36 – “The Mark of Gideon” and “That Which Survives”

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Reviewing “The Mark of Gideon” and “That Which Survives.”

Check out English and Irish Gav’s Drunken Time Travel, a podcast about Doctor Who.

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One thought on “36 – “The Mark of Gideon” and “That Which Survives”

  1. “That Which Survives” happens to be my favorite TOS episode.

    Hereare my reasons why…

    The Losira hologram technology is most likely the basis for the holodeck technology we find later in TNG & every other present series. There’s no need to state the impact that the holodeck has had on Trek.

    There is a large cast of secondary characters which you will not find in any other 3rd Season TOS episode. Lt. Rhada, Lt. D’Amato, Dr. M’Benga, & Engineer Watkins. This was not just your usual Kirk, Spock, & Bones episode. All 4 characters mentioned also made significant contributions, & not just to fill up space. Hell, did I see a redshirt use his phaser to save the day at the end of the episode?

    “That Which Survives” was a redshirt slaughter-fest, which was also very rare for a 3rd Season episode. Losira killed off no less than 3 Enterprise crew members, with Sulu almost being #4. OMG, did Losira really kill a blueshirt?!?

    I actually found the dialogue to be very funny. Hilarious stuff such as when Sulu suggested the ship hit the planet just like that 1908 meteor in Siberia, and Kirk testily responded by telling Sulu… “Mr. Sulu, if I had wanted a Russian history lesson, I would have brought along Mr. Chekov..”
    There’s so many funny lines & sexual innuendo here, such as Kirk asking Losira… “Are there any MEN on this planet?” (Stuff for the K/S slash crowd) & Meriwether’s Losira character telling the Captain that “I have CUM… for you…) Spock had more than his share of zingers, such as responding to Uhura’s question of how Losira got off the ship by stating, “Presumably the same way she got on…”

    Lee Meriwether’s character of Losira was the only beautiful woman (Lee is a Miss America winner) in TOS that even Kirk could not handle, & it wasn’t because he wasn’t trying. The writers of this episode had to be in a sour mood at the time, what with the testy dialogue & throwing a curve at our Captain with a “Look, but don’t touch…” babe of Meriwether’s caliber.

    The special effects are nicely done & innovative for Losira’s exit. She goes 2D & folds up into a line, which then collapses into a single vanishing point. This FX is unique & nicely done in this episode. The effect resembles what happens when you turn off one of those old TVs from 50 years ago.

    “That Which Survives” is just one of a rare handful of TOS episodes which comments on a previous TOS episode. In this case, It’s “Devil In The Dark,” with Sulu referencing Janus VI & the Horta silicon lifeform. This is an example of series continuity, something woefully absent even in TNG.

    For me, this episode kept me guessing all the way to the end. Did anyone who watched it for the very first time guess correctly that Losira was a hologram? I surely didn’t, and that suspense is always a plus. Yes, I know they said she was an image, but holograms were just discovered when this episode was created, which shows you how far-thinking Star Trek really is.

    In this episode, the Enterprise maxed out at its top speed of warp 14.1, or ludicrously fast. We also got to see Mr. Scott show us, once again, why he’s called a miracle worker. Anytime he saves the ship in dramatic fashion, whether from “Doomsday Machine” to “Enterprise Incident,” it brings a smile to my face. Did anyone besides myself catch a glimpse of James Doohan’s missing finger while he was operating that magnetic probe while in the Jeffries tube? Doohan lost part of his finger in real life as a soldier in World War II.

    I loved the way how Lee Meriwether’s character operated. She interacted with her victims in a friendly, pleasing, & seductive manner, which allowed her to get close enough to strike with her deadly, cellular-disrupting touch. Losira’s death touch is a terrific idea. When you add this power to her ability to read minds & teleport anywhere, even on to a ship at high warp from hundreds of light years away, what you have is the ultimate surgical strike weapon. It would have been interesting if one of her targets was a woman. But, I don’t think the censors at the time would have looked kindly on girl-on-girl action!

    Finally, it so happens that Losira is my favorite Babe from TOS. Whether it is her genie-like harem costume to her hair & eye shadow makeup, Lee Meriwether comes across as exceptionally sexy, exotic, & drop-dead gorgeous. And, the “I Am For You” and “I Want To Touch You” lines she delivers to those she has “CUM For..” are classic & unforgettable, making Losira all the more sensual & irresistible.

    I’ve created & uploded to Youtube, a Star Trek music video with a theme based on this specific episode & with music from MC Hammer’s hit song… “Can’t Touch This!” Check it out & let me know what you think.

    Thanks for reviewing “That Which Survives,” and I hope to soon catch the broadcasts of some of your older TOS podcasts.

    John Drake

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