Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by A.V.I.A.F., May 27, 2011.
And the F-Class weren't due until Tuesday...
Look around you, man!!
I think I posted something about this in an earlier thread but I would like to hear some suggestions for explaining this. I just watched Tomorrow Is Yesterday again recently and I noticed something that didn't seem right. Why is it that when Capt. Christopher is beamed aboard the ship he is standing up? He was flying his jet when they locked onto him, so why wasn't he in a seated position on the transporter pad? I happened to watch Assignment: Earth again as well and when Gary 7 is beamed aboard from the rocket gantry (when he is lying on his stomach trying to sabotage the rocket) he materializes in a seated position (which is the position he assumes when he hears the transporter beam activating and grabs his cat). In the Abrams movie, when Kirk and Sulu are freefalling and are beamed up by Chekov, they literally hit the pad when they materialize. So, why does Christopher beam up standing (albeit with his back towards the camera)?
The transporter is designed to not materialize people in "undignified" positions. Thus Captain Christopher was saved the embarrassment of beaming up in a seated position and falling on his ass. Not the best way to introduce a guest star.
To be sure, the transporter always allows the transportee to autonomously move during the beaming process - cf. the numerous occasions where the startpoint and endpoint postures differ. Perhaps Christopher was simply more startled by the experience than a 23rd century citizen would be, and stood up in amazement during the process?
The more interesting logic hole is the concept of "saving" the 20th century personnel by beaming them into their former bodies. That's not really different from phasering them down or cutting their throats: the future self is lost in the process, to no apparent gain. So why did our heroes do it? Well, they did need to get rid of the oldtimers somehow, that much was agreed upon by Kirk, McCoy and Spock; this was probably the most humane way to murder them. It may have sounded plausible enough to the ignorant ancients, thus making their deaths happy ones.
Another logic hole: how can an onboard chronometer move backward when the people watching it are still moving forward? If the ship is going back in time, and the occupants are going back in time, why is the ship (the chronometer) going in a direction opposite to the one of the occupants?
Or are we to believe that the chronometer actually measures "absolute" time from outside references, say, by monitoring the decay of something that is always observable and always decays steadily? Or even by listening to a time signal being broadcast by some culture that predates Earth's entry to the interstellar community and thus is available in the 20th century already?
It's possible the chronometers were adjusted or set to run that way in conjunction with measurements and other readings of stars and planets and whatever else to give everyone better sense of what is actually happening?
In Patterns of Force Kirk and Spock beam down dressed (supposedly) so that they can blend in with the Ekosians. Kirk is dressed like a ranch-hand and Spock like a Bohemian Beatnik coffee shop patron.
Upon beaming down and while in hiding, they notice for the first time a group of Nazi brown shirts beating up a man from Zeon. Immediately after, they come across a public viewing screen spouting fascist propaganda. Their next move is to appropriate some Nazi uniforms so that they can move about more easily and gain access to John Gill. They accomplish this by jumping some Nazis on the planet and stealing their uniforms.
Here's my problem: Why didn't Uhura monitor the audio and video signals coming off the planet (like she did in Bread and Circuses and also in Piece of the Action)? Wouldn't it make sense for her to do this (if not accidentally) while scanning the planet for information about Gill (at the opening of the show she complains that they still cannot reach him on any Starfleet channel--well, why not scan the other signals coming off the planet?)? Surely, this would have tipped our heroes off sooner that this planet was under a Nazi regime and consequently they could have beamed down already in a better disguise. This would have saved them the hassle (and danger of being discovered) of beating up a couple of locals to get their uniforms.
Or, after having viewed the information on the viewscreen on the planet, why didn't they just beam back to the ship and have some uniforms made so that they could beam back down better disguised? They might even have found a better way to conceal Spock's ears and "sickly" greenish complexion which ultimately got them captured. If McCoy can make Kirk look like a Romulan, surely he can do something for Spock before he beams back down to a planet whose dominant culture is hyper-sensitive to race!
Ok, so there are a few logic hole here. Have at it and please remember to keep your answers/proposed explanations "in-universe."
There were no "broadcasts signals" for Uhura to pick up.
The public display screen was fed by a shielded coaxial cable.
This is logically unexplainable. It's a Spock thing. He should have grown slightly longer hair combed behind the ears and in case of need mess the hairdo and cover the ears and eyebrows. Or wear a false slightly leaking bandage (with RED blood). Nobody would like to see what's under it. It would explain the 'sick' color too.
But the way how Spock's identity was revealed, was not believable anyway. Every normal person would say 'Sick? Do not drink so much next time, boy!' or 'Get out now, I do not want you to vomit all over the floor' and would not care about a helmet.
Which was a very bad disguise. In many societies it's a social behaviour rule to take off the hat or helmet while inside. Dunno how it is in case of military organisations.
But I think Kirk should have left Spock on Enterprise and taken with him some forgettable Ensign Generic instead of a distinctive Eastern-European looking guy with sickly greenish complexion, whose face you can see once and will never forget.
We could well argue that the Ekosian Nazi Party maintains a strict monopoly on broadcasting, and intercepts and destroys all unauthorized broadcasting equipment. They'd also keep their own transmissions compact and coded. They are the technological underdogs, after all, and wouldn't want Zeon eavesdroppers to learn any of their deep dark Nazi secrets.
It would follow that the only time there's useful information in the ether is when the Nazis make one of their global propaganda broadcasts. And quite possibly none was on air when our heroes first made orbit.
Doesn't explain why Kirk and Spock failed to withdraw and reconsider when they learned about the Space Nazis. But we could argue that Kirk feels pressed for time. After all, the propaganda broadcast suggests that the Zeon hunt was only initiated on the very day our heroes beamed down. For all we know, it was a desperation move launched by Melakon when he learned that a Starfleet vessel was approaching and that his gig would soon be up.
Kirk doesn't really decide to steal uniforms; he just makes use of the uniforms that fall on their laps when they defend themselves from a Nazi attack. But once this opportunity presents itself, Kirk may decide to end the madness once and for all by directly confronting Gill, whom he can suspect of no wrongdoing. Just marching in to his office sounds like a workable plan as such - until our heroes learn the extent to which Gill has perverted the society.
Wasn't that "withdraw and reconsider" strategy more of a TNG kind of thing? Kirk was more of a "thinking on his feet" kind of guy, wasn't he?
I did this with Star Trek: Voyager, which has some huge plot holes. Equinox was the most fun. If you watch it carefully and see which characters say and don't say certain things, the way to remedy the plotholes is the Equinox was drawn to late Season 5's sector of space by a different Caretaker (no Kazon, no Vidiians, no Talaxians, no Borg, yet somebody called the Krotonan Guard) and the enhanced warp speed powered by dolphin fuel actually doesn't make them go any faster. Likely damaged sensors + very mentally disturbed/traumatized crew only makes them think so (imagine a person running in place on a carpet and folds of carpet appearing behind them. That's what's going on).
In TOS, "Wink of an Eye" has a big one. Kirk decides to not give the Scalosians the vaccine to their problem, letting their civilization end because yes, he can be that cruel, justifying it with how the Scalosians tried to take over the ship.
It's not a particularly cruel thing to withhold that vaccine from the Scalosians. After all, the potion only helps recover from speeding up - it isn't said to help fight the infertility that is the real threat to the Scalosian society.
One wonders if Kirk wasn't secretly happy with the results of McCoy's next fertility test on him. No more pills or prophylactics or other complications!
In Arena, the landing party beams down to find that Cestus III has been destroyed. This is a complete surprise. Just a moment before Kirk and McCoy were licking their lips in anticipation of Commodore Travers' kick-ass hospitality. Only Spock finds it odd that Travers he reminds them to beam down their tactical team.
Surveying the rubble, Kirk & Spock realize that the messages were faked and Kirk estimates that the attack must have taken place "several days ago." Later, the lone surivivor from Cestus III explains that the Gorn "hit [them] a full day before" the Enterprise even arrived.
Question: When the Enterprise assumes orbit around a planet, don't they do some sort of general preliminary scan of the planet/colony and the coordinates before sending down a landing party? Even if it is a known planet? Otherwise, what is there to stop the Klingons or Romulans from taking over a small colony planet, inviting Kirk and friends down and then wiping them out? It seems to me that the fact that they only knew that Cestus III had been attacked and was still being occupied by the Gorn (who also had a ship floating around nearby)only once they beamed down, shows a major flaw in their security protocol.
The Metrons hid the damage done to the outpost to protect their privacy. They may have hoped that if Enterprise saw nothing wrong, they'd go sailing on their merry way.
TWoK: Why didn't they know a whole planet was missing? The planets were named after all. Ceti Alpha I, Ceti Alpha II, Ceti Alpha III, Ceti Alpha IV, Ceti Alpha V, Ceti Alpha VI maybe more. When Kirk dropped Khan on CA-V, Spock being the good science officer that he is, would have cataloged the other planets, and still kept it a secret that Khan was left there.
I think Khan was a write-off for them. Truth be told, no one probably really wanted to check in on a colony of super-people bent on global/universal domination for quite some time. Spock says to Kirk at the close of the episode, "It would be interesting, Captain, to return to that world in a hundred years and learn what crop had sprung from the seed you planted today." To which Kirk replies, "Yes, Mr. Spock, it would indeed."
This to me implies that they wanted to get the hell out of there and leave it to be someone else's problem for the future. In terms of monitoring the planets from afar, Spock had other stuff to worry about.
Also, I get the feeling that the planet Khan and crew are left upon is pretty far out there at the time of the episode (it being likened to hell as per Milton's Paradise Lost), and was probably never visited until much later in TWOK, ane even then, by accident.
There has been a lot of discussion during the last few days about the nature of Sulu's predicament in The Enemy Within. Indeed, that very point is what I believe sparked this particular thread. Something about this aspect of the story raises another logic hole that I could never quite get around.
Why doesn't Spock (with McCoy's backing if need be) relieve Kirk of command. Yes, I know that at one point Spock asks Krik if he is relinquishing his command when Kirk asks for someone else to "make the decision" about what to do during this dire situation. But when Kirk replies "No," everyone continues on as though Kirk is perfectly fit to command. Be that as it may, it doesn't jibe with other TOS episodes in which the concept of an unfit commander comes into play.
1) Doomsday Machine: Spock cannot relieve Decker right away because McCoy has not been able to certify Decker as medically/psychologically unfit. McCoy is able to do that in TEW however.
2) Doomsday Machine: Spock does threaten to relieve Decker again on the grounds that he is about to give a suicidal order to which Decker yields and is only relieve when Kirk okays Spock on Kirk's "personal authority" (which I don't think would have stood up in a court martial had it come to that, but that is a different issue).
3) Obsession: Kirk's desire to pursue an entity that has killed several of his men rather then delivering the medical supplies is enough cause for Spock and McCoy to call Kirk on his competency. Why doesn't the fact that Kirk has been split in two warrant at least as much action? Especially given the fact that people are freezing on the planet below and the shuttlecrafts are all out for repair?
4) The Deadly Years: Everyone makes a big deal about Kirk's failing memory and curmudgeon-ness and call a competency hearing. Nothing of this sort or anything even remotely resembling this action is done in TEW. Personally, I would feel less unsafe with a forgetful aging Captain than with one whose soul has been split in two and who has an evil side of him running around getting wasted and raping and attacking people!
What do you think? Keep your answers "in-universe" please.
Writers craft screenplays for an episode that airs in less than 60 minutes and then is done. Maybe it'll appear in syndication, or maybe not. If it does, who knows how long. There's pressure to get a story out and filmed. They don't have the time or incentive to neatly tie up every little bit of information. We need to appreciate that, rather than scrutinizing an episode as if it were a book to be referenced for all time.
That said... it is interesting to discuss the holes/gaps/flaws and find ways to explain things so that they make sense. To a degree... we can go about stretching things so far, which then makes things begin to look ridiculous.
In "The Enemy Within", the shuttlecraft didn't appear yet. There was an intention to have one, as certainly the ship was designed with a hangar deck prominently in the aft section of the secondary hull. But as such, the only way people were getting on/off planets was via transporters. That's the main reason why we don't hear any proposal of using a shuttlecraft. We can easily explain it away as the weather was too rough in that whole area... But anyway, this was the first hole raised and I don't intend to restart conversation on it again.
The "Wink of an Eye" episode was terribly fraught with mistakes and ambiguity. The whole idea of being accelerated isn't explained much with respect to lifespan. The only thing we learn is that when "newly accelerated", any cell damage causes you to age rapidly. There were inferences that people introduced to the Scalosian acceleration don't last very long, that "life will be brief." We don't know if that's just a few months or a few years. The Scalosians seem to have a different kind of lifespan. Given how they're in an accelerated rate, you'd think they'd grow old and die in short order... but they don't. I do agree that Kirk didn't do the right thing... with the antidote, the Scalosians could be converted back to normal. The main issue for them was male infertility. Certainly some solution could have been found for them. But in the end... I think the real problem was the 50 minute barrier. There wasn't enough time to explore this.
With regard to command competency, there's a bit of ambiguity regarding Kirk in The Enemy Within. He has been split in two, but his "civil" side is the one that is commanding. He has trouble being assertive, but can make logical decisions. When it does come down to the point of relieving him, somehow he does muster some assertiveness. He uses his intellect to overcome the obstacle. It's not enough of an issue that would require relieving him.
In Obsession, Kirk is basically faced with conflicting priorities: a) deliver much needed perishable medical supplies or b) contain/eliminate a powerful creature capable of quickly killing people. Realistically speaking, Kirk could have deployed a probe to keep watch of the planet, to monitor if and when the creature might leave it, then go on to deal with the other mission. But that wouldn't make for an interesting story. Speaking of which, at a later point Spock says there's evidence the creature is ready to "spawn." Spawn? It's a gaseous cloud. A creature unlike anything they've ever seen. How could he know this? I guess we'd have to assume that the energy composition reoriented in such a fashion that Spock concluded it was preparing for fission.
...However, if the creature is deemed capable of spawning, it follows that it is already the product of spawning - and destroying this one individual will do absolutely nothing to protect the Federation (and assorted other starfarers) from dikironium clouds.
Hence, Kirk should not have been allowed to destroy the creature. Analysis of its full life cycle would have been vital for UFP survival. If the heroes figure out how to kill the creature, they should apply that knowledge after it has spawned, on "mother" and "children" alike, to see if the trick is effective across the range of cloud ages.
Much the same would apply to the Space Amoeba, except in that case the destroying of the individual creature was essential to the survival of our heroes. In "Obsession", the creature posed no immediate threat to anybody.
Agreed; poor command decisions are not sufficient justification for mutiny, and a demonstrable deviation from norm to the worse, along with a medical explanation (or a plausible accusation of treachery) would have to be wielded to dislodge the skipper from his seat.
I think poor command decisions are not only sufficient but at the heart of the very concept of grounds for relieving a commander. They were for Decker, and simply the risk of possible future poor command decisions warranted calling a competency hearing in Deadly Years (during which Kirk hadn't actually made any decisions that could have seriously compromised the safety of ship and crew; there was only the fear that he might).
Granted, Kirk managed to hold on until the problem of rejoining himself with his negative side was resolved, but Spock couldn't have been sure of that. In the meantime, the safety of the entire crew was in danger. Yes, Spock repeatedly advises Kirk adamantly about his little slip-ups and one gets the impression that he was keeping a close eye on the Captain (e.g., Spock rushes over and takes over the communication with Sulu when Kirk goes blank and rubs his forehead). In my opinion, Spock's actions were insufficient and he certainly would have had grounds to take over and I think Bones would have backed him on this.
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