Hey, I never noticed that before....

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maurice's formatting got the better of him, I think.

    No, no explicit mention of pheromones, but back then pheromones were not so well understood as they are today, so not mentioning them is not an explicit "That's Not What's Going On". Mudd described the Venus drug as giving the taker 'more of what they already have'. It's known today that whether we realize it or not, we humans give off pheromones, and react to them. Maybe it is a retcon to acknowledge their role, but it seems acceptable to me to do so.

    Eve, probably without ever thinking it was possible to do, figured out how to get her body to respond as if the drug were present, even when it wasn't. Instead of becoming dependent on it, she got her own body to do the same thing for itself, which is the central idea of inoculation. That makes Eve a one of a kind, I think.

    It was the drug itself that made McCoy's scanner go 'Bleep', not its effect. That's my headcanon.

    From what little we learned of Childress, he may well have gotten the wife he deserved, too. After all, he's the one that went after her when she ran off. He'd just been alone for so long he was unwilling to admit how much he appreciated her being there until he saw that she wanted him regardless. The other women were shallow, but so were the other men. Eve and Childress were a couple I could see going the distance relationshipwise.
     
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  2. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Our bodies can be conditioned to react under certain prompts just like Pavlov's dogs' bodies reacted after the bell. The whole basis of the placebo effect is that the mind and body nonconsciously react to the stimulus of pill-shaped thing. Or in my case, over the counter nasal spray when I have to stop using. So merely putting the bottle in nose or spraying an empty bottle can trigger a similar - though alas, smaller - effect as really spraying the stuff. But it helps get me through the night. Oxygen is nice.

    Were the venus drugs ever real, than he ran out? I can't remember and can't watch this one: the sexism and then the dullness.

    EDIT Looked it up on MA. So venus drugs are effective. Hence why illegal. Eve gets jello cubes instead and is still transformed. Kirk chalks it up to self confidence, but she wasn't confident in herself. I'd say it is a classic case of classical conditioning. Her body produced the effects as it had been trained to: (real) thing that looks like venus drug triggers effects; later the thing that merely looks the part triggers same effects. I had forgotten this whole angle. I'll show this ep to my psych class in 2020. NOT
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  3. Maurice

    Maurice Maurice, the ATARI CX5200 Premium Member

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    Can you cite a properly peer reviewed study? The last time I looked into this there was no consensus that human pheromones were really a thing at all.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps. Then again, it's designed to detect an awfully broad spectrum of things. No doubt it could hit on something it was never designed to recognize, but then fail to deliver a diagnosis - the way radioactivity was spotted by observing blinks of light.

    I wonder if McCoy ever scanned Mudd? Then we'd know whether it's the Venus drug cubes that give off the "ping!", or the users and their reactions to the drug. I mean, if McCoy was less than dog tired, he'd scan Mudd all right. But for some reason the heroes seem to be having an off week overall. Perhaps they are recovering from a previous demanding adventure, or a series thereof, which is also why they are all out of spare crystals?

    And I agree it could work: in Trek, the human body and mind are capable of all sorts of weird stuff that can be triggered by suitable input. Who knows what sort of midichlorians lurk within us, to allow for telepathy or telekinesis or inducing lust wherever you go?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Was gonna chime in also re pheremones -- that is very much not-agreed-on in the sciences yet. Was just googling studies and found some that found no effect of "purported" pheremones and recommended they not be called such anymore.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Maurice, the ATARI CX5200 Premium Member

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    Not exactly a MacGuffin. More a plot device. The only ones who want the drug are the titular Women, and only when the previous doses' effects wear off. So not really a classic MacGuffin, like the Maltese Falcon or Rosebud, which are the things which motivate the characters even though the object itself is ultimately unimportant.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The MacGuffins in "Mudd's Women" are the "lithium crystals" (as they are called in the episode).
     
  8. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Early days for the shows and errors considered now weren't back then...
    JB
     
  9. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not even going to address how I feel about your wording.:vulcan:

    As far as the science is concerned;

    Are pheromones real? Yes, unquestionably. Many animals produce them, and respond to them in kind.
    Do humans produce pheromones, whatever they may be called now or in the future? Yes, though the human olfactory sensitivity has diminished to a point their efficacy is debatable.
    Do humans respond to them? Due to the diminishment of human olfactory sensitivity, not so much. In the heat of passion, with the attendant close quarters interaction, maybe.
    Could humans respond to pheromones if either they were powerful enough, or human olfactory sensitivity were enhanced? Probably, but unproven.
    As such, the scientific community is now going through a period of rethinking, testing new hypotheses, and drawing new conclusions. The only real answer is that we are evolving, and may be evolving away from a model where pheromones are an integral part of how we interact with our world. It remains to be seen if this turns out to be to our benefit. It may not.
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Maurice, the ATARI CX5200 Premium Member

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    In short, no. No proof. So the idea does not pass Go.
     
  11. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    IIRC the research I was reading on the effects, or rather lack of effects, was leading to the idea that if a chemical doesn't actually affect other individuals it is not really a pheremone.

    Maybe they once did communicate and do not "work" now. But I think that is conjecture, though possibly accurate.

    Over and out, on this topic. Be well.
     
  12. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    In TOS you're expected to get things without their necessarily having been explained down to the last detail. The fact that the crew is acting overwhelmed by 3 not that overwhelming women means that some force is acting upon them. McCoy even remarks that objectively they shouldn't be reacting that way. Don't wait for some total exposition like "Oh our tests determined that men were being altered chemically because of such and such a chemical..." and then assume the crew went wacko and out of character because of bad writing. Pick up on what they're telling you. Trust Trek. It's a smart show.
    ---------------------
    However, the fact that the drug wasn't needed later on undercuts that. I like plynch's explanation.
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    I've always guessed that the episode was written by someone who didn't get that this was a "coed" crew, with plenty of beautiful women in short skirts working side by side with the men. The male crew acts like some submarine crew who hasn't been to a port in months.... Yes it's apparently the drug, but even so...
     
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  13. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    I actually think they were supposed to look overwhelming as cast. I have always found only Eve to be attractive, though, but that's just me.
     
  14. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I'm a girl so I'm not the best judge but I thought the girls looked attractive (not more than any in the crew) but acted skanky. I just can't see say McCoy being attracted to them.

    If its just about looks then there's Rand, Uhura and practically any Yeoman. Maybe Mudd's women sultry poses and availability attracted the men.
     
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  15. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    It wasn't just about the looks. The drug did do something that had an effect on the males that were looking at the females who took the drug.

    When McCoy says they're beautiful, Kirk does say something to the effect of: but are they really more beautiful then any other woman you've known?

    So within the story however the drug accomplished it, The drug did have an effect on males who were in contact and looking at the females who took it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  16. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When you're working day in and day out with someone who doesn't have much occasion to dress in glamorous civvies, new, lovely faces who don't have prior workplace association with you hold more interest than those of your co-workers.

    I wonder what would happen if Mudd took the drug (by accident?) Would've been interesting to see a female crewmember fawn over him inexplicably. What would he have looked like as a result?
     
  17. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Nice plot twist! Not too likely in 1966. But that'd be interesting.

    And yeah, from the gowns, the camera angles, the music, I think it was implied that the overall effect was, well, affecting . . . we later find out b/c drugs. Facially, bodily, I'd agree that objectively they aren't quantum-ly more attractive than the regulars or other guest stars, who (as females who got acting parts on TV) were also very objectively attractive.

    A woman's playing up her availabliity/interest can make her more attractive to males, so yeah, new women in ball gowns, quite made up, and swaying down the corridors would up their attractiveness to a lot of males. But not so much that trained Starfleet officers would act like 14-year-olds. It's clearly implied there's more to these young women than meets the eye, and of course, there is. I wish I didn't hate the execution if this ep so much, the more I write and listen, the better the concept sounds. To when Eve and Childress aregue and a woman's worth beyond looks is discussed or argued about. (Even though he still wants a servant, not fully-human companion, iirc.)

    In my state we just had a state Senator giving a tour to a group of boys from an all-boy school presently mired in a hazing/sex harassment scandal. To a female reporter he said "they could have a lot of fun with you later," and they all laughed. I just can't believe how much asshole people can still be. At least it's getting national press. He had aspirations to the governorship, which I hope are sunk. OH, and he was chair of Judiciary Committee which herad bills about domestic assault and human trafficking.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Mudd's other potion, from TAS, worked just fine, too. Made Chris Chapel fall head over heels for him.

    But that one wasn't called the Venus drug. Sorta sexist, that name, in the informative sense. Perhaps there's a separate line of products labeled Mars?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Mars bar?

    Has "nuts," so kinda makes sense
     
  20. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mars bars don't have nuts
    Snickers have nuts
    But "snickers" is also just one letter away from a certain ladies' undergarment, so maybe best not use that either :biggrin: