Healing Vina

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Falconer, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Falconer

    Falconer Commander Red Shirt

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    Do you think Federation medicine would have been able to do anything for Vina? It seems in “The Cage” it is taken for granted that it could not; but do you think as the series later develops, it is pretty easy to imagine that TOS-era medical science might have been able to do something for her?
     
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  2. Methuselah Flint

    Methuselah Flint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Possibly. It's something I have thought about. The episode implies, however, that only illusion can have any benefit for the extent of Vina's injuries.
     
  3. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    That's not really how it was portrayed. The ship crashed on Talos IV, and the Talosians found Vina alive but severely injured. It was stated that the Talosians couldn't even repair the technology left behind by their ancestors; so they were probably unable to access any computer records on human anatomy; and as for their telepathic powers; Vina was probably so gravely injured they couldn't access her mind to get any information about human physiology or even how she looked in the past.

    So they put her back together and everything worked but as they didn't have any information to guide them as to how human physiology actually worked; after healing she was left in the condition that she was.

    Had the Federation made it to the crash site within hours, she probably could have been fully restored to her pre-crash condition; but as she was discovered by aliens with no knowledge of human anatomy or physiology, and no way to obtain that information; they did what they could, and she ended up how she appeared in the episode.
     
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  4. Falconer

    Falconer Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, I know, I mean that at the end of the episode she didn’t even contemplate the idea of returning to the Federation with the Enterprise — and Pike agreed with her reasoning. There was no thought given to the idea that the Federation could again “take her apart and put her back together again” the right way.
     
  5. dinnae ken

    dinnae ken Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Talosian illusions might've provided psychological relief as well. After a traumatic accident and a disturbing recovery, she might've become reliant on that form of mental soothing. It has some parallels with plastic surgery addiction: people who undergo dozens of cosmetic surgeries to (re)capture their illusory youth. But Vina isn't necessarily vain, as she reminds me also of those whose self-worth and self-esteem were restored by skilled plastic surgeons after life-altering mishaps, like victims of animal maiming or severe burns.

    I'm not sure Federation medical ethics would've allowed docs to keep her forever young. So in that sense, no, Federation medicine wouldn't have healed Vina like she would've wanted/needed.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Alternately, Vina might have died in the crash, or never existed to begin with. She is whatever Pike needs to see, at all times - including the time Pike needs to see a gravely injured individual who's happier on Talos than anywhere else. Her ultimate appearance thus is likely to be as unreal as all the ones before that.

    Did an SS Columbia ever exist? The original radio signal that Pike's ship flies through might have been real, sent by the Talosians to lure victims closer. But the second one, mentioning survivors, must have been an illusion - it was a FTL response to Pike's actions, that is, to his inaction. So the first one might have been an illusion, too, meaning that when a Columbia is heard sending an SOS, the records of the Enterprise suddenly will appear to include a Columbia, too.

    But yes, assuming Vina did exist, then dragging her away from Talos probably would have been against what remained of her will, even assuming she was perfectly healthy and in no way disfigured. Talos simply was a better life than anything she could hope for elsewhere.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. dinnae ken

    dinnae ken Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Those are two beautifully poignant interpretations. She did respond to Piking questioning her authenticity: "Perhaps ... they've made me out of dreams you've forgotten?"

    That's another possibility to Pike's dreams and projections. Pike is clearly not a shallow man, being still in love with Vina even after seeing her "hideous" form – a revelation that made Burnham gasp and recoil. Pike's dream girl is someone who's overcome tremendous adversities, but whether the real Vina was ever that, we may find out one day ... in one of the Strange New Worlds.
     
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  8. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Captain Captain

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    Somewhat of a non-sequitur, but definitely related:

    Susan Oliver was a very good actress and a very interesting person beyond her acting. My only complaint with her was that she seemed to have a go-to characterization which relied on her projecting great melancholy, but damn, she was so good at that. Look at Vina compared to her turn in The Twilight Zone and her appearances in Route 66, just off the top of my head. If you want to watch an interesting documentary about her check out Green Girl.
     
  9. Search4

    Search4 Captain Captain

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    Or she is alive, completely hooked up to machines for survival, and was never “in person”. Other than she can presumably reproduce (or be inseminated) anything else could be an illusion.
     
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  10. Takeru

    Takeru Takeru - Space Police Premium Member

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    Assuming the Vina at the end was the actual real Vina without any illusion augmentation all she had was a hump and a few scars, 23rd century medicine should be able to fix that easily.

    I kinda want to see the scene of the Talosians putting her back together ...

    "Let's see, two legs with feet just like us, two arms, five fingers on each hand, two eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth connected to the respiratory system, oh look, vocal chords ... the brain's a bit on the small side but it's inside the skull just like ours. Okay, this goes here, that goes there. Hey Torben, shouldn't an alien look a bit more different? I bet she has a hump or something, should I give her a hump?"
     
  11. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What's inside the hump? But it's 1964 - how much will they spend to show disfigurement? How much of Vena's guts got splattered like what happens to a raccoon on a road? They just shoved it all in, hence the hump. No wonder she ain't smilin'.
     
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  12. Falconer

    Falconer Commander Red Shirt

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    I’d say they obviously had a huge budget for the pilot.
     
  13. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even then there still has to be allocation prioritization. 1960s visual standards aside, spending more money on a set or special effect after shaving off a nominal amount for glorified make-up by placing a well-positioned volleyball between the scapula... voila: neat little way to sell a base idea while letting the audience vomit over their own imaginations.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Canon Warrior Premium Member

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    Federation medical science could probably make her right. But it would likely be a long and painful process.
     
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  15. Takeru

    Takeru Takeru - Space Police Premium Member

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    Unless Bones has an anti hump patch in the drawer with the new kidney pills.:rommie:
     
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  16. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well they couldn't do anything with Pike except place his withered body in a black box so I'm thinking Vina could have had her own similar contraption too! I mean she was a lot older that she first appeared to the landing party and Talosian science couldn't put her back together properly so she was probably better off on Talos than anywhere else!
    JB
     
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  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Can we mention how problematic it is that "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" basically imply that Vina's injuries render her too deformed and ugly to live in human society anymore?
     
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  18. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Again after years in her current condition, and all her wounds healed; I don't know if Federation medical technology would still have been able to restore her to a more standard human form. remember she had been cut off from Federation society for 18 years; and even admitted to Pike that effectively she had so submitted to the Talosians' mental powers; she stated effectively that they owned her.

    Remember Number one's line of:

    "There was a vena listed as an adult crew member. Now adding 18 years to your age then..."; so yeah she wasn't actually as young as the Talosians made her out to be either.
     
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  19. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Federation medicine, as of 2267, can't heal Pike, so it has limits.
     
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  20. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Which is odd, considering 20th Century technology allowed Stephen Hawking to have a full life despite basically having the same limitations.

    Of course, in reality, this is because real life outpaced Star Trek's vision in this instance.

    In "Return to Tomorrow" they were building android bodies that could hold the entire consciousness of beings from Sargon's planet. Scotty's complaint wasn't about the idea of an android body being able to hold a consciousness. His complaint was about the technology used to build the bodies. Federation technology could apparently build androids but, according to Scotty, those androids would need gears and pulleys.

    In "Spock's Brain" they were able to control Spock's body without a brain. This episode also depicted the successful removal and reintegration of a sentient's brain.

    "What Are Little Girls Made Of" featured the transfer/duplication of consciousness from a human to an android body. "Requiem for Methuselah" featured an android of the same technology level and ability as Lal from TNG's "The Offspring."

    Apparently by the end of TOS the Federation had encountered enough technology to at least give Vina a new life in an android body if not the ability to completely rebuild her physical body. On the other hand, it sounded like Talosian technology could have rebuilt her physical body correctly if they'd only had a guide.

    The whole "they didn't have a guide" line really is silly. By the time Vina graduated high school she should have seen enough depictions of the human body to give the Talosians sufficient memories to pull from to provide enough of a guide that her outer appearance and external structure should have looked normal. Hell, the Talosian structure alone should have been enough to help them understand that her body would have been symmetrical and without humps.
     
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