How are things for the people of Vaal? Well they seem good, but not good enough for Captain Kirk. Hitting up another side of “This Side of Paradise,” we’re putting “The Apple” in the Mission Log.
Tags: David Soul, Eden, Gamma Trianguli VI, God, Martha Landon, religion, sexuality, The Apple, The Original Series, The Original Series Season 2, TOS, Vaal
Celeste Yarnall was at a convention a few years ago in Las Vegas. Bought this for my wife, a huge Elvis fan. Autographed.
Those are great! Celeste is lovely – always a pleasure to chat with at conventions.
Here she (Yarnall) is in “Apple.”
This is the plot for “Pleasantville.” Be happy and fine, until some schmucks arrive and introduce sex. I’ve never realized that before.
Never looked at it that way before, but yeah, pretty much. 🙂
There’s always this need for hyperbole in the classic episodes. The Feeders of Vaal could be 20 years old or 20,000, Bele and Lokai had been chasing each other for 50,000 years, the same amount of time the Horta race dies out except for one, Sargon’s folk have been sitting in fish bowls for 500,000 years…
Another great podcast about free will, religion, sex and materialism/spiritualism. Of course, I’m still wondering about those explosive rocks that Vaal uses as food. After centuries or more of what seemed like daily feeding, how many rocks can still be in the immediate area? I’d expect after a while you’d have to do some serious travel to find more rocks (unless they’re somehow produced as part of the planet’s funky ecosystem).
– FIRST OBSERVATION: Really excited that I’ve finally gotten to the “it’s called Freedom and you’ll like it” episode!
– That “headset of hair” really was horrible. 😛
– “Ken, I may have had some Star Trek toys as a kid. And… I may have some Star Trek toys now, but I’m not going to divulge…”
Little did John Champion know that one day soon a Star Trek toy company would sponsor his podcast. I bet that’s why you held back on this one, right, John? Wanted to see who would finally pony up that sweet cash so you could finally properly enthuse about your love of Trek toys?
Although I’m sure many would take exception to the Star Trek Starships Collection being called “toys”.
– There were FOUR dead redshirts in this one, weren’t there? Is that a record?
– Especially that first one:
“Oh snap, he just got shot with this plant! He’s dead, Jim.”
*a few minutes later*
“Oh snap, Spock just got shot with this plant! MEDICAL EMERGENCY SPARE NO EFFORT JUMP INTO ACTION ok we saved him.”
The benefits of command, I guess? “Arvis, Defense Attorney” says that OF COURSE McCoy had time to analyze the plant and cook up an antidote on the spot, but that’s less funny.
– Arvis, Defense Attorney, says: “There’s no evidence that the numbers Spock was rattling off for Starfleet’s ‘investment’ in him were monetary units. They could have been units of time… or something…”
– So, I can’t help but wonder where will Kirk be with his “enjoy your freedom” speech when these people start growing old and dying.
That said, it’s not like I’m advocating that eternal life is worth giving up free will for. It’s hard to say how much free will these particular humanoids really had.
– Of course, I’m going to comment on the “blind faith is every religion” comment. By Ken’s standard, he’s right and there’s no arguing that. But, at least speaking Biblically, real faith is based on evidence of something, even if you don’t physically see it (Hebrews 11:1). True, not seeing a thing with your eyes can be considered “blind”, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see evidence of it.
But then of course you have to deal with confirmation bias everywhere. This goes for science and religion equally.
For me, actual “blind faith” is believing something in which there is ZERO evidence at all, circumstantial or otherwise (like, for random example, the belief that anything that exists could have sprung into existence from nothingness). I also recognize that Ken’s standard for what amounts to blind faith is as valid as my own.
– I interpreted Vaal’s forbidding of sex as a means to control the people. The more of them there are, the harder they would be to control. That said, Ken’s theory that it was a way of managing limited resources/energy is probably closer to the truth.
– There’s also a pretty heavy-handed implication that “the apple” in Genesis WAS sex, which is nonsense, of course. But that, too, could be why the writers had Vaal forbid sex.
– “It’s going to be Kirk’s way or… the interstellar bypass way.”
For a Hitchhiker reference so casually thrown out there, this was brilliant. It’s works on multiple levels!
Oh man – I just realized the toy thing has come full circle! Thanks for that. Decades of obsession, finally paying off (kinda).
Someone please tell me why Kirk has been wearing the wrap-around shirt!! #confused Are his regular shirts at the cleaners??
The privileges of command – I mean, wouldn’t we all?
of course, totally trying to figure out how to sew one! hehehe…
Think I need to do a dual feed on this: chronological and current show so I can comment more timely on episodes!! that’s a lot of ST to watch tho…
for a show that purports to be “too advanced for God”, they sure do spend a lot of time exploring those themes.
Isn’t it interesting that TOS never showed what became of those societies that Kirk forcefully converted to “Starfleet-ology”with his smug, self-important arroga… I mean: …that he graciously liberated in his infinite wisdom? I’m sure everything is sunshine, lollypops and rainbows on Gamma Trianguli VI and Beta III…
If this episode was actually meant as a condemnation of the reality of life in countries with Socialist / Communist Regimes at the time it was written (1967), it’s interesting how ignorant it is. There were a lot of positive developments and anything but “total stagnation” going on post-Stalinism and before Brezhnev, Ceaușescu, Honecker, Gierek, Husák and the other gerontocrats slowly ruined everything in the seventies. But, of course, it was impossible to acknowledge anything positive on the other side of the “Iron Curtain” on American network television in the sixties, just like it was impossible to portray Perestroika and Glasnost as anything than the perfect road to paradise in the late eighties and early nineties. Then again, Star Trek was already severely testing the limits of what could be said and shown at the time in other areas. You have to pick your battles carefully. Or Gene just believed in the stereotypical Hoover / McCarthy era view, the Cuban Missile Crisis happened only five years – almost to the day – before this episode was first aired and the Vietnam war hadn’t turned into a full-on disaster yet. Did you know that “A Private Little War” was the first “TOS” episode that aired after the beginning of the Tet Offensive?
As far as production values are concerned, this is a strong contender for the “crappiest looking TOS episode” award (made of cardboard, tin foil and duct tape). I was in a stage version of “Treasure Island” as a school play (early eighties) and our “skull cave” entrance looked better than “Vaal”. A friend of mine likes to joke that HD was the worst thing that ever happened to porn – but this is rough, too. Definitely not what I remember from watching this on a black-and-white TV as a child. My parents thought it was “illogical” to buy a new television set as long as the old one is still working. Believe it or not, I watched the first runs of the early seasons of “TNG” in black-and-white, too. On a TV made in 1966!
Don’t really disagree with much being said here, altho by taking the story very literally I think we may be missing the points. Yeah, strictly speaking, Kirk is being high-handed. But my sad take-away from the last several Mission Logs (listening in production order) is that Ken is really coming to the conclusion that he doesn’t like Star Trek. His whole synopsis was snide and condescending. Not that I want to curb his critique and perspective, but ML is starting to feel anti-Trek, and that’s not what I came to listen to it for.