Which episode of "I Love Lucy" would Mestral have seen that night?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Laura Cynthia Chambers, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I Love Lucy hadn't been an excuse for Mestral to go out with Maggie (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/I_Love_Lucy), which episode could he have seen that night?

    If a new episode:

    Where in the 1957-1958 timeline was he at that moment?

    Season 6 episode "Lucy Gets Chummy With the Neighbors" aired January 10, 1957, while the series finale "The Ricardos Dedicate a Statue" aired April 4, 1957. Subsequent hour-long episodes were aired under the title The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (later The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour).

    If syndication:

    I don't know if this is possible, but part of me hopes it was "Lucy Is Envious" (the Women From Mars episode).
     
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  2. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    That last episode you mentioned would have been an ironic one, to be sure :P!
     
  3. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Captain Captain

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    Whichever one it was, doesn’t such an obvious reference feel a bit cringeworthy? How many viewers wouldn’t have been fans and wouldn’t have known enough about Desilu to say “yeah, yeah, OK”?
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's when the last new episode aired, but they continued to show reruns in various time slots for years afterward, as discussed here. So that complicates the issue. Although it's unclear whether the reruns aired under the same title as the original, because in previous seasons they'd been re-aired under the title The Lucy Show (not to be confused with her '60s series of that name).

    Also, it's a little unclear when Lucy actually ended its broadcast run -- the sources say its final season ran to May 6, 1957, a month after its finale debuted, whereas its summer replacement series Those Whiting Girls apparently didn't premiere until the start of July. It's confusing, because apparently the practice of airing reruns of a show in its regular time slot, as opposed to repackaging them for a different time slot as Lucy pioneered doing, didn't begin until the 1970s. So what was happening between April 4 and May 6, or between then and July 1?
     
  5. Discofan

    Discofan Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seems really hard to pinpoint an episode, given that we have no indication as to the date when Mestral says that. If only there was something like a calendar against a wall, an allusion to a sporting event. How about Sputnik? Didn't the boy say that he could see Sputnik? Maybe that could help with the date. How long was Sputnik orbiting the Earth?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, Mestral used Lucy as a cover story for going to see a baseball game, so it was probably during baseball season.

    It didn't even launch until October 4, 1957, months after Lucy ended. It went dead on Oct. 26 and fell out of orbit on January 4, 1958. The Vulcan ship was sent to investigate the launch, crashed 3 weeks after they arrived, lived in the woods for 2 more weeks, then came into town. So they would've had to arrive in mid-November or so, yet there was a baseball game on the radio when they first entered town. And it took them a number of weeks to establish themselves in the community, so the scene we're talking about is probably no earlier than late December 1957. In Pennsylvania. I don't think the California-based writers of the show really thought about how winter works in the northeast.

    So I don't think the timing works at all. I don't see any way to reconcile the real-life timing of Sputnik 1, baseball season, Pennsylvania winter, and I Love Lucy with what was depicted in the episode. But in the alternate reality where Trek happened, maybe Sputnik launched earlier or Lucy ended later. Or maybe T'Pol's account of the event was inaccurate. Either way, I don't think it's possible to answer Laura's question.
     
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  7. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    According to wikipedia, sputnik 1 deorbited and burned up on the 4th of January 1958. It was launched on the 4th of October 1957 and operated until the batteries ran out 21 days later.
     
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  8. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unless it was just that mild of a winter, or T'Pol just omitted winter weather, the episode must have taken place in spring-summer 1958, and the Sputnik the boy claims he can see, is Sputnik 2 or 3, or something else. Or T'Pol just mixed up her facts.

    The answer is "most viewers." Most viewers of Enterprise would not be the type to know the whole history of Star Trek. If the reference was really there because of "Desilu and TOS," then it was thrown in for that minority of hardcore fans.

    Otherwise, I love Lucy is easily one of the most well known TV shows from that era, so they may not have been going for any special reference at all, but simply a humorous line that everyone watching would understand.
     
  9. Discofan

    Discofan Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They often get it wrong in cases like this even when they try to get it right. For example, I've learned that the episode of "The Honeymooners" that is on when Marty (Back To The Future) is in his Grandparent's house was not the one that aired that day. The boy said it was "today's episode" though but it's one that only aired several weeks later, which makes it an impossibility even as a rerun.

    And in BTF there are no possibilities of mistake because the dates are given precisely.
     
  10. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Plus there's the fact that T'Pol seems to imply she made the whole story up. She could either have gotten facts wrong, or she's leaving a trail of clues for Archer and Trip that the story is entirely fabricated.
     
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  11. Discofan

    Discofan Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Like giving one of the Vulcans the name of the inventor of Velcro for example.:D
     
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  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Including the makers of the show. They knew Trek's Desilu history very well and no doubt put in that Easter egg for their own enjoyment, as much as anyone else's. The fact is, when writers and filmmakers put in Easter eggs and in-jokes and the like, we're usually doing it to amuse ourselves first and foremost, and if anyone else gets the joke, that's just a bonus.


    That was probably a case of deliberate poetic license rather than error. As I recall, the Honeymooners episode that was showing was the "Man from Space" episode, which foreshadowed Marty's own "Man from Space" disguise later on. After all, virtually every detail in the first act of BTTF is foreshadowing something that happens later. Also, the fact that Ralph is in that disguise makes the episode instantly recognizable at a glance, both for the audience and for Marty, whereas the actual episode that aired that day might not have had such a visually distinctive scene.


    That's what she wants them to think, but then she goes to her quarters and takes out T'Mir's handbag (or something), which essentially confirms the basic truth of the story, even if the details weren't exact.
     
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  13. Discofan

    Discofan Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So why couldn't they simply adjust the date when the action took place with the actual airing date of the episode?
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Maybe because that date was New Year's Eve, so school would've been out for the holidays and it would be an unlikely time for a school dance. Plus then the past sequence would've straddled two different calendar years, which would've been less clear to the audience, and would've added the distraction of New Year's festivities. Better to keep it a consistent year throughout, and 1955 works better because it's 30 years before the movie's setting/release date and just sounds cooler than 1956.
     
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  15. Discofan

    Discofan Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I see. I thought it was sometime in December but didn't know it was New Year's Eve.
     
  16. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I realize writers don't check these things. It was a timeline and culturally-appropriate name drop and an Easter egg all in one.

    I recently watched an episode of The Andy Griffith Show ("Andy and Opie's Pal") in which Barney recalls June 23, 1952, as a Saturday. I checked the almanac and it would have been a Monday instead. (And I'm not the only one: https://www.moviemistakes.com/tv4413/episode18987)

    In this case, if it had been the right day of the week, Barney's memory would be impressive. If the wrong day, it shows he doesn't remember as well as he claims to, which is consistent with the character's general traits (supposedly bumbling). Either way, to those who didn't bother to remember or look it up, it demonstrates his unwillingness to let things go, the point of the scene in the first place.

    Writers take it for granted that nobody will look. Or let it pass without wondering.
     
  17. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Since we already know that the timeline of the 20th century in the Star Trek universe didn't play out exactly like in real life, then it's really anybody's wild guess as to which episode he would have seen.

    Kor
     
  18. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hmm. I find I Love Lucy itself to be cringeworthy.

    True story: many years ago, talking with a friend, I mentioned that, to my ears, the theme from I Love Lucy sounds like a musical depiction of an out-of-balance washing machine. She replied that I Love Lucy WAS an out-of-balance washing machine.

    And another observation: Sputnik I is referenced in the end (which is to say, the chronological beginning*) of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along.

    _____
    * Merrily We Roll Along, both Sondheim's musical and Kaufman & Hart's original play, uses reverse chronology, beginning at the chronological end, and ending at the chronological beginning.
     
  19. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It could be any episode, as I Love Lucy had concluded its final season by the time the Vulcans crashed.
     
  20. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Eh, well. Still fun to think about.