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Talk:The Alternative Factor (episode)

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Removed this info:

"A truly bizarre episode for season 1, with a very weak plot and unconvincing sets. Much of the episode seems to repeat the same "matter/anti-matter" fight scenes over and over."

because it was already in the article.

Was wondering if an admin could link "Don Ingalls" with his pseudonym "Jud Crucis" so we don't have to type the same info in twice? Thanks. - Sir Rhosis 07:45, 14 Jan 2006 (UTC)

"The shot of the Enterprise destroying Lazarus's ship is unique on three counts. First, it is the only time we see the Enterprise from behind as it fires phasers. Second, it is the only time that the ship fires a single beam (as opposed to the usual two). Finally, it is the only time that the phasers make no noise--at least when the beam is seen in space." On the DVD release, at least, the beam in space is accompanied by a standard phaser sound effect. Also, the odd angle of the shot is such that a pair of phaser beams might look like one, but I wouldn't necessarily contest that.

Re: Usage of the terms "matter" and "antimatter" Edit

Seeing as Lazarus and Anti-Lazarus can change places (and yet not destroy the other universe), it seems to me that while the minds of the two are switched, their bodies aren't. Therefore, I think it can be deduced that the same happened to Kirk, e.g. his mind was switched with Anti-Kirk's, thus not annihilating the anti-universe. The only way Lazarus and Anti-Lazarus can destroy the two universes is by occupying the same one. This preserves the common, scientific notions, as accepted within the Star Trek universe, of matter and antimatter. – Zaudragon 07:22, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think thats the case at all, since its stated in the episode that the universes will be destroyed only if identical particles meet. There is no dialoge or any other canon mention of people switching minds, but there IS an entire segemnt about Lazerus physically switching places with his counterpart and a cut on his forehead appearing and disappearing. And let us also not forget that this episode threw away most of the rules about what is later stated regarding matter and anti-matter. In any case, we must stick to canon and go by what was presented in the episode. -FleetCaptain 17:26, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
No: it doesn't "throw away" anything about matter and antimatter, simply the (very generic) term "antimatter" is used here instead of "matter of the other universe".
Kirk was not switched with his alter ego: the purpose of the devices built using the dilitium cristals was to allow someone to arrive in th other universe without switching with his alter ego (so lazarus 1 could fight lazarus 2).

Jackoverfull 18:03, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Removed Background Information Edit

I removed the following for being long-uncited, and POV. If someone finds a source, please re-add it with just the facts:

  • These last-minute changes account for many of the problems with this episode. Studio bigwigs also axed an interracial entanglement between Charlene Masters and Lazarus that had to be filled with other footage, which might be the reason for all of the repetitive running around and falling off cliffs that occurs on the planet's surface.

I removed the following for using non-canon information to make a POV comment:

I removed the following for being a nitpick:

  • The absence of Scotty is exceptionally strange, and almost qualifies as a plot error, given that Lazarus is attacking engineering crewmembers, setting off fires in engineering spaces, and stealing power crystals.

Cleanse 00:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Everything you cut out can be established as sourced from the The Star Trek Compendium, espeically the interracial cut scene and the error of Starbase 200 which are directly mentioned in that book. I did reword it to eliminate some of the conjecture tone of it all, but none of it is POV and therefore should stay in. -FleetCaptain 02:31, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Next time, instead of reverting, could you please just re-add the relevant notes? You overwrote several re-phrasings I made of other notes, not to mention my organization of the notes into categories. A lot of that I don't think is under dispute. For example I rewrote:
"This is the second time that we see Lieutenant Leslie in the command chair in TOS Season 1 – odd, since he was outranked by the lieutenant commander serving as navigator. It is also the first episode in which Eddie Paskey is featured (as "Lesley") in the ending credits." into:

  • This is the first episode in which Eddie Paskey is featured (as "Lesley") in the ending credits.
  • This is the second time that we see Lieutenant Leslie in the command chair. He takes command over a Lieutenant Commander, who serves as navigator.

and now it's back again. (Update: I put back all my undisputed edits; this should not effect your edits – Cleanse 00:24, 4 December 2007 (UTC))

Taking the notes in order:

  1. Is fine now that it's rephrased, but it still needs a citation. I removed it for being long-uncited (with a tag).
  2. I stand by my original comments. In canon, even in TOS disregarding this ep, there are more than 20 starbases. Therefore, trying to say that the episode was haphazard because it doesn't follow a non-canon rule is IMHO unjustified.
  3. I still think its unnecessary as its a nitpick. Who knows what Scotty was doing? Maybe he wasn't even on the ship, was sick...etc. The note is fine just listing their non-appearances. – Cleanse 03:00, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your explanations, but I have to ask why are we so hot about removing this material? Is it wrong? Is it harmful to the article? I think it improves it. The Starbase 200 thing is mentioend in a lot of places as a big screw-up of this episode and should be mentioned. Scotty not being in the epsidoe is also mentioned in at least two reference manuals, and I can find more. All the other changes are fine, but as I have now rewritten the comments I think they are good to stand as is. -FleetCaptain 16:10, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, the reason I've been going through TOS ep background is that a lot of it is frankly, bad. This does harm the articles; MA doesn't catalog nitpicks and personal commentary. (I also don't think that just because a lot of other sources do this, we should too.) This discussion has, however, improved the article - the Charlene Masters comment finally got a citation (after having an incite tag for months), and your rephrasing of the other notes is undoubtedly better.

Seeing its only me pushing the removal of the Starbase 200 and Scotty notes, I'll concede. They can stay. Just one last question. I'm not quite sure what you mean in regards to Scotty: do you mean at least two ref manuals have stated it was odd that Scotty didn't appear? Because I never removed the fact that he didn't appear, just the commentary. – Cleanse 23:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I am going to be rewording the note about Scotty (again) to clear up some of thsi concerns. More specific, I will merg eit with material about the apperance of the Damage Control Team. Give me a few days on this so I don't have to readd everything. Thanks for the notes on all the other material. Good stuff. -FleetCaptain 05:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Another note removedEdit

This one has been floating around and just keeps getting worse. No reference in the episode to the possibility of the atmosphere exploding and we also dont even know what kind of lightning that was, since we're talking about matter-antimatter inter-unverise corridors and "winking out". And I have no idea where this Hindenburg reference comes from. -FleetCaptain 16:10, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

The planet's atmosphere of hydrogen and oxygen should be considered an error. Any high energy discharge, such as the "lightning" during Lazarus's battle on the planet or the Enterprise's phasers, would ignite the entire atmosphere into a fireball reminiscent of the Hindenburg.
Yeah, that one was rather dubious. – Cleanse 23:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


Someone credited the Star Trek Compendium with verifying the story of the interracial attraction being axed between Lazarus and Masters. Except... it doesn't say this is the reason. I quote: "The romantic aspects of the plot may also have been changed at the last possible moment. For whatever reason, all references to an attraction between the sane Lazarus and Lieutenant Masters are gone, leaving a void in the story as if this element was plucked when it was too late to replace it with anything else." Asherman says nothing about race being a factor. Therefore, this old legend needs to be cited by something more than this. Sir Rhosis 01:59, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Additionally, the first draft script does not identify Charlene's race, although it does describe her face as a "white cameo." So it would not be "an interracial entanglement in the script" that caused anybody to axe it, it would be the choice of an African American actress to play Charlene. Sir Rhosis 02:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

See the discussion above. I added a citation after FleetCaptain re-added the note, based on his comment:
"Everything you cut out can be established as sourced from the Star Trek Compendium, especially the interracial cut scene and the error of Starbase 200 which are directly mentioned in that book. I did reword it to eliminate some of the conjecture tone of it all, but none of it is POV and therefore should stay in."
I do not personally have the ST Compendium. – Cleanse 02:41, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
So it does indeed confirm that there was a relationship in the first script, that it was removed, and for this reason the episode was somewhat "gapped" causing the repeatitive nature of the planet scenes. It sounds like we can just take out the word "interracial" and everything will fall into place. -FleetCaptain 02:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I again reworded the entire note about Master-Lazs. Apparently, this entire thing is covered in a book called "Race in Space: The Representation of Ethnicity in Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation", in particular info about southern broadcast companies refusing to run the show if it had this relationship. If someone has that book, they could look up exactly what it says. I was working off of book notes. -FleetCaptain 12:42, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • The only real problem I have with the entire thing now is the note that "the removal of the Lazarus/Charlene romance caused a gap that needed to be filled with more planet scenes, Lazarus wondering around falling off rocks," or however it is worded No, it didn't. All those goofy planet scenes are in the first draft as well. It is a long script. The removal of the Lazarus/Charlene romance counted for about four pages of script and brought the thing down to a shootable length. I have it here before me. If Asherman, or anyone else, says differently, they are wrong. EDIT to add, I repeat the original script did NOT CALL FOR AN INTERRACIAL romance, because Charlene's race was NOT identified in the script. It only became interracial AFTER an African American actress was cast. I think this should be clarified in the note. Sir Rhosis 20:13, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
By all means, if thats what the script says we should modify it. Somehow we should keep in the article how silly it was that Laz always seemed to be falling off cliffs. I seem to recall I read somewhere where the producers themselves said the episode was detracted because of that. -FleetCaptain 20:37, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I would remove the bit about the gap, and reword it to say something like "The original script called for a romantic relationship (God, I hate the word "entanglement") between sane Lazarus and Charlene Masters. Though the script did not specify Charlene's race (put link to article about the script), once an African-American actress was cast..." Then go on an cite the book you mentioned.Sir Rhosis 20:48, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Not to dredge open old points, but I read this discussion and was curious, so I used my university's ILL to get ahold of Race in Space. It doesn't even mention "The Alternative Factor", Lazarus, or Charlene, so who knows where the support for this tale comes from. -- Steve 00:15, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

removed pov Edit

James Doohan (Scotty) and George Takei (Sulu) do not appear in this episode.This accounts for the absence of Scotty, even though in such a circumstance (Lazarus attacking engineering crewmembers, setting off fires in engineering spaces, and stealing power crystals, etc) the Chief Engineer would surely have been present.

removed the second sentence. Maybe he just went home for a couple of weeks, who knows?

Jackoverfull 17:44, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Removed nit Edit

Removed the following nitpick: when Kirk is transported to the alternate universe, he is filmed on location at night and his uniform is dirty, but when he walk "on set" to meet Lazarus B, his pants and shirt are clean.--31dot 22:32, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

AS Kirk is approaching the ship of alternate-Lazarus, there are two crossing lateral shadows of him, caused by the set-illuminating reflectors.
Removed as a nitpick. - Archduk3 09:51, February 1, 2012 (UTC)

Picture Edit

Alternative warp

Why this one...

Alternative warp, remastered

...instead of the remastered verion?

Is there any particular reason why the cover image is from the original version of the episode and not the remastered version? - Mitchz95 01:53, January 2, 2012 (UTC)

Not sure if there's a reason or not- I would guess that simply no one has felt the need to change it. It's not an invalid picture, after all.--31dot 02:01, January 2, 2012 (UTC)

Matter/Antimatter collisionEdit

If, as stated in the episode, that a matter/antimatter collision would cause damage to the universe, then how come they use antimatter tanks to power their starships? 15:50, November 4, 2012 (UTC)

It's not just a matter/antimatter collision, but the collision between an entire antimatter universe and our universe. 31dot (talk) 15:57, November 4, 2012 (UTC)

No antimatter-Enterprise Edit

Why is there no antimatter-Enterprise? Is that explained somewhere in the article or in the course of the episode? 18:59, March 20, 2014 (UTC)

I have always wondered that actually. Also, the ending of this episode really leaves me wondering some things. Like why they didn't just take Lazarus into custody and destroy his ship instead of the whole drama about throwing him into the corridor for all eternity. -FleetCaptain (talk) 12:49, April 21, 2015 (UTC)

Dilithium Crystals Edit

Should the following note be removed?

  • Dilithium crystals, in their natural state, however, are depicted as resembling quartz crystals in both "Mudd's Women" and "Elaan of Troyius", suggesting that the amber-slab devices depicted in "The Alternative Factor" are themselves some kind of mounting structure, the translucent glow meant to depict the power flow somehow being transformed by being focused through the crystal or crystals contained within. The amber slabs are, however, explicitly referred to in dialogue as being the crystals themselves.

It would seem to me that it's just as probable (and there's no source to back up either case) that these slabs were some sort of processed crystals. Or, y'know, a continuity error (shhh!). -Captain Reid (talk) 01:11, January 24, 2017 (UTC)

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