The Savage Curtain : The Cloud Minders : Spectre of the Gun.
The planet Ardana is home to the wealthy and friendly city of Stratos that is floating above the clouds, but also to the underdeveloped and aggressive miners known as Troglytes. As the Enterprise arrives at the planet to pick up an urgently needed shipment of the rare mineral zenite, the Troglyte "Disrupters", who demand equal rights for everyone, hold it back. Kirk accepts High Adviser Plasus's invitation to Stratos, where he is attacked by Vanna, one of the Disrupters.
He later helps her escape because he disapproves of Plasus's methods to make her talk. And he offers her a mask that would filter out the gas in the mines that is holding back the mental development of the Troglytes. But instead of leading him to the zenite, Vanna and her people take Kirk as a hostage. When Kirk gains the upper hand again, he orders Plasus to be beamed down to witness the effects of the gas himself. The Troglytes eventually hand out the zenite, and Kirk urges Plasus to implement social reforms, if necessary under the auspices of the Federation.
Errors and Explanations
Internet Movie Database
- Plasus rules the Federation planet Ardana as a corrupt petty tyrant, suspending civil liberties and violating basic Federation law. Kirk and Spock can and should arrest Plasus for corruption and enslavement, and grant the Troglytes the inalienable Federation rights which are granted to all sentient beings within jurisdiction. This is not a "Prime Directive" case where the Federation refuses to interfere in non-Federation matters. This way of doing things, depending on Federation versus non-Federation, has been shown time and again in the Trek universe.Plasus may have insisted on regarding the situation as a purely internal matter.
- In the cave, Kirk strikes Plasus with his right hand. It's the same hand which holds his phaser in camera shots before and after the blow, but during the strike the phaser inexplicably disappears. Kirk could have shifted it to either his other hand or his belt.
The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers
- The future seems to have some really bad plagues. In Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, the Enterprise had to make like a crop duster and save an entire planet from some sort of bacteriological infestation. Now, in this episode, the Enterprise must hurry to another planet or all its plant life will die. Although we have our problems here on Earth, l can't think of any natural pestilence or disease that has ever threatened to destroy all life on the planet. Either it has mutated, it isn't natural, or both.
- Spock claims that Stratos is a completely intellectual society, that all forms of violence have been eliminated. Later, Droxine confirms that the people of Stratos believe this about themselves when she echoes the sentiments. Yet Plasus shows no remorse at torturing Vanna to obtain information about the rebellious Troglytes. Isn't torture a form of violence? (Spock himself refers to it as such.) Perhaps conscious knowledge of the truth has been suppressed somehow.
- Spock tells Kirk that the name Troglyte comes from an ancient Earth term. Why would members of an alien planet use terminology from our world to name one of their races? Earth and Stratos may have a shared ancestry, and the Stratonians decided to use the Troglyte term as a form of insult.
- After deciding to take matters into his own hands, Kirk beams down to Vanna’s cell, violating Plasus‘s orders. When a guard appears, Kirk pulls out his phaser and flattens himself against a wall. He waits for the man to enter. Many moments later, the guard turns and sees Kirk. The captain then stuns him. Why not stun the guy before he tums around? In that way he couldn't confirm that you were the one who broke Vanna out of jail. Kirk isn't the kind of man to shoot someone in the back.
- Instead of calling the Enterprise to beam them down to the planet’s surface, Kirk and Vanna go strolling through Stratos to find a transporter. Kirk can't risk the call being jammed or intercepted.
- At the end of the episode, the lovely Droxine - a female raised in the completely genteel world of Stratos, a world flooded with art, music, and beauty - tells Spock that she will go to the mines. She no longer wishes to be confined to the clouds. Yeah, right! Obviously this woman is trying to make points with Spock. There is no way this woman will last very long in the tunnels of the underworld. She’ll get down there - presumably dressed in something other that her Stratos outfit - take one look at the surroundings, daintily pick up a digging tool between her thumb and index finger, and say‘, “Eeewwww.” She will then turn around and head back home.Learning the truth about her father's ruthlessness will likely prompt her to reject her upbringing, and work to improve the lives of the miners.
- Spock certainly has changed in the romance department. Maybe it's just because he has finally met a living “work of art." The normally reserved Vulcan offers several scantily hidden compliments to Droxine and even proceeds to tell her about the Vulcan mating rituals. So much for, “It is a thing no out-worlders may know," and “It is a deeply personal thing"—statements made by Spock during his discussion of Pon farr with Kirk (Amok Time). Then again, maybe his brain didn't get hooked up right at the end of Spock's Brain. Spock's reluctance to discuss it in Amok Time could be a side affect of the Pon farr itself.
- In Kirk's rest area, the intercom faces away from the bed on the far corner of the end table. Evidently inhabitants of Stratos never speak to anyone on the intercom during their rest times.You can't rest properly if you're using an intercom!
- The mask that Kirk offers the Troglytes has only a single band to secure it to the face. The band travels up from the mask and over the head. Does this seem secure? (I know the creators were trying to construct something that looked futuristic, but while Kirk wears the thing, it looks as it it's ready to fall off at any moment.) The band is probably designed to contain a solid core to hold the mask in place, combined with a clip attachment in the body of the mask.