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Mission Log Supplemental 004 – The One With Mark Altman

John and Ken talk with Mark Altman about his movie Free Enterprise, his time with William Shatner, and why he loves Star Trek. Then they re-argue the TOS episode “This Side of Paradise.”

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4 comments

  • This is mostly echoing what you said a lot of people have already told you, but it’s all about the consent of the people. If you clear the spores out of the colonists’ system and they make the choice to return of their own free will, then so be it.

    A lot of the talk about the Federation being a post-materialist society comes from the modern Trek series, but these characters exist in a time where the state no longer needs a populace grinding away at work in order to function. Someone who joins Starfleet has made a commitment to serve with it and uphold its values, but some small colony that doesn’t warrant a visit more than once every few years has no obligation to ‘contribute’ to the greater galactic community.

    If its people, after careful consideration, want to hang out on a planet where a minimum amount of work and sophistication can bring happiness, then good for them. They’ve found their comfortable niche. Like you said, people like Bones, who want to go out there and make a difference, wouldn’t choose that kind of life if they had a clear mind, but not not everyone is a driven idealist.

  • Ken has a great point. I don’t know if Kirk did right or wrong, but I bought right into the writers’ obvious assumption that there is something “wrong” with the colonists’ euphoric bliss, and it is something to be “fixed”; and it looks like most other viewers did, either. The episode really doesn’t do very much to steer the viewer in that direction, but that’s where we all go.