Star Trek: A Taste of Armageddon

August 19, 2013 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A guest blog by Siblings and Mindless-Droid

The best diplomat I know is a fully activated phaser bank. ~Scotty

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And the Siblings are now back to join Mindless Droid in discussing the episode “A Taste of Armageddon,” the summary of which can be read here http://www.startrek.com/database_article/taste-of-armageddon and the actual episode can be viewed here http://www.startrek.com/watch_episode/HqaYmv7_wnga (Maybe we should ask for less secret missions in order to co-write every week instead of every few weeks.)

First things first, who on Eminiar VII decided those ridiculous hats would be fashionable? For years when talking about this episode in our house, we referred to it not by its title, but instead with some variation of “that show with the really dumb hats.” No doubt someone thinks they are perfectly lovely, and if you happen to be that someone and are reading this blog post, feel free to comment and explain why.

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The Federation’s forced involvement seems out of place. True, Eminiar VII is a planet that is capable of space travel, and therefore no longer under the protection of General Order Number One, but it does not seem to have asked for a mediator. In fact, they make it clear that they do not want the Federation involved, yet Ambassador Fox constantly throws his authority around to ensure peace negotiations take place, unintentionally sending the Enterprise into danger. (Was there ever a civilian or bureaucrat who was portrayed positively in OS Star Trek?)

Sister: I would like to respectfully disagree with Mindless Droid when he says, (see the blue text below,) “Kirks ultimate solution to the war was to force the two planets into realizing what they were doing was just the same as if they fought with real weapons. Quite a risky move on his part.” For five hundred years the two worlds have carried out this virtual war with millions of causalities each year. As we see in the character of Mea 3, those “killed” in the war willingly go to their deaths, an action against the very human, and very strong, trait of self-preservation. Clearly then, these people have been taught from a young age that such a death is right, proper, and noble, the only method of preserving their culture and avoiding the unpleasantness of war. However, I propose that they simply replaced an ultimate fear of death with an equally strong aversion to suffering, injury, and unexpected loss. Although everyone seems willing to calmly face death in a disintegration chamber in order to preserve their way of life, the people of Eminiar VII do not show that same willingness to die in attempt against Captain Kirk when he is holding a disrupter. The planet’s leaders did not attempt to prevent him from destroying their computers even though they still outnumbered the landing party, in the end, they stood by and watched. Can you imagine the top Enterprise people doing that? Anyway, maybe I’m totally off, and talking crazy, but that’s my thoughts on the matter.

Brother: Finally, a Star Trek episode with a moral I agree with! The people on those planets must breed like rabbits in order to maintain a decent population in spite of millions of deaths caused by the war every year, for five hundred years! ‘Cause I’m assuming they still have a normal death rate for aging, a bit of crime, monorail accidents, stuff like that. How did this weird computer get arranged to begin with?
Person One: Dang, I am so stinkin’ tired of all the destruction caused by this war, I wish it would end.
Person Two: Hey, instead of ending the war, let’s just make it nicer!
Person One: Great plan, that way we can go on forever!!

Some trivia and notes: This episode marks the official naming of the government Starfleet works for, the United Federation of Planets.

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Mindless-Droid: This week’s Classic Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon is another one of those episodes that is just a middle of the road episode. The Enterprise mission to open diplomatic relations with Eminiar 7 hit a snag when the ship and crew are caught up in the planets 500 year war. An unconventional war fought not with weapons but computers that simulate attacks and calculate casualty lists and by treaty those that the computer deems casualties must report to disintegration chambers to die. Having given up on making peace with the other planet this is done so as the civilization survives without the war destroying everything but by doing this they had forgotten what peace was.

You can tell it is relatively early on in season one and they are still figuring out the different phrases and character back rounds. Spock refers to his people as Vulcanians and it is the first time we see him use his telepathic powers sort of reminded me of someone using the force to influence the weak minded. We also get to see one of the funniest Vulcan nerve pinches as Spock walks up to the guard and says “Sir there is a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder” before rendering him unconscious. They also saved on special effects by using the disrupter weapon. The one question that was raised in our discussion was who thought up those hats wow. The term Starcruiser was also used don’t know if it was because they hadn’t settled on starship yet or if it was just the name the Eminiars used.

While Kirk and the landing party were on the surface Scotty was in command and proved he was quite capable nice little character building there. Although they should have re-mastered his hair in the first act what was up with that? Once again Sulu was missing from the helm I didn’t realize that he was absent so much in season one. The computer voice was really annoying again. I thought general order 24 should have been portrayed as a bluff it seems a bit much that the Enterprise could lay waste to the entire planet but as I said they were still breaking new ground early on and probably hadn’t settled on how powerful the ship could be. This was a special episode in one way three red shirts beamed down to the planet and all of them survived.

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Kirks ultimate solution to the war was to force the two planets into realizing what they were doing was just the same as if they fought with real weapons. Quite a risky move on his part. Channeling my other favorite sci-fi franchise I could almost hear Spock in his best Tarkin voice saying “You’re taking an awful risk Jim this had better work” and the end seemed a bit rushed Kirk sets them on a path to all-out war and without seeing if the peace overture succeeds they beam out rather quickly.

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This week there was a lot of edited dialogue in the version aired on ME-TV. Several times sentences were removed to the point of hurting the flow of the episode. A few examples are Mea 3 scanning the landing party before they materialized this showed that the Eminiars were an advanced culture and Spocks instructions to Yeoman Tamura to guard Mea 3 were edited out. There are several other smaller edits and when you watch the original cut you notice it quite a bit.

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This week the re-mastered shots included the exterior of Eminiar were the landing party materializes they added people and a monorail in the background. The re-mastered shots of the planet Eminiar 7 and the Enterprise in orbit really are quite well done and do look great. It is nice to see a realistic planet and a scaled down Enterprise I for one think it was a good idea to enhance the effects.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions members and non members alike and Live Long and Prosper.