The message of Star Trek isn’t that one day everything will be perfect, it’s that mankind is actually capable of great and impossible things. Recommended Reading And a lot of that bled into Star Trek, becoming a lot more explicit during his time working on The Next Generation. I’ve talked about it about it quite a bit in my earlier reviews, so I won’t dwell on it too much here, but Star Trek got really good really quickly. “Vulcan, like Earth, had its aggressive colonising period. “How pleasing to the eye it is,” he poetically observes. As Kirk advises Stiles when he talks of a century-old conflict, “Their war, Mister Stiles. By the end of the episode, Balance of Terror trusts us to acknowledge that the Romulans are much more than those clichés. Papa Wolf: Hurting his people causes him much Angst. Of course, the writer's … Most soldiers will typically be drawn from the young male population, and there’s roughly a twenty-year gap between most major American ground conflicts. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org. You’ve tied the entire Star Trek universe together using a single early episode. Of course, it’s not a serious problem. Even internal continuity was hard to come by – and I’m not even talking about the colour of the shirts that Scotty and Sulu wore. "Balance of Terror" is the fourteenth episode of season one of the American science fiction adventure TV series Star Trek. Charlie X was the story of a feral child raised away from society, not too different from Tarzan with god-like powers. ", The bulk of the episode is essentially the lethal chess game between Kirk and the Commander, each anticipating the other's strategies as soon as (and sometimes. Balance of Terror is only the ninth ever episode of Star Trek ever produced, but it stands as one of the finest entries in the original series, and perhaps even the franchise. On “Dune” and “Flash Gordon” as Biblical Epics for the Eighties…. I’ll admit that my one real problem with the reboot of Star Trek in 2009 was the fact that Balance of Terror could never really happen in anything resembling the same way. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In Balance of Terror, that distance is keenly felt. The Romulan commander would rather destroy his ship than surrender to Kirk, something the episode acknowledges as honourable conduct. The beauty of Balance of Terror isn’t that it presents a future without prejudice, but it offers a future where we can move past that prejudice. ; The Invaders in Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin will use them to crush Mankind. To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. As I’ve noted before, Roddenberry was an avowed athiest. The bases along the Neutral Zone are referred to as Earth outposts rather than Starfleet outposts. The reverend Steven Merchant is the newly appointed rector at the Old Stone Loaves and Fishes Full Gospel Fellowship Church in a run-down industrial town in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. “We are creatures of duty, Captain,” he explains. A brief shot of a star chart demonstrates that the Neutral Zone isn’t just a circular cordon around these two planets, hemming them in. The Enemy Within created the whole “transporter malfunction” and “evil duplicate” subgenres. While Spock might describe the Romulans as “warlike, cruel, treacherous”, but that’s just the human impression of them. Uhura could quickly spot where the trouble was hailing from…. So the Romulans represent a dark mirror to that potential. What’s great about Balance of Terror is that it takes the time to develop these aliens. In episodes like The Trouble With Tribbles, Private Little War, and Friday’s Child, the Klingons would try to subtly undermine the Federation’s influence through subterfuge and covert actions – a far cry from the honourable aliens established in Heart of Glory. It’s a gem of an episode, and one that demonstrates that Roddenberry’s ideals work best when put under pressure. Even the first hints of the characters serving a “Federation” would only emerge in the twentieth episode of the season, Arena. However, it’s more than just the allusions to a vintage war story that make it clear Balance of Terror is set in a cold and remote universe. His distaste for organised religion is quite clear even in the original series. There’s an argument to be made – similar to the argument that Ted Harrison recently made about Remembrance Day in Great Britain – that war is almost glorified by those two young to remember it. It is this decision that ultimately dooms the ship. It’s only logical. The Klingons are more ubiquitous, but the Romulans are my favourite of the aliens to originate in the classic Star Trek. When flying through a comet, about to ambush the. Fascinating! Perhaps my all ime favorit episode of the entire franchise. The Arch Enemy can be the Big Bad, The Dragon, The Rival, a Worthy Opponent, an Evil Counterpart, or even a Harmless Villain.The essential element is that, with them, It's Personal.Most typically, the Arch Enemy is a Foil of some sort. Stiles’ anger isn’t directed at some external tormentor. Other stories could be told without changing too many core details, but Star Trek made Balance of Terror a story that could never really unfold in this new Star Trek universe. In fact he surfaces at a conference where he declares his intention to demonstrate the evils of germ warfare, before disappearing again. Even in Charlie X, Kirk reported to the “United Earth Space Probe Agency.”. "Balance of Terror" is the fourteenth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series, Star Trek. Thank you. “He reads the thoughts in my brain.” When the Romulan evades one trap, Kirk concedes, “He did exactly what I would have done.”. The Romulan Commander also gets one. Augustin's In Enemy Hands quite some time ago, and never forgot the characters of Srin and Moon. “Behold a marvel in the darkness.” It’s very clear that the Romulan commander doesn’t want any more blood shed than is strictly necessary. You could argue that the fact that Vulcan clearly never really mentioned that they have a bunch of warlike cousins foreshadows the portrayal of the Vulcans in Star Trek: Enterprise. It also represents the moment where the model of what Star Trek would be really sort of solidified. "Star Trek: The Original Series" Balance of Terror (TV Episode 1966) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Billie's search for the source of their instability sends her far from Dunwall, to a city cut in half by a rift, and to a kingdom recovering from civil war, where a… Appropriately enough, given its status, Balance of Terror was the first Star Trek episode to be remastered. The universe might have its own politics, its own history, its own civilisations that will emerge, contrasted with mankind’s expansion into space. Our gift to the homeland, another war.”, There’s a sense of fatigue and exhaustion in the commander’s voice, the bitterness of a man who sees through the empty patriotism and viscious nationalism. The direction by Vincent McEveety is absolutely fantastic, suffused with tension & atmosphere. The USS Enterprise is on duty near the Romulan Zone border, and things are calm enough … Tropes Media Browse Indexes Forums Videos I’ll confess that I’m generally not to bothered with the particulars of continuity. It’s telling that the Romulans are obsessed by warfare and that they are still using atomic weapons. The Protectors are assigned to locate Professor Schelpin, a scientist who has defected from Russia to the West. Paul Schneider’s script is really solid & nuanced. “Must it always be so? What’s interesting about Balance of Terror, as pointed out by the wonderful Ronald D. Moore, is the way that it really breaks a lot of the rules that Roddenberry would go on to establish as part of Star Trek. But now the Void is unbalanced, and soon the fate of the worldis at stake. And if Romulans retain this martial philosophy, then weakness is something we dare not show.”. So far, the show has presented space as barren and empty, almost haunted with terrors stalking in the darkness. It’s just a stellar example of what could be done with the franchise. He’s very clearly acting on his own best judgement, at the edge of Earth’s reach. It’s such a cliché in the 21st century that Shatner is famous (or perhaps infamous) for his overacting & scenery-chewing. Kirk orders him to keep his bigotry to himself. Balance of Terror is a major step in that direction, establishing an alien race that appears to be roughly at the same stage of development as Earth, and one that seems at a comparable level of power. It’s also the first genuine attempt at world-building that we’ve seen so far, and one that would play a significant part in defining the future of the franchise. The fact that the cast of The Next Generation are essentially perfect human beings might make them fascinating thought experiments, but it doesn’t make them compelling protagonists. In fact, what makes Balance of Terror such a fantastic episode is precisely what would be missing when Roddenberry produced the troubled first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Stargate Verse franchise. 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