So when Nomad zaps Uhura, it apparently wipes out her memory. We later see Christine teaching her how to read English, and we're told she is rapidly relearning all the stuff people know. Um... for one, won't this make Uhura a completely different person? We are, in at least large part, the sum of our experiences. Uhura just lost her entire childhood, every family she ever had, every romantic relationship she ever had, every friendship she ever had... and she's just going to "relearn" all this and come out exactly the way she did before? Really?
And even if she could do that, just how long would it take? I'm sure she's a bright lady, but Starfleet academy alone was a multi year program for her in the first place. Now we're told she is already up to college level and will be back on the job in a week?! Why the hell do you spend years at Starfleet Academy if you can learn it all in under a week?!
And anyway, when Uhura gets frustrated she says something in Swahili, and Chapel asks her to speak English. So they actually taught her Swahili first? And it only took the course of a fraction of the episode to become completely proficient in it? And if Chapel doesn't speak it, then who the hell taught it to Uhura? NONE OF THIS MAKES A LICK OF SENSE!
Kirk makes a joke about "My son... the Doctor!" in this episode. As we will learn in Star Trek II, Kirk will indeed have a son who will become a Doctor - although with a Doctorate in physics rather than medicine.
Jackson Roykirk's photograph is actually a photo of episode director Marc Daniels.
The Malurian civilisation, which Nomad destroys, was a reptilian species which the much later Enterprise series depicted the NX-01 encountering in the 2150s. The Malurians in that episode were a rather aggressive reptilian race which exploited a more primitive society. One could see this episode as being an example of karma coming back in a serious way!
Kirk hails the object, and it responds with a binary code. They manage to communicate with the object, and since t is only about a metre long they offer to beam it aboard. They find themselves confronted with a small floating machine of some sort, which goes by the name of Nomad. It proclaims Kirk to be its creator, and since this is what stayed its attack on the ship, he decides to press the advantage by going along.
Nomad seems set on investigating the ship, resulting in various surprises and misunderstandings. Nomad appears confused by Uhura's singing, prompting it to scan her mind and conclude that she is erratic and illogical. It wipes her memory as a result. When Scotty attempts to intervene, Nomad kills him with an energy blast. However, it appears unconcerned with what it has done and when challenged by Kirk it simply brings Scotty back to life again.
Investigation by Spock provides a clue to Nomad's origin - there was a Nomad probe launched by Humanity in the distant past. The device was designed by one Jackson Roykirk, a name similar enough to James Kirk to explain it taking Kirk for its creator. A mind meld by Spock shows that Nomad collided with an alien space probe at some point. The two machines managed to combine themselves, repairing their damage. Unfortunately Nomad's mission of finding alien life was also merged with the alien probe's mission of sterilising soil samples, and now Nomad considers itself on a mission to find and sterilise any imperfect life.
Unfortunately, Nomad eventually comes to realise that Kirk is not in fact its creator. It becomes determined to destroy the Enterprise crew, something they appear powerless to prevent. Kirk does some fast talking, pointing out that Nomad itself has made mistakes - mistaking him for its creator, for instance. By its own standards the machine is imperfect, and since its prime mission is to destroy all imperfect life, Nomad is forced to end its own existence. They beam the machine out into space just in time before it explodes.
Of course the legacy of this episode lies in the fact that the plot was largely recycled directly into Star Trek : The Motion Picture. All the elements are there - the Earth probe which was launched into deep space and encountered an alien machine, became supremely powerful, and is now returning. The whole 'I want to meet my creator' thing is there, and you can even take the Uhura mindwipe and equate it with Ilia's replacement by the V'Ger probe.
|© Graham & Ian Kennedy||Page views : 35,816||Last updated : 24 Nov 2014|