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  #41  
Old 11-10-2016, 09:44 PM
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I go away for a bit and then activity happens. What a coincidence.

Good thread.
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  #42  
Old 11-17-2016, 09:38 AM
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I've been pondering how to deal with "The Menagerie." We only have one fiver, but two episodes theoretically mean two weeks of coverage. However, since next week is Thanksgiving and I want the day off, plus there was no episode on December 1st, here's what I've decided: I'm going to cover the fiver and the framing device now. The original plot from "The Cage" I'm going to cover on the 1st.

Incidentally, please comment! These things do take time, ya know, and I'd like some validation if you don't mind!

November 17th and 24th, 1966, "The Menagerie"

The fiver (by Zeke)
Memory Alpha Page: Part One and Part Two
Transcript: Part One and Part Two

Thoughts (framing device only):

* Excellent budget-saving device.
* Kirk brings up an excellent point. Spock didn't have to lie just to come here. At this point there are no crimes for Spock to keep Kirk away from.
* This "only yes or no" thing always bugged me. Really?
* Mendez asks them to check the impossible as well. I seem to recall Picard asking something similar of Data in one episode, besides the immortal exchange: "He's asking for the impossible!" "That's the short definition of 'captain'."
* I like that Bones is loyal to Spock. He may rib our pointy-eared friend, but they are friends.
* I always hated, HATED, that visits to Talos IV are "the only death penalty left on the books." Particularly since all information regarding the planet seems to be classified. Why not tell everyone, even the Klingons, outright, "The people on this planet can manipulate your senses. If you go there you may be enslaved for the rest of your life."
* McCoy being uneasy about the protocols for arresting Spock is heartwarming. Bet ya he wasn't expecting this when he woke up today.
* Having Pike still unretired is nice, makes me wonder what sort of job he could do in his condition.
* When did Spock talk with the Keeper and coordinate this time-killing tactic? If the quarantine of Talos IV indicated that the Talosian's range was limited to that system, what does it mean when their range is actually several dozen light-years? Will entire sectors have to be quarantined?

The fiver:

Incidentally, Zeke, was the misspelling of Vina as Vena a joke or reference to something?

Mendez: Pike had a little accident. He was climbing El Capitan and some jerk startled him.
Spock: It was supposed to be a harmless practical joke! I'm sure I'll get it right next time....

Curse you, Z, for reminding me of Star Trek V!

Spock: Spock to Enterprise. Please execute the bogus orders I'm sending.
Hanson: (over the comm) I'll need confirmation from the captain.
Spock: Kirk... here. Please execute... the... ordersimmediately... crewman.
Hanson: Aye, sir.

I wonder if the real Spock would ever use a word like "bogus."

Spock: Just following Jim's orders. He told me himself: "Go... to... TalosFourNOW, Mr... Spock."
McCoy: Well, it sounds authentic, but still....

Twice, Z? The Kirk impression joke is really easy to overdo, ya know. You have to be careful about stuff like this.

Spock: ENTERING ORBIT OF TALOS IV!
Number One: Thank you, Mr. Spock, but it is unnecessary to shout.
Pike: Oh, give the man a break, Number One. He doesn't have to be bland and unemotional all the time just because you are.

Nice reference to the eventually merging of Number One traits into Spock. If I wanted to acknowledge Enterprise here I'd probably make a Trellium D joke, but of course I'm going to do no such thing...

Talosian: Behold: now you're on Rigel.
Pike: Not Rygel XVI, I hope.
Talosian: Rigel with an I. You know, green dancers, possibly-holographic butterflies....
Pike: I think you're Reeding too much into the butterflies.

Apparently Rygel XVI is a character from Farscape. I barely watched that show, although my mom liked it. It's amazing how many actors from that show moved over to Stargate SG-1. With that "Reeding" reference I was expecting to be a reference to Enterprise, which still doesn't exist.

Violent Alien: GRAAAAAAAAARGHHR!
Pike: How did the Canadian do on this part?
Talosian: Pretty decent, actually. But he had a hockey stick.
Pike: What do I get?
Talosian: A herring.
Pike: What? How is that Ame--
Talosian: NI! NI! NI NI NI!
Pike: Aaaaa! Stop, I beg you!

Did Shatner ever play hockey? The transition to Monty Python seems a little abrupt. Perhaps a scene break?

Vena: Sorry, Chris. You see, the Talosians are concealing the fact that I'm really ugly as a result of the crash I --
Pike: You were in a crash?
Vena: Yeah, the fiver kind of glossed over all that. Anyway, I'm staying here.


Ah, yes, the necessary omission of plot details for the sake of a five-minute read. I know it well.

Kirk: I've always wanted to see Talos VII: That's The Roman Numeral For Seven.
Spock: The even-numbered movies are considered to be of superior quality, sir.

Come to think of it, with the exception of the first reboot (remember that Galaxy Quest gag?) the odd-even rule hasn't been brought up lately. If anything the reverse seems to be true in the reboot series. Still haven't seen them, etc. etc.

Memory Alpha:

* The only other "fleet captain" seen in the franchise is Garth of Izar. I wonder why they didn't just use "commodore" for these two.
* Spock served with Pike for 11 years, 4 months, 5 days. Many have taken this to mean that Pike commanded the Enterprise for 2 five-year missions, with a year in between for refit. Given what the Enterprise does and the speed at which technology seems to advance, I wouldn't doubt it. Can you imagine the amount of data accumulated at Memory Alpha during a five-year mission that would be needed to update the computer? Probably a complete warp coil replacement, too.
* Roddenberry wanted to turn the footage from "The Cage" into a movie, but without reshooting any of the stuff with the old actors? How would that work?
* I had forgotten that a shuttlecraft named in honor of Pike was seen in the TNG episode "The Most Toys." Okay, fine, I had never noticed in the first place...
* I'm still curious on why Solok in "Take Me Out To The Holosuite" was worthy of the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor.

Memory Beta:

* A TOS comic book features a return to Talos IV and an appearance by Pike and Vina's son Phillip Pike. Uh, yeah. Both of them are mangled remnants of what they were. The Talosians are probably projecting healthy, young versions of both of them to each other to interact. They don't have the capacity to have real intimacy. Unless you're going to claim that Phillip Pike himself is merely an illusion projected by the Talosians and shaped by the thoughts of Chris and Vina.

Nitpicker's Guide:

* Phil brings up a good point. Pike has an artificial heart now, and the Talosians only gave him the appearance of health, not actual rejuvenation. What happens when Pike needs a battery changed?
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Last edited by Nate the Great; 11-21-2016 at 08:00 PM.
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  #43  
Old 11-30-2016, 10:43 PM
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Sorry, stuff has been happening and I keep neglecting this rewatch. I thought "Miri" was good but could have been better. A crazy idea in the teaser -- "a duplicate Earth!" -- that catches the attention, but was probably just to minimize SFX costs and never went anywhere at all. The mystery that followed was better.

One thing I noticed near the beginning was in an overhead distance shot, when the landing party splits up to investigate the town they've beamed into. Shatner just kinda waves his arm over his head to indicate they should head down different streets, and it doesn't look like any gesture you'd actually make in that situation. But this was '60s TV, made for tiny CRT sets, so he probably had to make a big gesture for it to be seen by viewers.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:24 AM
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"The Cage"

Originally aired October 4th, 1988, but I'm sure there were unofficial airings (and possibly home video) before that. No fiver this time, sorry.

Memory Alpha Page
Transcript

In the name of mercy I'm skipping all of the now-obligatory rants about the inconsistent technical terms in the early episodes. This is the pilot and a soft touch is required if sanity and decorum is to be preserved.

The episode:

* After making the entries I notice a higher than usual nit ratio, so let's start with some positives:
** The characterization in the scene between Pike and Boyce is nice, you wouldn't need much tweaking to adapt to Kirk and McCoy.
** The approach shot, going from space through the bridge bubble to the interior was nice. Too bad the special effects couldn't quite match the vision.
** Once Pike stops whining he proves to be quite clever and resourceful. I could see Kirk asking similar questions and taking similar actions on Talos (of course, Kirk probably would sleep with Vina to butter her up and get more answers).
** The mission jackets are a nice touch, and I'm sad that we had to wait until the Wrath of Khan to see them again. Just because a planet is class M doesn't mean it has a surface temperature that's close enough to ship's standard to make a single uniform ideal for both.
* The first time the crew (of any series) believes that no Earth vessel has been out this far and thus shouldn't be encountered. My mind immediately goes to "Up the Long Ladder" on this one.
* I'm dubious about Pike not wanting to follow up on a distress call. How many times has any Enterprise crewman said "there can't possibly be anyone still alive" and there turns out to be be someone still alive? Isn't it in the regulations that all encountered distress calls need to be followed up on unless the ship is engaged in a critical mission?
* Pike whining about the burden of command in his first episode doesn't humanize him, it weakens him in my view. Starfleet doesn't put captain's stripes on any old shmuck and sticks him on a bridge ya know, these people spend years working up the ranks and dealing with increasing levels of responsibility. Q's words come to mind: "If you can't stand a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
* Scholars elsewhere have pointed out that this discussion also explains some of the things that the crew could encounter as a way to sell the show. But another adage comes to mind, this one goes something like "Are we seeing the most interesting event in the lives of the characters? And if not, why aren't we?" The trip to Rigel 7 sounds much more interesting that this mapping junk that the Enterprise is currently doing, so why aren't we seeing that?
* The lack of a "real name" for Number One continues to annoy. The nickname is great and will be used for decades to come in Trek, but I fail to see why a real name couldn't be mentioned. To this day whenever she appears in comics, books, etc. the writer either must decide on a name (contradictory with many others) or carefully avoid using one. Sorry, but no. It should've been in the writer's bible for the show day one.
* Yet another Adam and Eve scenario. If the Talosians don't remember how to repair all of their equipment anymore, how can they hope to do the genetic engineering required to get around the nastier effects of this scenario? All they're doing is buying time equal to another human generation. At least the Asgard over on Stargate took their imminent doom with grace.
* Obviously Colt was attracted to Pike, but one wonders how Number One really feels. This smacks of "the lead must be irresistible to all women, lest the audience thinks he's a loser." What backwards and embarrassing thinking on the writer's part.

Memory Alpha:

* Number One was a lieutenant and not a commander in this episode because Gene was using older British naval ranks, not modern American naval ranks.
* I can understand the accusations from the studio that this plot is too cerebral. Look, I'm a proponent that the average sci-fi fan is intelligent enough to appreciate intelligent writing. However, this wasn't Gene's first failed pilot, nor was it his last. He should've known that you have to get a show on the air before you can satisfy the audience with intelligent writing. The studio should've gotten something closer to what they were promised the first time, and Gene should thank his lucky stars they gave him another chance. I wouldn't've.
* Apparently director Robert Butler...let's just quote from Memory Alpha: "
Butler also wanted Roddenberry to change the title of the show from Star Trek to Star Track, feeling that the former was too pretentious, tedious, inert and boring." Star Track? Can you just picture it? The Trackies are coming!
* Apparently Zimmerman found similarities between "The Cage" and "Emissary." Huh? Okay, both feature Starfleet officers weary of the burdens of the job and wanting a simpler life, but that's it. Maybe the scene with a married couple enjoying themselves in a field, as well. However, the circumstances that lead Pike and Sisko to make their decision, not to mention their proposed future careers, couldn't be more different. I could name episodes (besides "The Naked Now" and "The Naked Time") that have greater plotline parallels.
* The NBC article says that when provided with possible scripts to film as the first pilot, they chose "The Cage" as a challenge to see if Desilu could actually do it, never intending to actually air it. Then they asked for a second pilot, an unprecedented event in television history.
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Last edited by Nate the Great; 03-31-2017 at 01:17 AM.
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  #45  
Old 12-01-2016, 11:46 PM
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YouTube clips for "The Cage:"

Pike and Boyce. I never really noticed Boyce's jumpsuit before. That certainly isn't a Starfleet insignia. I wonder if UESPA existed at this point.

Spock smiles at the singing plant. They couldn't have made it sound more different from the transporter sound effect?

Vina as the Orion slave girl. To this day TV Tropes has the trope Green Skinned Space Babe in her honor.

The transition through the bridge dome and the first line ever spoken in Star Trek: "Check the circuit!"
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:53 PM
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In rewatching the clips I'm reminded that Pike's Enterprise had 203 people and Kirk's had 430. Which scenario do you think is more likely?

1. Pike's missions were in really deep space without opportunity to replenish the supply of redshirts. The mission was more like what Voyager was intended for.
2. Technology got much more complicated, so more engineers were required.
3. After the early missions of April and Pike it was decided that more specialists like historian Marla McGivers, archeologist/anthropologist Carlolyn Palamas, and secondary surgeon M'Benga were required.
4. The 430 figure includes civilian scientists and crewman; there are only 203 Starfleet officers on board. The Enterprise-D and Deep Space 9 had many such specialists who went on missions but weren't Starfleet officers.
5. The 203 figure is just the Starfleet crew; in Pike's time the rest are UESPA officers overseen by somebody else; possibly Number One. By Kirk's day the overseeing authority could change between Starfleet and UESPA depending on the mission and there was a single chain of command for both services.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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Old 12-08-2016, 02:34 PM
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December 8th, 1966, "The Conscience of the King"

The fiver (by Zeke)
Memory Alpha Page
Transcript

The episode:

* Kirk and Koridian/Kodos happen to pass within five light years of each other at the same time, close enough for Leighton to call Kirk over? It's a Small World After All!
* Even if Kirk waving off the other ship to get Koridian aboard was a little shady, I did always enjoy him surprising Spock for once. "I'm the captain," indeed.
* "The regulations are very clear about taking on passengers." For Picard's day, this would be ridiculous, but let's accept this statement for the moment about Kirk's day: No civilians on board unless they're essential for the current mission or you just saved them from an exploding starship or something. Even so, Kirk could've been honest and said that orders are sending the Enterprise in the opposite direction; let her make her case to preserve her dignity, then acquiesce.
* "
If my memory needs refreshing, Mister Spock, I'll ask you for it. In the meantime, follow my orders." That seems rather harsh and an invitation for Spock and McCoy to discuss what's wrong. Kirk could've just as easily said "I have my reasons and will tell you later. Let the log show that I take full responsibility."
* Riley being moved around was always rather dubious to me. As events proved, Lenore could kill him wherever he was, provided he was alone. I must state confusion that any post, let alone Engineering, would ever be staffed by one guy fooling around listening to music and not really looking at the controls. It would've served the plot just as well to say that he was alone in the mess hall and Lenore took advantage of a momentary distraction to poison his drink.
* If one needs a reason why TOS did so well, look at Kirk's interaction with Spock and McCoy. Kirk admits that he may be making mistakes, admits that revenge may be controlling him. As SF Debris would say, the show is about characters just as much as action.

The fiver:

Martha: Poor Tom... but at least he's finally at peace. Though he'd be more at peace if someone avenged his death.
Leighton's Ghost: Revenge my foul and most unnatural murder! Mark me!
Kirk: I will, Tom! Nobody kills TJ Hooker's partner and gets away with it!
Leighton's Ghost: ...What?

I get the Hamlet reference, but the TJ Hooker thing came out of left field (even by fiver standards). And yes, I do understand the Shatner/Hooker thing, even though I've never watched that show.

Spock: He was head of the Tarsus colony, and when food ran out, he executed the 4000 colonists he considered of least value. He must have used an unusual metric, since one of the victims was one of Starfleet's leading ling--
McCoy: That's not canon and you know it! You can't condemn a man based on Okudagrams!

Of course I know what Okudagrams are, but I must admit this reference to something out of canon (one of the novels?) escapes me.

Riley: (over the comm) Bleah. Another rotten day in the life of Riley.

You were just waiting to spring that one on us, weren't you, Z? I get the reference to the radio show/TV show/movie, but to me the name refers to The Life of Reilly, a blog about the behind-the-scenes events during the Spider-Man Clone Saga. (Plug plug)

Karidian: Nooooooo! (dives in front of Kirk)
Lenore's Phaser: ZAP
Karidian: Symmetrism... forever... GAK!
Kirk: Oh, don't go all Reeves-Stevens on us.

I'm going to guess that this is a reference to Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, who are among the essential Trek fiction writers, but the application here confuses me.

Memory Alpha:

* The only appearance of the double red alert. That was always annoying to me; if I wanted to I could think of plenty of other cases during the franchise where such an alert would be warranted: The Borg attack on Wolf 359 being only one.
* So Starfleet doesn't exist yet, in this episode they are part of the "Star Service." That sounds more like a Captain Proton thing, but one wonders if the Star Service is part of UESPA (when will Nate drop the UESPA thing? Probably never, as such things should have been part of the series bible!)
* The last episode filmed with Grace Lee Whitney.
* Apparently this is the first episode with the computer voice? Can that be?
* I find it interesting that this episode was skipped in some areas for the early reruns because it had a lot of talking and very little scifi. I'll grant that an overabundance of Shakespeare isn't what a casual viewer is looking for when they tune into some scifi escapism, but shows like this do have value. Even if it doesn't fit the definition of a "bottle show", it probably did free up money for other episodes.
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #48  
Old 12-15-2016, 03:54 PM
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December 15th, 1966, "Balance of Terror"

The fiver (by Zeke)
Memory Alpha Page
Transcript

The episode:

* I understand that exposition on the Earth/Romulan War had to be given, but did Spock really have to give a Powerpoint presentation to the entire crew? Couldn't a Captain's Log have covered the brunt of the exposition, followed by the senior staff discussion in the conference room?
* In this instance I can understand why an external character like Stiles was needed; having Sulu (for example) suddenly becoming suspicious of Spock would be really weird.
* How could the Enterprise have Romulan spies aboard? Sure, technically Klingon, Romulan, Orion, etc. spies could be on board at any time, but paranoia can be dangerous.
* Kirk should've kicked Stiles off the bridge and reprimanded him immediately upon the first word of suspicion toward Spock. It will take millennia if ever to eliminate generic cultural prejudice, but "Spock looks like the enemy" equals "Spock IS the enemy" goes beyond that into "ban this guy from starship duty forever" behavior.
* I'll save discussion of the name of Mark Lenard's character for later in this post, but I'll state in this section confusion that neither Romulan commander was named. Every speaking Klingon character, no matter how minor, was given a name. People who had a tenth of Mark's lines have names, and he doesn't? That's hooey.
* I wish the Romulan plasma weapon could've been seen more often. Surely the mechanism could've been built into the Klingon cruisers seen later under Romulan control, and the few new shots could've been reused endlessly.
* I hope Scotty was wrong in saying that the Romulans had no warp drive. Anyone who would say that had no concept of the vastness of space.
* Rand is on the bridge to record the crew's actions. Odd, since we already know a camera is on the bridge for communications purposes.
* I always loved McCoy's speech on the vastness of space and the importance of the individual. I'll have to find a clip of that for the YouTube section.
* I always thought the resolution of the Stiles/Spock conflict rather forced and arbitrary. Ugh.

The Fiver:

Spock: It's gone again. The Romulans must have found a way to render their ship transparent.
Kirk: Clearly.
Spock: (glare) Fortunately, our motion sensor is still picking up a faint blip, making the whole thing rather pointless. We should be able to pursue them.
Kirk: Perfect! Stiles, set a course that mimics their movements. We're just a blip to them too, so they should think we're just a harmless space bee playing follow the leader.
Spock: That logic is unsound, Captain. An invisible ship may still be able to see other ships, just as a man with his hands over his eyes is still visible.
Kirk: (gasp) You can see me when I do that?

Gasp!

Commander: There's room for two ships in here? This must be, like, the biggest comet ever.

Indeed.

Commander: Centurion!
Centurion: You are... a child... of Valen... GAK!
Commander: That was just confusing. And vengeance-inspiring! Strike them down! Kill them! All of them! No mercy!

I had to look this one up. Valen is a Bablyon 5 character. Um, yeah, I think my disregard for B5 is on record, so let's move on...

Spock: Unfortunately, we cannot fire phasers again until our first three shots leave the screen.

That sounds like a video game reference, but which one?

Stiles: Warp 14... Warp 15...
Spock: The enemy shot has reached Warp 40!
Kirk: That's just ridiculous. Ideas? Anyone? Uhura?
Uhura: We could separate the saucer at warp, then turn around and surrender.
Kirk: Ahh, so there is a reason I don't talk to you.

"Encounter at Farpoint" reference, that's unexpected.

Decius: The humans have gone mad! They're firing at random!
Commander: Hmmm... maybe we can trick them. Load up some debris and the centurion's body and fire them into space. And then clear out your desk, you're fired.
Decius: The commander has gone mad! He's firing at random!

Ugh, that punchline. My sides, how they ache...

Kirk: Rats! Well, I won't let myself be distracted again. Where's the enemy ship?
Spock: We've, um, lost the signal. Now I know you'll be mad, but LOOK OVER THERE!
Kirk: WHERE?

Should've gone the Princess Bride route and used "What in the world can that be!"

Commander: Well, that worked out nicely. Let's go home.
Decius: We're not going to finish them off? Lame.
Commander: Yes, I know they're crippled, but --
Decius: That was also lame.

There go my sides again...

Memory Alpha:

* I do like that the words Kirk used during the wedding were reused by Picard during the O'Brien wedding in "Data's Day."

Memory Beta:

* The Star Trek Trading Card Game gives the Romulan Commander the name "Keras", an anagram of Sarek. Most other sources, including the excellent Romulan comics by John Byrnne, leave him unnamed just like Number One.

YouTube clips:

* The climax, including the Romulan's final speech.
* McCoy's "don't destroy the one named Kirk" speech.
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #49  
Old 12-29-2016, 02:50 PM
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December 29th, 1966, "Shore Leave"

The fiver (by IJD GAF)
Memory Alpha page
Transcript

The episode:

* Does anyone else think that getting a massage on the bridge is a little inappropriate?
* Sulu is still in his botanist phase. I still wonder about that duty rotation program possibly seen with Chekov and Worf later.
* Spock's got a point about resting. He's probably like Worf in that he has his own calisthenics program for staying fit. Besides, he meditates for his mental health needs.
* Spock tricking Kirk was always good for a laugh. It does make me wonder, though. Kirk staying on the bridge during a crisis or when the Klingons might show up any minute is one thing; staying on the bridge when there's nothing to do but get wired up smacks of self-destructive behavior.
* Sulu shooting off a gun without telling anybody, that's just irresponsible. We never got the impression that this place can brainwash a person; it just reads surface thoughts. Sulu should know better.
* Does Finnegan seem like Starfleet officer material? I hope the real one was washed out of the service.

The fiver:

Captain's Log: We're in orbit around a perfect planet. Almost... TOO perfect.


IJD, could you explain this "almost too perfect" running gag for me?

McCoy: You know what else would be funny to be mauled by right now? A medieval knight.
Knight: Ni! Ni! Ni!
McCoy: GAK!
Kirk: Oh no, Bones! You're --
McCoy: I'm dead, Jim!
Kirk: Yeah, that.

I knew "Ni"'s were painful, but not lethal. It's too bad they couldn't have hid behind a nearby scrubbery.

YouTube clips:

* McCoy meets the White Rabbit and Alice. Alice's dress does a good job of getting close to the animated Disney version without being an outright copy.
* The Caretaker and Mr. Spock explain things.
* Spock tricks Kirk into going down.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
Spock: He was head of the Tarsus colony, and when food ran out, he executed the 4000 colonists he considered of least value. He must have used an unusual metric, since one of the victims was one of Starfleet's leading ling--
McCoy: That's not canon and you know it! You can't condemn a man based on Okudagrams!

Of course I know what Okudagrams are, but I must admit this reference to something out of canon (one of the novels?) escapes me.
Since Zeke (and myself) are fans of Enterprise and you're not, let me enlighten:

"In A Mirror, Darkly" featured a quick glimpse at the bio of both Jonathan Archer and Hoshi Sato in the Prime Universe, thanks to a dimensional and time displaced USS Defiant, being read by their mirror counterparts. When freeze-framed, you can read it to know that Hoshi died in the massacre, which inspired Mirror Hoshi to... you know what? I'm not spoiling the rest for you.
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:22 PM
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Yeah, Enterprise and I didn't see eye-to-eye. No further comment in the name of civility.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:44 AM
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January 5th, 1967, "The Galileo Seven"

The Fiver (by IJD GAF)
Memory Alpha Page
Transcript

The episode:

* "Standing orders" to investigate quasars? Surely the "Murasaki effect" cited later could've been moved earlier and the line tweaked to say that when a quasar this unusual or potentially dangerous has standing orders for investigation. Ordinary quasars don't seem worthy of "standing orders' is all I'm saying.
* I don't like the use of a plague as a ticking clock. No disease affects or kills all victims on a reliable timetable. Go help the people and come back later! This quasar will wait!
* For the life of me I can't remember the last time there was a seven member away team on a shuttle. In the 24th century that would be a job for a runabout, but of course those don't exist yet. With a little plot tweaking surely one person (probably Yeoman Mears) could've been eliminated as unnecessary, but I guess "The Galileo Six" doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well.
* McCoy ribbing Spock now about the possibilities of command seems a little harsh. Even if it hasn't quite been established that he prefers scientific duties, it's still the first year of him being a first officer. Furthermore, you don't get to be first officer of the Enterprise without being ready to take command of the Enterprise. In any case, Bones, why don't you save the ribbing until the end of the episode when you're safe at home again, okay?
* Three people will have to be left behind, I'm skeptical but accept it for the moment. I'm dubious about the idea that this is a death sentence. They haven't encountered any hostile lifeforms yet and surely there are a few rations and a spare transmitter laying about to give to the people left behind for later rescue.
* Ugh, a funeral in the middle of a crisis situation. I get respecting your fallen comrade, but I refer you to my previous point. Come back later for his body and have a funeral THEN.
* I keep wanting to call these giants "Mugatos", but that's another episode.

The fiver:

Captain's Log: Plague, colony, medical supplies, yadda. Who cares? We've got QUASARS!

Why would Kirk care so much about this? In the episode it sounded like it was the standing orders that's keeping him here.

Ferris: With all due respect, I believe you simply like the word "quasar".
Kirk: What would give you a quazy notion like that?

Oh. I'm reminded of Hobbes saying "smock" a lot.

Ionization Effect of Murasaki 312: Yo.

Funny, but I can't help but think "T'sup" would've worked better. What can I say, I take my fiver slang seriously.

Scotty: Damnit. We just crash landed our new set; the studio's gonna kill us.

Funny, but it doesn't work. Either it's a set or a spaceship; you can't mix and match within the same sentence.

McCoy: Are you seriously considering leaving three behind? Would it be okay if I called them the "Galileo Galileo Galileo Figaro" instead of the Galileo three-left-behind? Why is your hand on my shoul-- (THUMP)

So this is a reference to "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. I've heard the song, but that's a darned obscure reference, IJD GAF.

Memory Alpha:

* Apparently the concept of a "United Federation of Planets" didn't exist yet. Shouldn't this mean that we're still using UESPA?
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:42 PM
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January 12th, 1967, "The Squire of Gothos"

Memory Alpha
Transcript

Prologue: Since according to canon Q and Trelane have nothing to do with each other (although I do recommend the book "Q-Squared" if you haven't read it), I will attempt to limit my judgements of Trelane's power to the episode itself. Too bad, because strictly using the episode results in a much lower power level for Trelane than a Q.

The episode:

* Last time I mention Q, honest. But I have to say that Q always seemed both to be in control and actually having fun messing around with the crew. But I suppose Trelane is a child and can't be expected to have the same maturity. But I have to say, that makes him more terrifying. When Trelane is in charge, he's friendly. Anything goes wrong, anything at all, and he flips his lid and becomes even more unpredictable than Q.
* So did Trelane's observations include sound or not? If it did, he should know that food has taste. If it doesn't, did he read all of those documents to know people's names, the vocabulary, etc. Isn't it a shame when a nit can't be resolved without either raising further questions or making an episode's premise untenable?
* A "star desert". Technically possible, but I always wince at that line, it's so silly.
* I hope the planet moving around is merely Trelane fooling the sensors. Even if you were to somehow put a forcefield around a planet to hold it together, the sheer amount of power required to shove it around like a billiard ball would put Trelane in the same league as the Iconians, and that I can't buy.
* Food without flavor. Makes me wonder what that stuff is really made from.
* Bit of an anticlimax, isn't it? I hate the episodes where the resolution could technically happen at any time but a sufficient amount of film has to be spent on messing around before it can come.

Memory Alpha:

* Once again the question of how far in the future we are has come to rear its ugly head. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this stuff should've been in the series bible by the time of the second pilot, if not the first.
* The first appearance of DeSalle, who held three different postings on board in various episodes: navigator, biologist, and engineer. Once again it could support the idea of junior officers being in some sort of duty rotation. Sulu, Chekov, Wesley, even Hogan on Voyager could support this.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:14 PM
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January 19th, 1967, "Arena"

The Fiver (by Kristina)
Memory Alpha
Transcript

The episode:

* "Tactical people" and "tactical aides." Hmm. In the movies this would mean Chekov and his staff, but I wonder who's in charge of that stuff at this point.
* MCCOY: I, for one, could use a good non-reconstituted meal.
SPOCK: Doctor, you are a sensualist.
MCCOY: You bet your pointed ears I am.
Always loved this exchange.
* I must say I don't like this business of Kirk coordinating a space battle from a planet's surface. When someone "has the conn", doesn't that mean that s/he's in command even during battle? It's situations like this that lead to the conclusion that the captain shouldn't be part of landing parties except in unusual situations.
* Some of the more hardcore Trekkies (as well as Phil Farrand in the Nitpicker's Guide) would note that the ability to replicate precious gems at will was discovered sometime between this episode and "Catspaw." In this episode diamonds are valuable, in that one they aren't.
* Mythbusters aside, I doubt that Kirk could create viable gunpowder under these conditions. At least the Mythbusters had a clean tabletop to work with and immediate access to the necessary ratios.

The fiver:

McCoy: Note to self -- stock up on nappies.
Kirk: Bones?
McCoy: With the number of Ensigns that "diaper" episode, I thought they might come in handy.

Nice pun, but I wonder how many people know that "nappies" is the British term for "diapers."

Sulu: You know, we don't even know what to call the shields yet.
Uhura: What does it matter?
Sulu: I just don't think this series is big on the consistency issue.
Uhura: I'm happy, as long as I get to wear my red dress.

I'll just be in the corner being smug. *smirk and wink*

Kirk: Yikes, it's Godzilla.
Gorn: Actually, the name is Yenrab.

Yet another character only named in the Customizable Card Game (the Mark Lenard Romulan Commander is Keras, etc.). His name is S'salk. I don't know how to feel about a Barney joke.

Captain's Log: I'm just babbling on, and that lizard is listening. There are diamonds here, though there are no women around, and several other minerals, including sulfur and potassium nitrate. How I would know is beyond my comprehension.

It's beyond mine as well. Maybe Spock would know, but Kirk? Maybe as an antique firearm aficionado he'd know the ingredient list, but not the appearance or ratios.

Metron: We'll be in touch when we're ready.
Kirk: Soon?
Metron: If a thousand years is soon to you, then yes.

Obligatory jab at Zeke's upload schedule, nothing to see here, move along...
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Old 01-26-2017, 08:52 AM
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January 26th, 1967, "Tomorrow is Yesterday"

The Fiver (by IJD GAF)
Memory Alpha
Transcript

The episode:

* Ah, the "black star." I haven't seen the remastered version, but I suppose it was too much to ask for the studio to redub this into "black hole."
* They were going in the general direction of Earth and managed to be dropped into Earth's orbit when the warp engines cut out at just the right time to achieve the upper atmosphere. Yikes, is that a pile of contrivance. As Batman would say after crashing into a pile of foam rubber, "I'd say the odds against it would make even the most reckless gambler cringe!"
* I wonder if Christopher's plane could've handled a lower tractor beam setting without breaking up.
* Confirmed: Federation Standard is just English. So why not call it English elsewhere?
* Here we are: twelve Constitution-class ships in the fleet. More on this later.
* UESPA alert!
* I question the idea that Christopher wouldn't fit in the 23rd century when I could mention Gillian Taylor seemed to handle it okay. Okay, he couldn't join Starfleet, but there must be a colony or two that could use the services of a military specialist.
* So they go on a mission to delete the records of the "UFO sighting", then proceed to go back in time to restore Christoper, making the "UFO sighting" just a momentary contact with no need to delete the records. Talk about contrivance.
* Two hundred years would be just about right. Insert typical Nate rant about how the series bible should've had a timeline of major events by now. Just to name one example, it's been 150 years since Cochrane disappeared. An old man Cochrane decades after the discovery of warp drive. In other words, just going by this episode and "Metamorphosis" would lead a viewer to conclude that Cochrane has already been born and warp drive is imminent. What editorial incompetence.
* I never did understand these food cards, or the food slots in general. It's a rant by itself, which I shall mercifully skip.

The fiver:

Spock: You do realize we can't let him go back.
Kirk: And why not? We could even set him up with some good stocks, and help him out a little. We could set him for life! Maybe even give him a third-world nation to rule....
Spock: I suppose invoking the halibut of thwacking would be too cruel....

I'm going to assume that the "halibut of thwacking" is somehow related to the "hammer of smiting", but is that also supposed to be a "Fish Schlapping Dance" reference?

Guard: Name?
Kirk: My name?
Guard: No, my name!
Kirk: I do not know your name!
Guard: ...I only hope you're smart enough not to run off and fall 20 feet to the pavement below.

Ah, The Voyage Home.

Kirk: Aren't you a little short for a Starfleet officer?
Christopher: Huh? Oh, the uniform. I'm John Christopher, I'm here to rescue you.

Interesting place for a Star Wars joke.

Memory Alpha:

* "Black hole" was coined later in 1967. Ships passing in the dark and all that...
* "The Making of Star Trek" apparently lists 14 Constitution-class ships.
* I will now list the Constitution-class ships mentioned at Memory Alpha, along with notes (I'm excluding the ones seen in the movie era):
** In prelude, I wish that all of the ships of a given class started with the same two-number prefix code (in this case, 17) to signify said class. Except for number-suffixed legacy ships, of course.
** 1700, no name=undergoing repair at Starbase 11. Only on a chart, could've possibly been refit and renumbered. I always thought that 1700 was the Constitution, the first of the class built.
** 1017, Constellation
** 1764, Defiant=Put me down as saying that the DS9 ship should've been 1764-A (realistically a higher letter), I don't like the idea that only the Enterprise is worthy of keeping the old registry with added letters and other legacy names need new numbers.
** 1664, Excalibur=see previous comments, I wonder if Peter David even knew about this ship when writing New Frontier.
** 1672, Exeter
** 1703, Hood
** 1631, Intrepid=this name seems odd for an all-Vulcan crew. I wonder why we didn't see a Vulcan name for this one (the USS Surak?)
** 1709, Lexington
** 1657, Potemkin
** In addendum, the '70s fandom (later semi-canon) article "The Case for Jonathan Doe Starship" lists the 12 as Yorktown, Potemkin, Lexington, Intrepid, Hood, Exeter, Excalibur, Essex, Enterprise, Endeavor, Eagle, and Constitution
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:37 PM
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February 2nd, 1967, "Court Martial"

The Fiver (by IJG GAF)
Memory Alpha
Transcript

The episode:

* Okay, let's get this out of the way right at the beginning: The whole "sensor pod" concept and a specific button for it on the captain's chair are stupid plot devices. An equivalent situation could've been achieved by turning off a nacelle, sticking Finney in there for routine repairs, and having the Klingons show up requiring warp speed NOW. Did Finney get out of the nacelle before it was reactivated? Then the control on Kirk's chair could be related to activating the warp drive, definitely more plausible.
* Ah, "Vulcanian". Early Installment Weirdness, moving on...
* Is Cogley here the first example of someone in Star Trek preferring physical books? Makes one wonder if Kirk got into the hobby because of him.
* Spock still a Lt. Commander? Once again, a series based on a military structure should have this stuff in the series bible so people don't make these mistakes!
* I find it odd that Kirk would imply that another captain would come to replace him and play chess with Spock. I'd imagine that Spock himself would be offered the job, wouldn't you?
* So a grunt barely considered qualified to man the sensor pod can hack the computer enough so it takes days for Spock to notice? Putting aside implausibility, Section 31 should hire this guy!
* Yeah, two on-duty officers kissing each other on the bridge? There must be a regulation against that. Too bad Kirk didn't have a ready room.

The fiver:

Good stuff, lots of jokes to make me smile, but nothing jumps out as exceptional. At least not without copypasting huge scenes.

Memory Alpha:

* In his adaptation James Blish tried to technobabble an explanation for the pod by saying that it has a thin hull for better sensor readings, a hull that's too thin to protect the observer in extreme conditions. I still say it's hooey. Where is this supposed pod on the exterior of the ship? All I can think of is the bottom of the saucer where the captain's yacht would be on the E-D, but the comics state that the capsule goes there.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:14 PM
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February 9th, 1967, "The Return of the Archons"

The Fiver (by Kira)
Memory Alpha
Transcript

The episode:

* Still trying to wrap my mind around this brainwashing rod thing. Nanites injected via a hypospray-like effect? Do the locals have latent telepathic abilities and Landru constructed these rods to augment them?
* "Landru will find us through him." Whether nanites or telepathy, if Landru can see through the eyes of everyone in The Body, that's pretty impressive.
* There had to be a way to get around this "Sulu could be absorbed via rod instantly, but the others had to be kidnapped for a slower process" thing. What if Sulu's absorption didn't take because human brains are different from the natives, and thus a larger dose was required? A few lines of technobabble could've handled this.
* Is this the first example of Kirk talking a computer to death? I think so.

The fiver:

Kirk: Oh, my head... I haven't had a hangover this bad since that wild night on Draylax.

Apparently this is a reference to Enterprise. No further comment.

I'm sorry, Kira, there's good stuff throughout the fiver, it's just that none of it was particularly exceptional for purposes of this post.

Memory Alpha:

* The article says that this is one of four "Kirk-talks-the-computer-to-death" episodes. Talking androids to death would be another list. Strange, I want to say that there were more than four, but I can't think of exactly which episodes they are.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:41 AM
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February 16th, 1967, "Space Seed"

The Fiver (by IJD GAF)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The episode:

* I had to delete a lot of nits from my first runthrough of this post. I don't want it to look like I hate the episode, so here's a quick rundown of the more charged observations:
** The view of '90's science from the viewpoint of the '60s is ludicrous, as is the separation of the Eugenics Wars from World War III. Both should've been combined into one war in the far future, at least a few generations removed from the original airing.
** McGivers is completely unprofessional. Couldn't they have had her in more of a Dehner role and introduce a few week's time lapse (the supermen gradually learning about the Enterprise, etc.) to give Khan time to use his charisma to slowly seduce her?
* Kirk's "I'll need somebody familiar with the late 20th-Century Earth." is funny. First, it seems like all future crews will have their resident 20th-Century expert on the senior staff already. Second, I hardly expect someone outside of a university to be that specialized. Even on the flagship, anything more specialized than "pre-warp Earth expert" seems unlikely.
* Must relate a favorite SF Debris joke at this point. When Khan revives, the first thing he wants to know is if Duke Nukem Forever is out yet (the review was made before the game was rescued by Take Two).
* "
Well, either choke me or cut my throat. Make up your mind." You gotta love Bones.
* Once again, a visiting civilian wears a Starfleet uniform. Hate the NextGen civilian pajamas as much as you want, but at least no one wore a uniform who didn't deserve it.

The fiver:

Spock: A mint-condition DY-100 class from the 1990s. A priceless artifact.
Kirk: Niiiiice. How much would it be worth if we opened it?
Spock: Absolutely nothing. Shall we proceed?
Kirk: Yes, let's.

Ah, the '90s collectable industry. I'm glad I wasn't old enough or had the disposable income for that nonsense. Nice to look at on trips to the mall, at least.

Kirk: How much does McGivers like Khan?
McCoy: A lot. Why, are you jealous?
Kirk: Yes. I love women, and I've gotta have 'em all.
McCoy: Are you confusing "women" with "pokémon"?
Kirk: No...but Raichu is a cutey.

Um, eww. On so many levels.

Memory Alpha:

* Apparently Gene also asked why they'd waste a ship like that, until the Napoleon-in-exile metaphor was explained to him. Yeah, I never understood the point of exiling Napoleon. Even if the executing him was considered taboo, that's what iron masks and tall towers are for: to keep an eye on people you don't want to escape.
* I knew Khan changed costumes a lot, but apparently five is a record for a male guest star. Cue "the more you know" whoosh.

YouTube clips:

Khan wakes up and talks to McCoy
Star Trek in the Park presents Space Seed (fan performance)
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:02 AM
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February 23rd, 1967, "A Taste of Armageddon"

No fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha

No fiver? That's a surprise.

The episode:

* So this Code 710 thing means "we don't want visitors ever". I don't think that Ambassador Fox has the right to ignore it. Shouldn't Kirk report to Starfleet asking for further orders?
* So Federation citizens have been traveling to this sector near an isolationist planet and have been killed for their trouble for decades. Starfleet has chosen not to use military force to stop this, nor has the Federation chosen to stop sending civilians there after the very first murders. And now a single ship has been sent for some reason to this system, without even a "we need the planet before the Klingons or Romulans get it" bit of lipservice. Uh-huh.
* Okay, time to cover the computer war. I grant you that it's an intriguing scifi plot, but it raises unfortunate implications. Why would this need to continue for generations? Generally speaking wars do not last generations. This is starting to sound like two governments agreeing under the table to use this excuse to cull their populations and maintain their political power. Unfortunate Implications, as TV Tropes calls it.
* Even if every single person on both planets agreed to this setup, third parties did not. Like I said before, the first murder of a third party should've brought war with the Federation or a blockade of the planet.
* I laugh at this idea that Anan thought that he could trick everyone on Enterprise to beam down for "shore leave" simultaneously. During "Shore Leave" there was a schedule drawn up, you need people on board to keep everything running. And how would the locals know how to run an entire starship if nobody has even flown to the neighboring planet for five hundred years?
* "Vulcanians." Old gripe, series bible, moving on...
* Never did like the mind meld through a wall. The entire point of Vulcan mind powers is that physical contact is needed. They could've at least come up with a line of technobabble like "the stone in this wall is much like that in the Shrine of Whatever on Vulcan, I believe I can use it as a conduit to control the guard for a short time."
* Always did like Spock's "there is a multilegged creature crawling on your shoulder" line.
* Fox outright declares that the mission is more important than the ship. This sort of nonsense is why ambassadors (except Sarek, who never pulls this sort of stunt) get such a bad rap across all of Trek.

Memory Alpha:

* First use of "The United Federation of Planets", not just "the Federation." Series bible blah blah blah.
* Last use of "Vulcanian." Thank goodness.

Youtube:

* Spock's multilegged creature line.
* The Kirk speech. "I'm not going to kill today."
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:08 AM
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March 2nd, 1967, "This Side of Paradise"

No fiver (again?)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The episode:

* The colony had 150 people, less than half of the Enterprise's crew. Why do the creators keep implying such small planetary populations? They don't have to cast all of them, would it hurt to say a thousand or ten thousand?
* As an amusing aside, the transcript describes the path in the colony as "tarmacadamed." My mind did not go to "tarmack" upon seeing that word, I had to look it up. Why "paved" couldn't have been used I can't fathom.
* They didn't bring a subspace radio technician. For some bizarre reason the phrase "Next Tuesday" keeps echoing in my mind. Weird.
* For some reason McCoy's line "On pure speculation, just an educated guess, I'd say that man is alive." has long stayed with me. Must be the snarker in me.
* Hey, the script says "Vulcanian" and last week Memory Alpha promised me that we were done with that nonsense!
* Ugh, McCoy saying that the colonists are so healthy that he'd have nothing to do. Putting aside broken bones and concussions, how do you know a supervirus won't be sweeping through next month?
* Leila's comments to Spock about how she can see past the mask to his real feelings come off a little too much like self-insert fanfiction, don't they? I imagine that there are any number of women over the past fifty years who have felt similarly. It reminds me of the continued obsession some women have with Mr. Darcy as some kind of perfect man. Blech.
* Erm, why is Starfleet Command so insistent on moving these people against their wishes? They have no jurisdiction here. If the locals renounce their Federation citizenship status, Kirk has even less of a leg to stand on.
* Okay, here we go with the telepathic spores. They thrive under Berthold rays, can that be replicated on board? They evolved in conjunction with the local flowers until humanoid hosts arrived? If humanoids never evolved on this world, how would the spores know what they are? Even if they absorbed the knowledge of other planets from the colonists, why would they feel the need to spread? Is this supposed to be a simple survival instinct? Is each spore a separate consciousness, or is it a hive mind?
* Kirk can't stop everyone from going down? There's only one transporter room, isn't there a critical part that he can remove to disable the thing?
* With McCoy's Southern-ness being emphasized here, I wonder if that's his natural state and when he's on duty he consciously dials it down.
* Again Spock refers to his parents in the past tense. Insert ranting about series bibles here, moving on...

Memory Alpha:

* This episode is the source of the empty bridge shot later used in "Relics." Can you imagine how sad it'd be if it didn't exist? The only other time I can think of where the bridge was completely empty is aboard the duplicate Enterprise in "The Mark of Gideon."
* Supposedly the book "Star Trek 101" names this as one of ten essential TOS episodes. I don't see it. It's a good concept, but there was just too much repetition and at the same time events seem to move too quickly.

YouTube:

* Spock gets sprayed and kisses Leila. I'm glad that it took longer for the spores to affect Spock, no doubt these spores aren't used to green blood.
* Kirk beams Spock up and goads him into a fight.


__________________
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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