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ENTERPRISE 04/02/'03: "The Crossing"


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#21 of 36 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted April 03 2003 - 05:41 AM

Where's Sargon when you need him/it?

I was too impatient last night and switched to a PBS American Masters documentary about Joni Mitchell. And I don't even care much for Joni Mitchell. I'll be more open-minded during Sunday's "encore presentation."

#22 of 36 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted April 04 2003 - 12:44 AM

Quote:
Yeah I never quite understood why incoporeal beings needed a physical starship, or why that particular element (unobtanium?) prevented then from entering that catwalk.


What does God need with a starship?

I also thought it was strange that they couldn't live in space, but they could go in and out the ship's windows into space.

#23 of 36 OFFLINE   Mark ZA

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Posted April 04 2003 - 03:10 AM

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Did anyone else notice that Jolene Blaylock's tan lines were showing in that scene with "Malcolm"? A little bit of a screwup on the director's part.


Yeah, but what great tan lines, only thing thats keeping me watching unfortunatelyPosted Image

#24 of 36 OFFLINE   doug zdanivsky

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Posted April 04 2003 - 06:48 AM

Quote:
I also thought it was strange that they couldn't live in space, but they could go in and out the ship's windows into space.


Yeah! What the hell!? Never even occured to me.. Or the writer's, obviously. Posted Image

#25 of 36 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted April 05 2003 - 01:02 PM

Second viewing, second thoughts:

Quote:
. . . how do "incorporeal beings" get to run a very big, quite complex "corporeal" ship??? Are they supposed to have taken it over from corporeal beings, and, if so, where are those beings at the time of the happenings in this episode? If the latter exist no more, how is the giant ship run and why do the wills-of-the wisp need a new one? Were any of these questions answered?

The answer to that would be "no".

More nits to pick:

(a) The "non-alien aliens" problem:

Malcolm-alien to T'Pol: "You are very beautiful." Now, on what basis would a will-o'-the-wisp base such a judgment? Serving as a judge at the "Miss Universe" pageant? It's a problem of dramatic verisimilitude. How would something so different from human beings have any clear point of reference?

(b) After T'Pol says the aliens are lying, it never becomes completely clear which part of their story is false, besides their intent for use of humanoid bodies:

Why do they need these bodies?


© The Tripp-alien says the beings live in subspace and travel through it. What does that mean exactly? Do they do this in addition to travelling in "normal" space, as they're doing here?

(d) T'Pol reveals that the aliens' ship is deteriorating and they can't survive in space.

John Co wrote (post #22):

Quote:
I also thought it was strange that they couldn't live in space, but they could go in and out the ship's windows into space.


I'm not sure---here I should've been more attentive on this point---did they go out (i.e., through) the window out into space or was the Enterprise within the confines (interior environment) or at least at the maw of the giant ship when they fled it? That's a point that needs careful documentation.

I can see as quite plausible that purely energetic forms of life might not be able to survive in the naked, raw environment of space, since there are, no doubt, all kinds of energy and energy sources ("cosmic radiation") there that might disrupt other forms of energy.

The episode was good enough, if not particularly innovative. As some of us have already noted, it is based on one of the ten or so stock "sci-fi" basic plots that get recycled in Hollywood from production to production, that of:

the "haunted" planet/space ship.

I'm compiling a list for a future thread on space action/adventure "sci-fi".
"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#26 of 36 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted April 05 2003 - 02:03 PM

Quote:
I'm not sure---here I should've been more attentive on this point---did they go out (i.e., through) the window out into space or was the Enterprise within the confines (interior environment) or at least the maw of the giant ship when they fled it? That's a point that needs careful documentation.

No, they were shown going outside even once Enterprise escaped from the giant ship. This is not that big a deal to me, though. I can't survive underwater, but I can swim underwater for a time. Perhaps space is similar to water to these beings.

Anyway, I'm interested to see how the premise is going to change in season 3. I'm sure some of you know, but I'm avoiding spoilers for the time. I did read about the upcoming
borg
episode at startrek.com, and the reason we are seeing the above seemed more reasonable than I feared, and it could make for an interesting episode. It should, at any rate, be visually interesting. I liked the look of Voyager's "Timeless," and I'm picturing a similar thing here.

#27 of 36 OFFLINE   PhilipG

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Posted April 05 2003 - 07:11 PM

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It would have been more interesting if the aliens had been innocent. I mean, this show is supposed to be about exploration, but Archer keeps wanting to shoot first.

That's right. Someone needs to wake up Gene. Archer was downright hostile in this episode.

The aliens don't need bodies but they need a ship? So why didn't Archer offer to transport all of them to some obscure planet? You'd have thought, that even with a damaged ship, these highly-evolved aliens would have shielding far in advance of Enterprise's missiles. And - excuse me - Enterprise is the first alien ship they've encountered?! What b/s is that?!! They couldn't fly to a class M planet?! They couldn't send an SOS to attract more aliens?! And the other thing, of course, is that if the aliens were serious about the takeover, then they would have all swooped upon the Enterprise crew at the same time.

So many plotholes. Are B&B ever going to go past the first draft stage??

#28 of 36 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted April 06 2003 - 12:33 AM

And they can't get into the nacelle, (except for the one in Tripp)???

Greg, thanks for the redemption on the window thing, when we see that happen, with Trip and his alien, it was after the aliens let the Enterprise leave the inside of their ship.

#29 of 36 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted April 06 2003 - 06:29 AM

Greg_S_H wrote (post #26):

Quote:
This is not that big a deal to me, though. I can't survive underwater, but I can swim underwater for a time. Perhaps space is similar to water to these beings.


Good point. That's sort of what I was getting at when I asked:

Quote:
. . . was the Enterprise . . . at least at the maw of the giant ship when [the aliens] fled it?

which means to suggest the aliens might be able to quickly "swim" back into the safe interior of the giant ship before they might perish in outer space.


PhilipG wrote (post #27):

Quote:
The aliens don't need bodies but they need a ship?

That's what I was talking about when I wrote:

Quote:
(b) After T'Pol says the aliens are lying, it never becomes completely clear which part of their story is false, besides their intent for use of humanoid bodies:

Why do they need these bodies?


It never becomes clear how much of their story is truth and how much lies. They obviously need physical bodies for some activities (such as steering a starship???). If their natural realm is "subspace" and they're spending so much time out of it, why? These questions are never really answered. (Not that that's always a bad thing.)

Quote:
You'd have thought, that even with a damaged ship, these highly-evolved aliens would have shielding far in advance of Enterprise's missiles. The aliens don't need bodies but they need a ship?


Well, the Enterprise shot the two torpedos right into the guts of the ship from close range with its mouth open ready to receive. Under those circumstances, no "shielding" would protect any ship.
"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#30 of 36 OFFLINE   Dan Rudolph

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Posted April 06 2003 - 08:01 AM

Since the aliens were clearly lying about everything, uit's hard to make plot-holes out of how their stories didn't match up with the facts. As for Malcolm hitting on T'Pol, presumably the entity was either saying she was beautiful because Malcolm's brain was saying that was the correct way to initiate the mating procedure or because he was using Malcolm's knowledge/memories. It doesn't mean the clouds would be attrsacted to here andmore then the clouds would think the foods Tucker was eating taste good.
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#31 of 36 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted April 06 2003 - 10:04 AM

Dan Rudolph wrote (post #30):

Quote:
Since the aliens were clearly lying about everything, uit's hard to make plot-holes out of how their stories didn't match up with the facts.


Given some of the divergent interpretations and associated opinions expressed here, it is hardly the case that "the aliens are clearing lying about everything". Much remains unclear, as I've said repeatedly.


Quote:
As for Malcolm hitting on T'Pol, presumably the entity was either saying she was beautiful because Malcolm's brain was saying that was the correct way to initiate the mating procedure or because he was using Malcolm's knowledge/memories. It doesn't mean the clouds would be attrsacted to here andmore then the clouds would think the foods Tucker was eating taste good.


They, in the person of the Tripp-alien, say that they were once "corporeal", as the humans are still, and that they want to experience what their ancestors experienced in the way of sensations, sexual, gustatory, etc. Are they "clearly lying" about that?

Though you may have a point about the food and sex experiences, I'm not convinced about your assertions. The alien possessors apparently do retain some of the "factual" memories of their hosts. The Tripp-alien recounts his host's name and rank when confronted eating in the mess hall, for example. But, when pressed, he says he's never eaten anything before. Is he "clearly lying" there, too?

The episode features the subtle CGI effect of differing coloration of the wisps as they emerge or enter the human hosts. When the alien wisps enter the hosts they are shown as light-blue in color. Shortly after they enter, the human's "soul" or "mind" or "conscious essence" exits the body in energy-wisp form and goes (presumably) to the interior of the giant mother ship, where, we are told, they are enjoying experiences beyond human ken. (Or, are they in subspace somewhere in there? In any event, is the Tripp-alien lying then, as well?) Only, the human wisp is orangish-yellow in color. Now, it's awfully hard to draw a line between where "sensation"/"emotion" (seated in the limbic system?) ends and "pure intellect" (seated in the higher cortical areas?), if there is such---which I doubt---begins, but the story gives us to believe that the human "minds"/"souls"/"conscious essences" are displaced onto the mother ship whenever the "crossing" takes place (except with T'Pol's "disciplined" Vulcan mind). (The crew seems to believe they are there, since the subject of not abandoning them arises during their discussion.)

The Malcolm-alien could've initiated mating procedure with the crewman on the elevator. She was certainly "pretty" enough, if that was supposed to be the criterion; a "limbic brain" reaction for mating---a real "boner", to put it in male alleyway terminology. Yet he didn't press it very far. Why not? If the noncorporeal aliens have no experience of sensation as we know it---or are they lying?---, how would the creature make a decision to forego the first (easy?) opportunity it got to experience "mating" and go for the next? Would Malcolm's "brain" (limbic system)---as opposed to his "mind", or "conscious essence"---have "told" the creature to shy away from the serious attempt with one pretty girl, as opposed to another? And, on exactly what basis? (Did I miss a line of dialog where he says "I need to get to the Vulcan exec and mate only with her"?)

More importantly, even the desire to re-experience the sensations of their corporeal ancestors---if that is at least part of what they want to do---needs a whole explanation that this story lacks. You don't really want to go back and confront your "inner caveman", do you? I don't. If they're "clearly totally lying", as you maintain, why not the scenario outlined in PhillipG's post (#27):

Quote:
. . . if the aliens were serious about the takeover, then they would have all swooped upon the Enterprise crew at the same time.

And, although there may be perfectly valid technical reasons why they couldn't do that, the story doesn't give us any.

For these reasons, in my mind, it still remains totally unclear what the entire real story is and where the aliens' points of reference derive from. I'm totally unconvinced that the motives of take-over for survival purposes and exploration of new realms of sensation for intelligent sentient beings are completely mutually exclusive.

As I've said before, not a bad story, but one with plenty of holes (some quite intriguing).
"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#32 of 36 OFFLINE   Dan Rudolph

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Posted April 06 2003 - 10:45 AM

I didn't meaning that the aliens were necessarily lying about everything, only that all parts of their story are suspect.
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#33 of 36 OFFLINE   derek

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Posted April 07 2003 - 04:32 AM

I enjoyed the episode and thought it brought up some interesting points to ponder. I believe a main theme was one of 'eternal life/death.' The super aliens had 'found/evolved to finding' the secrets to eternal life...a capability of allowing their 'souls' to exist indefinitely. However..they were now faced with that ship malfunctioning and their unability to repair it. They faced the prospect of death possibly for the first time in many millenia. Upon finding a human host as adequate my sense is that their civilized behavior was pummeled by a desire to avoid death as the cost of other life. So...chalk up one for the human species as being the more 'evolved.' Posted Image

#34 of 36 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted April 07 2003 - 05:02 AM

But I have a problem with non-corporeal beings, that are for all intents and purposes immortal, requiring a ship or bodies to sustain them.

I mean, from all of my best viewing and absorbing of meaning in Babylon 5, I always felt the Vorlons used the encounter suit and travelled in ships, mainly to interact with the younger races in a manner they could comprehend, not because they really needed them to survive.

#35 of 36 OFFLINE   Dan Hitchman

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Posted April 07 2003 - 07:15 AM

They never really discussed if this was the ship their corporal bodies used and it was finally breaking down.

Perhaps, since the non-corporal beings had been "human-like" once (at least, I think so) since they were not compatible with Phlox, they had similar "sexual" and food appetites.

Malcom said he wanted T'Pol for mating purposes because she was the hottest woman on the ship (which is true, although the other woman was not bad looking at all) and some part of Malcom's instincts were driving the entity. Malcom's body probably does lust after T'Pol and hence putting the moves on her.

The beings probably weren't lying when they said they missed the sensations of their past existence. Part of their insistance on taking over the crew, perhaps.

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#36 of 36 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted April 09 2003 - 07:12 AM

John Co wrote (post #34):

Quote:
I mean, from all of my best viewing and absorbing of meaning in Babylon 5, I always felt the Vorlons used the encounter suit and travelled in ships, mainly to interact with the younger races in a manner they could comprehend, not because they really needed them to survive.


I don't know about the "encounter suits", but as far as ships are concerned, the Vorlons are shown travelling through space in ships a million years before the time of Babylon 5---presumably before there were "humans", as we understand the concept---in a flashback in the tv movie Babylon 5: Third Space.

Bear in mind, their ships, too, are corporeal---as well as a living part of themselves, it seems. They might need those encounter suits even to "build", travel in, and interact with their own vessels, regardless of contacts with the "younger" races.
"Delenda est . . . . "

 



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