Scott Mantz


The One with Scott Mantz

Access Hollywood movie critic Scott Mantz stops in to talk about his love of Star Trek and to re-argue “This Side of Paradise.” Plus your feedback to us and our feedback to your feedback.

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  1. Chris C says:

    From Memory Beta regarding a TOS comic book sequel to The Apple. Weird!:
    The Feeders of Spock (Toscomic) – In this two-issue comic, Kirk and crew return to Gamma Trianguli VI many years later to discover a deteriorating, dying planet; Spock takes it on himself to link with the Vaal memory core. Meanwhile, Makorans (followers of Makora) are crusaders against the old order. When Kirk and his landing party are captured by Vaal and held in the subterranean complex, Spock/Vaal happens to mention the planet Arret. Kirk instantly makes the connection with Sargon’s people, who had successfully developed a Genesis-type science, created the planet, and stabilized it with Vaal. Realizing his error, Kirk offers himself as a sacrifice to restore Vaal’s functions. Spock/Vaal is encouraged by Kirk’s change of heart, but in the end, Makora is made the new “eyes and ears” of Vaal; Spock is released, and Vaal warns Kirk and his people never to return.

  2. Chris C says:

    Have to agree in full with Ken regarding The Apple. Both Vaal and his peeps were, from the perspective of the Enterprise crew, indigenous to that planet. Even IF we accepted as an axiom John and Scott’s arguments about what constitutes quality of life, the bottom line is that in this case it clearly was not Kirk’s decision to make for them. Return of the Archons and This Side of Paradise do not seem to me to be the same thing at all. In both cases, Federation members themselves have either fouled the prime directive somewhere, or, in the case of …Paradise, have become infected by an alien influence without their consent. They do not represent the indigenous cultures that the prime directive is intended to shield from interference.

    I do disagree with Ken, however, with ‘Paradise. I’m interested in your reasoning in saying the crew of the Enterprise shouldn’t be infected by the spores and stay in the colony, but the colonists should be left infected there. Is it because they’ve been infected longer? It sounds contradictory to say that you would want to either prevent it from happening to one group of people, or pull one group out, but it’s okay for the colonists. Is there a bias involved because you know the crew of the Enterprise? You know who they are and who they were before they were infected. You know what they want to do with their lives, and how important their future work is. But then you seem to dismiss this same consideration for the people we just happen to have never met until now. I’d be willing to bet that if the colonists had any preconception of this possibly happening, they would have said “Ken, if by chance I become infected by some spore that subverts my freedom to choose and puts me into an unproductive panacea, PLEASE never mind the heedless grin on my face… Pull me out of it. Promise me, sir.”