Hey, I never noticed that before....

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

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wow. If it was flipped in original broadcast then was the Botany label seen as reversed in the broadcast as well? We can see it reads the normal way in the home release.
     
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  2. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I never noticed the ridges on the dog's back before, just the unicorn horn.
     
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  3. Roundabout

    Roundabout Commander Red Shirt

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    Did Spock make a sexist joke?

    Check out the Uhura mind wipe scene in "The Changeling", specifically, the moments right after Uhura was escorted off the bridge. At that moment, Spock engaged in, what seemed to me to be, a bit of sexist banter with, of all people/things, Nomad.

    Here's the dialogue.

    Kirk: What did you do to her?
    Nomad: That unit is defective. Its thinking is chaotic. Absorbing it unsettled me.
    Spock: That unit is a woman.
    Nomad: A maze of conflicting impulses.


    It was a mildly amusing bit of dialogue, I have to admit.

    I don't think that, in-universe, the banter was meant as a joke because Nomad is not the joking type nor is Spock, generally. And Spock said what he said with a straight face, unlike the mischievious grin he displayed when he made the crude joke to Rand at the end of "The Enemy Within".

    I wonder if the writer intended that joke strictly for the viewing audience, i.e. to give the audience a cheap laugh. However, I have no idea if viewers actually laughed or even saw it as a joke.

    When I watched that scene during past viewings, it never occurred to me that it was anything other than routine dialogue.

    I bring it up now because during my recent rewatch, it sounded like a punchline.
     
  4. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Spock didn't make the joke. Nomad made the comment. Spock was the set up guy. The straight man.
     
  5. Roundabout

    Roundabout Commander Red Shirt

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    So, Spock and Nomad are right up there with Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Jay and Silent Bob etc.
     
  6. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Geek Grrl Moderator

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    I never think of that as a joke. More like Spock saying, "That 'unit' is a woman." More a defense of her as an intelligent being.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think Nomad's "conflicting impulses" line was definitely intended as a joke, a sexist, unnecessary joke that falls completely flat. So, yes, Spock was the straight man setting it up. And, yes, declaring her personhood is part of being the straight man.

    It's worth noting that the jokes at Uhura's expense keep coming, right up to "Bluey?" There's quite a bit of good stuff in this episode, but the sexism, also the subtext of cultural annihilation when Chapel is retraining Uhura, those aren't good looks.
     
  8. Rowdy Roddy McDowall

    Rowdy Roddy McDowall Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looks or ''optics'' shouldn't be particularly relevant here. I doubt the original writer had those subtexts in mind when plotting this moment. Chapel, Uhura's friend, is helping and retraining her to regain her lost knowledge. Would it be preferable for Doctor M'Benga to assist instead? Is Chapel now an offensive white-savior?

    I myself thought BY ANY OTHER NAME was a bit heavy-handed with its apparent sexism by reducing all the women into blocks, while sparing all the regular non-Russian white main men, but there, Rojan's excuse was that only those four were essential. So they get to die of old age before the Enterprise reaches Andromeda. Brilliant plan, Rojan.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2023
  9. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Those two lines from The Changeling, along with Spock's line from The Enemy Within, are among the five to seven lines of dialogue in TOS that I just ignore with bothering to try to reconcile.

    Huh? The Kelvans were going to breed with each other. K, S, M, and Scotty were needed to keep them healthy and operate the ship. They reduced the entire remaining complement of the ship to blocks, not just the women.
     
  10. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Did he mean "Earth" Woman or "Non-Vulcan" Woman?
     
  11. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the case of Rojan's plan of having only those 4, there are three things that make me think it is actually sound.

    First, there are only 5 Kelvans taking human form. Even if they kept 10 Enterprise crew unboxed and even with their advanced gadgets, they would still be outnumbered 2 to 1. More Enterprise crew, and the odds are stacked against them even more.

    Second, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty were the very top ranked command officers on the ship. Them dying off first makes it easier to control all the rest of the crew because you just took out their entire main leadership.

    Third, the journey to Andromeda would take at least a few lifetimes, so they have spare crew they can unbox whenever they need. Rojan probably figured one person for each discipline was necessary... engineering, science, medical, and command. (Though I can see Rojan dropping a command officer because the others were more vital.)



    While rewatching "AMOK TIME" last night, I had only just now realized that the globe in that statue in Spock's quarters lights up.
     
  12. Rowdy Roddy McDowall

    Rowdy Roddy McDowall Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But here's the rub: ALL the women were blocked, and only MEN were deemed essential...in subtext, or otherwise.

    I still wonder why Kirk is actually needed at this mid-way point. Anything he can do, Spock can do better....except gambling and checkmating, neither of which the Kelvans intend to do.
     
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  13. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Okay. It's pretty obvious to me that they took the three top command chain personnel (which included both the engineer and the science officer) plus the physician/surgeon. It sounds like your quarrel is more with the organization of the Enterprise's crew than the Kelvans' choices.
     
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  14. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Command codes? I'm sure he has a couple Spock doesn't.
     
  15. Rowdy Roddy McDowall

    Rowdy Roddy McDowall Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Such as total ship detonation, perhaps. One more reason to blockify him. :cool:
     
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  16. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All humans are a mass of contradictions. Uhura maybe more so at the moment because her fascination at an ancient relic attempting to communicate is balanced with a fear of what it might do. Computers don't understand these things. A logic-based machine attempting to understand someone that is two different things at the same time (ironic, since Nomad itself is a two-in-one) can't parse the conflicting desires of a living person.
     
  17. Roundabout

    Roundabout Commander Red Shirt

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    Great points.


    ------------------------------

    Spock could just as well have replaced the "wo" with "hu", i.e. say human instead of woman.

    @The Tribbles Are Lowing is spot-on in writing that "all humans are a mass of contradictions". Spock knows this. Case in point, near the end of "The Ultimate Computer", in the turbolift scene, Spock mocks McCoy, "It would be most interesting to impress your engrams on a computer, Doctor. The resulting torrential flood of illogic would be most entertaining". And McCoy is not even a woman.

    What Spock said to McCoy is essentially equivalent to Nomad saying, "That unit is defective. It's thinking is chaotic".

    Spock knows better, yet he singled out woman. This is what led me to believe that Spock's woman line was meant in jest, for the tv audience. For me, it sounded like a punchline, which was followed by Nomad's punchline. In other words, it was a one-two punch, to borrow a boxing term.



    I watched the Spock Nomad scene again after reading the replies here. The joking isn't as obvious as I had thought. I still get the impression that, in-universe, the banter was not meant as a joke, for the reasons that I have already mentioned in an earlier post, and because of how the scene was acted.

    There are plenty of TOS scenes with someone making a joke. Usually, when a joke is made, the camera would pan over to the other characters in the scene to show their reaction to the joke. It could be laughter, smiles, grimaces or groans.

    In this instance, after Nomad's "conflicting impulses" line, the camera pointed to Spock, and Spock looked strangely oblivious (which was funny in and of itself) to what Nomad said. Then we got a shot of Kirk. Kirk, too, appeared oblivious to it. In-universe, no one seemed to have reacted as if there was any joke.

    But, why does it matter, in-universe or not? Is it a distinction without a difference? I asked myself that.

    I am going to quote @The Tribbles Are Lowing again:
    As the above quote shows, there could be a plausible non-sexist, non-joking explanation for why Nomad said what it said. And Spock's line can very easily be taken as a no nonsense line. Afterall, Uhura is a woman.

    The scene is written and acted in a way that leaves room for more than one interpretation, imo. The scene can be interpreted in such a way that the Spock and Nomad characters are able to maintain their integrity, that is, they stay true to their straightforward characters.

    I guess the bottom line is that the writer and actors were able to effectively deliver a cheap laugh to the tv audience (for those viewers who saw it as such), while also giving the Spock and Nomad characters plausible deniability against accusation of sexism.

    I am going to end my rambling now before it becomes a mass of contradictions, if it hasn't already.
     
  18. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

    ~F. Scott Fitzgerald.
     
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  19. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That must be what defense attorneys tell themselves when they get a guilty-as-hell murderer off scot-free. They pat themselves on the back for being a "first-rate intelligence." :whistle:
     
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "It's not what you know. It's what you can prove."