Mistakes You Thought Were Made In ST:OS- But Were Not Mistakes.

Discussion in 'Media Central' started by Dayton Kitchens, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    This is a thread about mistakes you felt were made from a logical standpoint in an ST:OS episode but upon further reflection you realize were not mistakes at all. Though its possible the writers. directors, and producers did not actually recognize or correct the error themselves.

    Specter of the Gun

    Mistake I thought was in the episode

    Kirk and company, knowing they have no hope of outdrawing the Earps and Doc Holliday in a gunfight, create a grenade which spews out tranquilizing gas. IIRC in the episode it is mentioned that the gas will take "2 or 3 seconds" to take effect. I always thought that "in 2 or 3 seconds" the Earps and Holliday would've gunned Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty down with time to spare.

    Why its not a mistake

    During the gunfight, the Earps and Holliday halt at what appears to be about 20 yards away from the Enterprise landing party and call for the draw. This distance is about right for 19th century gunfights with single action revolvers.

    But, assuming Spock is the one who they were planning to have throw the grenade (seems logical given his greater upper body strength) then in all likelihood Spock could've hurled the small grenade at least 70-75 yards. In other words well before the Earps and Holliday walked to within accurate revolver range. Thus the strategy of the Enterprise crew was indeed sound and would've worked if the Melkotians had allowed it to play out.
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  2. Tererun

    Tererun Magical Girl

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    I think it is more that an easy victory is less entertaining. In a real combat situation if you had an advantage and were outgunned you would take the advantage leading to a boring fight. If you are on TV and want to make a climactic battle you don't throw a grenade and have the bad guys done with before they have a chance. Especially since the whole episode is really based on a pointless shootout that was a manufactured danger. This is why bad guys give a long speech about their master plan instead of just shooting the good guy in the head and then giving a monologue like a real bad guy would do if they had to give a speech.
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  3. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    That Which Survives

    Mistake I thought was in the episode
    Within seconds of the earthquake on the planet, Sulu glances at the tricorder and announces that the Enterprise is gone. The scene seems to imply that the tricorder can scan for the Enterprise in orbit. I found this to be ridiculous given the size of the tricorder and it does not seem to have the ability to detect orbiting starships in other episodes

    Why it is not a mistake.
    Episodes like "City On the Edge of Forever" and others indicate that the tricorder computing power is greatly augmented by being able to link to the Enterprise main computer. In "That Which Survives" Enterprise has been transported away so of course the continuous signal linking it to Sulu's tricorder is gone, instantly indicating to him that the ship has disappeared.
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  4. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Where No Man Has Gone Before

    Mistake I thought was made
    At the end of the episode, Kirk hits Gary Mitchell point blank with fire from the phaser rifle and it has no effect. Later he uses the phaser rifle to collapse the rocks on Mitchell, apparently killing him

    Why it wasn't a mistake:
    Two possibilities:

    1) Mitchell at the end was already too weak from fighting Dr. Dehner and couldn't prevent being crushed by tons of rock. This seemed likeliest to me until...

    2) When Kirk fired the phaser rifle at Mitchell it was only set on stun. Consider this: Kirk throughout the episode was very reluctant to kill Mitchell or even maroon him on the planet. At the end when Mitchell and Dehner walk off together, there is absolutely no reason for Kirk to go after them. He can just beam back to the Enterprise and warp away leaving Mitchell there (and Dehner who had gone with him willingly, she announced she was staying earlier). Mitchell would be marooned just as was planned.

    The only thing that remotely makes sense is that Kirk was going to take one last chance on incapacitating Mitchell and bringing him back. Its possible Kirk was inspired to change plans due to the encounter with the forcefield changing Mitchell briefly back to normal. Kirk could've reasoned that heavy enough phaser stun would've brought Mitchell back for good.

    I would like to note something else just in passing:

    While Kirk underestimated Mitchell's growing power, Spock underestimated Mitchell's humanity. Spock before Mitchell escaped at the end said they "would be lucky to get out of here alive". Yet after strangling Lee Kelso (to prevent him from blowing the complex up) Mitchell simply knocked Kirk, Spock, and Dr. Mark Piper out (apparently harmlessly) and took no further actions against them or the Enterprise. He just took Dehner and walked away.

    Further note: Many have noted that as the episode went on, Mitchell was getting grayer and grayer indicating his physical body was under great strain from his mental powers. I'm sure Kirk noticed this and one could infer that Mitchell would not live long anyway under that kind of strain.
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  5. 14thDoctor

    14thDoctor Current mood:

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    Related: I imagine "using the force" or whatever Mitchell did would be easy enough to neutralize a single phaser beam going in a straight line, but a bunch of rocks would be hard to focus on controlling telekinetically. :async:
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  6. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer Anti-Federalist

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  7. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    The Children Shall Lead
    Mistake I thought was made: Apparently the only way to summon the "friendly angel" is by the children performing their chant. Though surprisingly even a recording works. So how was it ever possible for the "friendly angel" to manifest itself to the children in the first place?

    Why it's Not a Mistake:
    In the full length version of the episode, a scene that is often cut is of Spock and Kirk exploring the caverns near the Triacus expeditions camp site. While inside Kirk is virtually overcome by fear and other negative emotions that appears to be connected to the power of the "friendly angel". The expedition leader in his recordings does mention the effects he has been noticing seem to be strongest near the caverns. Thus it is quite reasonable to suspect that the children exploring in to the caverns were influenced by the power of the Gorkon initially there.

    Episode still sucks but there is no mistake here.
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  8. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Obsession

    Mistake I thought Was Made

    In the episodes fourth act, Enterprise is pursuing the "vampire cloud" through space running at Warp 8 plus and pushing the engines to the point of destruction, yet barely gaining on the creature.

    After Scotty proclaims "We can't do it! If we keep this speed up we could blow up at any second!" To which Kirk reluctantly orders Scotty to drop the Enterprise to Warp 6.

    Why didn't the creature simply pull away and leave Enterprise in the dust? As it proved capable of doing after it fled the Enterprise later in the episode? Instead the creature slowed down and allowed the Enterprise to approach, attack and then the creature counterattacked.

    Why its not a mistake

    The creature had to feed. The pursuit by Enterprise had exhausted its strength and it knew from its previous encounter with the Farragut that a starship carried red blooded humans. So it stormed in through the open impulse engine vent and attacked three crewman (that we know of)
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  9. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    The Deadly Years

    Mistake I Thought Was Made
    The Romulan plasma weapon was considered a horrendously dangerous threat to the Enterprise just the year before in "Balance of Terror" yet in "The Deadly Years" Enterprise takes multiple hits from the plasma weapon without suffering significant damage.

    Why It's Not A Mistake
    Watch the original version of the episode carefully. Technically, the visual effect of the Romulan ship firing the plasma weapon at the Enterprise (Balance of Terror stock footage) occurs only three times. One can presume that the Enterprise since "Balance of Terror" has modified its shields to be more effective against plasma bolts.

    All the other Romulan strikes are by Klingon style photon torpedoes (Errand of Mercy stock footage). And as we saw in "Errand of Mercy", Enterprise is pretty effectively shielded against those weapons.

    So it probably is not a mistake that Enterprise even after three plasma weapon hits and more than a dozen photon torpedo strikes is still able to haul ass at Warp 8 and get away clean
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  10. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    The Enterprise Incident
    Mistake I Thought Was Made

    When the Enterprise cloaks itself, Subcommander Tal says with hesitation "Gone?" followed by a surprised "They have the cloaking device!" I thought "Well no shit Tal, of course they have the cloaking device! Isn't that one of the big reasons you are chasing the Enterprise in the first place!!"

    Why It's Not a Mistake
    Obviously Tal was surprised by the Enterprise using the cloaking device on two levels:

    First- The Romulans probably had no idea the cloaking device would work on a Starfleet vessel.
    Second-Even assuming that Starfleet ships COULD be adapted to use a cloaking device, Tal had to be surprised at the rapidity that Scotty successfuly installed it (one of Scotts' better jobs by the way). A matter of minutes.

    Well done
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  11. 14thDoctor

    14thDoctor Current mood:

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    Dayton, I don't know if you've ever been to TvTropes.com, but these are all great examples of what they call "fridge logic." :async:
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  12. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    I think I've seen TVtropes before but I don't remember "fridge logic". What is it?
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  13. 14thDoctor

    14thDoctor Current mood:

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    It's a subcategory for things in a piece of media that suddenly make sense in hindsight.

    Another is "fridge horror," where you you realize something unsettleing about a piece of media. Like how Beauty and the Beast ends on a happy note... until you realize that the story takes places on the eve of the French revolution, during which wealthy aristocrats like Belle and her prince will most likely be executed.
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  14. Fisherman's Worf

    Fisherman's Worf Hamachi is a fish best served cold

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    I initially thought the entire run of Star Trek TOS was a mistake.

    But in hindsight, it gave rise to great bodies of work such as JJTrek and Star Trek Discovery.
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  15. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    Yabut explain why the tombstone Mitchell makes for Kirk says "James R. Kirk." Some best friend.

    ripkirk.jpg
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  16. 14thDoctor

    14thDoctor Current mood:

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    Psychological warfare.

    [​IMG]
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  17. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM GLORIAAA!!

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  18. Bickendan

    Bickendan Custom Title Administrator Faceless Mook Writer

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    LOL, and the fact that Spock would have delivered that pun completely straight is even funnier.
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  19. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    I know it isn't "canon" but the "Brother's Keeper Trilogy" which details Kirk and Mitchell's first meeting and subsequent friendship, framed by the story of Kirk after "Where No Man Has Come Before" taking Mitchell's body home to his parents has "R" as Kirk's middle initial as a long running in joke between Mitchell and Kirk.

    When they first meet, Mitchell challenges Kirk to a racquetball game and Kirk jokes that "my middle name is racquetball". During subsequent adventures Mitchell repeatedly suggests other middle names that start with an "R" for Kirk depending on the situation such as "rhinoceros " because of his stubbornness.

    Thus in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" Mitchell putting the "R" on Kirks tombstone is a subtle indication that he remembers their long friendship.
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  20. tafkats

    tafkats That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo! Moderator

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    Of course with Beauty and the Beast there's that whole Stockholm Syndrome thing, too.
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  21. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    One of the episodes of Star Trek Continues brought up Gary Mitchell. Kirk shakes his had and says "He could never even get my middle name right."
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  22. 14thDoctor

    14thDoctor Current mood:

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    That falls more under "unfortunate implications." :async:
  23. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Maybe they escaped overseas.
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  24. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    The comments on YouTube about the remastering of "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" got me to thinking about something.

    What You Think Is a Mistake:

    After Captain Christopher is beamed from his doomed F-104 Starfighter to the Enterprise, Spock calls Kirk on the intercom to report that Christophers fighter has completed breaking up. He then asks if they can turn off the tractor beam.

    Someone asked "Can't Spock decide to turn off the tractor beam on his own"?

    Why It's Not a Mistake

    The original reason for applying the tractor beam to Christophers fighter was that Spock warned it might be carrying nuclear missiles which could severely damage the Enterprise if it were hit by one. Spock reasoned that disengaging the tractor beam was a bigger decision because it was possible that if nuclear missiles were being carried they might have survived, activate and home on the Enterprise once the tractor beam was disengaged. After all, the cameras and film aboard the F-104 survived the tractor beam and subsequent crash.

    I still can't explain how when Christopher arrived in the Enterprise transporter room he was standing up when of course when he was in the F-104 cockpit he was seated.
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  25. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    In "Tomorrow is Yesterday," I wanna know how, when the time-traveling Enterprise atis moving at very high warp speed, the crew is able to not only beam people back to Earth, but to do it with pinpoint time and space accuracy, especially since the Enterprise can only be near Earth for a small fraction of a second at that speed.

    Also, why don't Captain Christopher and the MP remember anything when they are returned? Did the transporter somehow combine both versions of each man? And if the men didn't remember their time aboard the Enterprise, haven't they essentially been destroyed?
  26. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    That's just one of the reasons that time travel gives me a headache.

    The Alternative Factor: not so much "mistakes" as such as just the whole episode being a muddled mess.

    I would think Spock would be a little more concerned with possibly dropping live nuclear warheads to the ground below. Or even the wreckage of the jet in general. You kinda also have to presume that the damage to the Enterprise included their scanners being unable to tell if there were nukes present.
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  27. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    This, because the computer would've told them that F-104s never carried Genies except for feasibility testing. :async:

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  28. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    By the 23rd century the records on such a trivial point might have gotten a bit confused.
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  29. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    Federation computers know all. :bailey: :bergman:
  30. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    Remember that this is an alternate version of the history we know. One where the U.S. (and other nations) had launched orbital nuclear weapons (Assignment: Earth). So its reasonable to figure that a broader deployment of nuclear weapons to F-104 Starfighters might've transpired as well.
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