“The Cloud Minders” Remastered Review + Video & Screenshots

REVIEW

by Jeff Bond

Another entry in Star Trek’s “struggle for freedom” sweepstakes, the late third season entry “The Cloud Minders” is distinguished by the spectacle of a floating sky city a dozen years before The Empire Strikes Back’s Bespin (but about thirty years after a floating city in the Flash Gordon serials), a strong character actor guest star turn, and two of Bill Theiss’ most spectacular costumes.

Once again the Enterprise is rushing to cure a plague, this time a botanical one, and when Kirk and Spock beam down to a mining entrance on the surface of Ardana to pick up a life-saving consignment of Zienite they’re attacked by the Troglyte miner caste. After being rescued by the High Advisor Plasus (Jeff Corey) and a couple of guards, Kirk and Spock are beamed up toe Stratos City, the “finest example of sustained antigravity suspension” Spock has ever seen.

It turns out class warfare has erupted between the effete Stratos City dwellers, artists and thinkers all, and the worker class Troglytes, who do all the dirty work but are confined to the surface and mines of Ardana. In order to get his Zienite, Kirk’s got to get his hands dirty himself—first figuratively by interfering with Plasus and his brutal interrogation of one of the Troglyte leaders, Vanna (Charlene Polite), then literally when Vanna kidnaps him and holds him hostage in the mines.

Depending on who you talk to, “The Cloud Minders” is either one of the strongest entries in the third season or one of its worst. Writer David Gerrold was involved in rewriting Margaret Armen’s script, and he later pilloried the episode’s politics as it settles for merely the beginnings of negotiations between the Troglytes and Stratos City dwellers rather than outright rebellion—in Gerrold’s view it was like ending a story on the Civil War with mere talks about emancipating the slaves.

The episode itself has its strong points, not the least of which is the audacious idea of the floating city itself. Although achieved with the simplest of methods by the effects technicians of the era (in one shot it almost appears to have been pinned to some cotton clouds at the top of the soundstage cyclorama), Matt Jefferies’ set designs and the matte painting do give an impression of a floating city with the bare minimum of resources. Jeff Corey’s Plasus helps as well—he’s one of the more convincing politicians seen in the original series, a man who appears quite at home with the trappings of power, who’s able to deflect an insult like a diplomat but who will only be pushed so far by Kirk’s perceived meddling. He’s in strong conflict with Kirk throughout and while he’s shown to be dragged kicking and screaming into an understanding with the Troglytes at the epsiode’s finale, he’s not depicted as a 100% heavy either. He also has an easy and convincing relationship with his daughter Droxine.

Corey was a famed acting teacher (Paul Newman was one of his pupils) who still taught classes up to around the time of his death; his theory was to focus on a character’s differences from those around him and he had a wide range that’s barely suggested by his regal Star Trek performance. He played the vicious but cowardly villain menacing Kim “Miri” Darby in the John Wayne film True Grit and memorably foreshadowed the deaths of Butch and Sundance in George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, telling his old outlaw friends “You’re gonna die and you’re gonna die bloody!” But he also does a magnificent job of scene stealing in the dark thriller Seconds by interrupting his explanation of how his company rejuvenates and creates new lives for its clients when he suddenly finds himself with an uncontrollable craving for the baked chicken meal that’s just been served to John Randolph (trust me, you have to see it to have any idea what I’m talking about).

If Corey is a strong presence, Diana Ewing’s Droxine is another matter, although give her this: she probably sports the finest abs ever displayed by an actress on the series, and Bill Theiss’ gravity-defying costume rivals and probably betters a similar hanging over-the-shoulder gown he designed for “Who Mourns For Adonais?” Ewing affects some of the patrician aura that Barbara Babcock did so well in her Trek appearances in “A Taste of Armageddon” and “Plato’s Stepchildren,” but without Babcock’s wit and intelligence. She comes across as something of a high class bimbo, which makes Spock’s wildly out of character flirtation with her all the more disappointing, despite some nice lines (“Extreme feminine beauty is always disturbing.”). A bizarre piece of Nimoy-narrated montage only serves to make Spock look worse with some nonsensical lines (“The name Droxine seems particularly appropriate for her…”—meaning what? That she seems like a drug used to treat asthma and bronchitis?).

The fact that Spock would blithely discuss his secret Vulcan mating rituals with this woman is pretty much beyond the pale (at least in “Enterprise Incident” he was betraying his people’s privacy to obtain vital military secrets)—and check out the incredibly suggestive blocking as Droxine plaintively asks “Is there nothing that can disturb” the Vulcan mating cycle—as she kneels with her face in front of Spock’s stomach it sure looks like she’s got an awfully specific idea of what to try first.

In a way the casting works because Droxine seems noticeably less intelligent than the Troglyte Vanna. Charlene Polite (shown in at least one costume that rivals Droxine’s) brings a nice edge of bitterness and skepticism to her role as Kirk works to gain her trust. Shatner has a field day wrestling with her on his cloud city quarters’ bed (“Actually, I find this rather enjoyable…”) and he gives one of his better third season performances here. His display of the first symptoms of the stupidity-inducing Zienite gas is rather subtle, his face tightening into a taut, impatient mask as he fusses with his phaser while holding Vanna and Plasus hostage in the caves late in the game.

Kirk’s gambit of beaming Plasus down into the caves to demonstrate the effect of the gas is outrageous—he’s guilty of kidnapping, quite a serious crime—but by the time he executes the idea he’s been digging Zienite for a while and is arguably well under the influence of the gas himself. And the fight scene between Kirk and Plasus (played, like many third season episodes, to the tympani of Fred Steiner’s Ruk music from “What Are Little Girls Made of?”) could have been worse given Corey’s age at the time.

For me “Cloud Minders” holds together because it effectively suggests so much more than it shows—for one thing one of the few high-tech members of the Federation whose planets we see in the series, as well as a strong planetary leader and a multi-tiered society, and probably the most imaginative setting of the entire series. The episode also wraps up with one of the best musical cues of the series, an adaptation of Alexander Courage’s music simply titled “Enterprise In Orbit: Big” in the cue sheets, this was a piece of library music recorded for the series that was first heard in the second season episode “Catspaw,” but only heard in its entirety at the end of  “The Cloud Minders”—it repeats the last five notes of Courage’s Enterprise fanfare against a rising series of three note chords for a wonderfully majestic effect as the Enterprise leaves Ardana.

 

Given the beautiful matte paintings the CBS-Digital crew has conjured up for the Remastered project expectations were understandably high for what would be done with “The Cloud Minders,” and for the most part those expectations are met with an elegant, better-detailed and more elaborate take on Stratos. The episode actually begins with an interesting low angle on the Enterprise, darkly and moodily lit with high warp stars streaking past in the background as the ship rushes towards Ardana. Further shots of the ship are more familiar library angles but the opening shot sets the urgency of Kirk’s predicament nicely.

The after-commercial title card shot of the original made use of a NASA image shot over Saudi Arabia, and CBS-D reportedly tracked down the original photograph and enhanced it for the episode. In fact this is some of the most ambitious work CBS-D has done editorially in the entire run of the project—they fix a glaring error early in the episode when Kirk blurts out “Who are you? What’s the meaning of this attack?” and Shatner is shown with his mouth closed as the line plays over the scene; a different angle is used in the new cut so that Kirk’s face isn’t seen directly while the line is delivered. In order to incorporate the new cloud city shots and the cleaned-up NASA shot into the montage over Spock’s narration, the CBS-D team has also toyed with the order and duration of some of the other shots in the sequence, although it’s arguable that this odd bit of editorial work can be helped.

One of the worst effects in the original series was the cartoonish shot of a suicidal Troglyte jumping to his death, with a clearly two-dimensional black figure animated over the Saudi Arabia NASA shot. CBS-D adds a bit of Stratos architecture to put the shot in perspective and creates a new falling figure, although it’s still somewhat stiff.

While the new Stratos shots have much greater depth and detail (down to apparently an image of Droxine faintly visible on one of the exterior balconies), the effects crew still limits themselves to what could have been achieved at the time—while there is some movement of clouds in the background, the cottony wad of clouds that seem to support the city remain immobile and there are no shifts of perspective around the city. Ardana itself is rendered as almost Mars-like but with fluffy white clouds, nicely matching the look of the NASA orbital photograph. All in all, one of CBS-D’s better efforts and it’s nice to see this work expended on something a bit classier than “The Lights of Zetar.”

 

SFX VIDEO

[new features: Vid is now higher res + click the above to go to full screen]

 

SCREENSHOTS

Remastered vs. Original

 

Seasons One and Two discounted at Amazon US
The Season Two box set is now available at Amazon for pre-order, discounted to $63.99 (Amazon has a low price guarantee that if they drop the price before ship date of August 5th you will get that lower price). The Season One DVD / HD DVD combo disk is available now for $103.95 (retail is $194.99).


Amazon.com (USA)
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Season One on sale at Amazon Canada
The first season combo set is on sale at Amazon.ca for CDN$54.95 (the US$ is about even with the Canadian $ these days). You can purchase from Amazon.ca using your Amazon.com account and even with shipping Americans can still save over $40. The second season is pre-selling for CDN$71.49 so it wouldn’t be a savings from the US.


Amazon.ca (Canada):
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Sort by:   newest | oldest
July 14, 2008 11:48 am

We are waiting for the screenshots before the comments.

And for the blu ray edition with DVD on the other side.

mat
July 14, 2008 11:50 am

not impressed !!

July 14, 2008 11:58 am

One of the better Season 3 episodes.

Spaceboy
July 14, 2008 12:00 pm

Yah, I hadn’t seen this one in a long time ’til this weekend. That Spock inner monologue bit was weird…

ety3
July 14, 2008 12:07 pm

Nice job on the city and on the montage of shots during Spock’s monologue.

One mistake, though. After Kirk busted Vanna out of her cell, they showed the surface of the planet from Stratos, but they used the original shot and not the super-clean clear shot they used elsewhere. You can tell by the lack of color and the black splotches.

ety3
July 14, 2008 12:15 pm

The original Arabia shot is mistakenly included in the montage above, but at least you can see the difference between the original and the new.

As for Plassus, I thought Jeff Corey’s performance was too hyper and angry in the first part of the episode. He should have been more cold and calculating, thus giving the “zienite gas fight scene” more weight.

CmdrR
July 14, 2008 12:35 pm

Nice, detailed review, Jeff.

It’s been awhile since I saw this episode. I didn’t realize just how many bites of the apple they took re: shots of Stratos and the delta. Yikes, you need a serf to remind them, “It’s only a model.”

This ep, to me, is a coulda-been. It has the nice theme of class struggle, and what exactly you’re supposed to do about it if all you have is a starship. It’s also got Jeff Corey, who is far more memorable than most of the script.

IF Trek comes back to being a series, I would love to see them distribute plots like this throughout several episodes so that we can see things develop over time. E comes to Ardala — see a problem, gets some zienite and leaves. E comes back in next episode, between battles with the Klingons, and Kirk notices how deeply divided the society is. Etc., etc. This would allow the characters to build up to the emotions shown on the screen. Spock gettin’ an off-season rutt for Droxine might even begin to make sense.

Anyway, nice work CBS-D. Except (jeez, he couldn’t just finish there) the viewscreen on that looooong bridge scene is really sloppy. Sorry.

Anyway, the lingering shot of the E is gorgeous. Would love to see some movement in the windows… Uhura in her quarters mayhaps…

Plum
July 14, 2008 12:40 pm

Droxine… hmmm, I’m no scholar but isn’t the name Droxine a reference to Greek myth (Star Trek referencing Greek myth you say!?! Gad zooks!)?

Wasn’t Droxine some rather spiteful brat but so beautiful the Gods wanted to get jiggy with her?

Anyho, I reckon that was what Spock’s line is about.

And I find the relationship with Droxine and Spock, er, logical. After all, she’s intellectually on Spock’s level (at least she thinks so). This is what attracts them to each other as much as great abs and exquisite ears. ;p

July 14, 2008 12:58 pm

I’m sure this has been covered before…and this is probably the first comment i’ve ever left in the “Remastered Review” column…..but can anyone tell me why “we” as fans seem to accept that major change in color for the enterprise in the new effects shots?

I mean…generally speaking…we’re a fussy bunch. So…maybe i missed the uproar…but cmon….they completely change the look of the Big E.

right?

Roger
July 14, 2008 1:00 pm

The cloud “supporting” the city is only slightly better looking then the original, what a shame! No movement at the edges, it still looked air brushed. The whole sky needed a revamp and needed to be rotoscoped in all the back ground shots.
Liked the opening shot of the”E” haulin a$$ though.

Anthony Thompson
July 14, 2008 1:05 pm

This episode fascinated me as a child. I’m looking forward to seein it again. As for the CBS-D work, it could have been better on this ep!

Jeff Bond
July 14, 2008 1:10 pm

I knew once I raised that point about Droxine’s name someone would point out what it really meant! I’ve always wondered about that.

As for the Enterprise, it’s gray–the shots where it looks white, which were run throughout the series, are of the pilot version of the model (which I believe was a lighter gray but still not pure white), which leads to a rather consistent, er, inconsistency throughout the original series. But if you look at episodes as early as “Space Seed” the ship is clearly gray, not white.

The Underpants Monster
July 14, 2008 1:12 pm

Jeff, you mean “Girls,” not “Girl’s.”

Izbot
July 14, 2008 1:16 pm

9. garen –
“can anyone tell me why “we” as fans seem to accept that major change in color for the enterprise in the new effects shots?”

I think the new model is accurate in color. The problem was with the processing of the original shots which, depending on the effects, often veered too far off from the actual color. In the old shots the E changes from gray to blue to even greenish over the course of the series.

CmdrR
July 14, 2008 1:20 pm

“can anyone tell me why “we” as fans seem to accept that major change in color for the enterprise in the new effects shots?”

Silly me. I always thought the ‘true’ color was a vibrant bluish-white. Somewhere around this site, there was a comparison that showed the E changing from white to grey to pink (!) to blue. And that’s not even counting the two kinds of nacelle ends that alternate throughout the series. It’s like Dick York and Dick Sargent being in the same episode. Yikes.

Thomas Jensen
July 14, 2008 1:34 pm

It’s great that they fixed that editing error with Kirk’s mouth closed, but hearing his voice. I believe that the VHS and DVD versions had both at different times.

I’ll have to go and listen to that “Enterprise in orbit” music cue at the end again, I didn’t know about that.

Overall, the new CGI was a welcome addition. The opening shot of the Enterprise in the teaser was seemingly a new angle. I’m looking for anything new these days as the last few episodes are broadcast.

Tony Whitehead
July 14, 2008 1:37 pm

This story reminds me so much of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

Marvin the Martian
July 14, 2008 1:50 pm

I had so much anticipation for this episode based on the screenshots, as a “floating city in the sky” certainly fires the imagination.

The new matte shot is gorgeous. And the planet orbit shots are just fine.

But boy… the rest of it is really really disappointing. I was expecting a really cool shot of the sky and clouds from the angle of the planet. Just seeing a realistic city floating in the sky would have added SO much to this episode. Yet, it comes off as half-baked. It looks just as fake now as it did then… perhaps worse. I cannot believe they didn’t bother to rotoscope a new shot of the sky… they did one for “Wink of an Eye”… why not here where it was even easier to do?

I’m happy about the Remastered project, but damn, if it doesn’t annoy me just as much… “missed it by that much!”

Sigh.

drlondon
July 14, 2008 2:10 pm

I always got a great belly laugh from this episode when we cut from Spock chatting up Droxine to Kirk and Vanna then suddenly back to Spock & Droxine where their discussing Ponn Farr. Always set’s off the old WTF?!? alarm in my head. LOL.

Like ol’ Spocko was trying to get a little action on the away mission.

Peter D.
July 14, 2008 2:25 pm

I hadn’t seen this episode in years and what really struck me is that montage with Spock’s voice over, it’s a real Ed Wood moment.

Rainbucket
July 14, 2008 2:42 pm

All I’ve found so far is Droxine as a brand name of Levothyroxine, a synthetic hormone replacement “usually given to patients with thyroid problems, specifically, hypothyroidism. It is also given to people who have goiter or an enlarged thyroid gland.”

I look forward to your theories as to what in blazes Spock meant by an appropriate name.

Here’s one: though it wasn’t Droxine per se, there was a 1995 scandal about a pharmaceutical company suppressing researching that generic levothyroxine was just as effective as its own brand. This was long after TOS, but the episode’s in the future, and Spock has an encyclopedic memory. So perhaps he meant she was disingenuously overvalued compared to generic alternatives.

July 14, 2008 2:47 pm
It’s a shame how ”budget conscious” the effects ”improvements” are throughout the revamp of the original series. In comparison to the digital remastering and the music re-recording, the CGI efforts are far below par. Honestly, I have been less than impressed overall and have kept silent up to now. There are perhaps a couple re-done matte paintings of suitable caliber, but the rest are cartoonish at best and look unfinished and rushed. I get this image of the TOS-R CGI artists jabbering on their mobile phones trying to line up their next gig while doing the TOS-R effects with one hand shifting back and forth between the mouse and keyboard. Is this harsh? Yep. But if the shoe fits… It is just monumentally sad when the effects in the fan-produced series’ like Star Trek New Voyages and Starship Exeter are better by orders of magnitudes than the half-baked attempt by the CGI artists on the TOS-R — who are so much better than their efforts here show. It’s shameful. ”True fans” would have gone all-out regardless of the budget. The effects on TOS-R aren’t good enough even for a demo reel. Honestly, I’d love to see a group of renegade CGI fan artists have a go at the original series — just a couple episodes. The opening teaser of the unfinished Starship Exeter’s ”Tressaurian Intersection” is worth a look if anyone is curious — and no — I’m not associated with any of the fan-produced series’. CBS should have hired… Read more »
Brent
July 14, 2008 3:10 pm

Another episode ruined by Fred Freiberger. Like Dorothy Fontana’s story that became “The Way to Eden” , David Gerrold’s original story, entitled “Castles in the Sky” turned out very differently and again DeForrest Kelly is the big loser. So instead of McCoy crashing in a shuttlecraft on the planet’s surface where he becomes involved in helping the dilithium miners who are suffering from slave like work conditions and disease, causing Kirk and Spock to intervene in the planet’s politics,we have Kirk and Spock handing out free gas masks to keep them Troglytes happy and working.

The original story as written by Gerrold was to be a morality play. KIrk comes up with no real solution to the differences but does get the 2 sides talking. McCoy’s response is “Right, but how many children will die in the meantime”

Fredc Frieberger wanted happy endings so out goes David Gerrold’s script and in comes Margaret Armen to do a whole new script.

Brent
July 14, 2008 3:12 pm

Jeff, you got the story idea part wrong. Margaret Armen wrote the script based on David Gerrold’s original story, not the other way around

eagle219406
July 14, 2008 3:16 pm

I don’t believe that Spock actually went into detail about Ponn Farr. There was an episode of Enterprise, (And yes it is canon, the producers say so) where a Vulcan tells Trip that Vulcans are driven to mate every 7 years. He does not say how they are driven, thus showing that they didn’t know about it in “Amok Time.” It is possible Spock told Droxine the same thing, without going into too much detail.

One thing that I liked about this episode was that, since this planet was already a member of the Federation, They could help them out without having to worry about the Prime Directive. That’s why there was no complaint about the masks, Although I thought they were ugly.

It was also one of the few episodes where the main pretty woman was with someone other than Kirk. In this case it was Spock.

For a long time I have been looking forward to seeing what they would do to Stratos in the FX. And I say I was not dissappointed. I say that even though the FX in some were not perfect, THey were a big improvement from the original.

July 14, 2008 3:17 pm

Another very good review

“although give her this: she probably sports the finest abs ever displayed by an actress on the series”

Yay brother.

“Depending on who you talk to, “The Cloud Minders” is either one of the strongest entries in the third season or one of its worst.” Very cagily put considering the disagreement some give you at times.

And silly me…I remember now. How could I have mixed up Jeff Corey’s appearance with Alias Smith and Jones?

ster j
July 14, 2008 3:20 pm

19. We reach on the WTF moment of Spock chatting up Droxine!

Know what REEEEALY bugs me about this ep? The dialogue! It seems like everyone punctuated their lines with “For what purpose?” (Acutally, it was only three people: Kirk, Spock, and Vanna, but it seemed like more.) I wanted to throw them a thesaurus, have them use “Why?” or even “How come?”

Did you see the big goof that the remaster people got right? When the action resumes after the teaser and opening credits, and Kirk and Spock are wrapped up in those whips, you hear Kirk say,” Who are you? What’s the meaning of htis attack?” **without moving his lips!** In the remastered version, they re-use a shot of the troglytes and now Kirk is heard off camera.

Finally fixed that! It only took 40 years!

Sean4000
July 14, 2008 3:20 pm

22: You’ll get your chance. Just give me a few more weeks to get a reel together.

July 14, 2008 3:29 pm

Hate to say it, but the name “Droxine” is almost certainly a play on “Hydroxyzine,” a drug sythesized in the 1950’s as an antihistamine which turned out to have powerful anti-anxiety properties.

It is an effective “sedative, hypnotic, and tranquiliser,” just like Plasus’ daughter.

The Weary Professor
July 14, 2008 4:39 pm

This is not really a comment on this piece, but an overdue post on Jeff Bond’s reviews in general. Nowhere in recent memory have I seen more perceptive and informed critiques of Trek (and no, I’m not related to him). As a trekker since the early dinnertime syndication days–circa 1971–and a fairly smug TOS know-it-all, I have to tip my ears to him. If only we could combine his reviews and Asherman’s Star Trek Compendium into one resource…Now THAT would be great.

petitspock
July 14, 2008 4:59 pm

We’re getting near the end of remastered episodes. I’m going to miss seeing new TOS footage. It’s as close as I can get to new TOS without actually getting new TOS.

THX-1138 The Fandom Menace
July 14, 2008 5:02 pm

As much as I liked the initial shot we got of the matte, I dislike the view of the cloud city from the ground.

To quote Senator Vreenak:

“It’s a FAAAAAKE!”

July 14, 2008 5:12 pm

30

I would have to agree. Jeff has lots little insights of a true fan that I enjoy. I especially enjoy his care and interest in the details like the music. I just bought your book by the way Jeff. Good reading through the late nights feeding my new son who just arrived Friday..

sean
July 14, 2008 5:23 pm

Too bad they couldn’t ‘remaster’ the dialogue into something decent. It could have used an overhaul, including that silly inner monologue from Spock.

sean
July 14, 2008 5:25 pm

“One thing that I liked about this episode was that, since this planet was already a member of the Federation, They could help them out without having to worry about the Prime Directive.”

That’s what actually makes the story even worse! How on earth could this planet have been admitted to the Federation and they don’t know that they practice slavery on a planetary scale?

Ford79
July 14, 2008 5:33 pm

One thing really bothers me about this episode. Ardana is a full-fledged member of the Federation, a body that is made out to be composed of progessive, peaceful societies. Yet it’s pretty much run by a dictator who freely uses torture, unilaterally orders the execution of a Starfleet captain, etc. A planet like this is in the Federation? I don’t think so.

Don’t mind me. I’m overdue for my Droxine treatment.

ByGeorge
July 14, 2008 5:36 pm

This is the kind of Trek story I dislike the most. There is little story because the writers were more intent on promoting a social or political idea than writing a good story line which would keep us entertained. I don’t mind stories that raise ethical questions but the situation and events of the story should lead to ethical, social or political questions. In this episode, the authors first desire is to promote certain social or political ideologies so they write a story/script around the idea they are trying to promote. Those stories are usually the most boring, uneventful, contrived and disjointed.

The story should raise the ethical questions rather than the ethical questions create the story. The later is too contrived, simplistic and insulting.

July 14, 2008 6:07 pm

Maybe they’ll start remastering TAS next.

I also liked Jeff’s review. Perhaps we should start reviews of the reviewers.

When watching this episode, my take on Spock talking about Pon Farr is that because he is half human, he tended to take things a little too the extreme to “prove” his Vulcanity (if that is a word). This episode, to me, showed that he was starting to get more confortable with his human side, believing that it could be an asset–being less uptight, if you will. He was trying to convince Dramamine–or whatever her name–of the error of her ways, and was using tools of The Arts and Beauty and sexuality to do it.

July 14, 2008 6:22 pm

The Enterprise is awfully big. Imagine how much grief they could avoid if they just set aside the closet space to keep, oh, say, 5 canisters of Zenite, a baggie full of Ryetalin and a few spare Dilithium crystals on hand.

Get your Zenite here…

http://www2.dupont.com/Automotive/en_US/products_services/engineeringPlastics/zeniteLCP.html

JR
July 14, 2008 6:32 pm

… and another thing… Did you notice that the class M planet was NOT too EARTH-LIKE. They CAN do it and keept the sky color correct!

SteveinSF
July 14, 2008 6:50 pm

Jeff , your comment about Spock’s bizzaro comment about Droxine was priceless!

richr
July 14, 2008 7:17 pm

Did anyone else feel that a special little “warp streak” effect (in honor of the end of the YOS remastering effort) would have been in order in the last sequence of this ep?

Check it out…the Enterprise is supposedly warping out at high speed to bring the cure to the botanical plague planet…with the clock ticking. I thought a special little warp streak would have tied this nicely into what would come later in the movies…but maybe I was hoping for a bit too much.

Oh well…

richr
July 14, 2008 7:30 pm

Not for nothing…but am I the only person who was left wondering how a full member of the Federation could be getting away with essentially apartheid-like policies (if not outright slavery) without causing alarm bells to start ringing back in San Francisco’s Federal Council Chamber?!?

Or was that Zienite crap so important to establishing new colonies that a whole group of high ranking Federation somebodies were turning a blind eye?!? I ask because Kirk even stated that he had previously visited the planet…and he didn’t notice anything odd about their society?!?

Orvo
July 14, 2008 8:04 pm

The toleration of Ardanan slavery by the rest of the Federation simply mirrors a situation found much too often in real life: ANY parties with a (virtual) monopoly on something desperately needed get away with ANYTHING. Consider, for instance, the stranglehold that the oil-exporting nations and the oil companies have on the economy (as in the high fuel prices)

Buckaroohawk
July 14, 2008 9:22 pm
Here are some thoughts about the “caste” system in this episode and why the Federation would permit such a thing on one of it’s member worlds. This is, of course, pure speculation, but I’ll run with it nonetheless. It is implied in this episode (though not specifically stated) that the troubles with the troglytes was a fairly recent development. My guess is that Vanna probably had a lot to do with it, since she seemed to be in charge of the Disruptors. Her time away from the mines allowed her intellect to develop and when she realized how unjustly her people were being treated, she began to take action. Since no one on the planet’s surface had apparently raised a fuss before, there was no reason to believe anything was wrong. It’s stated that the troglytes were believed to be “mentally inferior.” This is, of course, due to their exposure to the gas in the mines. The thing is, no one knew that until Dr. McCoy figured it out. Before that, the troglytes were simply thought of as “slow” (for lack of a better term). Even advanced civilizations have a history of exploiting those who seem to be of limited intellect as manual labor, and again, since no one knew there was a problem, no one asked any questions. As a side note, just how exactly did McCoy get a sample of Zenite for his tests when Kirk was having a devil of a time obtaining the exact same ore?… Read more »
July 14, 2008 9:34 pm

Too bad they couldn’t do anything about the glaring continuity error that occurs when Kirk and Vanna escape to the mines at the end of the third act. Twenty quatloos to the first trekmovie.com visitor who correctly answers what I’m talking about :)

ster j
July 14, 2008 9:35 pm

34. I’m with you, Sean! Not only is Spock’s meditative thoughts weird, then he goes and LIES to Droxine! He said, “Your movements awakened me.” He was obviously NOT asleep. Liar, liar, Vulcan pants on fire!

Uh…Pass me a dose of Droxine, please. No, the PILLS. Sheesh!

Sean4000
July 14, 2008 9:41 pm

46: Scott, I have been meaning to contact you for some time now. I have to talk to you about YOUR digital enterprise model!

Captain Doritos
July 14, 2008 10:11 pm

any one see Droxine’s MySpace page. My girlfriend gave my that WTF look because I was laughing so hard… all I had to say was “Star Trek” and she new not to ask. But check it out. The song actualy sounds to me like something she would say.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=143661510

Frank
July 14, 2008 11:27 pm

That over the shoulder shot of the city is HORRIBLE. Wow. How that got approved I will never know. Serious lack of quality control.

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