Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Trekfan12, Mar 7, 2016.
That's the chappie!
There cannot be an opening from the outside of the ship to the inside -- that is the same as a hole in the ship and atmosphere would escape.
It would be like putting something in an airlock and then opening the exterior door and blowing it out. If the exterior "door" was open, the interior door would still be closed or they would be in a decompression situation.
It was simply nonsense talk to explain how it got from outside to inside a sealed ship in space.
I thought the same thing but somehow the cloud got into the ship through an Impulse vent and travelled into the air ducts. Either it was in telepathic communication with Kirk or sensed his antagonism toward it and knew there would be enough human food on the ship to prepare it for travel back to the Tycho star system and it's urges to recreate itself by fission!
Naah. All that's needed is a hole that lets through gases at pressures higher than one atmosphere only. The starship might have plenty of those, for venting all sorts of gaseous waste; the idea that something could move the opposite way would never occur to the designers, who'd expect the skippers to steer clear of high-pressure atmospheres.
I wonder why an explanation was needed. The thing had this trick where it became something else, against all sorts of laws of nature (including 23rd century ones) - surely it could also become transparent to matter and just sail through the walls?
I mean, sure, ship hulls are probably tough. But shields are supposed to be tougher, and the beast had no trouble with those.
I don't know why we're assuming the "impulse vent" is like a screen door allowing air to flow and and out of the hull. It sounds like it's attached to the impulse engines and is there to vent stuff into space, like "drive plasma" in Generations (or the plasma vents in every other incarnation of Trek it seems). It got in through the one that was kinda stuck open and then phased through the walls into the ventilation system since it had the ability to phase to avoid being hurt by weapons fire. Then, by reversing cabin pressure, they sucked it out of Garrovick's cabin where it attacked two crewmen before Kirk and Scotty could flush it back out of the ship. Think ballast tanks on a sub: open to take in and release water but closed when they don't need to. I have no problem with the vents.
Spock trying to stop it with his hands... well, since they never explained it, it could have been a couple of things: 1) Spock attempting to mind-meld with it or b) Spock concluding that his different blood wouldn't appeal to the creature and took the bullet by shoving Garrovick out and sticking his hands there to ensure the creature stops to snack, giving Garrovick time to summon help. So, again, I'm okay with it.
A few fun things I noticed over the years: during the fight between Kirk and Garrovick, Kirk slams the ensign against the rock and it moves back a few inches. And Kirk has two communicators. One on his pants, which he loses in the scuffle and one tucked in his waistband that he clumsily pulls out and flips around afterward he moves a mountain with Garrovick's body. And Shatner has a hell of a cold in much of this episode. Give the guy some DayQuil.
1) Could it be implicit that Kirk retrieved the dropped communicator between the shots that made final cut? You know, how we don't see everything that happens? [Production and in-universe combo explanation]
2) If the plan is to beam down, set up a device to blow up the planet, and beam back up again with split-second timing, maybe Kirk would carry two communicators. I'd be wearing a backpack that was rigged with pattern enhancers and a continuous transporter lock. And I'd bring along a big "wind machine" fan to blow the cloud away until the trap was baited. [In-universe explanation]
3) "Yeah, Shatner lost his communicator during the stunt, but nobody watching at home will notice, so we don't have to account for it or re-shoot the fight." [Production explanation]
A few tracks from The Doomsday Machine reappear in this episode as well, just another reason to like it in my opinion!
Actually, it's all in one take. Kirk turns slightly when talking to Garrovick and you see the communicator hanging. Garrovick chops him, Kirk goes down. Garrovick and Kirk struggle, you can VERY quickly see the communicator kicked off screen. Kirk wheels and punches Garrovick and we get a clear view of Kirk's backside. The communicator is gone but we can see the bulge of the spare tucked inside his pants. After grabbing the ensign again, Kirk turns and then goes through the whole rigmarole of getting the tucked communicator from his pants, but it's all upside down and backward, so he spends precious seconds getting it straight.
No in-universe explanation needed, just pointing it out.
Doomsday Machine cues appear all over the episodes after it. "The Ultimate Computer" has a ton, as does "The Immunity Syndrome."
It's a wonder he can smell the honey. Maybe that's what convinces Kirk it's really the creature before he sees it again - the fact that it can be smelled by his stuffy nose.
Except they bothered to say it came thru a vent went they just could have it had the power to go straight thru solid matter. LOL. Wow, that creature has evolved all kinds of really great powers -- warp speed, phase shifting -- existing in zero g and in outer space. But it was stymied by its true nemesis -- THE CABIN FAN
Obsession, Immunity Syndrome, The Ultimate Computer and By Any Other Name are just a few to name, I think A Private Little War as well but could be wrong!
It's a great episode overall, but even as a kid (1970s, just when "nanu-nanu" was becoming the latest fad), I knew that vents going to outer space and having a path to the interior was begging for trouble.
Of course, the shuttle bay was shown to be pressurized and depressurized (imagine if those systems ever failed and there's a lot of oxygen in there) but the vent system is made to sound as if one could open it up without issue at any ol' time.
Garrivick was using his hands to cover the opened vent... how airtight are the vents and why can't the misty cloud just whiz right through? Once they knew the creature was in the vents, why couldn't they use the ship's computer to close all vents except for the ones that zigzag and go back leading toward outer space? How many vents interconnect with impulse engine disposal systems anyway, since they make it sound like everyone wants to get high by occasionally whiffing engine fumes because having separate, isolated vents exclusively for the engines was somehow a worse idea? (DS9 also had fun with vents in "One Tiny Ship" but by the 24tgh century they had force fields the way they didn't in the 23rd.)
Honestly, Scotty flushing the vents with radioactive materials would probably kill the entire crew in a rather gruesome manner, leaving the cloud on - forgive me - cloud nine... unless the vents were made with a metal (lead) that prevents radiation from going through the metal to poison everybody with? Of course, lead can lead to other unwanted problems...
"Obsession" actually is a great episode, it brings up Kirk's past, has a new kid learning the ropes and doing the same thing Kirk had, the use of instinct based on experience to out-think what is an adaptable but ultimately less intelligent life form (the cloud), how Kirk has to respond without ending up no different to the incorporeal corpuscle killer he's facing...
...but the vent problem always drove me as nuts.
Another fun note: I'm glad TOS had no continuity between episodes as such. As far back as "The Devil in the Dark", if not "The Man Trap", the "monsters" were given some depth, back story, instinct, reasoning, and intelligence. "Obsession", as with "The Immunity Syndrome" and others, doesn't "go there" with giving a perceived baddie some sympathy and remains a strong story no less. While leaving an opening for a prequel, if anybody wanted one. Maybe the cloud was a biogenic weapon devised to kill the borg - that explains everything right there and then and without diluting the "Obsession" story in the slightest.
But that's the other point about this show: TOS was not about strong inter-story continuity as such between episodes (VOY was no worse). It's about the philosophy, discussing human and societal nature. And that's where Man Trap, Obsession, Devil in the Dark, and numerous other episodes hold up equally well despite contradicting one another on the "baddies" being whatever they are or not. Because the philosophy and human condition and telling them from multiple considerations were the point: Not learning something on Mr Crater's Neighborhood or Sesame Ship one day and applying it in all the subsequent episodes as a serial or arc or anything. Not when there are so many aspects of humanity to explore. As such there is no continuity, nor should there be. TOS was more metaphysical and exploratory. "Obsession" left plot points open and spent more time on Kirk's and Garrovick's baggage and rightly so. For "Obsession", it's not about how the cloud was created or why it exists. The cloud was there and killing people and the point wasn't to discuss what the cloud was about. (That and the idea some race of critters, maybe a species from a fluidic space dimension created it and plopped it into our universe to go after anything organic, of which the borg and all the humanoid life in the Star Trek universe qualifies.)
That, and it takes more time to write a hundred episodes while remembering all the morals and continuity the prior ninety nine had introduced...
Still a solid 8/10
Side note: I just can't believe I just did a nitpicky in-universe stitching of the sort I was defending "Obsession" for not doing of such obsessive magnitude.
The Horta from Janus VI was referred to in That Which Survives, Cutie! But on the whole apart from the odd sentence the stories on TOS were stand alone and not brought up again in the show!
In Turnabout Intruder they mention events of the Empath.
In Tribbles they mention events from Errand of Mercy
I, Mudd -- obvious
In By Any Other Name they mention events from Taste of Armagedon
In Cloud Minders they mention Spock's Pon Farr
In That Which Survives they mention the events of Devil in the Dark
In Dove, Kang talks about the peace treaty from Errand
In Mirror they reference Pike
In Deadly Years they reference Corbomite
In Turnabout they also mention events from Tholian Web
In By Any Other Name they mention events from Where No Man...
In Whom Gods Kirk clearly recognizes the torture chair from Dagger
In Deady Years Sulu says, "we've tangled with them before" referring to events from Balence
Yes, the odd sentence here and there like I said!
Looking at the production memos, Roddenberry had some issues with the vents and how convenient it was for the creature to get in. Also, he was the one who suggested that Spock emerge from his encounter with the thing unharmed, because he noted Spock ended up in sickbay a number of times that season and didn't want to do that again.
Would you have wanted to see young Kirk flashbacks on the Farragut?
As long as it was Shatner as the younger Kirk with a longer wig and sturdier girdle and a few traces of acne!
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