Star Trek : The Tholian Web

June 2, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is The Tholian Web. You can watch the original version of the episode at the official site here. The Enterprise is sent to find the starship Defiant which has gone missing for three weeks. Upon finding the ship Spock reports that space is breaking up and that even though they see the ship it is not registering on the sensors. Kirk leads an away team to the Defiant and they find the entire crew is dead and it appears that they have all killed each other. After a search of the ship in which McCoy’s hand passes through a body and a table Kirk decides to return to the Enterprise but the region of space is making transport difficult and only three transporter beams are working. Kirk stays behind as the others beam to the Enterprise but before they can beam Kirk over the defiant disappears taking Kirk with it.


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On the Enterprise Spock theorizes that two universes are overlapping or interphasing and that at a certain time it will be possible to rescue the captain. Spock explains that the surrounding space must not be disturbed as Spock explains what they need to do Chekov goes mad and attacks several of the bridge crew. After subduing Chekov McCoy believes that whatever caused the Defiant’s crew may also be affecting the Enterprise crew. Just then an alien ship approaches identifying themselves as The Tholians and demands that the Enterprise leaves their space. Spock explains that the Enterprise is on a rescue mission and the situation. The Tholians grant Spock the time he requests but they warn that “They will not tolerate deceit.”

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Meanwhile McCoy discovers that it is the space that is affecting the crew and making them violent. As he works on an antidote he is attacked by one of his orderlies. McCoy asks if the captain has been rescued so they can leave but Spock says that the Tholian ship has disturbed the space and that he will have to recalculate the next interphase. Just then the Tholians attack after several blasts Spock returns fire disabling the Tholian ship but the Enterprise has been damaged as well. A second Tholian ship arrives and they begin to construct an energy field around the damaged Enterprise.

Unable to rescue Kirk, Spock declares him dead. There is tension between Spock and McCoy. McCoy points out that Kirk has left them taped orders in case of his death. Kirk puts the tension at ease with these “orders” and Spock and McCoy return to their duties. As McCoy heads to sick bay Uhura comes running out of her quarters having seen Kirk floating in her mirror. McCoy believes it is just an effect of the space. He confines her to sick bay. In engineering Scotty also sees Kirk floating above the engine room. Spock orders him to the bridge. When Scotty arrives on the bridge Kirk appears near the science station and they realize that Kirk is still alive.

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Spock calculates that the phaser fire kicked the Defiant out of their space but that the captain locked in the transporter beam was left behind Spock and Scotty calculate when the next interphase will be when they can retrieve the captain. McCoy has also found an antidote to the effects of the space. As the Tholians complete their web Spock orders full power and the Enterprise is thrown clear of the Tholians web as they traveled through interspace. Kirk has been pulled along and is beamed aboard just as his spacesuit runs out of air.

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This was always one of my favorite episodes. I always found the Tholians fascinating for some reason. Their look is completely alien along with the environment of Loskene’s ship add in the fact that they are not portrayed as just a villain of the week you don’t know if they are evil or just protecting their property as Loskene. It’s too bad we only get to see them once in the original series and as a sort of background element to the main story something that happened often with new aliens in the third season. The main story dealing with Spock and McCoy’s relationship is what makes this episode. Always at one another but always loyal as well. McCoy the emotional human and Spock with his logic make a nice dynamic and even though Spock seems unemotional and detached he always proves himself a loyal friend and comrade. My favorite scene is on the bridge when McCoy overcome by the effects of the space angrily berates Spock and then apologizes when he realized what happened and Spock replying to his apology by saying that Kirk would have said “Forget it Bones.” Now some random thought.

I like the opening scene nice and dramatic.

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I sort of like the original shimmer effects on The Defiant better.

The Defiant is the 5th Constitution class Starship to be lost or found with a dead crew in the series. Sort of makes Daystrom’s point for computer controlled Starships.

It’s an eerie feeling when they are on The Defiant with the familiar setting the landing party in their spacesuits and The Defiant’s crew all dead.

Love the mystery of this episode not just your usual alternate universe scenario and the way Spock explains the how the structure of each universe is different any use of power disrupts the space.

Another example of Walter Koenig’s screaming ability.

I like little details like Sulu cradling his friends head as they waited for help and his concerned look as they toke Chekov away.

One word Tholians.

Geek out moment for me I always have been fascinated by the Tholians. Even though we only see them as a mask for a few shots in this one episode. Loskene’s voice as portrayed by Barbara Babcock was perfect. In researching this episode I see that Barbara had voice several other aliens, computers and even appeared as Mea 3 in A Taste of Armageddon and Philana in Plato’s Stepchildren I never realized I had seen Commander Loskene before. I always wanted more Tholians (Finally got that on Enterprise more later) I just wish they had the resources to make their ships bigger and seem more of a threat to the Enterprise.

Spock indicates that there has been contact between the federation and the Tholians prior to this episode when he comments on the renowned Tholian punctuality.

Perfect re-master of the blue white phaser beams hear that JJ.

Corbomite Maneuver stock footage looking at the view screen.

It must be quite unnerving to see your crew mates lose control especially knowing what happened to the Defiant’s crew.

McCoy cured them with Tang. Of course Scotty would mix it with scotch.

I thought Vulcans never lie but Spock was spinning pretty well in the final scene when he and McCoy said they never had the chance to view Kirk’s final orders.

This was also one of the episodes in which all seven of the main cast appear.

No Enterprise red shirts were harmed in this episode. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for all of the defiant red shirts.

There is a blooper in the transporter scene at the end O’neil is operating the transporter but on the close up of his hands it is obviously Scotty as you can see the different rank bands on the uniform sleeve.

In the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes In a Mirror Darkly parts 1 and 2 we finally get to see what a Tholian looks like from head to toe I guess they have toes. These episodes merge two of the original series episodes into one story. First the entire story takes place in the mirror universe first seen in the season two episode Mirror Mirror. Then it is revealed that the Tholians from the mirror universe were responsible for the space rift occurring in The Tholian web. They had produced the interphasing as a way to reach into other universe but since the rift was unstable they sent a distress call through the rift which attracted the Defiant. Not only had the Tholians reached into the other universe but they had also reached about one hundred years into the future. Once the Defiant reached the mirror universe the Tholians captured it and began to study its systems. The mirror Archer finds out about the ship and plans to take it in an effort to rule the empire with its future technology. I leave it at that but they are good episodes and to see it fully contained in the Mirror universe was a nice idea.

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It was great to finally see a full Tholian and it didn’t disappoint. The reproduction of the original Defiant or Enterprise sets was done with a great attention to detail with even the dead bodies of the captain and the red shirt who killed him were reproduced accurately. It was fun to once again see a Constitution class Starship in action again after all these years. One more thing they also included a Gorn in the episode so that’s three episodes from the original series that they pulled from.