Elaan of Troyius - episode #57

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Elaan of Troyius - episode #57 Empty Elaan of Troyius - episode #57

Post  BoG on Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:06 pm


___ ELAAN OF TROYIUS  (3rd season; episode #57)
Elaan of Troyius - episode #57 StarTrek49Elaan Elaan of Troyius - episode #57 StarTrek49Elaan1
Written and Directed by John Meredith Lucas  Like a Star @ heaven  Air Date: 12/20/68
Elaan of Troyius - episode #57 StarTrek49Elaan0bElaan of Troyius - episode #57 StarTrek49Elaan0a
In the earlier classic episode, Journey to Babel, the Enterprise hosted about 100 ambassadors from various alien cultures. In this latest venture into Federation politics and diplomacy, there is only one ambassador - Petri is his name, from Troyius. Oh, and, also, there's a creature known as the Dohlman, from the planet Elas. A Dohlman? Quick, the universal translator, please! Translation: Elaan, spoiled brat of a princess, i.e. more trouble than 200 ambassadors. Ambassador Petri's task: train her in preparation for her role as wife to the Troyiun prince. Some ground rules to observe when hosting a Dohlman:

    (1) kneel in her presence; (2) do not speak unless permitted; (3) do not leave without permission;
    (4) provide her with the best quarters on the ship; (4a) failing that, find other quarters;
    (5) provide breakable objects for her, but no pillows.

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The sophomoric attitudes we see here do provide more entertainment than the average 3rd season episode; I guess I like this one for similar reasons to my appreciation for the crazy Whom Gods Destroy - the yelling and the hysterics. This one again borrows from Shakespeare (as with a few other episodes) - in this case, from The Taming of the Shrew, so, in a sense, it's meant to be somewhat comedic. There are added elements of another touchy mission for Starfleet to bring peace to a region of space, as well as an unexpected attack by a Klingon warship. The warlike Elasians make even the aggressive Klingons seem a bit laid-back by comparison (see also the description of the Capellans in Friday's Child). The story holds together well with all these plot turns in the first couple of acts and this episode is not boring - that's a given.
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There's a switch to even more silly plot contrivances in the 2nd half of the episode, when Kirk becomes infected by Elaan's tears. According to legend, and 23rd-century biochemistry, tears of such a female enslave all men, causing the man in question to fall hopelessly in love (or, in lust?) with the female. This plot turn almost moves the story into childlike fairy tale territory, though I suppose one can liken such an effect to a viral infection. This also provides another excuse for Kirk to, uh, fraternize inappropriately with an alien woman who is generally regarded as off-limits. It's similar to his tryst with the female invader in Wink of an Eye only a few episodes later (Kirk really got going in this area of interstellar relations during the 3rd season).
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As the beyond-arrogant royal bitch, actress France Nuyen was well cast as Elaan; helped by her accent, she brings a suitably exotic flavor to the role, flinging knives and enjoying a meal with equal aplomb. My favorite scene is probably her put-down of Scotty - watch what you say to a proud Scotsman! Doohan, as usual, is great to watch in his display of outrage. Also well cast was Jay Robinson as Petri; he's best known as Caligula in the film The Robe (1953) and usually comes across as effeminate, with a suggestion of wickedness.
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To the episode's credit, the audience should feel at least a twinge of pity for Elaan by the conclusion, despite her earlier antics. One is reminded that the episode's title is "Elaan of Troyius" not 'Elaan of Elas.' She seems doomed and forsaken at the end to spend the remainder of her life behaving in a certain fashion, contrary to her nature, a situation which is at odds with the Federation's espousal of free will and democratic ideals. I also liked the space battle in this one near the conclusion; the music score, especially, is superlative during this sequence and called to mind the battles of a decade later in Star Wars. On the downside, the smaller budget in the 3rd season really showed in the cheap costumes for the male Elasians ('cake decorations' is one oft-heard description). BoG's Score: 7 out of 10
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Extra Trek Trivia: this Trek episode was the only one written and directed by the same person, John Meredith Lucas. There was a scene filmed in a newly-constructed recreation room set, but the scene was deleted. Some rare stills from this scene have been uncovered recently and you can view restored versions of these and the original script of the scene at StarTrekHistory.com, here:http://www.startrekhistory.com/DS1.html
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The Recreation Room set was later used in the episode And the Children Shall Lead Idea  
>>>remastered FX footage, including the space battle:


Last edited by BoG on Sun May 03, 2015 3:40 am; edited 5 times in total
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Elaan of Troyius - episode #57 Empty Elaan of Troyius

Post  BoG on Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:40 pm


NEAR-CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
Petri: "That... creature, Elaan... is to be the wife of our ruler. To Bring Peace.
_____ Our Two Warring Planets now possess the capability of mutual destruction.
_____ Some method of co-existence must be found."

here's a shot from the non-aired scene of Elaan of Troyius, in the then-newly constructed Recreation Room set:
Elaan of Troyius - episode #57 StarTrek49Elaan11______

Elaan: "I did not give you permission to leave!"__
Kirk: "I didn't ask for any." (she yells; he leaves)
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