Don’t Tell Me…Tuesday

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I recently bought a personalised notebook. I have been trying to find such a thing for a long time.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that note books and diaries can be found anywhere. And you would be right – not to mention the option of apps or even just a computer document.

However when browsing shops I never found one that was just right. I am using the notebook kind of like a diary but not really – and as I work shifts I cannot have the same personal schedule all the time.

I got this from a website called ‘So Typical Me‘. You can choose from a notebook or a diary and build it from the ground up. It is a wonderful way for me to organise myself and try and keep track of the myriad of things that I want to do. (I believe I am supposed to say here that this is not sponsored – is that just a YouTube thing?)

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When browsing through the options at my local notebook shop none of them were quite right. I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew I would know it when I saw it. Do you know what I mean?

Well I didn’t see it. So to the internet I went – well actually I saw an advert.

Some of my pages are trackers. There are 31 little circles and a place to write what is being tracked. This could be used for something that needs to be done daily – that is not how I am using it.

There are so many things I want to do. In an ideal world I would do them all each day.

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Actually in an ideal world I would go traveling and not worry about anything! Who am I kidding? I am always worrying about something.

I do not have the time to do that. So instead I use the trackers to make a record of what I did last so that, in theory, over time everything gets done.

To keep track of stuff I am using stickers.

Yes this whole post is leading to talking about the acquisition of stickers.

I ordered some off the internet two days ago (Friday) and they are going to arrive on Tuesday. That feels like a long time.

I remember when six-eight weeks was a standard waiting time for a delivery. Today things can be delivered by the end of the day – or even within the hour!

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To be clear I am not actually complaining. I am not exactly ordering something of vital – and the note book did come with stickers. It just struck me how much things have change just in the course of my lifetime.

How might stuff change in the future?

Baring the invention of the teleporter I can’t see delivery getting any faster than that.

Imagine someone in the late 22nd century being annoyed because the product they ordered was going to take longer than 47 seconds to be beamed to them.

It may sound ridiculous to us now but looking across time so much seems ridiculous. Remember ordering pizza in the 90s? You would use a phone and actually have to speak to a human! And then that human would have to find your address on a map and bring it to you. Compared to asking Google to direct you that seems like magic to me – just as Google would have seemed magical back then.

Incidentally I try to avoid activities that require talking to humans!

What changes make you feel amazed?

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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The Galileo Seven – TOS a Review

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One thing that comes up for me again and again while watching TOS is the general disrespect Spock receives. He is the executive officer of the ship and yet the crew do not treat him as they should.

Before that though we are introduced to Galactic High Commissioner Ferris – he will be our obstinate bureaucrat for the episode. For those that don’t not know the obstinate bureaucrat is it is a character who seems to exist purely for the purposes of standing in the way of the other characters.

In this case Kirk has stopped to investigate Murasaki 312 – and the commissioner is here to remind him of the ticking clock of the episode. The Enterprise has a deadline – the delivery of medical supplies. So rather than warping away, making their deliver, and coming back Kirk decides to stop for a scientific study.

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A shuttle with seven people on board is drawn into the phenomenon and before you can say whoopsie doodle the shuttle loses contact with the Enterprise and crashes.

It is difficult to see this episode on its own. A shuttle crashing becomes a staple of Trek later on. In Star Trek: Voyager so many were lost. However this episode is the first shuttle crash.

I find myself agreeing with the High Commissioner. Kirk shouldn’t have sent out the shuttle party with such a small amount of time available.

Nevertheless the stakes are well established. Much of the Enterprise’s equipment will not function meaning that they will have to come within visual range of their people.

Made me think of this immediately!

The shuttle crew find a planet to set down. In Star Trek there is always a convenient planet! And not just a planet but one with a breathable atmosphere.

We immediately set up the theme for the episode. Spock is logical.

Also McCoy is emotional since we are stating the obvious.

Spock tries the communication system. Scotty questions this as the system is unlikely to work.

 I expect nothing, Mister Scott. It is merely logical to try all the alternatives.

Spock (Star Trek: TOS: The Galileo Seven)

Meanwhile on the Enterprise another shuttle is launched as the transporters don’t work. This is not so good. Because, unfortunately, the shuttles are not exactly a formidable craft. Sorry, Master Bra’tak.

The Galileo doesn’t have enough fuel to reach escape velocity. They are 500 pounds over weight. Which is 226 kilograms. I don’t know why Starfleet is using pounds!

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Since the shuttle has very little in excess weight the only option maybe for someone, or several someones, to stay behind. Either that or start running around the planet to lose weight!

To Spock the idea that someone may have to stay is treated as a logical reality of their situation. The crew respond calling Spock heartless.

The thing is these are military personal. I know Starfleet is not supposed to be a military but if it looks like a duck… so shouldn’t the idea of sacrifice have entered there minds? Do they not cover that in Starfleet training?

Spock is logical which means he would choose himself to die if that was the best chance for all the others.

If any minor damage was overlooked, it was when they put his head together.

Not his head, Mister Boma, his heart. His heart.

Boma and McCoy (Star Trek: TOS: The Galileo Seven)

The the inevitable happens. Someone dies. I bet you didn’t see that coming did you? To be fair that particular trope hadn’t really become so much of a cliché yet – also the dead guy wasn’t in red.

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Here is where I do want to levy some criticism at Spock. His obliviousness. When he sees that Latimer has been killed by one of the natives he focuses on the weapon used rather than the fact that someone is dead.

While Spock may not experience emotion he should surely understand them. To be clear I am not saying this is bad writing. On the contrary a character having a flaw is very welcome indeed.

There is a brief scene on the Enterprise but all that happens is we find out they are having no luck and Ferris reminds Kirk of the ticking clock.

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On the planet the landing party are arguing. Mr Boma wants to have a service for Latimer. Spock feels it is a waste of time. On this one I have to side with Spock.

They are in a dangerous situation here. The focus needs to be on the still living crew members. I am reminded of Q Who from TNG. Eighteen crewmembers are killed in that episode and Geordi has to remind Ensign Gomez that right now the shields need to be their focus and they can grieve later.

Right now getting off this rock is there top priority. If they don’t get off this rock in a timely fashion they are all going to die. A service for Latimer can be done later. This would be different if there was no hurry but there is a hurry and they have other priorities. The humans support a violent response.

I am frequently appalled by the low regard you Earthmen have for life

Spock (Star Trek: TOS: The Galileo Seven)

This is a rather odd statement given that they do have stun weapons. However it could be argued that since they know so little about these people that maybe it would be difficult to judge what setting to use. Gaetano and Boma’s insubordination is grating. It is not so much what they are saying as how they are saying it. I have been watching Stargate SG-1 recently and there are times when Carter or O’Neill disagree with orders but, on the whole, they are able to express their displeasure in constructive ways.

Meanwhile Scotty has a plan. Who else where you expecting to get them out of this mess? He will drain the phasers to use as a power sauce. The problem is that they are also their only defence against the natives but with no other choice that plan is a go.

And then… another one bites the dust…

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Gaetano is presumed dead. And then confirmed dead. Spock picks up his body to return to the shuttle.

I think here he is showing a sign of beginning to understand. Taking the body back is illogical but he knows that it is what the humans will want.

Spock’s plan relies on his interpretation of what the natives will do. He predicts that the natives will be scared off by their superior fire power. Instead they attack.

They were perfectly predictable to anyone with feeling. You might as well admit it, Mister Spock, your precious logic brought them down on us.

Doctor McCoy (Star Trek: TOS: The Galileo Seven)

The landing party continue to argue. This seems to be a constant theme of TOS – yelling at each other in times of crisis. Spock is different. He experiences the world in a way foreign to others. I am reminded of a line from Blake’s 7.

I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.

Avon (Blake’s 7: Duel)

That is a very Spock line. I think it explains perfectly the way Spock sees things.

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Spock does care about the crew. However, as I said before, he will do what is best for the most people. As he will say later it is the needs of the many that are important. Spock would pull the lever in the trolley problem.

In regards to the the argument about the service of the dead. Spock is right. Such a thing is a luxury that they do not have time for. It wouldn’t exactly be good if they all died because they were having a funeral?

I do like that McCoy and Scotty eventually call Mr Boma out on his attitude.

Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, one of the search parties returns to the ship with one dead. And the Enterprise is forced to leave. Kirk being Kirk he does this as slow as possible to give the shuttle crew every last second.

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The shuttle manages to lift off. Since they cannot maintain the orbit for long, nor live on the planet, Spock detonates their fuel – this is essentially like sending up a flair.

The Enterprise sees it, obviously, and the survivors are rescued.

The episode ends with making fun of Spock for the, in the minds of the humans, emotional decision. In other words it is very light-hearted. Only three men are dead?

In conclusion I am not completely sure what to make of this episode. It certainly has its moments and the logic versus emotion is interesting. However I could have done without the ticking clock element to the story. I really don’t feel it adds anything – and it is rather silly that Kirk sends his people into danger with so little time.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Freewrite#3

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I am writing this in a coffee shop about 3 miles from home. (He said not being 100% sure how far.) Actually 4.4 kilometres which is actually 2.73 miles.

I walked here, in lieu of joining a gym, so as to get some exercise in my life. I keep coming back to that idea of joining a gym and then veering away from it again. Why would I want to join a gym? Well to try and make myself look…better. Honestly I do not find them especially fun places. They are loud and everyone else is always prettier than me!

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Walking here for a hot chocolate seems better. Even if that, and the food I had rather negates the effect of the exercise.

The point of the Freewrite was to not be distracted. So how is that going? Well I am distracted a bit. There is still my phone next to me. Aside from checking that distance information I am managing to stay away from it. There is the music my phone identifies as Mr Big Stuff (woops distracted again).

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Across from me is a woman with purple hair. She has her computer with her. It has a stylised cat on the top. You know the type pointed ears and intricate patterns for the fur.

I find myself wondering what she might be writing. Is it a university project? Is it a novel? Is it a poem? She could be self-employed and doing her taxes for all I know.

There are two women sitting across from each other reading. Together but separate. Enjoying each other’s company but also their own individual book.

At the table next to me are two women with laptops. If had to guess I would say all five are at university and have come here to study.

Do you ever people watch? It can be fascinating.

There is also an older couple in the far corner and a middle aged man on his own with a book.

I like using the Freewrite here. I think it is better than a full laptop. And I am not sitting around my usual home clutter.

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I am for sure making a few errors but that what editing is for.

Now that it is a week later and I am editing I can tell you there are many errors.

Writing about what I am writing is probably one of the sillier things I could be writing but it is all I have got.

The other day I wrote a piece for an article competition. I cannot share it with you here for that reason. I used the Freewrite and after a few false starts, because the competition could be on any subject, I got it done.

A new plan is emerging in my mind for this blog. 500 words a pieces. seems like a good amount.

I do actually have a couple of things I could be doing while I am here in town. The time is 1352 and I think I just hit the after noon slump.

I have so far walked 10,928 steps. I haven’t decided if I will walk home or not. The weather might decide that one for me.

(Spoiler alert: I did not walk home)

Well that is 500 words. So see you next time.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Creative inspiration – Motivation to keep creating

I thought this article was very interesting and had some useful advice.

Wandering Ambivert

Does it sometimes feel like you have nothing to create or don’t know what to do? Or you do know but don’t have the motivation to do it. Call it writer’s block, creative block, photographer’s block, or whatever.

Let me reignite that flame.

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Shore Leave – TOS a Review

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It has been a long time since I wrote one of these. I am going to put it down to my thoughts being a jumbled mess. I have several drafts but I have now decided to go with a simple plan. Sit at my Freewrite – write for 15 minutes and then edit and post. Will it work? Who can say.

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Shore Leave is not one of my favourite episodes. That said it is not actually bad. This is a show where the ship would one day be taken over by a group of children. The children were controlled by an alien, played by a lawyer, and dressed in a shower curtain but still. In that company everything else is excellent.

The problem here is that the story has little intrigue. It feels like a lot of running around until the Caretaker appears and explains what is happening.

I do like the teaser. McCoy spotting the White Rabbit and Alice is a great WTF moment – it effectively sets up the mystery and the episode demands to be watched.

I like how Spock manoeuvres Kirk into going down to the planet.

I picked this up from Dr. McCoy’s log. We have a crewmember who’s showing signs of stress and fatigue. Reaction time down nine to twelve percent, associational reading norm minus three.

That’s much too low a rating.

He’s becoming irritable and quarrelsome, yet he refuses to take rest and rehabilitation. Now, he has that right, but we’ve found —

A crewman’s right ends where the safety of the ship begins. That man will go ashore on my orders. What’s his name?

James Kirk. Enjoy yourself, Captain. It’s an interesting planet. You’ll find it very pleasant. Very much like your Earth. Scouts have detected no animals, artefacts or force fields of any kind. Only peace, sunshine and good air. You’ll have no problems.

Spock and Kirk – Shore Leave (Star Trek: The Original Series)

The ending presents an interesting idea. The race that built this place are highly advanced but they still play. In my opinion little is done with this. I would like to see less of the tiger and fighter planes and more of the exploration of this idea.

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Obviously showing an alien factory would have been prohibitively expensive and what we are left with is a story that doesn’t give us much of an insight into any of the characters.

Kirk gets into a fight, gets his shirt ripped, and meets one of his former lovers – or a facsimile of her anyway. If they added in talking a computer to death that would be the Kirk set. I do have to concede that those clichés were not as established at this point.

Yeoman Barrows continues the TOS strange approach to women – at least in my book. This is a woman who has joined the military (Starfleet is a military I don’t care what Roddenberry or Captain Picard says) and wishes to explore space – and yet she still has the fantasy of a princess and a knight in shinning armour.

I am not saying that these things are completely antithetical. It is perfectly possible to like things that don’t feel like they go together. However having watched all of TOS they certainly like to find ways to get the female characters into fancy (and sometimes impractical) dresses.

Sulu finds a gun on this planet and immediately starts firing it – which doesn’t seem like the best idea.

I like that this shore leave is taking place on a random planet rather than just a Federation port. I nice idea that shows the vastness of space and gives a real feeling of being out in the unknown. (Even if it doesn’t completely make sense. Finding an M class planet when you need one is an amazing stroke of luck.) Well that is 15 minutes and that is all I have to say. See you next time.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Freewrite#2

After the ‘excitement’ of the first Freewrite the new one has now arrived and I am typing this entry on it.

Here it is in all its dusty glory – I have the housekeeping skills of a drunk gorilla

The first Freewrite was, of course, the second as the first was actually stolen and I never saw it. The difference between the one I had before and this one is night and day. The keys just work when I tap them – that might be the bare minimum one expects from a computer but that wasn’t even happening before so progress!

When I fist turned on the one I received I thought that it was just a weird machine and it would be a bit of a learning curve. I concluded that that was why letters seemed to be taking a while to appear. As it turned out it was the beginning of the problem that killed it.

This one, in the words of the ninth doctor, is fantastic. I saw a few reviews of it before I took the plunge that said that a Freewrite was slow and rather unresponsive – not in terms of a fault but because of the nature of e-ink. I am not finding that at all. I am typing at a normal speed and the letters are coming up like normal so I don’t see that.

The big question is will this device actually help me with writing? I think it probably will. When I am working on a blog post I often get bogged down in how it looks. By the time you read this there will be a picture and a nice layout. However trying to do two things at once, getting the words right and making in look good, means that I end up doing neither very well. Separating those two facets means both are done better.

That is not all. I am bad at spelling – a constant problem – and sometimes my spelling is so bad that even a spell checker doesn’t have a clue! And thus I am distracted with the wavy red lines under the words and stop writing to go and find the correct spelling. When my spelling is just that bad I go to plan B – which is rather ridicules.

Plan B is to find a TV, or movie, script that I know contains the word. So I look it up and copy and paste the word. I know it sounds crazy but it works. Minutiae is one such word I have trouble with. (Although this time my misspelling was close enough that I could get it without plan B.) Normal I have to seek out a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine script that contains the word. (And doing this can lead to the distraction of reading the script.)

The Freewrite doesn’t have a spellchecker so no distracting lines – it is just for writing. The Freewrite doesn’t even allow for editing. Technically you can use the back arrows but they require a keyboard shortcut, no dedicated keys, but this is a feature not a bug. The whole point of the device is that you just write and that is all and that is why I wanted it.

So far I am very happy with it and I think that it is going to help. Only time will tell if I am correct in that assertion.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

PS. I have jumped over the festive period. So happiness to you for the coming year. May your dreams come true this year.

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Freewrite

Have you heard of the Freewrite TRAVELER? It is a dedicated writing machine. It uses e-ink and can do nothing more than write. I was hoping to be using it now to write this entry but I am unable to do this.

The first time I ordered one it didn’t arrive. The delivery company, who shall remain nameless, delivered an empty box. Then I got sent a replacement but the ‘e’, and a few other keys aren’t working. An ‘e’ is rather important to the English language.

So I am going to have to make a third attempt – fingers crossed!

I have thought about getting one of these devices for a while. It was the price that was stopping me. One of these is £344 which is a lot of money.

As many a reviewer points out a low end laptop can be bought for that. The question then becomes why pay more for something that does less?

What finally brought me to the decision was enforced productivity – and having a devise that is just for writing.

Will power is a good thing to have. However sometimes the best way to win is not to fight. Sun Tzu said something like that. So if you know that chocolate is too much to resist then don’t keep it in the house.

I shouldn’t keep chocolate in the house but that is a different story.

I am really bad at continuing to edit and thus never make any progress. I also get sucked into research. You know how it is. All you want to do is find the name of a city in Uzbekistan. Next thing you know you are down a rabbit hole reading about… well I am sorry I don’t know anything about the history of Uzbekistan.

The point is that distractions come in many forms. With a Freewrite the possibility of distraction is removed. I am not fighting against anything being distracted. I have no choice but to write.

That is the theory at least. When the fully functional device arrives hopefully the theory will hold.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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The Narrative

Recently I have got into Lego. Technically I have got into Lego again. I am an adult, so they tell me, therefore playing with Lego might mean something. You can call it a coping mechanism, or a midlife crises if you wish but really I think it is just harmless fun. And I am discovering that Lego is certainly not just for children anymore.

There are now sets aimed directly at adults – so be sure to duck.

I bought a set called The Bookshop. While the set looks lovely I feel it is lacking in some areas so I am going to modify it… or rather adjust it.

Saying ‘modify’ implies that I know what I am doing. I do not. So ‘adjust’ is the word I am going to go with. And this is where the crazy sets in.

I looked at the set and started to think about what I wanted to change. I can go online, money notwithstanding, and get any parts I want. But what if I saw things from the point of view of the Lego people.

Bear with me…

When writing a story it is important to have verisimilitude. That is to say believability. If your character owns a Bookshop what resources would they have? Could they afford to build an extension on their business for example?

This thought occurred to me as I was looking at the finished set. In some ways it was more interesting to me than simply making any adjustments I could imagine.

Although I did eventually demolish the whole thing!

I wonder at what age we loose our confidence in creativity.

A child will look at a pile of Lego and put them together at random. Why can’t the pirates find gold in a moon buggy? Why can’t a Bookshop deliver via helicopter? More than that though they will be much less likely to feel that what they have built is ‘wrong’.

So far I have put Hermione Granger and Harry Potter in Central Perk – and a Battle Droid is singing to them – so I am part of the way there!

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Delete…delete…delete

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Unsurprisingly there is no picture of Cybermen on Pexels. However the battle cry of the Cybermen is appropriate to this post.
I want to share my pain. If you don’t want to read my pain I understand. See you next time. If not read on.

I trust people. I should have learnt by now that is a bad idea.

Trust Ivanova. Trust yourself. Anyone else? Shoot ’em.

Commander Susan Ivanova – Babylon 5

Not all people are untrustworthy but a bit of suspicion is good. I tend not to have that. I trust people and today I had proof that that is not always a good idea. In response I am making some adjustments to how I do things on line.

This should only effect my private web presence. I am going to be far more circumspect in who I talk to online and be more careful.

Sometimes we screw up. Sometimes in small ways and sometimes in big ways. Today was the latter for me. I was a bit shaken by what happened. It was my stupidity that brought it was still another who was ultimately responsible.

I can’t say I am okay but I have deleted some internet conversations and am stopping using some apps. I will be okay.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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Balance of Terror – TOS a Review

This is one of the best episodes of Star Trek. It is also important to the Star Trek universe as it is the introduction of the Romulans to the series.

One

The great strength of this episode is that the Romulans are complex. It would have been very easy to have had than as simple villains. That is not what we get though. The Romulan commander does not want a war but he is a man of duty and will fulfil his mission because of that.

We see the Commander and Kirk’s respect for each other. The Commander telling Kirk that under different circumstances they could have been friends is wonderful and very powerful.

Two

Naturally this episode is an allegory for a battle between a submarine and a surface ship. This works well with one exception. I refer to the silent scene. Yes there is a scene where both crews are working quietly so as to not be heard – in space?

I don’t really mind this as it is a small part of the episode. It is also possible that the sensors could detect vibrations – that’s all I’ve got.

Three

Bigotry is an important part of the episode. When Spock reveals that the Romulans look like Vulcans Stiles is immediately suspicious.

Given that Star Trek tends to say that humans are above such concepts it is an interesting addition. I did start to write a longwinded passage on this – but lets keep things simple. Bigotry is bad. Maybe not that simple. I don’t think that overcoming negative emotions is that simple.

In DS9 Captain Sisko (as a Commander) says that it is easy to be a saint in paradise. This line pretty much sums up DS9 but it is important for this episode too. Sometimes we don’t experience the dark side of our nature until we are tested.

Stiles is admonished by Kirk, and rightfully so, and told to remember that the war is over. A very important lesson. Without learning that a new war can start taking revenge on the grandchildren for what their grandparents did.

Four

It is rather silly that the Romulan war was fought without visual communication. However it is necessary to the plot. Given the secretive nature of the Romulans it does fit it just seems unlikely. That however is coming from a 21st century perspective.

Five

The interactions between the Romulan officers and crew is well done. The Centurion and the Commander talk about other campaigns they have fought together. I find myself wondering who they were fighting. It is never said and I doubt that it was ever worked out. My guess is the Breen. Although they weren’t invented till TNG.

Six

The neutral zone doesn’t make a lot of sense. In fact boarders in three dimensions are problematic at best. Again for the same of the story, any story, things have to slide.

Seven

The episode ends poignant. There will be no new war but the Enterprise lost a member of the crew. Unlike other episode the death of this redshirt (he wears gold so I am being figurative) matters.

Over all this is a fantastic episode. It deals with its heavy themes well and we are left with a classic episode.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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