The Galileo Seven (no relation to Blake's)

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Qonundrum, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 18, 2017
    The clinic located by the Q Continuum
    My latest rewatch involves Spock trying to figure out how command is more than just spouting facts and wondering why his crewmates can't see the details.

    The last time I sat through this, I thought it was a hokey and somewhat contrived, if not pedestrian, presentation. By 2000s-standards, that's not untrue. By 1966 standards, it wasn't.

    It's a marvelous exploration of the crew valuing one another and rule-bending. Especially for 1966 standards, but there's still a lot to appreciate.

    It's nice to see a planet populated not by a regular human or humanoid colony, and not by incorporeal glowing balls of light that say we have potential or whatever, but a race of giants in a more primitive state of development, which ensures a proper set of variables, or proverbial wild cards. (This is also a new take on the old "David vs Goliath"/"Achilles's Heel" trope but not going in the predictable direction of finding the bare ankle; this time the genius is in the crew scrambling to leg it before they're turned into dinner or smooshed like a bug except the resultant clothes-staining splatter not just much larger, it's also red and not amber or green... and not blue #5 since that's a derivative of calcium and salts that's also banned in countries due to some potential side-effects.

    For the record, Q makes its first appearance in the franchise:

    (If your monitor has a good contrast ratio, zoom in on the lower-left corner and there is looks like text areas that can be lit from behind to show various statuses. Now that's cool attention to detail, especially for 1966 standards... ...or it's excessive JPG compression that's remarkably tidy and laid out very neatly. )

    Kirk's line about the needle in a haystack being child's play is great. No worries, a few minutes later it's clear as car polish how everyone found their way to Taurus II.

    How many quadrants are in this area? "779X by 534" sounds more like algebra...

    The yeoman at the end sums up what a good captain does - provide inspiration.

    Remember kids, when finding an emergency energy source, seven phasers can be rigged to get a small spacecraft into orbit. The actors play it so straight I just about manage to believe it. It also begs the question of how much power they need and how they can be safely be holstered next to one's fun parts.

    It's funny how Boma gets on Spock's case and not wanting him to carry dead corpses around, not because none of the corpses is wearing a red shirt but because he's not human and lacks emotions. No worries, Bowman also gets upset when he begs to do chapel services instead of waiting because the might all survive if they work together and delay respects appropriately but Spock refuses. Spock would later put in a zinger involving if the creatures would permit the burial ceremony to take place.

    Never mind that Spock going out like a golden retriever (albeit in a blue suit) to fetch the other dead redgoldshirt is what gets the entire village of giants over to play pattycake on the shuttle. (The episode is loaded with more great lines than it does spending time to make everyone look like damn fools...) Since Gitano, a name nobody pronounced the same so let's just go with an earlier utterance of "git-ahh-no" was being a git is what first had the giant scout killed with its comrade running off to tell his buds about the newfound interlopers and all...

    McCoy had a point about feelings, though the issue with burial ceremonies dureing an extreme emergency is just as much the fault of all supporting it. True, in real life they'd all wait and the episode is arguably contriving this subplot. On the other hand, the episode is more exploring the emotional condition and logic and facts versus feelings, and the zinger revelation of "inspiration" that more than make up for it.

    Note how Spock learns by the seat of his pants; the creatures did respond to fear but quickly adapted and he realizes this when they finally attack the ship. Did Gitano have a point about killing? (Spock had one too about humans not killing and it is arguably Gitano killing that made the situation worse, unless it wasn't - it could go either way and I wish the episode took a couple minutes to play whatisms, but that's okay.)

    Also, Commissioner Sheldon Cooper or whatever his name was keeps returning to cite more space core directives. His real name must be Arnold Rimmer and he increasingly acts like a total and complete smeeehead... until the end of the story where he's nowhere to be found, despite taking command, and Kirk's there telling Sulu to return to the planet to investigate Spock's desperate mystery act. But Sheldon Rimmer was right, and this isn't the last time Kirk tries to condense orders. "The Paradise Syndrome" has him stalling despite an emergency, except it's to relax for a minute as opposed to rushing to get medical supplies-- oh yeah, when the shuttle crew are recovered Kirk tells them to return to course at warp one. Not warp 2, 3, 4 or even more?

    Is Marcus 3 near Marcus 12, where the deadly Gorgon wanted to be?

    In a great scene, McCoy gloats about being human and Spock laments there was no chance either way. It's a great "mic drop" of a scene.

    Another scene has a cool camera pan from Uhura to Sulu.

    The Big Three at the end also have a great epilogue, before all the corny end-of-episode laughter.

    All in all, this is a great ensemble piece, with convincing and even compelling acting by all, whose philosophical themes overcome various plot points and handlings. 7/10 but still ends up as a "highly recommended, must-see" episode since the number of great quotes and acting transcends any nitpicks, of which not all are reflected in this initial post. Including how the forced perspective doesn't always work, but roll with it and the story makes up for it.

    As for Arnold Rimmer, there:

  2. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

    Aug 22, 2002
    Terra Inlandia
    Coops likes this.
  3. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    I've always enjoyed this episode, but you've gotta look past the huge dumb conceit that Spock has never commanded a mission prior to this one. I don't think you become first officer of a starship without some command experience.
    Avon's 5 > Blake's 7.
  4. scotpens

    scotpens scotpens Premium Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I can't resolve those markings into anything legible, but I doubt they were meant to be visible. Maybe it's a manufacturer's mark for the transparency film.

    And it's the first time we get to see the cavernous hangar deck and the flying butter dish!
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Well, Spock is supposed to be weird and alien. "Dumb conceit" is a main header in his character bio, and we love most of the entries. This one? Not so much, but it can still be included.

    Timo Saloniemi
  6. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 28, 2011
    hans gruber
    She's not the worst yeoman necessarily, but her main specialty is temperature observation (also at the end).
  7. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 9, 2021
    You may want to look at the 1939 film "Five Came Back" which is credited as inspiration for "The Galileo Seven"
    It's a truly excellent survival film about an airliner going down in the Amazon. Lucille Ball before she went into comedy and ran Desilu studios to produce Star Trek.
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    One ferry ride from Starfleet HQ
    The commissioner does not take command. All he can do is demand Kirk abandon the search and heed the orders to get to Marcus 3 by their deadline. He can't give the crew orders. He's not part of the chain of command (that subject again...)
    fireproof78 and TREK_GOD_1 like this.
  9. Paul755

    Paul755 Captain Captain

    Jul 21, 2018
    I kinda hope SNW brings back stuff like High Commissioners, Undersecretaries, starbases commanded by a Manager, etc…

    Just little world building stuff.
  10. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 24, 2006
    Escaped from Delta Vega
    Excellent episode that put early Spock to the test away from the Enterprise, and challenged the effectiveness of attempting to use logic in situations that were not born of--or recognize logic no matter how it is applied. A great example is this exchange between Spock & McCoy, where the doctor so accurately pointed out to Spock--

    SPOCK: Most illogical reaction. We demonstrated our superior weapons. They should have fled.
    MCCOY: You mean they should have respected us?
    SPOCK: Of course.
    MCCOY: Mister Spock, respect is a rational process. Did it ever occur to you they might react emotionally, with anger?
    SPOCK: Doctor, I am not responsible for their unpredictability.
    MCCOY: They were perfectly predictable to anyone with feeling. You might as well admit it, Mister Spock, your precious logic brought them down on us.

    Along with Boma's fiery judgements of Spock (which--along with Stiles in "Balance of Terror"-- built consistency on the idea that race or species hatred still exists within 23rd century mankind's perceptions), this was a defining episode for several characters. I note that McCoy argues with Spock (trying to get him to break the bonds of seeing the world through an exclusively logical lens), yet Scotty does not, and of the senior officers present, it is Scotty that jumps to Spock's defense after Boma's acidic "burial" insult at Spock.

    Kirk's mounting frustration / anger with Commissioner Ferris was also well played by Shatner, and there was no doubt that by this point in the series (still early), he genuinely cared for his crew, while finding it difficult to respect self-important paper-pushing bureaucrat types (which viewers would see another take on in "A Taste of Armageddon").

    Unlike so much Trek in the decades to follow, there was real heart and edge to the characters, a far cry from some of the Berman-era series where some characters were about as lively as the contents of an opened soda bottle after sitting in the sunlight for a few hours.
    Scott Kellogg likes this.
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Of course, Spock is being an asshole above, beyond and independent of species; disrespect or outright hatred wouldn't seem out of place in other contexts, either.

    And Ferris is mindful of millions, while Kirk chose to send his men and women to death at a particularly inopportune moment, not caring for said millions much. We in the audience have to come up with rationalizations for why the study of a phenomenon that won't go away any time soon should take precedence over the time-critical medical mission. And while those make for good worldbuilding (if starship schedules are that tight, we understand why Kirk sometimes arrives six months too late), they do give us a bit of a headache (if starship schedules are that tight, how can Kirk ever undertake a quest and not have his career terminated?).

    Timo Saloniemi
  12. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 28, 2011
    hans gruber
    I've seen that, plus the '50s remake. Both were directed by Mia Farrow's father.
    But that title is the worst spoiler alert in American film history.
    Richard S. Ta and Scott Kellogg like this.
  13. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2015
    I never saw either. How many oriignal characters were the five winnowed down from? I'm sure that when the number of survivors was reduced to 7 or 6, viewers whould have a good idea of who would live and who would die. But if the group started with 10 or 20 people, there might be considerable suspense at first as the title told the audience that only some of them would comeback, but not who it would be.

    I once saw a movie called The Wild Westerrners (1962), and even though the first line of dialog in the movie was perfectly normal, I knew something about the real history the movie was based (very loosely) on, and so I instantly knew what much of the plot would be about. But since I wasn't an expert on the history, and since the movie didn't follow the history very closely, there were some unexpected events and suspense.
  14. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 9, 2021
    The original movie starts with a cast of 9 passengers and 3 crew.

    Can't speak to the sequel, but the original movie is quite good and I recommend it.
    An interesting study in character. As "The Enemy Below" became "Balance of Terror" I can see why the Star Trek production crew decided to use it as inspiration for "Galileo Seven".

    Start with a Ripping Good adventure story, and adapt it.

    They used to play it on TCM.
  15. Roundabout

    Roundabout Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 19, 2018
    Spock needs to learn how to crack the whip.

    Spock's decisions were questioned at just about every turn. It didn't take long for almost everyone to openly and continuously question his orders. The crews' attitude bordered on insubordination.

    Part of the problem was Spock's own doing. Sure, he didn't inspire confidence, nor did he put his foot down hard enough. And he did make some poor decisions, like not putting a real hurt on those creatures instead of ordering a stupid phaser light show that was suppose to scare those creatures.

    But at the same time, one of the senior officers, McCoy, should have known better than to deliberately make comments that undermined Spock's authority. Such insubordinate attitude becomes infectious under those circumstances.

    Early on, McCoy trolled Spock. Here's the dialog:

    McCoy: Well, I can't say much for the circumstances, but at least it's your big chance.
    Spock: My big chance? For what, doctor?
    McCoy: Command. Oh, I know you, Mister Spock. You've never voiced it, but you've always thought that logic was the best basis on which to build command. Am I right?
    Spock: I am a logical man, doctor.
    McCoy: It'll take more than logic to get us out of this.

    That was just the start. McCoy's kept on making snippy comments about Spock. Boma, Gaetano, and even Yeoman Mears couldn't resist taking digs at Spock, questioning his orders and/or his command fitness. Of course, another partial explanation of the crew's attitude towards Spock may be their bias about a Vulcan commanding them. Bigotry in Starfleet? Say it ain't so.

    Near the end, when doomed seemed inevitable, McCoy had to rub it in.

    Scotty: Mr. Spock, you said a while ago that there were always alternatives.
    Spock: Did I? I may have been mistaken.
    McCoy: Well , at least I lived long enough to hear that. Is there anything we can do?
    Spock: The Enterprise is surely on course for Makus Three by now. I for one do not believe in angels.
    McCoy: Well, Mr. Spock, so ends your first command.

    I don't know, but there seemed to be a tone of schadenfreude in McCoy's remarks. What a prick. Spock might be screwed, but so was he and the rest of the crew.

    McCoy might have been right about the problem with Spock's relying solely on logic, and Spock did demonstrate poor leadership most of the time. But it didn't help matters when a senior officer like McCoy cavaliarly undermined Spock's authority with his flippant comments and behavior.
    ChallengerHK, Henoch and ZapBrannigan like this.
  16. Scott Kellogg

    Scott Kellogg Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 9, 2021
    My interpretation will probably be at odds with some of you folks, but, in my opinion, "The Galileo Seven" and it's remake "The Tholian Web" are both show the shortcomings in Spock's social skills.

    Let's face it: There are no Vulcans on Earth (nor Androids) so Spock (and Data) by their personalities, both represent a certain segment of the human population that has been Alienated by their fellow humans. I'm speaking of the folks on the Autism Spectrum with Asperger's Syndrome. They... (okay, we) have difficulty with making the social connections with people that would make them effective leaders.

    I certainly wouldn't want to follow Sheldon Cooper (from the Big Bang Theory) into a dangerous situation.

    In Galileo Seven and Tholian Web, I really don't recall Spock showing much concern for the crew.
    One might view the crew's reactions as Insubordination. But, one might equally view their reactions as:
    "Oh Crap! The guy in charge doesn't give a damn if I live or die! He's not going to do anything! I have to save myself!"
    ZapBrannigan likes this.
  17. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 28, 2011
    hans gruber
    Until a friend of mine informed me of the remake, I was also in the dark. It's titled BACK FROM ETERNITY.......featuring Rod Steiger, Robert Ryan, Anita Ekberg and Otto the inflatable emergency pilot (his debut).

    This one also has 12 plane characters. One difference: the first one to go is the stewardess.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021
  18. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

    May 8, 2003
    Charlotte, NC

    The trivia geek in me has taken over.

    Not only was John Farrow Mia and Prudence (whom John Lennon sang about in his song "Dear Prudence") Farrow's father, their mother was none other than Maureen O'Sullivan, famous for playing Jane in the first six Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies.

  19. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

    Apr 19, 2013
    Backwaters of Australia
    I don't think its proved Spock made the wrong decision. Maybe if they had done the bloody nose thing the natives would have attacked them earlier.
    I don't know that Spock's actions were all that bad. He was constantly working on a way off the planet. Even if that involved leaving someone behind. If it had been Kirk instead of Spock then the crew would probably have admired Kirk for his ingenuity.

    I agree the big mistake that Spock made was not coming hard down on McCoy and Boma at the beginning. But Spock never did that when he was confronted with racial prejudice. Not with Stiles. I'm lucky not to have experienced prejudice but I wonder how people react to it day after day when their clothes, food, mannerisms, accent are made fun off because they are different.

    OK and there was no reason to send people out by themselves with no phaser (hasn't Spock seen any horror films?)
  20. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 12, 2014
    Not "bordered on insubordination", totally insubordinate. They were terrible. One guy who wasn't terrible? Scotty. Scotty was nothing but cool and professional the entire time, even when it looked like they were going to die, even sticking up for Spock at one point. Scotty is the man!

    McCoy is a dick to Spock throughout the series. I used to think their arguments were pretty even, but on a recent rewatch of the series I saw that it's really pretty one-sided. McCoy is generally the antagonist to Spock, but there's a moment toward the end of Tholian Web where McCoy apologizes and is conciliatory to Spock, and I think McCoy acts a lot better toward Spock through the rest of the series.