I really Like "Carbon Creek"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Mike Have-Not, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like Carbon Creek. Having T'Pol tell the story of Great Grandmother being on earth and the Vulcans experiences in the 1950s was really intetresting to see T'Mir had a different personaly than T'Pol.I liked Mestral making friends with the people from Carbon creek and rescusing the miners.
     
  2. Kpnuts

    Kpnuts Commodore Commodore

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    Loved Carbon Creek, and I usually hate episodes like it, but it was fantastic I thought. Great characters, nice setting, great vibe overall.

    I also liked the ending with the handbag, I'd have felt a bit cheated if they just left it up in the air whether she was telling the truth or not.
     
  3. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was really charmed by this the first time I saw it but I'm afraid it's hard to re-watch due to the slow pacing and Vulcan-ness of the characters. I still cherish the first time I saw it, though.
     
  4. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    I agree, it is indeed a bit unusual to watch a story through they eyes of icy Vulcans but one point of the story was after all that the Vulcans become more human while living on Earth. OK, not the third guy but Mestral is fairly unorthodox in the very beginning (suggesting to kill a deer and eat its meat) and T'Pol's grandmother gets "infected" by him, thus mirroring the way the humans around T'Pol influence her (in this case directly, without an intermediate like Mestral).
    It is one of the first episodes in which we get a reversal of this "Vulcans as our parents who tell us what do" theme which culminates in Soval basically changing sides in the fourth season.
     
  5. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Identifying what is or is not one's favorite of anything is strictly a personal endeavor. I'm more than sure I'm probably the only trekkie/er on the planet (or universe) that identifies 'Carbon Creek' as their favorite Star Trek episode.

    It seems the least expensive episodes ring stronger for me. TNG's Inner Light, ENT's Shuttlepod One, DS9's Explorer's, VOY's 11:59 to name a few.

    Carbon Creek wasn't just a "filler" episode made to conserve money to make up for other more graphic intensive episodes, it had a purpose. This episode not only revealed some interesting unknown Star Trek history, but provided a needed back-story for the character T'Pol.

    This is a wonderful, heartwarming story. At this point in the series, T'Pol continually takes abuse for being 'Vulcan' even though she has time and time again proved unwavering loyalty to her Captain, the mission and the crew of Enterprise. So why does she put up with this? Until this episode we really had no idea and didn't know much about her background at all.

    While she doesn't reveal the 'truth' to Archer and Trip over dinner, she does indicate to us by revealing her "mother's mother's mother's" purse that the story she has told us is true. One can only imagine the impact her grandmother had on a young T'Pol, telling stories of her experiences with humans, etc. Now we can surmise why she volunteered to serve on Enterprise and moreover why she decided to remain aboard when she has had the opportunity to leave. T'Mir was an explorer that ended up gaining firsthand experience with humans while being stranded on Earth in 1957. Humans intrigued her and she passed that curiosity and interest on to her granddaughter.

    We see how important education is to T'Mir and we see how she just can't fathom that a brilliant kid wouldn't be afforded an opportunity to receive a higher education. T'Mir's introduction of Velcro technology fit nicely into history as we know it. The first Velcro was completely made from cotton when Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, patented the zipperless zipper 1955. The problem was the cotton hooks quickly stopped doing what Velcro does as they quickly wore out. Nylon had been around since 1935. It wasn't until shortly after Velcro was patented that Mestral discovered that nylon worked much better than cotton (circa 1958) because it didn't wear out nearly as fast with use. Seeing Maggie's expression as she found the money in the tip jar realizing her son could go to college was priceless.

    Listening to baseball on the radio, bus rides, 'I Love Lucy', 'Moe', old vehicles, frozen fish sticks, family owned restaurants, the small coal-town atmosphere all added to the realness of this episode. The lighter tone during the encounters between humans and our Vulcans was fun.

    It would have been nice for the series to revisit Mestral, but they did not. We can only assume he melded in nicely and contributed to human advancement where he could.

    So this episode links Star Trek's future with humanities past and provides back-story for a main character that gives some justification for her continued interest in serving with humans on a star ship. All done with humor and knowledge of our real past that makes this occurrence as plausible as they come in trek.

    Well done, Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Dan O'Shannon, well done. So the next time you see T'Pol unveil her Great Grandmother's purse, I hope you give this review a thought and I hope you might appreciate this Star Trek gem little more.
     
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    I had a different reaction when I reviewed this a few months back. Showing us the purse doesn't prove that any of what she told Archer and Trip was true. For all we know, the purse might have been purchased by T'Pol herself. The Velcro mention suggested to me that T'Pol had only studied enough of Earth history to fabricate the whole thing and fill it with convincing details. Her reply to Trip, "You asked me to tell you a story," also suggests she might have simply made it up on the spot.

    Though it is a wonderfully executed episode, with picturesque location shooting and fine performances, and perhaps J. Paul Boehmer's best role in Star Trek.

    You probably could have just started a new thread for this, rather than re-animating a dead one from over a year ago. ;)
     
  7. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would indeed call it a filler episode, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. But to say it provides character insight to T'Pol is a stretch to say the least. Really the only bit of characterization we got from her(T'Mir doesn't count really) is that she's nostalgic and isn't above yanking Archer and Tucker's chains a bit. The rest of the episode -does- revolve around three characters that in the grand scheme of things have nothing to do with the series.

    Now don't get me wrong, it was a fun episode and I enjoyed it. The Twilight Zone reference was my favorite part, though if the main cast is just going to be sitting at the table, they could've brought in the rest of the crew instead of just having it be the command clique of Trip, Archer and T'Pol and give them an appearance.

    Velcro was invented before Sputnik as has been pointed out many times. I figured T'Mir just figured the logical thing to do was con a guy who didn't know better, knowing it really wouldn't change their evolution or technological progress. Knowing what happened to Mestral would be interesting, but dedicating a whole other episode to it would be a bit much.
     
  8. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't agree (obviously :)). There is no reason to show us that purse on Enterprise unless to strongly indicate that T'Pol's "story" was in fact true. If fact, T'Pol's service record did provide positive proof she went to Carbon Creek. T'Pol's comments to Trip were part of her personality. She made the same sort of comments in Harbinger while sipping a cup of tea. She did have a funny, if not dry sense of humor.

    Seems like starting new thread is accepted here. Every other board I've participated in frowns on starting another thread where one exists. Thanks

    It's a bit of a stretch if you don't believe (or don't want to believe) it to be true.

    Nylon Velco however was not invented prior to Sputnik, as I indicated. Look it up, it fits nicely into what was portrayed in the episode. We ding them all the time for screwing things up, it's more than fair to credit them when they get it right.

    I always wanted the series to touch base with Mestral again, sad they didn't. One option could have been for T'Pol to mention that he was present at First Contact, then returned to Vulcan.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  9. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of course, we do get a clue that the story can't be exactly as T'Pol told it: T'Mir gets invited to a minor-league baseball game during a time when Sputnik 1 can be seen, and that that places the action between October 1957 and January 1958.

    Mind, this is well within the normal bounds for mistaken recollections or errors in transmitting stories, and the moreso considering it'd be across several centuries and possibly multiple generations of storytelling, and so can only really be used to foil Bugs Meany.
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Just to clarify how it seems to work here, Moderators generally seem to prefer not reactivating a thread over 6 months old. If you see a thread younger than that on the topic you want to discuss, add to that one. Otherwise, start your own.

    Each sub-forum has its own individual mods, so their preferences may vary on how rigidly they enforce it. I don't think they'll use their agonizers on you though.
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    HR, the Enterprise mod, only brought out the pain sticks if you posted spoilers for Into Darkness. ;)

    (rubs pain stick wound from months ago)

    Beyond that... it really seems personal preference to the sub forum's mod to how selectively rules are enforced and on whom.
     
  12. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was expecting not to like this episode, but much to my surprise I kind of got caught up in it. The actors portraying the mom and her son (I forget the character names) were really convincing to me, and I really felt for the two. When Grandma T'pol had left him the velcro money for his college, that was very moving to me.

    As far as a low budget filler episode goes, my friends and I can't always afford big bashes. Once in a while we just get together at someone's house, sort of a b.y.o.b. thing, and often they turn out to be the most fun and memorable! :)
     
  13. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Interesting, would you please explain? It couldn't bee seen low in the horizon in May through September?
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For minor league baseball to be in effect it would most certainly have been in October and that's cutting it. They really don't play in the winters.

    I would presume the visibility of Sputnik would have to do with the tilt of the Earth and it's orbit only being able to be seen in North America during certain times. Or just that Sputnik wasn't in orbit that long. Someone correct me there, I'm just guessing at it.
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Wiki indicates it was launched 4 October 1957, signal transmissions ended 22 days later when the batteries wore out, and it burned up on 4 January 1958.

    I know Telstar was visible with the naked eye. We were leaving a church service one night in 1962 or 1963, and saw it moving across the sky.
     
  16. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I guess that would imply that CC was in early October then.
     
  17. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    Two things:

    As the mod in the TNG forum, I actually like it when someone resurrects an old thread and adds substantively to it. I get the impression that Yanks read most, if not all of the thread before posting. As an aside, I share his (?) enthusiasm for the episode as one of the best of ENT and a top 20 of all Trek for me.

    As someone who was 11 and a science junkie when Sputnik went up, I clearly recall that it was not visible to the naked eye, only through powerful binoculars or a telescope. I only had a cheap pair of binoculars and lived in urban Louisville so seeing it was out of the question.
     
  18. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Cool. I did read both threads that came up and thought this one was most appropriate for what I had to post.

    From what Jack said, it wasn't easy to see it.

    JACK: Oh really? Did you know that minutes after dusk, when the sun is just right you can see Sputnik with the naked eye. Maybe tomorrow I could show you.

    But he was a sharp kid you know. ;)
     
  19. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He was, and Sputnik wasn't easy to see during the few months that it was in orbit. You had to know where to look, and many people --- then and since --- have sloppily assumed that it couldn't be seen. But, per the National Geographic article about the launch of Sputnik (I don't have the issue on hand, but it would have a cover date of around January 1958, and can be found in every used book store ever), observers could and did see it with the naked eye.

    (Confounding things is that the upper stage of the rocket which launched Sputnik also orbited for a good while, and as a much larger object was more easily visible. People seeing just something shiny moving in the night sky would, reasonably, think they had seen the satellite when they were actually seeing the rocket stage's shell, and this probably helps confound the matter of naked-eye observations of Sputnik 1.)
     
  20. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Great stuff! Love real world input like this.

    Thank you for sharing! :techman:
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013