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ZITA CARNO
Thu, Dec 27, 2018, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Piece of the Action

Absolutely hilarious! I've seen this episode goodness knows how many time and I still crack up. Imagine! a planet whose culture and civilization were based on a book about the Chicago mobs of the 1920s---that alone is enough to set one to laughing until one's sides ache, because I have seen a lot of films about said Chicago mobs (such as the original "The Untouchables" with Robert Stack as Eliot Ness) and so I could really appreciate the humor with which Star Trek parodied the concept. Also imagine! Captain Kirk's attempts to drive an old jalopy with a stick shift---this was the one time, I believe, where the usually unflappable Spock was scared stiff! And here's a serious note which was not without humor: Back in the last century there was an innovative psychiatrist named Milton H. Erickson, M.D. who pioneered some unusual---and extremely effective---approaches to working with hypnosis. One of these was---and is---the "confusion" technique, and I don't know if he ever watched "Star Trek" but he definitely would have enjoyed the "fizzbin" scene in this episode. Watching it I suddenly realized that Captain Kirk, in his improvisation, was using one of the most beautiful such techniques I had ever seen. And that made it all the funnier. On a scale of 1 to 4 I give this a 4-plus, to rank with the story about the tribbles. One of the best!
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ZITA CARNO
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Ex Post Facto

I have been keeping track ofthe number of Vulcan mind-melds in this series, and I was surprised to find that other viewers who had been doing likewise missed this one. This was the first time that Tuvok, in his role as detective, performed one, and as is so often the case with this procedure it was a lifesaver. "The Great Stone Face", as I fondly refer to him, knows what he is doing, and he not only did an expert job of what his predecessor Spock might call a "Vulcan mind-probe"---for such it was---he also gave me a good chuckle in brushing off the doctor who saw only gloom and doom. Even with all the plotholes this was a good mystery thriller, and it would not be the last time that Tim Russ would turn in such a fine performance as the Vulcan troubleshooter. I give it 3 stars overall.
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ZITA CARNO
Sat, Nov 24, 2018, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

I will overlook the nitpicking and the caviling and the other negative stuff and say that this was a thoroughly enjoyable comic episode---all of it. I was never very fond of time-travel tales, but I liked this one---including the chicken-soup scene, where the security guard tasted it and found it good and orobably gobbled the whole thing up! And when Captain Kirk told Christopher "Take a good look---you were there ahead of all of them"---so were we. I remember one sci-fi writer, probably Asimov, who stated that "today's fiction may be tomorrow's fact", and as I watched I started thinking about some of the things that have become reality thanks to Star trek---like cellphones and the equipment in hospital exam rooms...and I wonder just how long it would be for warp drive to become a fact? Indeed, this is one of the many things I just love about this original series.
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ZITA CARNO
Tue, Nov 20, 2018, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Violations

In the course of my exploration and investigation of the telepathic abilities of various species---including, of course, Vulcans---I have come across instances of "rotten apples" among some of those species. Here we have one such example: a character named Jev who apparently has rape on his mind, and when the Ullians are transported aboard the Enterprise he sees his chance to be the rottenest apple he can be. He starts with the mental rape of poor Counselor Deanna Troi, goes after several other crewmembers, and then---near the end---appears again and this time tries to do it for real, but is quickly subdued by several crewmembers. This is still another example of the phenomenon which unfortunately continues to exist among various telepathic---and nontelepathic as well---species, human or not. I can only shake my head in utter bewilderment and disgust at this as I add it to my research.
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ZITA CARNO
Sun, Nov 18, 2018, 1:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

One thing this episode had, and I'm surprised a lot of people chose to overlook it, was humor. Remember the second time those inspectors overran the Voyager? They were all over various decks and also the cargo bay, where they opened a few crates and barrels---and found guess what? Vegetables! I cracked up at the sight, and still chuckle every time I think of it. Also, an interesting note about the one inspector who said he wanted to defect. His name, if you recall, was Kashyk---and it was indeed interesting, because that name sounds rather like a variant of a Vulcan word "kashek", which means "the mind"---as in the phrase "wuh tepul t'wuh kashek" which translates as "the power of the mind". It makes one wonder---was this guy, perhaps, a closet telepath himself? And what, indeed,may have been his real motivation" Something else to think about in this enjoyable and provocative episode.
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ZITA CARNO
Sat, Nov 17, 2018, 10:16am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Brilliant, suspenseful, excellently acted. I was particularly enthralled by Mark Lenard's portrayal of the Romulan commander---here was someone who commanded a Romulan bird of prey but who was seriously doubtful about his role and who exhibited thoughtfulness, a sense of the strategic aspects of the situation. His subordinates wanted to go to war and annihilate the enemy once and for all, but he exerised caution---he said that the starship commander would not make that mistake again, he evidenced respect and admiration for Captain Kirk's maneuvers, and he said at the end "In another reality I could have called you friend." And he did perform that one more duty, blowing himself and his warship to bits. One of his greatest roles, and I knew that we would see him again---on our side of the fence, as Ambassador Sarek. Four stars all the way, at least.
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ZITA CARNO
Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 9:07am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

That mind-meld sequence was the real turning point of the whole episode. You may recall that Tuvok had said he needed two hours to prepare, and that meant only one thing: he was going all-out, no holds barred, with the most powerful and the most stressful of all the mind-melds---the Vulcan mind-fusion, which had been a real lifesaver in several original-series episodes, and which was needed here in order to rescue Seven of Nine from that life-threatening predicament she faced. And the Great Stone Face accomplished his mission, with assistance from B'Elanna Torres in engineering who worked to destroy the Borg vinculum. And what a relief, when the thing was gone and he was able to get to Seven and join his mind with hers in a full meld and pull her out of that mess---I'm sure you must have felt the same sense of relief. Not tio mention that in no uncertain terms he had told that---uh---doctor, who was really out of his league here, to stay out of it and NOT interfere! I have long enjoyed, and I continue to investigate, the mind-meld sequences in all of Trek, and this was one of the most electrifying.
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ZITA CARNO
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Identity Crisis

I happened to be watching this episode one evening, and something suddenly seemed very familiar to me. The idea of a parasitic infection or some such gradually transforming human beings into aliens abruptly had me flashing back to an old "Outer Limits" story I had seen many years ago---a tale called "A Feasibility Study" in which a whole city block had been transported to a distant planet. The aliens, in this case, were trying to determine whether the time was right for an invasion of Earth and the enslavement of its human population---but after one person had gone beyond a force field and had become an alien the residents of that block saw a way out. Maybe they could never go home again, but they could thwart the aliens' plan; as one resident told the others, "We can join them. We can become what they are." And when the people joined hands and subjected themselves to the infection and the transformation the aliens realized that their plan was not feasible. So, one way or another, there's always a solution to a problem. And I have a further comment, one aimed at the previous writer who said that "Star Trek" is "just a television program"---it ain't necessarily so. Many things that we've seen on "Trek" have become reality, and scientists are actually working on the possibility of stuff like warp drive. As someone once said, "Today's fiction may be tomorrow's fact."
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ZITA CARNO
Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 12:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

I have been involved, quite extensively, in an exploration of the unusual mental abilities of the Vulcans, particularly the mind-meld, and I just want to say that the episode "Meld" was one of the very best of the entire Voyager series. It was a beautiful and compelling tale that brought out to the fullest extent the benefits and the risks of this procedure, and the two protagonists did a superlative job in this regard. It is interesting to note that Tuvok, being all Vulcan, may not have been adequately protected against the risk of losing his control, and so when that happened he really blew his top---an incredible display by Tim Russ. They should have used him a lot more than they did. I also enjoyed---to the hilt---how he dispatched Neelix whom I saw as an insufferable nuisance! Incidentally, Tuvok would turn in another tour-de-force of a performance in the fifth-season episode "Infinite Regress" in which he would go all-out with the most powerful---and the most stressful---of all mind-melds, the Vulcan mind-fusion, to rescue Seven of Nine from a life-threatening predicament.
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ZITA CARNO
Sun, Oct 28, 2018, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Lights of Zetar

Watching this episode I was sharply reminded of one of the most terrifying aspects of science-fiction: the invasion of the body snatchers. It matters not what form they take; it matters not whether they even exist. As I watched I found myself holding my breath and wondering how the Enterprise and her crew were going to get out of this predicament. I thought back to another old sci-fi-series I used to watch---"The Invaders"---and how those aliens, in the pursuit of their nefarious schemes, had taken human form---and I thought about how Lt. Mira Romaine, because of her psychological aspects, had gotten into this fix which was not of her making. I reognized that Scotty was human, that he had feelings and was not afraid to express them. I got caught up in how Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock once again teamed up, as they always seemed to be doing, to find the solution to the problem. And again I thought of that old series, and I remembered that whenever one of those invaders was shot he disintegrated---and I was able to relax as the antigravity chamber did its work and the Zetarians were beamed out into space. Fascinating---the word in Vulcan is "sem-rik"---how the more things change the more they remain the same.
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ZITA CARNO
Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

Peter---this might well have been what the "Next Generation" writers had at the time, to try making sense of some of these aspects of the original series, and that is one reason I didn't like "Next Generation" nearly as much as I did, and still do, the original. They took a lot of the mystery out of Trek in favor of relationships and such to the exclusion of the mystery and suspense, and that may be the reason for the relative absence of Vulcans in TNG, with the exception of the powerful story of the trials and tribulations of the aging Sarek. I will always remember the ambassador in the original series and particularly in the scene in "Star Trek III" where he and Admiral Kirk perform the incredibly beautiful mind-meld. Oh, by the way---as you may have read or heard, Vulcans over the age of 200 are prone to developing what is known as Bendii syndrome---the Vulcan equivalent of Alzheimer's---but it's interesting to note that Spock escaped that problem: it was probably the human factor in his blood that protected him, so he just aged normally, or what we call normally. Thanks for bringing up this subject; it'll make an interesting addition to my own explorations of the mental abilities of this intriguing species.
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ZITA CARNO
Wed, Oct 24, 2018, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

Don't ever let anyone tell you that Vulcans don't have a sense of humor! Spock certainly did, and he demonstrated it in the scene where he said to one of the Eminian guards "Sir, there is a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder"---a most logical practical joke, because when the guard turned his head to look he was promptly knocked out with that famous nerve pinch. However, it was no joke that Spock voiced a complaint about his failure to teach Captain Kirk how to do it---but he need not have felt embarrassed about it; the reason was that Vulcans have the ability to project a particular energy through their fingertips, a faculty that humans do not possess.
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ZITA CARNO
Sat, Oct 20, 2018, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

I watched that episode, and I have one comment about Janice Lester: "Homicidal maniac". And that seed was probably there from the beginning. Regardless of her motivations(?), she was ready to kill anyone and everyone who knew her deadly secret, and she would have destroyed the Enterprise to boot because she had no idea of how to pilot a starship. I would have preferred "All Our Yesterdays" as a final episode.
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ZITA CARNO
Fri, Oct 5, 2018, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Enterprise Incident

Whoever said that Season 3 stank in comparison to the other two has to be, to put it in Vulcan, "kae-amp"---out of his or her mind---and this episode demonstrates it fully. "The Enterprise Incident" is a top-notch spy thriller from the word go, and I just love the way Captain Kirk pretends to be nuts to get on board the Romulan ship---this guy can act! And Spock---I could listen to him talk for hours; the way he gets under the Romulan commander's skin is incredible, nothing short of hypnotic. Not to mention Scotty and company and their frantic efforts to get the cloaking device properly installed and working, and when I saw it in action I let out a yell of "Go Scotty!" In all, this episode deserves 5 stars at least--and it's joined by some six or seven others every bit as enthralling. I say, "Vaskurik"---Vulcan for "beautiful".
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ZITA CARNO
Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Bread and Circuses

"Where there's a sibling, there's quibbling." This tells it all, Spock and McCoy and their arguments, and underneath it all is affection, how they care for each other---like brothers---and for their commanding officer. It's just part of what makes "Star Trek" so human, and I enjoy the series all the more for it. They boldly went, and they took me with them, and I will remember it all forever.
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ZITA CARNO
Thu, Sep 27, 2018, 1:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Assignment: Earth

Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors" had nothing on this one!
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ZITA CARNO
Mon, Sep 24, 2018, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

Memo to Peter G: That is just one of the many instances in which I have been inquiring into, and investigating, the mental abilities of the Vulcans---especially Spock who was one of the best of the bunch. I got hooked on this aspect with the first-season "Dagger of the Mind", and I might point out that wasn't just your common garden variety mind-meld---it was actually a quieter version of the powerful and dramatic Vulcan mind-fusion, combined with telepathic hypnosis and a couple of quiet spoken suggestions of well-being, relaxation and weightless suspension, all of which exerted a calming effect on the disturbed van Gelder and enabled him to describe his ordeal. (Not to mention the amusing fact that Leonard Nimoy pulled a fast one on the network censors!) If you watch "Omega Glory", keep an eye on Spock and notice the intent concentration on his face---it was absolutely imperative because there was no physical contact involved. No mumbo-jumbo, no Vulcan voodoo, just another example of the Vulcan "wuh tepul t'wuh kashek"---the power of the mind and what it could be capable of. Glad to have you aboard.
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ZITA CARNO
Sun, Sep 23, 2018, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

O pot, o kettle! Can't we all just get along without all these diatribes and vilifications? So I will simply disregard all that and zero in on one particularly intriguing scene in the last act. While Captains Kirk and Tracey were slugging it out, Spock was watching the spectators with intent concentration. Specifically, he was watching a woman ed Sirah---Cloud William's mate---who was herself watching, with unusual concentration. And when Dr. McCoy asked, rather irascibly, what Spock was doing, the Vulcan replied "I'm making a suggestion." Yes. He was performing what could be best described as telepathic hypnosis---something he was very good at---and he influenced her to pick up a communicator, get it to him, and open it. This signaled the Enterprise to get a security team down to the surface of the planet on the double, and the scuffle was quickly broken up. The rest is history---one of Captain Kirk's most electrifying speeches.
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ZITA CARNO
Thu, Sep 6, 2018, 12:20am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Unimatrix Zero, Part I

There is one thing in this episode that really intrigues me. I've been investigating various aspects of the Vulcan mind-meld, and in one scene Tuvok performs what he calls a "bridging of minds". As near as I can figure out, this is a variation of the double mind-meld in which he melds with Janeway and Seven of Nine simultaneously and acts as a conduit so that those two, who are not telepaths, can link up and communicate telepathically. I'm still trying to understand this unusual technique.
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ZITA CARNO
Thu, Aug 30, 2018, 3:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Trouble With Tribbles

This is one of the greatest comic episodes in all filmdom! I still laugh fit to split every time I watch it, and I love those tribbles---I have a small collection at home. There is one hilarious scene after another, and one of my very favorites is the one where Captain Kirk, with a tribble in each hand, pushes them right into Arne Darvin's face following McCoy's startled observation that "this man is a Klingon"! And how the furry little creatures were removed from the bridge---it was Spock's idea, which shows us that Vulcans do have a sense of humor. +
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ZITA CARNO
Thu, Aug 30, 2018, 2:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Devil in the Dark

One of the classic Trek episodes. IAnd I particularly enjoyed the sequence where the captain observes that the horta (who, by the way is a female) was not making any threatening moves against him and Spock---this tells us that this is a highly intelligent and perceptive creature in great pain, which is why she had no objection to Spock performing a mind-meld. She probably sensed that these two persons wanted to help. And Bones' remark that he could cure a rainy day---absolutely delightful!
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ZITA CARNO
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

"Te kids were playing follow-the-leader---the wrong one." That about sums up this episode, which is forgettable except for one scene---the one in which Spock gets Kirk off the bridge and into the turbolift and uses his full telepathic powers to force the "beast" from the captain's mind. Watching this I could see the intent concentration in the Vulcan's face---no mind-meld here, just sheer telepathic force. And when Kirk is asked "Where to?" he replies, fully himself again, "To auxiliary control, my Vulcan friend--THIS SHIP IS OFF COURSE!" In addition, I couldn't help noticing the eerie resemblance of the Gorgan (who, by the way, was the last of his kind) to the current inhabitant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue---someone to whom I would love to take a photon torpedo...right in his face...
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ZITA CARNO
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

I have a further comment regarding the last act of this unusual and provocative story, and it has to do with who the real hero was. It was Captain Kirk, who when he saw that Spock was in danger took one of his most decisive actions. He went after Miranda Jones with both barrels, chewed her out mercilessly, raked her over the coals, and forced her to take a good look at herself and see just what her insane jealousy was doing to her! Thus distracted, she was no match for the recovered Spock who forced the mind-fusion and made her realize once and for all that the only way she would ever achieve her desired objective---becoming one with Kollos---was to let go of that most destructive emotion. It was the only logical thing to do.
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ZITA CARNO
Fri, Aug 24, 2018, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

Correction of the spelling of my last name: it's Zita Carno. Now for my additional comment: In the last act of this episode Tuvok said that he would need two hours to prepare. This meant only one thing: e was going all-out with the most powerful, and the most stressful, version of the mind-meld---the Vulcan mind-fusion, and he knew that this was going to be a very rough ride indeed---which he had to undertake if he were going to rescue Seven of Nine from the life-threatening situation she was in. And he told the doctor to stay out of it and not to interfere. (The doctor was way out of his league in this, so he complied, however reluctantly.) It was indeed a very rough ride, but Tuvok accomplished his mission, joining his mind with Seven's and helping her repel the invaders, and after a week in the regeneration chamber she was herself again. (The entities were still there, but they were dormant---and if they would ever resurface, so would the Great Stone Face---Tuvok.)
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ZITA CARNO
Wed, Aug 22, 2018, 1:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Arena

I read the original story by Frederic Brown many years ago. I don't know how closely the teleplay of this episode followed the original, but it was interesting---and if it was in any way "cheesy", so what? I love cheese. Now to a couple of details. The Gorn is described as huge, powerful, reptilian---but slow, and this was to Captain Kirk's advantage, even with the sprained ankle. And I got to wondering about something. As the pursuit progressed Kirk was hard put to remember "something about sulfur", but when the bridge crew of the Enterprise was permitted to see the action on the planet's surface he suddenly started remembering things and set about putting together a weapon, and I started wondering---was it possible that Spock was somehow in telepathic communication with the captain, telling him what to look for? I know that the Vulcan could communicate over long distances in this way, and so I began to speculate about this. Whether this was the case or not, I was intrigued by the possibility, and it added to my enjoyment of the episode. I have said before, many times, that every episode, good, bad or indifferent, has something to say, and this was no exception.
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