to your earlier post: I fully concede that, if Vaal was constructed by an external force to enslave the population of this world, the PD would be null and void. But that strikes me as being a bigger leap into assumptions than the idea that it was a solution (to what problem I do not know nor do I really need to--nor does Kirk) arrived at by the ancestors of the inhabitants. This is a simple YMMV point and I don't think it needs extensive debate. However, the rest of your argument--that development should not have an end-point and that an alien race, in its superior wisdom (those aliens, in this case, being human) should be able to come in and change things--is precisely the kind of thinking the PD seems designed to prevent (well, not the thinking so much as the acting on that thought). It still boils down to saying essentially "As a Starfleet officer, your prime directive is to refrain from interfering with the internal affairs of other cultures--unless you really, really, really don't like what they are doing."
     
  19. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    And, honestly, that's a "wrong" assumption that most of us have been making for nearly fifty years or so. I rewatched "The Apple" before writing those chapters, but it never occurred to me to scrutinize any screencaps in detail. Just watching the ep on TV, as originally intended, it sure seems as though the Vaalians are simply bringing baskets of fruit.

    Certainly there are no close-ups or dialogue establishing that the explosive rocks are being used as fuel.
     
  20. GregHenley

    GregHenley Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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