These Are The Voyages-Star Trek TOS Remastered and Reconsidered


#602

Dagger of the Mind
S1E09
Written by: S. Bar-David

No magilla this week. A decent exploration of the perils/temptations of mind control and enforced “betterment” of humanity by a kindly state…and how that can go wrong. Interesting themes if you click on the writer’s link above and look at his bio.

Having said that, I disagree with Dive on some things (I think the tension regarding who believes Dr. Adams and why is quite believable - the ambitious Kirk doesn’t wanna make waves over just a hunch), and agree with others (the whole Christmas party/Romance that never happened is just kind of…awkward. It feels shoehorned in at the last minute).

The episode is decent, but kind of boring. A little better than Miri. This episode had a lot more interest for me due to the great direction and cinematography.

And the great Guest star appearances by Morgan Woodward and
James Gregory
.

We’ll see Woodward later.

Ronald_Tracey

And Gregory is…well fantastic all the time.

I can’t wait for next week.

Navaronegun’s Running Re-View Rankings ™
1.) The Man Trap
2.) Where No Man Has Gone Before
3.) The Naked Time
4.) Charlie X
5.) Dagger of the Mind
6.) Miri
7.) The Enemy Within
8.) What Are Little Girls Made Of?
9.) Mudd’s Women


#603

TOS Week 9 Guest Star Death Match Round 1

As we approach the 10th episode, pick your favorite guest star from the ones we have seen so far. This will be narrowed down to 1 or 2 Guest Stars through other polls. This will be held every 9 weeks (ish).

The Below Poll Closes on SAT 29 SEP 2018. After which a heat of the Top 4 will be held.

Note: To Participate in any poll you should have seen all episodes referenced in the poll.

  • Jeanne Bal as Nancy Crater in The Man Trap
  • Alfred Ryder as Dr. Crater in The Man Trap
  • Robert Walker as Charlie Evans in Charlie X
  • Gary Lockwood as Gary Marshall in Where No Man Has Gone Before
  • Sally Kellerman as Dr. Elizabeth Dehner in Where No Man Has Gone Before
  • Roger C. Carmel as Harry Mudd in Mudd’s Women
  • Karen Steele as Eve McHuron in Mudd’s Women
  • Michael Strong as Dr. Roger Korby in What Are Little Girls Made Of?
  • Ted Cassidy as Ruk in What Are Little Girls Made Of?
  • Kim Darby as Miri in Miri
  • Michael J. Pollard as Jahn in Miri
  • James Gregory as Dr. Tristan Adams in Dagger of the Mind
  • Morgan Woodward as Dr. Simon van Gelder in Dagger of the Mind

0 voters


#604

Daggers of the Mind

It’s mildly distracting that this episode starts off with the Enterprise orbiting a gorgeous looking planet. Stop it special edition’s new gorgeous special effects! You’re making me wonder how ugly the original planet must have looked in the original version of this episode.

The episode starts off with some exposition about how you can’t beam things when the penal colony’s forcefield is up. I have to remind myself that this is the first time they’re establishing this in the rules of the Star Trek universe. Which led me to the train of thought that whoever designed the transporter in the first place for television was a pretty imaginative person. My random meanderings are brought to a halt because the guy at the transporter turns around to take notes from a series of blinking lights behind the transporter console!

What are you doing? We’ve seen this once before when Evil Kirk shows up. When they make a point of showing you how lax security is in the transporter room, something is about to go down! And sure enough, what follows is a reminder to me that long before I started scoffing at how lax security was under Worf’s lead as head of security on the Enterprise D, I’m suddenly reminded that I have no idea who is even in charge of security on this original Enterprise. And they really need someone in charge, because they’re pretty disorganized here. Not as incompetent as in some previous episodes, because Spock does try to isolate sectors as they’re searching for the escapee, and the guy who spots the convict doesn’t first try to report his occupation and duties when he reports to the bridge.

The rest of the episode goes through the motions. Do they believe this convict over an esteemed scientist who Kirk is starstruck for? As McCoy snookers Kirk into investigating, he also assigns a really sassy lady to the away team. She’s got such a smirk on her face at all times. It really bothered me how long they strung that out, keeping from the audience the history between her and Kirk.

And oh my god, she’s an even bigger sycophant towards the man being investigated than Kirk. She’s useless! She’s useless and she’s still smirking.

And yet, even though this man invented this mind manipulation machine, she knows how to work it. And admittedly, despite her little speech that she’s a scientist, it is just two dials. The first dial is intensity and the other is an on-off switch for god’s sake. So don’t cover yourself with too much scientific glory there Missy.

Despite my hostility towards her though, when Kirk is in trouble, she’s the one that comes through. She takes down the security team single handedly through stealth and the fact that she’s a badass. I have to admit, I almost cheered at how kick ass this lady turned out to be. I didn’t even care about the rest of the episode at that point.

Oh, and for the first time we get to see a version of the Vulcan mind-meld. It’s more like a mild form of it here.

Before signing off, I feel compelled to point out one more thing here. For some reason, this episode doesn’t take place on a duplicate of Earth. Huh. Imagine that.

P.S. One final thought. I felt like this was the first time I felt a genuine warmth between the three lead characters. I felt it a little in the Man Trap maybe, and then a little bit last week in Miri. But here it seemed real for the first time to me. These three are starting to develop a genuine affection.


#605

So did you like it? I kind of couldn’t tell. I am getting a lukewarm "Pretty Good " vibe from reading your impressions.


#606

Just like most of the episodes in Season 1, it’s kind of hard to give an overall thumbs up or down. There’s moments in the episode where I was curious, moments where I was leaning in, moments when I was bored, moments when I was antsy with the smirking girl, and then finally moments when I was grinning like an idiot when she turned out to be one of the most competent people we’ve seen on the Enterprise.

The ideas presented in the episode were a bit muddled. When they beam down, she’s saying well of course we have to manipulate the prisoner’s minds and make them forget things. As if that’s what civilized society does. But then when they see the results of that in person, they’re suddenly horrified by it? So it’s only bad when it’s happening to you? I don’t know, it was weird.

As a science fiction idea, I didn’t think they made a clear case of what is acceptable and what isn’t. It all got lost in the minutiae of what happens to Kirk and Superwoman.


#607

I agree. The only two solid Thumbs up with no hesitation from me so far are Man Trap and Where No Man. I found the episode competent, but kind of boring. Interesting ideas, in concept but not utilized well. Good thoughts on the Psychiatrist from the ship. She was kick ass. I just couldn’t get past the clumsily written romance-thingee that it feels like got shoehorned in (Geeeene…).

I actually liked what they were trying to do. Its as if Adams is respected, “He’s a published genius”, he’s done so much,etc. Everything sounds good. And then when allowed to take his ideas to their natural conclusion (A Clockwork Orange-ish here before the film) the practical result is abhorrent. Humanity got lost in all the self-congratulatory theoretical talk.

I like that concept.


#608

I don’t know why I have it in my head that it was Scotty? Could be only because he’s the highest-ranking redshirt on the ship, but I seem to recall an episode where he’s giving orders to security guys?


#609

I thought it was Spock, as Kirk’s always telling Spock to sort out security related things?

Does the Enterprise actually have security people, or are they all just Engineers that are forced to go to the gym and practice with laser guns?

Dagger of the Mind

I made some brief notes:

  • I like how the inmates wear the medical/science jumpsuit. Even penal colonies use Starfleet uniforms.
  • That door guard is as bad a Worf. “There’s an intruder on a ship, so I’ll guard the turbolift with my back to it and not bother to turn around when it opens”. The rest of the bridge crew had faster reactions than this guy, including when he first entered the bridge!
  • I like that the Enterprise has a psychologist. The Enterprise-D had to make do with a Counsellor and a bar tender, but here we have a full fledged Dr.
  • I feel like you get a lot more named misc crew members on this series than in TNG. Shame most of them are eye candy babes so far.
    • Speaking of eye candy: Her uniform is really badly tailored around the neck and doesn’t fit/far too short on the rear! You can see her blue under-shorts when she’s just walking around!!
  • In this episode, when Kirk and the psychologist beam down, the new FX is a lovely 60s style Matt painting which they beam down “into”, whereas the old FX is a physical set ! I wonder why they decided to cover that up? It’s the traditional polystyrene world type thing.
  • It starts with a rather progressive view on mental health for the late 60s, but then quickly descends into something worse than electro shock therapy, and Dr. Noel implies this kind of machine is standard on Earth?
  • This is a sort of “space detective” episode, with the Captain taking the lead.
  • When it comes to away missions Kirk is already cavalier enough, for my tastes, as he’s always wading into danger on his own. And now he voluntarily experiments on himself with a mind wiping machine. What’s wrong with him? Why is he so reckless? I can understand not wanting to order Dr. Noel to get in, but why strap yourself in? Especially as he did it solo at first, until Dr. Noel comes to his rescue! What a loon.
  • Though Dr. Noel is no better. A “harmless suggestion” is indeed “you’re hungry”, but “ps you love me and we didn’t go far enough at the Christmas party” wasn’t really professional, now was it? This is as bad as when the Yoeman talks about her legs in Miri. Do all ladies in Starfleet fall for Kirk?
  • Aside from the unrequited love, the rest of the time she acts like she’s good at her job and repeatedly tells Kirk to stuff it when he questions her competence. And, as mentioned by @Rock8man, she’d also be a good stand in for John McClane. Overall, it’s a surprisingly “positive” role, given what we’ve seen of other women in Starfleet.
  • Also: Christmas, or at least Christmas parties, still exists! Interesting choice from Roddenberry there.
  • A Mind meld! Which Spock claims is rare, yet they manage to do it all the time from now on :)
  • How does the doctor think he’s going to get away with it? Is he going to phone up the Enterprise and say “sorry, your Captain and psychologist accidentally fell into the machine”.

Overall I though this episode was a watchable blend of space sleuthing, ACTION!, and warnings about superhumanism.

(ps, notch up another episode about transcendism. It’s either that or ancient dying races so far.)

Current Ranking

Great

N/A

Good:

  1. S1E4: The Naked Time
  2. S1E5: The Enemy Within

Mediocre:

  1. S1E9: Dagger Of The Mind
  2. S1E7: What Are Little Girls Made of?

Awful:

  • S1E3: Where No Man Has Gone Before
  • S1E6: Mudd’s Women
  • S1E8: Miri

Skipped:

  • S1E0: The Cage
  • S1E1: The Man Trap
  • S1E2: Charlie X

#610

I know, right? First suggestion really was harmless. The second suggestion she starts writing romantic fiction into Kirk’s head. If the villain hadn’t interrupted her, that would have been the entire rest of the episode.

Hahahah. I’d forgotten about that guy. When the guard first appears, the whole bridge crew is startled and turn around, but it’s only a guard. And then later I forgot about him because he was overpowered so quickly without turning around. How useless!


#611

By the way, I know you’re going off some kind of online list, but I would recommend both The Man Trap and Charlie X. They’re both better than most of the episodes you’ve watched so far IMO.


#612

Concur. I’d also hold off on voting in polls that have selections from episodes you haven’t seen.


#613

No the redshirt just signifies “Support” Branch personnel. In my years of playing Star Trek the Role Playing Game, the game treated the position as a Department-head position (on a larger ship) so we gleaned TOS carefully for references to this position. Several episodes make reference to one-shot Security Chiefs (aka Chief of Security as well).

Lieutenant Pitcairn - The Menagerie, Part 1 S1E15
Lieutenant Commander Giotto - Devil in the Dark S1E20
“Security Chief” - Tomorrow is Yesterday S1E21
Lieutenant Freeman - Assignment: Earth S2E26
Lieutenant Dickerson - The Savage Curtain S3E22

Savage Curtain specifically states that it is most definitely a Department-Head position of its own.

Sulu is named as being Security Chief on the ISS Enterprise in Mirror, Mirror S2E10.

In my opinion, fo a very large ship, with a large, specifically trained Security contingent, a separate position makes sense, as it is on a Naval Vessel (note however, in the USN, that function would be filled and performed by Marines on a larger vessel).

For a smaller vessel, an the position as an Additional Duty (Weapons & Security position, for instance) seems to make more sense.

Kirk delegates a lot of direct, detailed instructions in all episodes to Spock as First Officer (aka XO/Executive Officer).


#614

Thanks for this - you’ve helped me put my finger on what I don’t like about “Dagger of the Mind”, which is that we’ve already done all this before with Dr Korby in “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” except that episode had an interesting Ship of Theseus concept at its core and this has psychological gobbledygook. Plus it had Lurch.


#615

On the tropey-ish nature, I do agree. It’s almost like they really were waiting for some scripts to finish baking in a script oven with this, Miri, The Enemy Within, Mudd’s Women, Where Little Girls.
I just prefer this to that episode (Pink Penis Nonsense, Two Kirk Tropey stuff, Bad Chapel, Andrea suspenders).

I shall quote myself:


#616

Yes, we’re about to start an extremely strong run of episodes. Should be a blast.


#617

Hahahah. I don’t know who Andrea is, but I immediately knew from the word Suspenders. Most unique costume/dress I’ve seen on TV. I’m not sure if it could be described as sexy or tomboyish or ridiculous.


#618

That is why i rank that episode so low (sorry, @RichVR, @divedivedive ). When it isn’t a comedy and I laugh that much when I am not supposed to, that knocks it down a few notches. What Are Little Girls Are Made Of? is season 3 level, campy, unintentional comedy. Sorry, Lurch.

Another thing. Chapel gets to meet long lost fiance on world doing “Archaeological Science Explory Stuff” sounds a lot like:

McCoy gets to meet long lost fiance on world where her husband is doing “Archaeological Science Explory Stuff”


#619

“Dagger of the Mind” is such a nothing of an Episode. Thematically there’s some ok stuff here. I appreciate the idea that in the future they were looking for ways to rehabilitate and not just put people away forever.

There’s also some great interplay between Kirk, McCoy, and Spock at the top of the Episode. And Kirk’s demeanor for much of the episode was oddly good-natured. Even the banter with the crew in the transporter room was light. I thought to myself, “Yeah, I can see how people respect and admire him as Captain.”

I think there is good set up here, but it’s all over so fast it feels like they never make a case for the themes. Nearly everything that happens of importance occurs in the last 10 minutes. Before that, it’s a lot of walking around the colony.

Notes (in which I partly crib from Pod’s excellent comments):

  • When I was younger I used to snicker at the work Penal.

  • “Mister Spock, you tell McCoy that she had better check out as the best assistant I ever had.”
    That line got a big laugh from my wife.

  • Kirk decides to try the Mind Erasing machine on himself??

  • What happens at the Christmas party stays at the Christmas party. Geeze, ever her name is Noel.

  • First Mind Meld!

  • The end goal of Dr. Adams is unclear with regard to what he did to Kirk.

  • But I thought it was clever that on the planet Tantalus, Adams plants the suggestion that he longs for Dr Noel, and then takes her away.

-Greg out!


#620

Later there will be a Tantalus Device that takes people away!


#621

GregB finally posts the only screenshot that matters in this episode.

I had the same thought during the episode. And it was immediately followed by the thought “he reminds me of Chris Pine in this episode”.

(For @Navaronegun: Chris Pine is the actor who plays Kirk in the new movies that you haven’t seen, and the young Shatner reminds me a lot of him in other episodes so far as well).