TheGodBen Revisits Star Trek

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by TheGodBen, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You must consider I Dream of Jeannie the height of oppression. :techman:

    But anyway, if you're going to drill down on the moral implications that come out of your absolutist assumptions about the back story, then you have to conclude that Kirk didn't do anything with Drusilla. And also Tony never consummated with Jeannie. Because that would be wrong.

    But the makers wanted the scene to play as light fantasy-adventure, not a moral treatise on slavery. It was a fantasy scene in which a man was getting what he really wants, and a woman was "required" to get what she really wants, meaning she's not a bad girl. Her job gave her "permission to be bad." In the 1960s, that was Sex Fantasy 101. Nobody took it seriously. :bolian:
     
  2. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I admit, I have an absolute assumption that slavery is bad. Is that really so radical? :shrug:

    BTW, didn't Jeannie explicitly choose to be with Tony in the very first episode?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk isn’t the perfect hero who never makes mistakes. And good people do at times do things they might later regret. One is free to interpret the scene whichever way one wishes, but as Carol Marcus said, Kirk was never a boy scout.

    The scene as written and filmed seems pretty clear in its intent. It’s a lot clearer than what we see in “Elaan Of Troyius.” Make of that what you will.

    Further note for thought. Picard has often be made out to be more evolved than Kirk, but to the best of our knowledge Kirk never slept with anyone under his command. I’m pretty sure Picard cannot make that claim. He actively pursued a relationship with Nell Darrin, someone under his command.
     
  4. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Fair enough :techman:

    TNG also had Riker routinely date female lieutenants, people who in a 20th century setting might have felt coerced into obeying the wishes of a ranking officer, even if nothing was actively said.
    Fortunately, humanity is more evolved in the 24th century and that sort of pressure or manipulation would never happen.
    Absolutely not.
    Never
    :whistle:
     
  5. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And on DS9 Julian operates on, "cures," than . . . begins a relationship with his patient who's been catatonic all? her life, certainly for years?! Just awakened to the world and the doctor falls in love and starts dating her. LUCKily she has enough wherewithal (how?) to tell him she needs space and goes away. I couldn't believe what I was seeing for most of the show, frankly.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    For all the sexism complaints thrown at TOS I find a lot of questionable stuff in later Trek.

    TNG’s episode “The Perfect Mate”—did Picard sleep with the metamorph Kamala, the woman meant to be someone else’s wife? If Kirk did sleep with Elaan at least his excuse was he was under the influence of Elasian tears. Whats Picard’s excuse?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  7. Mr. Spook

    Mr. Spook Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tony Nelson was a virgin. Until he and Jeannie got married. Because that’s how I like it :biggrin:
     
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  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On the subject of whether Kirk had sex in Bread and Circuses, I actually addressed that in my review of that episode, although it was four years ago so nobody will remember. Here's what I said:

    Yes, the first time I watched that episode my impression was that they had sex, but when I watched it for the purpose of this thread I felt there was enough leeway in what was presented that I could interpret the scene differently. I don't want to believe that Kirk is the sort of guy who would bang a slave who was sent to sleep with him, I don't think that would even have been a morally acceptable thing in the 1960s, let alone today. I can't say what the intent of the writers or director or actors was when making the episode, but I'm using the wriggle room that the episode gave me to believe that Kirk, though tempted, ultimately chose not to sleep with a sex slave.

    Speaking of Kirk having sex...


    The Paradise Syndrome (0)

    So there’s an asteroid about to hit a planet in two months, and in order to prevent that from happening the Enterprise needs to deflect it at a particular point in space, and they’ve got 30 minutes to get there. Ignoring the fact that they choose to faff about on a planet rather than speeding towards the location they need to get to (after which they could faff about on the planet to their heart’s content) by deflecting the asteroid just a little they could buy themselves more time. There’s no need to deflect the asteroid all in one go. Unless they’re literally going to sit at the asteroid for two whole months deflecting it.

    But then they break their warp engines failing to deflect the asteroid, so they spend two months heading back to the planet to rescue Kirk, which will get them there 4 hours before the asteroid. Which suggests that the asteroid is also accelerating at impulse speed, which makes no sense. What’s more, they say that the only way to repair the engines is to return to a repair station, but that could take decades at impulse!

    And if you’re wondering why I’m spending my time nitpicking the asteroid plotline, it’s because the stuff that happens with Kirk on the planet is so fucking terrible that I can barely bring myself to comment on it. Firstly, it’s got that trope of primitive non-white people seeing a white guy and assuming that he’s a God, which really hasn’t aged well. But it’s Kirk’s romance with Miramanee that descends this episode into horrifying territory. Kirk actually gets married and knocks her up, only for her to be stoned to death so that Kirk can leave at the end without abandoning his wife and kid.

    This episode is just horrible. It’s cruel, it’s racially insensitive and, worst of all, it defies the laws of velocity and momentum!

    James T Flirt: 13¾
    Inform the Men: 2


    Typical, you wait around forever for Kirk to get laid, then two women boink him one after the other.
     
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  9. Mr. Spook

    Mr. Spook Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, again, I gotta nitpick your nitlick. They don't see the white guy and say he's a god. They see the man in strange clothing and manner coming out of their sacred sealed temple exactly as their legend describes. He even has a name similar to their god Kirok. He could have been any old color and they would have followed him. But since this was the 1960's and 99.9% of every action hero lead was white, that's what we got. They could have done this exact plot on DS9 with Sisko in the Kirok role and it would play exactly the same. Let's not go looking for awful stereotypes where there aren't any. This is even a better than usual depiction of American Indians at the time. They are primitive but not stupid.

    Other than that, the only thing dragging this episode down a bit is - and I hate to say this - Shatner. He is at both his best and his worst. His best is when he's doubting and unsure. But when we get to "I'm so hap-peeeee!" in the Shatner whisper, things get chuckle worthy. The jury is out on the "I am Kirok! I have come! I am Kirrooooook!" I see where he's going with it, but it's a little cringy. And since Shatner hated doing ADR, he never gives his best in in the dubbing booth.

    However, honestly, this episode is f'n amazing. A fantastic and realistic love story for Kirk (the only one) that hangs together better than City on the Edge of Forever for me. Miramanee is so sweet and so in love, it resonates. I don't feel like someone's personal agenda is in her dialog as with Edith Keeler. Kirk wants desperately to have a break from the rigors and lonlieness of command, yet he's thrust right into leading these people. He gets a break, but still has to lead and he fights Spock's mind fusion tooth and nail. The ending is horribly tragic. The location shooting is so refeshing, the Spock/McCoy scenes crackle and the music...OMG the music is to die for

    So, ya know, I gotta go with "nah, this one is great."
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  10. Severed Fingers

    Severed Fingers There, that's the stuff! Premium Member

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    I always felt sorry for Miramanee, and I liked her and Kirk's relationship. There, I said it.

    The episode doesn't make a lick of sense, but I liked seeing it take place over such a longer period, breaking out of the usual sort of time frame. The location scenes really pop as well.
     
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  11. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    As to Drusilla she actually cannot be said to be consenting because she is a slave and even if she claims to want it that could be to save her own neck. The optics were terrible even when the show first aired.

    And Mirimanee did.

    Too soon?
     
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  12. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yup, Major Nelson was as straight-laced as anyone could be. Jeannie caused all kinds of antics, that frustrated him to no end.
     
  13. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The BBC used to cut the whole Drusilla scene making the comments Kirk made to Spock later on a bit odd! :crazy:
    JB
     
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Picard did not have sex with Kamala. That was the whole angst of the situation. They bonded; they could have loved each other forever. But Picard is the ultimate avatar of Duty and Responsibility. He couldn't have done it and lived with himself.
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Nitpicks on The Paradise Syndrome:
    Miramanee has difficulty understanding how to take Kirk's shirt off, because it has no laces, and a primitive culture can't understand stretchy fabric. Twenty minutes later she puts an elastic headband on him.
    Spock's asteroid velocity demo to McCoy, with rocks. "In the time it has taken me to explain this, the asteroid has moved from here (18" away), to here (6" away). At that scale the damn 'roid would hit the planet about 5 seconds later! You'd think Spock would have a better grasp of scale. Unless he was intentionally exaggerating for McCoy's benefit.
    Kirk's CPR technique was a bit... well, would that have work at all??

    Things I loved:
    That magnificent obelisk setpiece. Heavens to Kirok, what an accomplishment that was on their budget!
    In other shows I've seen Sabrina Scharf in, I found her merely adequate and somewhat pretty. In this episode she shines like a beautiful sunrise.
    Salish!!! The jilted boyfriend. Rudy Solari has a ball with this role and you can tell he's enjoying himself. "Behold the god who BLEEDS!"
    And I'll second the love for that wonderful score!
     
  16. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The movement in Spock's asteroid demo to McCoy could have been in terms of diameters of the rock. That's how I always took it (not that I ever checked it to make sure it all made sense, because I'm sure it didn't, overall).

    To clarify, what I mean is that it was intended to be to scale in the part of the demo in the immediate vicinity of the rock: in several seconds, the asteroid moved that much in terms of its diameter, if that makes it any clearer what I mean.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I don’t think Spock’s demonstration was meant to be exact. I think he merely wanted to impress upon McCoy how little margin for delay they had.
     
  18. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not ashamed to say, "The Paradise Syndrome" was my favorite episode throughout my youth, and it may still be. The music, the obelisk, Miramanee, the high drama, the tragedy, it all worked for me.

    The obelisk is made up entirely of simple geometric lines, and I must have doodled it a thousand times in high school. And I agree, it's amazing they built this thing from scratch on short notice, and it was that solid and permanent-looking.
     
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  19. Mr. Spook

    Mr. Spook Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you watch these episodes in production order, you really feel like the third season is going to be pretty solid. Different than year 2 but still strong.

    Then they made a left turn at Triacus...

    But after that one two punch with Spock’s Brain (which is really pretty great until the halfway point) the series bounces back for a few episodes. Actually the series feels less scattershot in production order. It starts out swinging but loses steam as goes.

    Then again, season 2 did much the same thing.

    Ah, f’k it, I love Star Trek.
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Enterprise Incident (***½)

    Devastated by the recent loss of his wife and unborn child, Kirk decides that he doesn’t want to live any more and chooses to commit suicide by crossing the Romulan Neutral Zone for no apparent purpose. The rest of the crew go along with this because they’re used to Kirk doing irrational and illegal things that put their lives in danger. Soon, the Enterprise finds itself surrounded by a squadron of Klingon ships because the producers were really excited by their new toy and wanted to show it off as much as they could.

    One thing I like about this episode, and it’s something that’s true for TOS as a whole, is that the Romulans aren’t presented as moustache twirling villains. The Romulan Commander here is reasonable and humane and wants to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. The Romulans lost that in the later series, too often they were just an aggressive warrior race scheming against our heroes. They were basically Klingons without the shouting. So it was nice here to see the Romulans in the way that I feel they should always be presented, a threat without being gleefully evil.

    I have issues with the plot though. The scheme to steal the cloaking device is convoluted and relies on factors that Kirk and Spock couldn’t possibly have known about. I mean, sure, they were probably making up much of it on the fly, but in that case they were incredibly lucky to pull the whole thing off. Basically, they only managed it because of the complete incompetence of the Romulan Commander. On the one hand, it’s nice seeing a woman in a command role, even if it’s not in Starfleet, but one look at Spock and she went all gooey and lost a vital strategic asset. It’s one step forward for female representation in Star Trek, then half a step back again.
     
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