|September 29, 1967|
|Not this one, which is fantastic, but the ones where Nomad moves through security personnel and a series of doors. ("I must re-evaluate.")|
|Wait, wrong episode. Anyway. Enough epiphany talk. Let's roll.|
Definitely one of Kirk's "But what of Lazarus..." or "Couldn't we have gathered a few laurel leaves" asides. It probably kills the human half of Spock to not say "Why do you insist on such imprecise literary allusions, Captain?" during such moments. This is that rarity in TOS titles: one better associated with a superior work, the 1980 movie of the same time.
Okay, okay, arguably superior. It does have Kor in it, though:
|Great movie. Underrated.|
|Cue up your favorite Trektober thunder and ambiance|
|and away we go.|
Visual Design (2)
Kirk and the Gang (30)
|No-mad! Some may say that you've killed a hundred men! Others say that you've died and live again!|
|"It wandered without purpose. And then it met The Other."|
|"Non sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated." Now that we've witnessed the social media age, I think we can all sympathize with Nomad's position, here.|
|"Wasn't there a probe called Nomad launched in the early 2000s?"|
|Jackson Roykirk. (Mark Daniels) The "brilliant but erratic" Creator.|
|"It would seem that Nomad is seeking out perfect life forms, perfection being measured by its own relentless logic."|
|No-mad! Undercover of the veil of your disguise! The men who fear you are the ones that you despise!|
|Beyond the stars... beyond Antares... where my hea-ar-t i-i-is...|
|Scotty has a predilection for charging at things that hurl lightning bolts, doesn't he? Keep away from her, ya mechanical beastie!|
|Good stunt double work, here.|
|"I am... Tan Ru..."|
|Yet another intriguing episode-that-never-was for Enterprise involved Captain Archer and the gang meeting Tan Ru him/itself. They did revisit the Malurians in "Civilization," though.|
No-mad! No man's ever understood your gen-i-ii-us...!
|"It took from the Other a new directive to replace its own."|
|"YOU ARE WRONG!"|
|"Execute your prime function!" (also known as "Fulfill the Prime Directive!" or "How will you pay for your acts of murder?" or The Liar's Paradox.)|
|On one hand, it's totally hilarious that Kirk stops things, here, to get in one last dig at Nomad before beaming him into "deep space." But on the other, it makes sense - got to make sure he's irreversibly on the path to self-sterilization. (Through embarrassment.) Kirk's laughing at the superior intellect, again. DAMN YOU!|
|"A dazzling display of logic."|
|"Didn't think I had it in me, did you, Spock?"|
|"No, sir." Nimoy's delivery of this is perfect. Bemused, genuinely admiring, matter-of-fact, innocent.|
|"Didn't this whole story take place against the backdrop of four billion dead Malurians?"|
"Don't spoil our end-of-the-episode-joking-around, Dr. Buzzcrush."
Internal Logistics (1.5) Just a couple little things:
- Phil Farrand moment: During Nomad's initial attack, Scotty diverts warp power to the shields. Something that everyone seemed really impressed by, a century later, when Lt. Enhanced Broccoli did it in TNG's "The Nth Degree."
- The ship gets hit with the equivalent of 90 photon torpedoes but the shields only go down 20% ? I can buy it, but it's problematic for a lot of other episodes. Then again, hey, armaments improve, shields fluctuate, yadda yadda.
- I realize that people dying and coming back to life, going in and out of comas, getting amnesia, and getting crippled and then un-crippled are time-honored television traditions, but Uhura's mind-wipe and subsequent recovery is a bit fast-paced, isn't it? From basic English to college level and warp-speed in, what, a matter of hours? Chalk it up to McCoy's magic spray bottles, I bet.
|Or the Nurse Chapel School of Hooked On Phonics|
|So so much awkward.|
(Or my first glimpse of the old X-Men uniforms in Captain America #264, which confused but fascinated me until I started piecing together Marvel history. I digress, but hey, that's what I'm here for.)
Vic Perrin again. Mr. The Outer Limits. Speaking of, the last episode of that show was "The Probe." Worth looking up. That show casts an awfully long shadow.
Theme (8) Last Saturday we looked at "Wolf in the Fold," a story where Spock describes women as more urgently terrified than men and thus more of a feast for a creature that consumes terror for sustenance. Some small debate arose in the comments over whether that episode was misogynist for having this line (among the story's other sexist attributes.)
I bring it up here as Spock gets another line in this one after Uhura's mind-wipe that is imbued with similarly sexist ideas of men and women. (And my answer for whether or not that makes this story misogynist is the same.) But let's take a different route here and consider the idea that Nomad represents a sort of masculine confusion altogether.
|"That unit is defective. Its thinking is chaotic. Absorbing it unsettled me."|
|"That unit is a woman." (says Spock.)|
"A mass of conflicting impulses."
Interestingly, Jezebel, the poster-site for neo-feminism, recently had a review of something that was linked to in my news feed, and I thought of this episode, as almost the same wording was used to describe the female mind, this time celebrated as misunderstood counterpart to "rigid masculine thinking." Can the case not be made that the entire concept of Nomad is some kind of comment along these lines? A phallic (i.e. rigid, masculine, single-minded) object floating through space, gobsmacked by "merging with The Other," and now on a mission to sterilize all? Contact with Spock's mind didn't do anything - to Nomad, anyway - but contact with Uhura's is unsettling and results in blanking her mind. (Could also be seen as giving Uhura a violation she must then totally repress.)
And what is Nomad's reaction to hearing the feminine trill of Uhura's singing?
It reminds me a little of the giallo set-up, where the protagonist is driven to violent impulses due to earlier confused encounters with women. (Unlike your standard giallo, though, there's no nude scenes with Edwige Fenech, Suzy Kendall, or Barbara Bouchet.)
But since it's probably not what's going on, hey, who cares.
In my opinion, the most likely scenario is that this is a story of an ancient probe that's gone-native out there in the wilds of space, necessitating Captain Kirk to talk it to death, and the women-be-crazy stuff, as interesting-as-it-may-be to read along the lines of the above, is probably, unfortunately, just par for the 1967 prime time course.
Nomad is dead; long live Nomad.
Total Points Awarded: 55