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Old 09-15-2016, 11:24 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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September 15th, 1966, "Charlie X"

The Fiver (by Derek)
Memory Alpha Page
Transcript by chakoteya.net

Thoughts on the episode:

* Charlie learned to talk by speaking to the computer? Yeah, no. Maybe if you plunked a kid in a classroom with a computer specifically programmed to teach language skills like in the NextGen episode "Rascals." In the 23rd century, with a computer designed to be used in a colony, a computer even less sophisticated than the Enterprise's? Yeah, no. At best Charlie would babble at it and the computer would respond "invalid command" over and over.
* The bottom slapping bit always seemed out of place. The final punchline needed to be stronger to justify the setup, and it wasn't.
* Since Kirk is from Iowa, the idea that he'd be the one in favor of promoting at least minimal observance of Thanksgiving makes sense.
* Ah, yes, UESPA, the United Earth Space Probe Agency. After this episode and "Tomorrow is Yesterday", UESPA would be relegated to cameos. Some have suggested that any usage of a military rank instead of a naval rank (i.e. Colonel West) marks a UESPA officer, not a Starfleet one. At least this bit of early weirdness hasn't entirely gone away, unlike Vulcanians and lithium crystals.
* I'm still iffy on this whole "Thasians can teach the ability to transmute matter to humans" thing. When it comes to inhuman powers, I don't think they can be "taught." I'd think teaching a human to nerve pinch would be about the maximum possible without outright genetic modification.
* I do like how Charlie admits that the Enterprise is more complicated than the Antares and he outright can't control everything by himself. It calls to mind Scotty's jerry-rig of the ship in The Search for Spock.
* If the Thasians can grant their power without being able to take it back, I guess they're lower on the cosmic food chain than the Q, who can do it with a finger snap. I like that, they're not quite omnipotent. Call it semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic.

Thoughts on the fiver:

I understand the Star Wars jokes, but reminding me of the prequels isn't very pleasant. Sorry, Derek.

Uhura: (singing) Charlie X, Charlie X, for you that name might vex. But be glad indeed your name's not Malcolm Reed or you'd be called Malcolm X. Ack!
Charlie: I find your lack of good lyrics disturbing.

Classic trilogy jokes, however, are a-okay.

Ramart: (over the comm) Kirk, I wanted to warn you about Charlie X. He's a Q! GAK!
Kirk: What's a "Q"?
Spock: It's a letter of the alphabet as far as I know.

Classic "Gak!" gag. Obligatory "All Good Things" reference, move along...

Rand: Argh! Enough with the Star Wars quotes already! Get out!

I'm with you on this one, Janice.

Spock: I can't believe my ears!
Charlie: I can't believe your ears either.

Okay, is this more Abbot and Castello or Marx Brothers? Decisions, decisions...

Memory Alpha thoughts:

* I wasn't aware that an early title considered was "Charlie's Law", a science joke. I remember covering this in school, but we jumped quickly to the Ideal Gas Law.
* I didn't know that Gene Roddenberry's only cameo (as a voice) was in this episode.
* I've read the Blish adaptations, but it's been a long time. I didn't know that Blish was able to save the disappeared Enterprise crew by saved by the Thasians.
* The article mentions that Charlie and the Antares crew use leftover, outdated uniforms from "The Cage." This makes sense, as when uniforms are updated priority would be given to the starship crews, with smaller ships and outposts lower down in the pecking order.
* Thanksgiving in 2266 would be on November 22nd, giving an exact "real-world" date for this episode.
* I'm amazed that at various points the Antares is called a cargo vessel, a transport ship, a science probe vessel, and a survey ship. Maybe the last two could be considered alternate terms for each other, but in general wouldn't these tasks require different kinds of crews and ship equipment? Clearly the script needed another run-through by an editor.
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Last edited by Nate the Great; 12-25-2017 at 06:59 PM.
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