Whatever happened to Starship Exeter?

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by TK421, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've always wondered where dilithium falls on the MacGuffin Periodic Table relative to elements like unobtainium.
     
  2. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Well, in its periodic table, the Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual assigns dilithium an atomic number of 119. The reference is copyright 1977 Paramount Pictures Corporation, but I doubt it's canon.
     
  3. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I like the Shakespearean title. Not only does it make the whole thing seem classier, you're no longer locked into using "Atlantis" in some form.
     
  4. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    The ATLANTIS INVADERS analysis by character (pages 9 to end)

    (1) Captain John Quincy Garrovick

    In his mid-30’s, the nephew of the deceased former Captain of the USS Farragut. Was marooned following a doomed Starfleet Academy training mission, with fellow surviving cadets on planet Tingaruu for two years. There, the very harsh living conditions left many emotional scars that remain to this day. Today a capable and intelligent commanding officer, he is nevertheless unsmiling, sarcastic, and dour.

    Beaming down from the Exeter, Garrovick with Commander Cutty and 3 crewmembers arrive at the offices of Atlantis VI’s administrators. Beckoning the 2 security men to wait outside, the other 3 meet the Director.
    Investigating a possible hostile incursion, especially atop a large offshore installation seems a LOT of work for only 5 men. Frankly speaking, if Kirk could bring down 10 people including himself in the TOS episode ‘’The APPLE’’ for what was originally a simple survey mission, then I think more armed personnel is definitely required in the instance of a risky interplanetary invasion. So the four security men from page 28 should be included along with Freeborn and D’Agosta on this trip.
    There is a Doctor Fu in ATLANTIS INVADERS, a character that was mentioned but unseen in the SAVAGE EMPIRE, and seemingly replaced with Dr Azzato in The TRESSARIAN INTERSECTION. For this episode, he seems more of a xenobiologist (or astrobiologist) instead of a general practitioner. A sort of M’benga type to Azzato’s even surlier version of McCoy, perhaps? If so, it would then make sense to have such a physician among the original landing party rather than remaining aboard and away from the action.

    Flustered when told of a false emergency call, Garrovick interrogates the DIRECTOR. Brian Callahan, one of the DIRECTOR’s assistants and a former acquaintance of Garrovick’s, joins them. Garrovick and Cutty question Callahan, but get no clear answers from him either.
    As was mentioned by myself and DS9Sega, it really serves NO discernible purpose that we have 2 different characters that basically play the same part (stalling the Captain and outright lying to him, scheming against workers & amphibians to escape at the end). The nameless DIRECTOR and Callahan should be folded into a single character, one that will then have an actual clear-cut personality and motivation. Removing the completely useless and inconsequential childhood link to Garrovick can’t but improve this episode (the ‘academy acquaintance’ crutch was as overused as the redshirts as cannon fodder bit in the old Star Trek, to the point where you had to wonder if there was ANYONE Kirk hadn’t gone to school with. That gimmick clearly jumped the shark in ‘’The APPLE’’ when Mallory, one of the clone-like security men gets blown up and has Kirk soliloquizing on how Mallory’s father helped ol’ J.T. get into the academy. Cheap heat!)

    Garrovick and science officer Watkins go to the docks and question the workers. Garrovick instructs Watkins to use his tricorder as a lie detector.
    I guess since they don’t have a Vulcan around, they need some way to find out what the truth is? I’m pretty bothered by their casual reliance on a technique that even today is far from 100% reliable. What’s worse is Garrovick or Harris aboard the Exeter never really investigate or try to gather any hard evidence throughout the episode, and instead base ALL of their actions on the probability that some of the suspects have lied...If I did that, I could probably win a court case proving George Bush was on the grassy knoll when Abraham Lincoln was shot :guffaw:
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  5. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    At the cargo shuttle docks, Garrovick now interrogates Jenkins, the lone survivor.
    My feeling is, Jenkins should still be the dock worker who sends the Priority Code One alert to Exeter out in deep space, but he should have done it covertly and gotten thrown in jail for it. The whole bit where he intimidates the Director into sending the Alert, where he is scared enough to convince his fellow miners to help him do so, only to be bribed off-screen into falling in line with the company just never really works. More on this in the DIRECTOR/Callahan’s section.

    Getting no results, Garrovick returns alone to the Exeter. Walking to the bridge, he meets with Dr Fu who briefs him quickly on Atlantis’ sea life.
    Reaching the bridge, Garrovick is briefed by Harris on Atlantis VI’s origins and recent history.
    Being informed that Cutty and his men were attacked on the planet, Garrovick goes back to the transporter room.
    Basically, Garrovick wastes TV time by transporting back aboard his ship, walking along some corridors, talking to two of his officers and then going back down when something cool finally happens. While the conversations with Fu and Harris may be valid, the same thing could be done more economically by having Garrovick talking with Harris on his communicator, and Fu on the planet surface (since I decided to have him be a part of the landing party).
    I would also remove the clunky theory elaborated by Harris that survivors from old Earth Atlantis managed to travel billions of light years at the time of its sinking and ended up on a water planet. With absolutely no follow-through to this plot point, it is about as useful to the narrative as having a random character explaining that Garrovick is actually Wolverine’s grandson.

    Back on Atlantis VI, Garrovick rejoins Cutty and questions his prisoner, the amphibian Drident. Dr Fu informs him the prisoner is amphibian and needs a water-based environment to survive.
    This episode has an overabundance of captured characters that soon after are released (Drident here, then 3 times for Garrovick). I would change this to Tri’tillya being captured instead for these reasons:

    (A) That Drident struggles in any way against D’Agosta, and is quickly overcome by a single phaser stun blast by Cutty makes him appear weak, and lets us wonder why Garrovick at the end has so much trouble overcoming him.

    (B) Being a captive brings no insight on Drident as a character, only the general appearance of the amphibian creatures and their breathing troubles when long out of the water (a characteristic that is never again touched upon).

    (C) When Tri’tillya first appears she freely commits violence against Captain Garrovick. Again if this were Kirk who has ABSOLUTELY no trouble feeling sexual desire towards aliens who murder one of his crew (such as Kelinda in the episode ‘’BY ANY OTHER NAME’’), we could buy into Kirk and Tri’tillya falling in lust when next they see each other. But Garrovick as a character is another matter, and the two need to meet under different circumstances. (see Tri’tillya’s section for more details).

    Then suddenly, they are attacked by 3 new amphibians with energy-based weapons. A fourth one, a female, knocks Garrovick unconscious.
    I’m not a scientist, so I’m unclear on the possibility of a underwater race developing energy weapons. That whole thing about electricity and water...

    Also, it was the Johnson brothers’ intention that Garrovick and Tri’tillya experience an adult romantic relationship in this episode, but as those of you who have followed my series of analyses know, their relationship never gets beyond the completely superficial.

    To begin with, let’s examine two other famous girl-chasing icons of the 1960’s. The first one, Sean Connery’s James Bond relentlessly bedded girl after girl, whether she was innocent bystander, ally, or sometimes even enemy. However, his many sexual trysts existed only to satisfy his physical urges, and the girls were only a means to that end and very disposable. His charm was as much a weapon as his Walther PPK. Bond, to be as coldly successful a secret agent and killer as he needed to be, had to completely shut down any and all emotional responses. And that included love.

    William Shatner’s James Kirk was a ‘walking book with legs’ until his early adulthood, until he finally allowed himself to fall in love with Carol Marcus. She became pregnant and left him, devastating him to a point that he overcompensated for years by basically becoming a man-whore, his libido supercharging as he fooled himself into thinking sex was love. Needless to say, such behaviour usually results in extremely short-term relations.

    Finally, Jimm Johnson’s John Garrovick...whether or not the portrayal was intentional, his overly serious, unsmiling, stern characterization fits well with the few background details offered in the first two episodes. Basically, he pushes away most friendly interactions and all women especially for the simple reason that he was abandoned. The two-year trauma as he was marooned in deep space, the shock as the woman he loved had given him up for dead, the uncle who had died during his absence...he has abandonment issues.
    He is not Bond or Kirk, who eagerly hunt after women for their respective reasons. He is very wary of them (notice the open hostility towards his female yeoman in the TRESSARIAN INTERSECTION).
    In simpler terms, for Garrovick to allow himself to feel any emotional response towards any female, such as Tri’tillya... she needs to NOT abandon him.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  6. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    Garrovick awakens a prisoner in chains in an underwater prison, along with security officer Freeborn and the kidnapped miners.
    Two amphibian guards appear and unshackle Garrovick, who takes advantage of the situation and overpowers the guards. He frees Freeborn and they escape out of the room.
    Am I the only reader who has a problem with Garrovick abandoning the imprisoned miners back in the cell...Twice! And not once does he feel bad for doing so or make plans to return and to free them.

    Garrovick and Freeborn skulk along the prison’s corridor, but are eventually surrounded by a large group of amphibian warriors. A battle for their lives begins, until Freeborn tragically sacrifices his life to save his captain’s.
    The requisite Redshirt moment, I guess. While noble, it would have been even more poignant if Freeborn had more of a personality. By the way, do the security men ever grumble off-screen about how often they sacrifice their lives in the line of duty at the hand of aliens, demigods and power-mad humans who are sometimes welcomed as friends not long after by their own commanding officers?

    The once-again captured Garrovick is taken to a large hall where the amphibians’ leader, Argolas, wishes to address him. Drident as well as the female amphibian Tri’tillya, are also present.
    While Argolas drones on about the invading surface-dwellers from the stars, Garrovick pleads earnestly for the miners’ non-hostile intentions. Unmoved by Garrovick’s words, Argolas promises war and orders Garrovick back to his cell.
    This I really don’t get...In the third draft, the miners arrived on Atlantis VI about 12 years before, and in all that time the amphibians chose to remain hidden beneath the depths. Then because of unsafe mining procedures the immediate area became unfit for amphibian lifeforms. So Argolas as the leader of his people:
    (1) Chooses NOT to communicate with the surface men in a peaceful manner before it is much too late?
    (2) Chooses NOT to relocate his entire tribe to the other side of the planet if they wished to remain hidden? Here on Earth we’ve been dumping all sorts of toxic sludge into our oceans for the last century, and try as we might there is still a large percentage of them still unaffected, so how much damage could ONE single mining platform do in the space of a dozen years?

    In shackles once more, Garrovick is surprised to see the female Tri’tillya approaching him . She brings his equipment and releases him from captivity. They make their way back to the large hall, now deserted. They witness many amphibian warriors swimming up to the surface. Tri’tillya summons a great aquatic beast to provide transportation back to the surface.
    I will address the preceding in more detail within the Amphibians’ section, but basically I will propose merging the characters of Argolas and Drident and jettisoning the monarchy aspect of the amphibian race. Also, my head was spinning as I read about the inclusion of the aquatic sea-beasts into this story. While a cool concept, the $$money$$ aspect is headache-inducing.
     
  7. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    Finally out of the water, Garrovick and Tri’tillya ascend on the deck of the mining installation. They cross paths with Jenkins the miner, who pleads prior ignorance of the amphibians’ existence, but admits the workers used unsafe methods to harvest the much-needed Scurvium. Jenkins breaks away, and Garrovick pursues him only to come across a group of agitated workers who panic at the sight of the female amphibian.
    Surrounded by angry workers, Garrovick pulls out his phaser weapon and points it threateningly at them. Suddenly one of the miners manages to injure the female, distracting the Captain long enough for them to mob him. He fires his phaser and they scatter.
    A horde of amphibians climb up to the dock and confront the humans. Before more violence can happen, an armed squad of Exeter security men materialize to re-enact a 23rd-century Mexican stand-off.
    Not easy to do, having a three-sided battle where none of the participants are clearly evil: the amphibians who are forced into conflict to save their living environment. The miners who are pretty much innocent workers and believe they are protecting their place of employment. The Starfleet officers who are there to keep the peace. Dramatically without a clear side to root for, the only place to go is to amp up the tragedy.

    All are then surprised by the roar of a large cargo shuttle as it blasts- off towards the sky. Garrovick attempts to calm the raw emotions of the fighters, but is attacked by a maddened Drident. After a heated battle, Drident succumbs and is disgraced by his leader Argolas. Drident treacherously murders the leader of his people, but is himself executed in turn.
    I guess Garrovick is becoming a better politician within this episode: the first time he makes a speech to the amphibians he preaches for peace and understanding. That failed miserably so his second turn at bat he decides to throw the DIRECTOR and his crew under the bus. He has no evidence of any wrongdoing, but he uses the Blame Game.
    Garrovick is also psychic apparently: without any visual confirmation, he is able to affirm the responsible parties are aboard the escaping shuttle.
    When I earlier mentioned ‘’amping up’’ the tragedy for the climax, by that I was not including the death of Argolas. Basically a bullying, pompous, melodramatic warmonger, hardly the sort of sympathetic character to shed a tear for. Even if he was Tri’tillya’s father.

    Garrovick returns aboard the Exeter and orders a pursuit after the escaping cargo shuttle. Soon after, the Exeter is intercepted by reinforcements, two Orion pirate ships. The pirate ships’ weaponry is insufficient against a starship , and both are quickly destroyed.
    Exeter chases after the cargo shuttle once more, heading into an asteroid belt. After a short pursuit, the shuttle crashes against an asteroid.
    Returning one final time to Atlantis VI, specifically the amphibians’ underwater great hall, Garrovick bids farewell to Tri’tillya, the new leader of the amphibian race.
    The script for this final part is completely unspecific about the emotions that Garrovick should be feeling here. It never mentions if he is torn apart, sad, relieved, ambivalent, which is also why I personally never bought into the ‘romance’ as being anything more than a short burst of hormones.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Rough storyboard for the first sighting of Atlanteans at the end of Act One, April 13, 2004. Drawn as part of my process of breaking down action for writing this scene (which did not appear in the drafts prior to my taking the assignment).

    My scribbling's doubtless hard to read, and the bottom frames text was cut off, so where's what it says.

    One thing I was inconsistent about is which hand Cutty's holding his phaser. He's actually a southpaw, so it should always be the left.
     
  9. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    The DIRECTOR / BRIAN CALLAHAN


    On planet Atlantis VI, inside the Polaris mining company conference room, its administrative Director, some assistants and Brian Callahan frantically discuss the disappearance of some workers. A suddenly-intruding mob of angry workers intimidate the Director to contact Starfleet for help.
    If you’ve followed my little series you’re aware I’ve removed the above and its preceding kidnapping sequence, for two reasons:
    (1) Its uncomfortable similarity with another STAR TREK episode opening (‘’the DEVIL in the DARK’’)
    (2) While dramatic, it is puzzling that the workers manage to force the DIRECTOR to call Starfleet, yet are bribed OFF-SCREEN into changing their minds. It makes the workers’ fear at the beginning seem completely unimportant and makes us wonder why we should care for the missing kidnap victims then, if their friends so easily abandon them.
    Removing this sequence resolves a few important story problems...

    Soon after, The USS EXETER arrives in response, only to be told of a false emergency call. Its Captain, John Garrovick transports down and meets the DIRECTOR. Brian Callahan, one of the DIRECTOR’s assistants and a former acquaintance of Garrovick’s, joins them. Garrovick and Cutty question Callahan, but get no clear answers from him either.
    I have mentioned the need to merge the characters of Brian Callahan and the DIRECTOR into a single character, for these reasons:
    (1) Throughout the episode, neither ever reacts differently from the other. Both lie to Garrovick, deceive the miners, try to escape and are soon after caught/killed trying to...
    (2) Aside from the undeveloped and undefined past friendship with Garrovick, you would have to get two actors trying to basically play the same part.
    (3) Neither does anything particularly evil during the episode, yet the audience is supposed to jeer them.

    At the cargo shuttle docks Garrovick now interrogates Jenkins, the lone survivor, who tells of colleagues being abducted. Surprisingly, a regular occurrence...
    My feeling is, Jenkins should still be the dock worker who sends the Priority Code One alert to Exeter out in deep space, but he should have done it covertly out of desperation and gotten thrown in jail for it. Also, just as Tri’tillya can be worked into a truly sympathetic voice for the amphibians’ side, so too could Jenkins become the audience p.o.v. for the workers, delivering the needed exposition to get us up to speed on the goings-on in Atlantis VI.

    With Captain Garrovick back on his ship, Callahan manipulates Jenkins and offers him a bribe.
    And a bribe is about the extent of Callahan/Director’s evildoings in this episode... Hardly the stuff of great villainy...What this episode needs is something more jarring.
    In a previous post, I had likened the Director as a 23rd century Jerry Lundergaard from FARGO: partially successful, horribly dim-witted and hapless. It hit me that that wasn’t such a bad characterization.
    Like Jerry, the Director tries to make a profit from both Starfleet and the Orions, never realizing his shenanigans might bite him on the ass. Or how dangerous dealing with the Orions might actually be...
    Another thing I realized, despite what some Rick Berman ST episodes would have you think, Greed still does exist in the 23rd century. In a time where a tool such as the replicator can make homelessness and starvation obsolete, it still cannot abolish the simple feeling of coveting.
    With the replicator, homelessness and wars fought over two starving tribes would be a thing of the past, but even such a miracle tool cannot do away with man’s need for ‘Bigger and Better’. Some men are satisfied with modest, such as Ben Sisko’s father and his small family restaurant. But some will always want a giant mansion with a dozen vehicles.
    In the original Star Trek universe however, the characters who made greed their primary life ambition were usually near-caricatures, such as Harry Mudd and Cyrano Jones. Therefore, it makes sense to model the Director character on such an unusual personality type as Jerry Lundergaard’s.

    Later on the docks, Callahan is startled that Cutty and his men are still on-planet and continuing their investigation.
    The Director back at his conference room, tells his Orion client the Starfleet men are still about.
    The Orion pirates’ involvement in this story is quite a conundrum. It is never quite explained why the Director didn’t just do business with Starfleet only in the first place. For what reason did he feel the need to sell to both sides? If the Orions promised him more riches than Starfleet could ever give him, then why agree to call Starfleet in the first place? Because his workers scared him into doing so?

    After the Captain’s disappearance, Commander Harris meets planetside with the Director and Callahan. Harris argues for action in rescuing her Captain, while the Director vehemently denies any trouble or wrongdoing. He proves most uncooperative.
    With her Captain missing and the Exeter show with a lack of command-level main characters, wouldn’t it make more sense to keep Harris on board the Exeter, speaking with the Director through communications technology only?Also, there seems to be too much back-and-forth arguing in this episode. An overabundance of characters saying this, saying that, you’re wrong and I’m not... The episode would be much better served by having the characters actually doing something, such as discovering evidence of the Director’s wrongdoings, of the Orions’ implication...

    Finally out of the water, Garrovick and Tri’tillya ascend on the deck of the mining installation. They cross paths with Jenkins the miner, who pleads prior ignorance of the amphibians’ existence, but admits the workers used unsafe methods to harvest the much-needed Scurvium. Jenkins breaks away, and Garrovick pursues him only to come across a group of agitated workers who panic at the sight of the female amphibian.
    Jenkins was the first, and supposedly ONLY worker on Atlantis VI who witnessed any of the amphibians. So why the panic from the workers as they see Tri’tillya? In a universe filled with klingons, Vulcans, Tellarites and Gorns, why wouldn’t they think Tri’tillya was a Starfleet officer , rather than alien aggressor?

    Inside the conference room, the Director communicates with his Orion client who is very displeased, to the point of open threats.
    That’s twice now we have the Director making a surface-to-space communication with a secreted Orion ship in deep space. With all that alien invasion situation going on, wouldn’t the Exeter be monitoring ALL outgoing broadcasts?

    Surrounded by angry workers, Garrovick pulls out his phaser weapon and points it threateningly at them. Suddenly one of the miners manages to injure the female, distracting the Captain long enough for them to mob him. He fires his phaser and they scatter.
    I wrote ‘fired’ his phaser, but the script actually said ‘ignited the workers’!! A bit of an overreaction on Garrovick’s part, to be sure, when a simple stun blast would have been just as efficient...

    A horde of amphibians climb up to the dock and confront the humans. Before more violence can happen, an armed squad of Exeter security men materialize to re-enact a 23rd-century Mexican stand-off.
    All are then surprised by the roar of a large cargo shuttle as it blasts- off towards the sky.
    Attempting to escape in a second shuttle, Callahan is captured by an angry Garrovick, and brought up to the Exeter bridge as a prisoner.
    a very FX-heavy scene, as you would need a large shuttle bay, a space shuttle, shuttle ignition flames, and phaser fire destroying the shuttle...

    Garrovick orders a pursuit after the escaping cargo shuttle. Soon after, the Exeter is intercepted by reinforcements, two Orion pirate ships. The pirate ships’ weaponry is insufficient against a starship , and both are quickly destroyed.
    Some of this seems lifted from the climax of ‘’Journey to Babel’’, as the Enterprise does battle with a high-speed Orion pirate ship...

    Unnoticed during the battle, Callahan sneaks off the bridge and makes his way mostly unnoticed towards the ship’s hangar bay.
    This bit makes security chief Cutty appear totally incompetent as he let himself get distracted, letting his prisoner not only escape his custody (why he wasn’t sent to the brig as soon as he got aboard the Exeter is unclear), get off the bridge unnoticed by a roomful of trained officers, make his way aboard a unfamiliar ship for an undetermined time, finally steal a shuttle craft and without any apparent skills manage to fly it out of the shuttle bay...
    Someone’s gonna get a shellackin’ tonight!!

    Exeter chases after the cargo shuttle once more, heading into an asteroid belt. After a short pursuit, the shuttle crashes against an asteroid.
    This ending is simply bizarre, rather than what it should be: thrilling...

    Then, Callahan manages to abscond with one of Exeter’s shuttlecraft, but is quickly recaptured and returned.
    If there had been a clear betrayal on Callahan’s part towards the Captain, his easy capture and defeat might actually be emotionally satisfying. It’s not. One of the many reasons why the characters of Callahan and the Director need to merge, and to have the fused amalgam do something actually despicable during the episode...
     
  10. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

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    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    The AMPHIBIANS / ARGOLAS & DRIDENT

    On the aquatic planet ATLANTIS VI, three frightened offshore workers meet alone on the upper deck of their mining installation. Suddenly, they are attacked and overpowered by three shadowed forms, then quickly disappear into the night with two of the men. Only one is spared...
    If you’ve followed my little series you’re aware I’ve removed the above sequence for two reasons:
    (1) Its uncomfortable similarity with another STAR TREK episode opening (‘’the DEVIL in the DARK’’)
    (2) The length TV time-wise: that sequence, along with the ones inside the ATLANTIS VI conference room and the EXETER bridge would make for an uncharacteristically long pre-credits section.

    There are some other nagging story problems concerning the kidnapping in particular, and the amphibians in general that need to be addressed:
    PROBLEM 1: Why kidnap the workers at all? The amphibians are supposed to be in a desperate state due to toxic poisoning of their waters caused by the humans. If they are so desperate for their survival, why kidnap a handful of low-level employees every two weeks or so? Up until the latest abductions on pages 1 and 2, none of the miners even suspected any hostile actions by other beings to a certainty.

    Say that cultural terrorists wished to damage the Disney Corporation by kidnapping a few Disney players costumed as Goofy and Buzz Lightyear from the Disneyland park every few weeks or so. Without leaving any evidence... Not a very efficient way to gain your objective, I would think...

    To put some real tension and urgency into this episode you need the following:
    (1) Change the amphibians’ actions from kidnappings to sabotage on a medium scale, which resolves the moral failing by Garrovick later when he forgets to rescue the other kidnap victims, and makes amphibian leader Argolas seem less like a tactical ignoramus.
    (2) Reduce the timeframe for the ‘’alien incidents’’: rather than kidnapping one or two inconsequential men every few weeks, have dramatic acts of sabotage occurring almost every day.
    (3) Changing from kidnapping to sabotage produces more tension to more people. Having many pieces of important machinery breaking down constantly for no apparent reason will rile up many of the humans, as opposed to random and possibly rumoured disappearances that could be the result of multiple circumstances other than alien invasions.

    PROBLEM 2: Planet ATLANTIS VI’s size. It’s a planet!!! Ok, you have the miners using their equipment to drill and they disturb the ecological balance, releasing poisons into the water and threatening the amphibians’ way of life. Argolas is their leader, so why doesn’t he:
    (1) Contact the humans above the water to stop before it is too late?
    (2) If it IS too late, why doesn’t he migrate his people to the other side of the planet?
    A possible solution would be that the miners use force field technology on a huge scale to contain very large segments of ocean, thus facilitating the extraction of Scurvium particles. But the amphibians are entrapped within such a prison, threatening their lives to a point that they must destroy the force field-generated prison, or die.

    And PROBLEM 3: how to get around the fact that Starfleet and the Mining company seemed completely unaware of the existence of the amphibians before AND during their operations.
    As I mentioned elsewhere, it’s probably very safe to assume that as Starfleet expands outward into the galaxy, they would do massive biological surveys on each discovered planet before inserting colonies or allowing private companies to exploit those with natural resources. The better to provide safe environments for their colonists...

    Of course there wouldn’t be much of a show if Starfleet were always 100% successful at detecting and removing any harmful native species. On The Original Series, danger appeared in the form of apparently benign, inanimate vegetation such as the spore plants from Omicron Ceti III (‘This SIDE of PARADISE’), or the seemingly animal-like Horta from planet Janus VI (‘The DEVIL in the DARK’). Sometimes menace did strike from outer space such as the single-cell organisms of Deneva (from Operation: Annihilate!).

    But this episode strains under the unlikelihood of an aquatic monarchical civilization remaining undiscovered by starship sensor scans for over 12 years, scans which depending on the episode have managed to be precise enough to pinpoint a ground-level fire hydrant (‘A PIECE OF THE ACTION’).

    How to explain the amphibians then? I’ve thought long and hard about this and came up with the following:
    (1) Forget the monarchy angle, it really brings nothing to the amphibians as a concept.
    (2) Just like the DIRECTOR and Brian CALLAHAN, ARGOLAS and DRIDENT are indistinguishable as characters. Argolas and Tri’tillya never display any sort of father-daughter dynamic, and having Argolas be murdered was a convenient, though hokey way to separate her from Garrovick at the end of the episode.
    (3) To credibly explain why the amphibians remained undetected for so long, I came upon having them actually be dolphin-like marine mammals, who just like ours on earth are intelligent and playful. As such, they would become catalogued as similar to dolphins and porpoises by both Starfleet and civilian research teams.
    Unlike Earth’s dolphin’s, the mammals on planet ATLANTIS VI also possess an adapting capability, similar to a chameleon’s color changing ability, in this instance where they have adapted aspects of a humanoid’s physiognomy. In short, recent close proximity to one, or many humans has altered the amphibians to give them 4 limbs.

    Soon after, the USS EXETER is summoned to Atlantis VI. During their investigation, Commander Cutty and security men D’Agosta & Freeborn are also assaulted by three amphibians. Two of the amphibians manage to abduct officer Freeborn, but Cutty manages to stun the remaining one unconscious.
    I have previously mentioned the need to replace Drident with Tri’tillya as the first amphibian encountered by the Exeter men, for these reasons:
    (1) Being captured so easily makes Drident appear a weak opponent.
    (2) Nothing is learned about Drident as a character while imprisoned. He awakens almost immediately before being rescued. In fact, the captured amphibian could very well be any one of them.
    (3) Replacing Drident with Tri’tillya as the first amphibian encountered by Garrovick and his men, in a less-violent scenario, offers a good opportunity to begin their emotional relationship.

    Drident, the captured amphibian, is long and fishlike, with dark eyes and scaly yellow skin. He wears a vest stylized to simulate the look of strong scales. His garments are intricately adorned with shells that denote his military rank.
    An underwater character’s look is always complicated. For network or internet concerns, you can’t have them be naked. However since they need to be aerodynamic while swimming, any ‘clothing’ should be form-fitting.

    Placed in a holding cell, Drident is visited by Captain Garrovick. He awakens from unconsciousness, speaking in dolphin-like sounds.
    Without warning, three more amphibians strike at the Exeter men with energy weapons and overtake them. A fourth one, a female, wallops the Captain into unconsciousness.
    As mentioned, it is better to have Tri’tillya instead of Drident as the first onscreen amphibian. The amphibians’ dolphin-like sounds were what guided me to having them actually be dolphin-like creatures.
    However, I would need to check the science on this, but I’m pretty sure it is very unlikely for a race of aquatic beings to develop weapons whose power output is electricity, on an ocean planet with no landmass.
    A more spectacular battle between the amphibians and the miners here would be an ideal set up for the concluding 3-way gangwar. It would also be a great opportunity to show Cutty getting his hands dirty, and you could ALSO have Freeborn do the Redshirt sacrifice on the surface rather than later in the underwater prison.

    Later below the surface, inside the amphibians’ underwater city, Garrovick awakens as a prisoner. He is chained up alongside officer Freeborn, as well as all the missing dock workers.
    Since I’ve taken away the need for the amphibians to require any prisoners, it will be necessary to come up with a different way to get Garrovick off the mining platform and away from his crew temporarily.

    Two amphibian guards appear to unshackle him, but Garrovick turns the tables and incapacitates his jailers. He frees Lt. Freeborn and both escape from their cell, the others remaining behind.
    They skulk their way along some corridors, until they unexpectedly encounter more guards. They must battle for their lives, but more amphibians appear, including Drident.
    Freeborn tragically sacrifices his life to save his captain’s.
    This cat-and-mouse sequence sounds like a huge headache, money-wise. As set up, there will be a need for about a dozen costumed amphibian stuntmen with very extensive make-up. A lot of set design and construction as well.
    BUT, by changing the amphibians from kidnappers to saboteurs, the need for prisoners has effectively been removed.
    One more thought about the Amphibians, as written in this script version: as originally conceived, they abducted some random workers and brought them to their underwater city to jail them. As specified in the script, they had begun to capture the miners some weeks before Exeter’s arrival. So what did they want with the prisoners, to keep them alive for so long? Also, they keep the prisoners alive instead of torturing or killing them, yet are eager to kill Garrovick (but stab Freeborn instead)...

    The once-again captured Garrovick is taken to a large hall where the amphibians’ leader, Argolas, wishes to address him. Drident as well as the female amphibian Tri’tillya, are also present.
    While Argolas drones on about the invading surface-dwellers from the stars, Garrovick pleads earnestly for the miners’ non-hostile intentions. Unmoved by Garrovick’s words, Argolas promises war and orders Garrovick back to his cell.
    Again, here there is WAY too much talking and talking, and CLEARLY not enough showing. The surfacemen are killing your people? Show it!! In ‘’MIRI’’, we are clearly shown a few of the infected kids with the deformed faces and purple splotches on their bodies. Here is a great opportunity to show the horror that the amphibians are facing...

    Later released thanks to Tri’tillya, Garrovick returns up to the surface. He is soon after mobbed by a frightened group of miners. Suddenly, a horde of amphibians climb up to the dock and confront the humans. Before more violence can happen, an armed squad of Exeter security men materialize to re-enact a 23rd-century Mexican stand-off.
    The amphibians should not be confronting the miners like some mindless pro hockey rumble...the amphibians want to stop the surfacemen’s machines from killing them, and the miners are desperate to stop the alien monsters from destroying the machines that permit them to have a job and to feed their families.

    All are then surprised by the roar of a large cargo shuttle as it blasts- off towards the sky. Garrovick attempts to calm the raw emotions of the fighters, but is attacked by a maddened Drident. After a heated battle, Drident succumbs and is disgraced by his leader Argolas. Drident treacherously murders the leader of his people, but is himself executed in turn.
    Since I’ve advocated the fusing between Argolas and Drident’s characters into one, another climax will need to be written since the character cannot go and kill himself.
     
  11. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    approaching the end of my little story editing exercise. All that remains is to quickly analyze the character of Tri'tillya, and to clarify her actions and motivations.

    I appreciate everyone`s indulgance with my long-winded theses, I hope I didn`t put too many of you to sleep.

    I originally began doing this as a way to cure some writer's block I`ve been recently experiencing on my own projects, and it seems to have done the job.

    Plus I`ve always loved Star Trek and thought I would apply my real-world skills to a longtime passion.

    I have been writing out a cleaned-up longer plot version for how I would rewrite The Atlantis Invaders, which I may end up posting on this board. No offense to anyone who did work on it, but like any work of creative fiction, different people will bring different points-of-view...

    Thanks to all, and yet again, your comments are all welcomed...
     
  12. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    The ATLANTIS INVADERS

    TRI`TILLYA


    On planet ATLANTIS VI, the Starship EXETER is summoned to stop a possible alien invasion. On the surface, an amphibian being is captured. Soon after, before he can be thoroughly questioned, three more amphibians strike at the Exeter officers with energy weapons and overtake them. A fourth one, a female, wallops the Captain into unconsciousness.
    Finally we get to the character of Tri`tillya. I must admit she was the most difficult one of all to get a handle on because, basically, she really has NO personality to speak of. Add to that the fact that somehow Captain Garrovick needs to fall in love with her during this story.
    It was necessary first to get a better understanding of Garrovick the character, and what kind of female he WOULD develop feelings for. I deduced that Garrovick the man would NOT fall in love at first sight, that he is very reserved in the company of women and she would need to prove herself repeatedly for him to develop any romantic feelings (i.e. not abandon him).
    The small bit of characterization already in the script`s third draft, where she is part of the amphibian rescue party sent to deliver Drident and wilfully stuns Garrovick into unconsciousness, would to me be a complete dealbreaker.

    Garrovick, as I`ve already said before, is NOT James T. Kirk! Kirk has on occasion dallied with a few extra-terrestrial women that originally committed violence towards him (ex: THE GAMESTERS OF TRISKELION). But the ones he felt deeper emotions for, such as Edith Keeler and Carol Marcus, were due to their intellectual as well as physical compatibility.
    Garrovick as presented would avoid casual flings or using sex to manipulate a female enemy. Such a great tactic should probably be taken over by another character :)
    So, if the story would present a few instances where Tri`tillya saves the Captain, nurses him, or joins with him against a common foe (her own tribe, perhaps), he would likely be able to develop an emotional bond.

    The same goes for Tri`tillya: being saved by Garrovick is probably the best scenario to ignite a sexual interest towards him. The third draft`s simplistic cause of attraction (Tri`tillya and Garrovick see each other, become attracted. Garrovick makes a good speech to her father, Tri`tillya kisses him), in my mind would possibly work if the Captain were Kirk, but would not in Garrovick`s case.
    I`ve mentioned elsewhere that Tri`tillya should replace Drident as the first amphibian encountered by the Starfleet men. I`ve explained why, but there is also the fact that in the script`s third draft, Tri`tillya makes her first appearance only at page 30 of a 63-page script. She needs to be there much earlier so that hers and Garrovick`s arc will have the screen time it truly requires.

    Captured by the amphibians and taken to their underwater city, Garrovick is eventually taken to a large hall where the amphibians’ leader, Argolas, wishes to address him. Drident as well as the female amphibian Tri’tillya, are also present.
    While Argolas drones on about the invading surface-dwellers from the stars, Garrovick pleads earnestly for the miners’ non-hostile intentions. Argolas points to his daughter Tri’tillya as the one believing in a more peaceful solution. Unmoved by Garrovick’s words, Argolas promises war and orders Garrovick back to his cell.
    In shackles once more, Garrovick is surprised to see the female Tri’tillya approaching him. She brings his equipment and tells how the Captain`s words had moved her. She kisses him and releases him from captivity.
    We`re at page 41 and only now does Tri`tillya spend any one-on-one time with Garrovick...
    So, Tri`tillya sees Garrovick at this ``grand jury`` and demonstrates an attraction towards him because of the words he spoke. That is about as deep and long-lasting as a dance club one-night stand...

    They make their way back to the now deserted large hall. They witness many amphibian warriors swimming up to the surface. Tri’tillya summons a great aquatic beast to provide transportation back to the surface.
    Apart from the fact that a realistic-looking aquatic beast would probably bust the episode`s budget (please, not another Tremblor from SAVAGE EMPIRE!!), why not just have Garrovick grabbing onto Tri`tillya as SHE swims up to the surface?!? She IS an amphibian...

    Finally out of the water, Garrovick and Tri’tillya ascend to the upper deck of the mining installation. They cross paths with Jenkins the miner, who pleads prior ignorance of the amphibians’ existence, but admits the workers used unsafe methods to harvest the much-needed Scurvium. Jenkins breaks away, and Garrovick pursues him only to come across a group of agitated workers who panic at the sight of the female amphibian.
    They run to escape but are soon surrounded. Garrovick pulls out his phaser weapon and points it threateningly at them. Suddenly one of the miners manages to injure the female, distracting the Captain long enough for them to mob him. He fires his phaser and they scatter.
    I guess by having Garrovick displaying an uncharacteristically bloodthirsty act of violence was just to prove how deep was his rage while his ``true love`` fell. Never mind that he uses a phaser to cook other Federation citizens...

    After all is over, Tri`tillya has lost her father and now rules her people. She remains on ATLANTIS VI and bids John Garrovick farewell.
    And that`s about it for Tri`tillya in this series. We never really find out anything about her, and then she`s gone.

    However, those of you who remember the very beginning of my little series, I brought up the question: ``just what IS this episode about`?
    Now that we approach the end, I would say it should be: ``How John Garrovick is really a very lonely and wounded soul``...
    Garrovick should be summoned on a mission to ATLANTIS VI, hoping to prevent an interplanetary war, but instead he meets a female that he saves from (to be determined...). Surprisingly she reciprocates a few times and manages to break through Garrovick`s thick emotional wall. Then just as he is close to saving the day...

    She should tragically die...
     
  13. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Frankly, I still have problems with there being a romantic subtext between Garrovick and Tri'tillya at all, for the simple fact that he's a mammal and she's an amphibian. Logically, she'd be more attracted to a Gorn than a human. And since she's only in half of the episode anyway, it'd probably be a whole lot easier on all concerned to just drop that angle entirely.
     
  14. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    A romantic interest for a brooding, somewhat sullen character like Garrovick somehow rings false. Certainly feelings of earned, mutual respect strikes me as much more believable.
     
  15. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Well, it was always the intention to evoke the style and the kinds of stories that TOS was known for. That an episode would feature the captain in a romance-of-the-week was right in that zone.

    Sullen, brooding guys get chicks too - at least in the movies. ;)
     
  16. Bixby

    Bixby Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    I`m glad not to be the only person who views Garrovick in that manner. There have been two STARSHIP EXETER episodes up to now and I`ll be damned if I can remember ONE scene where we see Jimm Johnson smiling.
    Contrast that with the first few minutes of `WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE`, where Kirk is grinning all over the place as he beats his first officer at 3-D chess, and gloats. Quite a difference in leading men.

    As for The Atlantis Invaders, I didn`t elaborate what i was planning, but I hadn't intended to show Garrovick and Tri`tillya holding hands and pledging `forever love`by the third act.
    Garrovick is the kind of character you just want to f*** with, like an unfunny Spider-man.
    I would have had the both of them involved in dangerous situations throughout the episode, where little by little Garrovick finally starts to notice the woman by his side. First
    impatience (as he is with all the females), then confusion, then respect, then caring.

    and just when his heart finally opens up a little bit. BAM!! you take her away from him by having her die unexpectedly. making him retreat back behind his wall...
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    Killing the love interest is right out of the BONANZA playbook. It's a tired trope. I toyed with it and dropped it. The Captain can have a little romantic connection without it necessarily leading anywhere. I approached it as two mature people finding themselves attracted. There wasn't even a kiss until the end, when it was essentially, "farewell".
     
  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
  19. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    By Grabthar's hammer!
     
  20. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Germany
    Judging by the color of his face the captain's mess should replace the chef. ;)