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Talk:Balance of Terror (episode)

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NitpicksEdit

Stiles said it would take the wildest stroke of luck to hit the invisible Romulans with phasers, yet the phasers do so, and then continue to do so for the rest of the episode.

Stiles' comment at that point was in reference to the range (distance) of the Romulans, not their 'visibility'. I believe he said something like "a phaser hit at this distance would be the wildest stroke of luck"

More NitpicksEdit

I removed the nitpicks section as per the discussion on Ten Forward citing these were not necessary, as in we are not here to critique. I also added some that really had nothing to do with anything, or were merely observations that does not pertain to the background of the episode:

  • The woman seen as Angela's bridesmaid at the beginning of the episode is also seen in the very last scene as Kirk walks down the corridor. She can be observed (now in a gold uniform rather than a blue one) chatting and smiling with a male crewman. One would have thought she would be more restrained after the death of her friend's fiance!
  • Decius brags that the Romulan ship is the best in their fleet. If so, why does sand fall from the ceiling during the battle sequences?
  • When the Bird of Prey first fires on the Enterprise, Kirk orders the navigator to send the ship in reverse. Why not swerve out of the way of the oncoming plasma beam?
  • Stiles said it would take the wildest stroke of luck to hit the invisible Romulans with phasers, yet the phasers do so, and then continue to do so for the rest of the episode.
  • In the silliest parallel to the movie The Enemy Below, both ship captains order their respective crews to be quiet -- sound doesn't travel in space. In defense of this scene, however, perhaps ship's sensors could discern sounds occuring within another vessel.
  • Watch Sulu's very appreciative glance at Uhura when she takes over navigation in this episode.
  • Spock makes an uncharacteristic blunder in this episode: groping for a control button in the darkened bridge, he activates the signal that alerts the Romulans to the ship's presence.
  • "Decius brags that the Romulan ship is the best in their fleet. If so, why does sand fall from the ceiling during the battle sequences?" -- Since we know nothing of Romulan construction techniques before Balance of Terror, why not?
  • "When the Bird of Prey first fires on the Enterprise, Kirk orders the navigator to send the ship in reverse. Why not swerve out of the way of the oncoming plasma beam?" -- Because swerving out of the way includes continuing forward (toward the plasma bolt) while turning. Considering that the plasma bolt was travelling at warp speed, continuing toward it would've been folly.
  • "Stiles said it would take the wildest stroke of luck to hit the invisible Romulans with phasers, yet the phasers do so, and then continue to do so for the rest of the episode." -- No, they didn't. The proximity charges are similar to depth charges... they don't actually strike the target, but they will still do damage. --NME 13:34, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Talk pages are not a place to add more nitpicks. We are only moving ones that have been removed per community consensus, and following "archive, don't delete". --OuroborosCobra talk 14:16, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Other Comments Edit

Spock's comments about Vulcan having an "aggressive, colonizing period" would seem to suggest the Vulcans aggressively colonized space before the Time of Awakening.

The Centurion's comment about Decius having powerful friends suggests Decius may have been with the Tal Shiar--Robert Treat 00:31, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

About the PhasersEdit

Kirk orders the phasers set on "proximity blast"; hence why the effect looks like a photon torpedo blast; it's a concentrated phaser bolt that explodes close to the cloaked Romulan ship; comparable (in appearance) to the pulse phasers used by the U.S.S. Defiant on DS9. --Kyle C. Haight, July 6, 2006.

OK, but I have removed your statement saying that phasers were set that way in "Errand of Mercy". All they did is reuse footage, something they did all the time in TOS, but the epsisode never states setting the phasers to that setting. --OuroborosCobra talk 01:57, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I have to differ; Kirk clearly orders "Set for proximity blast." This clearly explains why the phaser effects look the way they do in the episode. It also explains why they look that way in "Errand of Mercy." I have altered the note to fit both points of view (hopefully) satisfactorily. Kyle C. Haight 03:36, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

You misunderstand. They do say "set proximity blast" in Balance of Terror, but they DO NOT in Errand of Mercy. They just reuse the footage, something done all the time in TOS. Reused footage, therefore, is not enough to call something the same thing. That said, your current edit of this note is just fine, as you do not refer to the other episode. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:41, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
You missed my point; because they look the same in "Mercy" implies that the phasers were set the same way as they were in "Balance"; I understand they reuse the footage all the time, all I'm suggesting is that they were set the same way in "Mercy" as well. (It provides continuity)Kyle C. Haight 04:01, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
So if thats the case, you should say that the pahsers were set for prox blast in "Balance" and that they were on a similar setting for "Errand". This implies the sugggestion that they were set the same way, but leaves open the possibility that its not completely the same -- because they never stated it was completely the same. Just because they look the same doesnt mean they are the same, we shouldnt say anything like "they are the same", however we should provide enough information to state that the implication exists. -- Captain M.K.B. 04:05, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Digital remastering Edit

Is it the intent of fans here to capture equivalent screenshots when this episode's remastered version airs (as early as) September 16? I for one am very excited to see what they have up their sleeves, especially with how they make the Romulan Bird of Prey look. --Kitch 12:59, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Since this will effect the entire series, there is a forum discussion on the subject located at Talk:Star Trek: The Original Series#TOS-Remastered discussions. It is best to keep the discussion there, and not spread out on every single TOS episode talk page. I too am very interested to see what they do with the Bird of Prey. --OuroborosCobra talk 13:24, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Having just seen "Balance of Terror" remastered, the only significant changes I observed were a new effect for the plasma weapon, an enhanced version of Icarus IV, and a closeup of the BOP. -- StAkAr Karnak 23:16, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

There was a lot more than that. The phasers were re-done, new sound effects as well. Also, the look of the Enterprise when it is powered down is different, the bussard ramscoops are no longer dark, etc. Unfortunetly, I do not have the original, or I would make a side by side comparison to document all changes. --OuroborosCobra talk 22:04, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
The phasers and other sounds weren't very noticeable to me, except for when they hit the cloaked BOP. Seemed a waste of opportunity to create a new shot and use it three times (instead of 3 new shots), but I suppose they felt it was necessary to be faithful to the original.
As for the bussards, I kept waiting for them to power down too, like in TNG. Perhaps Kirk wanted to be ready to spring into action to get the Romulans; funny that the bridge lights were off and not the exteriors. Sort of like covering your own eyes so no one can see you.  :) -- StAkAr Karnak 23:46, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
In the original, the bussards were off, IIRC. Therefore, I classify it as an error in the reproduction. --OuroborosCobra talk 00:06, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Earth Romulan War Edit

The article mentions that at this time ship to ship visual communications didn't exist, but Enterprise takes place before this event and uses visual communications technology. I was wondering how the two things are able to be squared, they appear to be incompatible. This has been bugging me ever since i saw this episode.

The exact line, "nor was there even ship-to-ship visual communication", has been taken to mean that there was no visual communication between Earth and the Romulans, not that no such communication existed. --From Andoria with Love 16:14, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Interesting that Enterprise was actually careful to avoid visual comm with Romulans. I agree though that it's stupid. Federation 01:15, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, the simple explanation is that the Romulans did not want it revealed that they were in fact related to Vulcans. There are any number of strategic reasons for this. We know from TNG that the Romulans had a goal of conquest of Vulcan (possibly as revenge for the very reasons they left?), and we know from Enterprise that this goal extended before the Earth-Romulan war. They may not have wanted their origins revealed, as this would also reveal their goal and intentions, and thereby make the conquest of Vulcan more difficult. --OuroborosCobra talk 01:20, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Just passing through and thought I'd comment. I still find all this tough to square. "Balance of Terror" also establishes that the Earth-Romulan war had been fought with "old-style" nuclear weapons, but Enterprise clearly shows that Earth was equipping ships with photon torpedos and phaser canons prior to those events. So why would they revert to nukes?
--Josh 67.241.8.112 18:18, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Just semantics here, but they used photonic torpedoes and phase cannons, which are a bit different from photon torpedoes and phaser cannons. --Alan 18:33, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Date of Original Airing? Edit

This listing in Memory Alpha currently shows the original airdate for "Balance of Terror" as December 13, 1966. I believe it should say December 15, 1966. Supporting evidence in favor of the date of the 15th: (1) StarTrek.com gives a date of December 15 (but StarTrek.com can be wrong at times); (2) December 13 was a Tuesday, but all other episodes from the first season have Thursday dates. I think it probably should be the 15th, but do not feel I have enough evidence to be confident that I am right. --Ensign Real 21:33, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

IMDB also has the Dec. 15th date as well so I'm going to go ahead and change it. --Morder 19:13, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Books "used" on the enterprise Edit

  • This is the only time a book is used on the Enterprise, other than being seen on a shelf in someone's quarters. The book in the briefing room scene is a tome on comets. The title is "Table of Comets, Galaxy Quadrant," followed by unreadable numbers.

Removed: in "The Conscience of the King" kodos is reading a book on the enterprise.

I also remember at least 2 similar occasions: the end of "Court Martial" (but i'm not sure that kirk "uses" the book, not seen it in a long time) and another one, in wich a book is used by spock on the enterprise, unfortunately i can't remember the episode (but it was in the first season, before "Miri"). Jackoverfull 01:13, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Removed Edit

Removed the following as a nit, per MA:NIT, as we don't make comparisions to reality.

  • Kirk mentions ship captains "since the days of wooden sailing ships" as having the ability to legally marry couples. This authority, however, was limited in many Terran navies. The Captain also had to be a notary public or other recognized source. Some countries included a notary public license with the Ship's masters certificates which would allow Captains to marry people on board.--31dot 00:48, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I think I saw this exact point on "Data's Day" as well. IT IS GREEN 02:09, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

21Edit

I may have misheard when I watched the episode, but I thought McCoy said that 21 people were lost, including Tomlinson. If this is true, then this episode should hold the record for most TOS crewmen deaths, instead of "Where no Man has Gone before", at twelve. IT IS GREEN 02:11, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Angela Martine Catholic?Edit

One could make reasonable supposition she's Anglican of some high-church flavor, but not Catholic; Catholic tradition (and canon law) prohibits being married by civil authorities. The only exception to this is when civil law requires a civil wedding before a religious service, in which case the priest (or recently, deacon) still must witness the civil ceremony and then perform the religious wedding the same day. If the character were to be Catholic, she'd be committing a mortal sin to marry outside the church.

Akaramis 03:13, March 9, 2010 (UTC)

It's still likely that the character genuflecting was intended to indicate that she was Catholic. Although it's true that some high church Episcopalians/Anglicans genuflect at the altar, practices like this were less common in the Episcopal Church in the 1960s than they are today. High church liturgical elements are much more widespread in the Episcopal Church now than they were in the 1960s, in part due to widespread prejudice against anything that smelled of "popery". Anglo-Catholicism has become much more common since then. —Josiah Rowe 18:12, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

Uncited Edit

I removed the following note, which has had an incite tag for over 2 years now:

Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 10:58, May 24, 2010 (UTC)

Removed Edit

I removed the following note for being commentary:

  • Much has been made of Roddenberry's belief that prejudice would be obsolete by the 23rd century. He reportedly was dismayed that the crew would display some bigotry toward Klingons in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Yet, in this episode, Stiles makes no secret of his hatred toward Romulans and his distaste for Spock once he learns what the Romulans look like. Kirk, of course, calls him on the carpet for his views.

Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 07:34, October 6, 2010 (UTC)

I removed the following:
  • In this episode, Spock mentioned the conflict between Earth and Romulus "fought over a century ago". He stated that they used primitive atomic weapons, and ship-to-ship visual communication did not exist. However, as in Star Trek: Enterprise, they do have visual communication between ships, and use antimatter-based warheads, yet were not aware of the existence of Romulans, this steps on the toes of the Star Trek continuity. However, one of these is explained by the Romulans' refusal to establish visual communications in ENT: "Minefield".
It is a nitpick which explains itself away, in part(re communication) and it was not said that the Romulans did not possess antimatter weapons, only that the war was fought with atomic weapons.--31dot 02:57, December 22, 2010 (UTC)

casualties error Edit

Doctor McCoy reports 22 casualties from radiation burns etc, yet in the scene in sickbay after the battle, Kirk asks Bones "How many men did we lose?" and Bones sais just one, the officer who was to be married, what happened to the other 22 deaths? I can find no mention or discussion of this, so maybe I'm missing something. thanks.--70.191.205.173 20:14, November 3, 2011 (UTC)

Casualties does not necessarily mean deaths.--31dot 20:25, November 3, 2011 (UTC)

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