Hello and welcome to Truth or Myth? In today’s episode we’re taking a fun and fast look at the mistakes made in episodes 21- 26 of Season 2 of Star Trek: Original Series.
Just a little reminder, if you want to explain away any of the mistakes in this video, then it has to be with in-universe canon explanations only. So Novels, Video games, tech Manuals and that woman that takes up an entire aisleway at Walmart while you’re trying to get by, are NOT valid sources to explain away the mistakes. And so, with all that out of the way, let’s begin!
This episode has always been an interesting one for me, not because it has a lot of mistakes to dive in to rather the entire shows premise.
You see, it’s really hard to believe that a major historian, even a minor one for that matter, would try and emulate Nazi Germany at all. I mean here we have this well known Federation Historian who is well versed in human history and he chooses one of the worst times in human history to emulate?
At the very least he should have known that old saying about absolute power and all that. It just really belies credulity to think he would do this… The Camera that is supposed to be capturing Gills Speech is an interesting piece of equipment to be sure. All throughout Gills speech, were treated to head on views of the misguided historian… Hows that possible though? Since the Camera itself is mounted on a side wall…
What happened to the Prime Directive in this episode. Sure I know that Kirk and Company need to set things straight in regards to the Nazi’s and everything, but in this episode, not only do they do that, but they actually leave their Phasers behind on the planet… Wouldn’t that be just as big of an uh-oh moment?
To get Spock secretly back to the Enterprise, crew and Company come up with the old “we’ve got a sick man here” plan. So Spock decides to go into a trance to make the plan more believable. So then Spock takes a moment to prepare and falls lovingly into Kirk and McCoy’s arms. does this seem right? Wouldn’t it have been far more logical to prepare himself while already lying down?
This episode demonstrates Kirk’s superior abilities to everyone around him. At one point, Rojan explains that the Neuro-paralyzing field basically blocks the signals from the brain to all the voluntary muscles in the body. Amazing isn’t it, that Kirk can still move his eyes then?
Speaking of Kirk, In this episode, our good captain is Aghast at the idea of blowing up the Enterprise to prevent a hostile race from gaining a foothold in our galaxy… Yet a few episodes later, “In Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”, Kirk is ready to destroy the Enterprise simply because he doesn’t have Navigational Control of her for a few hours… Does that make sense?
After crossing the Energy Barrier, the Kelvins reduce all non-essential Enterprise crew members to Mega Blocks. Why then do they leave Kirk intact? Kirk is merely the Captain of the ship, a role which is taken over by Rojan by this point… Besides, doesn’t the episode the Ultimate Computer already tell us that Kirk is non-essential?
Actually the kelvins deserve some scrutiny here. Such advanced beings, that are mistrustful of Kirk and crew all through out the episode. Yet not a single kelvin things to check the concoction that McCoy is giving one of them? Even after that kelvin displays such strange and hostile behaviour?
In this episode, Scotty takes one of the Kelvin to his quarters to keep stimulating him with alcohol. At one point Scotty throws a bottle and we hear it shatter… Yet later on as Scotty exits his quarters, there’s the bottle, completely intact… Wait, in the scene where Kirk apologizes to Kalinda, did Rojan just enter the room from the bathroom?
As I said in the most recent Back Trek video on this particular episode I have a huge problem with the entire premise of this story. Parallel Earth development is one thing, but to be so specific that they develop the exact same American flag, star for star, along with things such as the Constitution would just be absolutely impossible without some external force guiding them to such an end. But alas, this episode has no such explanation…
At the beginning of this episode while on the U.S.S. Exeter, Kirk makes a ship-wide call from Engineering attempting to locate the crew of the starship… Oddly enough, we get a bunch of shots of different empty areas of the ship, one includes engineering, shouldn’t Kirk be there?
Another example of Kirk’s superior abilities happens in this episode. While in the cell, Kirk gets hit extremely hard over the head with an Iron Bar… Yet instead of being dead, our good Captain merely rubs the spot a few times and shrugs it off…
Actually Kirk’s behaviour in this episode deserves a lot of scrutinies… Here the good Captain makes a log entry about a Captains solemn duty, ready to lose his own ship rather than violate the Prime Directive. So then how are Tracy’s actions in this episode different from those in episodes like “A Taste of Armageddon” and “Return of the Archons” In fact, Kirk seems to violate the Prime Directive every other episode?
Watch Kirk when the American flag enters the scene, we see the Captain stand up to respect it. Yet all the following reaction shots show the good Captain still sitting down…
When Tracey attempts to convince everyone that Kirk and Company are evil, he uses Spock as the example of the devil. To check out the story, they open the book and sure enough Spock DOES resemble their devil. However, watch the bookmark in this scene… When opening the book, the bookmark is nowhere near the page with the Evil Vulcan, yet in close up, suddenly it’s right there…
And why during the point at which cloud listens to see if Spock has a heart do they background actors voices swell with them all speaking Chinese? Did the Yangs just defeat the Comms, so why would they not speak in English then?
At the end of the episode, we the audience see the Constitution and it reads We the People. Why then does Cloud William read it as Eplebnesta? I mean he does speak English after all… Watch Kirk at the end of the episode. At one point the editors spliced in a piece of the film backwards, you can tell by Kirk’s hair is parted on the wrong side.
Personally, I love this episode… I think it’s an excellent mix of both intelligence and adventure, but it does have a few problems.
First, is Starfleet really likely to name an institution on Earth after Dr Richard Daystrom? I mean sure, before this episode we’re told that Daystrom made the Duotronics Computer Breakthrough, so up to that point, it makes sense. But then Daystrom creates a computer that goes nuts based on his own mind and kills over 400 loyal Starfleet Officers. Not only that, but he has a huge mental maniacal breakdown over the whole thing! Does it really make sense that the Daystrom Institute would keep the name of such a man? Not really a mistake I guess, but more food for thought…
Second, does it really make sense for Starfleet to have M5 operate a Constitution Class Starship for its first testing? Wouldn’t it be more logical to have it operate say a freighter or some other less important class? And finally, watch the doors to Sickbay at the end of this episode, for some reason, when they open, they don’t make the usual swoosh noise… Perhaps they knew Kirk was talking and didn’t want to interrupt him?
This is one of the episodes that show off McCoys fighting prowess. During the first escape attempt, McCoy hits one of the Guards in the Chin and the man falls to the floor. The problem here is that the guard is wearing a helmet with a chin strap, wouldn’t that hit, especially one was forced to believe would knock a man down, hurt McCoy’s knuckles?
What about the subcutaneous transponders from the episode Patterns of Force? Why are these devices not injected into landing parties as a standard procedure? If they had been, the Enterprise could have transported Kirk and Company to the ship at any time… Of course, if they did, it would have been a short episode!
In this episode, Kirk talks about how Merak lost the opportunity to command a starship because of his split second of indecision. Presumably that split second could end up costing the lives of fellow crew members. The problem here is that we know from the episode Obsession, that James T Kirk himself had a moment of indecision, and during that moment, crew members were in fact lost. So they why is Kirk still able to command a starship? Well, at least Spock in that episode supports his Captain, stating that a split second of indecision is a normal reaction within humans. So then if Spock knows that, should Starfleet know that as well? And if so, shouldn’t Merak be allowed to command a starship then? I know, round and round we go!
Near the end of the episode, Kirk blasts the cell door with a barrage of bullets to help his friends escape. Watch the Cell Door in this scene, Though were to believe that Kirk’s gun did enough damage to break open the lock, amazingly, the Door itself shows no damage at all!
This episode once again brings in to question Starfleets Equipment that they give to landing parties on these types of missions. Inevitably, it seems their futuristic equipment is always taken by someone in the episode, so then why doesn’t every piece of equipment contain something like a homing transmitter… That way, if something is taken, they can either find it easily or even beam it up to ensure the Prime Directive stays intact.
In fact in this episode, the landing party leaves behind 3 Communicators, 3 Phasers AND a Tricorder… Does this seem right?
Assignment: Earth was actually what’s known as a back door pilot for a new show that Roddenberry was hoping to sell to the network. Fearing the cancellation of Star Trek after season 2, Roddenberry set his sights on this new horizon. Of course, Star Trek would be renewed, while Assignment: Earth would be passed on by the Network.
At the beginning of this episode, Gary Seven attempt to fight off his Enterprise Captives and head to the Earths surface. In order to prevent this, Kirk stuns Gary Seven using a phaser from one of the knocked down security guards. The weird thing here is, that up to this point in the series, the Phasers have always emitted a beam of light, yet here, there’s no beam at all…
While discussing the Gary Seven situation to the crew from the briefing room, Kirk gets a report from Scotty. Watch the monitor in this scene. Amazingly, Scotty fades out BEFORE Kirk switches the screen off! The Enterprise doors behave oddly in this episode. When Sevens Cat leaves the briefing room the doors open wide for the frisky feline, yet when the Cat enters the transporter room, the doors open only wide enough to let the cat squeeze through…
Seven escapes the Enterprise by using the Enterprises own transporter to beam down… Yet when we see him materialize, rather than having the transporters materializing sparkle effect, we’re treated to a view which makes it appear that Gary has used his own transporter device to beam down. Early in this episode, we see Gary Seven filing his reports into his Computer which eerily looks similar to the M5 Computer. Yet for some reason, at the end of this episode, Gary Seven makes his final report on the voice to paper typewriter, why would he switch to such an antiquated form of reporting?
At the end of this episode, Kirk has to make a choice, does he allow Gary Seven to attempt to stop the missile or not? If Kirk is so untrusting and worried about Gary’s motives, why doesn’t he just call up the Enterprise to shoot down the weapon of mass destruction?
Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth OR Myth. Have an explanation for any of the mistakes I’ve listed here? Or did you see one I’ve missed? Leave a comment in the section below. But don’t be fooled into thinking that it will be an easy task to change my mind about any of these, I’ve thoroughly researched each one and considered all the options to explain them away from that I could come up with… But I look forward to hearing ALL your theories!
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