Little Girls or Dagger of the Mind -- which do you like better

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Mister Atoz, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Mister Atoz

    Mister Atoz Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Both "What are Little Girls are Made Of?" and "Dagger of the Mind" involve

    a famous scientist who turns bad,

    who traps Kirk and a woman companion with a past love interest deep underground

    a rotating, consciousness-stealing, evil technology

    the same sound effects are used to depict the spinning device

    beaming an unauthorized, mind-washed person aboard the Enterprise.

    Spock discerns what the problem is by picking up clues from mind-washed individual

    the ultimate death and destruction of said scientist.

    Which episode do you like better? Why?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  2. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which one has Helen Noel?

    /thread.
     
  3. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You seem to hate both episodes. I refuse to play your little game.
     
  4. Mister Atoz

    Mister Atoz Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Far from it. I love them both.

    ~ Atoz


    Which episode do you like better? Why?[/QUOTE]

    You seem to hate both episodes. I refuse to play your little game.[/QUOTE]
     
  5. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Dagger!

    Actually I don't think these episodes are very close in quality, despite the similarities you list. Dagger is far superior.

    • I adore Dr Helen Noel, the sexiest woman ever to appear on TOS. She's also a little more active than most TOS eye candy. She kills that guy in the shield control room, and disables the shield.
    • The byplay between them evokes life on board the Enterprise between missions ("At the Christmas party – ?"). In general I enjoy all the early s1 episodes where they paint a picture of an ongoing life around the Federation, even if the main story is not all that compelling.
    • I like Morgan Woodward, even in this hammy role. As a kid I did not realize he was the same actor who later played Captain Tracey; but the first time I saw Omega Glory I knew Tracey was loony.
    • The conversations between Kirk and Dr Adams are enjoyable, as Kirk's attitude evolves from utter respect thru embarrassed verification to suspicion to deadly enemy. There are some nice moments: a three-sided conversation including Dr Noel on the humane treatment of the insane; and a conversation via communicator with Spock where Dr Adams excuses himself from the room to give privacy.
    • First mind meld!
    There is a lot of interest here. And the ending commands some sober respect.

    By contrast, Little Girls is merely creepy. The mental time bomb Kirk sets for his double (I'm sick of your half-breed interference!) is clever, and I love the various Ruk themes in the score. But there isn't a whole lot here. Nurse Chapel is much less interesting than Dr Noel – which is a shame, since she was a regular character and Dr Noel a one-shot – and Dr Korby is less interesting than Dr Adams.

    I vote Dagger.
     
  6. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'll play a little:

    WALGMO: At least the 'mad scientist' has the excuse of 's*** just got out of hand. It's just a bunch of paranoid, insane androids with a half-assed plan.

    In Dagger of the Mind, what the hell was Inspector Luger's plan?? He should have just stuck Kirk and Dr. Noel in the chair, and sent them on their way. The more convulated the plan, the greater chance of things screwing up. If my plan doesn't work..well..the gigs up innit it? "No no..I'll make Kirk fall in love and..well, I haven't worked the rest out."

    But I like Dagger better because it has Noel as apposed to ..ugh..Chapel. And as a kid I thought WALGMO was an ugly looking episode. all the browns..yuk.
     
  7. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree that Noel is probably one of the most active female characters in TOS, although Uhura has a few moments of her own. They only ever paid lip service to Chapel's scientific credentials and Ann Mulhall, another interesting, competent scientist spent a lot of her time possessed and girly.

    I think I agree, I prefer Dagger because it has Noel in it. I really hope Nu-Noel crops up in the comic version! :techman:
     
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    WaLGMO? was the first episode I ever saw. Unfortunately, I came into it around halfway, and the fake cave set gave me a bad impression, among other things. I liked Ted Cassidy's work in it though.

    For DotM, it's performances. One highlight for me is Kirk's breakdown in the chair at the act break. The first on-screen mind meld is mesmerizing, including its mandatory acknowledgment to standards & practices that Spock was not performing hypnosis. Nimoy and Woodward worked the scene wonderfully, a vivid contrast to VanGelder's earlier insanity. And James Gregory was deliciously evil.
     
  9. Mister Atoz

    Mister Atoz Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    That's most interesting, crew. I DO love Dagger of the Mind -- I love Morgan Woodward as Van Gelder (especially when he just tries to say his name) and of course Helen Noel is, by popular consensus, the most beautiful woman ever to appear on TOS (by a nose!) Tristan Adams is a terrific villain.

    However, I have to vote for What Are Little Girls Made Of because Roger Korby (Michael Strong) is a more interesting villain, and he better represents the theme of technological immodesty. His hunger for immortality is a more interesting character motivation than Dr. Adams' brainwashing evil. It's a more subtle theme, to my mind. Little Girls is darker, moodier, with more jealousy, more romanticism, and more passion. (Speaking of Star trek women, Sherry Jackson sure gives Marianna Hill a run for her money!)

    Korby remains a sympathetic character right up to the end when he hands Kirk his phaser weapon. I've been watching this episode for decades, and I'm picking up now on the way he says "Now do you understand?" every time he shows Kirk a new android cloning trick. Korby is talking technology. Kirk is talking morality.

    It's as if you showed me your iphone and all the cool things it can do -- and you say "Now, do you understand?" And meanwhile the iphone is causing people to walk across streets without looking, or otherwise distracting a person from other things he should be doing (like making a living, being with one's children, etc).

    The underlying theme of technological immodesty is ultimately more interesting than the old Cold War theme of brainwashing and mind control.

    Little Girls by a nose. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR VIEWS.

    ~ Mr Atoz
     
  10. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How is Korby sympathetic? Redshirts start dying immediatly, and Korby is planning to...i dunno..take over the galaxy with android duplicates? Was that it?

    I admit the very ending has some emotional resonance though.
     
  11. Mister Atoz

    Mister Atoz Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    You could interpret it differently. Maybe Korby's not trying to "take over" the galaxy -- he never said that -- he was merely trying to gain ACCEPTANCE for androids in society -- perhaps so that he himself would ultimately not be an outcast. He doesn't want to be discriminated against.

    His philosophy is summed up in the words "Does THIS make such a difference?" Brilliant.

    The episode is loaded with more complex layers of jealousy. Jealousy in that ~

    Korby wants to protect his scientific research, keep it clandestine
    Christine is jealous of Andrea
    Ruk hates Korby for bringing in the outsiders
    Kirk is jealous of his clone -- they're trying to out-talk each other

    On another point, Dale, I'll admit the episode's props do have some deficits. It's amusing how slow they have to walk in the cave to make the opening exploration scene stretch to fill the time (and keep walking through the same area of the cave set again and again! :o) ) The worst part of it, I suppose, is the paper mache dummy that morphs into an android on that silly turntable.

    Yet, Little Girls is more ambitious. The cave chase sequence in which Ruk pursues the Captain is quite effective. Ted Cassidy looks unbelievably menacing in that bulging costume. I can't think of a better looking costume in the ENTIRE series.

    I also love the stunt when Ted Cassidy picks up Captain Kirk and throws him to the ground.

    regards

    ~ Mr Atoz







    ~ Mr Atoz[/QUOTE]

    How is Korby sympathetic? Redshirts start dying immediatly, and Korby is planning to...i dunno..take over the galaxy with android duplicates? Was that it?

    I admit the very ending has some emotional resonance though.[/QUOTE]
     
  12. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"

    Why?
    - Sherry Jackson as Andrea in that costume.
    - Ruk.
    - The Score.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not convinced that we should credit either of the scientists with a "plan". They aren't master criminals or anything: they are just mad scientists who want to do their thing and not to be disturbed by the outside world that is incapable of understanding their greatness and the benevolence of their work.

    Adams is credited with curing criminals and other insane people for the benefit of the UFP, and that's what he keeps doing till the bitter end. He just loses perspective when the only patients remaining are virtual incurables destined for Elba II, and can only be treated by application of the most questionable methods. His attempt to deal with the disruption caused by Kirk's arrival and disapproval of Adams' work is improvised on what he near-successfully did to van Gelder. For all we know, he planned on treating Kirk much the same way and again pleading "accident" or "self-inflicted damage" - which would be in keeping with the facts, as Kirk did self-inflict on his own free will, out of a desire that Adams could plausibly label as "misguided" after the damage was done.

    What Adams didn't count on was his lack of time, due to Spock being suspicious already thanks to the unanticipated revelations from the mind meld...

    As for Korby, he was even more surprised than Adams, but his improvisation had even sounder basis: he knew he could make a fully convincing duplicate Kirk. If he wanted, he might have had this Kirk commit an error that would destroy the Enterprise and guarantee Korby continued peace, perhaps for another decade or so considering how low Starfleet seems to be on starship resources. But his "plan" need not have extended quite that far.

    Korby is IMHO the less interesting (even if more sympathetic) misguided/immoral genius in that his hand is being forced by Ruk, sometimes almost literally so. Adams is merely tangled in a web of his own making, and thus is a more "self-contained" and perhaps "fuller" dramatic element. But both have a long history of working almost alone, with "people" of questionable moral sense (insane criminals or alien androids) their only companions, which explains much of their antics.

    As for the episodes in general, I sort of prefer the creepiness of "Girls" over the more straightforward classic asylum entertainment of "Dagger". Sure, creepy aliens are an easy way to create threat, conflict and tension, and the shortcomings of man in dealing with man are psychologically more interesting, but something is lacking from the pacing of the latter half of "Dagger" in the dramatic tension department. Or perhaps it's just the moodier lighting and more intricate set design of "Girls"...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree with Timo on that point, I think Dr Adams' so-called "plan" is largely improvisation at dealing with the unplanned circumstance of having Kirk on the spot. I think he's also dealing with the consequences of being overwhelmed by his ego.

    Re-watching it, there is really no need for him to barge in on Dr Noel and Kirk in the Neutralizer room. He's already shown them the experimental device; has already told them that it's the device that Dr Van Gelder injured himself on. He's acknowledged that the device is powerful and dangerous: we understand that it must be used carefully. Kirk & Dr Noel break in and fiddle with the device; they discover that it is in fact powerful and dangerous.

    If Dr Adams is trying to let the Van Gelder thing blow over, his reaction should be "So what?" If Kirk confronts him tomorrow about the device, he could just say "Yep, it's powerful, and can be dangerous if not used with the utmost caution. Dr Van Gelder's accident is extremely regrettable. We're doing everything we can not to have a repeat of it. But we don't want to just discard the device, because it's so helpful with the hardest-to-reach patients." And then just sit there quietly. What's Kirk going to do?

    But NOOOOO! Instead he can't resist barging in on Kirk in the chair, and giving him a full dose. There's no plan, he's just lost all perspective and impulse control. Perhaps he can't abide the "aberrant behavior" of people out of control, wandering the corridors and breaking into rooms in HIS facility. Perhaps he's really excited by the chance to show off his toy's capabilities on a strong-minded starship captain. Whatever his motive, it's all downhill from there.
     
  15. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Great. Now I have this image of Korby and all the androids running around like Ed Rooney and his secretary in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    They're both great episodes with beautiful women and strong guest actors. I refuse to chose one. :techman:
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We could argue that neither Lethe nor van Gelder are good examples of what Adams intends to achieve with the chair - or what he is capable of achieving on a good day.

    Lethe might be an early experiment, and for that reason rather lethargic. And Adams more or less tried to murder van Gelder, as there was nobody there to stop him or catch him in the act. Kirk would need to be treated with finesse, as his return to the starship as a zombie or a raving lunatic would not work well, and yet he had to return somehow. But what if Adams indeed were to convince Kirk that everything is fine, by using the Neutralizer at high power but with expertise?

    We never learn that Adams could not have turned Kirk into a loyalist who would nevertheless be fit to return to duty as a starship captain. Despite the high setting, he is neither blandly amnesiac nor raving at the end of the day, merely convinced that he is in love with Noel; a good prognosis considering Adams' likely plans.

    Sure, Adams has a hammer and sees a lot of nails. But he could nail Kirk, or at least would be entitled to thinking that he could. He need not be cacklingly irrational, but merely suffering from some tunnel vision.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Commander Red Shirt

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    I think I prefer DAGGER. I'm not sure if DAGGER was rerun during the first summer between Seasons 1 and 2, and I on;y started watching STAR TREK in earnest with the original telecast of "City On The Edge Of Forever".

    So my recollection is that "What Little Girls Are Made Of" aired that summer, so I saw it pretty early. "Dagger Of The Mind" didn't get seen by me until the syndication reruns started, so it was one of the few "new" episodes I saw after the show left NBC. That left a positive impression on me. Otherwise, I'd rate them about the same, though the Helen Noel factor is strong...

    Harry
     
  19. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't see how anyone could casually put one before the other. They're both terrific episodes, each offering their own merits. I adore Helen Noel, despite Andrea being a very, very close second. But I had the most fun with "Little Girls". There's just something so cool about seeing Ruk (Lurch). And I like that peculiar feeling of Shatner's portrayal of "duplicate" Kirk aboard the Enterprise. So, if I was forced to pick just one to watch, it would have to be that. Dagger was still great though.
     
  20. Haggis and tatties

    Haggis and tatties Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love both episodes but i will give you a small clue to my fave.....

    "Now this thread is going to have a complete demonstration, I want there to be no doubts whatsoever in this thread".
    You're all madly in love with this thread,You'd all lie, cheat, steal for it, sacrifice your career, your reputation, a ban from this site..."
    (machine to maximum)
    "The pain. Do you feel it posters? You must have this thread, or the pain grows worse, the pain, the longing for this thread....For years, you've loved this episode, for years.
    You must continue to remember that posters....

    [​IMG]

    And now, its gone.

    [​IMG]

    So any idea which episode is my fave. lol