Thursday, July 28, 2016

17 to 01: Plato's Stepchildren

All this trouble and he isn't even a real doctor! Parmen--buby--it's not worth it.

This is one of my favorite episodes and is the example I run to every time someone wants to knock Season 3. The acting and the ideas here are so good that if someone wants to talk smack the sets or the effects, they have immediately divulged much of their character to you.

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We're also amazingly on Stitcher.


SkilTao said...

I like a lot of the little touches, like the Platonians' constant pretensions, the pseudo Lewis Carrol verse, and the "brek-ek-ek-ek-ex codex" bit (I don't know what the point of it was, but I enjoy it being there). Seems like another ep the cast (or at least Nimoy) enjoyed doing.

You already mentioned how the method of Our Heroes' victory (chemically induced Jedi) plays into the hollowness of Platonian superiority, but I wanted to add how nice it is that they *didn't* resolve the psionic contest by being more zen than the other guys or by wanting it more than the other guys. Recognizable science is a refreshing change from other stuff I've watched.

I wish "...and logical too" wasn't becoming Spock's catchphrase, but--like the Federation remembering they have a recipe for guaranteed human telekinesis--I guess some things are too much to ask for. They'd probably have lost the recipe in a "drugs are bad" episode anyways.

VanVelding said...

"or by wanting it more than the other guys" aw yeah. I hate it when good guys when because they wanted it more. It's a bunch of the heart...fuckery. Ugh! Stories that do that might as well have the hero explode the villain's brain because the hero loves the damsel so much. 15 minutes. End of movie. All the more time for the writing staff and director to go home and go fuck themselves. So happy they didn't do that garbage.

That's definitely the hard Star Trek super-science to explain away. Of could be the powers are from microorganisms in the air that interact with the kirinide and enter a humanoid bloodstream to give them powers. Then the microorganisms are sentient and it's conveniently ignored because of The Prime Directive. Throw in a bit about how only Platonian physiology can host and use them safely for extended periods and you're almost there.

Hell, given that Parmen's people are the result of a eugenics program, it's entirely possible that the planet was seeded with those microorganisms as the second part of a two-part plan to give them ultimate power. Their stop-over on Earth might not have been due to the galaxy's unique fascination with Earth, but because the group's leader was leading them on a whistle-stop tour of centers of galactic morality and intellectualism. The leader dies and Parmen (or someone else) discovers the plan to take them to an abandoned planet, where they arrive and discover these "coincidental" powers.

Man, now I gotta read Memory Beta's entry on this and I know I'm going to be disappointed.

VanVelding said...

Actually, Alexander shows up in the beta cannon 100 years later as a ambassador to a race that's about his size. No word on the superpower serum though.

SkilTao said...

"Ambassador to a race about his size" seems like it misses the point of his story.

I just watched a TNG ep with genetically engineered telekinetics, so it *isn't* a case of forgotten power syndrome (yet)! Just a case of science = hard.

The morality tour would be a fun plot, but I'm not unhappy that they didn't go into detail about the midichlorians.

VanVelding said...

Yeah, midichlorians. I never got the "Unnatural Selection" link, but I like it and it solves a lot of the canon problems with that episode. I wonder if you can dub Qui-Gon saying "midichlorians" over every instance of people using the word "genetic" in that episode.

I agree. Some things I can take on faith and some things I can't. How they got to where they are is only important in that it justifies the Greek trappings and their isolated culture. That some things aren't explored is an opportunity to make better, separate stories. Possibly in novels. Which I will poop on.