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Malia
Fri, Aug 30, 2019, 9:50am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: All Our Yesterdays

One thing that always bugged me about this episode:

There they discover the Atavachron, a marvelous, powerful device of a technology the Federation clearly does not have. Why then does the Enterprise not beam it up to save and study it? Or, if somehow it's too massive or can't be moved or transported, why not beam a librarian or archivist to quickly/expertly beam up a chunk of the library contents? It's not stealing if it's all going to vaporize. Shouldn't sentient life in the future want to learn about this fascinating civilization?

Meanwhile, something useful for a historian to do (besides Lt. MacGivers in Space Seed): Wouldn't someone on the enterprise know what would have been some warp-capable civilizations 5000 earth years ago? Sure, we know the Vulcans were brutal at that time, but what about others—those that existed at the same time as the Federation but much older, or even those that existed 5000 yrs ago, but may have died out, say, 1000 yrs ago?

For example... they could have contacted someone like the Fabrini (from "For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky.") OK the Fabrini's sun went nova further back, they said 10,000 yrs. But imagine if the timelines were closer for the two? Spock and McCoy contact the ancestors of Yonada, and travel to and joing their civilization—which McCoy especially has a connection to? Or, strictly in the right time frame of 5,000 yrs... they could contact another civilization that Federation archaeologists have studied well.

In such a case, genius Spock could have repurposed the tech of their communicators and phasers to search for signals of sentient, technologically advanced life—or even send some signals of his own, targeted to the most likely candidates. Sure, it wouldn't get them back to their own time. But if they were to be stuck there and then... better than alone on an ice planet.

Then, even when Spock/ McCoy found they could and did return to the Enterprise, Zarabeth could have such options available to her!
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Malia
Sat, Jul 13, 2019, 11:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

Dumbest aspect of this episode — aside from its gender politics:

These women, without the pills, were just... regular looking. Maybe a bit tired. Any 13 year old YouTube beauty vlogger today could have Kardashian-ified them with the "right" makeup to achieve virtually THE SAME results as they got with those "magic crystals." And if that weren't enough, a visit to a good dermatologist for the equivalent of a few dermal filler or botox injections later... done.

Besides, much of what made those women so "beautiful" then was that they wore sexy, form-fitting dresses, has their hair expertly styled and flattering makeup. If they missed a few nights sleep, didn't wear make-up or brush their hair, and wore messy old clothes, they wouldn't look that fancy-hot.

Plastic surgery already existed in the 1960s. Surely, by the timeframe TOS is set in, any woman in the Federation probably only has to wave a wand over her face, drink some kind of rejuva-juice, or apply a cream from a jar no more special in their time than Ponds or Nivea were in the 1960s. Thus, those crystals of Harry Mudd's would have attracted little to no value or interest in that era—no more than any other average beauty treatment of the day.

Meanwhile... if these rich miners on their remote planet really just wanted "trophy" wives to stand around, look hot, and have sex with them—not also true and loving companions—surely the techno-aesthetic advancements in sex-bots by that time would have offered sufficient and indestructible models for that purpose.

Harry Mudd has always been, to me, among the more irritating of Trek guest-star characters. That he should be given TWO episodes in the original series... lord. At least on the android planet he had that wacky interplay with the Enterprise crew that offered some amusement.

And speaking of the androids... it would have worked better if those 2 Mudd episodes were combined—with Mudd instead pimping out the "Alice" series beauties to lonely men throughout the galaxy!
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Malia
Sat, Jul 13, 2019, 11:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

It wasn't until a commenter above suggested that this monster-being (and let's call it a "being" and not a "creature"; it was sentient life) behaved like an obsessed psychopath that I ever had a truly unsympathetic thought about it. Although it's possible that its mental state was far from "normal", but had actually been warped by living in a near-starving state and having seen everyone they ever knew die from lack of salt-food.

I didn't see why, in the end, they'd need to kill it. Phasers can be set to stun, they could do an intra-ship beam to a cell with a forcefield, or give it a shot of something to knock it out for a bit. They could have ambushed it and while 2 guard held it down, then Spock do the mind-meld to communicate with it (let is know they have limitless salt out in the galaxy and it doesn't need to kill for it—if it's really not killing out of bloodlust but, rather, the need for salt as sustenance.
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Malia
Sat, Jul 13, 2019, 2:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

My biggest issue with this episode is what STEVERAGE noted above:

"Bele has been chasing Lokai for 50,000 years?!?!?!? Right...... yet they were close enough to reach Cheron in a few hours...... and in all that time neither had noticed the Cheroni had annihilated each other...... I'm all for a bit of socio-political commentary, but does it have to be this stupid?"

It made me think that, if the Federation had known about all this sooner (um, if they were already so close to reach Cheron, why didn't they??) this might have actually been a place where [re: TOS "A Taste Of Armageddon" episode] Eminiar VII's plan of "civilized" war-by-computer would have actually been a plausible solution—disintegration chambers and all! In fact, Anan 7 (leader of Eminiar) would have been an excellent diplomat to lead a mission to Cheron about this.

Hear me out, please:

The Eminians encountered by the Enterprise were (after 500 yrs) a super orderly society, seemingly non-violent and peaceful in their inter-personal interactions. They found all that so distasteful—in contrast to the banal destructiveness of their computer war. Whereas the Cherons were so outwardly and inwardly filled with rage and violence. Perhaps the Eminians once were, too, and only "civilized" themselves through the course of the 500 yr war, such that by the time the Enterprise visited Eminianr VII the people had long been "Ready" for this next step: to think and act with diplomacy and end their war for good.

Self-segregation onto different planets or regions, then an "orderly war" over a few hundred years (or whatever, given their long lifespans) might have just been enough for the profound rage in each "Race" to calm itself. YES, as with Eminiar, millions would die over the time, BUT... instead of ending with a burning planet where everyone's dead, the Cherons (like the Eminians) could have survived as peoples and cultures, with the planet in tact, until some future time where they would be read for a Kirk-style intervention and finally end it all.
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Malia
Thu, Jul 11, 2019, 2:44am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

This was my favorite episode as a gradeschool kid—because of the music and the costumes. Adam was my favorite character, for reasons others have noted above.

My issues with it (because "favorite" doesn't mean "best"—by a longshot!) include:

For a crew on a ship traveling the galaxy, seeking out new civilizations and encountering a multitude of ways, mores, and cultures, it makes no sense for them to find this group so strange—certainly no stranger than most other groups. And with humans from earth already living on maybe tens or even hundreds of planets by then, certainly the already widely-varied cultural expressions found on earth over the millenia would have further splintered into more and more variation.

I agree with comments above about Tong (or is it Tongo?) Rad's darkness. He's just a spoiled privileged a$$.

Re: Irina and Chekhov, I found it kind of a chilling commentary on Federation society for him to express such horror at her ostensibly throwing her life away, just because she decided not to use her education/talents as part of the Federation's military industrial complex. Surely in their century, there are myriad streams of professional and personal opportunities. If only a military one is really respected as a "success"... ugh.

Dr. Sevrin is of course not the only time in TOS we see a well-respected genius type figure losing his or her mind. In his story, it's especially sad as he acts like a selfish and greedy colonizer.

As far as looking for the planet Eden...

I think the perfect planet for this group would have been Omicron Ceti III (from "This Side Of Paradise.) No Indigenous animal life forms to be hurt by synthecoccus novae disease. The plant sports would protect the hippies from any harm from the Berthold rays. And, the laid back vibe created by the spores' influence on human behavior is, frankly, no different from how Sevrin and his gang were already striving to live as, as a value system. In fact, they wouldn't even need the spores (though they'd probably find a way to smoke them, lol.) That planet truly was a paradise for anyone who desired that lifestyle.

Then, for the Romulan element... I did find the hippies dismissing of that threat highly... illogical. Even by their hippie logic. They were all citizens of the Federation (even if they reject its norms.) Surely all know that crossing the Neutral Zone is a BIG F*ing DEAL. Surely they would know, with 100% certainty, that the minunte Romulans discover Federation citizens colonizing one of their planets would bring swift attack and they'd all be killed. At most—even if the plants weren't filled with acid poison!—they'd get a few weeks or months, then they'd be killed. None of them seemed to understand their journey to Eden as comprising a suicide trip. Therefore, why do what they did? Kirk wasn't trying to keep them from that "Eden" to be a d*ck. He forbid them from going because (a) The Romulans would come and kill them all, and (b) it could spark a war with the Federation. There was no possibly scenario in which they would get to go to this Eden to actually make and live a life.

Despite all that, despite it being silly often enough, it's still an episode I always enjoy watching. For the singing (yes, the sining!), for Adam, and for Chekhov finally getting some action! Yay, yayeeee.... brother :)
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Malia
Thu, Jul 11, 2019, 12:43am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

Ricardo Montalban was the perfect casting choice for this character—if they'd have made this character... hm, Mexican? They made him a Sikh; I guess there may be some Latino converts somewhere (I've seen a few blonde/white Sikhs.) Then say all this stuff about them being warriors, like their religious faith is genetic? I guess they meant to say PUNJABI (the cultural group in India most Sikhs come from) but in that case, shouldn't he sound Anglo/Indian—presuming he'd have been send to English language schools as an elite being?

That point is what irritated me so much with the ST reboot and Cumberbatch. This would have been a perfect opportunity to cast some macho, charismatic Bollywood action hero (my vote: Akshay Kumar - Google his name + the film "Singh Is Kingh" to see him in a Turban - very much like the handsome turban painted of Khan that McGivers had made.

Other than that, Montalban was absolutely on fire in this episode. He's the kind of compelling, handsome, powerful figure that makes everyone enthralled in some way or other. When pondering how McGivers could just throw away her whole career and life after "90 seconds" with him... who's to say that "animal magnetism" (or some eugenics-friendly ultra-pheramones) wasn't part of his "superior man" character?

A final Khan note: how interesting of an alternative could it have been if the Botany Bay would have been discovered by the Klingons, not the Federation? Hot-blooded, physically powerful, warrior Klingons!! Would he have killed them or joined them! Hmm...
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Malia
Thu, Jul 11, 2019, 12:00am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

As a child in the '80s, this was always a favorite episode - so rewatching it with a critical grown-up eye does disappoint a bit for the reasons noted here, to which I'd like to add the following:

They assume, without investigating further (as far as we're shown) any further than what would have been a few miles from that crumbling town. How do they know that, elsewhere—Fiji? the Himalayas? the Amazon? the Sahara? (whatever corresponds to comparable earth geography on this planet)—hundreds, heck thousands or even millions of kids, aren't alive and doing just fine? Why would the go-to presumption be that these 20 kids or so are the ONLY onlies? And that in every other geographic region of the world, 300-year old "child" survivors are all nothing more than a bunch of do-nothing brats?

[I know that sometimes, the Enterprise has some kind of power to "detect human life" in places, but in just as many other cases, it seems they cannot.]

Meanwhile...

If (perhaps taking place only "off screen") the Enterprise actual was able to and did do a thorough scan of the entire planet, and did confirm 100% that there were no other surviving children or adults except for these 20 or so 300-yr-olds...

Why on earth—or rather, why on double-earth—would the Enterprise leave these 20 "children" (dysfunctional people with no education, skills, training, medical care, etc., ALL ALONE on that planet (save for the "teachers" or whomever they left to help; can't be more than 4-5 of them) ? It's one thing for a group of adult space colonists to set up camp on a planet—by choice. But these elderly children surely deserved the opportunity to leave and experience actual functioning communities comparable to their own culture. Or any culture really, so long as it's not a planet where just about entire population was wiped out centuries ago?

Such a small group, there'd surely have been plenty of room on the Enterprise to transport them somewhere. And rightfully, they would have some advocate appointed to them to secure and protect their rights to a stake in their own planet, once outsiders learn of its existence and resources. (Seriously, what a prize for the Klingons to claim!)

One can only imagine the psychological warping of these "children" in all that time. Seeing all that violence of the gr'ups, the horrific extinction of all (at least sentient) life except for themselves. 300 years of festering emotional wounds. Teaching them to read, write, and farm aren't going to fix all that. They need role models and examples of possible ways to live and learn and thrive.
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Graham Malia
Thu, Nov 12, 2015, 1:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

I can't really sympathize with Mullibok here. He chose to live on this moon because of the Occupation, but now that it's all over he can back and have a decent life on Bajor. Bajor is depicted as this beautiful planet that everyone would like to live. In fact, all the other inhabitants on the moon had already left precisely because they could relocate to their actual home planet and probably get some helpful compensation from the Provisional government.

Add to all this, the moons were under control of the Bajorans for what seems to be thousands of years, it really feels like Mullibock took advantage of the Occupation to live his nice private life on Bajoran property while everyone else had to put up with the brunt of the Occupation and back-breaking work to rebuild the core planet.

This episode brings up some great government-individual themes, but in the end you're left with the feeling that Kira putting in way more effort than she needs to deal with something that shouldn't be her problem as a military officer.
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