Which episode most breaks your suspension of disbelief?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by skylark14, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think saying that their organization is made up of multiple alien species instead of just being a Human Empire, or that Spock is not the only alien in Starfleet qualify as "Minor details".
     
  2. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    But that is pretty much established throughout Star Trek. The show didn't have to broadcast that fact to let you know that there were aliens enlisted in Starfleet. Knowing that there was a United Federation of Planets and that Starfleet was it's active military branch should have been enough clues to let you figure out that " Hey, maybe Spock isn't the only alien in Starfleet ".

    Also, you have to take into consideration that it cost 600 bucks to just get Spock's ears right. Imagine how much it would cost in make up and prosthetics alone to create all these aliens to only serve as extras on the show? A lot of Star Trek was just based on using your own judgment to figure out the universe it took place in.
     
  3. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But when shows like Enterprise showed that T'Pol was an official member of Starfleet there were fan uproars about how "Spock was the first!". If it wasn't blatantly clear that he WASN'T the only alien in Starfleet, that wouldn't have happened.

    It wouldn't have hurt for, say, a Klingon to mention that the Federation military "contains numerous aliens" or something.

    The Romulan Commander in "Enterprise Incident" seemed to hold him in high regard, and T'Pring said that the Vulcans considered him a legend. These all seem to imply that he's an oddity in Starfleet.
     
  4. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    It is not stated that Spock is the first. Maybe he's the first "half human/half Vulcan" in Starfleet. That would then make sense. And the show did make it clear with The Immunity Syndrome - A ship of 400 Vulcans died that were under the command of Starfleet... and maybe if Spock happens to be the first Vulcan and that crew on the Intrepid had joined after his enlistment, T'Pol's service was not the same Starfleet as the one currently existing today. I'm not familiar with Enterprise, I didn't really watch it, but I am certain that Starfleet in that show was not the Starfleet established in TOS.

    Spock contains notoriety because of his blood. Son of an Ambassador, a genius in his own right, successful in his career with Starfleet and also the first hybrid between a Human woman and a Vulcan male. The whole mysticism behind Spock was not that he was Vulcan but because he was a hybrid.
     
  5. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree wholeheartedly; it's preposterously dumb. Imposing an information blackout on a civilization of billions, who exist in a free society, for, what, a century?--it's just ludicrous.

    Even if they did withhold it, it shouldn't take much more than the few hundred thousand scientists who'd be obsessed with the subject to figure it out. Observe their comings and goings, check out the birth statistics, all that stuff. Dissect a Vulcan corpse. Talk to the Orions who sell them as slaves. Talk to the Andorians who've fought wars with them and held them prisoner. Hell, once you meet them, go out on a limb and ask a Romulan.

    By hook or crook, someone would've figured that out a long time before they came out of the pon farr closet. And if they refuse to tell you how they fuck, doesn't that just make a human more curious? Would you associate politically with a race of obscurantist alien jerks who refused to share their biological data with you? I wouldn't. What else might they be hiding?
     
  6. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It occurs to me that Spock may be exaggerating the secrecy surrounding pon farr.

    <fanwank>

    To Vulcans, it t is generally taboo (but not absolutely forbidden) to discuss it. It is not generally known to non-Vulcans, but the information is out there for those who care to research it.

    When Spock undergoes pon farr it messes with his mind and he feels extreme shame. He can’t bear for anyone to know. He deletes the information from the ship computer and refuses to discuss it.

    The information is not in the computer, M’Benga is not on the ship yet, and Spock won’t talk, so McCoy is unable to diagnose. When he discovers that Spock’s life is in imminent danger he may consider arranging a medical consultation by subspace with a Vulcan doctor, but that becomes unnecessary when Kirk is able to elicit an explanation from Spock.

    </fanwank>
     
  7. AJBryant

    AJBryant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Two words:

    Worf's. Forehead.
     
  8. Merky

    Merky Captain Captain

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    Good answer :techman:
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The first Human/Vulcan hybrid was Elizabeth, the child of T'Pol and Tucker. Although she didn't live long.
     
  10. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I mean, that helps, but why is McCoy so ignorant? Why do even Kirk and everyone else come off as clueless? I mean, I know the general mechanics and social norms under which my friends' sexual activities operate. If I didn't feel comfortable asking him, I'd google it.

    Certainly there's gigabytes of data in the medical library about human glands and gonads; their mission is to seek out new life, and, well, there it sits, and has been sitting for years; why would the Vulcan section be a stub, requesting that you please help by expanding it?
     
  11. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly, McCoy is a doctor for an organization that is comprised of multiple alien lifeforms. Pon Farr should've been something Starfleet Medical was aware of.
     
  12. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For Spock to be held in high regard and considered a legend doesn't necessarily make him an oddity; he could simply be well-known for his high achievements as a Starfleet science officer, much as Kirk is renowned and respected for his accomplishments as a starship captain.

    On the topic of Spock's mixed parentage, TMOST says:
    It says nothing about Spock being the first human-Vulcan hybrid.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    You know, I think that McCoy's ignorance of pon farr, and Kirk's ignorance of Sarek being Spock's father, and so on, were tropes used either to underscore the fact that a new critical detail was being introduced to the story, or to reinforce dramatic surprise. In each of these cases, the character in question who is ignorant defines, by their actions, what the viewer is supposed think or feel.

    The fact that some continuity issue of the universe might be strained was subordinated to the perceived dramatic effectiveness of what was then a trope, but which is now considered a cliché.

    Furthermore, the trope may have been thought to help the average viewer understand what was going on, as the average viewer just tuning in had not a clue what was happening on many levels. From this point of view, the trope may have actually assisted in the suspension of disbelief, at least for the average viewer.
     
  14. DakotaSmith

    DakotaSmith Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For me, it's hands down two episodes:

    "The Alternative Factor" and "Tomorrow Is Yesterday."

    In both cases, nothing that happens makes any sense at all. I think the premise of both is good (an insane alternate universe version of oneself and time-travel, respectively), but they way they were handled is idiotic.

    In "The Alternative Factor," it's never made clear why having these two guys running around in the same universe is particularly threatening. For that matter, it's never made clear why having them exchange places is as massively disruptive as it seems to be. It's entirely a plot contrivance to increase the jeopardy and makes no sense at all.

    It would have been better to have simply made Alternate Lazarus insane, bent on his double's destruction based on some nihilistic notion that he couldn't live with multiple versions of himself existing. That would have made for an interesting character-driven story. On the one hand, you'd've had sane Lazarus working to stop this guy from killing him and sounding perfectly sane, and on the other, Alternate Lazarus would be a nihilist who didn't care about anything. If there's a duplicate of him out there, why does anything he does matter?

    As a plot twist, we might discover that Alternate Lazarus is actually from our universe, and the sane one is from the alternate universe. Get rid of them both in the end by having Alternate Lazarus die and sane Lazarus going back to the alternate universe.

    With "Tomorrow Is Yesterday," the time-travel is just ... well, dumb. It's decent up until they have to return Captain Christopher and the Airman, and then it all goes to hell. The plot needed both of them to forget, so they do.

    It would have worked better to beam them both back moments after they left: the Airman winding up in an empty room and Captain Christopher beamed down some 20 miles from the wreckage of his fighter in western Nebraska. Both decide to keep their mouths shut simply because the base psychiatrists would think they'd gone Section 8.

    The other episode that jars me every time I see it is "The Way To Eden." Not only is it dumb as hell, but it comes off like watching an episode of Dragnet from the same period. Non-counter-culture types are trying to tell a "hippie story" and it just feels pathetic and embarrassing.
     
  15. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, it's like if Dr. Zoidberg showed up. "It's been years since medical school, so remind me. Disemboweling in your species, fatal or non-fatal?"

    I think this is a good explanation, and very likely to be the underlying reason, but the attentive viewer is sidelined with plot holes. A better story would satisfy both. (Not even to say the episode is bad. It's probably a prime example of excellent acting, dialogue, direction and cinematography overcoming a plot with more holes in it than the Louisiana road network.)
     
  16. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk and McCoy have no idea Spock’s problem has anything to do with mating until Spock tells Kirk about pon farr. They have better things to do with their time than Google for info about Spock’s sex life, so this information is new to them. If they had looked up the Wiki on Vulcan sex, they might have found something convincing but omitting or inaccurately describing pon farr, and that might have been on the Enterprise’s local copy alone.
     
  17. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    This goes to mainly TOS: Security guards are posted outside the quarters of a "guest" who was making trouble.

    So where do the guards stand? Right in front of the door with their backs to it, thus making is so much easier to be taken by surprise when the "guest" decides it's time for a rampage. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    You probably write a book about what McCoy doesnt know about Vulcans.;)

    One thing about TOS is that much of it "continuity" was created on the fly. When something didn't work ( UESPA for example) it was tossed aside and ignored. If you watch TOS randomly in can look inconsistent. But usally when they make a change it stuck.
     
  19. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    Usually.. Unfortunately this thread has taken a turn from things that actually suspend disbelief to what X doesn't like about episode Y....again!!:rolleyes:
     
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I'm pretty easy, if the story is working for me, I'm more than willing to suspend disbelief. It probably helps that I first encountered TOS as a child. So brainless Spock, an extraterrestrial US Constitution and other absurdities were cool.