Thu
Mar 25 2010 4:28pm
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Obsession”

“Obsession”
Written by Art Wallace
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 2, Episode 13
Production episode: 2x18
Original air date: December 15, 1967
Star date: 3619.2

Mission summary

Kirk, Spock, and some red shirts are surveying Argus X for tritanium, a substance Spock says is “21.4 times as hard” as a diamond. As they look at a rock, a strange fog rolls over the rocks above them, but it retreats when they harvest a tritanium sample with a phaser beam. Kirk hasn’t seen the fog, but he notices a sweet odor. The smell triggers the memory of something on another planet eleven years ago. He sends the security officers out to look for a “gaseous cloud,” and asks Spock to scan for dikironium, an element rarely seen and even more rarely pronounced. From Enterprise, Scott reminds him that they’ll be late for their rendezvous with Yorktown if they delay, but Kirk doesn’t care. A little ways off, Ensign Rizzo monologues on how the thing he’s scanning seems to be changing, while the fog surrounds his two friends and appears to suffocate them. Instead of firing at it, he calls Kirk and Spock to tell them about it. By the time they rush to his aid, he’s unconscious, and Kirk already knows the dead security men are missing all of their red blood cells. Spock asks what they’re looking for, and he replies, “Something that can’t possibly exist, but it does.”

Kirk seems intent on finding whatever it is that can’t possibly exist, even though they’re due to pick up perishable vaccines that are desperately needed on Theta VII. Unconcerned that he’s risking so many lives, he rushes to sickbay to interrogate Rizzo, fresh from a blood transfusion but still in bad shape. McCoy grudgingly allows Kirk to ask his patient some questions. Rizzo confirms that he smelled something sweet, like he was “smothered in honey.” The captain asks whether he sensed the presence of intelligence, and he claims it was drawing strength from them. McCoy has a lot of research ahead of him to figure out what killed the men, but Kirk saves him some trouble by telling him to read up on similar deaths on the Farragut eleven years ago. Even Nurse Chapel wonders “What’s with the captain?”

Kirk orders Rizzo’s replacement to the Bridge, Ensign Garrovick. Not only was he friends with Rizzo, who just kicked it, but Kirk mentions that he knew Garrovick’s father; this red shirt is not like the others, so he might have a chance of surviving the episode. Spock conjectures that the creature that he doesn’t believe in might be altering its molecular structure. They scan for it on the planet and Kirk leads another away team to the surface. They split into two search parties, and he strongly encourages his men to fire at the cloud on sight.

The creature soon creeps up on Garrovick’s group. He fires on it after a moment, but it attacks the two men who never got names, leaving one dead and the other in critical condition. Kirk concludes that this is the same creature that killed most of the crew on the Farragut... eleven years ago. It seems pretty clear that this thing doesn’t like them (or likes their blood more) and they should get the heck away. Even Kirk wonders why he’s keeping the ship there.

Kirk, Scott, and McCoy debrief Garrovick on his encounter with the cloud monster and is especially hard on the ensign, accusing him of freezing when faced with the creature. He relieves the young man of duty and confines him to quarters. On the Bridge, Mr. Scott mentions that he’s cleaning the vent on impulse engine two while they’re sitting around, and reminds Kirk that they still have to get to Theta VII. Kirk repeats that Enterprise isn’t leaving the planet and snaps, “I’m getting a little tired of my senior officers conspiring against me.” He immediately apologizes for using the word “conspire” and orders them to keep scanning the planet.

Concerned about the captain’s erratic behavior, Spock visits McCoy for his insight into human irrationality and obsession. He also shares his own research with the doctor, revealing that Kirk was stationed on the Farragut...eleven years ago...serving under Captain Garrovick, the ensign’s father. On his first deep space mission, Lieutenant James T. Kirk hesitated before firing on the cloud creature, and has spent the rest of his life blaming himself for his crewmates’ deaths. McCoy tries to talk some sense into the Captain in his quarters, explaining that it wasn’t his fault, but Kirk says:

I can’t help how I feel. There’s an intelligence about it, Bones. A malevolence. It’s evil. It must be destroyed.

McCoy tries a different tactic, threatening to pronounce Kirk unfit for command. He brings Spock in as a witness. It turns out they are conspiring against him! Spock does it by the book and asks the captain to explain himself. Kirk continues to insist that the cloud is a thinking creature, and the skeptical Spock agrees that if it is, it could pose a threat. Kirk seizes on this as his excuse, claiming, “Intuition is recognized as a command prerogative.” Chekov summons him to the Bridge—the cloud is leaving the planet.

Enterprise pursues with a vengeance, but can’t keep up, even pushing at warp eight. Spock’s scans indicate that the creature is in a “borderline state between matter and energy,” which is pretty weird. Even weirder, the creature slows down and approaches them, which finally convinces Spock that it’s intelligent after all and is now stalking them. He and McCoy apologize to Kirk—they should have believed him all along. Phasers and photon torpedoes pass through the cloud with no effect, as if it were...a cloud. It easily penetrates their shields and moves into the ship through the impulse engine Scott opened earlier. They shut down all the air vents, but it’s already in their ventilation system, restricting the crew to two hours of oxygen. Meanwhile, in a fit of frustration and guilt, Ensign Garrovick throws the lid of a food tray and accidentally switches the vent on in his quarters.

Spock takes a turn trying to relieve Kirk of his guilt, babbling about the creature being out of “time sync.” There’s no way he could have stopped the creature eleven years ago even if he’d made like Han Solo and shot first. It’s small comfort, and Kirk tells him to sell it somewhere else. So Spock visits Ensign Garrovick to deliver the same message, but with a slightly different approach:

I would like you to consider that the hesitation for which you are blaming yourself is an hereditary trait of your species. When suddenly faced by the unknown or imminent danger, the human will experience a split second of indecision. He hesitates.

Fortunately Garrovick’s attention wanders during this pep talk, because he notices the cloud creature coming through his air vent—which is definitely his fault. Spock throws the lieutenant into the corridor for his safety and attempts to stop the gas from coming through with his hands, which is about as effective as you’d expect. Fortunately his green Vulcan blood, with its hemoglobin based on copper instead of iron, protects him from the cloud’s appetite until the air flow can be reversed, sucking the creature back up.

Scotty flushes the vents with radioactive waste, and the creature escapes into space and takes off at speed. Kirk thinks he knows where it’s heading; when he smelled the cloud in Garrovick’s quarters, the thought of home came to him, so it’s probably going back to Tychos IV, where the Farragut first encountered it. He’s so confident they can wrap this up, he signals the Yorktown that they’ll meet in 48 hours.

Garrovick asks to be returned to duty, and Kirk agrees, telling him that even if he had fired immediately, his phaser wouldn’t have had any effect. He realizes the same is true of his own first run-in with the cloud. Their new sense of vindication doesn’t stop them from trying to blow the hell out of the creature. Spock surmises it’s going to its home planet to spawn, so they devise a plan to lure it with a container of hemoplasma and an antimatter bomb. But while they’re setting up the trap, the cloud takes all the hemoplasma, leaving them without bait—unless they use themselves.

Garrovick tries to knock out Kirk to take his place as bait, or maybe just knock some sense into him. Kirk fights him off and keeps his shirt on. “This is no time for heroics,” he says. “I have no intention of sacrificing myself, at least not yet.” It’ll be close, though: the bomb has the destructive power of 10,000 cobalt bombs, which sounds like a lot. It will destroy half the planet’s atmosphere, send a shockwave that will threaten Enterprise, and make it difficult to transport out at the moment of detonation. Other than that, it’s a brilliant plan, and not heroic in the slightest.

As soon as the cloud wanders over for lunch, Kirk signals the ship to set off the bomb and beam them up, or maybe it’s the other way around. Scott has trouble materializing their patterns though. While McCoy grumbles about the transporters, Spock manages to TECH and saves them. With the rare alien lifeform dead and Enterprise on its way to perform its actual mission to save human lives, Kirk takes a moment to bond with Garrovick, promising to tell him stories about his old man.


Analysis

I’ve always liked this episode and I still do, though now I’m far more critical of it. It’s a fairly straightforward revenge tale, reminiscent of “The Conscience of the King.” (Boy, Kirk has a lot of baggage!) It’s always interesting when we learn the background of one of the main characters, especially such an important period in Kirk’s career. As if Kirk didn’t have enough of a reason to avenge the death of his first commander and his Farragut shipmates, we have Ensign Garrovick, a convenient reminder of the incident and a man with his own grudge. The ensign must be aware that this cloud creature killed his father, but it never seems to come up; instead, his motivation derives from its murder of his pal Rizzo and his desire to prove that he isn’t a spaz.

If this episode suffers, it’s from trying too hard to offer justification for their actions, and the usual plot coincidences that afflict many a Star Trek episode. Scott leaving the impulse engine open, Garrovick accidentally hitting the air vent switch and allowing the creature in... this strains credibility a bit. Obviously, the Ahab routine is trotted out for this one, as it is again and again in Star Trek. But Kirk’s obsession might be emphasized too much, as well as his callousness to his mission and his tortured indecision—he knows he’s making a mistake, but he can’t help himself. His feelings are probably justified given the horrors of his past, but at the heart of it, I’m not sure Kirk is right to hunt this thing to extinction. Honestly, they ran into the creature at random on a planet, it acted within its nature, and despite its potential to kill more people, as far as we know it’s been minding its business for the past eleven years, moving only from one uninhabited planet to another. It’s sad fate reminded me of a more sinister space-faring creature from TNG, the Crystalline Entity.

Spock theorizes that the cloud creature is going home to spawn, but he has no evidence of this, so it pretty much comes out of nowhere. He barely understands how it even can be alive. (I also found it interesting that this is a rare instance where Spock doesn’t push for the opportunity to study a new lifeform.) Couldn’t they just do their delivery of medical supplies and then come back to kill, contain, or communicate with it? Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but why can’t the Yorktown deliver the supplies if they’re so important?

I’m not sure I believe Spock’s claim that the alien’s time sync would have prevented Kirk from harming it if he’d fired immediately. It appears to fear phasers, given how it retreats at the beginning of the episode (and by the way, I love how that little bit of rock pops off the boulder), so maybe if it doesn’t have time to shift out of sync, it could be killed?

Nonetheless, this episode was a solid blend of mystery and tension, as close to an X-File as we get in Star Trek. I especially enjoyed its horror movie qualities; usually when the fog rolls in, there’s a monster hiding in it, but in this case the fog is the monster. Besides, any episode where Nurse Chapel gets to show her cleverness is worth watching.

Eugene’s Rating: Warp 4 (on a scale of 1-6)

Torie Atkinson: I enjoyed this episode, but it felt like a weak re-tread of interesting ideas that had been better explored in earlier episodes. The Kirk-wants-revenge plot was much better dealt with in “Conscience of the King,” and we just saw an episode around an unfit-to-command Kirk betrayed by his best friend and first officer in “The Deadly Years.” Even the alien-vampire had already been done with “The Man Trap.”

I do wish that the episode had spent less time obsessing (ha) over Kirk’s recklessness and focused more on the idea of guilt and not being able to let go of the past. I thought the moment where you see Ensign Garrovick return to his quarters and cry was the most moving five seconds of the entire episode. Guilt, earned or not, is an incredibly overpowering emotion. We see its effects on Kirk only as anger—I was hoping we’d get to see the other sides of it. Oh well. Here it was a pretty straightforward excuse to have Kirk do foolish things, like let millions of civilians die (um, really Kirk?).

Also, where was the Spock-blocking in this episode?! We have this unknowable, terrifying, dangerous life form that we understand not in the least, which Kirk is bent on exterminating. We have no idea if it’s the last of its kind, or if it’s actually killed anyone since that incident 11 years ago, or if it even is malevolent. They had thought the Horta was malevolent and discovered it was just another lifeform trying to survive human encroachment. Why didn’t Spock try and prevent its death? No one at any point says “Hey, you know, maybe it just needs blood to survive, like that other vampire we found that we accidentally killed and damn wasn’t that a shame?” Shame on you, Spock.

As far as historical relevance goes, the first thing I thought of when I saw that gas cloud was poison gas of World War II and Vietnam. I’m not claiming it’s an allegory by any means, but there is something particularly terrifying about death from something as insubstantial as gas. We had no idea the damage that Agent Orange would do when we released it in 60s. This enemy is so much more dangerous when you can’t man-fight it to death. It wasn’t until 1984 that Reagan called for an international ban on chemical weapons, and 1997 until the multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention went into force. Even the 1995 sarin gas attacks in Tokyo are a reminder of how terrifying and massively destructive poison gas can be. What if it had intelligence? Malevolence, even?

All in all, this is a solid installment of Kirk vs. the unknowable. I liked the tension, the implications, and the general horror of it all. It’s so alien that communication is impossible, its motives are unknowable, and its path is utterly obscured. What is it? Why is it? There are always going to be things in life that we have no explanation for, and we can’t fear them. Life has many mysteries, and not all of them are innocuous.

Just don’t kill them next time, yeah?

Torie’s Rating: Warp 4 (on a scale of 1-6)

Best Line: Spock: “Mr. Scott, there was no deity involved. It was my cross-circuiting to B that recovered them.”

Syndication Edits: A Captain’s Log entry on 3619.6 and Garrovick’s initial debrief; Kirk asking if anyone has anymore questions before relieving Garrovick; Garrovick enters his quarters; when McCoy comes to Kirk’s quarters, he calls Chekov on the Bridge for an update, chats with the doctor, and returns to his bed; Enterprise chasing the cloud at warp eight and Scotty’s concern; reaction shots before Kirk orders them to slow to warp six; a pan across Garrovick’s quarters and Chapel buzzing at the door; Chapel explaining what’s been happening.

Trivia: One of the dead shirts in the teaser, Mr. Leslie (Eddie Paskey), previously appeared in a number of episodes and makes a miraculous recovery, as he returns later on in the series. Yet Jerry Ayres, who played Rizzo, previously died as Ensign O’Herlihy in “Arena” and they bothered to lighten his hair to avoid any confusion. The tower Scott admires in “I, Mudd” has been installed in Sickbay. This episode seems to contradict Kirk’s Starfleet record as stated in “Court-Martial,” where it was established that Kirk was an ensign on the U.S.S. Republic.

Other notes: Real world facts: Like Mr. Spock, octopodes have copper-based blood, hemocyanin, but theirs is blue instead of green. Cobalt bombs don’t actually exist; a so-called “salted bomb,” physicist Leó Szilárd theorized it as a type of nuclear weapon that emphasizes radioactive contamination over destructive blast by transmuting cobalt to cobalt-60. In Star Trek terms, this is apparently a yield of 4.6 million megatons, which seems to defy the laws of physics. The writer of this episode, Art Wallace, is probably most “famous” for his work on the original Dark Shadows (1966-71), and also wrote the pilot for the revival series in 1991.


Next episode: Season 2, Episode 14 - “Wolf in the Fold.” US residents can watch it for free at the CBS website.

Check the Star Trek Re-Watch Index for a complete list of posts in this series.


Eugene Myers wonders what a cloud needs with blood, anyway?

Torie Atkinson would have totally nominated this Nurse Chapel for Ada Lovelace Day yesterday. 

19 comments
Marcus W
1. toryx
I've always thought of this as a generally okay episode but it bothers me a lot that they were so eager to exterminate the thing. I can see that coming from Kirk but Spock for sure should have said something against that.

And why didn't they try to contain it somehow? It's a gas, it was in the ventilation system, they should have been able to figure out a way to bottle it up and do some scientific experiments on it.

Oh wait, they wouldn't have had time to approach it that was as part of a regular tv show.
Eugene Myers
2. ecmyers
Torie, sadly the only Spock-blocking was his lame attempt to block the gas with his hands...

@1 toryx

Yeah, I wish they could have contained it somehow for further study. They are far more trigger-happy on the series than I remembered. "To seek out new life...and exterminate it." That's something I'm glad they steered away from in TNG.
Mike Conley
3. NomadUK
One of my favourites, even though, yes, it has a lot of holes, which I'm willing to overlook for the sake of the great dramatic tension between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, as the latter two try to deal with Kirk on the warpath, with Spock once again sticking to regulations under all conditions.

The parallels with 'The Conscience of the King' are definitely there, down to Spock giving McCoy the low-down on Kirk's earlier career. You might have thought that the chief medical officer would be pretty familiar with the past of the ship's commanding officer, but, hey.

The scary bits are good, too, and the redshirt count is exceptionally high in this episode, but, really, it's all about Kirk and obsession, and coming to grips with guilt and letting it go. The gradual realisation on Kirk's part that there was nothing he — or Garrovic — could have done, is the part I wait for whenever I watch this. It's just a reminder that we all have deep, dark guilt we should let go; time to move on.

Oh, and the antigravs and the antimatter bomb: very cool. I love the way the antigrav floats there after one handle is released.

The cobalt-encased hydrogen bomb appears, of course, as The Doomsday Bomb in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and Chuck Heston sets it off. The actual Doomsday device would have consisted of a large number of such weapons, which would have generated long-lived, highly radioactive fallout on a planetary scale, killing everything. A lovely thought.

Also, I do wish the guys who wrote this stuff would have taken just a few minutes with a slide rule (no calculators back then) and a piece of paper: a few ounces (not grammes?) of antimatter doesn't really amount to much. E = mc^2, so, say, 250 grammes of antimatter annihilating 250 grammes of matter will release 4.5x10^16 joules of energy. One tonne of TNT is equivalent to 4.184 gigajoules, or 4.184x10^9 joules, so that 250 grammes (which is a few ounces) has, ideally, the destructive equivalent of about 10.76 million tonnes, or 10.76 megatons, of TNT. Big, and it would do a number on Kirk and Garrovic, but it won't rip away half the planet's atmosphere or shake Enterprise in orbit.

By comparison, the largest nuclear device ever exploded on the surface of this planet, no less, was the Tsar Bomba, detonated by the USSR on 30 October 1961 in Novaya Zemlya. It had a yield of 57 megatons, reduced from its original 100 megatons to minimise (!) fallout.
Kurt Lorey
4. Shimrod
Pedantic moment.

"Poison gas" was predominately a weapon of the First World War.

But in WW2, Italy used mustard gas only in their 1936 Ethiopian campaign, and Japan likely used various "poison gas" weapons exclusively against the Nationalist and Communist Chinese forces on the Chinese mainland. In both cases, these weapons were used when it was deemed extremely unlikely that retaliatory attacks could be made.

Agent Orange isn't a "poison gas", per se, and it wasn't meant to injure humans, but instead to destroy herbaceous plant life. It was a defoliant that was deployed in liquid form from the airplanes meant to destroy the jungle cover used to great effect by both the Vietminh and North Vietnamese. In fact, the compound itself was used in a more diluted form as a broad-leaf agricultural herbicide throughout the 1950s in certain parts of the world. Turns out there were very negative long-term side effects on humans, but it wasn't debilitating on the battlefield.
Torie Atkinson
5. Torie
@ 1 toryx

Yeah, definitely my disappointment, too. It's not even like the idea comes up and is rejected. It just doesn't come up as an option at all.

@ 3 NomadUK

I think you're describing a much more thoughtful episode than the one I saw, and it'd certainly be the one one that I prefer. While it touched on all those ideas, I didn't think it did any of them real justice.

The antigrav thing was pretty cool, though!

@ 4 Shimrod

I stand corrected. I should have said chemical warfare.

Re: WWII, I was thinking of the German experimentation of nerve agents like sarin, tabun, and soman (though I don't believe they were actually used).

In any case, the idea of the air you breathe being toxic is pretty damn scary to me.
Mike Conley
6. NomadUK
Torie@5: Well, maybe I've just filled in all the gaps over the years with the episode it ought to have been, but I still think the dramatic bits worked well, especially the scene in Kirk's cabin: McCoy surprising Kirk with his threat to make a medical log entry, calling in Spock as a witness. I thought they handled that quite well. Spock's conversion on the bridge to using the word 'creature', surprising McCoy, was also good, as was Spock's conversation with Garrovic in his quarters. And Kirk's final realisation in the corridor regarding the futility of action against the creature was understated, I suppose, but still nicely done.

I will admit that the relationship between Kirk and Garrovic was a bit forced, but one can't have everything.

And adding my own pedantic note, I'm glad to see the gradual dropping of the word 'the' when referring to ships in these articles! The ship's name is Enterprise, not 'the Enterprise'; after all, we don't speak of 'the Torie', or 'the Eugene' (there is 'the Donald', but that's another story). My Navy grandfather would have approved!
David Levinson
7. DemetriosX
I've always been pretty apathetic about this episode. It never interested me much, although now that we've been talking about Kirk's vengeful tendencies in the rewatch, I like it a little more. In many ways, this is all of that earlier stuff condensed and concentrated.

A “borderline state between matter and energy” would be a plasma. While plasma has been a lot more in the general scientific consciousness in the last 20 years, it was first defined in the 20s.

Finally, your youth is showing again. That rock on the first planet isn't just any old prop rock. That's the Ponderosa rock, man! OK, it cropped up in a lot of Paramount productions from the era, but it was a regular feature on Bonanza (including an episode with James Doohan). Ben, Hoss, Little Joe, and even Adam walked past that thing countless times.
Kurt Lorey
8. Shimrod
I suppose then Torie, you must not live in NYC? lol
Marc Houle
9. MightyMarc
I liked this episode the first few times I saw it, but now I find it annoying.

One source of my annoyance was that Kirk's obsession only comes across as anger. And the reason for that obsession was rather weak.

My main complain was how Kirk was so intent in not actually telling Spock or McCoy anything. He tells them to look things up in the history books? Come on! These are his buddies, his pals, his compadres!

I also would have liked to see something to tell me how obsession can be wrong. In fact, I would have preferred an ending where Kirk realizes that killing the creature is wrong.

Oh well. At least this episode was better than the one coming up.
Eugene Myers
10. ecmyers
@6 NomadUK

I'm glad to see the gradual dropping of the word 'the' when referring to ships in these articles!

I'm working on it!
j p
11. sps49
All the nitpickery and no overt comment on the shockwave threat?

Spock's hands-on effort- brief panic or decision to reduce gas flow by 15.3%?

ecmeyers @2- I watched and loved all of the Star Trek episodes before the NextGen premiere, and that perspective is what made Picard seem a wordy bastard who wanted to talk everyone to death.

Poison gas was also used relatively recently during the Iran-Iraq wars.

NomadUK- My experience in the USN was similar to the usage here; either the "Ustafish", the "Pig", or "this POS". Never wondered whether it was proper or not.

I do really like this episode. Kirk is reeeally motivated to get revenge on this thing, and knows deep down (his reluctance to dicsuss in detail, referring all to records (that nobody ever peruses in Starfleet, ever!) because his manly composure might crack), and the certainty that killing it will be easier now than after spawning.

And it has repeatedly killed. Spock was on board with killing the Horta until the combination of his insight on the Si nodules and a means to communicate with her. I don't know how feasible it was, here; and no, nobody says anything about the possibility.

Great job rewatching, y'all. Thanks.
lane arnold
12. lanearnold
---has there ever been a red head in a red shirt like rizzo elsewhere in tos?--i can't think of anyone, so i guess this makes him unique--great job eddie paskey, your death scene was quite convincing, especially your tongue hanging out--if it were up to me, i'd give you a silver palm with cluster--you'll be back later of course---this episode is enjoyable because mccoy and spock team up to fix the captain, usually it's just bones--the scene in the captain's quarters between the three of them for me, is among the most memorable in star trek--and what the heck are all these "vents" doing on the enterprise?--won't the air escape?---go ahead, put your hands over that vent spock, while "sweet smokey" swirls around your head---looks like a pot party---illogical, dramatic, and a necessary device for this episode i think--yes, phaser off a specimen, then almost drop it when kirk passes it to you with those tongs--did you guys miss that?, look close--another thing you guys missed; march 22 was william shatner's 79th birthday--here's a link that might be of interest---http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/william_shatner/
---also can't stop thinking of that sickly sweet smell--maybe they decided to bottle it---http://www.shopafx.com/sttrredshco.html
Antithesis
13. Antithesis
> a yield of 4.6 million megatons

If I did the conversions right, that would take a bit over 100 tonnes of antimatter reacting with an equal amount of normal matter.
Church Tucker
14. Church
I"m going with Warp 3.5, which I believe is the first time I'm to the south of both Eugene and Torie (although I do get the luxury of fractional warp.)

I agree with most of the critiques above, particularly the oddness of Kirk's 'obsession' (seems like there should be more there, there.) Still, it manages to come off as a slightly above average Trek episode. I am a bit surprised at Torie's score, given that she really has no idea where the low bar is.
Torie Atkinson
15. Torie
@ 6 NomadUK

And why don't we speak of "the Torie"? Huh? The Prophets speak of "the Sisko"! :)

On the show they always use "the," so I've picked that up. It's wrong? Huh.

@ 7 DemetriosX

It is interesting to see how often it comes up, and how easily he succumbs to those tendencies.

@ 8 Shimrod

I do live in NYC. It's not that bad!

@ 9 MightyMarc

You know, I hadn't thought of that. But you're right--his absurd obsession, to the exclusion of all else, and even to the extent that men under his command die, is entirely vindicated. It was, in the end, Right. Really? It was? I would've liked it better, too, if he had been humbled in the end.

@ 11 sps49

Hmm, interesting. So if he had been able to communicate with it maybe things would've worked out differently? That makes it all the more sad.

@ 14 Church

And I keep reminding you, there's much more wiggle room at the bottom than you think! :)

If I could give half warps I'd probably be right there with you.
Mike Conley
16. NomadUK
The Torie@15: As sps49 points out, it's not wrong per se, it's a stylistic difference; I just happen to think leaving out the 'the' makes more sense, since Enterprise is a name, and the ship is an entity. As another example, nobody in Rebecca refers to 'The Manderley'.

Church@14: Actually, I think The Torie definitely has a deep, dark suspicion of how just low the bar can go.
Church Tucker
17. Church
@16 NomadUK "As sps49 points out, it's not wrong per se, it's a stylistic difference..."

I think there's a usage difference as well, but I don't know enough to parse it. I've definitely heard things like "The Ronald Reagan is on a shake-down." (Maybe not exactly that.)

So, "Kirk to Enterprise" and "We've got to rendezvous with the Yorktown" both make sense to me, although I don't know if they're following the current usage pattern correctly. They at least seem to have an internally consistent pattern.
Theresa M. Moore
18. TheresaMMoore
Oh, bother. It's your typical "gaseous vampire" thing, with Kirk playing vampire hunter. I wrote a real vampire episode more along the lines of "Man Trap" when I was 16, but never pitched it. If we pick "Obsession" apart any more than that it might as well be like "Van Helsing", and make just as much sense. LOL. Sooner or later somebody had to write one.
j p
19. sps49
the Torie @15-

Don't be too upset re: communication; Spock was at least partially immersed in it and didn't even pick up on the basic "home" impulse. Starfleet redshirts were (will be?) food to it....

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

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