Monday, July 29, 2013

Tomorrow is Yesterday: TOS Season 1 Episode 19

Sorry for missing a week, and being late this week. I don't have time this week to take screenshots, which is a shame because I find that part of it fun, but I watched an episode last night so I figured I'd write a quick post today.

Plot Synopsis

We start in "present day" Earth, the air force sees a UFO that of course winds up being the Enterprise. It turns out that the Enterprise had gotten caught in a gravity well of some particularly powerful star and had to use full power to get away. There was a slingshot effect that wound up sending them back in time. They are a little disoriented at first, but once they get their bearings they realize the air force has scrambled a jet to intercept them. They try to catch it in a tractor beam but it destroys the plane and they have to beam the pilot aboard. (I was distracted at this point, so I may have missed some finer points, but this seems to be the gist of it)

They now have a conundrum, they can't send the pilot back because he knows too much about them and it will alter the past. Nevertheless, they seem to have no qualms about telling him all kinds of stuff, for example, Spock tells him that he will have a son and the son will be important to history. They also spend a lot of time beaming down to the military base and trying to destroy records of their ship in the sky. Ultimately they accomplish this, but wind up with a second person from the base on the ship.

Now they just need to get home, and they need to find a way to return these 2 guys to the surface without screwing up the timeline (further). They can slingshot around the sun and head back to their own time, but before they go forward in time, they will go backward a little as they approach the sun and they can beam those guys down at the moment when they were picked up. Done and done!

Back and Forth

I didn't understand exactly why they would go backward in time a little bit before they went forward. Spock said something about them going backward when they approach the sun. I guess since the slingshot will fling them into the future as they are exiting the gravity of the sun, they were saying that approaching the sun will send them back in time. I'm pretty sure this made no sense at all.


Let's assume the back in time thing makes sense. Wouldn't the guys they beam down still have the memory of what had happened to them. It seemed that they were put right back where they were and their memory of the intermediate events was erased. That didn't really make sense either.



I love time travel stories, but this one didn't really have much going for it. They talked of not changing the past, but then they did a bunch of stuff that would change the past. Plus a lot of time seemed to just be wasted running around on the military base.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Arena: TOS Season 1 Episode 18

Plot Synopsis

The episode starts with a joyous scene, the crew is going to beam down to Cestus 3 and spend some time with the head of the colony there who has notorious hospitality. However, when they get to the surface they see the colony is destroyed, when Kirk calls back up to the Enterprise they are under attack from a mysterious ship so the away team is on their own for a while. 

They run around on the surface of the planet for a bit and the Enterprise fights with the ship, but then the enemy ship leaves and they are able to recover their people. Kirk concludes that this must be an aggressive species and decides to destroy the pursue and destroy the ship, otherwise they will be back to destroy other colonies. Spock takes issue with this, but Kirk will hear none of it, he says
Out here we are the only police men around, and a crime has been committed
As they are pursuing they come somewhat near to a solar system and the enemy ship stops completely. Kirk is happy that he will now be able to catch up, but the Enterprise is also stopped. They get a signal from the solar system that they are an advanced race who doesn't like the violence going on here, they decide that the best thing to do is take the two captains of the ships, let them battle it out and the winner will go free, the loser will be destroyed.

It turns out the enemy is the Gorn, they are extremely strong physically, Kirk throws some rocks at him, and even drops a boulder on him from quite high up, but he is not killed. Kirk then takes a bunch of minerals and puts them into a bamboo shoot to make a cannon of sorts. He nearly kills the Gorn but changes his mind at the last second. Leading up to the final attack by Kirk, the Gorn tells him they killed the colony because it was encroaching on their territory. Upon reflection, Kirk realizes this is a possibility because it is an unexplored area of space.

An angel looking guy shows up, he's from the nearby solar system and is supremely impressed with Kirk for not killing the Gorn. He says they are still half savage, but perhaps in a thousand years or so they can make contact with each other again.

Red Shirt

I don't think this is the first "red shirt" moment, but it was the first that really jumped out at me because it seemed to be quite ridiculous. When they beamed down to the destroyed colony Kirk motioned for the red shirt to look around and he was immediately killed. 

However, moments later both Kirk and Spock were running around with no cover and they were just fine. It looked like they were being attacked with mortars, but nothing like what the red shirt had to endure


This episode was tested out on mythbusters, unfortunately it was busted. There was no way for the bamboo to hold any blast sufficient enough to kill the Gorn. Unfortunately, it also means that I knew what was going to happen in this episode, although I guess I can't complain too much to have a 50 year old show spoiled :)



Solid episode, some iconic stuff in there. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Squire of Gothos: TOS Season 1 Episode 17

Before I get to this episode, a caveat, I didn't watch it under ideal conditions by any means. I was interrupted multiple times and wound up watching it over a few days. I won't be surprised I will have missed some interesting things.

Plot Synopsis

The Enterprise stumbles past a rogue planet (not orbiting a star) that is not in their records. Spock mentions that this is an extremely unlikely occurrence and suggests that something strange must be going on. They were going to make a note of the planet so starfleet could send a science team out at a later date, but then Kirk and Sulu disappeared off of the bridge. Now Spock is in charge and the next order of business is to check out the planet and get their crewmen back.

The planet has an atmosphere that is not ideal for humans, so they beam down with some breathers. But when they get to the surface it turns out the atmosphere is perfect for them. Peculiar indeed. They come in to an old style room and see Kirk and Sulu and a guy named Trelane. Trelane is a very powerful being, but he keeps making strange mistakes. He's apparently been observing earth, but doesn't realize that since he is hundreds of light-years away from earth, his information about us is quite old. He also had a fire with no heat and food/drink with no taste.

At some point the realize that there is a mirror in the room that seems to be a source of his power, they trick him and break the mirror and he is temporarily stripped of some of his power. In this time they are able to communicate with the Enterprise, beam away and run. Of course this isn't the end of the story, Trelane catches up to them and Kirk is brought back down to the planet to a trial. Trelane wants to give Kirk the death penalty because he's so angry, but then he calms down and realizes that the anger was something novel and interesting. He then complains to Kirk
This is becoming quite tiresome, it's also very easy.
Kirk responds with a great speech
That's your problem, everything is easy. It's giving you a bad habit. You're not aware of it, but you have it. You don't think, Trelane, that's your problem. You miss opportunities, like your anger before, and mine right now. You enjoyed it, but you couldn't have accomplished it without me. You know why? Because you're a bumbling, inept fool. Here you have an opportunity to experience some thing really unique and you waste it. You want to commit murder? Go ahead! But where's the sport in a simple hanging?
Kirk then convinces him to hunt him in the forest and only attack him with a sword. His intention seems to be to try to evade long enough for the Enterprise to get away. Trelane chases him and seems to have having a great time, but eventually gets bored and pops some walls into existence so that Kirk can't get away. When he's about to kill him the most hilarious thing happens.

Trelane's parents show up. It turns out he is just a kid from some other powerful race! They scold him, apologize, and let Kirk get away.

Rogue Planet

One thing I thought was really peculiar is the surprise that Spock exhibited about the planet not being in their data banks. I think they were just trying to lay the groundwork that something was odd, but there's no reason we should know about every planet around stars, let alone in the middle of nowhere without a light source. I suppose if it was in familiar federation space there might be something there, but they are on a mission of exploration right? It seems that they would come across new stuff like this all the time. Hell, last week they stumbled across a quasar, certainly it shouldn't be a surprise to find a random rogue planet.

He's Looking in a Mirror!

There was one scene where a security officer tried to sneak up on Trelane but was caught and frozen by him. The problem was, Trelane was looking in a mirror at the time. This seems like the worst possible time to sneak up on someone. I have no further point here, but it cracked me up.

Spock Objects

There was a line from Spock when he was talking to Trelane that I thought was really good. Trelane felt like Spock was challenging him, and Spock said
I object to intellect without discipline, I object to power without constructive purpose
Again, I don't have a deeper point here, just thought it was a great line.



Enjoyable episode for sure. I like the idea of the super-powerful being and figuring out his flaws and what-not. No real flaws in the episode that I saw with the exception of the planet thing, but that was certainly a very minor point.

The Upcoming Weeks

I will most likely miss a week or two. Several people are going to be visiting and I think it will be somewhat of a madhouse. I will probably not be able to sneak away long enough to write one of these. I will try as I find them a lot of fun to put together, but I might disappear for a bit. See you in a few weeks.