Date: 08/09/2018 8:43 AM Title: Season 2, Episode 5: Amok Time
Hello! Reading this prompted me to recover my password so I could say that I enjoyed reading it and the various thoughts and notes :) It also struck me as so true to the series that Spock explains Vulcan residual telepathic energy by an analogy with radio programmes, which of course would be perfectly natural in the 60s but which would no doubt be a bit 'retro' in the 23rd century (I think there's some comment to that effect - in 'A piece of the action'?)... and just the sort of thing I can see Kirk being into!
Date: 06/23/2018 5:23 PM Title: Chapter 7: "Charlie X"
I am enjoying this series and the documentation that you've offered. I find it pretty spot on. However, there was one thing in this that I disagreed with. You said that Charlie X was probably named that b/c he couldn't write. I suspect that it is an entirely different reason. There was a group called the Black Muslims who rose to prominence in the 1960s (same decade as Trek) during the civil rights movement. One of the things their members did was to reject their given surname such as Smith or whatever and use X instead b/c their original name had been lost in slavery. One of the most prominent members, Malcolm X, was shot to death in 1965 after he left the movement. Malcolm X's death was highly publicized and at the time so I think it's reasonable that Charlie X may reflect that movement. What do you think?
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
I think you must have been reading quickly, so you missed the attribution, but it isn't MY idea that the episode was named "Charlie X" to show that Charlie had no formal education. GENE RODDENBERRY said that in an interview with Marc Cushman, when Cushman asked him why the episode was named as it was.
While it's true that the Black Muslims replaced their original surname with X and that Malcom X was quite famous at about the time this episode was made, that isn't the reason Roddenberry gave when Cushman asked him about the name of the episode. I think it's unlikely that a group of white writers and producers would name a character in homage to Malcom X in 1966, when white attitudes towards Malcom X were mostly negative, but it's certainly true that the news about Malcom X could have had an unconscious influence. Still, when asked directly about the name of the episode, Roddenberry gave the reason I reported.
Date: 06/23/2018 12:03 PM Title: Season 2, Episode 5: Amok Time
I admit I was very curious how you would answer many of the questions left hanging at the end of Amok Time. Quite satisfactory wrap up I would say. I am working on a multi-chapter fic currently which takes a different spin - focuses a bit more on T'Pring's perspective. Anyway, your commentary on divorce laws at the time shed some light for me, at least, on why they might have said that T'Pring could only divorce through the kal-if-fee. It did see barbaric for Vulcans.
Date: 06/23/2018 3:42 AM Title: Season 2, Episode 15 — "Journey to Babel"
So I have to confess I like Journey to Babel for many of the world building reasons you have stated AND we see Spock's parents. But I have always hated that scene when Amanda slaps Spock. I know she was distraught, but how could she tell her son she would hate him. I am working on another story currently and trying to sort out Spock's relationship with his parents is driving me crazy.
Anyway, I love how you demonstrated Spock's influence on Jim. Devil in the Dark is one of my all-time favourite episodes. Dealing with bigotry in a more subtle way. I can't recall if I mentioned how much I agreed with your statement that if the salt creature in "The Man Trap" had been encountered later in the series they would have found a way to save it. Those phasers would have been set on stun. At this point, I'll just attribute it to the fact that it took a while before they were listening to him. Luckily, the Horta was not found in the first few episodes.
The reference to the invasion of Cestus III was also great. I love that Spock challenges Kirk's conclusions. And again on the Bridge he calls into question the decision to chase them down. I like their interaction. Jim is clearly pissed at being challenged, but gets out of chair and walks around to Spock. He makes his position known, but in a civilized manner. Of course, everything Spock said was absorbed by Jim and he spares the Gorn in the end.
I enjoyed this one a lot. I see you have done something on Amok Time. I am excited already. I'll save it until tomorrow.
Date: 06/23/2018 3:27 AM Title: Chapter 7: "Charlie X"
I totally agree that this might be a whole lot more believable if Charlie had been a pre-teen when he crashed. Admittedly none of the people on the ship had children, but I am sure they had observed three year olds and were well aware they would not survivie. That said, I do have a soft spot for this episode, just for the final moments. Even now I feel for Charlie when he is called away.
Love the Bob Justman memo. Thanks for sharing it.
Your notes end notes are such highlights!
Date: 06/23/2018 3:22 AM Title: Chapter 6: The Naked Time
I was curious as to what you would select for this episode because just so much is revealed. I like that you had Jim encourage his crew to confront what happened and their discussion of Spock's shame over his feelings of friendship.
I am totally enjoying all your facts. I admit to having assumed that Spock's body temperature was warmer than a Human's. I have not been helped by the many fan fics that perpetuated that myth. But you clearly have proven shown the truth. I actually just changed my fic that I posted today because of your evidence.
I confess I am one of the fan girls that aches every time I watch Spock sob. When I was a teenager I remember I could not even watch. I used to leave the room to give him the privacy he wanted - I shouldn't be seeing this! Even now, I don't directly watch that scene. I think how unusual it is to see a grown man sobbing like that - and to think it was a Vulcan who we were to believe was emotionless. It is what makes us love Spock so - to know he carries on with all that pain inside him.
P.S. To this day, if I am upset at night and cannot sleep I recite math tables. I can't remember when I started doing this, but it has been decades. Not sure if I copied Spock, but math soothes me when I am distressed.
Date: 06/21/2018 1:27 AM Title: Chapter 5: "The Man Trap"
Well I asked you about Bones/Spock and here you have a little interchange in this one. Not sure Bones ever did become more open minded about the alien closest to him - but your take on some later episodes will be interesting.
I admit the Spock/Uhura banter is a bit odd. Clearly, she should know Spock would not engage it such ideal chatter, but it did not feel like sexual harrassment. At least I learned that Vulcan has no moon thank to the exchange. I don't think I knew that before - so I would add that to world building. :-)
Good point on the wresting at the end. It had never clicked to me before that we had not yet established that Spock was stronger than humans. I always just thought he did not want to hurt him - BUT, you are so totally correct!
I didn't say that the Spock/Uhura banter was sexual harrassment; I said that if a person today said the things that Uhrua suggested Spock say to her, it would be considered sexual harrassment here in 2018. Just another sign of how much the world has changed since 1966. :-)
It took awhile for the creative team of Star Trek to figure out such things as who sent this ship out there, what rules govern there behavior, and what IS a Vulcan, anyway, and what are they like? The term "Starfleet Command" isn't mentioned until halfway through the season, and the Prime Directive isn't created until several episodes from now. They were making one episode every six days -- a truly break-neck pace -- and there just wasn't TIME to think about all the backstory for the ship and her world. The miracle of TOS is always how well it turned out, given the limitations in time, money, technology, and support from the network the showrunners had.
Date: 06/21/2018 1:19 AM Title: "The Enemy Within"
I found it interesting that you had Spock invite Bones to the meeting with Jim. As clearly it was Spock that understood what Jim was feeling (despite Bones having the medical background). Spock had the actual experience. I mean Bones clearly has no conception who Spock is yet - and you are not implying that he has figured him out (suprise at his thanks, telling Spock he is off his rockers). Of course, I only like Spock more in your add-in because it is one thing for him to "confess" any un-Vulcan behaviour to Jim, BUT it is going above beyond to admit his shameful feelings in fron of McCoy - which is what you had him do because it would help the Captain as Spock thought only McCoy could help sort out how to deal with his feelings as a Human.
I do wonder what you think of the Bones/Spock dynamic. Something I found Bones almost xenophobic. I could never decide if he thought he was trying to help Spock by having him not lock in his emotions.
P.S. Thank you for your commentary on "the imposter had some interesting qualities." Yes - those of us who LOVE Spock wish that line had never been written OR someone else had said it. YET - it really is a sign of the times and we do need to recognize it as such. NO was just a way of saying YES it seemed in the 60's.
P.S.S. I had not realized the studio was that concerned about the evil side of Kirk being portrayed. When I think about it, it was a rather daring gamble to have so early in the series your "hero" Captain reveal such a dark side. Showing anyone on TV trying to rape someone (whether or not it happened), let alone the hero of your show was daring and they should be commended for it.
I always rather liked that the Captain was not perfect - he occassionally lost his cool and had to apologize.
McCoy's xenophobic remarks to Spock have bothered me so much that I wrote a story -- available on AO3 but not here, since it isn't K/S -- where McCoy is temporarily assigned to an all-Vulcan ship, so that he can see what it's like to be in the minority and can unlearn his anti-Vulcan prejudice. It's called "Physician, Heal Thyself," if you're interested.
I think it's interesting to see TOS from 50 years in its future, because some parts of it are still fresh and relevant and interesting, and some parts feel very dated. That awful line of Spock's is one of the things that feels dated, and I'm very happy that it DOES feel dated, because that shows us how far we've come in 50 years. I was 8 years old in 1966, so I remember what 1966 was like, and things have changed SO much! But yeah, the real Spock never said that; that was just an unfortunate error on the part of the writers. ;-)
I've always liked it, too, that Kirk wasn't perfect and that he needed both Spock and McCoy to keep him on track. Flawed heroes are more interesting than completely perfect ones, though maybe that only applies to humans, since Spock seems pretty close to perfect to me, and I find him wildly interesting. :-)
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review; I really appreciate them!
Date: 06/20/2018 2:16 AM Title: Chapter 2: The Corbomite Maneuver
It was interesting to read both your epilogues. I think you guessed correctly about where to place which story. KSArchive is my starting point and I liked this one more. I liked that Spock would reveal himself to Kirk. Also I found it a bit forward that Spock would just casually suggest a mind meld (even in the interests of science). It does seem rather invasive and in these episodes, at least at this point, the men seem like no more than close friends - even if we are more than a year into things - we have not yet had the big reveal of the Naked Time. So I thought it surprising that he would just suggest it. Revealing something about himself - even though he is so very reticent - seems more likely to me. And enjoyable. :)
Sounds like you're reading in the right place, yeah. :-)
As for the mind meld in the chapter on AO3, I'm thinkiing of the following things:
1) Spock doesn't hold to human norms of behavior, because he's a Vulcan. And while a meld IS intimate, even in Vulcan society, it's less strange for them than it is for us humans. So I think he wouldn't realize quite how intrusive it would sound to Kirk.
2) Spock is in command of the ship part of the time, but he knows he can't do as good of a job at that as Kirk can. While he's more focused on being a great scientist than on being a great commander, he IS aware that if Kirk is disabled, kidnapped, or dead, the fate of 429 people would rest on his shoulders. So it's his duty to become as good of a commander as he can become.
3) Spock always does his duty as he perceives it, no matter how much it costs him personally. He's willing to suggest that he be killed in "Operation: Annihilate" in order to prevent the spread of the Denevan parasites. He's willing to commit mutiny and risk the death penalty to do his duty by Christopher Pike in "The Menagerie." He's willing to let his father die and allow his mother to hate him for the rest of his life in order to do his duty to the Enterprise and to all of the ambassadors on board her in "Journey to Babel." So the fact that the meld is rather intimate would not sway him if he thought it was his duty to study how Kirk comes up with some of the inspired tactics he comes up with. He's also undoubtedly aware -- as Kirk is -- that no other command team in Starfleet is even capable of researching this question, which means that doing so is his duty all the more.
Of course, you can feel free to disagree. But I did think it out fairly carefully. :-)
Date: 06/18/2018 3:37 AM Title: Chapter 1: Where No Man Has Gone Before
I really like the idea of what your doing. Quite an assignment you have given yourself. I am looking forward to reading these. I like your idea here - that Spock gave him permission to poke fun because it is inconsistent.
I had NEVER thought about the fact that they must be in their second year of the voyage. The 11 years, 4 months, 5 days is permanently etched on my brain, but somehow I missed that he said the events took place 13 years ago! You just threw me a curve ball in a story I am working on (only my third - I have only one posted, but just doing a final read on my second one which I hope to post next week). My timeline just took a hit. BUT I totally agree with what you wrote - Spock and Jim are clearly familiar with one another in the first episode that is produced (even if they were working out the kinks - "terrible, having bad blood like that!")
I often read fics and think about what is that line that to me tells me the author loves these TOS characters as much as I do. Your line for me: "he was always taken aback by how aware Spock was of his human Captain's feelings." That is the amazing part isn't it - how the supposedly unemotional first officer (as you put) is there always providing emotional support.
Looking forward to reading the rest of these. I see you already have eight!
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review; I really appreciate it!
You're not the only one who hadn't put together the famous 11 years, 4 months, 5 days with Spock's saying that the stuff they saw in "The Menagerie" happened "thirteen years ago." Whenever I mention that -- even on Star Trek sites staffed by serious fans -- people are surprised. So don't feel bad. :-)
One of the reasons why I read fan fiction is because I love seeing that other people have noticed the things about the characters that I've noticed. I read a story and think, "So you've noticed how gentle and polite Spock is? You've noticed how beautiful his hands are? You've noticed how good and ethical he is? You've noticed that Jim Kirk seems to have as much energy as any ten other people? You've noticed how he never gives up? You've noticed that both Kirk and Spock seem to have wills of iron, or perhaps I mean titanium?" So yeah, I hear you about seeing lines in stories that let you know that the author loves what you love.
Date: 06/07/2018 4:55 AM Title: Season 2, Episode 15 — "Journey to Babel"
My favorite. I'm glad you jumped ahead. Loving everything you do..especially all the background info!
Thanks so much; I'm really happy that you enjoyed this chapter, and I greatly appreciate that you took the time to leave a review!
I adore "Journey to Babel;" it really does have everything. Leonard Nimoy is wonderful in it, and Mark Lenard plays a Vulcan MUCH better than most guest stars in subsequent series. I don't know if he's a better actor than the others, or if it's because he had Mr. Nimoy to pattern himself after, but his Sarek is very well done.
I have "Journey to Babel" on my phone -- not on a streaming service, but actually on the hard drive -- so I can watch it whenever I want. Because sometimes I need to see Spock being virtuously self-sacrificing and Kirk being valiantly helpful. :-)
Date: 06/21/2017 10:09 PM Title: Chapter 1: Where No Man Has Gone Before
I'm really enjoying these little epilogues, and you commentary about the episodes! Loads of little facts and things that I hadn't picked up on before, and the epilogues themselves are so in-character and just a great way of tying up some of the loose ends some of these episodes left with the characters. It really gives the feel of proper 1960s Star Trek. Well done, and thank you!
Aw, thanks so much! I'm very glad to hear that you're enjoying both the stories and the notes, and I'm always thrilled when someone tells me that I've successfully kept the guys in character, since that's hugely important to me. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment; it means an awful lot to me.
Date: 05/29/2017 8:47 PM Title: Chapter 7: "Charlie X"
YAY YOURE BACK!!!!!!! I loved this. But unfortunately children have been raised by dogs.
Thanks for the warm welcome! I'm glad to be back, and I'm glad you liked the latest episode.
It's certainly true that there have been reports of children's being raised by dogs. Since other cases have turned out to be either awful-but-human child abuse or hoaxes, I assumed that by the 23rd century, those cases would be found to also have been either abuse or hoaxes. But since it's an imaginary future, you can certainly disagree! :-)
Date: 05/29/2017 8:01 PM Title: Chapter 1: Where No Man Has Gone Before
Just for your amusement: In old rome "lupanare" meant going to the whores. La lupa (the female wolf) was a whore. So romulus and Remus were raised by a whore.
Hee! I didn't know that; thanks for telling me, because it's very interesting.
Date: 07/11/2016 5:37 AM Title: Chapter 1: Where No Man Has Gone Before
My goodness, what a treat this was. I loved this episode and what you did here was damn special. That speech Kirk made was so well expressed. Later, we get to witness other apologies as well. You're so talented in filling out those blanks. We all wonder what happened after that episode, and you showed us brilliantly.
Plus, I've always enjoyed your take on a particular scene. That quote when Spock said he felt friendship for Jim he was ashamed; you explained it very well. By showing us that Spock feels more than is appropriate for a Vulcan.
You also mention Nurse Chapel being engaged, even mentioning Spock's engagement.
Spock writing to his mother, telling her he loves her. Brilliant.
Finally, la piece de resistance. The note section...
OMG!!! You actually took a screenshot of Tormolen and Spock's readout in sickbay. That should lay to rest that you're right on the money and everyone writing it different a la fan fiction are out to lunch.
Those books you mentioned have lots of great behind the scenes. I'm always excited to see what you have to share with us.
Thanks so much for your hard work of getting this all put together so we could read.
Everyone reading appreciates it.
Aw, thanks, hon, I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
I usually find it easier to channel Spock than Kirk, but Kirk really wanted to make an announcement, so that just wrote itself. I figure they're going to have to have a policy about strange forces that make people do things they didn't intend to do. Even this early in the series -- and we're only on Episode SIX -- they've already seen Gary Mitchell become crazy after hitting the barrier at the edge of the galaxy, they've seen most of the male crewmembers be distracted to the point of dereliction of duty by the effects of the Venus drug, and Kirk has been split into halves and done things the whole man wouldn't do. Now they've got this disease. And coming up -- just in the first season -- the entire crew will mutiny under the influence of the spores on Omicron Ceti III, and Spock will try to take over the ship when hit with blinding pain by the parasites on Deneva. If being driven out of their minds by galactic barriers, spores, transporter malfunctions, and whatnot happens to THEM so often, it must happen to others, too, at least sometimes. Starfleet itself may well have an official policy about not holding people responsible for things they do when not themselves.
Emotional reticence is a hallmark of Spock's character, and I think it's a mistake to have him express a lot of emotion or for the writer to jump up and down and point to his emotions with strong emphasis. So I wanted the letter to be present but for it to be simply understood that the letter is a big deal, rather than my making a big deal out of it. Or maybe that's not the writer in me, maybe that's the Spock in me, making sure I don't overplay his emotions. :-)
People should write whatever they want in fan fiction, so if they like hot Vulcans, they can have them. But whenever I talk about cool Vulcans, someone tells me that I obviously don't know anything about Star Trek, because "everybody knows" Vulcans are hot. I tend to react badly when people tell me I know nothing about Star Trek ... can't imagine why. :-)
Thanks so much for leaving a comment; your comments are always great fun to read!
Date: 07/08/2016 2:25 PM Title: Chapter 6: The Naked Time
Great work yet again, I love your insight into the psychological consequences the events in the episode would have had for the crewmembers involved. You make Kirk deal with the problem in an eminently "kirkish" way.
And as always, your chapter end notes are a special treat. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us!
Thanks so much for your kind review; I'm really glad that you liked this story!
The psychological consequences of events were far less understood in the 60's than they are today; today even people who are NOT professional therapists have heard of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They must have some really excellent treatment for psychological trauma by the 23rd century, because if you think of what Kirk goes through in the first season alone ... even our strong and resilient captain should have trouble coping with all of that. So I assume some unnamed wonderful trauma treatment has been invented, but for things like we see in the current episode, what they mostly need to do is TALK to one another. So I make them do it. :-)
Kirk fancies himself a great orator and will make a speech whenever one feels called for, and it seemed to me that one was definitely called for in this situation. I let him have his head there, and he didn't let me down. :-) And while I tease Kirk about his speeches, I actually love them; from "We're not going to kill TODAY" to "Risk is our business," they make me shiver with joy. Because I'm a big sap. :-)
Date: 07/07/2016 11:56 PM Title: Chapter 6: The Naked Time
I like this. I always wondered what went on after all these episodes.
Thanks! It's fun, thinking about what might have happened.
I figure, given all the weird stuff the Enterprise runs into over the course of the series, they're going to have to develop a "behavior caused by an external force doesn't count against you" policy. After all, they've already had "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "The Enemy Within" to contend with, and they still have "This Side of Paradise" in their future and "Plato's Stepchildren" and ... let's just say this policy will be getting a workout. :-)
I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment.
Date: 01/03/2016 10:32 PM Title: Chapter 5: "The Man Trap"
hon, i'm the clown-prince of the archives who thinks about all things K/S TOS related far too seriously/deeply and believes everything in the subtext is far more interesting than what slides about all over the surface :)
star trek tos is an iceburg. 90% of it goes on subtexturally. and "the man trap" is very much about sex and sexuality - imo :D. it's one of the most seminal episodes of the first series. certainly one that hints at an awful lot of 'things that couldn't be broadcast on tv in the 60s' - or even talked about in polite society. ah the intricacies of the relationship between spock, mccoy and jim. i do so love it!
you know 'subtext' is an anagram of 'buttsex', right? ;)
carry on camping.