Watching Trek in Airdate Order

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Ssosmcin, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    It pops up a few times in the draft the memo is commenting on (scenes 7, 20, 36). The line being commented on for the last scene is, "A large number of Klingon vessels just warped out of hyper-space."
     
  2. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One interesting thing about The Menagerie and airdate order is that this was the first time the audience saw a shuttlecraft. The shot they used (twice) didn't show any markings, so there was nothing to betray it as stock footage from another episode. And again, I could see fans at the time, the ones who ate up every new piece of equipment, agog that the production created a new model and set for two short scenes.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I've been going through my old VHS collection and paying attention to many of these things again, too.

    ...But in retrospect, it nicely established that what our heroes have in front of them is not a window - it's a display screen! A sudden no image -> image transition, especially if off camera, might have given a less obvious interpretation to Kirk's "Screen on" command and left the viewers confused for generations to come. :)

    As we saw on Elba II, there are upsides to placing your incarceration facility in an environment that doesn't exactly cater for shirtsleeves escapes. Quite possibly, power was a life-or-death matter for Tantalus V as well.

    Well, that's the location Balok specified for them... Quite possibly Scotty wasn't allowed to "read" the other spaces.

    This holds true if the cube is dead ahead (as suggested by the viewscreen shots). However, it's specified as being a mile away from the ship, too. Combining these two and placing the cube 1.593 meters off to port in that fwd quarter view solves the scaling problem, then! Kirk then turns to face his opponent, giving us the view from astern, again with the cube a mile away and more or less correctly scaled. In short, a completely unintentional, extremely rare instance of dialogue matching visuals. ;)

    Well, "must be a mile in diameter" is essentially a minimum estimate voiced by Spock after his instruments have left him without a definite mass reading. Apparently, he knows is that scale of his instrument ends at spherical ships greater than a mile in diameter. Why he fails to measure the diameter directly on some other instrument, we don't know - but a series of instrument failures is no less credible than an individual failure, and may even be a sign of Balok jamming things. :vulcan:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Balok didn't specify anything. All they knew was his power was low and he was in trouble when Uhura intercepted the (bogus) message he sent. Kirk made his own decision to board and Scotty took the readings himself. Kirk didn't even try to contact Balok.

    Another interesting thing; Kirk puts on the orange belt as Scotty passes over the equipment (helpfully identifying them for us - even specifying "phaser weapon"). Kirk attaches on his stuff and gets on the platform. Bones only has his medical pouch. While Kirk is getting kitted up, Bailey puts on his own belt. However, he never takes a communicator or phaser. He even puts his tunic over the belt so it is mostly hidden from view. After they beam over, we get another look at Baily's belt and there's nothing on it. So...why did he take a belt? It's like a cop putting on his holster but leaving his gun at home.

    Interesting thing I never noticed until Memory Alpha pointed it out: the transporter console is black instead of the usual orange. I'm surprised I never saw that before.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, true, my mistake. It's Scotty's choice - but apparently, he isn't entirely sure about his own footing here, as he thinks it's "risky" beaming into what "appears" to be the main deck. The environment doesn't pose a risk as such, so Scotty is worrying either about his ability to transport or about Balok waiting with his gun drawn. And I sort of think it's supposed to be the former.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean. As the pouches are on the inside, the only thing visible on such belts would be the Type 2 phaser; the Type 1 and the communicator are invisible when carried. Kirk's belt never has anything visible on it, either.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In this episode, you can plainly see Kirk's communicator and phaser on the outside of the belt.

    I never knew about the pouches, which would make a quick draw of his phaser difficult if not impossible. When he sees the Balok puppet, he whips his phaser out easily because it's on the outside. You don't see Bailey being handed anything except the belt (there are no cuts from his being handed the belt to his putting it on and walking to the platform). So, he is never carrying any props. When Kirk draws his phaser, Bailey does not because he's unarmed.

    In The Man Trap, Kirk's communicator is also quite visible on the belt. As he's crawling along the ground on M-113, the communicator opens and closes as he moves. If there's a pouch for it, he's not using it.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe Bailey hadn't been phaser qualified yet. :)
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They never had pouches. The phasers and communicators were attached by Velcro in order to suggest a futuristic technology holding them in place. But after the first few episodes, they dropped the brown belts and instead just sewed black Velcro patches on the uniform trousers.
     
  9. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Back in the day I thought this looked so cool even as I wondered, just how in hell does that work? I hadn't yet known of Velcro's existence then.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Velcro was still a fairly new technology in the mid-'60s. It was patented in 1955, but didn't really catch on until NASA started using it in spacesuits, but it was still seen as a specialized, high-tech, futuristic kind of thing, not the everyday convenience we see it as today. So it was a pretty clever thing for ST to use Velcro patches to hold on the equipment; a lot of viewers probably found it as mysterious and futuristic as you did.
     
  11. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Before they attached the Velcro to the pants, they had the solid black belts during the first season. Didn't they also had hanging fabric with Velcro hanging to the side to hold phasers in the second season for some of the time? They kept evolving how to secure the equipment.
     
  12. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Whether or not the series was an "ensemble" show has been debated in this thread a bit, and it's been suggested that Coon moved away from this trent. I stumbled across this (excerpted from a Roddenberry memo to John Knuebuhl concerning "Bread and Circuses," dated March 14, 1967) and thought it might be of interest.

     
  13. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Moving on, finally.

    Balance of Terror. I love this one, even though it is a mash up of Run Silent, Run Deep and The Enemy Below, there are a lot of great character bits in there to flesh it out beyond its source material. Compare this to the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode Killers of the Deep. Same basic plot (Voyage even used stock footage from Enemy Below thoughout), but nothing by way of character. Good acting, definitely and it was suspenseful, but otherwise no real great shakes. Balance of Terror's action touches characters, generates emotional responses and gives us three dimensional characters - even the enemy.

    Everyone is spot on here. Shatner plays Kirk with self doubt and quiet resolve (proof that he wasn't the 24/7 ham actor hack people like to call him). I love this Kirk - probably the purest version of the "Hornblower" inspired Kirk that Roddenberry was going for. He was not the larger than life hero; this Kirk is a real person.

    Nimoy plays Spock a little more alien than usual, a trifle colder. This works to set him apart from everyone else once we see the Romulans look like Vulcans. When the Enterprise is passing through the comet's tail, Spoxck makes his report and clicks his heel in stiff military fashion - something he never did again (it drowns out the last work of his dialog too). He makes decisions on his own (hitting the beeper thing when everyone is on "silent running") and is stil the Spock who responds sharply to criticism.

    De Kelley gives out his most complex speech to buck up the Cap'n, and here you can see the Pike/Boyce type interaction. This episode would have worked well in the original "Pike and crew" format.

    Stiles is our unenlightened bigot guest star and Paul Comi is quite good. He does have one questionable piece of dialog:

    These are Romulans! You run away from them and you guarantee war. They'll be back. Not just one ship but with everything they've got. Now you know that, Mister Science Officer. You're the expert on these people, but always left out that one point. Why? I'm very interested in why.

    I can see him calling Spock an expert - it's a dig at his resemblance to Romulans. But "always leaving out that one point" makes no sense to me. This is the first time it came up, there have been no prior discussions. Stiles is so talking out of his ass it's nonsensical. Unless I missed sumpin.

    Mark Lenard is outstanding at the Romulan Commander. He's just as doubt plagued as Kirk and is an extremely well written character. He's not a villain in the slightest and his final fate is regrettable.

    All in all, one of the top 5 episodes of the series. Great work.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That wasn't a decision, it was an accident. He tried to grab the console edge to pull himself up from where he'd been working underneath the console, and his hand accidentally pushed a button. He then shut it off as quickly as he could once he realized what he'd done. Stiles suspected him of deliberately activating whatever it was in order to tip off the enemy, but of course he wouldn't have done that, so it was just a mistake.

    Still, the idea of Spock making a clumsy error like that does seem different from how he was later characterized.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    There are two different points Spock might be leaving out in Stiles' opinion... "I'm an expert on Romulans" or "They'll come back if we show weakness". The latter point could have come up several times already even if the former one obviously did not. It's just that the episode doesn't show Spock advising the other heroes on Romulan issues in any manner before the briefing scene, save for his introductory PA. It could have happened off screen, of course - and even the briefing clearly began some time before the camera entered the scene. But it does sound funny.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Stiles and Boma ("The Galileo Seven") were bigots and like many bigots a lot of stuff comes out of their ass.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    How so? Stiles' concern that Spock might be a traitor from a race of traitors was quite appropriate, given the circumstances. And his view of the Romulans as irredeemable villains better dead was also supported by facts, as well as embraced by Spock himself. Bigotry tends to be much more rational than other extremes of human behavior...

    However... Boma was a bigot? He hated Spock's guts, but as far as we know, not his pointed ears. Although of course much of Spock's objectionable personality did derive directly from his biology, or from the unfortunate juxtaposition of his biological and cultural past. McCoy felt pretty much the same way, at any rate.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is why I never saw it as an accident. I watched these in syndication order growing up (i.e., "in no order at all"), so I didn't have the character build up to live through. It never looked like an accident to me, because Spock was always too "together" to goof up like that. It ultimately turned out to be the right decision, prompting Kirk into making the connection that it would make a perfect lure and bring his foe out of hiding. That seems like the sort of logical move Spock would make, but making that decision without consulting the captain is just as bad, I guess.

    But, if it was supposed to be a clumsy goof on his part at that point in the run, I'll withdraw my objection and call it an observation on his evolution.
     
  19. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Stiles reacted without hard facts. He made assumptions based on circumstantial evidence. He wasn't just calling out Spock, but all Vulcans by inference. And he was unprofessional about it.

    It's no different than since many people come from the same part of the world and/or have the same skin colour then they must all be the same in character and viewpoint. It's monumentally stupid and ignorant given how many of us look alike and some of us are real bastards while many others are not.

    Boma could well be a bigot given his whole attitude. We'd already seen McCoy take jabs at Spock yet we quickly learned that between them it's more simple needling to get under each other's skin rather than actual hostility. McCoy and Spock's behaviour toward each other is something we see everyday between relations, friends, acquaintances and coworkers. Boma didn't have that kind of relationship with Spock and his subsequent manner was completely different. His dig at Spock being a machine was too close a reference to Vulcans being unfeeling by human standards. Granted their situation might have also contributed to the hostility---that they were all but convinced they were goners. Aboard the relative safety of the Enterprise in a hostile situation that stress might not have surfaced so openly.

    If Boma and the rest were following McCoy's lead in needling Spock they were off base because they didn't have a similar relationship with the Vulcan. If I see someone needling another and being apparently disrespectful I'm not going to automatically join in until I'm more sure of my status with the individual in question. Otherwise I'm begging for trouble.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Aren't you being awfully bigoted against Finns there? I mean, you're debunking my claims and all - surely that's indication of you harboring broad racial animosity. :rolleyes:

    Boma might not have been entitled to trade barbs with Spock with the impunity guaranteed by a long relationship. But factually, he was quite entitled to trade barbs with punity. There'd have been nothing wrong with him punching Spock for his inhuman incompetence, and then getting court-martialed for it. That'd drive some sense into the half-Vulcan who clearly was in grave need thereof.

    And that inference was justified. Spock personally would not have been particularly suspect or culpable, not even having been born back then when the war was fought - but his entire species now was. Somebody had been hiding this "long lost colony" possibility from the public for a century now, so there'd be plenty of blame to spread, and until more specific inquiries could be made, it would be better to be safe than sorry. Logically, Spock might well feel obligated to kill all his comrades there and then to preserve the secret.

    Timo Saloniemi