SFDebris: Balance of Terror

The Original Series

SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Captain Seafort » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:50 pm

Blip

A decent review, but not one of Chuck's best, unfortunately. While it doesn't sound like there's as much behind the scenes stuff as there is for City on the Edge of Forever, I think it would have been worthwhile commenting on it either way, to question the nature of Roddenberry's input. Regarding the episode itself I think a lot more mileage could have been got from the Romulan Commander, to explore just how much his personality and command style mirror's Kirk's, right down to his relationship with the centurion mirroring Kirk's relationship with Spock and McCoy.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:06 pm

And me on a PC that would slow to a crawl if I tried watching it... :madashell: :madashell: :bangwall: My all-time favorite TOS episode, to boot!
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:56 pm

*Watches review* Nine out of ten? I'd give it a half-point more, myself. 1986, Thanksgiving weekend, 8:00 Pm EST over my father's house, channel fifty WNDS. "Jon, Star Trek! Have you ever watched Star Trek?"
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Nutso » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:37 pm

You know what? The misunderstandings of physics in this episode would not be enough for me to deduct a point from this episode. But since Chuck reviews these things relative to each series, I suppose I won't quibble. But seriously this is one of the best dramatic episodes of Star Trek. Can't wait to see the points he knocks off for the Gorn episode. I mean, reptiles don't move that slow! Come on!

It was brilliant to show us an enemy captain who isn't evil but just a man who is doing his job as ordered by his bosses. This was really humanizing to the character in which I understand his motivations, and trepidations. I can even understand the politics he is dealing with back home.

Also brilliant to have the logical, unemotional Spock be the one to recommend striking back. That he uses the possibility that the Romulans are an offshoot of his Vulcan blood as the base for his argument is beside the point. I feel that attack is a more true response to an attack than TNG, Enterprise or Voyager would have happened (fire a warning shot, give a threat, work things out peacefully, give speech about superiority of Fed principles). If Starfleet doesn't respond to the attack with violence of its own, the Romulans will perceive this as a sign of weakness and launch an invasion. The Romulans need to understand that any attack on Federation space will be met with swift and violent retaliation.

I love how the vastness of space plays a role in the episode. Captains are sort of independent out there in the unknown reaches of the galaxy. Gaining permission to cross the neutral zone would take too much time, so this one little ship will decide the fate of the galaxy on its own. Unlike Kirk, I would surely have crumbled under that kind of pressure. I never realized before how much responsibility is placed on the captains of these starships.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Captain Seafort » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Nutso wrote:It was brilliant to show us an enemy captain who isn't evil but just a man who is doing his job as ordered by his bosses.


Aye. I'd go so far as to say that the Romulan Commander wasn't an enemy - merely an opponent, or an adversary.

I love how the vastness of space plays a role in the episode. Captains are sort of independent out there in the unknown reaches of the galaxy. Gaining permission to cross the neutral zone would take too much time, so this one little ship will decide the fate of the galaxy on its own. Unlike Kirk, I would surely have crumbled under that kind of pressure. I never realized before how much responsibility is placed on the captains of these starships.


It's also highlighted in the answer Starfleet eventually sent back - "they'll support whatever decision you have to make". It's not only an acknowledgement that back seat driving isn't possible with those sorts of distances and time delays, but it also strikes me as a subtle rebuke to Kirk - don't look to us for answers, you're the man on the spot, trained and appointed to make these sorts of decisions, so get on with it.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby kostmayer » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:24 pm

I've read the episode is based on the very very good WWII Submarine film The Enemy Below. For any fans of this episode, its highly reccomended.

Essentially an American Destroyer thats seen little action engages in a game of cat and mouse with a German submarine. The film switches between the two vessels, and portrays the Commanders as two like minded people, concious of the fact that they're both just doing their jobs, yet at the same time reluctant to humanise the person they're trying to destroy.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:46 pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
Nutso wrote:It was brilliant to show us an enemy captain who isn't evil but just a man who is doing his job as ordered by his bosses.


Aye. I'd go so far as to say that the Romulan Commander wasn't an enemy - merely an opponent, or an adversary.

As he said, he might've called Kirk 'friend'. Powerful stuff, and one of the best of Trek.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Deepcrush » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:53 am

Captain Seafort wrote:Aye. I'd go so far as to say that the Romulan Commander wasn't an enemy - merely an opponent, or an adversary.


While I don't think I'll ever understand the British treatment of war as a sport, I think for this episode its likely the best approach. The Romulan Commander was very much the romantic hero out of an epic poem. A detail I think Americans generally have trouble understanding or producing on our own.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Mikey » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:57 pm

Deepcrush wrote:
Captain Seafort wrote:Aye. I'd go so far as to say that the Romulan Commander wasn't an enemy - merely an opponent, or an adversary.


While I don't think I'll ever understand the British treatment of war as a sport, I think for this episode its likely the best approach. The Romulan Commander was very much the romantic hero out of an epic poem. A detail I think Americans generally have trouble understanding or producing on our own.


Good analogy, Deep. I'm reminded of the WWI anecdote about the British officer who had a clear sniping shot at a German officer who happened to be in his bath; the British officer refused to take the shot and made a subordinate - who wasn't a peer - take the shot instead, claiming that to have taken the shot himself would have been unsporting.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Deepcrush » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:23 pm

The US is a nation that was born in fire... and never seemed to leave home... but the ideal that war is anything but a means to an end is something I don't believe will ever take root here.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Granitehewer » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:39 pm

Born in fire? What are you a ham?
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Granitehewer » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:57 pm

Deepcrush is too placid tonight, lol.
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Mikey » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:22 pm

Granitehewer wrote:Born in fire? What are you a ham?


Born in "fire," not "smoke..." especially delicious hickory-scented smoke... :Drool2:
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby Deepcrush » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:59 am

Granitehewer wrote:Born in fire? What are you a ham?


No meal is complete without pork. :poke:
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Re: SFDebris: Balance of Terror

Postby McAvoy » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:24 pm

Mmmm.... bacon...
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