Eruditorum Press

No ideas but in Swamp Thing

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.

7 Comments

  1. gatchamandave
    April 15, 2014 @ 11:30 pm

    Because your evil is my good?

    Reply

  2. EclecticDave
    April 16, 2014 @ 2:42 am

    "If you had the power to reshape history, why wouldn't you make the best future you could?"

    Well if you had good reason to believe that your action would make the future better, then sure – why not. On the other hand if you had reason to believe that your meddling might result in a worse future, then maybe you would be better advised to leave well enough alone.

    To take your earlier example of Kirk interfering in Pearl Harbor – surely there would be ample reason to believe that if the Americans stayed out of WWII and that allowed Germany to win that this would represent a worse outcome? (even given that Hitler's regime would probably have fallen at some point anyway – I'm not one of those people that believe that the Nazi's would still rule the world to this day)

    Mind you it's probably true that it might also have prevented Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but then again how much did those events affect the formation of the MAD strategy that formed the basis of the Cold War? (I don't know the answer to that one)

    Of course none of those are the reasons why I personally would avoid altering history – for me it would be more to do with making sure I didn't make my kids cease to exist … selfish I know, but there you go.

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  3. Josh Marsfelder
    April 16, 2014 @ 7:50 am

    "Well if you had good reason to believe that your action would make the future better, then sure – why not. On the other hand if you had reason to believe that your meddling might result in a worse future, then maybe you would be better advised to leave well enough alone."

    This is largely the point I was trying to make. In this episode, there is no explicit reason given why Pike needed to be handicapped: According to the story's internal narrative logic, the only things that "had" to happen were that the cadets were saved and the ship blew up. Captain!Kirk's staunch declaration that Pike needs to make a heroic sacrifice actually makes no sense in that context.

    Of course, I really dislike this kind of time travel story anyway. To me they always wind up feeling pretty samey and pointless. Still an entertaining watch, though.

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  4. Ross
    April 16, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

    It's a very small thing, but I have some mild annoyance at the fact that this story, like pretty much every expanded-universe story to feature the Guardian of Forever, just silently omits the entire matter of the one never-explained little mystery about the Guardian that's always intrigued me: that you can't just ask it to send you somewhere. In among all the other mysterious things about the Guardian, there's that one weird little thing that, far as I know, no one has ever expanded on. The Guardian can show you a really fast highlight-reel of history, into which you can jump, ending up round and about somewhere nearish whatever you were seeing at the time, within the limits of your reaction time and how far you can jump. And this the only way it works, and is apparently a deliberate design choice. Which is weird. And is kinda the one thing about the Guardian that I would think makes it a more interesting time machine than the approximately ten zillion other ways to do time travel in the Star Trek universe.

    So it''s a bit annoying that they'd evoke the iconography but leave that out.

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  5. Daru
    April 16, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

    Despite the flaws I still do love this. And there are flaws, but I suppose no more than you would expect from a donations based group of 'amateurs' (not hat they always look like that with their frankly awesome CGI). Yes at times I do get bored of "let's do time travel so we can keep everything the same, even the arbitrary stuff". But hey, I do think that this vision of the show is a positive step forwards.

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  6. Daru
    April 16, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

    Though I will add that when commenting on the CGI I do think that they really improve even more after watching some of the more recent episodes. And I still get kinda bored of big space battles. Great sci-fi for me is more about the characters.

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  7. Daru
    April 16, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

    And one more thing to add after just re watching – it is absolutely ghastly that Pike should remain disabled and for that wrongness is especially underlined when Spock asks him not to wither away and closes with "Live long & prosper", which is quite an awfully unaware thing to say in that situation.

    Reply

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