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Old 10-20-2017, 12:10 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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October 20th, 1967, "The Doomsday Machine"

Ah, one of the classics. I'll plug SF Debris again.

Fiver (by IJD GAF)
Memory Alpha
Transcript

The episode:

Prelude: Why is Decker a Commodore? I thought that a Commodore commanded more than just one ship. He certainly seems like a peer of Kirk and not one of the previous generation like Pike. If they wanted him to be able to pull rank on Kirk later it would be easy enough to just declare him to have seniority (i.e. was declared captain before Kirk).

KIRK: Did you run a scanner check on it? What kind of a beam?
DECKER: Pure antiproton. Absolutely pure.

I hope he's using "pure" to mean "no other forms of antiparticle" rather than "there's a smattering of matter in there too".

DECKER: Oh, no, I stay here. I'm not leaving my ship!

I never did understand "the captain goes down with his ship." I understand "the captain is the last to leave", which would fit this situation.

SPOCK: We are more manoeuvrable, but it is gaining on us. Sensors indicate some kind of total conversion drive.

Memory Alpha implies that this is a sort of matter-to-energy reaction that doesn't need antimatter. I fail to see what the power source has to do with the mechanics of the engine itself; it's an apples-to-oranges comparison.

SPOCK: Random chance seems to have operated in our favour.
MCCOY: In plain, non-Vulcan English, we've been lucky.
SPOCK: I believe I said that, Doctor.

You gotta love that Vulcan habit of using ten words when three will do.

KIRK: Am I correct in assuming that a fusion explosion of ninety seven megatons will result if a starship impulse engine is overloaded?

The Tsar Bomba was 50 megatons, oops. Probably should've tossed an "iso" in there so we couldn't Do The Math.

SPOCK: Appropriate, Captain. However, I can't help wondering if there are any more of those weapons wandering around the universe.

Wait until later, we'll be returning to this.

Fiver

Doomsday Machine: Kerplowie!
Enterprise: Ouch!

Is that a League of Legends reference? (I had to look that up, FYI) Because usually the word is spelled Kerplooey.

Spock: (singing) From far beyond the galaxies I've journeyed to this place, to study the behavior patterns of the human race. And I find them highly--

So apparently Nimoy recorded a novelty album in the 1967. I'll stick to The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, if it's all the same to you.

Decker: Sulu, maintain course!
Sulu: I wouldn't be surprised if history remembers this as the "Decker Maneuver."

Odd place for an Insurrection reference.

Kirk: Scotty, I need phasers now!
Scotty: Okay.
Kirk: What? No "I need more power!"?
Scotty: Nope.
Kirk: No "I cannot break the laws of physics!"?
Scotty: Nope. Hey, I said we had phasers and we do. So use 'em already.
Kirk: (sigh) No respect for drama....

Ah, the lost of art of defying expectations. I'd have thrown in one last "no respect at all" just for some random Dangerfield.

Decker: (over the comm) "And he piled upon the whale's white hump, the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it."
Kirk: Herman Melville....
Decker: No, Patrick Stewart. Anyway, goodbye cruel world....
Shuttle: Ka-BOOM!

If you ask me, the only time Trek came close to matching this level of sheer Ahab-ness was Khan in the second movie.

Memory Alpha

* The first appearance of the new Main Engineering set. I don't recall the set changing all that much.
* Filmed in five days instead of six. While this episode may not qualify as a "bottle show", per se, it sure came close. Proof that you don't need tons of guest stars and special effects to make drama. *cough insert modern scifi show of your choice here cough*
* First appearance of Kirk's green wraparound tunic. Man, do I hate that thing.
* The Constellation was played by one of the early Enterprise plastic models. I assume that they used the 1966 version, I think that the one that I owned once upon a time was the 1989 version. Oh yes, once upon a time I had quite the collection of Star Trek model kits. You can ask about it if you're really interested, but that's not what this thread was for.
* This was Doohan's favorite episode. One reason he cites is the relative lack of technobabble, using more real science terms.
* Memory Alpha uses the term "planet killer" for the doomsday machine. More descriptive, less fun. Early reference works use "berserker", which I feel isn't very descriptive or indicative.

Memory Beta

* They use "doomsday machine", which I think is cooler even if it's not as precise. I'm not sure if I like the idea that the Preservers made it, I'd almost rather have it be an enemy of the T'Kon or something.

YouTube

* Decker's sacrifice.
* Kirk's last-second escape.
* A fan makes his own model of the damaged Constellation.
* A recreation of the episode with puppets and the original audio.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil criticizes how easily it was for Decker to steal a shuttlecraft. I must agree.
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  #102  
Old 10-20-2017, 09:51 PM
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I forgot to return to the "are there other doomsday machines" question. Several novels and comics introduced others, both more and less advanced than the one in this episode. Usually they were used against Borg due to the durability of their neutronium shells and the inability for anything to resist a pure antiproton beam.
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Last edited by Nate the Great; 10-26-2017 at 05:33 PM.
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  #103  
Old 10-26-2017, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
I forgot to return to the "are there other doomsday machines" question. Several novels and comics returned introduced others, both more and less advanced than the one in this episode. Usually they were used against Borg due to the durability of their neutronium shells and the inability for anything to resist a pure antiproton beam.
Not to mention Star Trek Online seems to be lousy with them...
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  #104  
Old 10-27-2017, 11:22 AM
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October 27th, 1967, "Catspaw"

Fiver (by Derek)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's Log, stardate 3018.2. Crewman Jackson is dead and there are no apparent physical causes. Mister Scott and Mister Sulu are still out of touch on the planet below. Leaving Assistant Chief Engineer DeSalle in command of the Enterprise, I'm beaming down to the planet's surface to find my two missing crewmen and discover what killed Jackson.

Even though Uhura and Chekov are still on board, it's nice to know that there are still people on the ship who outrank them, and that the first seven people in the chain of command aren't always the main characters. "Disaster" comes to mind immediately.

KIRK: Spock. Comment?
SPOCK: Very bad poetry, Captain.

Sometimes you need an utterly deadpan comment, don't you?

KIRK: If we weren't missing two officers and a third one dead I'd say someone was playing an elaborate trick or treat on us.
SPOCK: Trick or treat, Captain?

Just like Data, it'd be interesting to make a list of what these eggheads know that most other people don't and a list of what they don't know that most other people do. You'd think Amanda would have taught him the Halloween traditions if only for educational purposes.

MCCOY: Could this be an Earth parallel development of some sort?

I think this might be the first time the crew jumped to "parallel development" rather than "Prime Directive violation/contamination." Still doesn't make sense, but at least they're making an effort.

KIRK: DeSalle, channel bypass power into your heat dissipation units.
DESALLE [OC]: We've already done it, Captain. It had no effect. We're cooking up here.

I suddenly wonder if Doctor Reyga's metaphasic shields would be useful in this situation. Also, "heat dissipation units"? Dissipate to where?

DESALLE: All right, but it's there and it's real. If it's real, it can be affected. Engineering, stand by to divert all power systems to the outer hull. Prepare impulse engines for generation of maximum heat directed as ordered. Maybe we can't break it, but I'll bet you credits to navy beans we can put a dent in it.

Okay, so by "heat dissipation units" he means converting the impulse engines from shooting out a hydrogen stream into shooting out infrared. It still doesn't mean you can "direct" it. The impulse engines shoot straight back; it's the thrusters that make the minor course corrections.

KIRK: They tried to tap our conscious mind.
SPOCK: And they missed. They reached basically only the subconscious. Korob seemed puzzled by your reaction to the environment he'd provided.
KIRK: He expected me to react as though it were all normal.

So it's yet another manufactured environment, no parallel development. And yet again we have a supposedly advanced alien with a huge blind spot; in this case tapping into the subconscious rather than the conscious. I do like how an attempt is made to make the supposedly godlike entity merely different. Not that it necessarily works, but they're making the attempt.

The Fiver

Kirk: I'm bored. Why haven't Scotty and Sulu contacted us? For that matter, why didn't I beam down to this strange new world?
Jackson: (over the comm) Excuse me, sir. Can I please beam up now?
Kirk: What? The redshirt survived and the bridge officers didn't? That's just not right.

Space is warped and time is bendable! Jackson just became his own grandpa! Egads!

Spock: So do you have any theories about our alien captors?
Kirk: I think the female one wants me.
Spock: I was expecting something more about how the aliens are using our subconscious to build this world and how they must be utterly alien from us, but I don't know why.

Spock, it's been over a year. You should have the pattern down by now. Hehe.

Korob: Quick! You've got to escape! Sylvia's gone power hungry. She really thinks she's the cat's meow.
Cat: Meow!
Korob: Aaaaah! It's Sylvia! Ruuuuuun!
Kirk: Geez, don't be such a scaredy cat.

Ack, the puns! The wit is scathing me!

Memory Alpha

* The only holiday-specific episode, but I'd counterargue that there are a few other horror-themed episodes that could easily be Halloween episodes.
* First episode filmed with Chekov, bad wig and all.
* The Enterprise-in-plastic prop was donated to the Smithsonian. I wonder if someone ever made replicas as paperweights or whatever.
* This episode features DeSalle in his third uniform color. Ugh.

YouTube

* "Very bad poetry"
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  #105  
Old 11-03-2017, 06:01 PM
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The forum seems to have eaten my first draft, ugh. Here we go again...

November 3rd, 1967, "I, Mudd"

A fun episode, but the big glaring, unnecessary plot hole at the start is annoying. That is, how did Norman get on board? Are we to believe that this guy could manufacture a Federation citizenship record and a Starfleet service record good enough to fool Starfleet Command and Spock? Yeah, no.

The fiver (by Derek)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

MCCOY: Besides, he has avoided two appointments that I've made for his physical exam without reason.
SPOCK: That's not at all surprising, Doctor. He's probably terrified of your beads and rattles.

They're letting this guy on duty without the required exam? Seems simple enough to me: an officer has X days after arrival to complete the required exam, or he is disciplined.

NORMAN: I am in total control of your ship. I have connected the matter-antimatter pods to the main navigational bank. A trigger relay is now in operation. Any attempts to alter course will result in immediate destruction of this vessel.
KIRK: Spock?
SPOCK: Confirmed, Captain. He's taken out all the override controls. If we tamper without knowing where the trigger relay is, we could extinguish ourselves.

"Course" means the direction that the ship is going. It doesn't include the speed. Have Scotty throw a wrench into the works to shut down the warp core. I doubt that Norman could override that.

NORMAN: I control the trigger relay, sir. I cannot be overcome by physical means, and if you attempt to use your phasers, the trigger relay will be activated.

So increase gravity at his location to incapacitate him or beam him into space!

NORMAN: There is a word. Among us there is no corresponding meaning, but it seems to mean something to you humans.
KIRK: And what is that word?
NORMAN: Please.

Why would "please" work in this situation?

MUDD: Do know what the penalty for fraud is on Deneb Five?
SPOCK: The guilty party has his choice. Death by electrocution, death by gas, death by phaser, death by hanging.
MUDD: The key word in your entire peroration, Mister Spock, was, death. Barbarians. Well, of course, I left.
KIRK: He broke jail.
MUDD: I borrowed transportation.
KIRK: He stole a spaceship.
MUDD: The patrol reacted in a hostile manner.
KIRK: They fired at him.
MUDD: They've no respect for private property. They damaged the bloody spaceship.

I love this exchange.

MUDD: Oh, no, no, no. Merely deserted. You see, gentlemen, behind every great man there is a woman urging him on. And so it was with my Stella. She urged me on into outer space. Not that she meant to, but with her continual, eternal, confounded nagging. Well, I think of her constantly, and every time I do, I go further out into space.

Divorce doesn't exist? Restraining orders don't exist?

NORMAN: Our home planet's sun became a nova. Only a few exploratory outposts survived. This unit, myself, was part of one such outpost in your galaxy.

If he didn't imply being from another galaxy I'd almost think this was the Tkon. But of course they haven't been created yet.

MUDD: Didn't I tell you, Kirk? I beamed a few dozen androids up to your ship. They've been sending your crew to the surface for the past couple of hours.

It does make you wonder how many people are required to run the Enterprise. In Search For Spock the intention was just to be gone for a few days, and it didn't matter how much damage was done. You'd assume the androids would want to do all of the necessary maintenance. Then again, you'd assume that they can work the majority of the time, no need for three shifts.

CHEKOV: What a shame you're not real.
ALICE 322: We are real, my lord.
CHEKOV: Oh, I mean real girls.
ALICE 118: We are programmed to function as human females, lord.
CHEKOV: You are?
ALICES: Yes, my lord.
CHEKOV: Harry Mudd programmed you?
ALICES: Yes, my lord.
CHEKOV: That unprincipled, evil-minded, lecherous kulak Harry Mudd programmed you?
ALICES: Yes, my lord.
CHEKOV: This place is even better than Leningrad.

First, obligatory Leningrad/St. Petersburg "Istanbul Not Constantinople" joke. Second, nice job of getting past the censors.

ALICE 471: The Enterprise is not a want or a desire. It is a mechanical device.
KIRK: No, it's a beautiful lady, and we love her.

What kind of love are we talking about, Captain?

SPOCK: Whatever method we use to stop them, we must make haste. They have only to install some cybernetic devices aboard the Enterprise and they'll be able to leave orbit.

So...we're talking M-5 again? I hope it goes better this time.

MUDD: Captain, the kind of a wholesome, antiseptic galaxy that these androids would run would be purgatory for a man like me.

So say we all, Harry. So say we all.

SPOCK: Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad. Are you sure your circuits are registering correctly? Your ears are green.

It's always fun when Spock gets to cut loose, and even better when it's not time travel antics or spores causing it.

KIRK: He lied. Everything Harry tells you is a lie. Remember that. Everything Harry tells you is a lie.
MUDD: Listen to this carefully, Norman. I am lying.
NORMAN: You say you are lying, but if everything you say is a lie then you are telling the truth, but you cannot tell the truth because everything you say is a lie. You lie. You tell the truth. But you cannot for. Illogical! Illogical! Please explain.
(Smoke comes out of Norman's head.)

The Liar's Paradox is always a classic.

The Fiver

Plenty of Data and Lore jokes that I'll skip, but they're still good.

Android: Please wait while the android shuts d-- GAK!
Kirk: Oh great, the blueshirt bluescreened. Reboot him, Spock.
Spock: Gladly. (Kick!)
Android: The android has detected an improper shutdown. Please wait while the android runs Scandisk. 1%... 2%... Whoops! Found an error. Restarting. 1%....
(4 days later)
Android: 28%... 29%... Whoops! Found an error. Restarting. 1%....
Kirk: Oh for Pete's sake, just exit out of Scandisk!

Ah, how I don't miss the days of Windows 95 when things stop working. At least today you can look up error codes online.

Kirk: So where are your creators, android?
Android: I hate to tell you this, but they died... a long time ago.
Kirk: You're not a Pralor robot, are you?

Ah, "Prototype". One of the better early Voyager episodes, even if (insert sarcastic comment here).

Kirk: Hello, Alices. Watch this!
McCoy: I'm tweedle-dee, he's tweedle-dum.
Scotty: Allamaraine!
Alices: General Protection Fault! GAK!

Ah, "Move Along Home." One of the worse early Deep Space Nine episodes, even if (insert gushing comment here).

Stellas: Harcourt Fenton Mudd, why haven't you taken out the trash? Why do you always work late hours? Why haven't you taken me out anywhere?
Mudd: Stell-lahhhhh!

I'm surprised the Streetcar Named Desire joke didn't come earlier.

McCoy: Well, I think I don't ever want to see another android; not even if I'm touring this ship's fourth successor on her maiden voyage.
Spock: Agreed. This had better be the last time I see an android anywhere.
Kirk: Even on Romulus?

Okay, "Encounter at Farpoint" and "Unification" jokes are great. Too bad you're going to see more androids in "Return to Tomorrow" and STTMP, amongst other places.

Memory Alpha

* Longest teaser in TOS.
* George Takei's last appeance before he leaves for nine episodes to film The Green Berets.
* Once again Kirk talks a computer to death. Although by now he's had plenty of practice, hasn't he?
* Elements of this plot were featured in the "Star Trek Is..." essay.

YouTube

* Mudd the First, and introducing him to Chekov.
* Illogical behavior, including an imaginary bomb.
* Stella Mudd clips, including "Five...HUNDRED!?!?"

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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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  #106  
Old 11-10-2017, 10:20 AM
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November 10th, 1967, "Metamorphosis"

I may have noted elsewhere that I'm not particularly fond of the First Contact movie, so I won't be riffing on the differences between this version of Cochrane and that one.

Fiver (by Tarn-Vedra)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

SPOCK: Helm does not answer, Captain.
KIRK: Neither do the pods.

*cough cough* Nacelles *cough cough*. Unless you're going to tell me that Kirk is trying to eject antimatter pods and can't.

SPOCK: Gravity is similar to Earth. Most unusual in view of its size. The bulk of the body seems to be iron and nickel. More than an asteroid. Like a small planetoid, I should say. Possibly a remnant of a planet breakup. Totally suitable for human life.

Is this the first time our crew has encountered Class-M conditions on a body other than a conventional planet? A planetoid AKA minor planet AKA dwarf planet seems like it wouldn't have enough mass to have standard gravity or enough atmosphere to have surface water or sufficient temperature to have Class-M conditions. The weird thing is; planetoid status isn't required for the purposes of this episode. Looks like someone either didn't do their homework or someone forgot to throw in a line where Spock declares that an unknown energy field (i.e. The Companion) is maintaining Class-M conditions where it shouldn't be possible.

COCHRANE: You speak English. Earth people?

I was about to type an essay about how our people aren't really speaking English, they're speaking Federation Standard which is being translated for our benefit, but my research indicates that "Federation Standard" as a concept doesn't exist in any episode, only expanded universe materials. In canon it's always been English (and this paragraph really should've appeared back in "Space Seed"). Cue Azetbur's "Homo Sapiens Only Club" quote here. How did Earth convince everyone else to use English?

COCHRANE: I grow vegetables in the fields over that next ridge.

Take our word for it! It's a beautiful garden! I've got fountains and waterfalls and a golf course! It's a shame the budget would never let us show it!

COCHRANE: You mean my instruments? I imagine things have changed a lot since I crashed.
KIRK: Not that much.

Grrrr....okay, I won't make Enterprise jokes either! Give me credit for some restraint. Grrrr....

KIRK: Mister Cochrane, do you have a first name?
COCHRANE: Zefram.
KIRK: Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centuri, the discoverer of the space warp?

First, even if "Cochrane" is a common enough name, aren't there statues of this guy around? Wouldn't his picture be part of everyone's education?

Second, are they implying that he was the first person anywhere to discover warp drive? I suppose that if we're only paying attention to TOS, it's possible, if tremendously unlikely (although the Romulans would be a big question mark if they didn't have warp). Although that would introduce various questions about the Klingons and the Orions, etc. that would be uncomfortable to answer. Then again, if Earth convinced everyone to adopt their language as the standard, I guess they could convince everyone to venerate the Earthman who discovered warp above his Andorian, Vulcan, etc. counterparts.

COCHRANE: The food, water, gardens, everything else I need the Companion gives me.

I don't think that his ship had replicators (or even food synthesizers), so can the Companion read the information in his ships' databanks to make all this stuff? Considering everything that the Companion can do, she's up there with the Organians and the Q, isn't she?

COCHRANE: What was it they used to call it? The Judas goat?

A Judas goat is an animal sent into a herd to gain its trust and then lead the animals to the slaughter. I wasn't familiar with the expression.

COCHRANE: What's the theory behind this device?
KIRK: There are certain universal ideas and concepts common to all intelligent life. This device instantaneously compares the frequency of brainwave patterns, selects those ideas and concepts it recognises, and then provides the necessary grammar.

Ha ha. A load of technobabble that sounds so impressive but only introduces further questions. The idea that universal translators form telepathic connections with their users is horrifying! Besides, wouldn't the standard flashlight-sized device be limited to spoken words only? Connect the tricorder to it to handle whatever energy patterns the Companion is generating, right?

SULU: Approximately thirty four percent of the bodies of atmospherian types H to M.

This implies that Classes H to M are the ones habitable to humans. Is the Companion preserving atmospheres on all of them, or do the writers really not know how planets and atmospheres work?

(Somewhere in the vicinity, Nancy is holding up her scarf to mimic how she saw Cochrane when she was a swirly thing.)

This is a nice touch, kudos to the guy who thought of it.

The Fiver

Kirk: So, we're going to try the intro for once? All right. Space... the final fronti--
Woman: Waaa WAAAAAAAAAA waaa waaa waaa waaaaaaa...
Kirk: Ahem. As I was saying, these are the voyages of the Starship Enterpri--
Woman: Waaa WAAAAAAAAAAA waaa waaa waaa waaaaaa...
Kirk: Who are you?
Woman: Waa?
Kirk: See? This is why we always skip these.

Let me just toss up a few acapella versions of the TOS theme from YouTube: One, Two, Three, Four

Kirk: Mr. Cochrane, I think you're going to have to ask the Companion for help for us.
Cochrane: All right... come 'ere, Companion! Come 'ere! That's a good girl!
McCoy: That's strange, I thought Cochrane was the pet here.
Kirk: Oh, Bones. Don't you know the man is always the dominant member of the relationship?
McCoy: Oh yeah. Man, I sure will miss the barely-concealed sexism of the sixties.

What's that Lassie? Cochrane fell down a well?

Kirk: There's pie filling in that nebula!

Nice Voyager joke, but the Companion isn't a nebula.

Spock: The universal translator is ready. I managed to program it to speak blob.
Kirk: Good. Listen, Companion, we want to leave paradise so we can die of old age.
Companion: Is that your final answer?
Kirk: Hmm... can we use a lifeline?
Companion: I'm sorry, time's up, but here's a consolation prize -- eternity on a planet of only men.
Kirk: COMPANIONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!



A Who Wants to Be A Millionaire joke, hmm. Fivers really are time capsules of pop culture as of when they're written, aren't they?


Commissioner Hedford (Companion): Hello, Zefram. Wink wink, nudge nudge.


Is that a Monty Python reference?



Memory Alpha

* The first of five episodes where Kirk is never on board the Enterprise.


YouTube

* Our heroes land and meet Cochrane.

* Kirk teaches the Companion about love.
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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.

Last edited by Nate the Great; 11-25-2017 at 03:44 PM.
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  #107  
Old 11-17-2017, 02:32 PM
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Now we get to have some fun...

Magnificent performances from the guest stars. It's a shame the budget rarely allows for so many aliens.

November 17th, 1967, "Journey to Babel"

Fiver (by IJD GAF)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

KIRK: As you wish, Ambassador. Mister Spock, we'll leave orbit in two hours. Would you care to beam down and visit your parents?
SPOCK: Captain, Ambassador Sarek and his wife are my parents.

Okay, Kirk can't be expected to know the names of all family members of his entire crew, but the senior staff? Yes. His best friend? Double yes.

Captain's log, Stardate 3842.3. We have departed Vulcan for the neutral planetoid code-named Babel.

Why would a neutral planetoid need a code name? Would that really stop the Klingons or Romulans from finding out where it is?

AMANDA: It hasn't been easy on Spock. Neither human nor Vulcan. At home nowhere except Starfleet.

I appreciate the sentiment, and the idea that in general human civilians aren't used to spending large amounts of time with aliens yet. But as has been discussed elsewhere (Pike and Worf spring to mind), there are other options. Surely there's some Federation research facility with a higher alien-to-human ratio that Spock could be useful and fairly comfortable in.

Captain's log, Stardate 3842.4. The interplanetary conference will consider the petition of the Coridan planets to be admitted to the Federation. The Coridan system has been claimed by some of the races now aboard our ship as delegates, races who have strong personal reasons for keeping Coridan out of the Federation. The most pressing problem aboard the Enterprise is to make sure open warfare doesn't break out among the delegates before the conference begins.

Okay, I'm confused. I thought all of the races on board were Federation members. Or are you going to tell me that if Andor (let's say) prevents Coridan from joining the Federation they could then annex it as a part of the Andorian government? If a mystical island full of oil were to suddenly rise off the coast of Alaska would Alaska prevent the land from becoming federal land, instead fighting to make sure it was considered Alaskan land first?

You'd think Kirk could mention a few races, including the Orions, that aren't Federation members but also have an interest in Koridan. It would add a layer of intrigue to have the ship be sabotaged by the false Orion/Andorian while the real Orion has no contact with him and airtight alibis, right?

KIRK; Maintain translator broadcast. Check records for authorised ships.
SPOCK: Starfleet records no authorised vessel in this quadrant except ours.

That's a problem with the vague use of "quadrant." Wouldn't there be cargo ships going through all the time along the main trade routes?

SAREK: You embarrassed Spock this evening. Not even a mother may do that. He is a Vulcan.
AMANDA: He's also human.
SAREK: He's a Starfleet officer.
AMANDA: I thought you didn't approve of Starfleet.
SAREK: It is not a question of approval. The fact exists. He is in Starfleet. He must command respect if he is to function.
AMANDA: Sarek, you're proud of him, aren't you? You're showing almost human pride in your son.
SAREK: It does not require pride to ask that Spock be given the respect which is his due. Not as my son, but as Spock. Do you understand?
AMANDA: Not really, but it doesn't matter. I love you anyway. I know. It isn't logical.

Great scene. No wonder these two are fan favorites.

MCCOY: Plus the fact I've never operated on a Vulcan before. Oh, I've studied the anatomical types. I know where all the organs are. But that's a lot different from actual surgical experience.

Really? You've served with Spock for over a year and never had to perform surgery on him? You never spent a semester of your medical school on Vulcan to study their methods?

SPOCK: My first responsibility is to the ship. Our passengers' safety is by Starfleet order of first importance. We are being followed by an alien, possibly hostile, vessel. I cannot relinquish command under these circumstances.

You have to hate how cold-bloodedly logical Vulcans can be sometimes.

SPOCK: It means to adopt a philosophy, a way of life, which is logical and beneficial. We cannot disregard that philosophy merely for personal gain, no matter how important that gain might be.
AMANDA: Nothing is as important as your father's life.
SPOCK: Can you imagine what my father would say if I were to agree, if I were to give up command of this vessel, jeopardise hundreds of lives, risk interplanetary war, all for the life of one person?

The needs of the many and all that. Cold-bloodedly logical. Brrr....

SAREK: Mutual suspicion and interplanetary war.
KIRK: Yes, of course. With Orion carefully neutral, they'd clean up supplying dilithium to both sides and continue to raid Coridan.

War between who? Federation members? Stupid Star Wars prequel flashbacks...

AMANDA: Logic, logic! I'm sick to death of logic. Do you want to know how I feel about your logic?
SPOCK: Emotional, isn't she?
SAREK: She has always been that way.
SPOCK: Indeed? Why did you marry her?
SAREK: At the time, it seemed the logical thing to do.

And they say Vulcans have no sense of humor...

The Fiver

Kirk: This here is the computer. Hey, Spock, show them how to play Galaga on it.
Sarek: I own Spock at Galaga, so if you'll excuse me I'll go grumble in a corner at my son's suckiness.
Spock: If you'll excuse me, I'll go hone my Galaga skills.
Kirk: Sheesh, talk about dysfunction.
Amanda: You should hear the logic debates concerning the proper orientation of toilet paper.

As TVTropes would say, Hilarious In Hindsight considering the Galaga scene in Avengers.

As for toilet paper orientation, did you know that when Ann Landers asked this question it generated at least 15,000 letters?

Uhura: Somebody on the ship's talking to the other ship.
Kirk: Gee, you'd think he could at least find somebody on the other ship to talk to.

Clever.

Spock: I think his mind's been conditioned by you guys to annoy us.
Shras: We have no problem with you humans. Stop watching "The Andorian Incident" and getting ideas.

If you're going to reference Enterprise you could've at least have had him call Kirk "pinkskin", you know.

Redshirt: (over the comm) The Andorian's not an Andorian.
Kirk: It's a faaaaaaaaaaake!

That "In The Pale Moonlight" joke never gets old. Here's a YTMND. And a SomethingAwful while I'm at it.

Kirk: Can I go now?
McCoy: No. I want the last word this time.
Kirk: You can't. It's a fiver. The last word is "end."
McCoy: Shut up, you.

I love metahumor. Huge shock, right?

Memory Alpha

* They were able have more aliens because the episode was in other respects a "bottle show."
* Much reusing of costumes from previous episodes. Some seem reasonable, others don't (we previously saw them on aliens from independent worlds otherwise cut off from the Federation, there's no reason other worlds would know about them).

YouTube

Sarek arrives, and awkward introductions all round.
Introduction of the plot, and a diplomatic reception.
Amanda won't let Spock donate, and a fake Andorian attacks Kirk.
Sarek tells a joke, and McCoy gets the last word.
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  #108  
Old 12-01-2017, 09:31 AM
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December 1st, 1967, "Friday's Child"

Fiver (by Scooter)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Let's get this taken care of right off the bat: another prewarp culture that our crew is visiting because there's a material critical to ship's systems there. No mention of the Prime Directive, and the locals don't seem to have been affected all that much by the knowledge that aliens exist. Ugh.

That being said, if you ignore the PD this episode at least was entertaining and had good characterization for our regulars.

MAAB: Halt! You are of the Earth vessel?

Insert another reference to Azetbur's homo sapiens-only club quote, moving on...

GRANT: A Klingon!
KIRK: Grant, no!
(Too late. A Capellan kills him with a kligat.)

One, why didn't the redshirts get briefed on this culture? Two, last time I checked we aren't at war with the Klingon Empire, so why was Grant attacking without being ordered to by Kirk (this wasn't a self-defense situation)?

CHEKOV: It's just at the edge of our sensor range, sir. Hard to get an exact reading.
SULU: You think it's a Klingon ship?
SCOTT: Who else would be playing cat and mouse with a starship?


The Romulans, the Tholians, the Orions...

MCCOY: They're offering you a chance for combat. They consider it more pleasurable than love.

I didn't remember this line. Kind of icky if you ask me. I'm also reminded of O'Brien refuting "latinum lasts longer than lust" by saying that lust can be a lot more fun.

KRAS: A small scout ship, Captain. We need the mineral, too. I was sent to negotiate.

This is a nonaligned world, right? A prewarp nonaligned world, but let's pretend that the Prime Directive doesn't exist for a minute. Being nonaligned means that until the Capellans join one side or another (extremely unlikely since this culture seems to be clan-based with no central government) they can sell their tormaline to both sides if they want, right?

UHURA: I have the signal clear now, Mister Scott. It is a distress call. It's from the SS Dierdre.
SCOTT: Dierdre? That's a freighter.
UHURA: Reporting they're under attack. They're running, trying to manoeuvre. It's a Klingon vessel attacking.

It's a shame that saucer separation doesn't seem to be a routine procedure. It'd be nice to leave the saucer in orbit and take the stardrive to rescue the freighter, right?

SCOTT: We were forced to leave Capella to aid a Federation vessel under attack by a Klingon vessel. We were unable to contact our landing party before we were forced to answer the distress signal. Our inability to reach the landing party is strange and I am concerned.

So...beam down another set of security officers to assess the situation and help Kirk if necessary? And maybe send down a subspace transmitter with them? Or even send them down in a shuttlecraft, possibly commanded by Sulu? Give Kirk some backup and support?

SCOTT: A vessel doesn't just disappear.

Stupid line. At the very least Romulan cloaking devices have been seen by now.

ELEEN: McCoy. Bring our child.
KIRK: Our child?
MCCOY: I'll explain later.
SPOCK: That should prove very interesting.

Yeah, it will!

SCOTT: There's an old, old saying on Earth, Mister Sulu. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
CHEKOV: I know this saying. It was invented in Russia. (he smirks to himself)

Chekov's only been around half a season, and already even he knows that his Russian declarations are only a diversion.

SPOCK: Oochy-woochy coochy-coo, Captain?
KIRK: An obscure Earth dialect, Mister Spock. Oochy-woochy coochy-coo. If you're curious, consult linguistics.

Imagine that conversation with Uhura!

SPOCK: The child was named Leonard James Akaar?
MCCOY: Has a kind of a ring to it, don't you think, James?
KIRK: Yes. I think it's a name destined to go down in galactic history, Leonard. What do you think, Spock?
SPOCK: I think you're both going to be insufferably pleased with yourselves for at least a month, sir.

I betcha it was longer than that!

The Fiver

McCoy: Let me check you over. I mean, examine you.
Eleen: You I will let touch me, because you're ugly and asexual, like a postmenopausal woman.
McCoy: Thanks. Well, you seem all right. In fact, you have the reflexes of a catwoman.

I think you meant "check you out". Nice subtle Batman reference.

Spock: Our escape has bought us some time, but the Capellans will soon be after us. I suggest --
Kirk: Wait. Spock, were you here all this time?
Spock: Just because I haven't had a line in this fiver --!

Nice metajoke, but I probably would've tweaked the last line to "it's illogical to assume that I wasn't here just because this is my first line in the fiver."

Spock: So she named the child Leonard James Akeer? How revolting.
McCoy: Well, it would've been cruel to name him Spock Akeer.
Kirk: Sure, the other kids would have thought he had a stutter.
(Spock fumes at Kirk and McCoy's smugness at Ludicrous Speed)

Hehe.

YouTube

The ending
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
SCOTT: A vessel doesn't just disappear.

Stupid line. At the very least Romulan cloaking devices have been seen by now.
I would say something about the Klingons not having cloaking devices during this part of the series, but of all things, DIS debunks that by having them have cloaking technology during the Fed/Klingon war in a decade ago. So yes, Scotty, what the Hell?

Of course, it all could be just a stupid slip-up, like believing that these classes of ship don't have cloaking technology because it hasn't been observed yet and the cloaking technology believed to be in possession by the Klingons is inferior to what it actually is, but hey, that's me trying to put logic to work.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:03 AM
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December 8th, 1967, "The Deadly Years"

I suppose we need a category by now of "episodes that ignore all scientific logic in the name of a character piece" designation, but I'm not going to create one. This episode is just bad...

The fiver (by Derek)
Memory Alpha
Transcript

The Episode

SPOCK: The annual check of every scientific expedition is routine.
KIRK: I had a subspace contact with a Robert Johnson, the leader of this expedition, an hour ago.
MCCOY: Did he report anything wrong?
KIRK: No, yet there was something wrong. I can't pin it down. His conversation was disjointed, his thoughts a little foggy, unrelated.

Until that conversation this seemed to be the sort of thing any Starfleet ship could handle. Why is the Enterprise here? And the Enterprise was already on the way before anything seemed odd. Once again they seem to be implying that routine civilian traffic between colonies just does not happen. Ugh.

Captain's log, stardate 3478.2. On a routine mission to re-supply the experimental colony at Gamma Hydra Four, we discovered a most unusual phenomenon. Of the six members of the colony, none of whom were over thirty, we found four had died and two were dying of old age.

This might be a record, folks! The entire "colony" is six people! That ain't a colony, folks, that's a scientific or tactical outpost. You just can't leave six people by themselves for a year on a barren planet and expect them to still be sane when you get back to them!

STOCKER: Facilities at Starbase Ten are much more complete than those on board ship. It seems to me that your investigations would be facilitated if we proceeded there.

An odd statement. The Enterprise is the flagship, the best sensors and scientists are here, right? Whatever this phenomenon is that's aging people is also here. Unless the Enterprise discovers a water sample or something that would require long-term study, shouldn't it stay in the area?

MCCOY: (to Spock) You're perfectly healthy.
SPOCK: (sitting up) I must differ with you, Doctor. I'm having difficulty concentrating, which is most disturbing, my eye sight appears to be failing, and the normal temperature of the ship seems to me to be increasingly cold.
MCCOY: I did not say you weren't affected, Mister Spock. You are perfectly healthy, that is, for any normal Vulcan on the high side of a hundred.

Later examples of aged Vulcans would seem to dispute this, but I suppose they hadn't decided yet just how long Vulcans live yet.

WALLACE: A few years ago on Aldebaran Three, my husband and I tried various carbohydrate compounds to slow down the degeneration of plant life.

That's not how plants work. They don't "eat" carbohydrates, they turn their nutrients into carbohydrates. That's the point of plants. Furthermore, the number of plants that can productively be used by man without being killed first is rather limited, I question the ultimate goal of these experiments.

CHEKOV: Give us some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov. Marrow sample, Chekov. Skin sample, Chekov. If I live long enough, I'm going to run out of samples.
SULU: You'll live.
CHEKOV: Oh, yes. I'll live, but I won't enjoy it.


Thank you Pavel, we needed some levity.

MCCOY: I'm not a magician, Spock, just an old country doctor.

Nice double punchline, Bones.

STOCKER: Mister Spock, a starship can function with a Chief Engineer, a Chief Medical Officer, even a First Officer under physical par. But it's disastrous to have a commanding officer whose condition is any less than perfection.

Oh boy...the debates we could have on this one. Sufficed to say, I'll take Kirk in the captain's seat with a barely stitched-up assassin's dagger wound in his back...

Captain America: I got that reference!

...than any ten of these starbase stuffed shirts. I wonder if anyone ever tallied up the number of times a pompous planet or station-based officer tried to take command of the ship (in any series) with disastrous results.

STOCKER: Well, since the senior officers are incapable and I am of flag rank, I am forced by regulations to assume command.
SPOCK: Sir, you have never commanded a starship.
STOCKER: What would you have, a junior officer with far less experience than I have?

How long has Stocker even served aboard a starship? Couldn't Sulu take command?

STOCKER: Keep trying to raise the Romulans.
UHURA: I'm trying, Commodore.
STOCKER: If I could talk to them, explain to them why we violated the Neutral Zone.
UHURA: The Romulans are notorious for not listening to explanations.
SULU: Lieutenant Uhura is right, sir. We've tangled with them before.

Since when did our crew have to be in the Neutral Zone to talk to a Romulan ship? Surely both sides would've designated a few places on each side of the zone that a ship can go to if they want to talk, places that the other side would routinely scan.

WALLACE: The ageing process has stopped. His bodily functions are getting stronger.

But has it reversed? You need to clarify.

The Fiver

Kirk: Hey! That's not right. When I beam down to a planet, I expect a parade, a banquet, a piñata shaped like an Andorian's head, and a love interest!

Why an Andorian's head, specifically? Wouldn't a Klingon's head be more appropriate?

Chekov: I will not be a Tasha Yar...I will not be a Tasha Yar...I will NOT be a Tasha Y--AAAAH!
Kirk: Alas, poor Chekov. We hardly knew him.
McCoy: Hey, he's still alive!
Kirk: That's strange. Let's check it out.

A bit too meta. Now if you'd referenced poor Kelso from "Where No Man Has Gone Before"...

McCoy: This guy died from an overdose of old-age makeup.

Now there's irony for ya!

Kirk: So if I don't get a love interest from the planet, where is she coming from?
Wallace: From the ship. I'm apparently a passenger of some sort for some reason.
Kirk: You're not played by Diana Muldaur!
Wallace: Should I have been?
Kirk: After watching "Unnatural Selection," it would have been strangely ironic.

The meta-level is rising, Cap'n! She's gonna blow!

Captain's Log: Spock, McCoy, Scotty, a no-name blueshirt and I are all getting older and older. We still have no idea why we look nothing like we do in the movies.

Because "subtlety" is rarely seen in Star Trek?

Spock: Sigh. And since the Captain, myself, and Mr. Scott are all affected, that leaves Commodore Stocker in charge, though I don't really know why.

Me neither, Sulu should take command!

Kirk: Here I come to save the day!
Romulans: Run away! Run away!

A Mighty Mouse joke next to a Monty Python joke. You don't see those every day...

Memory Alpha

* This episode states that Gamma Hydra is near the Romulan Neutral Zone. And yet the Kobayashi Maru scenario states that it is near the Klingon Neutral Zone.
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  #111  
Old 12-15-2017, 11:24 AM
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December 15, 1967, "Obsession"

Plenty of ridiculous technobabble, but this is supposed to be a character piece. And it does that very well, even if there are plenty of logical hiccups. Although I do hate how often Trek goes with the Ahab-like plot of wanting to destroy the enemy no matter the cost.

Part One, by the way.

Transcript
Fiver (by Nic)
Memory Alpha

The Episode

CHAPEL: Transfusion completed, sir. His pulse and respiration are still far below normal.
MCCOY: Give him one cc of cordazine, nurse.
CHAPEL: Yes, sir.

Memory Alpha lists several other appearances of cordrazine, almost always used as a stimulant. Given the hesitation shown in "The City on the Edge of Forever" and the almost routine nature of it now and in the future, I do wonder if McCoy dedicated himself to finding a safer version of the stuff after experiencing it in "City." Perhaps he managed to perfect a synthetic, purer version with fewer side effects.

SPOCK: I've scanned for that element, Captain. There's no trace of dikironium on the planet surface or in the atmosphere.
KIRK: Suppose it camouflaged itself. Let's assume that it's intelligent, that it knows we're looking for it.
SPOCK: To hide from a sensor scan, it would have to be able to change its molecular structure, like gold changing itself to lead or wood changing itself to ivory.

One, the way Kirk feeds his obsession by expanding parameters until he hears what he needs to hear is a good touch. Two, there are ways to hide from sensor scans without resorting to alchemy. I expect better from Spock.

KIRK: Are you the new security officer?
GARROVICK: Yes, sir.
KIRK: Was your father...
GARROVICK: Yes, sir, but I don't expect any special treatment on that account.
KIRK: You'll get none aboard this ship, Mister.

I jolly well hope nepotism is dead by the 23rd century. That was a bit of a leap on Garrovick's part, wasn't it? Kirk could've finished that line any number of ways. Was your father...the first man to traverse every corridor on a starship on roller skates? The one billionth customer served by Monolith Burger (props to whoever gets this reference without looking it up)? The designer of those atrocious white uniforms Starfleet says we're all going to have to start wearing in a few years? The guy who put the bomp in the bomp bomp ba bomp? Etc.

Captain's log, stardate 3619.6. One of the men in critical condition, the other is dead. And I, I am now even more convinced that this is not only an intelligent creature, but the same which decimated the crew of the USS Farragut eleven years ago in another part of the galaxy.

And yet again we act like the entire galaxy has at least been traversed if not completely charted. Cue "series bible" remarks here. One wonders how long it would've taken Voyager to get home at TOS speeds!

Surely Kirk could've said "X sectors from here" and given me less ammunition. "Sector" is an awfully broad term that can cover any number of nits.

MCCOY: Ensign, did you sense any intelligence in this gaseous cloud?
GARROVICK: Did I what, sir?
MCCOY: Did you get any subconscious impressions that this was a creature. A living, thinking thing, rather than just a strange cloud of chemical elements?
GARROVICK: No, sir.

You seem to be mixing up "intelligent" and "alive", Bones. And if you want to get particularly nitpicky, "gaseous cloud" is terribly redundant.

SCOTT: Captain, while we're waiting I've taken the liberty of cleaning the radioactive disposal vent on number two impulse engine, but we'll be ready to leave orbit in under half an hour.

What? Now? You reduced the ship to maneuvering thrusters only on your own initiative? Putting aside this cloud that may or may not be alive and/or malevolent, you've got vaccines to deliver!

SPOCK: I need your advice.
MCCOY: Then I need a drink.

Great couplet. It's a shame later series never had a comedy duo like McCoy and Spock.

KIRK [OC]: Personal log, stardate 3620.7. Have I the right to jeopardise my crew, my ship for a feeling I can't even put into words? No man achieves Starfleet command without relying on intuition, but have I made a rational decision? Am I letting the horrors of the past distort my judgment of the present?

One wonders about the Vulcan captain of the Intrepid. Jokes aside, this is another great example of how Kirk's a good character. He's not the sanitized, perfect, boring future human Gene was always banging on about.


MCCOY: Jim, When a young officer is exposed to unknown dangers for the first time, he's under tremendous emotional stress. Now we all know that.

And that's when potential officers are separated from future redshirts. Law of the space jungle and all that.

MCCOY: Am I? I was speaking of Lieutenant James T. Kirk of the starship Farragut. Eleven years ago, you were the young officer at the phaser station when something attacked. According to the tapes, this young Lieutenant Kirk insisted upon blaming himself.
KIRK: Because I delayed in firing at it.
MCCOY: You had a normal emotion. You were startled. You delayed firing for a grand total of perhaps two seconds.
KIRK: If I hadn't delayed, it would have been killed.

Yikes, if we all tortured ourselves for the rest of our lives over two second mistakes, nobody would ever get anything done! I don't understand how Kirk can lead wave after wave of redshirts to early graves without a twinge of guilt, yet still beat himself up over things like this.

KIRK: I can't help how I feel. There's an intelligence about it, Bones. A malevolence. It's evil. It must be destroyed.

So now we've jumped from "lifeform" to "sentient lifeform" to "evil sentient lifeform" without evidence. Not that it makes much difference in the long run (this thing doesn't seem to fit into the natural food chain or anything), but I thought I'd point it out.


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  #112  
Old 12-15-2017, 11:25 AM
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MCCOY: They need those vaccines on Theta Seven, Captain. Now why are we delaying here?
KIRK: Because I'm convinced that this is the same creature that attacked the Farragut eleven years ago.

Talk about a disjointed argument! "How can birds fly, Daddy?" "Because the Kool-Aid Man is red!" Kudos to whoever gets the reference without Googling it, by the way.

SPOCK: Conflicting data, Captain. It seems to be in a borderline state between matter and energy. Elements of both. It could possibly use gravitational fields for propulsion.

Stupid line. You mean that the creature is continually shifting between matter and energy, or you mean that the creature is made out of plasma. Make up your mind! As for using gravitational fields for propulsion...I guess you mean it can somehow "grab" onto each celestial body as it passes by, like a monkey swinging branch to branch.

CHEKOV: Open hatch on impulse engine number two. Mister Scott was doing an AID clean-up on it.
KIRK: We won't be using the impulse engines. Turn the alarm off.

Look, I get that this is one giant build-up to let the creature get on board. It's just as stupid here as when the miniaturized runabout did it in "One Little Ship". There shouldn't be any direct lines between inside and outside! And by the by, the impulse engines generate plasma exhaust, what do you need to "clean up"?

SPOCK: The deflectors will not stop it, Captain.
SCOTT: That's impossible.
SPOCK: I should have surmised this. For the creature to be able to use gravity as a propulsive force, it would have to have this capacity.

I'll be generous and say that this cloud can create a gravity field around itself to shield it from the effects of the deflectors, a proverbial oil bubble in water.

CHEKOV: Five seconds to contact. All hatches and vents secure. All lights on the board show green. Sir! The number two impulse vent! we have a red light!
KIRK: (over Chekov's speech) Lieutenant Uhura, all decks (rest of speech lost under Chekov's increasing volume)
SCOTT: Captain, something's entered through the number two impulse vent.
KIRK: Negative pressure in all ship's vents. Alert all decks.

As asinine as this vent thing is, you can't say that it wasn't properly foreshadowed. They really want us to know that this thing has a physical presence.

KIRK: Scotty, try flushing the radioactive waste into the ventilation system. See what effect that has.

Now the crew is radioactive! That can't be good!

PNQ: Why do I like including obscure references in my jokes so much?

SPOCK: Captain, the creature's ability to throw itself out of time sync makes it possible for it to be elsewhere in the instant the phaser hits.

Time sync? Where did that come from? Just say that the creature can create a hole in itself for the phaser beam to go through.

KIRK: Antimatter seems our only possibility.
SPOCK: An ounce should be sufficient. We can drain it from the ship's engines and transport it to the planet surface in a magnetic vacuum field.

I guess attaching a photon torpedo launcher to a shuttlecraft would take too long. It would certainly be safer!

SPOCK: Exactly. A matter-antimatter blast will rip away half the planet's atmosphere.

Since when? Or are you going to tell me that in the next hundred years torpedo technology will devolve just like warp capability? In the 24th century it takes dozens of torpedoes to render a planet uninhabitable!

GARROVICK: Just think, Captain, less than one ounce of antimatter here is more powerful than ten thousand cobalt bombs.
KIRK: Let's hope it's as powerful as man will ever get.

Sadly, no. Tricobalt, quantum, transphasic...as long as man has enemies, weapons technology will continue to evolve. And sadly, man will always find potential enemies just among themselves, we don't even need aliens as an excuse.

The Fiver

Kirk: Hmm... I'm not so sure. I smell honey....
Creature: Mmmm... I'm so happy. I smell erythrocytes....

Erythocytes are red blood cells. Personally I would've gone with a "fee-fi-fo-fum/blood of an Englishman" joke.

Kirk: Spock, I think I remember this creature from a mission 11 years ago. Quick, scan for a gaseous cloud.
Spock: A gaseous cloud? Should I also be scanning for a solid, or a liquid cloud?

Thank you, Spock. I've already covered this one.

McCoy: Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a vampire slayer!

Ah, the days when Buffy was topical...

Not that I ever watched the show, but popculture osmosis can do wonders...

Kirk: Mr. Garrovick, you're probably wondering why you have been invited to a meeting with the ship's Captain, First Officer and Doctor.
Garrovick: No, not really. It's because I hesitated to fire on the creature and as a result two people were killed.
McCoy: No, you're here because you're the only redshirt in history that has survived an away mission. And you have lines! We're going to study you!

Funny, but he's hardly the first. Maybe if you'd thrown in a "and you have a name that's not generic!"...

Kirk: Uhura, open hailing frequencies to the creature.
Uhura: Opened, sir.
Kirk: FROM HELL'S HEART, I STAB AT THEE!

Yeah yeah, great Ahab/Khan joke, but I doubt this cloud has a subspace communicator to "hear" them.

Kirk: This creature is capable of murdering hundreds of people, maybe even more. And desperate times call for desperate measures.
McCoy: What are you saying, Jim?
Kirk: We have no choice but to unleash Josh Hartnett's acting skills upon the creature. Get me 40 Days and 40 Nights.

Talk about a time capsule of a fiver, huh?

Chekov: Captain, the creature is leaving the planet at high warp!
Kirk: Set a pursuit course, and open hailing frequencies. (ahem) Listen to me. You're a cloud. Clouds are pretty. Pretty things do not kill people. Therefore, your entire existence is illogical. Come on now, self-destruct! Self-destruct!
Spock: Haven't I explained the difference between computers and clouds nineteen times already?

Why didn't you use forty-seven, Nic? Nice use of a running gag, though.

Garrovick: Oh my God, Mr. Spock! The creature is hovering above my replicator!
Creature: Computer, Bloody Mary. Shaken, not stirred.
Spock: Run, Ensign! I will sacrifice myself to expel the creature!
Creature: Mmm, lunchtime... YUCK!
Spock: Yuck? You drink me and you say yuck?

Wow, a James Bond joke and a TNG joke in one scene. Probably a few others, too. Very densely-packed humor.

Creature: Oh, look! A nice tank full of blood! (Gloop, gloop, gloop) AAAAAAH! Arsenic!
Kirk: There is an ancient Klingon saying: "Revenge is a steak best served bloody!"
Creature: ARRRRRGH! But know this, Kirk... I'll be back!
Kirk: And what, run for the Governor of California? Hasta la vista, baby!
(The Enterprise warps off at Bloody Ludicrous Speed)

Very densely-packed humor!

Memory Alpha

* Our old pal Leslie the recurring background red/yellow/blueshirt dies in this episode. He also has the distinction of being the first recurring character in Trek to return from death without explanation. I wonder if he's a set of triplets or something that are all serving on the same ship.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Much confusion surrounds Kirk's early career. To whit:
** He served with Garrovick on the Farragut from the day he left the Academy, eventually becoming a lieutenant.
** He served with Finney on the Republic at some point as an ensign.
** Among other inconsistencies. I personally wonder why it's so important that he served with Garrovick from the day he left the Academy. Just being a helmsman under Garrovick for five years should be enough, right?
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:07 PM
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The Enterprise is the flagship
Is it? I'm fuzzy, but I'm not sure if it's even established that the Constitution class is the most powerful Starfleet has.

Quote:
KIRK [OC]: Personal log, stardate 3620.7. Have I the right to jeopardise my crew, my ship for a feeling I can't even put into words? No man achieves Starfleet command without relying on intuition, but have I made a rational decision? Am I letting the horrors of the past distort my judgment of the present?

One wonders about the Vulcan captain of the Intrepid. Jokes aside, this is another great example of how Kirk's a good character. He's not the sanitized, perfect, boring future human Gene was always banging on about.
Agreed.
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:18 PM
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December 22nd, 1967, "Wolf in the Fold"

One wonders if this one should've been saved for Halloween. I'll have plenty to complain about in terms of technology and such, but at the very least, by itself without being influenced by other episodes, there's good character work here.

Fiver (by Derek)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

KIRK: We won't leave without you, Scotty. Relax and enjoy yourself. (Scott and Kara leave) My work is never done.
MCCOY: My work, Jim. This is prescription stuff. Don't forget, the explosion that threw Scotty against a bulkhead was caused by a woman.
KIRK: Physically he's all right. Am I right in assuming that?
MCCOY: Oh, yes, yes. As a matter of fact, considerable psychological damage could have been caused. For example, his total resentment toward women.
KIRK: He seems he's overcoming his resentment.

Always hated this premise, just like I hate all single-episode vice or flaw episodes. Why was this explosion "caused by a woman"? Was she incompetent (transfer her off the ship), malicious (court-martial her), or was this an accident (why are there consequences)? And what does being a woman have to do with any of these? Furthermore, what does any of this have to do with the plot of the rest of the episode? All that has to happen is Scotty picks up a girl in a bar and is alone with her at some point so she can be killed. That's it! Or are you going to tell me that in the future one night stands just don't happen? Highly illogical...

HENGIST: If this was my home planet, Rigel Four, I'd have a dozen investigators working on the matter, but they don't exist here.
MCCOY: You're not a native of Argelius, sir?
HENGIST: Oh, no. Argelius hires its administrative officers from other planets. The Argelians aren't very efficient, you know. Gentle, harmless people.

One: If this is a Federation world, why hasn't a proper security force been shipped in from elsewhere if nobody here wants the job? Two: What does any of this have to do with the plot? It's pointless exposition that's doing nothing but raising questions! All that's required is a minor tweak: this isn't a Federation world, but they want to join. Since this fiasco could have serious diplomatic ramifications, an investigator is shipped in from a neutral world to ensure an impartial investigation. Done!

KIRK: What's the law in these cases?
JARIS: The law of Argelius is love.

I hate planets that are focused so squarely on one character trait or emotion that they ignore all others. Entire treatises have been written about the violent crimes that have been incited in the name of "love", which really means "lust" or "pleasure" most of the time. Even Risa has a planetary security force!

HENGIST: Prefect, don't you think this should be handled in an official manner through my office?
JARIS: It shall be handled in an official manner, Mister Hengist, since I am the highest official.

Oh boy, the rant I could make about that statement. I shall refrain, but suffice to say there was a way to say that without sounding like a dictator.

KIRK: Depending on your wife's empathic abilities is all very well, Prefect, but there's only one way we can find out what it is Mister Scott cannot remember. Since you find it impossible to let us go back up to our ship, I can beam down a technician with a psycho-tricorder.
MCCOY: Prefect, it will give us a detailed account of everything that's happened to Mister Scott in the last twenty four hours.

Ah yes, the psycho-tricorder. It only appeared here, has horrifying implications, and creates plot holes from here to Argelius. I'll refrain from listing all of the episodes past and future that would've benefited from having one available, but it would be a lot of episodes!

KIRK: Argelian hospitality is well-known, as well as its strategic importance as a space port.
JARIS: Yes. I believe it's the only one in the quadrant.

The times we could have pointing out examples where "quadrant" is used where "sector" would be better. How many times has the Enterprise been "the only ship in the quadrant"?

MCCOY: Captain, under normal conditions, Scotty would have never done such a thing.
KIRK: But that blow on the head. It could put all his previous behaviour patterns into the junk heap.

One: Wouldn't "resentment toward women" and "willing to brutally murder defenseless people" be covered by completely different areas of the brain, how could one blow affect both? Two: If Scotty's brain hasn't fully recovered, why was he on a nonaligned world in the first place and why were Kirk and McCoy trying to set him up? Unsound medical ethics all round.

SYBO: I am ready. May I have the knife, please?
JARIS: Certainly. Among other gifts, Sybo has the ability to receive impressions from inanimate objects.

I never did like the psychic residue concept. A knife is just a knife, and a cigar is just a cigar, if I may torture the metaphor.

MORLA: I know it was wrong, but I just couldn't help myself. I loved her, and when she went over to the table with these men, I could not stand to watch, so I left and went home.
KIRK: Jealousy has often been a motive for murder.
JARIS: Yes, I know. That is why the emotion is so strongly disapproved of here.

A society that believes in love and apparently monogamy, but disapproves of jealousy. Good luck with that system!

KIRK: Each testifier will sit here, place his hand on this plate. Any deviation from factual truth will be immediately detected...

I'm more forgiving of lie detector handplates than psycho-tricorders. Come to think of it, couldn't you build a psycho-tricorder into the chair and dispense with the handplate?

KIRK: Computer. Criminological files. Cases of unsolved mass murders of women since Jack the Ripper.
COMPUTER: Working. 1932. Shanghai, China, Earth. Seven women knifed to death. 1974, Kiev, USSR, Earth. Five women knifed to death. 2105. Martian colonies. Eight women knifed to death. 2156. Heliopolis, Alpha Eridani Two. Ten women knifed to death. There are additional examples.

"Mass murder" means four or more murders in a single event. What Kirk and the computer are talking about is "serial murder". And now you know, and knowing is...I really do use that joke too much, and I never even watched G.I. Joe!

KIRK: Deep space. Full power. Widest angle of dispersion. Maintain.

There's another function of the transporter that would have been useful in prior and future episodes.

The Fiver

McCoy: How will we prove Scotty's innocent?
Kirk: If only we had an android Sherlock Holmes....
McCoy: A what?

Just go back to the amusement park planet, imagine up an android Sherlock Holmes, and kidnap it. No sweat!

Hengist: I think it was Mr. Scott with the knife in the alley!
Kirk: Nonsense. I've got the Mr. Scott card!
Hengist: Shouldn't that be Mr. Orson Scott Card instead of-- Hey! That's just the Mr. Green card with a picture of Scotty taped over it!

Haven't played Clue in ages, but here's a completely irrelevant link to a video where PushingUpRoses covers the history of the game. I also didn't know that Orson Scott Card was still alive (or that his career was that recent, to be frank, I don't follow mainstream scifi fiction).

Kirk: This is unbelievable!
McCoy: What is it?
Kirk: The blueshirt is dead and the redshirt is still alive!

The probabilities have actually been crunched for blueshirts, redshirts, and goldshirts here. Enjoy. Still a good joke, though.

Kirk: See, we have the best computers ever. We can even tell when someone is lying!
Jarvis: Why don't you just have a half-Betazoid counsellor?
Kirk: Who? What? Huh?

I feel that there was a better punchline to be made there. "Nah, her mother would just hit on me and I don't go for older women like some tea-swilling baldie" or something.

Kirk: What is your name?
Scotty: I am Montgomery Scott.
Kirk: What is your quest?
Scotty: I seek the holy grail.
Kirk: What is your favorite color?
Scotty: Blue.
Hengist: Prove that the computer can check him if he's lying!
Kirk: Scotty, lie to me! How many fingers do you have?
Scotty: Nine.
Kirk: Hm...that's odd. The computer should have caught that.

It's always nice to see a Monty Python joke. How old was I when I found out about Doohan's finger, anyway? I probably found out from the Nitpicker's Guide, come to think of it...
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Last edited by Nate the Great; 12-22-2017 at 05:27 PM.
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Hengist: I think it was Mr. Scott with the knife in the alley!
Kirk: Nonsense. I've got the Mr. Scott card!
Hengist: Shouldn't that be Mr. Orson Scott Card instead of-- Hey! That's just the Mr. Green card with a picture of Scotty taped over it!
Kirk: Don't be ridiculous; Scotty doesn't need a green card.
Such a good fiver.
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:56 PM
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December 29th, 1967, "The Trouble With Tribbles"

Part One

Now it's time to have some fun! I won't dampen the mood by rehashing the flatcat story, you can go to SF Debris for that...

Fiver (by IJD GAF)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Fiver

Spock: So, they plan to develop this Sherman's planet with quadrotriticale crops....
Kirk: You know Spock, you really could stand to learn the art of small talk.
Spock: What, on my quest to become more human? Ha!

Interesting place for a reference to "Starship Down", but okay...

Baris: (over comm) Kirk, this station is swarming with tribbles!
Kirk: I was unaware that 1,771,561 tribbles constituted a swarm.

If Spock's right, there aren't that many yet. Actually, that would've been a great running joke for Spock: "Actually, there are X tribbles. Assuming one yada yada multiplying over Y hours."

Scotty: I don't know...I'm not a huge fan of drunken shore leaves....
Kirk: HA! Good one...see you in a little while.

That is a good point...we've seen Scotty take normal shore leaves elsewhere. Technical manuals are for your off hours on ship when you're not near anything else!

Koloth: I demand an apology! Your hats are libel!
Baris: I demand an apology! Your guards are a joke!
Darvin: I demand--
Tribbles: Eep!
Darvin: --a raktajino.
Kirk: Koloth, get lost. Baris, get a life. Darvin, get exiled to Cardassia. And Cyrano....
Jones: Yes?
Kirk: Get busy. You'll need a miracle, or at least a glommer, to clean up this mess.

Reference overload! I was expecting a Spider-Man 2 "it's not slander, in print it's libel" joke, plus a clearer redshirt joke ("your guards kept dying from paper cuts and untied shoelaces"), plus someone asking what raktajino is.

Memory Alpha

* Lots of costume reuse in the bar scenes. It seems that the turtleneck uniforms are still being phased out (Sherman's Planet must be on the frontier and the new uniforms haven't been shipped yet).
* Another episode where Doohan's missing finger can be seen. If it's that important, you'd think the directors would all be paying closer attention to this.
* If the Okudas are to be believed, this is the last episode that had new Enterprise footage shot; all future episodes will reuse footage. Memory Alpha wonders if this is true.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Where were the guards Kirk assigned to watch the Klingons during the bar scene?
* How could Scotty be on the bridge in the final scene if he's been confined to quarters? Phil suspects that Kirk quickly realized that it wasn't really a punishment and rescinded this order.

YouTube

* Uhura's nursery. "Fortunately of course...I am...immune..."
* The bar fight. Don't you love how Korax imitates Scotty's accent for a second?
* Kirk's lunch is ruined by tribbles. The air vents! Also Doohan's finger.
* Kirk is buried in tribbles. "Close that door!"
* Music suite from the episode. Don't tell me that you can't pinpoint each scene based solely on the music!
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Part Two

The Episode

SPOCK: Quadrotriticale is a high-yield grain, a four-lobed hybrid of wheat and rye. A perennial, also, I believe. Its root grain, triticale, can trace its ancestry all the way back to twentieth century Canada...

Triticale is real ("triti" is from wheat, "cale" is from rye), but its ancestry goes back to nineteenth century Scotland and Germany. It seems odd that Spock would make such a mistake.

LURRY: Quadrotriticale is the only earth grain that grows on Sherman's Planet.

Here we go again, the desire to repeat the "homo sapiens only club" joke. Grow something other than grain, or use a grain from another world!

KIRK: (shows Chekov the packet of wheat) Mister Chekov, what do you make of this?
CHEKOV: Oh, quadrotriticale. I've read about this, but I've never seen any before.
KIRK: Does everybody know about this wheat but me?
CHEKOV: Not everyone, Captain. It's a Russian invention.

The Russia joke is always good for a laugh, but it's a shame that Sulu with his established background in botany couldn't be here for this scene.

BARMAN: I don't want any. I told you before, and I'm telling you again I don't want any more Spican flame gems. Thanks to you, I have enough Spican flame gems to last me a lifetime.
JONES: How sad for you, my friend. You won't find a finer stone anywhere. But I have something better. Surely you want some Antarian glow water.
BARMAN: I use that to polish the flame gems.

Classic exchange. I did a little research into these goods, and was disgusted to learn that Antarian glow water has its glow because there are ground-up Antarean dryworms in it. One wonders if the Ferengi drink this stuff.

BARMAN: Four credits.
JONES: Is that an offer or a joke?
BARMAN: That's my offer.
JONES: That's a joke.
BARMAN: Five?

Great exchange. I love it when the barman says "five" in a way somewhere between a groan and the last rasp of a dying man.

KOLOTH: Captain, we Klingons are not as luxury-minded as you Earthers. We do not equip our ships with, how shall I say it, non-essentials.
KORAX: We have been in space for five months. What we choose as recreation is our own business.


And if you choose to be in space in a ship without any recreational facilities for five months, I call that your problem, not mine.

KIRK: Another technical journal, Scotty?
SCOTT: Aye.
KIRK: Don't you ever relax?
SCOTT: I am relaxing.

Don't look down on reading, captain! Or are you just looking down on nonfiction?

SPOCK: (stroking a tribble) A most curious creature, Captain. Its trilling seems to have a tranquillising effect on the human nervous system. Fortunately, of course, I am immune to its effect.

What really sells the line is how Spock's speech slows down as the tribble demands more and more of his attention. I suspect that tribbles emit low-level psy waves that a telepath like Spock might be more susceptible to.

KIRK: I was not aware, Mister Baris, that twelve Klingons constitutes a swarm.

I wonder how many Klingons it would take before Kirk would call it a swarm.

MCCOY: I can tell you this much. Almost fifty percent of the creature's metabolism is geared for reproduction. Do you know what you get if you feed a tribble too much?
KIRK: A fat tribble.
MCCOY: No. You get a bunch of hungry little tribbles.

Classic exchange, especially Kirk's expression of blunt smugness.

KORAX: No. I just remembered. There is one Earthman who doesn't remind me of a Regulan blood worm. That's Kirk. A Regulan blood worm is soft and shapeless, but Kirk isn't soft. Kirk may be a swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood, but he's not soft.

More than one person in the novels has repeated the tin-plated dictator line in reference to Kirk, which makes me wonder where they got it. Did Scotty include this exchange in some form of official log? Did Kirk have to include it when explaining why he's confining Scotty to quarters?

KORAX: Of course, I'd say that Captain Kirk deserves his ship. We like the Enterprise. We, we really do. That sagging old rust bucket is designed like a garbage scow. Half the quadrant knows it. That's why they're learning to speak Klingonese.
CHEKOV: Mister Scott!
SCOTT: Laddie, don't you think you should rephrase that?
KORAX: You're right, I should. I didn't mean to say that the Enterprise should be hauling garbage. I meant to say that it should be hauled away as garbage.

I love the pause between "should" and "rephrase". Scotty is incensed, but he still had a little self control to censor himself. But then Korax had to take that little bit away...

KIRK: You hit the Klingons because they insulted the Enterprise, not because they
SCOTT: Well, sir, this was a matter of pride.
KIRK: All right, Scotty. Dismissed. Scotty, you're restricted to quarters until further notice.
SCOTT: (big grin) Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. That'll give me a chance to catch up on my technical journals.

The well-laid plans of mice and men and all that. Kirk should've come up with an alternate punishment. What, exactly, I'm not sure. Cleaning the gunk out of the food processors every day for a week?

MCCOY: Does everything have to have a practical use for you? They're nice, soft, and furry, and they make a pleasant sound.
SPOCK: So would an ermine violin, but I see no advantage in having one.

There's a forum game: alternatives to "ermine violin" that fit the qualifications of "nice, soft, furry, and makes a pleasant sound."

BARIS: But he is after my grain!
KIRK: Do you have any proof of that?
DARVIN: You can't deny he's disrupted this station.
KIRK: People have disrupted stations before without being Klingon agents. Sometimes, all they need is a title, Mister Baris.

Burn!

SPOCK: One million seven hundred seventy one thousand five hundred sixty one. That's assuming one tribble, multiplying with an average litter of ten, producing a new generation every twelve hours over a period of three days.

But there wasn't one tribble to start with, there must've been a few dozen at least. And that's assuming that all of the tribbles found enough food to reproduce at full capacity, and that's assuming...ugh, let's move on...

KIRK: Until that inquiry, I'm still the captain. And as Captain, I want two things done. First, find Cyrano Jones, and second (as another tribble hits him on the head) close that door.

Poor Kirk. Then again, Sisko and Dax really didn't have the time to pay attention to where they were throwing the tribbles, did they?

KIRK: Where did you transport them? Scott, you didn't transport them into space, did you?
SCOTT: Captain Kirk, that'd be inhuman.
KIRK: Where are they?
SCOTT: I gave them a good home, sir.
KIRK: (shouting) Where?
SCOTT: I gave them to the Klingons, sir.
KIRK: (a whisper) You gave them to the Klingons?
SCOTT: Aye, sir. Before they went into warp, I transported the whole kit and caboodle into their engine room, where they'll be no tribble at all.

Love that little pause and the disbelief in Kirk's voice at the suggestion that Scotty would beam tribbles into space.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:22 PM
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January 5th, 1968, "The Gamesters of Triskelion"

Fiver (by IJD GAF)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

CHEKOV: Captain. what happened?
KIRK: It must be a transporter malfunction.
CHEKOV: That was a rough trip.

There's a question: Is the physical sensation of using all transporters the same? Putting aside Reg Barclay's impossible "I can see from inside the beam" phenomenon, would the initial scanners cause a distinct sensation on the skin, a distinctive sound, etc.? Because it sounds like they were stolen right off their own pad, like that fake Vulcan ambassador in "Data's Day."

CHEKOV: But Captain, if we're not on Gamma Two, then where are we?

Putting aside Q and the other super-advanced races, what species have we seen that have a transporter range that is sufficiently larger than normal? I wonder if another race could've perfected that subspace transporter that Bok had...

KIRK: We're officers of a United spaceship on Federation business.

The issue of what "USS" stands for has confused many, as TOS has used it for both "United Space Ship" and "United Star Ship". Cue series bible rant. Personally I like the fan theory that "space ships" are simply ships that can travel in space (Cyrano Jones, Harry Mudd, etc.), while "star ships" are at a completely different level. Star ships can go faster, farther, and do more things than simple space ships.

SPOCK: I've conducted two sweeps of the planet's surface. There is no sign of life.

I've long preferred the idea that different degrees of scans of a planetary surface take different amounts of time. A few seconds can find major power sources, communications nodes, etc. so the ship has something to hail. A few minutes can do slightly more detailed charts of the infrastructure, extrapolate populations, etc. You'd need a few hours to get everything including precise population figures and species differentiation of such. No doubt Spock's been going over this place with the fine-tooth comb. (Cue Spaceballs joke)

MCCOY: It's been nearly an hour. Can people live that long as disassembled atoms in a transporter beam?
SPOCK: I have never heard of a study being done, but it would be a fascinating project.


Ha ha. Only forty years from now Scotty will have perpetual transporter buffering down (at least with a 50 percent mortality rate). I wonder if the work Spock started here in his spare time helped Scotty later.

SPOCK: I would welcome a suggestion, Doctor, even an emotional one, as to where to look.
MCCOY: First time you've ever asked me for anything, and it has to be an occasion like this.

Gotta love Bones.

SPOCK: Projecting back along the path of ionisation, the nearest system is M two four alpha.
SCOTT: That must be two dozen light years away.
SPOCK: Eleven point six three zero.
MCCOY: Are you suggesting that they could have transported over a distance of...

Only twelve light years? Q would call that the proverbial walk down the road to the chemist, but it's just peanuts to--Yes, I am hooked on that line, why do you ask?

KIRK: You don't think or do anything but what the Providers tell you.
SHAHNA: What else would one do?
KIRK: Love, for one thing.
SHAHNA: What is love?
KIRK: Love is the most important thing on Earth. Especially to a man and a woman.

How many women has he taught the meaning of "love" to? He's got quite the harem, doesn't he? Maybe I should dig out my copy of Captain Kirk's Guide to Women...

SHAHNA: I have never seen them, but they are said not to be like us. They stay in
(Her collar lights up, and Kirk holds her tight while she writhes in pain.)
KIRK: Stop it. Stop it! I'm responsible! I made her talk! Stop it! You're killing her! She did nothing wrong! It was my fault. If you want to punish someone, punish me! Please.
ONE [OC]: Is that what you humans call compassion? It is interesting, but it has no value here.

You have to like this. Kirk is outright manipulating this woman to get her to help him, but he still cares about her safety. After all, this is all that she knows, so how can she know that she's doing immoral things?

SPOCK: I see. (pause) Gentlemen, I am in command of this vessel, and we shall continue on our present course. (conspiratorial whisper) Unless it is your intention to declare a mutiny.
SCOTT: Mister Spock!
MCCOY: Who said anything about a mutiny, you stubborn, pointed-eared...

It's nice to see that while Bones doesn't agree with this decision, he still respects Spock. We don't see that much these days, do we?

TWO [OC]: (pulsing green) Once we had humanoid form, but we evolved beyond it.

But I thought that evolving beyond human form meant turning into giant salamanders...obligatory "Threshold" joke aside, I can't imagine "evolving" from humanoid to just a brain. That's silly. Just say that the race focused on intellectual pursuits and direct input of entertainment to such a degree that it became more efficient to just take out their brains and hook them up to machines.

SHAHNA: Goodbye, Jim Kirk. I will learn, and watch the lights in the sky, and remember.

I vaguely remembered that there was another story with her, so I looked it up. The story "The Lights in the Sky" from the first Strange New Worlds anthology features one, where she tries to meet Kirk on Earth.

The Fiver

Galt: I am Galt, the stiff and unemotional head thrall. You may notice my striking similarity to people like Al Gore or Chakotay.

Reminds me of one of my favorite Al Gore jokes from the "Jetrel" fiver...
Neelix's Dream: I am allegorical.
Al Gore: And I am Al Gore.
Neelix: Aahh! What a nightmare!

Lars: I'm your drill thrall, Lars. I follow a line of great Larses, such as Lars Ulrich.
Uhura: But he's a prick.
Lars: And that detracts from my statement how?

One of my favorite joke formats: the "you said something that you think contradicts my statement but in fact reinforces it" gag.

Kirk: See you around, Shahna.
Shahna: You don't really mean that, do you?
Kirk: Nah.

At least he's honest.

Memory Alpha

* Takei is still away filming The Green Berets, so Chekov gets a few more lines. He regrets not being able to be in this episode.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Another Captain's Log made without any mechanism around to record it. I wish Phil would just cave in and admit that these things are being recorded after the fact and that Kirk would never actually die.
* On the other hand, Kirk adds a stardate not knowing exactly where or when he is. I admit that it'd be awkward if he pointed that out: "To the best of my knowledge it is Stardate X, but we may have been transported in time as well as space."
* More mixing of metric and imperial. You would've thought one of the scientific consultants would've requested sticking to one or the other.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:24 PM
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January 12th, 1968, "A Piece of the Action"

No fiver
Transcript

Memory Alpha

The Episode

OXMYX [OC]: Toward the edge of what?
KIRK: I'll explain it in more detail when I see him.

Definite implications of a pre-warp culture. Even arguing that this planet falls under the category of "we have to clean up the contamination, the Prime Directive is suspended", shouldn't a specialist in such things have been sent along?

As an aside, it's a shame that Picard post-Dixon Hill couldn't be the first on the scene. He probably could've handled this whole thing better. Plus, sending Data into a bullet-intensive culture might've been useful...

MCCOY: What was the state of the Iotian culture before the Horizon came?
KIRK: The beginnings of industrialisation.


What happened to the Richter's Scale of Cultures? If an agrarian race like the Organians are D-, I'd think the Iotians would be a C or something. In addition, I'd put "beginnings of industrialization" as equivalent to "Industrial Revolution", which is about 1800, much earlier than the 1930s level of technology present here. What Kirk means is the "Second Industrial Revolution" or the "Technological Revolution."

SPOCK: Horizon reports indicate the Iotians are extremely intelligent and somewhat imitative.
MCCOY: So we're going down to recontaminate them.
SPOCK: The damage has been done, Doctor. We are here to repair it.

Repair, not contaminate. We're going to accomplish that by beaming down into the middle of a street in broad daylight wearing strange clothes and accompanied by an alien who looks nothing like the locals. Furthermore, we are going to conduct no research whatsoever via monitoring the local signals or sending disguised probes. Plus we're sending regular Starfleet officers instead of a team that's been trained specifically for this mission. Oh, and we're not even going to do even the most cursory scans of the current technological level of the planet so we can send down guys in body armor or flood the area with a gas that will inhibit the ignition of the bullets. For that matter--SLAP! Moving on, grrr....

SPOCK: Interesting, Captain. Passers-by are carrying, I believe, firearms.

It's not like Kirk is a collector of antique weapons. Come to think of it, it's a shame Sulu isn't around, he's the aficionado
of these things, isn't he?

KALO: (in a brown suit) Okay, you three, let's see you petrify.
SPOCK: Sir, would you mind explaining that statement, please?
KALO: I want to see you turn to stone.

I don't mind this. Of course slang will evolve in a hundred years, and it's not like this one is hard to understand once explained.

OXMYX [OC]: Again you'll send me down a hundred of these fancy heaters you've got, and some troops to show me how to use them.

Only a hundred phasers? He has to have more men than that...

KIRK: If this society broke down as the result of the Horizon's influence, then the Federation's responsible, and we've got to do something to straighten this mess out.

This is a discussion for another time, and it'd be a doozy!

MCCOY: You do that very well. Now, how are you with primitive radio equipment?
SPOCK: Very simple. Amplitude modulation transmission. I simply adjust the frequency, throw this switch, and the Enterprise should answer.
VOICE [OC]: That was the Jailbreakers with their latest recording on Request Time, brought to you by Bang-Bang, the makers of the sweetest little automatic in the world
SPOCK: Fascinating.
MCCOY: And very simple.

Ha ha. Spock should be able to build a radio in his sleep, but it's still a good joke.

MCCOY: You mean you're going to trust him?
SPOCK: If we are to save the captain without blatant, forceful interference on this planet, Doctor, we must have the assistance of someone indigenous. We are therefore forced to trust Mister Oxmyx.

I don't follow this logic. Spock's talking like they'd have to send down a small army and take over the whole planet, when all they'd really need is a few security teams with phasers on wide-spread stun.

OXMYX: You know what to do.
KALO: Don't worry, Boss. They can't do nothing till they're through sparkling.

As Phil Farrand puts it: how do they know that? It's true (except when it isn't, I'm looking at you, Barclay!), but they've only seen a couple transports at this point!

SPOCK: Nothing useful. Logic and practical information do not seem to apply here.
MCCOY: You admit that?
SPOCK: To deny the facts would be illogical, Doctor.
KIRK: Then you don't mind if I play a hunch?
SPOCK: I'm not sanguine about hunches, Captain, but I have no practical alternative.

When Spock's logic breaks down, you know the locals are seriously messed up!

KIRK: Wheels, Mister Spock.
SPOCK: A fliwer, Captain.
KIRK: Key in the ignition.

On this planet, who'd leave the key in the ignition? I'd never heard of the word "flivver" before Star Trek, but it's a real word. As it turns out, it's not just a synonym for any car, it specifically means an out-of-date car, a jalopy.

SCOTT: You've got nothing. You mind your place, mister, or you'll be wearing concrete galoshes.
KRAKO: You mean cement overshoes?
SCOTT: Er. Aye.

Aye, Scotty. Incidentally, the idea of submerging your victims' feet in concrete and waiting for it to dry before tossing them in is ridiculous. It was more likely that bodies were chained to concrete blocks and tossed in, it's just easier.

(Kirk runs towards the car.)
SPOCK: Must we?
KIRK: It's faster than walking.
SPOCK: But not as safe.
KIRK: Are you afraid of cars?
SPOCK: Not at all, Captain. It's your driving that alarms me.

Logical, Spock. Hehe.

KIRK: Keep him until I send for him. We're going to make some old-style phone calls from this locale. So you locate the man on the other end of the blower and give him a ride to this flop.
SCOTT [OC]: What?
KIRK: Find the man at the other end of the phone...

Hehe. By the way, using "blower" as a synonym for "telephone" is British slang, not American.

SCOTT: Enterprise. Scott here, sir.
KIRK [OC]: Scotty, put the ship's phasers on stun. Fire a burst in a one-block radius around these co-ordinates.
SCOTT: Right away, sir. Scott out.


How many problems would be solved if this could be done in other episodes, right?

MCCOY: I left my communicator.
KIRK: In Bela's office?
SPOCK: Captain. If the Iotians, who are very bright and imitative people, should take that communicator apart
KIRK: They will, they will. And they'll find out how the transtator works.
SPOCK: The transtator is the basis for every important piece of equipment that we have.
KIRK: Everything.
MCCOY: You really think it's that serious?
KIRK: Serious? Serious, Bones? It upsets the whole percentage.
MCCOY: How do you mean?
KIRK: Well, in a few years, the Iotians may demand a piece of our action.

So...go back to the planet and beam it back? Surely communicators have their own transponders, that's how the transporter finds them, right?

Incidentally, what about the kid outside? What about his piece of the action?

Memory Alpha

There are various noncanon stories dealing with what happened to McCoy's communicator.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Krako says that he thought the Federation had laws against interfering. Phil correctly asks where he'd get this idea. The Horizon had no such law, and our crew is specifically here to clean up the possible mess, no doubt they have special dispensation to suspend the Prime Directive.

YouTube

Fizzbin
Kirk's adventures in motoring
The ending
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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Old 01-19-2018, 02:45 PM
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January 19th, 1968, "The Immunity Syndrome"

Fiver (by FatMatDuhRat)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

PART ONE

The Episode

MCCOY: The Intrepid is manned by Vulcans, isn't it?
KIRK: Yes, that's right, Bones.

On the one hand, I can understand that some Vulcans would prefer to be among other Vulcans. On the other, it seems like favoritism, pampering, and against the goal of the Federation. At least for a full starship on a general exploratory mission.

Plus there's another problem. It was Surak himself who said "
I am pleased to see that we have differences. May we together become greater than the sum of both of us." Time and time again it's been made clear that if Spock's logic was left unchecked by emotion and intuition many people would have died, if not the entire ship.

STARBASE [OC]: We've lost all contact with solar system Gamma Seven-A...

Who's the numnut who keeps using numbers, English letters, and Greek letters when naming things? Can't you just imagine a giant Boggle cube in the writing room, filled with Greek letters and Arabic numerals? "We need a new solar system name! *shake shake* Gamma Seven-A!"

KIRK: No speculation, no information, nothing. I've asked you three times for information on that, and you've been unable to supply it. Insufficient data is not sufficient, Mister Spock. You're the science officer. You're supposed to have sufficient data all the time.

See, Kirk is stressed, impatient, and snappish! In your face, Gene! Humanity isn't perfect yet, and can never be perfect as long as the unknown exists.

SPOCK: It is not a galactic nebula such as the Coal Sack...

The Coalsack Dark Nebula is a real thing. Furthermore, it's only 600 light years from here. And what's more than that, it's near the Southern Cross, so that's why Americans seldom hear about it.

KIRK: We're on a difficult mission, but it's not the first time. Our orders do not say stay alive or retreat.

No, your orders say find what killed the Intrepid. You have. Now get out of here ASAP, surround it with warning beacons, and come back with a plan for dealing with it. We have no proof that this thing has superluminal capacity or if there are planets in immediate danger like with the doomsday machine.

MCCOY: According to the life monitors, we're dying.

To quote our good friend Kruge, "Get out! Get out of there!"

Captain's log, stardate 4308.8. It is now ten minutes since we entered the zone of darkness. We have stopped engines while we seek a defence against the energy drain which seems to pervade the zone.

The crew's been effectively crippled in less than ten minutes! Couldn't they have at least tossed in a line where between the interference and power drain the sensors can't find the way out right now?

MCCOY: That is an amoeba.
KIRK: Yes, I remember my basic biology, Doctor. You mean to tell me that that thing is a giant single-celled animal?
MCCOY: Yes, for lack of a better term.

Ugh, space whales I'll buy. Junior, sand with a hive mind, Gomtuu, and so forth I'll buy. But a giant single-celled animal? No. My single-celled biology is way, way back there in college, but I know enough about the conditions required to know that this is patently ridiculous.

KIRK: Both Mister Spock and Doctor McCoy have volunteered to go in a specially equipped shuttlecraft to penetrate the cell, find a way to destroy it, and free the ship. Doctor McCoy has the medical-biological knowledge. Mister Spock is better suited physically and emotionally to stand the stress.

How is this a choice? When it comes to normal ameba, Spock would know as much as McCoy. And when it comes to flying a shuttle at all, much less into a dangerous situation like this when keeping calm under fire and multitasking are required, Spock is the clear choice.


__________________
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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