Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Nov 5, 2013.
"Latimer... Gaetano... oh yeah, Boma. Too bad he made it back."
Very good point. But I doubt that the indigenous people built Vaal and then had their memories somewhat erased. Looks to me like a sophisticated alien race put it there. "The Apple" inevitably appears to be in contrast to statements like these in "The Paradise Syndrome":
MCCOY: Shouldn't we contact them, Jim? Tell them?
KIRK: Tell them what? That an asteroid's coming to smash their world into atoms?
SPOCK: Too primitive to grasp the concept of space flight, Doctor. Our appearance here would only confuse and frighten them.
KIRK: We've got a job to do. Let's get back to the Enterprise.
(Along the path.)
MCCOY: What's the matter, Jim?
KIRK: What? Oh, nothing. It's just so peaceful, uncomplicated. No problems, no command decisions. Just living.
I had always interpreted Spock's comments in "Errand of Mercy" as an excuse when they were about to violate the Prime Directive:
SPOCK: Captain, our information on these people and their culture was not correct. This is not a primitive society making progress toward mechanisation. They are totally stagnant. There is no evidence of any progress as far back as my tricorder can register.
KIRK: That doesn't seem likely.
SPOCK: Nevertheless, it is true. For tens of thousands of years, there has been absolutely no advancement, no significant change in their physical environment. This is a laboratory specimen of an arrested culture.
In simpler language, if the indigenous society wasn't making progress of some kind it was no longer protected by the Prime Directive?
Makes me wonder how this reflects in broader terms on the culture of the Native Americans. Assuming they had been visited by visitors from outer space, would the Prime Directive have been in place or not?
After all we are talking about a TV series of the 1960's and IIRC respect for Native American culture was rather non-existent while progress was a holy and worshipped cow.
I wonder if Picard have saved them. I don't think the PD was in place as alien intervention caused them to be in danger in the first place.
I was thinking of the episode where Picard scolded Data and Beverlet for saving the 21st century popsicles. Could Picard be bothered?
I think Janeway and Sisko would have. Probably Archer too.
In regards to the Apple. I don't think any Starfleet Captain is going to leave people worshipping and slaves to a computer. Even if its for their own benefit. The danger to the Enterprise is just the excuse Kirk needed.
Again, my point is that no one has the discussion of how and why this happened. They just blow by it.
No, Picard would not sacrifice the Enterprise. However, if the Enterprise were in no way threatened by the impending cataclysm, Picard would not lift a finger to help the endangered civilization, either.
I guess we assume Kirk would mess with the Apple people if the E were not threatened. After all, he wanted to muck up the colonists who were happy but stagnant in "This Side of Paradise" and the E was not initially threatened. (It would be, if everyone beamed down, of course.)
To be fair, the Prime Directive did not apply in "This Side of Paradise" since that was a Federation colony, not an indigenous species or untouched alien culture.
Remember that Uhura had sabotaged the subspace communications so Kirk couldn't radio Starfleet for help, and he couldn't pilot the Enterprise alone. Without his crew, Kirk would have been marooned in orbit or forced to join the colonists on the planet. He had no choice if he wanted his ship back.
Unfortunately, this became a worn-out formula for too many Trek episodes: Kirk and/or his ship and crew are trapped and must meddle in some planet's affairs in order to escape. To slightly paraphrase David Gerrold in The World of Star Trek, it's the bastard offspring you get when you cross the "hero in danger" story with the "Mary Worth" story.
I think it was more of a network inside joke. They had gotten feedback that Spock looked like the devil, and they tried to downplay his ears and eyebrows in early advertisement because of it.
It was a joke, but I wouldn't call it an "inside" joke. Several TOS episodes had characters remarking on Spock's pointed ears and generally Satanic appearance.
Come to think of it, that might make a good thread topic. How many episodes can you think of in which Spock's ears were directly referenced?
You'd have to count every time McCoy said "pointed-eared hobgoblin!"
That seems plausible. It certainly provides an answer to the question of who in the viewership the dialog was targeting. Perhaps board members with knowledge of the production can chime in on this. Was this dialog, and the jabs in other episodes, specifically crafted to address this sort of feedback, in response?
When Kirk tells a cop that Spock is "obviously Chinese," to explain his alien appearance in THE CITY on the EDGE of FOREVER ... now that ... THAT'S racist, if you ask me! But, to be fair, "they" were trying to show Kirk's predicament in an "amusing" way and it was the Sixties, after all. But they should've just stuck with the ear jokes and left out the other stuff. Or maybe political correctness has made audiences unable to "take" a joke, anymore. I'm not the one to say ...
Well, Spock would have neither passed for a Caucasian or an African American or a Hispanic. On the other hand Boris Karloff had been portraying the Chinese character of Dr. Fu Manchu on film, so Kirk might have hoped the policeman had seen the films to buy the story (or that might have been the thinking of the TOS producers. There is some facial resemblance between Boris Karloff and Leonard Nimoy).
Well, Picard was unwilling to violate the Prime Directive even to keep an entire planet's population from being destroyed. But he was willing to violate it to keep Wesley from being killed.
So I'd say that, despite his preaching to the contrary, Picard's commitment to the Prime Directive ends where the safety of his ship and crew begins.
That's certainly an interesting take on Kirk's line about Spock being "obviously Chinese." I never thought Spock looked at all Chinese!
In any case, what makes the scene funny is that Kirk's frantic ad-libbing to try to explain Spock's odd appearance is totally unnecessary. All the policeman cares about is that he's just caught two thieves red-handed. Hell, he's probably encountered weirder looking characters than Spock in the line of duty.
Thanks for the evidence-based deduction.
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