Production Order Group Viewing 2018

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Archivist13, May 8, 2018.

  1. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    The Trouble with Tribbles

    I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. It's routinely on the lists as #1 for favorite Star Trek episode but I'm not sure why. Is the comedy that endearing? I like it and I have to admit when I was a little kid, it was my favorite. Now, it's in the top half still but not that high. I grow tired of people thinking Gerold or any other author invented highly reproductive animals, if you still cling to that notion, the rabbits in Australia would like to laugh at you.

    One thing that bothers me the most is how inept and uninformed Kirk is in this episode. He's upset at being called in by what he assumes to an invasion alert. Now we've heard before, Code One is an invasion alert but Uhura says "subspace distress call. Priority channel." then Chekov says "Code One emergency" Does Priority = Code One or can there be more than one priority messages. What do they use for a non-battle emergency? So Kirk is on the wrong foot and it just gets worse, he insults the Under Secretary and lies to him about not respecting other officials, High Commissioner Ferris, Comissioner Hedford, and Ambassador Fox might have something to say about that. Barris has been assigned by the Federation Council not to lose Sherman's planet to the Klingons and he's trying to do just that. Kirk is angry because he says it's no emergency but again, he's wrong. This business is very important to the Federation, doesn't Kirk think that Baris has information about Klingon activity? And Baris is proven right, doubly so, because the Klingons infiltrated his office and poisoned the grain. The only grain that will grow on Sherman's planet. How could the Federation develop the planet without being able to sustain a food source? They can't, this grain is as important as Dilithium or Topaline to this operation but Kirk walks around with his head up his ass, the only time I can say that fortunately. Kirk is usually so on top of things. And even Admiral Fitzpatrick tells him to listen, just in case it's all just a chain of command problem, because a civilian authority normally can't give an officer a direct order, it has to go through headquarters, (General Smits can tell you.)

    I think that's why I don't like this as much as I used to, I thought about it too much. Take away the comedy music cues and maybe trim the fistfight and a few of the other silly quip scenes and this is another Federation/Klingon Orgainian enforced cold war thriller. Does anyone want to think about what would have happened to the colonists if they ate the grain instead of the vermin? It would make Kodos look like a warm up. And why is Baris so happy and content after Darvin is exposed and admits he's poisoned the grain? Because it invalidates the Klingons' claim, they broke the treaty. Baris has succeeded and he's the bigger man for not caring about Kirk's childish insults. I don't know what kind of arbitration is built into that Orgainan Peace treaty but this must clearly be in violation of it, and the discovery is purely an accident. Kirk sure doesn't save the day here. All he does is bitch about schedules and chicken sandwiches.

    Which leads me to my next big complaint, WTF are there tribbles everywhere and no one minds? Just imagine the tribbles as pet rats, mice, or even kittens, would you want them playing all over your console while on duty? It's the height of unprofessionalism that they are left to spread until the captains coffee is affected.

    Despite all that complaining, the story holds together pretty well, the comedy beats are really well done, mostly, and I couldn't help but laugh out loud twice even watching it this time, when Spock is petting the white tribble saying he is immune and later when Cyrano is drinking his last stolen drink as the fight winds down. Also, ermine violin entered my vocabulary, not sure if that's a good thing.
    Some other parts I liked, we got to see a lot of Uhura and she seems to be in command of the bridge again in the beginning. I think this is the third time she's in charge although she's never shown in the center seat, it's always off camera. Chekov isn't stupid but his invented in Russia is turned all the way up, so that's a push. Cyrano Jones was a good character and very well acted, plus his very existence is a great deal of world building. People still need to work to get by in the 23rd century, as if they wouldn't, but he's proof right there, the bartender, too.
    Scotty is pretty damn funny in this one, not sure if he's too professional either, though. He started the fight with the Klingons, in the bar, where none of the "security guards for every Klingon" are. So where were the guards? They show up from somewhere after but why weren't they around? I really like the part where Jones is holding the hairy rats and they squeak at Korax, the larger, bald Klingon sitting with him has such a look on his face, like just move along already.

    One last thing I must absolutely compliment the soundtrack to this episode. It really makes it what it is. If they just used stock cues I doubt this one would be so well regarded. Especially the "tribble theme" that meowing kind of music they play to emphasize the tribbles purring.

    Nice note on how Mr. Lurry's screen pulls back to show Koloth, but I think it actually makes some sense that it's focused on Lurry when he answers but he could be adjusting the picture to show what he's saying is true, too bad his hands never move to do it though.

    It escapes me how Jones can stuff 17.6 years of tribble picking in his pants. Something has to be done, and that's not it.
     
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  2. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    It's just impossible. I'm sure the Federation assigned a team to figure out what to do, but I don't know where that leaves Jones. And like I said, there's no way K-7 would put up with tribbles all around their station for 17 years while Jones was picking them up.
     
  3. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I told you never to mention Plato, Phase!!!! :brickwall: Seriously though, :lol: it's bad enough watching I, Mudd's ending on your own but especially not with your parents as I was back in 1981! That is one episode apart from Plato that I wouldn't advise new fans to watch! :techman:
    JB
     
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  4. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What we don't see is Kirk telling Lurry to let Jones think he's the only one picking up the tribbles for, say, a week (long enough for Kirk to be long gone), with the station clean-up crew quietly taking care of the rest somehow. Maybe they can use their transporter. Then after a week, Lurry gives Jones his ship, with the condition of taking all the tribbles with him. If people still eat real meat or make clothes out of real fur somewhere, tribbles are an attractive commodity and potentially lucrative industry. Or I suppose their value as easy to take care of pets (space hamsters, costing little to feed) might be realized.
     
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  5. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    The hypnotic purring is really a supernatural defense mechanism. Some races (Vulcans, Humans) are very susceptible and react positively (love, attraction) to it and other races (Klingons) instinctly react negatively (fear, disgust) to it. Races are either attracted or repelled by the purring, but in either case, no one wants to kill them; it's a powerful defense system.
     
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  6. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Klingons wanted to kill them! And did when they annihilated the Tribble home world in the late twenty third century! But because of DS9s time travel escapade back to Station K-7 they unexpectedly brought tribbles back with them until Quark's bar was inundated with them! :klingon:
    JB
     
  7. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Did that cause the collapse of the Great Tribble Empire? Certainly their many colonies and outposts survived?
     
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  8. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the Tribbs were found on one planet on the edge of Klingon space and so one day they launched a seek and destroy mission there and wiped out every last ball of fluff they could find!
    JB
     
  9. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    Bread and Circuses

    The Wraparound! Does Kirk wear it in every episode of Season 2?

    Okay, how could another planet possibly have a Roman Empire....and whose people speak English no less? "Hodgkins Law of Parallel Planet Development." Oh. But THAT parallel?

    I know. Someone had the idea "hey, wouldn't it be cool to do a story where the Roman Empire never fell but instead took over the world and still exists in the 20th Century?" so they just made it so. It is a cool concept to explore. Really this episode seems like more of a commentary on television than on Roman rule in the20th Century as a whole. Showing brutality for ratings, it's always about the ratings. Still true today.

    S.S. Beagle....commanded by Snoopy and first officer Woodstock?

    Those are pretty cool slave shirts. They show off Kirk's and Flavius's biceps nicely. I wonder if I could get one. Not that I have those biceps...

    Rome DID have sun worshippers or at least gods of the sun they worshipped, right?

    Wow, McCoy takes out a guard with a good right cross. Good for you, Doc.

    Losing his crew wrecked Decker. Merik sacrificed his.

    So now Captains swear to die rather than interfere with a native culture. Just five episodes ago, Kirk destroyed Vaal in order to save the Enterprise. So now they were supposed to let the Enterprise be destroyed rather than interfere with the culture of Gamma Trianguli VI?

    Scotty is ALWAYS awesome in command. I like how as Scotty is going on about showing them what a starship can do, Uhura behind him sits up straighter and gets this look of interest and pride on her face. You tell 'em, Scotty!

    The gladiatorial games. "You name the winner!" You mean viewers participated in picking the winners? It's American Idol! Or Roman Idol! Or Roman Gladiator or something.

    Spock should wipe the floor with his opponent and then help McCoy with his despite the rules. Which I guess he does.

    I don't get the logic of "beam your whole crew down so we can kill them or we'll kill the two that are here now." And really, another vastly powerful alien ship comes to his planet, and making the crew come down to die in gladiatorial games is the best that the Proconsul can come up with? Another statement about how ratings are everything in this society?

    Really, having been through Kunut-kali-fee, Spock should be all about one on one combat.

    Spock: "...whatever I think of his relative skill..." That's not the first time Spock disparages McCoy's abilities as a doctor. Does Spock seriously not think much of McCoy as a doctor?

    Hello, hot slave girl. So...did they or didn't they? Did Kirk have sex with the slave girl? They kiss, then the camera pans to the lamp, a classic "they're about to get busy" signal. Then again, next time we see Kirk, he's fully clothed and sleeping alone.

    And for Kirk's reputation of being a casanova, including in my own mind, he really doesn't have sex very often on this show.

    McCoy can be such a jerk to Spock. This time, I get the idea he was trying to help Spock in his own way, provoke Spock into showing emotion which McCoy feels would be healthy for Spock. Because McCoy backs off when Spock seems to take issue with McCoy saying Spock doesn't have any feelings. Not that it's really McCoy's place to do that.

    I'm dubious of the efficacy of shooting a jail cell lock with a machine gun. Seems dangerous for all involved.

    "They threw me a few curves." Ha ha.

    Ah, so Merik took the communicator in order to help the three escape. He still hurts from seeing his own crew killed and can't bear to see Kirk's crew killed.

    So Constantine converted to Christianity, made Christianity the official religion of the empire, and made everyone convert. Is that what Kirk means when he talks about Christianity "replacing" imperial Rome?

    I'm sure there are words to be said about Uhura's "son of god" speech. Eh, maybe later.

    Well, as for the basic message of the show, I think media outlets are more concerned with ratings than actually informing people, leading people to make...illogical voting choices. Nothing angers me more. Bread and circuses. Keep people fed and entertained and you can do what you want and they won't notice. My political rant of the day.

    I remember seeing an outtake from this episode where the white-helmeted guards come running in with machine guns at the ready, and then they all slip and fall to the ground. Pretty funny.

    It's a good episode. I always enjoy it.

    Alien Watch! A planet of Romans!

    Season 1
    Talosians
    That big ugly Rigellian guy Pike fought in illusion
    Vina as an Orion girl in illusion
    Glimpse of other aliens captured by Talosians
    Ron Howard's brother
    That dog from Enemy Within
    Salt monster
    That hand plant...Gertrude
    Spock (duh)
    Charlie's parents (Thasians)*
    Romulans!
    (Ruk)
    Miri's planet kids (bonk bonk)
    Giant ape creatures of Taurus II
    Shore Leave Caretaker guy
    Trelaine and his folks*
    Gorn
    Metrons*
    The Lazerii
    The remarkably human-looking aliens of Beta 3. (RotA)
    The remarkably human-looking aliens of Emineminar VII (AToA)
    The Triffids of Omicron Ceti III (TSoP)
    The refreshingly non-human-looking Horta
    Organians*
    Klingons! (Remarkably human looking).
    (The Guardian of Forever)
    Flying pancakes

    Season 2
    Sylvia and Korob
    The Companion
    The remarkably human looking (though tall) Cappellans.
    Native Pollux IV-ians (Apollo and his gang)
    Full-blooded Vulcans
    The remarkably human looking citizens of Argelius II (WitF)
    Redjac
    The People of Vaal (Gamma Triangulians)
    Crew of the ISS Enterprise
    The remarkably human-looking** (except for maybe a dot on their forehead) Halkans
    Tribbles (not at all human looking)
    The remarkably human-looking citizens of...892-VI. Is that what they call this planet? (The Roman one.)

    *Alien Watch sublist: omnipotent aliens!
    **By request
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
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  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    Emphasis mine.

    One of them slips. Go to this link to just directly to the bloopers from this episode (they start at 2:21, the slip is at 3:16).

     
  11. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    Again, Kirk flies off at the end leaving a swatch of chaos behind him. Kirk's motto: "They can solve their own problems." Never saw this in TNG, etc.

    On the Prime Directive, unlisted number one rule: it goes out the window when you attack the ship. Also by definition, if someone in control/power/governance of the planet knows about "aliens" or "contact" by other races, then the directive doesn't apply. At that point, you start negotiations, contracts, treaties, war, admittance applications, etc.
     
  12. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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  13. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    But now you're supposed to die rather than interfere, so even when you're attacked you can't defend yourself if it means interfering.

    You make a good point in your first paragraph. Weren't there still survivors from the Beagle on the planet? So they just left them?
     
  14. Henoch

    Henoch Captain Premium Member

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    Not if they attack the ship. This proves two things: 1) they are technically advanced for space defense/travel; and 2) they know about alien races out there. There is no need to protect the planet about this knowledge (aliens) since it doesn't affect its "natural development" anymore. Federation still won't "interfere" with your planet, but that is not the Prime Directive anymore, its just being civil/polite. Just because a planet is primitive,doesn't mean the Prime D applies. Look at the Halkans (Dilithium resource, trading) or the Capellans (Klingons and Federation trading) or Tyree's planet (convert Federation and overt Klingon contact) or even the Organians (Federation trading, possible Klingon trading, strategic location).

    Also, if a planet shows signs of past or current advanced technology (even though the population is ignorant), this is not considered "natural development", so, the directive doesn't apply. First contact is up the individual captain at this point.
     
  15. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    BREAD AND CIRCUSES

    This episode is superficially the "Space Romans" planet but moreover it is an opportunity for Kirk, Spock and McCoy to philosophise on life, their place in it and the importance of the Prime Directive...interspersed with some Roman style fight scenes of course!
    In a pleasant twist on the usual trope, Enterprise is not held powerless by a random energy source on the planet, but by their own morality and code of conduct. Scotty's actions show how the crew can take action whilst adhering to the spirit of the PD. At last!
    The authorities on the planet represent an efficient and serious threat to our 3 heroes. Proconsul Claudius is a fine antagonist, having had years to prepare for this moment. His observations on the Prime Directive are well made. Spock and McCoy have a nice discussion of the Roman World vs Earth of the same time period (a rare example of decent Spock/McCoy dialogue).
    Merik is a bit of a tragic character, having given up the fight long ago. Just like with Commodore Stocker in The Deadly Years, Merik really champions what it means to be be the captain of a STARSHIP. Unfortunately this leads to Claudius' opinion of Merik to drop significantly and eventually becomes dismissive of him as a “lesser” man.

    He changed out of it when he got old and when he had to fight Spock to the death. But he seems very fond of it!

    Other thoughts:
    • After the careful setup in Act 1, Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down ALONE and in their Starfleet uniforms. What exactly was their plan?
    • Flavius teaching McCoy how to fight is a fun moment.
    • After the landing party have beamed up at the end, there are bullet holes on the wall behind them! Another nice attention to detail.
    • Finally, I always appreciate any scenes shot on location

    McCoy is particularly irascible this week. He starts picking on Spock from the moment they land!
    Spock though (like in I Mudd) soon picks up on McCoy’s attitude and responds in an atypically petty manner “I had no idea you were trained” etc. I think that McCoy is deliberately goading Spock (for his own good, as you state above) but what's Spock's excuse? Is he stressed out because an estranged family member is visiting next week?
    I wonder if there any McCoy/Spock slash out there? Their scene in the jail together would certainly support it! :devil:

    Kirk and the landing party's lives were in very real danger throughout most of the episode, so aside from sneaking a kiss,I doubt Kirk would have let his guard down enough to sleep with Drusilla (let alone from the issues of consent here).


    Urhura’s speech about the “son” worship initially seems to be even more on the nose than Kirk’s “we find the one {god} quite sufficient” from Who Mourns for Adonais but Kirk's dialogue afterwards muddies the waters a little by saying that the Roman planet had "their own Christ". Does that mean that “the teachings of Christ” is a philosophical approach to life, rather than referring to an actual supernatural being?
     
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  16. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've noticed that sometimes it isn't DeForest in the fighting scenes with Flavius in the arena! Plus DeForest's hair has a slightly thinning crown! Which is fantastic considering that he too wore a syrup but he didn't make too much fuss about it so got under the wig radar! :techman:
    JB
     
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  17. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This isn't high on my list to rewatch and I think part of that is because I don't like heavy allegorical alternate Earth stories and partly because Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beaming down makes so little sense. With more characters in the mix, I would have enjoyed it more I think.
     
  18. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that you call a toupee a "syrup" which is what I put on my French toast.
     
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  19. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I was stumped by that too, when I was first running into Jonnybear. It turns out, "syrup of figs" yields the Cockney rhyming slang for wig. :bolian: And biscuits is code for knees, from "biscuits and cheese."

    I find it interesting that Shatner took endless abuse, starting around the 1980s, for having worn a hairpiece in TOS, but (as we now know) Kelley, Nichols, Barrett, Koenig, and Whitney were wearing them too. Because it's show business. And nobody ever gave them a mocking for it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  20. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Shatner's wig was very good in the series but looked very silly in the movies! It's only recently that we've learned about DeForest being in the club although Koenig owned up a few years back! Grace's was obvious but I wasn't aware of Nichelle's or Majel's for that matter! :wtf:
    JB