Star Trek: Miri – SF Debris

Opinionated Star Trek Episode Guide sees the crew visit a planet absolutely identical to Earth. Naturally, this ridiculous coincidence is neither explained nor necessary, because back then you could get away with anything.t

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  1. You’re watching the remastered version with the realistic Earth, but the original really did just show a globe as the planet. At least it didn’t have the country names printed on it.

    It always bugged me that even though their bodies are teenagers, their minds are hundreds of years old. It would have been funny if they still looked like children but were cranky geezers.

    • Is anyone else bugged by the CGI Enterprise in the remastered version. It really doesn’t match the look of the rest of the footage and having it do banking turns looks kind of dumb.

      • two things bugged me in the remastered edition. First is that they add additional movements to the ships. Where a scene would have just been the Enterprise in orbit over a planet before now its the tail end of the Enterprise pulling in to orbit and then continuing on like it was in the original version. This shifts from random thing that might bug you once you notice it to silly in Balance of Terror where instead of decloaking in the center of the screen and firing the Romulas decloak then have to get to the center of the screen then fire. Why would you decloak before you’re in attack position?

        The second is the occasionally wildly different quality of the restoration. Usually its very good but in at least one episode (forget which one it was) the quality radically fluctuated fro shot to shot, occasionally looking like they hadn’t done anything especially the start of the credits with tons of scratches on the film.

  2. in this case, yes, another Earth is stupid but can people please stop acting like Star Trek is the hardest of hard scifi and had was always meant to have perfectly accurate science? in the original series alone, we had someone stealing Spock’s brain and Gorgon the Unfriendly Ghost.

    and in the other Earth double episode, they did try to explain it with a theory of parallel planetary development.

    and about technobabble, of course science terminology would be different hundreds of years from now.

    • While yes, the science will obviously be different in the future, the *drama and scriptwriting* of today is really empty when the solution boils down to spouting gibberish.

      You can do fake science and have it work or be understandable by basing it around real or simple concepts or comparisons. “Overfill the device until it explodes like a hot air balloon” works. “Tell all the Borg to go to sleep” works. And even the completely made up science can work if they explain the rules first and keep it simple. “You can’t teleport through the shields, so you need to get the shields down somehow first” is a decent staple if they keep it consistent.

      But “reverse the polarity of the neutron flow” or “synchronizing the transporter’s annular confinement beam to the warp core frequency” is nonsense that doesn’t satisfy the *story* at all… especially when its done on a regular or even weekly basis.

      When the dialogue can be replaced with “badger badger badger” and it makes literally no difference to the plot or the understanding of the solution, that’s when there is a problem.

    • You know that the two episodes you cited are among the most hated and despised in the original series by the actors and fans alike, right? I wouldn’t hold them up as beacons that define Trek.

      • weather you want to say they happened in the show’s timeline, in an out of universe sense, they still happened and are part of it and there are plenty of pseudo science in good episodes too.

  3. I’m glad to know that your opinion seems to be the minority among fandom, because I rather liked this one. I found it had a good mix of humor and suspense. It shows were kids are great in horror stories. The kind of stories that tends to work best when the characters are taking the criss seriously, but the writers really don’t. We know they’re going to survive, the crew have every reason to believe they’ll soon be dead, and the residence if this “other earth” have every reason to fear the intruders even they can’t survive without them. So I happen to accept how the “Kirk speech” does sounds silly because Kirk seems truly desperate for once. This is one time even he doesn’t take his message seriously because he’s just trying to say “ANYTHING” that will get these little beasts to listen.

    I do find it kind of funny that the Prime Directive is never even mentioned here. Yeah I know it was introduced in a later episode, but think about it. If this were TNG or Voyager they’d probably argue about the merits of giving the cure to these kids and completely alter the course of their civilization even if their civilization is already in ruins! The only thing that was of probably swayed them to intervene would be the distress call that brought them there in the first place.

    Also I would totally watch a show where a detective gets a case from Bigfoot and treats it like just another case!

    • That’s one reason I always liked Kirk or Sisko over Picard. All life on planet going to die? Picard lets it happen and makes himself feel better by standing up for a few minutes. Sisko or Kirk punches the problem until it goes away.
      Side note — you might like the novel series “The Dresden Files,” perhaps one of the better supernatural detective series. There was a TV show based on it for one season, which wasn’t bad, but really can’t quite compare to the books.

  4. Gotta say I agree. This has always near the bottom of my list of episodes. Star Trek really doesn’t do children well. The writers seem to think a 5 year old and a 14 year old talk and act the same way. The dialog is really bad and as is typical for the franchise, the concept of spacesuits or hazmat suits seem to be beyond them. It’s a problem when the premise wouldn’t happen in real life because the idea of going unprotected on a alien world, even one that looks exactly like your home planet is utterly stupid

  5. Interestingly, the “Duplicate Earth” element does harken back to Gene’s earliest pitch for the series, where the parallel worlds theme would have been even stronger than what we got onscreen, seeming a bit more like “‘Sliders,’ in space.”

    I’d also muse on the subject of the immortal “children” maturing at least intellectually, given their centuries of experience under, and the winnowing effect of, horrific fight-for-survival conditions…but I’m far too distracted by the fact that, by looks of that city set, they’re clearly in post-apocalyptic Mayberry. Or possibly Metropolis.

    • Nope, Mayberry. Seriously. “Star Trek” shot on the same backlot set as “Andy Griffith” for this and several other episodes. In “City on the Edge of Forever” you can see them run past Floyd’s barber shop.

      And that shows the real reason behind the parallel worlds theory… they already have Earth sets and props to use, so it’s cheaper to produce.

      The site was the “40 Acres” backlot in Culver City, built by Cecil DeMille. It was owned subsequently by RKO, Desilu, and Paramount. Paramount sold it in the 1970s and it was bulldozed.

      • It’s actually kind of surprising they got so minimalist when they finally got around to doing a Western. Western films and TV Series were still pretty big at the time. Both Bonanza and Gunsmoke were still going.

        But, yeah it was all about budget. The show was expensive and the options are either “Bottle Episodes” or find some method of using readily available sets and costumes.

  6. I like this because it’s a better version of “And the Children Shall Lead,” which is incredibly stupid.

  7. I still rarely find technobabble hard to follow. It usually has its own internal logic. And it makes things seem more future-y. As long as it’s not just “magic words that resolve the plot,” I have no problem with it.

    When it is, then I agree it’s bad writing.

    • the only time I can think of when I didn’t really get technobabble was when the Voyager crew was trying to shut the Subspace Vacule in Engineering from “Eminations”.

  8. This episode has long been on top of my list for episodes I wanted you to review. It’s always bugged me.

    Mostly because of the horrible way they treat kids. They have people who, by definition, cannot have hit puberty played by people who wouldn’t get carded in a bar. (I keep thinking ‘what if they bloomed early’ then I remind myself ‘if they bloomed early, then, by the established mechanism of the disease, they would die early. It isn’t about age, it’s about puberty.’)

    Also, (as others have mentioned) the way these people are hundreds of years old, have survived on their own for centuries, and are still written as immature five-year-olds. Plenty of kids, especially in survival situations, are far more capable and mature than these. And if they weren’t, they would not have survived all that time.

    They don’t say it, but that’s technically a child Kirk punched out in the beginning.

    “That’d be like a story where bigfoot hires a detective and doesn’t it’s irrelevant…”
    Have you ever seen a mini-series called Wastlander Panda? It’s an Australian-made post-Apocalyptic (or prehistoric) affair (so the title rhymes) that comes across as that kind of thing. The main character is a panda, but it makes absolutely no difference to the story. Even though he and his family may be the only non-human animals in it.

    I thought about Mr. Burns when you described that syndrome. Then you played the clip. 🙂

    For me, thousands of years as a child then drop dead would be paradise. 🙂

    (Also: leopards, including snow leopards, have spots. Tigers have stripes. This relates to a different video, but I can’t see any way to comment on that one.)

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