Why was Vena disfigured in The Cage?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Solarbaby, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Solarbaby

    Solarbaby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why didn't the Tolosians just scan Vena's memories? They'd know what a human looked like from them before rebuilding her body.
    In fact it's obvious; just make one side look the same as the other. Even if she was unconscious and in a coma I'm certain the Talosians could still read thoughts and memories.
     
  2. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Vina wasn't a doctor. Even if they knew what they were working towards, (and, hey, they wouldn't have needed to read her mind to get that much- the Talosians weren't that different on the outside) they'd have no idea what went where on the inside.

    It's like if I gave you a disassembled car and no instructions. Even if I included a photo of the completed car with it's hood up, you'd still be hard-pressed to get everything right.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    She stated that she was little more than a 'lump of flesh' when they found her. Even if they knew everything about human anatomy they had little in the way of supplies with which to work. The Talosians did the best they could under the circumstances.
     
  4. Solarbaby

    Solarbaby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well i find it hard to believe they could patch her up enough internally to live but not have a clue about the outside. In fact she didn't appear THAT bad compared to some real life disaster survivors. They had the technology to help her live, so why not the technology to mend her on the outside whilst scanning her mind? I'm not expecting Nip/Tuck miracles. But the whole "they had never seen a human before" as the explanation falls a bit flat when the Talosians were telepthaic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  5. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    Pike: "Vina? Vina, can it really be you?"
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But where do you come up with the skin graphs? I doubt the Talosians would be compatible donors.
     
  7. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think it's so much the "never saw a human before". The thing with the Talosians was that they got so lost in their own illusions they lost the skills and capabilities of their own ancestors. As Vina said, they couldn't even repair the technology from their ancestors.

    So I'd think the Talosians lost a lot of "hands-on" technical capabilities, including medical reconstruction techniques.

    I think even if they knew exactly what a human should look like, they no longer had the medical skills to rebuild Vina.
     
  8. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a weak spot in the episode. The Talosians are humanoid. Certainly they could have assembled her body in a proper way reflective of their own bodies. The only real external difference noted was the head size... maybe internal organs might have been different, but in the final outcome she'd at least have an unfettered physical body. The excuse should have been that they'd lost most of their medical technology (akin to what they said about repairing machines) and there wasn't much they could do for her, rather than relying upon the "never having seen a human before" excuse to explain their blunder in healing her.
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It accrues to me that Vina might not have been all Vina. Bones, organs and skin might have come from the bodies of the SS Columbia's many fatalities.

    The reason she was so "bent" was because Vina possessed a composite skeleton of multiple people.

    :borg:
     
  10. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We don't know for sure that the Talosians are humanoid either, despite appearances. Just because the captured Talosian reverted to a 'little old lady' form doesn't mean that they really look like that. It could be reflexive defence mechanism to take on a form that appears reasonably helpless-looking to a particular aggressor who has overcome their fear of an aggressive illusion. Having said that, they must have limbs since they seem to carry and supply real food to their captives.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I never understood this argument...

    You and I know what a human looks like. Doesn't mean either of us could rebuild one.

    There are medical experts today who know a lot more, of course. Doesn't mean any of them could rebuild Vina, either. Or that those skilled in the human anatomy could rescue a dying dolphin or buzzard.

    That's complete bullshit. If you sawed me in half and then glued a mirror image of my left side to my right side, I'd not be capable of living for one heartbeat. I'm complex and asymmetric inside.

    And how would that help? Or do you think there are assembly instructions hidden in everybody's dreams? Whatever Vina knew of anatomy would probably be more hindrance than help in reassembling her.

    The odds that they'd get the exterior right if the interior was a mess are close to zero. You don't heal a humpback by taking her to a press that bends her straight and a lathe that removes the extra bits. It's her spine that is all wrong, and if you don't know how to repair that, you can't do anything about the hump, either.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Solarbaby

    Solarbaby Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with what's been said already that the Talosians didn't have the resources and knowledge to fix a human body. But from the exterior it's pretty obvious the human body is symmetrical. Not perfectly - it would be be ludicrous of me to suggest that. I don't have a problem with how Vina looked. Just that the excuse -they'd never seen a human before- was silly when they only needed a glimpse into Vena's memories to know what human's looked like.
    I'm not suggesting they probed her mind to find Grey's Anatomy, just simply to know what a human looked like on the outside. Possibly even after repairing her internal organs they were not able to correct her skeletal allignment. But another explanation would have been more believable.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Except your torso isn't in the least symmetrical, certainly not your internal organs
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ^^That's the assumption I never can agree with: that the disfigured external appearance of Vina would be due to the Talosians not knowing what her external appearance ought to be like.

    The appearance was not for the Talosians to decide. The appearance would be the result of patching Vina up into a living being again, and if they didn't know what went where inside a human, they'd end up with a disfigured exterior. They couldn't do a symmetric exterior if the insides were all wrong - that's what twisted spines and humps in the real world are all about.

    Although I have also wondered if Vina really was that disfigured. After all, she already freely admitted that her earlier appearances had been illusions. What if the humpback form was an illusion as well, created to evoke Pike's sympathy? The "real" Vina might have had a fairly decent body, one capable of still bearing children for Pike.

    Or then the real Vina was long dead, and the Talosians didn't actually need a breeding pair; they needed Pike and Pike only, and their time-consuming games with him were not aimed at making him docile enough for breeding with Vina, they were solely aimed at making him docile enough for serving the Talosian society. Perhaps he was being groomed for acting as better bait for future attempts at capturing slaves or technologies? When they realized what a threat a captive human really was to their well-being and their very lives, they gave up - and to hasten the threatening ex-captive's departure, they created the illusion of a Vina who couldn't leave and (if they didn't yet quite understand Pike, or understood him better than we did) wouldn't be attractive enough to be taken anyway.

    Certainly the Talosians seemed to be giving up very little when dropping the human hot potato. Nothing would prevent them from capturing further specimen from other species, as apparently none of the previous captures had led to a universal warning about Talos; no avianoid or simianoid warning buoys had told Pike off, after all, so odds are that human warning buoys wouldn't be effective, either.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    It's something Timo alluded to just now, but if Vina was as bent and twisted as the episode seems at first to say, how on earth is she capable of reproduction? I suppose she does say "everything works" but still...
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    As regards birthing, the typical human woman is already "bent and twisted" in a way that suggests that the Creator was a sadistic old man... Or that the Evolutor didn't pay much attention to what she was doing when human cranium size grew and we started walking erect.

    I guess the Talosians could cut out whatever baby Pike and Vina managed to give life to, negating some of the most strenous aspects of child-bearing. But they're still off the deep end if they think they can breed a whole race of slaves using one elderly and badly hurt woman as the starting point!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Any way you slice it an dice it, Vina's statements are problematical. It would have been better to have had her simply say she was disfigured from the crash, and leave it at that.

    But the line about "never having seen a human being" refering to the Talosians, is left over from an older draft of the script, where the Talosians were described as giant crab-like creatures. For this reason I choose to assume that their humanoid apearance was also one of their illusions.

    In this regard it might be helpful to look at the Talosians doorways as a clue? The set designers were obviously inspired by the Krell doors from "Forbidden Planet", thus the words of Dr. Morbius come to mind "I suggest you compare them with our functionaly designed human doorways".

    As for whether or not Vina could even have children? I always assumed the Talosians would use cloneing technology, they just needed Pike for genetic diversity?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  18. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It could be considered a weak spot, if one assumes they could read her mind after the crash, and before whatever medical procedures they performed - BUT, I would think Vina would be comatose with those level of injuries; and it may be in that state, the Talosians COULDN'T access her mind or memories. (Hell, they couldn't read through strong emotions either.)
     
  19. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^Good point!
     
  20. Capt_Pickirk

    Capt_Pickirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^ Plus if she was in agonising pain, they probably wouldn't be able to read through that either