The Time Trap vs. The Counter Clock Incident

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Botany Bay, Apr 11, 2011.

?

Which episode is better?

Poll closed Apr 18, 2011.
  1. The Time Trap

    18 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. The Counter Clock Incident

    6 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "The Time Trap" is definitely the better episode, even if it is evidently a ripoff of Gold Key's Trek comic "Museum at the End of Time," and even if they didn't get John Colicos to reprise Kor. "The Counter-Clock Incident" is a thoroughly stupid episode in which nothing makes sense. The only thing it has going for it is that it introduced the characters of Robert and Sarah April.
     
  3. Basill

    Basill Captain Captain

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    Neither are favs of mine, but I agree with Christopher about Robert and Sarah April. The story's concept is interesting, but really, the only plus of "The Counter Clock Incident" is the two retirees and the little bit of exposition they deliver. Even they annoy me a tad, early on when Sarah's standing there letting the precious petals of her plot device flower fall off, littering the deck of the bridge. You'd think I had OCD that scene bothers me so much. The rest of the episode, just... ugh. Contradictions and inconsistencies galore.

    "The Time Trap" is an interesting story with the forced peace of those previously trapped, and I have to admire Kirk's determination to escape as he balks at those quitters. ;) Still, it is a product of its time (I love the devious lady Klingon with afro), and the Klingon bridges always leave me wanting to play "Connect Four." :D
     
  4. GeorgeKirk

    GeorgeKirk Commodore Commodore

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    Counter-Clock incident is so stupid it makes my head hurt. For one thing, people in the backwards universe are born as fully-grown old people and age into babies? How does that work childbirth-wise? And once they get back to "our" universe, the Aprils volunteer to go back through the Transporter and become old again why, exactly? Who would do that? I know this was just an animated kiddie show, but Battlefield Earth wasn't this badly written! The characters in The Room behave in a more believable fashion!
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    "The Time Trap" is one of my favourite TAS episodes. Seeing it as a kid gave me my lifelong thing for starship graveyards. I loved all the different aliens.

    One thing that annoyed me: Why did they change the colour of the Delta Triangle void from red to black on the DVD release?
     
  6. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed.:vulcan:
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I suspect it was the same reason as the famous story about the film-lab guy color-correcting test footage of green Orion makeup to normal flesh tone -- someone who didn't know better was fixing what they thought was a mistake.
     
  8. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't need every last thing explained to me, and I'm always open to sheer, giddy novelty. It embarrasses me to say it, but Counter-Clock works better dramatically -- for me, at least.
     
  9. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, "Counter-Clock", for all its logistical problems, did give us our only glimpse of the Enterprise's first captain. And at least it wasn't a rip-off of a Gold Key comic book story, as "Time Trap" was.

    Despite this, "Time Trap" gets the nod because of the sheer weight of illogic which collapses "Counter-Clock", to such a degree that when Alan Dean Foster wrote his novelization of this episode he had the whole thing turn out to be an illusion created by a race of super-beings.
     
  10. KeepOnTrekking

    KeepOnTrekking Commodore Commodore

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    Definitely "Time Trap" is the superior. "Counter-Clock" is notable for the Aprils. It had a nice sense of urgency with being pulled into the nova and the need to return home before they were too young. But how DID this universe survive?? I imagine people being "born" as corpses coming to live in caskets and "dying" as their reconnect the umbilical and jump into the womb. It makes reconnecting Spock's brain seem downright plausible in comparison!:wtf:
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    If time really ran backward in that universe, then thought and perception would run backward too, and its inhabitants would perceive everything running forward normally. It would only seem backward if an observer from our universe watched it, like seeing a tape run in reverse. The whole scenario is self-contradictory.

    Not to mention having four unrelated types of reversal -- time reversal (people aging backward), functional reversal (controls work in reverse), directional reversal (the ship flies backward), and color reversal (black stars on white space). How could any of those share a common cause?
     
  12. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The same way as a "Mirror Universe," in which good is bad, bad is good, and the ship flies right to left instead of left to right.

    I'm not saying any of it made sense -- in any of these shows. I'm just saying that they're all FUN. It wasn't until TNG that we all got so worried in knowing every last scientific reason on-screen. How much techno-babble do you want in a half-hour cartoon?

    Counter-Clock could have been saved with "It makes no sense, Captain. I suspect it's a parallel universe. We may never fully understand its details, especially since we must leave as soon as possible."

    Which is what I judged Spock to have said, when there wasn't a camera filming his animated image.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which was nothing of the sort. It was simply an alternate history in which the civilization was more violent and barbaric. But there was still the capacity for goodness there, as seen in Spock and Marlena, and the Halkans were just as pacifistic in both universes, so clearly it wasn't some silly cartoony inversion of all things. And "left" and "right" are arbitrary designations in space -- either prograde or retrograde orbit is physically possible, and since orbit is an unpowered trajectory, there was no instance shown of a spacecraft travelling opposite its own direction of thrust.


    You're missing the point. The point isn't that things weren't explained -- the point is that they couldn't be explained, that they blatantly could not happen as depicted. There is a profound difference between those two notions. I could write a scene in which a superstrong alien cyborg survives a fall off a 50-story building and it would make sense even if I didn't explain the specifics of the technology that allowed it to survive. But if I wrote a scene in which a glass sculpture survived a fall off a 50-story building without any damage at all, that's not just unexplained, it's clearly impossible and self-contradictory.

    There is no requirement that a story explain everything. But it is obligatory that a story, even one in a fantasy universe, be consistent with itself. That its own internal rules are coherent even if they are invented rules. And the way the inversion of time was depicted in "Counter-Clock" was self-contradictory on multiple levels. It doesn't hold together even by its own rules. And that is always a flawed way to tell a story.
     
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The Time Trap hands down. Again, another easy decision.
     
  15. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One item not mentioned but I enjoy...

    In "Counterclock" they are near the Beta Niobe supernova, the star that blowed up in TOS "All Our Yesterdays.

    In "AOY" the crew encounters the Atavachron, which is a fully functional time machine. In "Counterclock" the crew enters a universe where time flows backwards.

    As if being around Beta Niobe and Sarpeidon in both eps leads to strange time-related hijinks. Something wacky going on in that system? Something that made the Atavachron able to exist?
     
  16. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dislike "counterlcock" almost as much as the TNG episode "Rascals".
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    That is a nice little tidbit. (Blowed up! :lol:)

    I think Karla Five's vessel is da bomb.
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ It is interestingly asymmetrical.
     
  19. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Blowed up reel good!
     
  20. KeepOnTrekking

    KeepOnTrekking Commodore Commodore

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    I don't know if that can be scientifically supported, but it is definitely an interesting concept, SchwEnt!!