Problem I had with "By Any Other Name"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by t_smitts, Sep 30, 2012.

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  1. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I remember watching this with my sister on the very first airing. She predicted that the styrofoam lump who would be destroyed would be the black man, thus devaluing a black man, and reinforcing the sexist, patronizing "too pretty to die" attitude we saw on TV a lot. She was surprised at how it actually turned out...
     
  2. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    Granted, there weren't that many people of color on the series to begin with, but can't recall any dying.

    I'm glad a number of people agree with me that the two halves of this show don't really mesh.
     
  3. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    Ensign Watkins from THAT WHICH SURVIVES is the only black crewperson to perish in clasic TREK. He's also the final crewman to die in classic TREK going by stardate and episode production order.
     
  4. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Ah, so you're saying he was the Token Black Death, as an afterthought, when they finally realized all those dead red shirts, and not a one of them black ;)
     
  5. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    No. I'm saying Ensign Watkins from THAT WHICH SURVIVES is the only black crewperson to perish in clasic TREK. He's also the final crewman to die in classic TREK going by stardate and episode production order. :cool:

    There is SOME merit to the black-man-dies-first urban legend in movies, though I think it's less true for TV shows of this period. It is true they had usually much less dialogue on TV.
     
  6. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    I thought the "black guy is the first one to die" myth was largely a result of horror and action movies where you have an isolated group of varied characters and it always seemed like the "black guy" was the first or one of the first to be killed off.

    IIRC, Wesley Snipes in referring to "Demolition Man" actually made a humorous comment about it referring to himself that "this time the black man lasts an hour and a half".
     
  7. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    In the original ALIEN, both women survive the five men but all the white males buy it before Yaphet Kotto. That being said, no black MAN has yet to make it out of an ALIEN film alive.

    Anyone who says ''it's always t.b.g.w.d.f.'' hasn't seen LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III. But why would they want to? It stinks.
     
  8. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Seeing as no-one ever really followed up on this, I guess I'm the only one who cares, but I just found a bit on the MA page for this episode, where it is said, that Bixby once told an interviewer, that he initially wrote the episode in a much more serious vain, but that Roddenberry stepped in and ordered a re-write by Fontana, who made it a somewhat "lightweight" story.

    So the theory I had posted earlier is actually true! That's very interesting and makes me want to read Bixby's original outline/teleplay even more. It's a pity that no-one seems so have anything like that. I wonder if Bixby's son, who himself is a film producer, would know something about that.

    EDIT: One more thing: The MA article refers to a book called "The Star Trek Interview Book" by Allan Asherman. Does anyone have this book lying around? What else does Bixby say about "By Any Other Name"? Does he also mention "Requiem for Methuselah"? Anyone care to share a scan? :D
     
  9. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    I only have Asherman's COMPENDIUM. But I remember reading in a STARLOG interview Bixby's cooments that his original script for ''BAON'' emphasized the loneliness of leaving their familiar galaxy. I get the impression the paralysis field may have been a Fontana addition. The cocaine blocks were Roddenberry's idea, according to Shatner. I'm dying to get a hold of this original script, but no luck.
     
  10. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

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    I think there have been examples of characters being beamed away in a sitting position and being rematerialized upright, so it's not a huge stretch.

    Case in point: Chakotay being beamed away while piloting the doomed Maquis ship in "Caretaker". We seem him walking off the pad, rather than getting up off the floor.


    I remember there was a comedy called "Canadian Bacon" (notable mainly for being directed by Michael Moore and for being one of John Candy's last films) in which they listed various movies in which "the black guy dies". I don't remember most of them, but I remember they specifically included ST2.

    I think people have gotten wise to this cliche in recent years, so it may not be as common now.

    For some reason, I'm skeptical of anything from Shatner. Still, it's not like Gene Roddenberry was incapable of a bad idea. I'd rather not cite examples, but I'm sure we can all think of a few.

    I actually liked the idea of the paralysis field. It's a simple effect that made the Kelvans formidable, without necessarily being murderous. I'd prefer the episode dispense with the blocks altogether and simply employ the paralysis field. Instead of coke blocks, we'd have corridors full of frozen crew-members, in the vein of "Wink of an Eye" or "Timescape".

    And yes, I know you almost certainly couldn't leave them like that for days, let alone centuries. (The paralysis field probably wouldn't protect you from dehydration or starvation, for instance). It might've been a short term solution to neutralizing the crew until the Kelvans could figure out something long-term.

    Best of all, that would prevent the unnecessary murder of Yeoman Thompson, eliminating my main grievance with this episode, leaving us to enjoy a much lighter story.
     
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  11. Myko

    Myko Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have Ashermans Interview book at home, I'll have a look when I finish work. But it's a collection of Starlog interviews so it's likely the same interview as you've already read.
     
  12. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    T. Smitts wrote: I think there have been examples of characters being beamed away in a sitting position and being rematerialized upright, so it's not a huge stretch.

    Case in point: Chakotay being beamed away while piloting the doomed Maquis ship in "Caretaker". We seem him walking off the pad, rather than getting up off the floor.

    Most likely that's done for the actors' convenience.....like when Ro and Geordi are intangible yet avoid falling through the deck floors. We can't be sure if the GALILEO SEVEN survivors didn't beam up in sitting positions, but we DO know Kirk, McCoy and Bailey had to crouch low before being transported to Balok's ship in THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER.

    Both Enterprise transporters and Kelvan neutralizings involve temporary nonexistence of sorts. But since Shea was brought back right side up after being bounced around, it stands to reason Uhura and Chekov would return in sitting position whether chairs are beneath them or not....
     
  13. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Captain Christopher in "Tomorrow is Yesterday".
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, it seems to be routine for the transporter to adjust the pose of the transportee to secure a safe "landing". Sometimes this means lifting a sitting person to a standing position, sometimes just lifting a standing person's leg to match the contours of the ground he's going to be standing on. The opposite basically never happens. Well, except in "Manhunt", but obviously Picard did it on purpose. :devil:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    In REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAZZZZZZZZZ, Flint not only freezes the Enterprise crew as Rojan did, but also miniaturizes them for Kirk to see. Kirk says they are ''worse than dead'' and Flint announces they are ''suspended.'' Could he be referring to life functions?
     
  16. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    IIRC, the notion of the Kelvan-transmuted suspended-animation-distilled-tetrahedrons was attributed to Roddenberry in David Gerrold's "The World of Star Trek".
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    ^^
    Doesn't Fontana also attribute them to Roddenberry on one of the DVD features?
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Chekov in Wraith of Khan, materialized with one leg raised on a rock (Captain Morgan style). In Mudd's Woman, the landing party materialized at different levels, owing to the uneven ground.

    :)
     
  19. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Hey, now there's a story idea! :)

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I apologize for being late to this thread and I do not know if this issue has already been brought up (if that's the case, please advise, thanx):

    Were the Kelvans brought to a planet of their liking and isolated / quarantined like Talos IV or was their superior technology (e.g. warp drive) added to the Federation's?

    I do not know how far Federation ethics and principles extend, but this must have been an issue I can imagine the Federation members having had several months of discussions on Babel...;)

    Bob
     
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