JULY 19, 2019 BY TOM FOX
In today’s edition of Daily Compliance News:
In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode A Private Little War which aired on February 2, 1968, Star Date 4211.4.
Spock, Bones, and Kirk beam down to a planet to obtain biological specimens. McCoy reports that the planet is a medical treasure trove. Kirk is familiar with and fondly remembers the planet as it was the first planet he surveyed as a young Ensign, some 13 years ago. Kirk also reports to Spock that the planet’s inhabitants are peaceful and are only just beginning to learn how to forge iron. He is therefore extremely surprised to see villagers with rifles lying in ambush for a party of hill people which includes Kirk’s former friend Tyree. To distract the ambushers, Kirk throws a rock, which causes the rifle to go off. However, it also brings on a chase, and Spock is shot with a flintlock while trying to escape.
The landing party beams up to the Enterprise, where they find a Klingon ship heading towards them. However, Kirk manages to keep the ship remain concealed by hiding the Enterprise on the opposite side of the planet. Kirk speculates that the Klingons have violated the treaty governing the “neutral planet” which restricts both parties to scientific research and provided them with rifles. Kirk and McCoy beam down to investigate the Klingon’s activities, leaving Dr. M’Benga in charge of Spock.
After beaming down, Kirk is attacked by the poisonous mugato, a large white beast resembling a gorilla with a horn on its head and fins on its back. There is no antidote to the poison, but the hill people find McCoy and Kirk and take them to Tyree, who is now their leader. The Kanutu woman Nona is a medicine woman, as well as being the power-hungry manipulative wife of Tyree. She cures Kirk using a mako root and by having Tyree make a cut across her hand. After Kirk is healed, the wound on Nona’s hand also vanishes.
Tyree reports that the firesticks are made by the village people, and that they first appeared about a year ago. Nona wants Kirk to use his weapons to vanquish the village people and make her husband a powerful man. She is greatly disappointed when Tyree pledges not to kill and Kirk is reluctant to share his knowledge of weaponry.
Kirk and McCoy enter a village and discover the Klingon Krell advising the village leader Apella, as well as carbon-free steel and other technological innovations too advanced for a primitive society. Unfortunately, they are discovered when McCoy accidentally triggers his tricorder. Luckily, they are able to escape.
Meanwhile, Spock recovers aboard the Enterprise, but tells Nurse Chapel “hit me” when he comes out of his self-induced healing trance. Nurse Chapel is hesitant at first, but then complies, only to be restrained by a shocked Scott. Dr. M’Benga then continues striking Spock and with the aid of the pain thus induced, Spock is able to come out of his trance.
On the planet, Kirk furnishes the hill people with rifles, noting the analogy of the present situation with the brush conflicts on the Asian continent. In this conflict, Kirk says, two great powers fought through surrogates by supplying the opposing sides with roughly equal weaponry, an obvious reference to the Viet Nam War.
Nona uses an herb to seduce Kirk. Although Tyree witnesses the seduction, he cannot bring himself to fire the gun he is holding and runs off. Meanwhile, Nona is attacked by a mugato and Kirk uses a phaser to kill it. Nona repays the favor by hitting Kirk on the head with a rock and stealing his phaser. However, when she attempts to turn it over to the village people, they are only interested in molesting her. When the hill people arrive, the village people kill Nona, believing that she has set them up. The village people are killed by the hill people, but Tyree is mad with anger and asks Kirk for many weapons with which to kill the village people. Kirk complies by asking Scotty to manufacture flintlock rifles for the hill people which he refers to as “serpents for the Garden of Eden.” As they beam back to the Enterprise, Kirk s upset at the loss of innocence he has contributed to but knows of no other action he could have taken.
This episode has two clear analogies. First it is about the Vietnam War. In Producer Gene Coon’s mind in 1967, the American War in Vietnam was immoral and hopeless – but ultimately inevitable and inescapable, and in the best interest of the South Vietnamese people. The second is Nona as Lady Macbeth.
Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for A Private Little War
MissionLogPodcast.com-A Private Little War
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In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode The Immunity Syndrome which aired on January 19, 1968, Star Date 4307.1.
On its way to a much-needed rest stop at Starbase 6, the Enterprise is diverted to investigate the mysterious cessation of communication with the Gamma 7A star system. While on its way, Spock telepathically senses the destruction of the Intrepid, a starship manned by Vulcans, and claims that all 400 Vulcans aboard have been killed. Starbase 6 then orders the Enterprise to Sector 39J to investigate the loss of communications with the Intrepid.
The Enterprise encounters a strange field which drains all energy, whether mechanical or biologically generated. Spock reports that he has never encountered a phenomenon like this before, and it shows up on the viewing screen as a dark hole in space. The Enterprise launches a probe into it, but it returns only a high-pitched whine which causes half the Enterprise’s crew to faint. When the Enterprise prepares to fire again, the whine returns, and the Enterprise experiences a 5% power drain. The stars vanish from the viewing screen, and Spock reports that they have entered a zone of darkness. This boundary layer proceeds to drain the ship and its crew of energy.
Spock finds that the zone of darkness is a negative energy field. Scott prepares to use full power to yank the Enterprise out of the zone, but the best he can do is slow the pull towards the center of the zone. As they approach, they see a giant one-celled organism which is 11,000 miles long and 2,000-3,000 miles wide. They send a probe which penetrates the organism and discovers it to be living and to be filled with protoplasm.
Kirk decides to send a shuttlecraft and must decide between sending Spock or McCoy. Spock sets out in the shuttlecraft Galileo II and heads for the nucleus. He also reduces life support systems to the bare minimum, causing Chekov and Kirk to become concerned. Spock establishes that the organism has stored enough energy to reproduce and that the 40 chromosomes in the nucleus are ready to come together. Kirk shuts off the Enterprise’s engines and switches all power to the shields, causing the Enterprise to be sucked into the organism.
Kirk then fills a probe full of antimatter and prepares to plant it in the nucleus. Chekov successfully lodges it in the nucleus.
Meanwhile, aboard the shuttlecraft, Spock makes a log tape in preparation for his own death. As the Enterprise backs out of the organism before it blows up, it detects Spock’s shuttlecraft and locks on a tractor beam. The Enterprise run out of energy near the edge of the organism, and the crew waits for the detonation and their own deaths.
The explosion rocks the ship, but it survives, and the stars appear in the viewing screen again. Somehow, the shuttlecraft survives as well, and Spock reports he has some fascinating data on the organism. However, McCoy is furious that he has botched the acetylcholine test.
Spock explains in this episode that Vulcan was never conquered. However, in “The Conscience of the King” McCoy says “Now I know why they were conquered” in response to Spock’s refusal to drink alcohol. This might be explained by Vulcan never having been conquered but one or more of their colonies having been annexed by another power at some point.
Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for The Immunity Syndrome
MissionLogPodcast.com-The Immunity Syndrome