Sunday, 26 May 2013

TOS - 1.14 - Balance of Terror

Star Trek - Balance of Terror
Does this Romulan Praetor look like
Vulcan?  Pray tell...
This is not Sarek, father of Spock
This episode introduces 2 new exciting additions to the Trek lore: the Romulan Empire and the cloaking device. This is note-worthy.

The Romulan Empire is obviously based on the Roman Empire with its military salute and terms like 'centurion', 'praetor', and last but not least, 'Romulus'. Romulus is of course one of the twin brothers that is made up the foundation myth for the Roman (many civilisations have such foundation myths).

I've little doubt that Gene Roddenberry was a history fan, especially Roman history. Even Captain Kirk middle name 'Tiberius' is Latin.

No Enterprise crew, including Spock, has seen the Romulan until this episode. While the warbird is cloaked, the Enterprise manages to get a visual of the crew member inside the Romulan warbird. Imagine the surprise the Enterprise crew get when they see the Romulan crew members all have pointed ears (and up-turned  eyebrows). Some Enterprise crew turns to Spock, and Spock gives them a 'surprise' reaction (as 'surprise' a look as a Vulcan can manage). "Don't look at me! I'm as shock as you're" would be his reply if he's a human. For Spock, it's his usual raising of the eyebrows. No, he didn't say "Fascinating". This time. He's speechless. Everyone is. You could hear a Star Trek badge drops. Well, it's not that quiet).

This episode explores the important psychology of personal prejudice, and how it's coloured judgement. A crew member who has a personal grudge against the Romulan is understandably suspicious of Spock is a Romulan spy. Like they say, in war, the truth is the 1st victim. Let's include sound and fair judgement as well.

This is the 1st episode showing galactic battles (the kind that Star Wars is well known for, but Star Trek had done it light years ahead), the clashing of civilisations.

Much of the plot revolves around of a game of Cat and Mouse. The Mouse is invisible. In fact, the Mouse is a Bird of Prey. And Kirk is the Cat.

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