Joel Revisits TOS....

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Joel_Kirk, May 16, 2012.

  1. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm inclined to question that, too, based solely on the impression that there couldn't possibly have been time in the episode for anything like that.
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't there a memo where one of the Genes complained that the "woman who betrays the ship for love" thing was in both "Space Seed" and this one? My guess is THAT is why it was excised from this episode.
     
  3. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I stand corrected then. I only remembered reading it here, but not the source.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    A memo from Roddenberry that said, in part...

    Cushman quotes this and then assumes Roddenberry meant that "Space Seed" would have to be rewritten, a bizarre bit of logic, but when that supports his pet theory.
     
  5. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And yet it turned up again in the second-season episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?"
     
  6. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They had a lot of fluffing around in Alternative Factor. Beaming to the planet, beaming from the planet a couple of times, falling from hills. Cut some of this stuff out and the story might have been a bit better.
    Although I don't think a crew betrayal would have been the way to go. Perhaps an unintended betrayal might be OK.

    I don't regard Palamas as betraying the ship in "Who Mourns For Adonis". Falling for the guy yes but she put her duty before her own feelings.

    There was also a dude who betrayed them in "Wink of an Eye".
     
  7. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I criticize GR for a lot of things, but his re-writes were good (or we wouldn't love the series), and then a memo like this comes along and he seems like a pretty good guy. :bolian:
     
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Man, I hated that guy. I don't know how much was his crappy dialogue and how much was how he played it. 'Sorry, Captain, I can't obey your orders anymore, because I met this hot chick.'
     
  9. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Really, Palamas was the real "hero" of the episode, she could have been queen/goddess of a whole little society on that planet. And she really liked Apollo, so she really sacrificed quite a bit.

    Now, skippy from Wink of an Eye, he sucks.
     
  10. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, Compton demonstrated his Eb Dawson intelligence in the teaser, as he licked the alien Scalosian water right off his fingers.

    [​IMG]

    He must've been pretty far from the top of his class at the Academy!
     
  11. mb22

    mb22 Commander Red Shirt

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    And he must have been right next to Joe Tormolen from "The Naked Time".
     
  12. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry...:lol:

    *****

    Tomorrow is Yesterday

    STORY:
    While heading to Starbase 9, the Enterprise is hit by a 'black star' which puts them in the 1960s. They are captured on film by an American air force pilot named John Christopher whom they bring on board after they attempt to use a tractor beam on the vessel. The crew must decide on whether or not they return Christopher and how they can dispose of the photos he took of the ship.

    IDEOLOGY:
    A multicultural future isn't justified verbally, but by the actions of people living within that future.

    I will explain or further below, but Uhura is treated as one of the crew and as part of a true multicultural future (i.e. her gender and race isn't brought up when John Christopher meets her, and there is a prominent camera shot where Christopher listens intently to Uhura explaining her station area). Even though there were (and still are) racial double standards with Asians and blacks in America, even Sulu's racial background isn't mentioned.

    We also get a sense that women are allowed to be 'sexy' as well as professional, even though Christopher's 1960s attitude is surprised to see a woman on a military (yes, it's military as well as exploratory) vessel. Furthermore, we hear of an all female world who - possibly as a joke - reprogram the Enterprise computer to continually refer to Kirk as 'dear.'


    PLOT HOLES/PLOT ISSUES:
    Zero!

    Although, the time bit about beaming individuals into their past selves is iffy. However, if we are to nitpick 'time' in this episode, we might as well nitpick the "Terminator" franchise....and maybe "Back to the Future."

    It's really not important. We accept it as part of the story, something the characters figured out to get out of their jam. (And notice we didn't need any fictional technobabble!)

    MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS:
    When I saw who wrote this episode, I told myself, "Ah, so 'that's' why I enjoyed myself!" D.C. Fontana wrote a pretty good episode that was very 'Trekkian' in it's execution. (Yes, she wrote 'Charlie X,' but I think she just 'wrote' it....and not supplied the story as well as the teleplay. A reason I didn't find 'Charlie X' that mind blowing.

    While John Christopher tries to escape twice (and is knocked out twice) we can understand his reason for doing so. He is on an alien ship that may take him away from his family. On the other hand, the crew of the Enterprise can't necessarily let Christopher go because he will inform his superiors about what he saw, possibly messing up the timeline where Kirk and crew (and their families) may not exist. So, it's a matter of duty and family on both sides.

    I didn't realize it until I saw the episode (remastered) for this review, but the title refers to the 'slingshot' effect used to get the Enterprise back to it's present time. Before they head back to their time, they head backwards - to beam Christopher and the base sergeant into their past selves - to continue 'forward' to their own time.

    The episode also has one of my favorite pieces of music when the Enterprise pulls away from Earth during the final parts of the episode to beam back Christopher and said base sergeant.

    And, yes, 'race' and 'gender' is handled well in this episode. While the 1960s Christopher sights a sexy female in the yellow skirt/boots uniform walking to a 'wah-wah' trumpet sound and comments 'A woman!' he doesn't seem phased by the lovely Uhura (a female and a - per the vernacular of the times - 'negro') showing him the goings on around the communications station. There is no mention of her race. (Bravo!) The computer, which could be seen as a joke by the all-female species (we are told about verbally by one of the characters) who did repairs on the ship's systems, is hilarious. Everyone believes it's funny except Kirk. (Hmm, did he come on to someone he shouldn't?)

    I do wonder if it was Sisko, rather than Kirk, who met John Christopher? Or even if John Christopher later on met Sisko in some capacity? (No doubt Christopher probably would have admired the DS9 commander, and probably wouldn't have been as surprised to see him since he'd already met Kirk and seen a bit of the future).

    Speaking of funny bits, we have a somewhat comical scene with Kirk buying Sulu time to escape by utilizing some interesting fight moves. Too, we have the interrogation by Lt. Colonel Fellini, who waves a phaser around Kirk's tense face without knowing how much power that little hand weapon holds. McCoy, of course, give Spock a bit of grief when Kirk has not communicated to them after being captured by US troops on Earth. And, the little bit with Transporter Chief Kyle and the sergeant is amusing.

    There is a line said by Spock in the beginning, when the crew is recovering from the harsh kinetic time shift that has hit the ship: "Mr. Scott is still with us." This line is repeated by Kirk, towards the end of the episode, when the ship goes through the time shift to get back to their own time. (It's a clever line of dialogue that shows a tightness of the script, and it also shows that Mr. Scott is relevant to this episode. It is, after all, his engines that are being put through the wringer). Speaking of recurring main characters like Scotty (and even minor characters) Sulu is present and Mr. Leslie is seen again at the Engineering station.


    SCORE:
    4.1 out of 5. This episode had no over-the-top performances and was pretty fun. It showed the characters - Kirk and crew, and John Christopher - trying to make logical decisions even though those decisions may not be ones they fully agree with. This episode is also enhanced by the aforementioned remastering, but there are still episodes that have that 'high concept' feel like 'Balance of Terror.' Hence, while I liked 'Tomorrow is Yesterday' and found it an improvement over the last couple of episodes, there are actually stronger episodes still to come.

    Next Up:
    The Revenge of the Archons!
    (Or is it The Wrath of the Archons?)
    Ah, no...It's:
    The Return of the Archons
     
  13. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I guess that was his first name, for some reason it didn't sound right when I read that. :shrug:


    We can do that. :) Maybe even really go for the gusto and Nitpick H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, or even Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court! :lol:

    True equality. :techman: I really like your take on this stuff. :)
     
  14. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, but only after the good captain reminded her of her duty to the ship, Starfleet and all of humanity with one of his best "Kirk moment" speeches.
     
  15. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    'The Return of the Archons'​

    STORY:
    The Enterprise has arrived at planet Beta III to search for the starship Archon which disappeared around 100 years ago. When Sulu and another officer named O'Neill are compromised, Kirk feels that he should take it upon himself to beam down with a landing party consisting of Spock, McCoy, sociologist Lindstrom, Lt. Leslie (doubling as security?) as well as another security officer, Lt. Galloway. On the planet, they find a society that bears resemblance to the 17th century and late 19th century ruled by a computer personality named Landru.

    IDEOLOGY
    'The computer is only as smart as the user.'

    This won't be the last time Kirk 'outsmarts' or comes across a society primarily guided by a computer or multiple computers. In 'Archons,' we learn that Landru died 6, 000 years prior and created a computer with his likeness to guide the planet. The people don't know any other way to live.

    The idea of the computer guiding a lost society not only turns up later in this Star Trek series, but in other shows like Twilight Zone's 'Old Man in the Cave.' (Although, that computer was written to be leading the last surviving humans of an dystopic society better than Landru). Another somewhat similar computer run society – in this regards, is accelerated learning - is from The Prisoner in an episode called 'The General.' There, a computer is fed the simple question 'why?' and self-destructs.

    The fact that Kirk can come in and confuse a 6, 000 computer shows it wasn't foolproof and it wasn't built to reason. This inability to reason plays into the hooded guards that police the society; they only do what they're programmed to do.

    The idea of Lt. Commander Data, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, being sentient or just a computer is a recurring onscreen conversation since he has been seen to reason and make decisions...and at times 'feel' as a human would. Granted, after 7 years on the small screen, the feature films seemed to throw all that way, and still have Data wonder what it means to be human. His character development during those 7 years becomes moot.

    PLOT HOLES/PLOT ISSUES:
    Why did Sulu have to call Kirk directly when he and O'Neill needed an emergency beam out? Why not just call the transporter room and tell them “two to beam up now” and explain to the captain once aboard ship? (Yeah, then we wouldn't have an episode - or an alternative take on events early in the episode - but it doesn't really make Sulu one that can think on his feet). All that time he used to call Kirk and basically ask permission to beam up could have been spent to prepare for said emergency beam out.

    How come Tamar is immune to Landru's influence? We are never told why or how...or how he was allowed to be so, especially if Hacom is so eager to out individuals to out people who don't follow 'the body.'

    Too, the title says 'The Return of the Archons'.....and there is some dialogue to hint that some of the Beta III people think Kirk is one of the 'archons.' We don't get much follow up on that. Too, we don't get any follow-up on what happened to the U.S.S. Archon 100 years prior. This is the primary reason that Kirk is on that planet. The Prime Directive doesn't allow him to interfere with the goings on no matter how much he disagrees, and his interference wasn't exactly to find out about the missing starship or anyone connected with the missing starship. His landing on the planet was basically to investigate the planet, not entirely in relation to the Archon, and stop Landru.

    And, what is exactly the 'Red Hour'? What happens other than anarchy and craziness?

    MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS:
    Sid Haig was one of the hooded guards! I was surprised when I saw this. I've known Haig from Rob Zombie films (which I haven't seen) as well as the 1970s show “Jason of Star Command,” and a few Pam Grier movies, a bit in the James Bond film “Diamonds are Forever,” a judge in “Jackie Brown” (which also featured Denise Crosby as a lawyer)....and so on.

    David L. Ross as Lt. Galloway is listed as a security guard but he doesn't say anything. He would return in the next episode, 'A Taste of Armageddon,' and also not have any dialogue even though he's listed in the credits for that particular episode. I do believe he returns in later episodes with eventual lines of dialogue.

    Jon Lormer (who showed up a lot in shows during the 1960s) was in previous episodes such as 'The Cage' and the two-part episode 'The Menagerie'...and would show up later in 'For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky.'

    IDW comics did a reboot of this episode with the Abramsverse. The reboot was more Sulu-centric – allowing him to be the hero this time around - and more focused on the mystery of the lost Archon, even hinting that some in Starfleet had something to do with it's disappearance. (I'm not sure if that plot was followed up on in later issues, however).

    And we have to talk about Landru's hair. Like Lazarus' beard, Landru's hair deserves it's own credit. You would think that human Landru would have programmed the computer to at least change his likeness appropriately so it can rule in style (of course, he probably didn't think the computer would turn into a 'ruler' – but still).

    Another interesting bit is Spock punching out a guard, much to Kirk's surprise (since Spock usually uses the 'neck pinch'). Kirk then asks Spock: “Isn't that a bit old fashioned?”

    SCORE:
    3.1 out of 5. While there is the story of a questionable computer and the starship captain that wants to stop said computer, there are too many lingering plot holes.

    Next Up:
    'A Taste of Armageddon'​
     
  16. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    'A Taste of Armageddon'

    STORY:
    The Enterprise heads to star cluster NGC 321 where they plan on opening diplomatic relations with planet Emeniar 7, but are warned to turn back. Unfortunately, Kirk is ordered to beam down with a landing party by an on-board diplomat, Ambassador Robert Fox. What Kirk and his landing party find is a pristine world fighting a bloodless war with computers against another planet called Vendikar where people walk into disintegration chambers if their metaphorical number comes up, a war that has also claimed the Enterprise as one of its casualties.

    IDEOLOGY:
    'Being a leader means you have to be ready to make mistakes.'

    Kirk doesn't agree with the way Emeniar 7 and Vendikar have been warring with one another for 500 years. And, he doesn't plan on interfering until his ship and crew are deemed casualties. He takes a calculated risk to sabotage Emeniar 7's computerized way of war and gives them the option to talk it out or fight war with real weapons and real blood.

    Yes, we probably wouldn't have had our ending if the Emeniar people decided not to go along with Kirk's plan, but it is brought out that the society is structured...so we expect a positive outcome.

    Spock would tell Kirk that he almost believes in luck, and Kirk would tell Spock that he believes in miracles. That is, a miracle that Spock would believe in luck!

    It's interesting that Star Trek II (the real one) is about death and loss. Star Trek is stereotyped as having many redshirts die, yet so far there haven't been a huge loss of life onscreen (no matter the color of shirts). It wasn't until the second meeting of Khan did the Enterprise really get a beating, and Kirk winds up losing Spock, cadets, etc. For that particular moment, 'luck' wasn't in Kirk's favor. It wasn't as abundant as when he was in his five-year mission....particularly in the case of Emeniar 7.

    PLOT HOLES/PLOT ISSUES:
    None.

    MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS:
    Yeoman Tamura, portrayed by the very lovely Miko Mayama, is a standout in this episode. While she is a Yeoman, she is given dialogue where the other two security officers are not and is given more responsibility. Granted, her questions are basically asking either Kirk or Spock 'What do we do now, Captain?' or 'What now, Mr. Spock?' but she is depicted as an independent woman. At one point, she – not the two security officers – is directed to guard a door with one of the Emeniar disruptors. (Note: For that time, especially for an Asian woman, she is not 'saved' by or automatically put into a relationship with a white male hero. She is 'strong' in her own way).

    Miko Mayama is opposite another Trek alumnus Fred Williamson in “That Man Bolt.” (A little dream of mine is to remake that film someday....better written of course *ahem*). And even though she is a character actor, she shows a bit of range since she – like Marianna Hill in Clint Eastwood's “High Plains Drifter” - shows a bit of a naughty side. Like Hill, Mayama portrays a character that is opposite of the sophisticated Starfleet officer she portrays on Star Trek.

    There are some minor characters who return in this episode. For example, David L. Ross returns as Lt. Galloway. Galloway, and the other security officer named Osborn, don't have any dialogue as aforementioned. Their roles are to just be bodyguards for the rest of the landing party; backup. (It should also be noted that no redshirts, blueshirts, or yellowshirts were lost in this episode). Sean Kenney as Mr. DePaul also returns. Albeit, he is not at the navigation station this time, but at helm. (Note: The actor who shows up at the navigation station usually shows up in various shots throughout the series. I don't recall if he is ever given a name, however).

    Unlike the previous episode, 'The Return of the Archons,' where Kirk probably shouldn't have interfered in the culture since his curiosity wasn't related to the primary mission (i.e. finding the Archon or anyone related with that ship) in 'A Taste of Armageddon' he has every right to interfere. His crew and his ship are in danger. As a credit to the writer of the episode, Kirk even says there is no other way to handle the matter.

    Kirk and crew act very 'human' and reasonable in this episode. Kirk explains that he didn't know that sabotaging the computers would push the Emeniar people open up negotiations with the people of Vendikar. Scotty uses his smarts to stay in orbit of Emeniar 7 for as long as possible, and even is able to figure out a deception by Anan 7 – one of the leaders on Emeniar 7 – who uses Kirk's voice to bring the entire crew complement down to the world. (Scotty is even able to handle McCoy's typical griping when Kirk hasn't checked in after beaming down to a planet). And, even the hard-headed Robert Fox quickly sees reason after he gets first hand knowledge that he is to be one of the 'casualities' of the Emeniar/Vendikar war. Of course, he still couldn't use common sense or critical thinking to figure out that there was something iffy on the planet even before he beamed down, but at least he didn't continue to muck things up.

    SCORE:
    4.3 out of 5. I like Yeoman Tamura as a brief character, and the acting by everyone is pretty good – even David Opatoshu as Anan 7. And, the story was straightforward and the writing was pretty tight. A definite improvement over the previous episode.

    Next Up:
    'Space Seed'​
     
  17. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Great episode. The only thing that made my jaw drop was that Starfleet has a general order that covers destroying civilian targets. With that edited out it would be perfect.
     
  18. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm guessing it's an order for extreme circumstances when the ship is in danger and the captain would rather survive than be destroyed. (Or, in this case, Kirk being on the planet, wanted his ship to survive rather than be destroyed).

    Of course, IIRC, there are times when Kirk will order self-destruct when he feels the ship has been compromised.
     
  19. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    We're told the Enterprise can destroy the entire planet of Eminiar VII as if they were the death star, yet they can't destroy a lousy asteroid in "The Paradise Syndrome".
     
  20. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I may have to watch the episode at a later date to get the context of the line, but I wonder if it was Kirk's way of bluffing Anan 7 to buy more time?