Duplicate Earth from the episode "Miri"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by SteveTack, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    And even that wouldn't have mattered if "Shore Leave", "The Return of the Archons", "This Side of Paradise" etc. would then all have featured planets identical to Earth as well, again without much comment, and with just these odd little variations on who lives on the planet and how.

    And then, sometime during the second season, our heroes would have gotten their first hints about plot element X that's actually related to how these duplicate Earths came to be. I don't mean serialization of TOS, I just mean a single standalone episode where the plot revolves around the mystery of the duplicate Earth being a duplicate Earth. The issue wouldn't really be solved there, either, and it'd be back to status quo - until a sequel in season three would finally sort it out. Or then not.

    Then we'd suspend our disbelief and hang it in the closet, right next to our disbelief about Spock, transporters and warp drive.

    The damning thing about "Miri" is that it's unique, yet dares not confess to it. That's not how weirdness should be treated in Star Trek.

    Timo Saloniemi
  2. Cubic Centimeter

    Cubic Centimeter Admiral Admiral

    Feb 12, 2011
    Taking up space
    I always read the duplicate Earth in Miri as a ham-fisted way of driving home the point that the disease could happen here, if we tinker with microbiology to try to achieve immortality. So, don't go searching for the Fountain of Youth, yo.
  3. Kalontas

    Kalontas Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Jan 19, 2012
    Exactly my point. It's how it completely fails to use the plot point of duplicate Earth.
  4. Robert D. Robot

    Robert D. Robot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 20, 2009
    Pre-Warp Civilization of Alaska
    That would have been pretty cool! And it would not have mattered to me if it was ever solved: Having such a big mystery just laying unanswered out there could have been an interesting bit of background! Like who built the Dyson Sphere in TNG....
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  5. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

    Aug 10, 2004
    Earth's surface
    That's what I think. I wouldn't have said "hamfisted", but it was perhaps unnecessary. They seem to have been trying to make a point about the possibility that we could create some lethal biological agent and release it by accident. The fact that it was exactly like Earth drives home that "there but for the grace of God go us". There are so many other stories where we're asked to identify with the other planet's plight and wonder if we might end up doing the same thing to ourselves, though, and this shouldn't have been a special case, where they needed to create that extra added impact.

    For me, this is probably the best season of television ever made, so let's not get too cynical here. While ST was sold with the idea that money could be saved through the parallel worlds idea, they were also determined to be responsible SF storytellers, by working the cost-cutting measures into the plots creatively and intelligently. I think the 20th century Earth clothing and sets help create a sort of strange surreal mood, since we know that's not where we are. Though the "parallel worlds" theory hasn't been referred to onscreen yet, it's a fascinating and valid SF concept. In an infinite universe, couldn't exactly identical conditions arise in the formation of two or more solar systems, leading to every subsequent development also being identical? I'm not saying it holds water, but not all good SF ideas do...

    They do talk about this with the Romans episode and Omega Glory, I think, and this has to be the same thing.

    Spock was making a vague guess about 1960. I doubt there's any real difference in his mind between 1940 and 1980, say... Do we know the difference between the 1720s and the 1740s?

    I also think a remark atthe end about the duplicate Earth mystery would have been great... it would not only have helped this episode, but would have created anticipation for future discoveries or revelations about duplicate Earths, much like at the end of Naked Time we had the possibility of time travel dropped in our laps at the end...

    I do think the appearance of 1960s sets and clothing (or the same from other Earth periods) absolutely does require justification. These days, supposed SF showsare being made where they stick aliens who haven't even heard of Earth, maybe, into present-day Earth clothes. That's insane.
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Spock was specifically disputing Kirk's suggestion that it's the "early 1900s". So, contrary to all the visual evidence, he seems to be quite deliberately ruling against 1940!

    It's not as if Spock getting it wrong would be implausible. It's rather that Spock having the audacity to pretend he might be right is implausible...

    Timo Saloniemi
  7. Terran_Empire

    Terran_Empire Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 3, 2012
    At the heart of the empire.
    This episode has always bothered me for this reason, no explanation and after the initial surprise of finding a planet identical to Earth, even the characters do not seem to take the duplicate planet as any sort or shock or surprise and they fixate on the virus and the kids instead.

    This kind of "selective surprise factor" also occurs in a later episode "Shore Leave". After finding Sulu firing the revolver, Kirk plainly asks where he got it and then confiscates the pistol, never asking why the devil is an ancient Earth weapon doing on this distant, lonely planet(this is the first physical anomaly Kirks encounters in the episode I believe, so at this point this should really weird him out, yet he shows little interest in the origins or the gun).