Star Trek S1E14 – Balance of Terror

Did you know the Romulans appeared in The Original Series before the Klingons did? Well, this is the first episode starring the Romulans, and quite possibly one of the most important episodes in all of Star Trek. This is one of the classics.

Season 1, Episode 14: Balance of Terror

Original Air Date: December 15, 1966

Stardate 1709.2

Planet: None

Featured Alien: Romulans

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott, Rand, Uhura, Sulu

Main Guest Characters: Romulan Commander (Mark Lenard), Lt. Robert Tomlinson (Stephen Mines), Lt. Angela Martine (Barbara Baldavin), Lt. Stiles (Paul Comi), Centurion (John Warburton), Decius (Lawrence Montaigne)

Things I Noticed

When Lt. Martine and Lt. Tomlinson were getting married, Rand appeared. While the previous episode was her last filmed episode, this one was filmed before that.

This is the first time the Romulans appear in Star Trek. It’s also the first time we see one of the major enemies of the Federation.

The display of the Neutral Zone and Romulus looked pretty cheap.

When Kirk addressed the ship about approaching the Neutral Zone, everyone looked up, as if looking at the speakers.

Spock spoke of the Romulan War, and it was interesting to note that he mentioned that they used “primitive atomic weapons” and there was no ship to ship visual communication. Of course, since Enterprise has been aired, we know they used phaser and photon torpedoes at that time and the visual communication wasn’t a technical limitation on Starfleet’s part.

Lt. Stiles seems far too free to voice his opinions. The way he acts is insubordination.

Commander Hansen of Outpost 4 said they’re a mile deep inside an iron asteroid. Not metric!

First time we see a Romulan ship cloaking.

First look at the Romulans. As we know, they look like Vulcans, and are in fact descendents of Vulcans.

The recording of the code that Spock tries to decode sounds almost like it has a pinball machine’s bells.

We learn castrodinium is the hardest substance known. I don’t think it’s ever mentioned again.

They’re approaching a comet, which has a tail, but how? They aren’t in a star system. They’re in interstellar space.

When they were firing phasers, the phaser control room had to manually fire them. This is so much like 20th century warships. But the control for phasers should be on the bridge, no need for people to operate them from another room. Also, it seems more like photon torpedoes being fired, not phasers. Oops. The Enterprise even shook a bit when the phasers fired. And they exploded by the Romulan Bird of Prey. Not phasers!

The phaser circuits are under Spock’s science station. I thought they could operate the phasers from the phaser control room. Either poorly designed, or the writers weren’t thinking how illogical this was.

The Romulan weapon can travel faster than the speed of light. So why is the Enterprise fleeing in the exact path of the weapon? Why not move perpendicular to the weapon’s path?

Rand embraced Kirk when the Romulan weapon was about to hit the Enterprise. Seems kind of inappropriate.

I never understood why the Romulans didn’t have warp capabilities. They wouldn’t be able to leave their own system.

Why can Rand just enter Kirk’s quarters without asking for his permission?

McCoy said there’s a possibility of 3 million Earth-type planets in the galaxy. I think he underestimated.

Surprising that of all people to make such a simple mistake, it would be Spock. You’d think he’d know where all the buttons were on his console.

Not sure why a nuclear warhead would cause so much damage on the Enterprise, especially with its shields. In The Next Generation, a nuclear weapon wouldn’t even bother a Federation starship.

Lt. Stiles blatant bigotry against Spock should have resulted in a reprimand.

When McCoy told Kirk that Tomlinson died, he called him “boy.”

My Impressions

Despite the long list of nitpicks (and some more general observations), this was an incredibly solid episode. We were treated to what makes Kirk such a capable Captain. Lots of battle tactics, bluffing, and trying to anticipate the other’s next move. The tension was three, and it was very well done.

The acting was quite good. This was Mark Lenard’s first appearance in a Star Trek episode, though he’s better-known as Spock’s father, Sarek. Outstanding acting by Lenard, though I think he’s better-suited as a Vulcan. William Shatner had one of his strongest performances in this episode, and I was equally impressed by Leonard Nimoy. Watching this episode was a treat.

For such an important episode, introducing the Romulans to us, we have a very compelling story and great tension. I’d rank this as one of my favourite episodes from The Original Series. I wish the Romulans would’ve appeared more often in this series.

Verdict

★★★★★

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Do you think it’s one of the best episodes of The Original Series? Let me know in the comments section below.

Why Aren’t There Many Male Booktubers? The Jay Dee Show 33

I did some more frequent video publishing in the past week, but not quite what I used to do. The science videos have returned, as well! I posted 4 videos this week on 2 channels.

On my main channel, I posted a little less than I expected, but I did get 3 videos up! Let’s check them out.

First up is a Japan travel vlog, but it’s more about culture than anything a tourist would see. In fact, unless you’re invited to a funeral, you won’t get to see this! I talk about the 49th day of the traditional Buddhist funeral in Japan.

Next up is a new phenomenon on Booktube. Jayesh Chhaya opened up the topic about male booktubers. Where are they? Why aren’t there as many males booktubing as females? He created the Male Booktuber Tag, and I did it.

I continued my regular Authors Answer series on video with #32, all about writing controversial topics.

On my science channel, I uploaded 1 video, a video I’d recorded way back in April. Yeah, so it’s a bit old. I’m still dressed for cold weather. It’s the continuation of the A to Z Challenge, this time the letter E. It’s all about Jupiter’s moon Europa!

I can’t say how much I’ll be uploading over the next week, as I don’t know what’s going on with my job. It really depends on that. But I will be doing the Q&A for my 1 year anniversary on booktube, and hopefully a new Star Trek video. Definitely more Japan videos, though! And coming in the next day or two (maybe even today) is the next science video. Keep checking back and subscribe to my channels!

Which video did you enjoy? Let me know in the comments section.

Authors Answer 136 – Living in a Book

Ever want to give up your life and transport yourself into the book you’re reading? Just completely start a new life and become someone new, living in a new place. It’s quite likely a lot of people do. One of the great things about reading books is the ability of the readers to lose themselves in the book. Some are great to live in, others not. What would we choose?

Question 136 – If you could live in any book, which one would you choose?

Eric Wood

Game of Thrones? To live in dark times where I’d probably die? No thanks. Love the books, don’t want to live there. Harry Potter? To be a wizard would fun, most definitely. Maybe in Terry Brooks’s world in “Kingdom For Sale, Sold“. The main character lives in today’s world but finds a portal to a magical kingdom. I like that so I could travel back and forth between worlds.

Gregory S. Close

If I could live in any book… I think I would live in In Siege of Daylight. Not just for self-promotional purposes, but because if anyone knows all the secret ins and outs of the world and could use that to his advantage, it would be ME. I know the history. I know what everyone is thinking. I know the magic system. I know the secret passages, secret societies, secret affairs… I know it all.

I think it could be pretty fun to play in my own sandbox. 🙂

C E Aylett

That is a tricky one. I’m not sure there’s any book where I’d want to live, not with all the awful things that happen to some of the characters! Could you imagine living in Westeros? No thank you very much.

Elizabeth Rhodes

This is a tough one because so many stories are set in the middle of serious conflict for obvious reasons. While that makes for good story, it’s not the safest place to live, and I’m not sure I’d last long in a battle of wits, much less swords or sorcery. The Harry Potter universe probably gets my vote. I can settle down with a nice magical ice cream and cake shop and have little to worry about other than competition with Florean Fortescue.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Hmmm…that’s actually a really tough question, mainly because of the types of books I read. I wouldn’t want to live in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series for sure…way too short a lifespan. And I read a lot of Stephen King books, but, I mean…come on. I considered the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, but given the nature of the ending of those books, perhaps not.

I read way too much horror and bloody adventure to answer this question in a way that wouldn’t immediately result in my impending death. Maybe I can just say one of the manga series I read? Yeah, sure, let’s go with that. “Fruits Basket” seems like a safe enough universe to live in. lol

Beth Aman

I think I’d have to say Narnia. ​That series will always have a special place in my heart, and I think Narnia would be (most of the time) a wonderful place to live. ​I grew up reading those books (like many kids grew up reading Harry Potter), and I always wished I could find a secret wardrobe of my own.

D. T. Nova

The ending of The Light of Other Days by Stephen Baxter (based on a synopsis by Arthur C. Clarke) is about as utopian as they come, so I’ll go with that.

Jean Davis

Whichever book I’d pick, it would be the end of the book. Living at the beginning is where everything goes wrong. The stakes are high in the middle, and I’ve already got enough stress to deal with. No, sir. If I’m going to set up house in a book, I’m taking the happy ending section and living out my years there.

Paul B. Spence

Joy of Sex. Just kidding. My books? I’m not sure I’d want to live in the worlds I imagine; they are scary places. Other people’s? I don’t know, maybe Anne McCaffrey’s Pern? Other than Thread (I know!), it seems like a really cool place. I’d really like a fire lizard, too. I’m too old at this point to Impress a dragon, but that would have been even cooler. I’m not sure beyond that. I kind of like where I am now, for the most part.

H. Anthe Davis

I would probably live in my own books, because I know all the hotspots and the nice safe interesting places — whereas in most of the books I’ve read, the concentration has always been on Danger! and Adventure! and Disaster! and I personally don’t want to be anywhere near that stuff. I’ve outgrown the fluffy nice worlds I read as a kid, and definitely don’t want to live in the dark fantasy/military space opera stuff I read now — too many explosions. Though, hey, maybe Beta Colony from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga… That might be nice…

Jay Dee Archer

Paul took my answer! I’d love to live on Pern, but as it is a long series covering hundreds of years, things change a lot over that time. I would love to be a part of the Dragonsdawn period, which is the very beginning. The chance to explore would be amazing. But the period around The Masterharper of Pern might be nice, even to be taught by Robinton himself. Other than that, I’d love to live in 3001: The Final Odyssey. The technological advances and the ability to travel between the planets would be remarkable. Although I wasn’t thrilled by the book, the way life was seemed peaceful. You could study and explore anything you wanted. Sounds nice!

How about you?

If you could live in any book, which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments section below.

Week in Review – June 18, 2017

The first week back from Japan was somewhat productive. I had to get over jet lag, though. It was difficult to go to sleep at night, and difficult to wake up early. My daughter was out very quickly at night, until tonight. Tonight was terrible! She wouldn’t sleep until midnight. Well, that’s done, and now the update!

Reading

Why do I try? I haven’t really had the privacy or the ability to stay awake when I had the privacy.

Writing

Same as reading. No privacy, especially when my daughter’s friends keep ringing the doorbell.

Videos

6 new videos! 5 of them are on my main channel, including 3 videos about our trip to Japan. More to come. But I also revived my family channel, featuring my daughter and I. It’s called Tommy and Dad. I uploaded 1 video there.

Patreon

I did a little work updating some things, but the push will come after I have more science videos out.

Languages

My daughter’s been using Japanese more recently. Does that count?

The Blog

Getting back to regular posts, though I won’t be doing daily posts until July. I’ve been hoping to get back to the Star Trek posts, but wasn’t able to.

Studying

Nothing.

The Next Week’s Goals

A bit of Star Trek, a bunch of videos related to booktube, Japan, and science, and hopefully some reading. But, I have a couple of busy evenings. One night is my daughter’s kindergarten’s magic show. The other night is a world record attempt by my sister’s company. I’m participating in a world record attempt! And free food.

How was your week?

We Went to Japan! The Jay Dee Show 32

Thanks to our trip to Japan, there was a lack of updates and videos. But since coming back, I’ve been able to put up a few videos, including Japan travel vlogs! There will be many more, though. I also did some Booktube videos. Since the last time, I’ve uploaded 6 videos with a couple more coming today.

All videos except one were uploaded to my main channel. The other was on my old channel dedicated to my daughter and I. I’m reviving it!

Starting off with my main channel, I talked about our trip to Japan before we left. Here it is!

And then we went to Japan with a silence on the channel for two weeks. But when we got back, I started on the Japan videos again. Here is the one all about our flight to Japan. And jet lag.

During our time in Japan, I celebrated a milestone. 1 year on Booktube! Here’s the video, and I’d like you to ask me some questions for a Q&A video.

The next Japan video was about readjusting to life in Japan. We visited many places which may seem mundane to people in Japan, but may be much more interesting for people who have never been to the country.

And finally, my daughter has a very important message about reading and school for you. Check it out.

As I said, there is a third channel! It’s called Tommy and Dad, and I started it long before my science channel. I actually started it when my daughter was only 2 years old. She’s 5 now. I’ve decided to make this into a family vlog channel which I will update a couple times a week. Check out the first video, all about Father’s Day.

Over the next week, I have new science videos coming, as well as a tag video which is very interesting. I’ll also resume Authors Answer and I’d love to have a Star Trek and/or Read the World video up, too. And of course, more Japan!

Let me know which videos you liked the most in the comments below.

Authors Answer 135 – Authors’ Biggest Failures

Everyone fails at something. I failed to post the Authors Answer for the last two weeks. But I was on a trip in Japan. Since we are talking about writing, authors tend to have plenty of failures, right? That’s what we’re talking about. How bad can it get?

Question 135 – What is your biggest writing failure?

H. Anthe Davis

If you mean the piece I did worst on, I’d say my Book 1. Even after years and years of development, I still feel like I pushed it out too early, with several issues still unresolved. I just really wanted to get it out there, and ignored some critique in order to do so. I’ve since gone back and amended that, and will be republishing the book soon, but I still wish I’d waited. If you mean my biggest writing failing, as in what I do badly… I think I try too much to end sections with zingers, and use too many over-complex sentences and dashes. I always go and cut some of that up when I do edits.

Paul B. Spence

I have a lot of ideas, and tend to start a lot of different projects at once. I’m not sure if it is a failure or a good thing. Let me explain: I have dozens of novels started. Some of them are in my head, others written down in part. Not finishing them before starting a new one is something of a failure. I’d like to get them all written eventually, I just keep coming up with more…

Jean Davis

Oh my, there are so many to pick from. Generally, I’d say it’s probably my lack of planning. It’s about a 50/50 whether that works out or not as my novel works in progress folder will attest to. While I’ve managed to turn a couple of those floundering projects around, there are a few others that I just plain have no idea how to fix/finish/rescue from their current state of massive suck. They started out as good ideas, but then fell apart. Does this mean I’ll take up planning to solve this failing? Maybe in baby steps, but I’m rather set in my ways.

D. T. Nova

Taking at least 5 years to finish one novel, I guess.

Otherwise I haven’t really done enough to have major successes or failures.

Beth Aman

Wow, this is a tough one. I​ wouldn’t say it’s a failure, necessarily – more of a learning process. I finally retired an old manuscript, realizing I had better stories to tell, better characters to create. But it was my first ​completed novel, and​ I had put so much work into editing and ‘perfecting’ it, so it was really hard to let go of it. Now, I somewhat regret that I spent so much time ​editing, ​writing query letters​,​ and worrying​ about publishing it, when I am now no longer trying to get it published.​ But honestly, I learned a ton from the whole process, so I don’t think I can call that a failure.​

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I don’t know if I’ve really done enough to consider any particular thing a “failure”, exactly. I submitted a story to a publisher once and was rejected, but I’d hardly call one rejection a failure. I entered NYC Midnight’s Short-Short Story Competition and got knocked out in the second round, but I was competing against lots of awesome writers and I did manage to make it through the first round, so I wouldn’t call that a failure either.

If I’m going to call any part of my writing career thus far a “failure”, I’d probably go with my self-marketing, or lack thereof. I find it extremely difficult to market and promote myself, and even when I do give it a go I’m really, really bad at it, and as a result my book sales thus far have been fairly abysmal. I’ve got some awesome reviews, and everyone who does read both of my available books tells me that they loved them, but I consistently fail to promote myself and actually get people finding the books.

Elizabeth Rhodes

This is uncomfortable for me to admit. Jasper was not as great as I’d hoped. And after taking another look at it, I’d decided it needed more work. I lost confidence in myself and haven’t done much since. I’m currently working on getting that creative energy back, but losing it in the first place definitely counts as my biggest failure.

C E Aylett

I honestly don’t know. I mean, I’m sure I have a back catalogue of poor stories form when I was starting out, but I wouldn’t call them failures if they were part of the learning process. I suppose I don’t think in terms of ‘failure’ — every time I do something to do with my writing, be that creating the story, submitting the story, having it critiqued, researching it, redrafting it, or whatever, I count it as progress.

Gregory S. Close

My biggest failure is not writing consistently. Despite all good intentions, I’m not producing word count. That’s the worst failure because even writing poorly at least provides something to edit/improve.

Eric Wood

My biggest writing failure is not writing. have a few ideas for some children’s books. Those ideas sit patiently waiting in a notebook. One has been there for a few years now. What’s holding me back? Fear of rejection? Fear of success? All of the above? I have been writing my blog, but zero fiction.

Jay Dee Archer

What can I say about this? I haven’t published anything yet, and my biggest failure is probably not writing enough. I need to be able to spend time writing without any interruptions. My inconsistency make it difficult for me to write anything that has flow. I really need to work on this.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what’s your biggest failure? Let us know in the comments section below.

Wow! A Year of Booktube Videos!

On June 8, I celebrated my first anniversary of making videos for Booktube. If you don’t know what Booktube is, it’s a very friendly corner of YouTube completely occupied by people who love reading! And no, it doesn’t have a specific URL.

I’ve been running my channel since the summer of 2009 (8 years!), but have only been making videos steadily for the past year when I decided to make videos about books, reading, and writing.  I also dabble in Star Trek, movies, and the occasional travel video (more on that in a later post!). But for now, let’s talk about Booktube.

I made a video talking about this very topic. I also announced a Q&A. So, I want you to go down to the comments section and leave me a question. It can be about anything. I’ll be making another video next week answering all the questions. So, this is your chance!

Check out the video:

So, what are you waiting for? Ask me a question!

The official blog of Jay Dee Archer. Exploring new worlds, real and fictional.