The real tragedy of This Side of Paradise

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Neopeius, Aug 11, 2022.

  1. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    "150 men women and children"
    Where are the children?

    "I examined people age 23 to 59"
    No one under 23.

    It was probably too gruesome a conclusion to dwell on in the episode, but I'm pretty sure the spores can't inhabit teens or children. And that means dozens died...
     
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  2. Maurice

    Maurice FACT TREKKING across the universe... Premium Member

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    SANDOVAL: There are two other settlements, but we have forty five colonists here.

    McCOY: I've examined nine men so far, varying in ages from twenty three to fifty nine.

    That's one fifth of the forty five at that one settlement out of three.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  3. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    Doesn't exclude the possibility. :)
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice FACT TREKKING across the universe... Premium Member

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    Doesn't say either way. Your post suggested a level certainty because you didn't quote the full context.
     
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  5. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What about the previous colonies on Omicron Ceti III?

    And

    This dialog says the colonists have been there for about 3 years or about 156 weeks, which is about 156 times as long was what Spock considered to be the maximium safe exposure to Berthold rays. The colonists went there planning to live permanently. Some of the children could probably expect to live for 5 to 10 decades more in a safe environment.

    I find it really hard to believe the Sandoval group went to Omicron ceti III expecting to experience Berthold Rays that were as deadly as Spock knew they were.

    Since Berthold rays were a new discovery, it is possible that when the colonists left Earth 4 years earlier Berthold rays had not yet been discovered, or that astronomers had not yet discovered that Omicron Ceti emits Berthold rays.

    Or possibly the colonists or Federation scientists knew that Omicron Ceti emitted Berthold rays, but nobody knew yet that Berthold rays were deadly dangerous.

    If the colonists didn't know they were certain to die after more than about a week on Omicron Ceti III, why did Spock say that they knew there was a danger? Maybe Berthold rays were thought to be only slightly dangerous, or maybe there was a good reason to hope that the atmosphere and magnetosphere of Omicron Ceti III woud filter out the Berthold Rays from Omicron Ceti, which was shown to be a false hope after the colonists had already reached Omicron Ceti III.

    Or maybe it was known that previous expeditions had perished on Omicron ceti III but nobody knew why and it was hoped the Sandoval Group could avoid that unknown factor. This sort of reminds me of the Isaac Asimov story "Sucker Bait" (1954) http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?58959. https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v52n06_1954-02_cape1736/page/n7/mode/2up?view=theater But in "Sucker Bait" a scienfitic expedition is being sent to investigate what happened to the colony there, instead of letting colonists try again and again until someone manages to find a way to survive.

    Sandoval explains why his group has three separate settlements:

    Sandoval and presumably all members of his group know that at least two previous expediitons to Omicron Ceti III had died out. Obviously some of them sent subspace radio messages saying that it was an ideal agricultural planet. And possibly they may have sent messages saying that members were getting seriously ill and maybe reported they were starting to die.

    It seems t ome that exploring expeditions should not have had any have young children or even teenagers under 18 among them. And exploring expeditins should have had spaceships ready to take off and go to the next planet to be investigated. So when they started getting sick, the survivors should have taken off. Perhaps they alaready had fatal doses of Berthold radiation and died in space, their ship never found. Perhaps the radiation sickness struck so fast they couldn't take off or send a distress message.

    A settlment attempt could have been left on the planet by a spaceship which then left on other business. Since the Sandoval expedition included children despite the fact that previous expeditions had mysterious but obviously bad fates, a previous colonizing expedtion, with fewer examples of previous disasters, would have been as likely to include children.

    If the Sandoval expedition had only about a week on the the planet before experiencing serious or even fatal results from the Berthold rays, and since the previous expeditions had all died, apparently the children in the Sandoval expedition had a lot of luck that the spores had arrived on Omicron Ceti III after the previous expeditions but before the Sandoval expedition arrived.

    I note the different types of freedom. There is freedom to, and freedom from. Apparently in the Federation, parents have a lot of freedom to take their kids and settle anywhere they want to, even on potentially dangerous planets, while children apparently have no freedom from being taken by their parents hundreds of light years from home into potentially deadly situations.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2022
  6. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    It's a shame that the previous expeditions didn't encounter the spore plants. :weep:

    Sandoval's plan was to settle three separate colonies to avoid sickness that he incorrectly assumes either was contagious or the result of some local effect. Luckily, all three colonies had spore plants nearby.
     
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  7. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    He's not necessarily referring to expeditions to Omicron Ceti III. Just expeditions that went before his. He could be talking about Columbus for all we know.
     
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  8. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Wait - - when is this mentioned in the episode?
     
  9. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    "ELIAS: We felt three groups would have better potential. If disease were to strike one group, the others would be less likely to be affected. You see, Omicron is an ideal agricultural planet. We determined not to suffer the fate of expeditions that went before us."
     
  10. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    Ah; thanks. I have actually always interpreted that to mean "interstellar colonial expeditions anywhere," not previous expeditions to Omicron Ceti III. I'm pretty sure that the Federation wouldn't sanction a third (at least) expedition to a particular planet if everyone from all prior expeditions died - and I'm also pretty sure that even if the Federation did so, Spock would have informed Kirk that this was a real Danger Planet and the colonists had seriously rolled the dice. Instead, Spock's summary of the danger comes off as pretty standard.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2022
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  11. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    I agree. The only thing I'd add is we don't know if the Federation existed three years ago, or if they have that kind of control over who colonizers where. We only know that Space Central/the Federation checks up on colonies from time to time.
     
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  12. drt

    drt Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, TOS seems to have more of a “Wild West” approach where colonists are more like homesteaders in the 1800s, allowed to have a go at it (live or die) with minimal governmental supervision, versus carefully planning and supporting a huge colonizing operation.
     
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  13. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Adding in the one year flight time, the Sandoval Expedition would have left Earth four years prior to the current episode. I place that time when Starfleet was still under United Earth authority.
    ELIAS: We haven't seen anyone outside our group for four years since we left Earth. We've been expecting someone for some time. Our subspace radio didn't work properly, and I'm afraid we didn't have anyone who could master its intricacies.​
    I find it odd that they didn't see anyone outside their group for four years meaning that either the ship was a robot vessel, or that the Sandoval Expedition included the ship's crew and it was a one-way transport. If it was one-way, it was probably on an old, worn-out transport ship of some kind. If self crewed by anti-technology colonists, then it explains why they didn't have the expertise to fix the subspace radio.
     
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  14. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    He could also be lying. They sabotaged their radio upon landing after coming under the influence of the spores. That's what Uhura did.