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Fridge: Star Trek: The Original Series
Fridge Brilliance
  • Yeoman Rand is attacked by Kirk's alter ego in "The Enemy Within", and again by Charlie Evans in "Charlie X". Obviously, these experiences left Rand so traumatized that she was uncomfortable serving on the Enterprise even after these situations were resolved, so she requested a transfer to another ship or starbase. Rand disappears after the first season. Given how far Enterprise was from Federation outposts most of the time, that's probably how long it took to get her to her next posting (presumably the paperwork was complete before then—as the XO, Spock is handling day-to-day administrative and personnel issues, so Kirk can't be accused of holding her back in the meantime).
    • There were other yeomen besides Rand; she wasn't extremely important. Also, she disappears from the series just before "Court Martial" or "The Menagerie" depending on whether you're going by production order or airdate; both episodes feature the Enterprise visiting Starbase 11, which would be the first opportunity for one of the crew to leave for a new post.
  • Two ways to get action out of Spock are to insult his heritage/parents or to threaten Kirk, with the latter turning up much more frequently. This is probably because Spock, trying to be Vulcan, can't justify getting angry on the subject of his parents. With Kirk, though, he can say he's just doing his duty as a First Officer and maintain Plausible Deniability.
  • After the transporter accident in "The Enemy Within", Starfleet Command reviews the reports of the incident. They note the potential failure mode of the transporter and order the previously-retired shuttles to be returned to the fleet. Enterprise has subsequently regained its shuttlecraft seven episodes later ("The Galileo Seven") but the Galileo experiences malfunctions due to a long period in storage, resulting in the landing party becoming stranded.
    • The Galileo was damaged by the electromagnetic storm it had been sent out to investigate. Dialog made it pretty clear. You might still be right about why they didn't have shuttles to save the Enemy Within landing party, but I doubt Kirk or Scotty would have permitted a substandard shuttle to sit unfixed in their hangar, let alone send friends out in it.
  • In "Amok Time", Kirk interprets Spock's comment that "it has to do with Vulcan biology" as "reproduction" rather quickly. This seems odd, but Spock was clearly embarrassed, and what part of biology is half so embarrassing to discuss as reproduction?
  • In the episode Where No Man Has Gone Before, Kirk's best friend Gary Mitchell is zapped by an energy barrier which amplifies his ESP abilities. Gary starts the episode with jet black hair and ends with distinct grey streaks. Remember, he is already stated to possess heightened ESP abilities which technically make it part of his biology - his ESP is powered by his own lifeforce! On repeated viewing, this actually increases Kirk's dilemma; if he chooses to keep Mitchell alive instead of kill or abandon him, Kirk would almost certainly recover his friend's sanity due to losing his powers through the passage of time - as long as he runs the risk of Mitchell destroying the ship first...
  • In "I, Mudd", Uhura is fascinated with the idea that she could have immortality and eternal youth and beauty by having her mind transferred to an android body. Later, in "And the Children Shall Lead", we find out that her worst fear is "[her] death. A long death. Disease and pain"...something that wouldn't be an issue for an android.

Fridge Horror
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: this is referenced on the Mind Rape page, but it's still worth including here. There's a scene in the episode "Mirror, Mirror" where Evil!Spock (you can tell because he has a goatee) forcibly mind-melds with Dr. McCoy. Creepy. But then you become more of a fan, and learn that mated Vulcan couples form permanent mental bonds. Literal. Mind. Rape. Kinda takes away from the silliness of that episode, doesn't it?
    • Sure, there's a marriage bond; Spock had one with T'Pring. But over the course of the series, he mind-melded with various people and aliens, and even a machine, solely to get information. (The mind meld was invented for "Dagger of the Mind" because the network wouldn't let them show hypnosis.) Clearly there's a difference between marital mind-bonding and the mind meld we see in these situations.
    • At least that was Evil Spock doing the mind raping, so it's only horror for the viewer because of what it does to Bones. It doesn't affect the normal character. However, in Star Trek VI, regular Spock forcibly mind-melds with the junior Vulcan officer on the Enterprise who's been working with the bad guys. She makes faint mewing sounds at first, and then she SCREAMS. During all this, everyone on the bridge is watching and looking really uncomfortable about it. So, basically, Spock mind-raped a women to get information that would prevent a war. The needs of the many etc. etc.
      • The novelization has Spock letting Valeris choose whether to yield the information freely, and she does, even though both know he could easily force it out of her if he wanted. Her scream could in this light be interpreted as one of despair and/or joy when she realizes that despite her utter betrayal of his trust, he still trusts her to do what is right.
      • Something I don't think anyone has ever considered about that scene is that the moment Spock breaches Valeris' mental defenses, their minds become one. The look of having just swallowed razor blades on Spock's face seems to indicate that at that instant, any and all suffering he had just inflicted on Valeris was instantaneously transferred to him, as well. For this reason, the scene just doesn't play like the human idea of rape at all, in my opinion. They both come away feeling like they've been raped.
      • That must hav ebeen very psychologically interesting when Spock's katra in Bones mind got to meld with the thoughts of Evil Spock left in Bone's mind from the above mentioned mind rape.
    • While the scene of Kirk being pelted by the tribbles that were in the tainted grain silo is quite funny, you need to remember they were dying. Imagine if Kirk was pelted by cute, fluffy bunnies that were poisoned to death and were dying painfully, and now you've got what Kirk was pelted with.
      • Deep Space Nine reveals that those cute, fluffy, poisoned bunnies were being thrown at Kirk by other Starfleet Officers who he would have seniority over. Fridge Insubordination!
      • And at the end of the episode, isn't transporting the tribbles onto the Klingon ship a death sentence for them (the tribbles, not the Klingons)? There was no reason to think that the Klingons wouldn't have shot every one of the little guys, and in Deep Space Nine Worf recounts how Klingons eventually exterminated the entire species. Worf does however justify the decision by explaining that the tribbles were an ecological disaster for the Klingons, cleaning out food supplies and causing famines. It's no different than killing the fluffy bunnies that are eating your crops.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: S 1 E 11 "Miri" — The adults are all dead. Once a child hits puberty, s/he dies. Where are the babies coming from?
    • Having just seen the episode, I can tell you that all the children were born before the disaster, 300 years ago. They have only aged 3 months in those three centuries, though.
    • Dr. Mc Coy asks the same question you did, about fifteen or twenty minutes into the episode. The reason you didn't hear it is that he uses an arcane expression in order to get around the censors.
    Spock. It's illogical. It does not follow. All the adults on this planet died three hundred years ago, but there are children in the streets.
    Kirk. Who die when they enter adolescence.
    Mc Coy. But — how do they keep their line going?
    • The novelization of the episode explores this in more detail, but also brings up the more urgent problem of the children running out of the canned food they'd been scavenging from the ruins in a matter of weeks unless the Enterprise intervenes.
  • What really happens when a person is beamed to or from the spaceship using the transporter? Does he/she die, with a new copy of him/her created at its destination? The new person would not remember anything that happened after the old person's atomic structure was saved, so the death could be quite painful and torturous.
    • One wonders if McCoy knows something we don't.
    • The plot of Spock Must Die kicks off after this question is discussed in-universe.
    • The transporter accident and malfunction concepts were brought up in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Next Generation's episode with Scotty, and the 2009 Star Trek film.
    • This was discussed in the Expanded Universe novel "Federation" - transporters work on the quantum level rather than just the molecular level. Rather than simply producing a copy that thinks it's the original (molecular level) at the destination, it converts your specific atoms to energy, beams them to a target location, and then reassembles them.
      • Which still doesn't address the issue, you could still be dead and your replacement is just constructed from your old raw materials.
    • Enteprise Episode 86, "Daedalus", Emory Erickson, inventor of the transporter handwaves the issue away, treating like it was a crack pot point.
  • In The Changeling, Uhura is effectively entirely MindWiped by Nomad. When they realize it's a wipe, not just damage, they 'reeducate' her... No one seems to think or even care about what she's lost in terms of personal memories.
    • Well, it's true that we never saw Uhura sing again after this episode... not even in the hippie episode.
    • She not only sings but performs a fan dance in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The recovery probably took longer than anyone expected.
    • Her personality doesn't change, she speaks the language of her childhood within days, and returns to full job competence so fast that it never becomes an issue. Clearly, Nomad only caused amnesia rather than a brainwipe, and she was already rediscovering early memories at the episode's end. Another proof that Nomad was imperfect! IMPERFECT! STER-I-LIZE!
  • In "Plato's Stepchildren", the Power Trio encounter a race of aliens who can — and will — force others to do anything for their amusement. One of their victims was Spock, a telepath. It's lucky they didn't think of forcing him to use his powers on anyone.
  • In "The Doomsday Machine", it's implied that Kirk and Decker are Not So Different. So what would have happened if Kirk had at some point lost his crew?
Fridge Logic
  • OK, somebody, I must know: Who pilots the Enterprise when Kirk is asleep? No one can pull continuous 24-hour shifts, so somebody else must be in the captain's chair for at least a few hours. If a computer could do it, then why have a captain and bridge crew at all? Someone needs to write a fanfic about this.
    • In Voyager, I remember Harry mentioning he got the Night Shift at one point to a bunch of ensigns under his command, so I presume there is rotation at various points. It's just being handled by offscreen NPCs. In an emergency, they probably rouse the proper command staff.
    • Kirk is sometimes seen relieving another officer (usually Spock—who sleeps on a different schedule than humans anyway—or Sulu, sometimes a random unnamed goldshirt officer) when he enters the bridge.
    • There's presumably a night crew — on TNG, Data usually ran the bridge at "night" (since he was an android and didn't need to sleep) with a different set of officers than the usual cast of the show. We explicitly see him end one shift and then later begin another as the bookends to a Spotlight episode. When he takes over at the end of the episode he relieves Worf. So it appears most of the senior staff are in command at some point while Picard & Riker are off doing something else. Crusher also mentions taking the "night" command shift on occasion because she liked running the ship and wanted to keep the command skills she picked up at the Academy and throughout her career sharp.
    • There are also a few scenes of Sisko or Kira relieving "night" shift personnel from Ops on DS9, so it was probably the same on TOS.
  • On the same note, who runs Sick Bay during the "night" shift? Do they have another doctor, or is Bones on call all the time? Maybe that's why he's grumpy so often...
    • Well, what do naval ship/submarine crews do? Enterprise should have a full night-shift complement.
    • There's a reason the title is Chief Medical Officer: McCoy and Crusher, too) have staff. On TOS, we see Dr. M'Benga a couple of times and on TNG, we see Dr. Selar a couple of times.
  • With regard to "Dagger of the Mind": why would a penal colony have a shield that prevents Starfleet from beaming someone down? Granted, the shield would be useful to keep ships from beaming prisoners out, but it seems like the Enterprise should have some sort of override (in case the prisoners took over the colony and were holding the administrators hostage, for example).
    • Which actually happened in "Whom Gods Destroy," making the lack of override an even more glaring problem.
    • How do we know such an override system is possible, and it's not just all-or-nothing?
  • Pretty much all the series make mention of a "night shift", which is always crewed by the junior officers because it's not seen as important...??? How can you have a "night shift" in space? Even if they just call it that because of tradition, why would it be considered less important? What does the WHOLE galaxy sleep on the same schedule reducing the danger 'at night...in space'?
    • When Muslim astronauts first went to the International Space Station, it was decided that their five prayers a day would correspond to a 24-hour day based on where they launched from.note  Most likely, Starfleet follows a similar example, so all ships are synced to a 24-hour time period based on the time in San Francisco (Starfleet HQ). When night falls at HQ, all SF ships go to night watch. Each respective fleet in the universe (Klingon, Vulcan, Romulan, etc) probably has their own "day" system based on their own planet. If something important happens on the "night" shift, senior officers get called to the bridge.
    • It is canon that other species/planets use their own schedules — Deep Space Nine runs on the 26-hour Bajoran clock, not the 24-hour Earth one. And while night shift may not be crewed by the highest-ranking bridge officers (like Kirk and Spock), it's not being crewed by a bunch of cadets who don't know what they're doing or anything. To once again use one of the later series as proof, the Enterprise-D is run on night shift by senior officers like Data and Beverly Crusher (though of course Data is a special case since he can work literally all the time as an android).
      • And of course, the captain could be woken up in case of emergency, which is possibly what we see happen in some cases.
  • The first time-travel episode, "Tomorrow Is Yesterday"note , is perhaps one giant case of Fridge Logic thanks to its Timey-Wimey Ball. When the ship is accidentally trapped in The Sixties and an Air Force pilot films them, they're forced to beam him up and then steal the footage from his base. Once they succeed, it's time to return the pilot, not by simply letting him go, but by going back in time a few hours and using the transporter to re-insert him into his own past body. It would be Mental Time Travel for him except that his memory is apparently reset to that time, an effect that Spock and Kirk assume will occur even though they have little precedent for either time travel or for beam-overriding a person. It's never explained why the Enterprise doesn't overwrite (or even encounter) its own past self, why the footage had to be stolen if the whole timeline was rewritten to prevent everything, why nobody's memory is changed unless they are beamed, and what philosophical difference is made by beam-merging/over-writing the pilot with a version of himself that has identical memories, apart from conveniently and non-violently eliminating the character from any complications. Oh, and how does the ship's "chronometer" work anyway? Its existence could imply a non-relativistic universe with "absolute" time (and that the Enterprise's designers somehow foresaw the possibility of time travel). But then, the warp drive also flouts relativity, so that's actually self-consistent.

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