ST(R): Teaser for 'Here There be Dragons' (episode 1.05 summary)

#1
Teaser

We fade in on a star-field, panning over to a fast moving probe marked ‘USS Enterprise 1701’. Tracking in on the probe, it’s lens turns itself slowly (implying that it’s focusing on something). The camera whips around from the probe to the breathtaking visage of a Class-M planet (the target of it’s reconnaissance).

Cut to the anteroom of the Enterprise (which is some distance away). Kirk, Spock and McCoy are viewing the probe’s telemetry; it’s sophisticated photographic technology sends back incredibly magnified footage of activity occurring on the planet. Their dialogue identifies it as the Gorn homeworld.

Returning to the POV of the probe, we pan across a sweeping Gorn cityscape. Five different forms of bipedal reptilian life-forms are mulling about, attending to their various personal business. None are clothed. These five Gorn types resemble different Earth reptiles in humanoid form (leopard geko, alligator, king-cobra, albino python and iguana). Returning to the probe, it’s lens twitches somewhat and we rush back down on the Gorn homeworld, fixating on a row of two dozen cylindrical machines pointing up towards the heavens; a Gorn occupant, with it’s head encased in some sort of helmet-like apparatus, at the base of each. The a fore mentioned ‘types’ of Gorn are each represented (some more than others).

On the Enterprise, the captain, Spock and Bones each lean in closer to the images on the screen. The camera tracks in with them; as the angle tracks in further and further, we dissolve to an identically framed shot of the same image being viewed on a different screen by Admiral Nogura, a 50ish/60ish looking Latino woman, and a caucasian man (looking to be in his 70s or 80s), all wearing official looking attire.

The man commands the computer to halt playback and begins pacing around the confines of the room. On the marble floor beneath his feet there is a massive seal displaying the planet Earth, the words ‘Office of the President of the Terran Union’ in Latin, situated in circular fashion around it. Nogura pipes up at that point, commenting on the cylindrical machines with their Gorn stewards.

Continuing to gaze at the image frozen on the viewscreen, the admiral goes on to say that this is the ‘smoking gun’; continuing that Dr. Daystrom’s invention had detected psionic energy residue (of the Gorn variety) in the planetary defense sentries that had attacked both the Enterprise and Tartarus. The implication here is that the Gorn—in this version of Trek—are empathic, and that they used this power, amplified through machinery, to manipulate the PDS’ in question to attack the very targets they were designed/assigned to protect.

Nogura looks away from the screen, focusing her gaze on the old man. “President Thorne?â€, she asks. Behind him, sunset can be seen descending on Brussels Belgium, casting shadows around the room. Lost in thought, President Cornelius Thorne raises his head and speaks to the Latino woman standing next to Nogura. “Councilwoman Nava, convene a meeting of the Federation Council immediately. We’re going to Babelâ€.

Act One

In the rec-room of the Enterprise, Captain Kirk (wearing his dress-uniform) moves a chess-piece across a traditional board, as we begin the act with a montage. As is customary, the audio completely drops out, sans the score (a pallets/bells dominated piece, which is much bouncier than the previous montages, so as to express a kind of nervous anticipation). We’re cutting back in forth between the immediate present, first with Kirk in his bathroom, shaving. Flashing briefly on the screen, we see TU President Thorne, Councilwoman Nava and Admiral Nogura all standing around the captain’s table looking powerful and strong, with the captain seeming small and weak at it’s end (like a child being told to move out of the way). At that exact moment, Kirk cuts himself with his razor, wincing.

Back at the chess-game, Spock (also in his dress uniform) arches an eye-brown and makes his own opening move. We segue to a shot of the him meditating in his quarters, a painting of his father Sarek visible on the wall behind him. He opens his eyes, and catches the reflection of the painting in the mirror in front of him. Returning to the chess-game, a bored Dr. McCoy, resting his chin on his fist, is watching the game from the table’s third chair. He too is wearing his dress-uniform. We cut to Bones in his cabin, outfitted in his dress-uniform, and proceeding for the door. He hesitates, turning around to look at the black case (housing the Wilhelm device) resting on his coffee table. Cut to the doctor exiting his cabin smiling happily. The montage ends back at the chess-game when McCoy says “So…are we having fun yet?â€

Cut to one of the Enterprise corridors; the camera is positioned at one end, with the airlock doors at it’s other (implying a tunnel-like effect). The camera tracks forward toward the doors, two rows of Marines in dress uniforms standing at attention along the walls. Chief Sulu is standing near the airlock doors with one of those naval whistle thingees (whatever they’re called). As the airlock doors open, he plays that two note ‘ahoy’ theme before announcing “Admiral on deckâ€. Nogura steps through and says “The President of the Terran Union and the Terran Councilwoman to the UFPâ€. As Thorne and Nava (she and Sulu casting subtle glances at one another) enter, the Marines all give a cascading salute. The camera tracks with the cascade, ending on the last man at the end of the corridor. From him, the camera floats over to Kirk—with Spock and McCoy, standing at his left and right, behind him—watching Thorne, Nava and Nogura walking forward (the Marines still frozen in salute). Kirk is smiling pretentiously, with Spock appearing stoic as usual. McCoy (trying to mask his annoyance with all the pomp) gives a subtle roll of the eyes, and whispers “this is funâ€.

Dissolve to an exterior shot of the glorious desert-orange vista of planet Vulcan; various spire-like towers and smaller hovels dot the landscape that surround what looks to be some sort of space-port. Walking towards one particular craft is Councilman Sarek with his wife Amanda Grayson at his side; a procession of aids and staff-members trailing behind him. Amanda remarks that the Enterprise is the ship transporting President Thorne and Councilwoman Nava to Babel; they’re son’s ship. Sarek responds that it will be ‘agreeable’ to see Spock again. Amanda smirks (“It will indeedâ€).

Fade to a ship marked ‘Daystrom Industries’ slicing through space. Cutting to the interior, sitting in a luxurious looking suite, we find Dr. Daystrom sipping coffee and staring out the viewport. The doors behind him open and Christopher Pike enters the room. The cold mechanical timbre of his voice synthesizer expresses the man’s gratitude for giving him a “ride†to the proceedings on Babel. Daystrom’s eyebrow goes up as he seems to hear something wrong. He walks over to Pike’s life-support chair, opens a panel and begins fiddling with some circuitry. “I’m hearing a glitch in your synthesizer. Remember all DI products come with a warrantyâ€. Smiling, Daystrom looks up at Pike’s vacant face, “even I have to fix it myself, Chrisâ€.

Returning to the Enterprise, now on route to Babel, we cut to the ship’s ballroom, where a formal dance is underway. In the center of the large room, TU president Thorne and his wife are doing the waltz, flashbulbs going off by all the various press assembled. Situated among the crowd, Kirk speaks into his communicator to M’Ress on the bridge, ordering a security update. Cutting to the lieutenant looking over her security console, she says “Didn’t you just ask me, sir?â€, to which the captain, shaking his head with a smirk at her near-insubordinate questioning (first witnessed in ATITV), replies “Yes, Lieutenant, but I’m asking you againâ€. She reports that everything is all clear and the captain rests easy. The Thornes’ ‘spotlight dance’ is over and the floor fills up with dozens of couples.

The doors to the ballroom open and the Sulus enter. Spotting Councilwoman Nava, all three rush together, exchanging hugs. Elise shows motherly pride at her daughter’s rank of lieutenant commander, continuing about how she even heard Demora was working a com. Mora, humble, remarks that it’s only the night-shift. After the pleasantries, Hike whispers to Nava that he’s got something important to tell her, “but not here†he says. We get the impression that he’s referring to the death of their mutual father-figure Iram. The family reunion is interrupted as Bones comes up and asks Mora to dance. She happily accepts and the two spiral off into the crowd.

Returning to the captain, Spock is standing next to him looking uncomfortable with the ‘human-ness’ (for like of a better word) of the proceedings. Across the room, Savvik is sitting with some other enlisted crewmembers. She and Spock exchange a look most would describe as ambivalence, but probably qualifies as ‘flirting’ for Vulcans. Kirk catches this and grins as Spock walks over to her. Taking the Vulcan’s sport, Nogura walks up and stands next to Kirk. There’s some small talk between them, but Nogura characteristically gets to the point rather quickly, saying that Sarek is going to be a roblem for getting a majority vote out of the UFP council on a war-resolution against the Gorn. Kirk nods, looking like he doesn’t want to hear what she’s going to say next. “Talk to Spock. He could help us,†she says. Looking at Spock across the room (speaking with Savvik about something or another) Kirk nods again.
 
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Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#2
I'm thinking this probe should probably be stealth probe in some fashion... matte black, no markings, basically just a camera/sensor package and a small thruster? It would seem kind of silly to have PROPERTY OF EARTH stamped all over it if you're sending it into "enemy territory", right?
 

NX-47

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2006
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Here, looking at you
#3
I had the exact same thoughts. The less to identify it as an Earth probe, the better.

Also, I couldn't help but think Xindi with the different Gorn types. Is this, perhaps, a blending of ENT S3's Xindi "threat" with the maliciousness of TOS's Gorn, minus the Temporal Cold War bullshit?
 
#4
Brikar said:
I'm thinking this probe should probably be stealth probe in some fashion... matte black, no markings, basically just a camera/sensor package and a small thruster?
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Matt-black. The decal is extremely small. The only reason the camera would even catch it is because it intentionalaly tracks in that tight.

In fact, the probe is programmed to self-destruct once it gathers it's information (that gets mentioned later as well).
 
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#5
Also, I couldn't help but think Xindi with the different Gorn types. Is this, perhaps, a blending of ENT S3's Xindi "threat" with the maliciousness of TOS's Gorn, minus the Temporal Cold War bullshit?
Um, to be honest, I dont know jack squat about the Xindi. I had completely stopped watching ENT by then. But weren't they like different animal species? Like mammals, avians, insect, etc? For me, the main reason for the five different types of Gorn is really only for cosmetic reasons: I just wanted to make them more visually diverse from one another (like humans are); there are no political or social ramifications to it.

The idea is that the Gorn are basically the result of a planet where reptiles evolved into a dominant bipedal species. In fact, I read it somewhere that iguana's are prime canidates for such a leap forward, considering their propensity to walk upright (and if their brains developed in tandem). Apparantly, walking upright really was the catalyst for our own evolution.

This might sound weird, but if the show were real, I'm imagining the Gorn--whether male or female--all played by women; dancers, mostly (mime and performance art, balet). They wouldn't speak any kind of recognizably 'verbal' language either. Their speech would instead sound like a collection of hisses, pops etc, culled from real world sources.
 
Jun 13, 2006
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#6
Actually, having some tensions and cultural issues between the different types of Gorn would make them even more realistic. That was one of the good things about the Xindi arc - making the Xindi five separate species with different goals and agendas made them one of the most realistic, fleshed-out races seen in Trek. There were some major issues with Season 3, but the general idea behind Xindi society wasn't one of them.
 

NX-47

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2006
376
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Here, looking at you
#7
That's a really good point. It added a lot of depth to them, especially towards the end, where they started fighting with one another. Five different species are bound to have differing, and conflicting, points of view. Hell, look at the conflict on our little world, and we're all the same dammed race!

If you do make cultural issues a factor, I'd advise against having one be an overly domineering militaristic type, as that's what the Xindi had (the Reptilians, ironically), and it can be rather stereotypical. Perhaps Cardassian-like, in that the Cardies were more about finesse, stealth, and cunning.
 
Jun 13, 2006
547
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#8
NX-47 said:
Hell, look at the conflict on our little world, and we're all the same dammed race!
Not only the same race, but the same race with pretty much zilch for genetic diversity. Gather a troop of 30-50 chimps and you'll have a wider genetic base than the whole human race...

If you do make cultural issues a factor, I'd advise against having one be an overly domineering militaristic type, as that's what the Xindi had (the Reptilians, ironically), and it can be rather stereotypical. Perhaps Cardassian-like, in that the Cardies were more about finesse, stealth, and cunning.
And also rather reptillian!
 
#9
You've all made really good points. However, the structure and storyline of the season arc simply does not allow for any sort of in-depth sociological exploration of the Gorn culture; in fact, their menance is in their mystery (hence the title of this episode). In fact, you're not gonna really 'see' much Gorn at all, to tell you the truth.

I intend to get into their culture later in the series, but the season 1 arc is really not about them, it's about the threat of them; the psychological impact of the fear and the loathing of the 'enemy'.