Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Joel_Kirk, May 16, 2012.
So it doesn't look so silly on high speed.
If Spock and Rand were close personal friends, then Spock could have made the comment he did about the second Kirk having some interesting qualities, and in response receive a "oh really" look from Rand. People will accept biting humor from a close friend, that they never would from anyone else.
Rand obviously took it as a joking tease from a good friend, and maybe one she needed at that point.
Spock is fully away that she's attracted to Kirk and that Kirk is attracted to her. She knows that Spock knows. Evil Kirk was willing to act on that attraction. So her withering stare and disapproving pout are her way of saying, "You're my superior officer and we're on the bridge so I can't say what I really think and you know I can't." I think if we'd seen more of her character develop, we would have seen a closer relationship with Spock like the scene where she and Uhura tease him in Charlie X (preferably not more scenes exactly like that one though!). I would have preferred to see more scenes with Spock in the episodes we have rather than concentrating on her and Kirk, which is another reason why losing her before the Galileo 7 was a shame. In some respects, too much Rand and Kirk was the character's downfall.
The Naked Time
[LEFT]Story: The Enterprise arrives at planet PSI2000 to pick up a scientific party, but finds the party dead. Frozen. When idiot science officer, Joe Tormolen, takes off his glove in an infected area to take readings, he contracts a virus, taking it aboard the ship where it spreads by touch...causing many on the Enterprise to act strangely. Soon, the infected navigator, Kevin Riley, shuts himself in Engineering, and cuts off all power to the engines. Now, Enterprise crew must find a cure for the virus, and get to the engines, since the ship is now decaying in the planet’s atmosphere.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]Ideology: Inhibitions, no matter how powerful, have to kept under control; and, just because one may be ‘under the influence’ doesn’t give said individual the right to hurt others. At the same time, some inhibitions are innocent, and may give the individual choices on how he or she should act on those inhibitions (e.g. relationships, be it romantic or familial).[/LEFT]
[LEFT]Plot holes: The Enterprise goes back three days once the engines have been powered up and the ship escapes the planet’s atmosphere. Kirk mentions that they have three days to live again, and makes the order to go to their next destination. No mention is made to return back to PSI2000, to see if the virus could have been prevented. [/LEFT]
[LEFT]Another plot hole: Even though this was early in the series when Vulcan’s were still a mystery, Spock’s enhanced Vulcan hearing is ignored. For example, when an infected Sulu is trying to get a soon-to-be infected Kevin Riley to leave his post, Spock is at his science station engrossed in his monitor. Either he is so engrossed, or he doesn’t hear Sulu. [/LEFT]
Miscellaneous Notes: Let me start out by saying I do enjoy the TNG sequel, “The Naked Now.” That TNG episode was also was a 1st season episode and will eventually be reviewed when I get to the TNG episodes. This particular TOS episode, however, “The Naked Time,” is just as fun, but is also disconcerting since we gather the PSI2000 scientists went through the same experience as the Enterprise crew, eventually killing themselves. A lot of inhibitions and feelings seem to come out among the infected crew:
Sulu seems to come onto Uhura, or at least give her attention, for the first time. This takes place when he arrives on the bridge swinging his fencing foil and attempts to protect her as his ‘fair’ maiden.
Christine Chapel, after infected, acts “sexy” and reveals her feelings to Spock. (Chapel doesn't know it at this point, but former love interest Roger Korby turns up later, alive, putting these feelings for Spock on hold).
The infected Kirk reveals (to himself) his attraction to Janice Rand. (This little attraction will be hinted further in “Balance of Terror”). However, Kirk wills himself back to a competent state of mind by reminding his love is the Enterprise, telling himself, “I’ll never lose you.” (The writers unknowingly add foreshadowing to the character, whom, in the film series will always want to maintain his command position, even though circumstances or 'life' is saying otherwise, e.g. age, or the politics of Starfleet). Post-infected Kirk later laments - to himself - that there will be no ‘walks’ with Janice Rand, since his Enterprise duty seems to prevent any relationship he can could have with the yeoman.
Spock greaves his childhood when he is infected. The briefing room scene with Kirk and Spock getting one another into the 'right state of mind' to take back their ship reminded me of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto’s interpretations.
Kevin Riley is a standout “minor” character who plays a big part in this episode, and will turn up later in the series. His character is 'comical' when infected, even though he is dooming the ship at the same time. I do recall a slight sexist remark (from an infected Riley) who states, “Let the women work too!” I forget what context that remark was made, but I believe it was when Kirk gives an order to Uhura on the bridge, and Riley overhears from Engineering.
Joe Tormolen is a tragic character, but he has brought his death on himself (i.e. being a trained scientist, taking protective equipment off in an infected area, then rubbing his nose top it off before he puts said equipment back on!). Once the virus takes him over, the audience gets a sense that Tormolen was a troubled character to begin with even before the virus had any effect. Remember, the virus seems to bring out inhibitions, and bring out any suppressed thoughts. Tormolen's idea that humans weren’t meant to journey the stars is a trope which turns up in sci-fi films, among astronauts who usually go crazy; and he decides to 'off' himself since he feels so guilty. (Tormolen joins 'Olsen' - the red suit from the 2009 film - as crewmen who made a very bad, very stupid decision that cost them their lives).
[LEFT]There are some interesting, additional observations:[/LEFT]
[LEFT]Pre-infected Spock has a certain wit. After nerve pinching a foil-wielding-virus-infected Sulu, Spock orders to some crewman: “Take D’artagnan to the sickbay.” He even uses the word, “bizarre” at one point in the episode.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]Uhura is not necessarily infected in the episode, but if she was....she is still shown to be competent, and able to do her job. One scene I found interesting is where she snaps back at Kirk who initially snaps at her; he apologizes, but later snaps at her while in the briefing room (while he is psychologically getting himself and Spock back in the right state of mind). Uhura doesn’t react the second time Kirk snaps at her. I assumed that given everything that is going on....she maintains her cool. Also, she takes navigation for the first (?) time in the show, showing that she can do more than be a phone operator, and look sexy in a red Starfleet skirt and black boots.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]Janice Rand is also not necessarily infected, but is just dealing with an 'amorous crewmen,' one in particular who turns Kevin Riley’s “I’ll take you home Kathleen” into “I’ll take you home Janice.” I don't think Uhura would have put up with the behavior from the 'amorous crewman;' and I find it a bit hard to believe that no crewman would have 'touched' Rand given the way the virus was making some individuals act.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]We get to see that Sulu is into fencing. This goes with it other interests, which include: ancient firearms, botany, as well as knowledge of helm control. (Even Kevin Riley, the navigator, has engineering knowledge!)[/LEFT]
Score: 3.5/5. An interesting episode, a fun episode. A good ensemble performance. Shatner slightly overacts, but it can be argued that it fits in with what his character was going through. In this episode, we again get a sense that the Enterprise is a big ship that is maintained(and lived in) by various people.
Balance of Terror
(Daaaa. Da. Da. Da. Da.
watch the naked time again while you are intoxicated and i gaurantee you will give it a 5/5
This. During the early 80s, the local station showed Star Trek at 6pm every day. I'd get home at 5, roll a few funny cigarettes, smoke the first at 5:45, and was primed by the opening fadein. After I got a vcr, I could spend 20 minutes analyzing a 2 minute scene in that condition. The routine only worked for TOS though, not the later shows, so I figure it had something to do with familiarity. The only other thing it really worked for was the Three Stooges, especially with Curly.
the naked time is one of those episodes that i like more every time i see it.
Joe's big speech scene with Sulu and Riley was one I spent 20 minutes on. I thought Stewart Moss was great as Joe, but in a decades later interview he considered that speech pretty corny.
Balance of Terror
Story:Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine are about to get married. Unfortunately, a distress call from Outpost 4 near the Neutral Zone puts the wedding on hold. The distress call concerns one lone Romulan vessel that is destroying outposts, gauging Starfleet’s weakness before it returns home with information that could spell war between the Romulan Empire and Earth.
Ideology:War is hell. Sometimes there isn’t a “good” or “bad” side, just people on either side doing their duty. War affects everyone, and doesn’t discriminate between gender, or race.
Plot Holes: I couldn’t find any.
Miscellaneous Thoughts: All the TOS episodes are classic, but this is one of those “classic” episodes that stands above the rest. This introduces us to the Romulans, and gives us a tale that speaks on racism, duty, and morality without being preachy; we also get some action to boot. We also get introduced to two actors in particular, Mark Lenard and Lawrence Montaigne, who portray Romulans here, and would later portray Vulcans. Of course, Lenard would become the prominent character Sarek.
Paul Comi as Lt. Styles is our guest navigator for this episode, and reveals himself to be a bigot against Vulcans, in this “progressive” future. Well, we’ve already seen evidence of sexism, so there’s obviously racism. Even Kirk would show himself to be a bigot against Klingons later in the franchise....and Captain Benjamin Sisko (a century after Kirk) would grow upset at the racism faced by black-Americans in the 1960s after learning of a fictional, light-hearted holodeck program taking place in that era, having us wonder if even he (in the 24th Century) faced racism due to his color or ethnicity.
Lt. Styles is descended from a family who fought in the Earth-Romulan war of previous years, so he has a certain by-the-book attitude that, interestingly, the “Captain Stiles” of Star Trek III has. He is also a different type of patriot. Instead of him being proud of his country, Styles is a proud Terran, and doesn’t seem to want to be around those who differ from his idea of Terrans. This is interesting since, at this time in the Star Trek universe, there would be so many mixtures of people in Starfleet and on Earth. It is not stated on whether Styles is particularly racist against Vulcans, or aliens overall. However, it would be a bit silly to be in Starfleet where, as aforementioned, there are different races and ethnicities intermingling. Nonetheless, the idea of Styles learning to not judge people is related pretty well in the episode’s climax when Spock saves him from the coolant leak that occurs in the phaser room.
Styles has a minor commonality with Jonathan Archer. Yes, that guy from Star Trek: Enterprise. Archer is a flawed character who has his own racial biases against Vulcans, and possibly against fellow humans...yet, he is chosen to explore “strange new worlds” and make “first contacts.” Note: Archer is from the 22nd Century, a century before the Kirk-era, but is shown stating the Earth has evolved, particularly in terms of race. Hence, the Star Trek universe isn’t as evolved as the characters believe.
The episode’s battle with the Romulan warbird is reminiscent of the nautical-like Enterprise/Reliant battle in Star Trek II. Both opponents are trying to outsmart one another: Kirk, to stop a potential war that will be waged once the Romulan warbird gets word of Starfleet’s strength; and the Romulan Commander, who wants to return to his home planet alive with the information for the Praetor. Both seem to be playing a game of chess; usually the case when Kirk is going up against another commander. That is probably the explanation as to why both crews are simultaneously ‘whispering’ on their respective bridges: For example, the Enterprise is idle, the engines turned off, and the crew stressed. When Spock inadvertently hits a button on his console, ‘power’ is detected by the Romulan vessel - also stressed (particularly the Romulan Commander and the Centurion) speaking softly as the crew monitors an enemy they might have underestimated.
Again, the “lower decks” (i.e. non-regulars) are emphasized with the soon-to-be married couple Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine, as well as the goings on in the phaser room. The character Angela Martine, who is one of my favorite Starfleet females, would show up two more times in the series. As aforementioned in previous reviews, these ‘guest characters’ show us the Enterprise is a lived-in vessel with characters that, even if they show in one or two episodes, we may grow attached to.
No overacting Shatner in this one. A close-up of Kirk when Commander Hanson of Outpost 4 is describing the death and destruction, is silently emotional. It’s all in his facial expressions. Shatner’s Kirk - in this episode - also is one who asks for options to see if they should follow the Romulan ship or leave them alone; he isn’t impulsive. The final scene of him walking out of the ship’s chapel, after consoling Angela Martine for the loss of her fiancé shows that the loss of any crewmember is felt. He wears a somber expression as he walks the corridors, the closing instrumental plays on the soundtrack, a few crewmen and women in the background joke with one another, as the ship slowly but surely gets back to normal after previous events.
Uhura takes the navigation console when Styles heads to the phaser room to help the doomed Tomlinson. Sulu gives her a little grin, which Uhura doesn’t notice. It would have been nice to see her ‘take the conn,’ as well as see what the writers would have done with those subtle hints from Sulu....which were probably unconscious, subtle hints. The J.J. Abrams universe has made Uhura a major ‘player’ in the films: Very tough and strong-willed, and very sexy; and, in a relationship with Spock. Some of those attributes are apparent in the series (e.g. especially the upcoming ‘Mirror, Mirror’) but it’s taken to another level. Still, given the time period classic TOS was produced, it’s nice to see the character - not only as a black female, but the primary female character in this series - a multi-tasker, as well as someone gazed upon as desirable by a non-white, non-black individual. Of course, it's also showing that an Asian male - whose sexuality is usually repressed in the media - can enjoy the opposite sex; in this case, enjoy gazing at the opposite sex while keeping it professional.
I love the Romulans of TOS. They obviously are inspired by the Romans - hence the similar name - and they have just as much mystery as the Vulcans. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the mystery, sexiness, and exotic appeal of the Romulans is gone from TNG onward. They become stiff in the way they act (or at least the way they are portrayed) and in the way they physically look. They become boring. They are somewhat interesting and ‘cool’ again in the 2009 film by J.J. Abrams.
Lastly, there is a scene when the ship goes to red alert, and the officers/department heads - save Uhura, who probably is in command on the bridge! - leave the briefing room after finalizing their options in dealing with a stealthy enemy. Sulu is waiting at the door for Kirk to leave, and as Kirk exits...we cut to Kirk walking to the bridge at a brisk pace. Focused. Sulu is not too far behind is taking in his fellow crewmen and women hurrying to their stations. The incidental music makes it clear, 'things just got real.' (A cool little sequence I've always liked from this episode; and is a good contrast to the aforementioned final scene - one I also like - with Kirk walking a much more calmer corridor).
Score: 5/5. An episode that embodies the idea of Star Trek. An episode that is very well-written and well-acted. Note: I wouldn’t say this is a good introduction to the series, since you have to go through previous episodes to fully appreciate ‘Balance of Terror.’
What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Memory Alpha calls Comi's character Stiles; Styles was the guy in Star Trek III. It would have been less confusing if they'd given Styles a different name.
I don't think Comi's Stiles was prejudiced against Vulcans. He hated Romulans due to ancestors/relatives killed in the Romulan War. His animosity toward Spock didn't really start until they'd tapped into the Romulan bridge and learned of their resemblence to Vulcans. He apparently thought Spock was some sort of spy, which makes no sense because Spock was the one who tapped the transmission in the first place.
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.
I stand corrected.
(Kinda figured I got the last names switched).
This was a bit of continuity that was lost, as a part of the scene with the outpost commander was cut, where Hansen says to the effect of, "Copied our designs....spies...." when the warbird shows up again. THAT'S why Stiles makes the spy insinuations later, as they see what a Romulan looks like.
All right, I'll concede that and I see the Memory Alpha's article's source. It's the first I've heard of it in 40+ years. Hanson's filmed scene did seem sort of abrupt.
One of my favorite TOS episodes and cool because it was such an early episode. There are some interesting bits about this it in this Orion Press bit about "Balance of Terror" here:
Well work checking out!
Why did you skip Charlie X?
I don't consider it part of my canon...
That's a good catch, actually.
(I'm going to have to backtrack and review that one - "Charlie X" - before I move on to "What are Little Girls Made Of?")
**This was actually supposed to be reviewed before 'Balance of Terror.' So, we're 'trekking' backward this time before we get back on course with 'What Are Little Girls Made Of?'**
Story: 17-year-old Charlie Evans is picked up by the U.S.S. Antares from Thasus where a colony vessel crashlanded 14 years prior. Charlie comes off as extremely immature, and becomes a threat when he is discovered to have powers to wish people away when they upset them, as well as manipulate people and hardware.
Ideology/Themes: The idea of growing up and knowing what right and wrong is can be one of the most challenging 'treks' a person – of any age - can have.
Plot Holes: I couldn't find any.
There was probably a reason I forgot to review this episode, namely because it is a forgettable episode, in my opinion. It's servicable, given that it is written by prominent author D.C. Fontana, but it doesn't challenge...it doesn't break new ground.
This episode has similarities with Jerome Bixby's 'It's a Good Life' for The Twilight Zone. Both have 'villains' who need to grow up or who lack much needed adult supervision. However, Kirk in the climax has run out of patience with Charlie, who at that point has become a signficant threat, and is about to knock Charlie out before a Thasian appears to take the 17-year-old away. It's interesting that Charlie even gets scared. (Unlike the Twilight Zone episodes protagonists, the Enterprise crew actually act on trying to get their villain subdued).
William Shatner gets another 'shout out' with his performance, which – again – is subtle. Even when he is hit with Chalie's power. The scene where Kirk explains why a man shouldn't hit a woman on the butt is pretty funny as Kirk stumbles with his words, since this it is assumed this is the first time he has to play big brother to a young man learning about his sexuality.
The scene with Uhura comes off slightly cheesy. I'm not a big fan of the singing, although Nichelle Nichols looks good having her moment. Spock is interesting since he seems to be taking in the crowd (and Uhura's antics) with a slight smile.
It's left up in the open what happened with Charlie. Did he grow up and learn from his mistakes? Did he grow up and try to take over worlds? Did he lose his power? (Billy Mumy's antagonist from that aforementioned Twilight Zone episode actually got a follow up in the 21st century Twilight Zone series). It's not entirely clear, and I had to look online for this information, but Charlie received his power from the Thasians to survive while he was on Thasus. I always thought that he was a lost Thaisan and just happened to be within a human colony. (Note: Trek has done this before, breezing thorugh plot information – obviously, the best episodes are the ones where everything is understood within the episode, kind of like 'Balance of Terror' which comes after this episode).
I have to point out the mixture of women wearing regulation skirts and regulation pants. This is something that the current Trek films has also shown, and something that was lost in later Trek series. This episode shows that a woman can be sexy and professional at the same time, feminity doesn't have to be robbed to show 'progress' - which obviously isn't real progress if it is thought that having women dressed from head to toe shows them equal to men, the same as when people got upset that TNG – Star Trek: The Next Generation - had men in 'skirts' or 'skants' for the first season. Gender roles in regards to Trek writers and fans needed work later on, and it showed that Trek and some of its fans weren't as progressive as they thought they were.
Janice gets her moment to shine, even though it's in regards to another man who is lusting after her. The first time (that we saw onscreen) she had to fend off a man who didn't take 'no' as an answer was Kirk's double in 'The Enemy Within.' This time it's Charlie Evans who – at first – she thinks his crush is cute, but later says she is going to 'hurt him' if he doesnt' back off when he – Evans – gets a bit too pushy and creepy.
As a contrast to Charlie, I thought 17-year-old Tina Lawton was likable. She only showed up for two scenes, but I liked her character. (Of course, I wonder whether or not it was because she was attractive and in her blue Starfleet outfit). There is already a sense of maturity and duty since she is on a vessel where there is a chance she could lose her life. To paraphrase, as we hear in various sci-fi shows (and James Bond films) 'she knows the risks.'
Two little things I thought was always hilariously annoying; nitpicky things. Officer Tom Nellis' hair (that guy from the U.S.S. Antares) and the shape of Charlie's head. Nellis' hair was very 1950s/1960s and definitely dates this episode, but not at the point to where it overshadows and grates the enjoyment of the episode. In regards to Charlie's head, I – as the viewer – wanted to slap that head because I became so annoyed with the character. Interestingly, I – like some of the Enterprise crew – felt sorry for the guy when the Thasian came to take him away, but there was still relief that he was gone.
The Thasian shown is the same actor who portrayed the 'Kyben leader' in the Outer Limits episode 'Demon with a Glass Hand' (written by another Trek alumnus, Harlan Ellison). Obviously, this information isn't new, but it's interesting to point.
Score: 3.0 out of 5. As aforementioned, this is a forgettable episode, and would be followed up with the more memorable 'Balance of Terror' which did challenge audiences with its storyline and character interactions.
Star Trek will return
'What Are Little Girls Made Of?'
What Are Little Girls Made Of?
The Enterprise gets a sudden signal from planet Exo III from a Dr. Roger Korby, when they arrive in orbit of said planet – Previous expeditions were unable to find him.On board the Enterprise happens to be Nurse Christine Chapel, Korby's fiancee. Chapel and Kirk beam down to meet Korby and survivors, who are living on the planet's underground, and are part of a sinister plot that involves creating an army of androids to take over the Enterprise and beyond.
Power corrupts when humans try to play 'God' or create life. Also, artificial intelligence may learn the imperfections of human nature, finding said human nature a damaging attribute which leads artifical intelligence to destroy the negative aspect human nature or 'imperfections' in order to create a better environment.
Plot Holes/Plot Issues:
Two expeditions have failed to find Roger Korby, but Korby just happens to notify the Enterprise, which just happens to have his fiancee on board. Too coincidental.
Star Trek works very well with subtlety when it proclaims people coming together of different backgrounds.We see two Enterprise crew on the bridge smiling to one another in the background as they listen to Chapel talk to Korby as two lovers reunited: A blonde, white male in a blue jumpsuit and a black woman in yellow. Uhura also gives a kiss to Christine before she leaves – Star Trek's first interracial kiss, before 'Mirror, Mirror,' before 'Space Seed,' before 'Elaan of Troyius' and before 'Plato's Stepchildren' - as she is also happy that Christine found her man.
We get our two first two red shirt deaths, Matthews and Rayburn, who are separated and taken down by Ruk. I like the way Kirk is very distressed about the loss of his officers. I don't recall him, or later episodes really given a thought about the loss of life that occurs within the security ranks.
The reveal of Korby's companions is pretty interesting. Dr. Brown's is in a silhouette before he turns on the lights to show himself fully; I liken him to other assistants to mad scientists like Igor to Dr. Frankenstein. On the other hand, Andrea's reveal is a bit more humorous and sexual. Christine calls her a 'mechanical geisha,' and the camera gets various questionable glances from Christine to Andrea when the female android is revealed in her titillating attire. I like the way Andrea talks breathlessly, coming off as the 'younger' woman who learns about sexual practices when Kirk and Chapel beam down. Even though Christine hints at sexual relationship between Korby and Andrea, the female android seems more interested in sexual practices when Kirk beams down and Korby claims the female android can have no feelings, sexual or otherwise, even though we see the contrary. Lastly, Ruk is an imposing presence being the murderer of the two aforementioned security officers, but is part of two (?) scenes that are a bit over-the-top when he questions his programming from the 'old ones' that clashes what he is learning from Kirk; he holds Kirk in his grasp while monologuing.
Dr. Roger Korby is too caught up in his plans or experiments that he becomes a contradiction. He always makes claims that no one will be harmed, or that anyone that has been harmed was due to a misunderstanding. He is the stereotypical mad scientist who thinks he has control when circumstances plainly show otherwise. Soon, his creations turn on him as they learn human emotions from Kirk, Chapel, and the overall situation. Furthermore, the reveal of his 'cyborg -i-zation' is supposed to show that he had become more machine than man, but I just see it as a crazy man who tried to, as aforementioned, play God with himself. He probably thought he was successful with himself and his assistant Dr. Brown, so why not create a female companion (Andrea) and appeal to an alien android for further companionship and protection (Ruk). Too, he has an over-the-top line that bugs me: 'I AM ROGER KOOORBY!'
The androids have much in common with other artificial beings of science fiction. Ruk and Andrea (like Hal 9000 from 2001 and 2010, the androids from the classic TOS episode 'I, Mudd,' Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and even the aliens from the anime series Robotech) have contradictions according to their 'programming' which goes against their newly found emotions or ability to think for themselves and reason.
3.0 out of 5. When I first saw this episode years ago, I liked it because it was a Christine Chapel episode. (I must have had a crush on the character...hahaha) Looking at it now, it's an 'interesting episode,' but not one of my recommended episodes or one I would put into my personal 'canon'...nor one I find as challenging as, say, 'Balance of Terror.'
Star Trek will return in
'Dagger of the Mind'
Separate names with a comma.