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  #141  
Old 09-27-2018, 04:28 PM
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I'm sorry if the Enterprise Incident coverage seemed overly negative. It's actually one of the better Season Three episodes, I just hated how much the situation with the Romulans has changed since "Balance of Terror", in ways that would've been very interesting to see onscreen. There are so many potential episodes that could've been made but weren't. Making a second, better Romulan ship model would've been more cost effective if they had been used more often. Was the Klingon makeup that much cheaper? That's why most Romulans had helmets, you only need to add ears to the leaders.
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  #142  
Old 09-28-2018, 02:55 AM
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Let's look at all of the Klingon episodes and see which ones would've worked with the Romulans as villains:


Errand of Mercy: Not a chance. If the object is to use Organia as a beachhead for the war, the Romulans would just eradicate the local population. In general I don't see the Romulans as the kind to take over the government. They'd just impose tributes, maybe even just set up a garrison where there aren't any Organians and avoid the hassle.



Friday's Child: Probably not. They're too sneaky for something this overt.



The Trouble with Tribbles: No way. Romulan mentalities wouldn't fit the plot, and I don't see them doing something as crude as a bar fight. Instead they'd attempt to fan the flames of the Kirk/Barris feud.


A Private Little War: I guess. However, if I were the Romulans in this situation I'd pose as Vulcans to sabotage Federation efforts. Not just introduce guns under the guise of natural development, but sow distrust of our heroes by posing as Enterprise crewman.


Elaan of Troyius: The script would need a major rewrite, but I think it's possible.



Day of the Dove: I guess. The big difference would be that I think the Romulans would eventually see the logic in stopping the fight rather than letting blind pride ("We need no urging to hate humans!") make the decision.


The Savage Curtain: No way. Colonel Green already had the sneaky, methodical villain slot covered. A Romulan would be redundant, although I do wonder what the Romulan equivalent of Khan, Green, etc. would be like.


As an afterward, the Romulans could've easily replaced the Orions in "Journey to Babel." Maybe have the assassin pose as Sarek's assistant. It's not like Vulcan makeup is any more expensive than Andorian makeup!
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  #143  
Old 10-04-2018, 01:35 PM
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October 4th, 1968, "The Paradise Syndrome"

Fiver (by Kristina)
Transcript
Memory Alpha


I'm going to sound negative, but let me say that this is another episode that has good character work and works more or less okay if you take it in isolation from all other episodes. It's a shame that there are so many episodes in TOS that only work if you do this, particularly where the Prime Directive is concerned.



The Episode

Key points:
* Why is the Enterprise saving a prewarp society? That seems like anti-Prime Directive behavior, especially given events from "Pen Pals" and "Homeward."
* Why is our crew here when there's such a slim safety margin before they have to go off and divert the asteroid?
* Even if the Preservers seeded all these planets with humanoid species, did they really transplant similar plant species as well?
* Kirk suddenly wanting a simpler life is just silly. He had to actively choose this life many many times until now. How many girlfriends has he had that he could've married?

SPOCK: An alien metal of some kind. An alloy resistant to probe. Readings can't even measure its age accurately.

Thank you! For once the writers remembered that it's enough to say that an object is hard to scan. You don't have to keep claiming miraculous properties when it's not required.

SPOCK: Doctor, that asteroid is almost as large as your Earth's moon.

The largest asteroid on record is Ceres, which is nowhere near the size of Luna. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was less than 10 miles across. Yet another example of the writers not doing their research and throwing impossible numbers around to impress the ignorant viewer.

MCCOY: Back to that planet? Without warp speed, it'll take months, Spock.
SPOCK: Exactly fifty nine point two two three days, Doctor, and that asteroid will be four hours behind us all the way.

So you're telling me that not one Starfleet or Earth ship can get here in less than two months? Not one?

SPOCK: The obelisk is a marker, just as I thought. It was left by a super-race known as the Preservers. They passed through the galaxy rescuing primitive cultures which were in danger of extinction and seeding them, so to speak, where they could live and grow.
MCCOY: I've always wondered why there were so many humanoids scattered through the galaxy.
SPOCK: So have I. Apparently the Preservers account for a number of them.

It seems odd that the Preservers would put their mission statement on their technology.

The Fiver

Kirk: We should alert them. Hey, here's an ancient instrument -- Mr. Tambourine Man!
McCoy: Hold the singing, Jim, and let's go look at the obelisk again.

Time to inflict Shatner's singing on you.

McCoy: Warp out of orbit? With the Captain still missing?
Spock: If we can deflect the asteroid from far away, we won't need to use the Force.
McCoy: But the captain is missing! Do we consult a spirit guide or what?
Spock: I am certain Mr Scott will be happy to talk about whisky once our mission is accomplished.

I get the chain of humor here, but the shift changes are a bit abrupt. Cue transmission joke. Don't get me wrong, there's solid writing elsewhere in the fiver.

Memory Alpha

* TOS episode that covers the longest time period.
* In the remastered version phasers were replaced with a beam from the deflector dish, similar to instances in TNG.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil is also confused about the basic mission; especially given that it's likely that another asteroid will impact the planet eventually. Is Starfleet going to send a ship every time one is heading for the planet?
* Whether or not parallel development is to be expected keeps changing from episode to episode. Wasn't Hodgkin's Law specifically invented so they don't have to waste time with this stuff?
* Phil wonders how they'll fix the warp drive without access to a starbase. I'd say that another ship could tow them, but then I'd have to ask why the script couldn't just say that the next ship won't get here in time.












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Last edited by Nate the Great; 10-04-2018 at 01:48 PM.
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  #144  
Old 10-11-2018, 01:19 PM
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October 11th, 1968, "And the Children Shall Lead"


Oh, this is gonna hurt...


Fiver (by Derek)
Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

SFDebris did this one better than I ever could, but highlights...
* First Kirk calls it a scientific colony, then suddenly it's an exploration party. Those aren't the same thing, especially when you consider that later Kirk specifically says that this was a long-term thing, hence the children being brought along. I suppose this was another example of "it's the last season and the editors were asleep on the job again."

* None of the children are hungry or dirty? This is a recurring problem in fiction when the people responsible for maintaining support systems disappear or dies. Are you going to tell me that Gorgon can maintain all of them for days?

* Furthermore, if the idea is to get transport to another planet to get more followers, why wouldn't Gorgon tell them to act sad about their parents so our heroes won't create delays?
* When Bones can't find a physical or medical explanation for the children's behavior, he gives up. I don't like this; they've met more than their share of aliens that can affect people's actions.
* Beaming the two guys into space is horrifying, I wish there had been more followup.

* I wish that Gorgon's powers had been more codified. Is it simply casting illusions (affecting the senses), or can he outright hypnotize and control people? If the former, there are things that happen that counter that. If the latter, why does he need the kids anyway?


The Fiver

Kirk: And stay away from that cave. What's with that, anyway?
Tommy: This cave... is strong with the dark side of the force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go.


Nice gag, although I thought that you capitalize "Force" in this context.


Spock: You don't seem all right, Jim. You're acting hammier than usual.


And things must be really bad for that to be noticeable!


Kirk: You know Tommy, you remind me a lot of my nephew.
Tommy: I don't care.


I never knew they were the same actor. The more you know...


Gorgan: Hello children. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, isn't it? Today, we will learn about commandeering. Can you say "commandeer"?


I thought that the Mr. Rogers "can you say X" thing was a myth, but apparently he used it at least twice.


Memory Alpha

* There's debate on what sort of flavor "chocolate wobble" is. Putting aside the obvious options like "it's an alien flavor" or "the child actor flubbed the line", other opinions go from "secondary alcohol flavor" (you wobble when drunk) to the ice cream incorporates some wobbly gelatin (ugh) to there's a wobbly swirl of another flavor. I'll stick with "the child actor flubbed the line, and the director didn't feel it was important enough to reshoot." In any event, mixing chocolate ice cream and pistachio ice cream doesn't sound very good.

* Somehow Kirk knew Gorgon's name without being told it. In a previous version of the script he had been told it, but this is another example of the editors being asleep on the job, I guess...
* The editors posit that maybe Uhura's mirror appeared out of nowhere because it, too, was an illusion. Fair enough, and I guess seeing a mirage of herself as an old hag would've been too expensive.
* Only appearance of the red UFP pennant flag.
* Gorgan's appearance in the "Q Continuum" trilogy of novels is pointed out.


Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil says that even if the mirror is an illusion, it was at Uhura's station before the children start pumping their fists to summon Gorgon's power. Oops...
* In "The City on the Edge of Forever" Spock needed additional equipment to enable the playback function on his tricorder. This time it's built in. There are a few possible explanations for this, but I'll bet the creators Just Didn't Care.
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

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

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

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

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

Last edited by Nate the Great; 10-17-2018 at 02:19 AM.
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  #145  
Old 10-13-2018, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
Kirk: What about Deep Space 1?
Chekov: Isn't that a space station?

Memory Alpha has no record of a "Deep Space 1." Three, four, five, seven, and of course nine, but not one. Memory Beta says that Deep Space 1 was a starbase that was destroyed during the Tomed Incident (and only in an RPG game book), but there's no mention of an ion propulsion drive. In canon the Ares IV used an ion drive, but again, that's the future. To sum up, I don't get this joke.
I think it's just a confusion of DS1 with DS9.

Quote:
Luma: In the name of Sigma Draconis 6 I will right wrongs and triumph over evil -- and that means you!

Kind of a stretch for a Sailor Moon joke, but okay.
Well, knock half an m off her name and she's a talking cat.

Quote:
Kara: Back again? Do you enjoy the pain?
Kirk: Not really, but I wouldn't be the first Enterprise captain to YYYEEEEEAGH!

Zeke, I get that there's supposed to be a joke here, probably either about Archer or Pike, but I can't quite figure it out.
Definitely Archer.

Quote:
Captain's Log: Dr. McCoy has used the Teacher and is now attempting to re-enbrain Spock. The danger to both is great, but he insisted. Gave me some ludicrous speech about risk being our business.

"Re-enbrain"? If you were going to insult the "Risk is our business" speech, you should've tossed in a "I'll have to remember it to throw right back at him someday."
It's not an authorial insult, it's Kirk not recognizing his own speech and thereby insulting himself unknowingly.

Quote:
Kirk: (Damn.) Yes, my world has many success stories I can teach you. I think you in particular, Kara, would be a super girl to start running a coffee franchise...

Again, there's a joke here that I don't get.
Supergirl's given name is Kara. Also, the Caribou (Kara-boo) Coffee chain.

Quote:
Scotty: Captain, isn't this sort of the exact opposite of the Prime Directive?
Kirk: It's superceded in this case by an even higher law taught to every captain: the Omega Glory Directive. "If the episode is bad enough, just get it over with by any means necessary."

Oh, the list we could make of episodes where this applies...
It's a very good directive.

Quote:
McCoy: Wait. Wait! I can't do this!
Kirk: Sure you can! You have before, remember? The neural clone operation? Your job with the Initiative?

The neural clone thing seems to be a Farscape joke, but I don't know what that has to do with McCoy. "Initiative" eludes me.
No idea either. Isn't there a "Dharma Initiative" floating around, possibly in Lost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
September 27th, 1968, "The Enterprise Incident"

[...]

COMMANDER: You are a superior being. Why do you not command?
SPOCK: I do not desire a ship of my own.
COMMANDER: Or is it that no one has offered you, a Vulcan, that opportunity?

Has Spock been offered a command? I get that this is part of the ruse, and he's probably lying as part of the mission, but think about it. We must also spare a moment for Charvanek's implied accusation of racism against Starfleet (cue Azetbur quote!).
I could believe that Spock was offered a chance to command the Enterprise (or another ship) when Pike suffered his accident, but turned it down because he preferred to be a science officer. There's also Charvanek's implicit racism against non-Vulcanoids to consider here.

Quote:
SPOCK: An hour from now will do even better. Would it not, Commander?
COMMANDER: Yes. Yes, it will, Mister Spock. You do know I have a first name.

This doesn't make sense because the viewers don't know her last name yet!
Names are powerful things. Romulan birth names could be for only intimates to know, among a race stemming from a culture where merely touching fingers is a powerful sign of affection. Spock might respond, "Wow, on our first date? You do move fast!"
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  #146  
Old 10-13-2018, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
October 4th, 1968, "The Paradise Syndrome"

[...]

* Why is the Enterprise saving a prewarp society? That seems like anti-Prime Directive behavior, especially given events from "Pen Pals" and "Homeward."
This is very strange coming from a fellow SFDebris watcher As SFDebris points out, for the record, the concept of the Prime Directive changed drastically between TOS and the later series, from "You'd better have a really good reason to do anything to affect a primitive civilization even a tiny bit" to "No no no, not even to save a billion squillion lives!"
Quote:
SPOCK: Doctor, that asteroid is almost as large as your Earth's moon.

The largest asteroid on record is Ceres, which is nowhere near the size of Luna. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was less than 10 miles across. Yet another example of the writers not doing their research and throwing impossible numbers around to impress the ignorant viewer.
What's wrong with having a larger asteroid roaming around? It's a big galaxy, crazier things have happened. If we can have a planet-eating amoeba, we can have an asteroid that probably started life as a planetoid or gas giant's moon before crazy gravitational games knocked it into a different orbit.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
October 11th, 1968, "And the Children Shall Lead"


Oh, this is gonna hurt...


Fiver (by Derek)
You've jumped ahead an episode on the link there. Here's the right link, by IJD GAF. And it's pretty good.
Quote:
* There's debate on what sort of flavor "chocolate wobble" is. Putting aside the obvious options like "it's an alien flavor" or "the child actor flubbed the line", other opinions go from "secondary alcohol flavor" (you wobble when drunk) to the ice cream incorporates some wobbly gelatin (ugh) to there's a wobbly swirl of another flavor.
Yeah, I figured there was some physical wobble (maybe not Jell-O though) supposed to be going on.

Agreed that the two men being beamed into space was horrifying enough to be given more time.
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  #147  
Old 10-14-2018, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
This is very strange coming from a fellow SFDebris watcher As SFDebris points out, for the record, the concept of the Prime Directive changed drastically between TOS and the later series, from "You'd better have a really good reason to do anything to affect a primitive civilization even a tiny bit" to "No no no, not even to save a billion squillion lives!"

Fair enough, but I have to ask the question anyway. Shows in the TNG era take the PD much more seriously.



The problem is that in TOS the PD doesn't exist in way more episodes than in episodes where it does. It makes you wonder why the thing was invented in the first place.
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  #148  
Old 10-18-2018, 12:50 PM
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October 18th, 1968, "Is There in Truth No Beauty"

Fiver (by Derek)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, stardate 5630.7. They have evolved into a race of beings who are formless, so utterly hideous that the sight of a Medusan brings total madness to any human who sees one.

Time for the Homo Sapiens club joke again. Is there really not a single race that can safely look at them? Since Spock can use the protective visor, it's a shame that the Intrepid was destroyed, or else they would've been a safer choice.

SPOCK: Not correct, Doctor, although I am aware of your mind attempting to contact mine. Were you born a telepath?
MIRANDA: Yes. That is why I had to study on Vulcan.
SPOCK: I understand.

Cue reference to Tam Elbrun.



KIRK: I can't understand why they let you go with Kollos.
MIRANDA: They, Captain?
KIRK: The male population of the Federation. Didn't someone try and talk you out of it?


Talk about laying it on with a trowel.

MIRANDA: Larry, please, try to understand.
MARVICK: I understand that you're a woman and that I'm a man, one of your own kind, and that Kollos will never be able to give you anything like this. (he kisses her but she doesn't respond) Why did I ever meet you?

Now there's '60s gender politics for you: Women are supposedly supposed to respond to the advances of any man, provided that they aren't utterly hideous. Ick.

Captain's log, stardate 5630.8. As a result of Larry Marvick's insane fears, the Enterprise lies derelict in uncharted space. We have no way to determine our position in relation to the galaxy.

The computers don't keep track of what course the ship took until now? They can't reverse course?

SPOCK: Unfortunately, we lack reference points on which to plot a return course. We experienced extreme sensory distortion, and we shall do so again if we attempt to use warp speed.

Even if the sensors got confused, does that mean that the actual course of the ship changed enough to prevent turning around reliably?

KIRK; Could Kollos function despite the sensory distortion?
SPOCK: Very possibly. The Medusan sensory system is radically different from ours.


Are they implying that Medusans can sense something that the ships' sensors can't? How does that work? Is this supposed to be something equivalent to the Force?

MCCOY:I realise that you can do almost anything a sighted person can do, but you can't pilot a starship.

Cue Geordi joke.

The Fiver

Jones: What's that printed on your visor?
Spock: "Kollos is a loother." It's a poor attempt at inter-fiver humor.

Can someone explain this one?

Kirk: So you were born a telepath? And you're not Betazoid?
Jones: Yes, but I've suffered the Tam Elbrun syndrome anyway.
Kirk: Sigh. Next you'll tell me Kollos is Tin Man, won't you?

I'm not the only one who saw the parallels.

Jones: Spock can't join with Kollos! I want to join with Kollos! I'll fly the Enterprise out of the void!
McCoy: Unfortunately, blind people can't pilot the Enterprise.
Jones: Well, one day we will!
McCoy: Uh-huh. Suuuure, you will. And after that happens, I'll let you be chief medical officer of the Enterprise.
Jones: I'm holding you to that.

Ha ha.

Kirk: I think it's time for you to separate.
Kollos/Spock: But what about the ethical implications of separating a merged lifeform like me?
Kirk: I'll leave that for Voyager to decide.
Kollos/Spock: You're no fun at all.

The Tuvix reference is a bit forced. It might've been better to reference Return to Tomorrow, especially since Diana Muldaur appeared in that episode, too.

Memory Alpha

* Blatant product placement for the IDIC. It's a shame it wasn't invented back during "Journey to Babel", it would've fit better there.
* Second and final appearance of Scotty in dress tartan, after "The Savage Curtain."









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

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

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

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  #149  
Old 10-19-2018, 10:07 PM
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Summary of the purpose of the five year mission in the early days of production, from The Making of Star Trek via the Straight Dope forum:

(Excerpted from orders to Captain Robert T April) ...

IV. Nature and duration of mission:
Galaxy exploration and investigation;
5 years.

V. You will patrol the Ninth Quadrant, beginning with
Alpha Centauri and extending to the outer Pinial
Galaxy limit.

VI. Consistent with the limitations of your vessel and
equipment, you will confine your landings and
contacts to Class "M" planets approximating Earth-
Mars conditions.

VII. You will conduct this patrol to accomplish primarily:
(a) Earth security, via exploration of intelligence and
social systems capable of a galaxial threat, and
(b) Scientific investigation to add to the Earth's body
of knowledge of alien life forms and social systems, and
(c) Any required assistance to the several Earth colonies
in this quadrant, and the enforcement of appropriate
statutes affecting such Federated commerce vessels
and traders as you may contact in the course of your
mission.


1. Once again we seem to have "quadrant" meaning "a group of sectors" rather than "a quarter of the galaxy."
2. The word "Pinial" might be a typo for "Finial", meaning "final", i.e. the end of populated space.
3. "Galaxial"? Hehe. When did our heroes visit the homeworlds of the other major powers?
4. Earth's body of knowledge? Can we have a week without an opportunity to make an Azetbur reference?
5. Are there colonies from Federation members other than Earth or not?



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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; 10-19-2018 at 10:24 PM.
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  #150  
Old 10-23-2018, 07:03 PM
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I don't have reliable Internet access at the moment, so the entry for this week might be a little late. Unless someone else wants to do it, of course!
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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  #151  
Old 10-25-2018, 11:34 AM
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October 25th, 1968, "Spectre of the Gun"


The Fiver (by PointyHairedJedi)

Transcript
Memory Alpha


Fair warning, this one won't be very positive. I tend to not like these pseudo-holodeck episodes when they don't have any character development.


The Episode

* Why is the Enterprise trespassing in another nation's space? They aren't at war, trying to find allies. They aren't looking for a rare mineral or medicine that is needed immediately.

* If Kirk really wanted to make it clear that he came in peace, he should've stayed at the border of Melkotian space and asked for permission to enter.

* They try to explain the Melkotian's recreation of the Old West as being derived from incomplete information, then they say that this may be all that was needed. They're both baseless assumptions, and nothing comes from it, so why bring it up? We understand low budgets, we forgive a lot, so stop pointing out that the emperor is naked and then not throwing him some clothes!

* Why did they bring up the "you can't change history" thing? This is clearly not time travel, what does history have to do with it? We'll get back to this.

* "Death is real"? Why wasn't this a redshirt that we know is real? The guy that died could very well be an illusion or robot, right?
* When Chekov "dies" they use the contradiction to conclude that this is not a 100% accurate recreation of the real events. Huh? They knew that this was a fake setting already. Another script that needed a few more rounds of editing.
* So our heroes foil the illusion and refuse to be killed. How does this equate to "refuse to kill"? And why do the Melkotians suddenly like them now?


The Fiver

Captain's Log: Fog? Most unexpected. I shall certainly mention it to our meteorologist Mr. Fish when we get back.



Apparently Michael Fish is a British weatherman who denied that a hurricane was coming back in 1987. The Michael Fish Effect is when a weatherman predicts worse weather than reality as a way of hedging their bets. If PHJ is equating fog with a hurricane, it's a bit of a stretch.

Chekov: I think we may be getting an incoming message from that big giant head.


3rd Rock From the Sun hasn't aged as well as some other cultural touchstones, has it? Although the Shatner connection works better than most.


Kirk: Listen, I know this is going to sound strange, but we're actually space explorers from the twenty-fourth century, and my name is Kirk.
Ed: That's a good one Ike. Not as funny as the one about the cattle rancher and the three nuns though.



Tsk, tsk, tsk. Twenty-third century, PHJ. I'll need an explanation of the cattle rancher/three nuns thing.


Anyway, even with the dated references the fiver is way better than the episode.


Nitpickers Guide

* Phil points out that back in "Friday's Child" Kirk promised to leave if they weren't wanted, but this time he won't.





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Old 11-01-2018, 11:30 AM
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November 1st, 1968, "Day of the Dove"


Fiver (by IJD GAF)

Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

Note: I consider "Beta XII-A entity" to be a bit of a mouthful and awkward to write, so I'll be calling it (*) in honor of the Q Continuum novels.


* The colony had a hundred people and was implied to be self-sufficient. I doubt that those two statements are compatible, and once again a plot hole was created when it wasn't needed. Saying a thousand people or a brand-new colony would've meant rewriting a line of dialogue, no additional cost.
* It's amazing how many supposed plot holes can be explained by the influence of (*). Another episode that's focused on character work rather than logic.

* The distress button is a good idea, too bad it didn't exist in previous episodes.
* It's a shame Mara wasn't used more. After the performance of Charvanek a few weeks ago seeing the viewpoint of a Klingon woman would've been interesting.
* Sometimes (*) can cloud the judgement of everyone on board, sometimes a few people can think clearly. I wonder if this could've been used more.
* It's nice that (*) is established as not all-powerful early on. While it can influence things a large distance away, maintaining power over hundreds of people at all times is hard and a few people will think clearly from time to time.

* Some nice Klingon sayings are told for the first time here. Particularly "Only a fool fights in a burning house."


The Fiver

Chekov: Wow, there's no indication that there was ever a colony here at all!
Kirk: Whoever did this must have cover-up technology on par with the ancient race who planted all those dinosaur bones in the soil of Earth!
McCoy: You mean the Deithons of Geocentrus VII?
Kirk: Yeah, those guys.



Could we have an explanation for this reference?


Uhura: I don't understand it! We've lost all reception, my hail to Starfleet was dropped, and they haven't credited us a bonus anytime minute!


Another time capsule joke, hehe....


Kang: (over the comm) Ha! We now control engineering and life support. Say goodbye to your precious "oxygen".
Kirk: Er, don't Klingons breath oxygen as well?
Kang: Nonsense! We can survive on pure élan!



"Elan" seems like a big word for a Klingon. Mara must've bought him word-of-the-day toilet paper...

Memory Alpha


* Only appearance of a Klingon woman.
* Only appearance in TOS of intraship beaming.


Nitpickers Guide

* Kang claims that Klingons have no devil. Phil points out Fek'lhr from "Devil's Due" as a contradiction. Memory Alpha describes him as merely the guardian of Gre'thor, but that does raise the question of who's his boss.
* First appearance of more than six people beaming up simultaneously, although they materialized in two batches due to Kirk's warning. I argue that it's not inconceivable that the transporter chamber could be transformed into one huge "pad", albeit with greater energy requirements, for mass evacuations.










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  #153  
Old 11-03-2018, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
October 18th, 1968, "Is There in Truth No Beauty"

MIRANDA: Larry, please, try to understand.
MARVICK: I understand that you're a woman and that I'm a man, one of your own kind, and that Kollos will never be able to give you anything like this. (he kisses her but she doesn't respond) Why did I ever meet you?

Now there's '60s gender politics for you: Women are supposedly supposed to respond to the advances of any man, provided that they aren't utterly hideous. Ick.
Ick indeed.

Quote:
Jones: What's that printed on your visor?
Spock: "Kollos is a loother." It's a poor attempt at inter-fiver humor.

Can someone explain this one?
The "Koloth is a loser" hats from "Trouble with Tribbles" and elsewhere, with a lisp.


Quote:
Jones: Spock can't join with Kollos! I want to join with Kollos! I'll fly the Enterprise out of the void!
McCoy: Unfortunately, blind people can't pilot the Enterprise.
Jones: Well, one day we will!
McCoy: Uh-huh. Suuuure, you will. And after that happens, I'll let you be chief medical officer of the Enterprise.
Jones: I'm holding you to that.

Ha ha.
Sometimes these "funny in hindsight" references are a bit awkward or flat, but this one was done really well. The whole fiver is pretty good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
Summary of the purpose of the five year mission in the early days of production, from The Making of Star Trek via the Straight Dope forum:
5. Are there colonies from Federation members other than Earth or not?
Early on, I'm not even sure the Federation or Starfleet were things. The Enterprise started out as a ship of the United Earth Space Force or some such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
October 25th, 1968, "Spectre of the Gun"



The Episode

* Why is the Enterprise trespassing in another nation's space? They aren't at war, trying to find allies. They aren't looking for a rare mineral or medicine that is needed immediately.

* If Kirk really wanted to make it clear that he came in peace, he should've stayed at the border of Melkotian space and asked for permission to enter.
Agreed on both counts.
Quote:
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Twenty-third century, PHJ. I'll need an explanation of the cattle rancher/three nuns thing.
I suspect it's just a generic "racy joke" that's been westernized.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
November 1st, 1968, "Day of the Dove"


Fiver (by IJD GAF)


Chekov: Wow, there's no indication that there was ever a colony here at all!
Kirk: Whoever did this must have cover-up technology on par with the ancient race who planted all those dinosaur bones in the soil of Earth!
McCoy: You mean the Deithons of Geocentrus VII?
Kirk: Yeah, those guys.



Could we have an explanation for this reference?
Deithons from Deity, Geocentrus from Geocentrics, planted dinosaur bones from deity-worshipping scientifically backwards types who need the Earth to be a few hundred thousand years old to fit their theology. (There's a similar reference in Hitchhiker's Guide when Slartibartfast mentions putting the dinosaur bones in the crust of the new Earth being built.)


Quote:
Kang: (over the comm) Ha! We now control engineering and life support. Say goodbye to your precious "oxygen".
Kirk: Er, don't Klingons breath oxygen as well?
Kang: Nonsense! We can survive on pure élan!



"Elan" seems like a big word for a Klingon. Mara must've bought him word-of-the-day toilet paper...
Heh. It's a very parody-Klingon attitude, though. Romulan too. Meanwhile Earthers can survive on pure technobabble.
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  #154  
Old 11-05-2018, 11:36 AM
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United Earth Space Probe Agency. I've brought up UESPA often enough in these posts.



United Earth Space Force sounds more like a Flash Gordon thing, frankly.
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  #155  
Old 11-08-2018, 11:59 AM
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November 8th, 1968, "For The World is Hollow And I Have Touched the Sky"


Fiver (by Nic)

Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

Another episode with great character work and acting, but absolutely awful science and plot holes that could be fixed through dialogue without spending a cent.


* So one second the asteroid is blocking whatever's behind it, and the next minute Spock knows it's hollow? At least throw in a line about having to recalibrate the sensors to compensate for Macguffinite!

* Another episode where the Prime Directive is theoretically at its strictest, yet it's okay for our heroes to waltz in. We aren't even told that the natives were scanned from afar to confirm that they look human enough for our heroes to pass for natives. No disguise for Spock. No replication of native clothing. And if the outer asteroid is two hundred miles across, the inner core can't be all that big; the population must be small enough for everyone to know everyone. So even IF our heroes did all they could to look like natives, they'd still be identified as strangers. Merely beaming down is a Prime Directive violation!
* One wonders how many dead languages Spock has memorized. But here's the thing: how can the Federation know the language in the first place? They didn't know about the asteroid ships and the planet was destroyed ten thousand years ago! Did the Fabrini have allies who recorded the history and language for future generations, but neglected to mention the asteroid ships?


The Fiver

Uhura: Transmitting on all subspace frequencies -- "Position of Annoying Talking Human on Starship Enterprise now vacant. Medical skills would be appreciated."
Pulaski: (over the comm) You called?



Ha ha. She doesn't like transporters, but time machines are apparently okay? Also, it seems that Braxton runs a staffing agency in his spare time, routing job postings to the best candidates no matter where in time they may be, hehe...


Spock: Aw. I know what will cheer you up - our 56th weekly cup of tea!
McCoy: Thanks, Spock. (picks a cup)
Spock: Um, no. Here, this one is yours.


Is this a reference to something?


McCoy: Pink cylinders... Who built this thing? The Teletubbies?
Spock: It's a strong possibility.
Kirk: But I think a nuclear powered spaceship is beyond even them.
McCoy: True, true. Although they are very resourceful.
Kirk: An advanced, very dangerous species.



Another joke time capsule, wow.


Oracle: Oracle's Message of the Day #1 - Potatoes make you stupid.



Is this a reference to something?


Spock: It appears these people are completely unaware they live on a spaceship.
Natira: We do not live on a spaceship! Our world is a flat board held by a giant turtle.
Kirk: Suuure. And what holds the giant turtle?
Natira: Another giant turtle.
Spock: And what holds her?
Natira: You can't fool me! It's turtles, turtles, turtles, all the way down!



Traditionally the World Turtle has the Earth as a hemisphere sitting on four elephants standing on the turtle.



Old Man: It's difficult to grow food on a spaceship. We have dogs, though.
Spock: What did you say? You know about the spaceship?
Kirk: Make it a poodle. And get me some chili.



Is this an Enterprise joke?


Oracle: Oracle's Message of the Day #2 - Do not meddle in the affairs of the Oracle, for thou art crunchy and taste good with strawberry pie.


Why strawberry pie and not ketchup, as is traditional with this joke?


Oracle: Oracle's Message of the Day #3 - I could totally kick Microsoft's butt.

Another time capsule, and that's a pretty obscure geek joke to boot!


Kirk: To disable... the Oracle... logically convince it to self-destruct. Oh, how very original.
Spock: Just... do it!
Kirk: Um... um... Episode II: Attack of the Clones!
Oracle: NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!



Now there's high humor density. And prequel jokes will never get obscure!


Memory Alpha

* I never noticed the design of the reader tube, or even the term. I thought that when McCoy needed a handheld scanner, he used one of the futuristic salt shaker props.
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  #156  
Old 11-15-2018, 12:41 PM
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November 15th, 1968, "The Tholian Web"


No fiver

Transcript
Memory Alpha



The Episode

* Once again, good character work, horrible science. Another pass through the script by a scientific advisor could've tweaked the language to be more consistent and accurate.
* I don't understand why Kirk told McCoy about the sealed orders, but not Spock. Furthermore, it hardly seemed like the time to watch the video. And why would Kirk assume that he would die during a crisis that would be continuing while the orders were watched?

* The Tholian Web is a great idea, too bad we don't really see it again. I do remember a cool screensaver of a web being made back in the Windows 95 days.



(Being reminded of that After Dark screensaver, enjoy some others: Spock and Horta, Tunneling Horta, Data dances)


Memory Alpha

* First appearance of the more traditional TOS spacesuit, replacing the ugly orange beekeeper suits from "The Naked Time." I still think they look ugly, but they reappear in other media.
* The only time Spock calls McCoy "Bones."
* The Defiant was not among the original list of starship names from the early series bibles.
* Kirk's funeral features the largest group of crewman in one place in the series.

* The Defiant crewmembers wear standard Enterprise mission patches (the Cochrane delta). When Enterprise revisits this episode the Defiant is given a unique mission patch.
* The mutiny in "This Side of Paradise" is mentioned as a contradiction to Spock's statement, along with Garth's crew. I'll forgive TSOP because of external influence, but Garth can only be explained by him not being on a Constitution-class ship and that being the definition of "starship" implied. A slippery slope to be sure.


Nitpickers Guide

* Spock clearly lied at the end of the episode, and it wasn't in the pursuit of his duties or while under alien influence either. Oops.
* Chekov seems in on the joke about Spock and McCoy "not" watching Kirk's orders, when he shouldn't know anything about it. Oops.
* Kirk is given a hypo through his spacesuit. Doesn't seem very durable against the vacuum of space, does it? You'd think they could've taken off a glove or built a special hypo port into the suit, right?













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  #157  
Old 11-22-2018, 12:04 PM
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Usually I push Thanksgiving episodes a day to either side, but not this time. Let's just say that I've got a wonky work schedule and have some time this year.


November 22nd, 1968, "Plato's Stepchildren"


Fiver (by Derek)

Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

As usual, good character work, plot holes you can fly a starship through. It's almost like these things were make in the pre-home video era when they were only meant to entertain people for an hour without any thought to such impossible things like "the Internet" or "fan conventions." Gasp!


* Are we here to respond to a distress call, or search for kironide? That seems like two different missions.

* Would this place being a previously unknown Earth colony affect the plot in any way? It would certainly be simpler. The whole Plato thing seems to only exist for the sake of the episode title. We've seen parallel development of weirder things than Ancient Greece before.
* Only 38 people? Even if they could somehow breed out all genetic disorders, you'd want more than that if only for more people to talk to. And even if 90% of everything is automated, you still need people to oil things and change fuses, right?
* A mass eugenics program that produced people so fragile that a cut can be fatal? Seems counter intuitive to me.

* The common cold is mentioned as not yet curable. It will be cured sometime between 2355 (Tom Paris had it at the age of nine, "Cathexis") and 2364 (Wesley claims that colds are something that people used to have, "The Battle"). Was Tom one of the last cases?
* I like that Alexander doesn't want the power because he doesn't want to be lazy and useless.
* The infamous interracial kiss has been covered enough elsewhere, I don't think there's anything to add.


The Fiver

Mr. Big's Shadow: Have you killed Moose and Squirrel?
Kirk: Huh?
Alexander: Sorry, wrong 1960s show.



I'm confused by the Rocky and Bullwinkle reference. Mr. Big was voiced by Bill Scott, not Michael Dunn. As Dunn played Loveless on the original Wild Wild West, you'd think a reference to that would be more appropriate.


Alexander: I'm not even better than Philana due to her powers.
Kirk: I bet Chekov would love to meet these telekinetics. I bet he could best her.



I don't get the joke. Philana's actress, Barbra Babcock, was also in a number of other TOS episodes, but no roles that had any particular connection to Chekov.



Philana: To you and your fellowship we present gifts.
Kirk: Galadriel you're not.
Philana: Are you sure? We even have our own Hobbit.



The Lord of the Rings films were released in 2001-2003, and the fiver was published in 2005. I feel old.


Spock: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I'm the laughing Vulcan!
Alexander: I think I can make a song about that. Do you have a dog?


Time to link to the song again.


Parmen: And now let's have some entertainment while we induct McCoy into our group.
Spock: (singing) Bilbo, Bilbo, Bilbo Baggins. The bravest little hobbit of them all!
Alexander: Sniff. That song really touches me.



Hey look, another song!


Nitpickers Guide

* Kirk's line "I guess we weren't sufficiently entertaining" was used by a station to advertise that TNG would join TOS in a programming block. Hehe.
* Where did McCoy get kironide so quickly to inject into the crew?
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  #158  
Old 11-29-2018, 11:33 AM
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November 29th, 1968, "Wink of an Eye"


Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript
Memory Alpha



The Episode

* The science is inconsistent and ridiculous all over the place. The biology, the acoustics, the chronology, everything. As CinemaSins would put it, lets just give it 50 sins up front so I don't have to mention every occurrence.
* In this episode the industrial scale is numbered, but back in "Spock's Brain" they used letters. Illogical.
* The Scalosians wait until there are five people left before sending out a general distress call?

* At least this time they cite a reasonable offscreen population, nine hundred thousand in this instance. Although thinking of almost a million corpses might be off-putting before bed on Friday night in the sixties.
* Deela mentions that the transport took a long time. If she lives many factors of magnitude faster than us, imagine how long five seconds would be! Reg Barclay would completely flip out by the time he beamed aboard!
* Kirk lets the Scalosians leave? They're guilty of kidnapping, murder, sabotage...


The Fiver

Kirk: I wonder why the aliens didn't keep us out of this room?
Spock: Perhaps they intend this to be a show of force. We are being allowed to look but not to touch.
Kirk: Sounds a lot like my first date with Antonia.



Antonia is one of Trek's biggest mysteries. Even the expanded universe doesn't give many more details about her. Sometimes I wish they'd kept the original intention and put Carol Marcus there.


Kirk: I'm impressed. You didn't even bother to hurry when you stepped out of its way.
Deela: That's one of the things you have to be careful about when you're hyperaccelerated. If you move too quickly, the air friction will set your clothes on fire.



She obviously hasn't mastered the use of the Speed Force yet. Hehe.


Memory Alpha

* One of the rare instances where it's clearly indicated that Kirk slept with the alien babe of the week. It doesn't happen as often as you'd think.


Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil omits the phaser dodge and estimate that the Scalosians live at least eight hundred times faster than we do. In which case, the crew wouldn't have enough time to do anything to stop them. Oops. So much would be solved if the Scalosians were just out of phase with us, right?
* How did the Scalosians stay invisible during transport when everything is frozen?
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:35 PM
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December 6th, 1968, "The Empath"


Fiver (by Kristina)

Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

* As a prelude, I understand how this is such a good trinity episode for our leads, but I wonder how some of the others would've responded to this situation and Gem.
* Once again, good character work, horrible science. Henceforth I'll just mark these with GCWHS, okay?

* I find it interesting, this idea that 2% of telepathic races can only receive thoughts, not send them. What a horrible state of affairs. You'd think they'd evolve telepathic shields. Worthless aside, I refer you to the excellent TNG novel Guises of the Mind. After a horrible war using mind weapons in the distant past, the telepathic natives evolved unlockable telepathic shields to survive. Only the priests have even partial telepathy, and it takes a bunch of them to unlock the telepathic shields of the king. You've heard of good Troi episodes, this is a good Troi book.
* They use the word "empath" differently in this episode than in NextGen. Incidentally, Wiktionary agrees with NextGen and not this episode. There is a secondary meaning of "empathy" that fits more with what Gem does, but "empath" is strictly sensing emotions.
* They see an illusion of Scotty and a landing party. It hasn't been 72 hours yet!
* Later on McCoy describes Gem's abilities as something closer to Rogue's, but even then she doesn't replicate wounds exactly, that was weird.

* McCoy can't adjust a tricorder? Huh? He may not be a lover of technology, but there are a lot of mechanical things that he has to know to do his job. Of course I'd still consider him assisting Scotty in "Mirror, Mirror" to be beyond his normal abilities.
* The idea that humans in the future still know relatively obscure Bible facts is interesting. Sure Gene, all humans are atheists in the future!


The Fiver

McCoy: Looks like we've reached a spare room.
Kirk: Spare Oom? Strange name for a strange place. We should be watching out for war drobes.
McCoy: Which wardrobe? Next you'll be telling me you saw a lion.
Kirk: Honest, Bones, I ain't a-lyin'. Hey, a babe!


Odd place for Narnia jokes, but okay. Here's a link to the end of the first Narnia movie with the wardrobe and Spare Oom.


Spock: It's life, Jim, but not as we know it.


Not as we know it, not as we know it. It's life, Jim, but not as we know it, not as we know it, Captain.


Kirk: Who are you? What do you want?
Lal: We're neither Vorlons nor Shadows; we are Vians. You are of little interest to us.
Kirk: Yet you killed Linke and Ozaba.
Thann: Their fears killed them; we did not. Show us how passionate you are.
Kirk: Impassion this -- (ZAP) OW!



Vorlons and Shadows are from Babylon 5, I know that much. I had to look up that Linke and Ozaba are actually the names of the scientists; I was expecting those to be characters from an anime or something.
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  #160  
Old 12-20-2018, 11:13 AM
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December 20th, 1968, "Elaan of Troyius"


Fiver (by IJD GAF)

Transcript
Memory Alpha


The Episode

I give you fair warning up front, there's good character work here, but there are plot holes all over the place that are entirely in the dialogue and wouldn't cost A SINGLE DOLLAR TO FIX! And those are the most annoying ones. I understand that the costumes and props have to be cheap, I understand that special effects shots must be recycled whenever possible, I get that sometimes a plot demands modifying what the technology can and can't do. I really get it. But this time the problems are pure dialogue and plot details that could've been fixed by a proofreader before the actors even set foot on the set. Therefore this week I'm going to start off with a quick rundown of these problems along with the quick fixes.


PROBLEM: Kirk doesn't see why they're here, as the planet is "not worth fighting about". One, just being near the Klingon border means it's worth it to secure this system as Federation allies. Two, you know firsthand what Klingons do to their conquered worlds, as you saw it in action on Organia. Don't you want to protect this planet from that? Third, your personal feelings are irrelevant, you've been ordered to come here, so learn to keep your trap shut!


SOLUTION: Cut the line, it serves no purpose.


PROBLEM: Kirk doesn't know what a "Dohlman" is.
SOLUTION: Cut the line. That should be in the report sent to you and just makes you look like an idiot.


PROBLEM: Uhura gives her quarters to Elaan.
SOLUTION: Uhura decorated the VIP suite to give it a feminine touch for Elaan. Elaan still gets angry in the same way, and these are still the best quarters on the ship (ignore the fact that it's the same set as always, just let the audience imagine that there's another set of rooms past a door that we never see).


PROBLEM: Elaan stabs Petri and isn't punished in any way. Does diplomatic immunity extend to attempted murder?

SOLUTION: This didn't require an assault this extreme. A black eye and maybe a missing tooth would've been adequate for the purpose.


PROBLEM: Elaan throws a knife at Kirk that's sharp enough to be embedded in the wall.

SOLUTION: Another attempted murder, this time of a Starfleet officer. Not necessary. Throwing a glass or pulling up a tablecloth and knocking everything at Kirk would've served just as well.


PROBLEM:


* Elaan's behavior here makes me wonder if this is a situation where Troi would've been useful. At the very least shouldn't there be an expert in alien customs on board to act as a buffer between Kirk and the more exotic aliens?
* "Sublight factor point zero three seven." Since he's not using the term "impulse", let's assume that this is 3.7% of the speed of light (i.e. 24827000 mph. Let's be generous and say that Troyius and Elaas are equivalent to Earth and Mars, and they're currently on opposite sides of the solar system (234600000 mi). This is about nine and a half hours. It's more likely that they meant 3.7% of full impulse (25% of the speed of light), so multiply by four to get 38 hours. In reality I'd think they should be going slower to give more time to get Elaan trained. As a final note, one wonders where Kirk got the "point zero three seven" figure. I doubt he knows the dimensions of this solar system or can do division with large numbers in his head. Wouldn't it be easier to just ask Spock to set a speed that'll require a journey of a few days?

* So these planets are aware of each other and have the weapons to destroy each other. But are they warp-capable?
* "Mister Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim." Great line.
* Scotty invokes the images of a garbage scow. Between this and "The Trouble With Tribbles", I guess they really do exist, but I have to ask why. Just phaser or transporter disperse this stuff. Unless you're going to tell me that some planets have the infrastructure to convert garbage into something useful and others don't.

* Scotty brings up the fact that the crude crystals make things harder, but he still gets things working faster than LaForge did in "Peak Performance" who had chips to work with, but refined chips.


Nitpickers Guide

* The biggest nit is the fact that at the start of the episode the necklace is valuable and from Troyius and at the end it's worthless and from Elas. Let's pretend for a moment that making two props was impossible. The simplest solution is to say that Elaan was tricked into wearing this thing, possibly by Kirk, and that the two planets view the same stone in different ways.







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