Mirror, Mirror notes

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    MeTV just showed "Mirror, Mirror" and, even on the 100th viewing and cut for commercials, it's an amazingly good episode. The thoughts that came to me tonight were a big one and a trivial one:

    • How original was this evil mirror universe idea? I'm struggling to think of what inspired the episode. Lost in Space had a similar concept, "The Anti-Matter Man," but that aired two months later. "The Doomsday Machine" had Moby Dick, "Balance of Terror" practically cribbed from the script of The Enemy Below (as did a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode, when Nelson found himself aboard a destroyer battling a hostile submarine), but where did "Mirror, Mirror" get its idea? If it came out of the blue, it was brilliant.

    I wonder if it was taken from Bizarro world in the Superman comics.

    • I wonder if the tall back on the captain's chair was just a different model of the Madison chair, meaning they removed the usual inner chair and inserted the different Madison model into the white chair housing. Or did the show custom-build the tall back piece and affix it to the existing chair? The color and texture of the tall back is a perfect match for the lower part of the chair. You wonder how they could do that.
    https://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/2x04hd/mirrormirrorhd0392.jpg
     
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  2. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Through the Looking Glass.
     
  3. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Memory Alpha says that Jerome Bixby based it on his own short story entitled ‘One Way Street’.
     
  4. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    A more direct precedent from the comics would have been the Crime Syndicate of America, an evil parallel universe version of the Justice League that appeared in the 1964 JLA/JSA crossover.
     
  5. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You also have the evil parallel universe in the early draft of City on the Edge of Forever.
     
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  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  7. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah I always took the Mirror Mirror universe concept to just to be a version of the various evil twin tropes and stories that existed in mythology and literature long before Star Trek came along.

    The idea was just expanded to what if it was a 'evil twin universe'?...
    ^^^
    And yes the idea honestly worked pretty well for the episode. The only thing that never really worked for me was how the 'evil' counterparts were so clueless as to what may have happened; and were completely unable to adjust and try to pull off something in the 'normal' universe. Now I understand why that had to happen - and I will give kudos to Jerome Bixby for quickly handling it (IE - The scene where it's shown that Spock is throwing them all in the brig, and he of course is going to figure out how to return them to the mirror universe luckily at the exact same moment that our heroes manage to carry out their own plan to being back.) My point is that if they are that inadaptable, one would start to wonder how their civilization as it existed managed to maintain itself.

    (And this may go off topic but I will give Star Trek Discovery kudos for at least showing a denizen from the mirror universe able to replace his prime universe counterpart successfully for a number of months, and of course I'm talking about Captain Lorca season 1 - even though I found that plot point ultimately unsatisfying because I would have liked to have seen a 23rd century Federation captain affected by war, and the result instead of it being just his evil doppelganger).
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  8. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    That's not a parallel universe per se, that's an alternate history.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
  9. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Parallel Universe Rule #1 :

    Let someone else exit the turbo lift first...

     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    It wasn’t an all-out mirror of the Prime Universe. The Mirror Halkans were still pacifists and Mirror Spock alluded that Mirror McCoy had sentimental tendencies. The implication seemed to be that Earth and Humanity had evolved differently as well as apparently Vulcans.

    If Mirror Vulcans are also “barbaric” then are there still Mirror Romulans? Or might the Romulans be the pacifists who left Vulcan? Are the Mirror Klingons still a warrior culture?
     
  11. Yistaan

    Yistaan Commodore Commodore

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    Shatner did a good acting job in his one scene as Mirror Kirk.

    I believe this episode is also the only time Scotty calls Kirk "Jim", when Kirk is about to stay behind and be stuck in the Mirror universe for the rest of his life, and Scotty's like, "Captain--Jim, no!"
     
  12. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    I remember a Mandrake The Magician story from the 1920's where they went to a mirror universe where our heroes went, through the looking glass, into a place where everything was reversed Mandrake's counterpart (named EKARDNAM) was evil and every good people in our universe was evil and vice versa. So you see this is neither a very original nor very novel idea.
     
  13. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    Granted there were antecedents, such as Lewis Carroll, but is it so hard to imagine that the writer simply thought... "you know what might be a cool idea" instead of swiping it from something else?
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    It’s safe to say that all stories are really variations of previous ideas. And the origins of most stories are probably lost in the mists of time.

    Historians will tell you even the story of Christ was not new in its time. Such stories existed earlier only with other names.
     
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  15. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    Agreed on both counts. When you read Homer's Odyssey, for instance, the impression is that this could have been written only a few years ago.
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If mirror Spock (and T'Pol from ENT) are any indication, Vulcans of that universe are just as logical as their prime counterparts.

    As for MU Romulans, they do exist. One of the DS9 MU eps mentions them. We don't know what they're like, though.
     
  17. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    Here is a synopsis I wrote years ago of Bixby's short story, "One Way Street." The similarities are slight, but he said this is where it came from. One Way Street (orionpressfanzines.com)

    Sir Rhosis
     
  18. Kraig

    Kraig Commander Red Shirt

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    Alternate history novels Bring The Jubilee where the Confederacy wins the US Civil War, then a few years later The Man In the High Castle where the Axis defeats the Allies in World War II. On TV I remember a Twilight Zone episode from 1963 The Parallel where an astronaut leaves one Earth and returns to a different one.
     
  19. scotpens

    scotpens Professional Geek Premium Member

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    It was almost certainly a custom-made piece attached to the existing chair. The same high-backed captain's chair was used for the bridge of the U.S.S. Lexington in "The Ultimate Computer."

    And it's really not that difficult to match standard vinyl upholstery material.
     
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  20. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Commodore Commodore

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    I got the impression that Vulcans were the same, and it was their dealings with the very-different Empire that made for different scenarios. I'm sure this would be the same of the Klingons. Vulcan, logically, adapted and did what it had to, to survive. The only difference was the Terran Empire.

    That short story was very interesting. Almost seemed like a precurser to Sliders, as well. Although, I don't understand how either of them are going to survive in the 3rd universe; even if it had been a swap-back, Mary would still have been in a foreign universe, and I would assume would have the same problem that Pete initially had.

    I wonder if that Lost in Space episode in any way inspired (or was inspired by) the Alternative Factor? Which was written (not aired) first?

    My first exposure to alternate universes was the 1979 episode of Superfriends, Universe of Evil. Lol.
     
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