I got that bit of trivia from the recently released TAS "Official Guide" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Trek-Official-Guide-Animated/dp/1789093651 I can only assume it's true, the book seems very well researched! THE TERRATIN INCIDENT This week, Star Trek does the sci-fi trope of the incredible shrinking man (well, people) The technique of choice is the “reduce the space between the atoms” method of shrinking, presumably to avoid such pesky questions of where all the matter is going when they reduce in size. McCoy even mentions that even though the crew are shrinking, their weight remains the same. What goes unmentioned is the intense heat which would be generated by such rapid compression or what the weight of a fully grown man would do to a ladder made of matchsticks! But who needs physics anyway? As is typical in “shrinking man” stories we see parts of the rooms normally out of sight – specifically, the door sensor. Kirk is so small by then that he has to wave a little pin at the “eye” which is fine, but how do they control the turbolift then? It’s operated by a handle 3 feet off the floor! Afterwards the crew continue to shrink, yet still manage to travel unimpeded throughout the entire ship! Are they abseiling down the Jefferies tubes for the equivalent of hundreds of feet, just to get from one deck to another? What about the miles of corridor between rooms even right next door to each other? It seems they solved the problem though, because after beaming Kirk down, Scott and his tiny team make it from the Transporter room to the Bridge in less than 10 minutes. I guess there really is no physical training in the galaxy that rivals Starfleet! These obvious obstacles remind me of the slapdash manner that “hyperspeed” was treated in Wink Of An Eye. But who needs to think about the consequences of your whacky scifi concept on a more than superficial level anyway? Whacky and poorly thought out physics aside, this is quite a tense and exciting episode. Kirk is very much a man on a mission this week, and who can blame him? His ship responded to a distress call and was then violently attacked, leading to physical mutation for the entire crew. His ship is damaged to the point where it can’t even leave orbit. The crew are rendered incapable of running the ship to the point where even routine activity becomes life threatening. Finally he makes contact with his antagonists who basically says “sorry, not sorry”. Uhura even tries to justify the Terratins’ actions! Everyone looks shocked when Kirk turns the phasers on their city but frankly they deserve it! Still, this is a Star Trek story and Kirk vows not to kill today. It’s a noble decision for Kirk’s character but an awful moral of the story in that the Terratins’ abhorrent methods end up getting them exactly what they wanted. It’s reminiscent of the Lorelei signal and the easy way the ladies seems to get away with decades of reprehensible actions. Just as in that tale, I like to think that their story is not going to end the way they expect. Giant rabbits seems a very fitting punishment for them Yeah, it's really odd how against the potential saving of lives he is. Has he got money riding on the outcome of their mapping mission? Did Kirk phaser the Terratin city to loosen its foundations, thus allowing it to be beamed up? I agree that it's very unclear, except of course as a fake-out to make us think he was destroying the city. Even Spock seemed convinced! TREK TECH When the beam hits it causes major damage to the ship’s power system and Scotty delves into quite a bit of technical detail: SCOTT: Engineering. No casualties, Captain, but trouble aplenty with the engines. Every dilithium crystal connection's smashed in the warp engine circuitry. We're trying to bypass them now.Unlike in the live action series where the central doodad in Engineering seemed to be where the dilithium paddles (and sometimes raw crystals) did there work, now this suggests that there's more cystals in the warp engines themselves. It is also possible to bypass the warp engine crystal circuits and yet still generate power somehow. Or is Scott just referring to the warp circuitry’s connection to some dilithium crystals elsewhere? KIRK: What about main circuits? SCOTT: Well, you have to see it to believe it, sir. Those big crystals in there have come apart. Each of them unpeeling like the rind of an orange. … KIRK: Analysis, Spock. SCOTT: Our only hope now is rewiring impulse. But there are a thousand broken connections.Confirmed – there are at least SIX crystals in the “main” circuits which apparently deal with all main ship systems, including impulse engines – but it can be bypassed to enable impulse power (something that Scotty was unable to do, sadly). I love how many more engineering spaces we are shown in TAS, it really helps to justify the "maze" of rooms that was alluded to several times in TOS but never got to see. One design choice oddity - when reporting that the tools are "too big" Gabler calls over from the “MAIN CIRCUITRY RM” which is only accessible via a waist height hatch. Who on earth signed off on THAT? The power generation (or conversion) function of the crystals is something implied by many TOS episodes but I find the number of crystals depicted extremely interesting since six is the number Kirk negotiated for in Mudd's Women. Could we be looking at the Enterprise in her most optimal state, just after a starbase layover perhaps? TWO CENTURIES This time interval is a classic from TOS and the Terra Ten colony being lost for “two centuries” fits in fairly well, since 200 years ago was when Zefram Cochrane had just discovered warp drive and the SS Valiant was out getting mixed up in the Galactic Barrier. Early Earth colonies are certainly possible from this time, but the Terratins are also au fait with Transporter technology! Did the writer of this episode really think that the invention of the teleporter pre-dated the discovery of FTL travel? I suppose we could argue that maybe just the beginning understanding of such mechanisms was around then, allowing the Terratins to remotely hijack the Enterprise’s transporter and beam down the Bridge crew. It’s still a stretch though. Since the configuration of walls, doors and adjacent corridor details was never very consistent on TOS, I always assumed that there were multiple Transporter Rooms on board but that only one was ever active at any given time. I assumed that the intensity of the energy used quickly burns out the energising coils or something, necessitating frequent maintenance and downtime. Something we can assume is that this week there are multiple Transporter Rooms available and that #3 is the closest one to the Bridge. OTHER THOUGHTS: The story starts off in traditional Trek style, investigating a burnt out supernova! For some reason McCoy has various animals on Sickbay that he uses to test the seriousness of the situation. Has he been attending lectures by Dr Phlox? In something occasionally seen in TOS, Chapel is back to using “out of the box thinking” when treating Sulu’s leg – then goes and somehow falls into the fish tank! Thankfully she’s not fully “damselled” and holds onto the bone knitter throughout. Spock (maybe by accident) is quite complimentary to Chapel, saying “your uniform fits you as well as ever”. How nice of him to notice! He’s also oddly sentimental with Kirk, wishing him “good luck” when beaming down to Terratin. The miniature communicator that Spock rigs up at short notice is visually identical to a normal one! Was that level of attention really necessary, under the circumstances? I’ve mentioned volcanoes being a bit of a TAS staple before, but this episode takes the biscuit – there are volcanoes so huge that they literally spout red hot magma into space! Yet again, the transporter is used to fix the problem of the week – although in this case it does make sense, since the technology is specifically built around the rearrangement of molecules and putting them in their correct place. Kirk later orders the entire crew through the Transporter to restore them, but is that necessary? I would think that once the Terratins switch their beam off, there’s nothing stopping the crew’s atoms from returning to their original placement automatically Why does Kirk the tool that functions like a microscope a "macro-scope"? Definitionally, wouldn’t a macroscope be used for looking at non-miniature sized objects? Like what our eyes do naturally? Kirk really works hard to get the episode’s name into his closing captain’s log!