PATTERNS OF FORCE was described by someone at the IMDB as "the serious version of A PIECE OF THE ACTION".  That's about right.  Unlike the alleged "parallel evolution" of THE OMEGA GLORY and BREAD AND CIRCUSES, the gangster planet and Nazi planet were both the direct results of Earth missions contaminating the indiginous cultures.  Of course, this meant in both cases, Kirk was free to "interfere", since he was trying to put right was was put wrong from previous interference.

This was one intense, nasty episode... and yet, unlike B&C, it's eminently watchable, even entertaining.  I wonder, maybe Nazi stories are easier to deal with than Roman Empire stories, because in WW2, there were, in the long run, much greater powers poised to take down an obviously insane, hate-filled, self-destructive country... while, with Rome, there was nothing to stop them (apart from a mesage of peace and brotherhood, which itself became perverted when a Roman emperor decided to CO-OPT it as his new STATE RELIGION).

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I've discovered the most interesting man in the world in "The Corbomite maneuver" at 5:30 into the show... holding a probe poking an orange pipe in the hallway as a shirtless Capt. Kirk walks by.  William Shatner has objected that HE's the most interesting man in the world...and has petitioned for Jonathan Lippe to be cut from the final print of the show!!

the_original_dog said:

Kirk, I seem to enjoy answering your trivia questions tonight. "The Most Interesting Man in the World," aka Jonathan Goldsmith, aka Jonathan Lippe, was in the Corbomite Maneuver as an extra.

Image here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Jonathan_Lippe

Stay thirsty, my friend.

CATSPAW -- incredibly, for an episode that gets so little respect, I've just watched this 3 times in 3 months!  And I loved it all 3 times! Theo Marcuse is so good in this, and Antoinette Bower-- WOW. Kirk really goes full-out "James Bond" with her in this one, playing up to her and kissing her. I half-expected to see him look over her shoulder to check the time (as Sean Connery did in DR. NO). Naturally, when she figures out what he's doing, she gets REALLY pissed.  I do think she over-reacted. I mean, she's still in control, yet she starts threatening to destroy Kirk, his men, his ship, his WORLDS!!!  Meanwhile, I also thought maybe Kirk played her wrong.  Less suspicion, less confrontation, less deviousness, and maybe-- MAYBE she could have been reasoned with.  It sure seemed like Korab could.

But then, maybe not.  After all, Korab couldn't seem to deal with her.  Once she took the form of a human woman, the sensations overwhelmed her, and she went completely off the deep end. And after all, as Kirk said, she DID kill one of his men, and torture others. Maybe she was just EVIL-- and got what was coming to her.

I still think the brief shot of Korab & Sylvia in their true forms at the end is one of the coolest "effects" shots in the entire run of STAR TREK.  Why do so many (presumably younger viewers) feel compelled to KNOCK the effects on this show?

Hey-- wasn't it cool to see Sulu fighting martial-art style?  Man-- how come they never thought to get Bruce Lee on this show as a guest-star?  (Maybe he could have played Sulu's brother?)

I'll say it again-- I LOVE the music in this one.  It wound up being reused endlessly!

THE TERRATIN INCIDENT -- While star-mapping, the Enterprise receives an outdated signal from a particular star system and heads that way to investigate.  Suddenly, the ship is hit by some kind of energy beam. The results are twofold, and VERY strange.  First, all the dilithium crystals-- one of the hardest substances known to man-- have begun to "peel apart". Second, everyone on the ship has begin shrinking! Yep, it's a revisitation of the theme of THE INCREDIBLE SHINKING MAN, only with the entire crew of the Enterprise as the victims of whatever mysterious force is causing it.  It also gave the Filmation animators an excuse to revisit the themes of their own earlier series, FANTASTIC VOYAGE.

With time running out before they're unable to work the controls, Kirk has himself beamed down to the planet where the beam originated, and finds using the transporter has returned himself to normal size!  As he orders the rest of the crew to follow suit, he also discovers a TINY city, inhabited by a "lost colony" from Earth (which explains the "outdsated" radio frequency).  The leader explains to Kirk that they lost touch with Earth because of whatever it was in the planet's atmosphere that caused them al to shrink.  But now volcanic eruptions threaten all their lives, and they decided to use their "plantary defense mechanisms" to attract help.  The whole time, the leader puts off the strangest attitude, saying they're a "proud" people, and they "make no excuses, ask no forgiveness" for their actions-- yet at the same time, he asks for help.

Kirk being who he is, as soon as everyone is back to normal size, he orders them to leave the system, but FIRST, directs the phasers to fire on the city below.  A moment later, the tiny city, with all its tiny inhabitants intact and safe, materilaize in the transporter room.  Which makes me think SOMETHING got left out, or lost in the translation, when they filmed that scene. Transporter beam, yes.  Phasers-- HUH??? And there's no explanation that would make it not seem like a script error. That's annoying.

As the leave orbit, Kirk makes plans to re-settle the "Terra Ten" people on a new world, where they'll be able to live in safety.

This was a somewhat interesting story, but plagued by some uncalled-for irritations.  Like, for example, when Christine, while climbing on a shelf, trips and falls into a fishtank. Whereupon she proceeds to yell, "HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!" over and over and over like a broken record.  On top of that seeming totally out of character for her, do they mean to tell me the crew of the Enterprise don't know how to SWIM?

This was at least the 2nd time they used the transporter to restore someone to their original condition. In this case, presumably, the ENTIRE crew! Sheesh.

It's interesting that "Terratin" wound up being a "lost Earth colony".  That's what "Omega" was supposed to be, when Gene Roddenberry originally wrote THE OMEGA GLORY.

THE TIME TRAP sees The Enterprise investingating an area of space where over several centuries, many ships have vanished mysteriously.  When they arrive, they're suddenly attacked by a Klingon battle cruiser, The Klothos, commanded by Kirk's old eneny, Kor.  Returning fire, they see The Klothos suddenly vanish from sight!  At which point, 2 more Klingon ships arrive, accuse The Enterprise of destroying The Klothos, and order them to surrender if they don't want to be destroyed.  Kirk orders the ship to head for the exact spot The Klothos vanished, and, sure enough, The Enterprise vanishes as well-- thru a warp and right into an alternate unverse!

In the midst of a virtual "Sargasso Sea" of ancient space ships, they find a floating city, inhabited by a wide range of races, all of whom have become trapped there over the centuries.  Their ruling council includes a Vulcan, a Romulan, a Gorn, a Telarite, an Andorian, a green Orion woman, one of the plant-creatures seen in THE INFINITE VULCAN, and others. Something in the "pocket universe" they're in drains their ships energies, preventing them from leaving, but also, causes time to pass slowly, in such a way that some of them have been there for centuries, while hardly aging at all!  They've become adjusted to their lives there, and their one over-riding law is that of non-violence.

Kor attempts to escape but fails, and Spock reasons that, before their ships' energies fade, they may have one chance to make it, if they link the power of both ships together.  (This was an idea later reused in the novel and feature film 2010!!!)  While meeting to discuss it, Spock casually leans over 2 of the Klingons and rests his arms on their shoulders, talking in a friendly, relaxed manner.  Later, McCoy tells Kirk he's worried. It's Spock's calculations that are going to get them out of there, but he's NEVER seen Spock act like a "pal" toward anyone (not even Kirk!) and if Spock is somehow being affected by the space they're in, they're ALL in trouble!  But Spock explains that by touching the Klingons, he was able to sense in their minds that they're planning some treachery-- though they didn't know the details.

After a scuffle breaks out during a banquet, the ruling council threatens to strand Kor's ship for 100 years.  Kirk argues that his crew will be punished as well, since he needs Kor's ship to escape (even though the council does not believe they will succeed).  "You would take these RENEGADES with you?" asks the leader.

Finally, as they 2 ships are making their attempt to pierce the dimensional barrier, the council member who has telepathic ability senses there's a bomb in the Enterprise's computer room.  Kirk manages to get rid of it just in time. Both ships escape, and Uhura hears Kor's ship broadcast a message claiming all responsibility for their success.  "It doesn't matter" says Kirk.  He points at the stars of their own universe.  "THAT's what matters!"

I LIKE this one.  It manages to combine elements of such diverse episodes as JOURNEY TO BABEL, THE THOLIEN WEB, ERRAND OF MERCY, and features several alien races who only ever appeared once before (and in many case, never since).  This includes the Orion girl, who briefly dances for Kirk (though we don't get to see much of it).  It also-- ALLEGEDLY-- brings back Kor, though I have to say, not only doesn't he look like John Colicos, but James Doohan doesn't seem to be even TRYING to imitate his voice. It's too rough and gutteral. I'd almost prefer to think it was an entirely different Klingon commander, who just happens to have the same name (a relative, perhaps?).  Then there's that other Klingon captain, Kuri-- all too obviously George Takei doing a TERRIBLE voice, like the one he did in THE MAGICKS OF MEGAS-TU.  Ah well. For the most part, I'd still rank this as one of the better cartoons.

THE AMBERGRIS ELEMENT -- this is one that, while it's never been one of my favorite, has enough interesting ideas and such a large scope that it actually may qualify as an "epic".  And it's only a half-hour cartoon (including commercia breaks).

Studying Argo, a mostly water-covered world, the landing party's "Aqua-Shuttle" (which doubles as both space ship and submarine!) is attacked by a gigantic creature, which wrecks the ship and drags it under the water-- with the unconscious Kirk & Spock inside it.  After 5 days, they're still missing, until a search party finds them half-submerged in shallow water.  Incredibly, somehow, they've been mutated into water-breathers! Reasoning that they couldn't be effective operating from a water-tank, and that any civilization intelligent enough to cause such a mutation must have a way of reversing it, Kirk & Spock return to the planet to see if they can locate whoever is responsible for their condition.

They do, but are warned off by a group of "Aquons", who view them with great suspicion.  Finding their city, Kirk & Spock are captured and hauled before the ruling council.  Accused of being spies of surface-dwellers, their story of being travellers from another world is dismissed as a lie, and they're left to die from suffocation on rocks sticking out of the water. But one of the younger councillors, Rila, resuces them (with Scotty's help).  It seems the planet once suffered violent tremors which changed its topography, causing cities to sink, so that the survivors deliberately mutated themselves to live under the water.  But those who remained above-ground, shaken by their ordeal, became violent and aggressive, thus becoming enemies with the water-breathers.  Rila points the way toward the remains of a ruined, sunken city, wherein can be found ancient knowledge, including how to reverse the mutation.  It turns out they need venom from the giant sea-snake that attacked them, and it takes all they've got to get it without getting killed in the process.

Afterwards, having (just barely) reversed the mutation, Kirk invites the elder Aquons aboard The Enterprise, where they watch as the ship uses its phasers to change the epicenter of another devasatating earthquake that was in danger of wiping out the Aquons' city.  "I had no idea such knowledge existed!"  Down on the surface, the sunken ruined city is now back on the surface, and the younger Aquons actually look forward to making it habitable again.  The older Aquons cannot imagine changing at this point, but Kirk suggests they not lose contact with each other as their ancestors did.  "We shall pass ordainments to prevent it!"

It's almost astonishing how MUCH story they managed to CRAM into a measly 25-min. cartoon.  It almost feels like there's enough for a feature film here.  The underwater setting allowed Filmation's animators to actually re-visit the old 1967 AQUAMAN cartoons, as I'm sure some of the action-figurework was based on those older cartoons.  The post-apocalyptic storyline, where those in charge fear the past and how it might return to threaten their present, actually reminds me to some extent of the 1st PLANET OF THE APES film--  although I doubt anyone ever did such a "variation on a theme" that was SO different from that.

I'm surprised no one even mentioned the possibility of Kirk and Spock wearing wetsuits and helmets that would allow them to breathe water... but then, they did have a LOT of story to get out of the way.

This was the 5th and final STAR TREK written by Margaret Armen, who also did TRISKELLION, PARADISE SYNDROME, CLOUD MINDERS and THE LORELEI SIGNAL.  In some ways, this may have been her BEST ST story, and while it might have made an intreresting full-hour (or even 2-parter), I can't imagine the live-action show ever having the budget to do a story like this.  It really was a good example of what's possible on a "mere" cartoon show.



Kirk G said:

I've discovered the most interesting man in the world in "The Corbomite maneuver" at 5:30 into the show... holding a probe poking an orange pipe in the hallway as a shirtless Capt. Kirk walks by.  William Shatner has objected that HE's the most interesting man in the world...and has petitioned for Jonathan Lippe to be cut from the final print of the show!!

the_original_dog said:

Kirk, I seem to enjoy answering your trivia questions tonight. "The Most Interesting Man in the World," aka Jonathan Goldsmith, aka Jonathan Lippe, was in the Corbomite Maneuver as an extra.

Image here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Jonathan_Lippe

Stay thirsty, my friend.

METAMORPHOSIS, because I had never seen THE GALILEO SEVEN when it was first-run, became "my" 1st "Shuttlecraft" episode.  Oh, sure, I'd seen the on in THE MENAGERIE, Part One, but that was only a few scenes, it wasn't an entire episode built around a shuttlecraft becoming stranded on some planet.

FRIDAY'S CHILD, of course, I saw near the END of the season-- because it was pre-empted and not shown until the week before ASSIGNMENT: EARTH.  It was only the 3rd episode filmed for the 2nd season, and really does work best as the "2nd" Klingon episode.  A lot of fans at the IMDB seem to dismiss this as merely an "average" episode, and maybe it is... but it's a LOT more enjoyable to watch than the one it's most similar to, A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR

At least Tige Andrews (who later became a regular on THE MOD SQUAD) had some personality.  His actions didn't seem very logical, though.  Nor did The Capellans.  Rather than have two factions bidding for mining rights, wouldn't it be better to be selling minerals to BOTH parties and double your profits?  Perhaps Kirk was right-- and the guy's actions near the end seem to bear it out-- that his long-term intentions was to help the young guy MURDER his leader, then after the Federation reps were similarly bumped off, and he had his position secured, the young guy would also suffer an "accident".

Julie Newmar was very impressive in this, which makes me wonder why I never seemed to see her appear on that many TV shows or movies after this?

It's fascinating to see Scotty in command of the bridge again, and forced, against his better judgement, to leave orbit to respond to an emergency distress call.  The music when the ship departs just sends CHILLS up my spine!  DAMN, is that good stuff.

Continuing the trend from Season 1 of certain ideas and themes continuing from one episode to another, we have the 2nd episode in a row where The Enterprise is tracking another spaceship.  In both cases, they find no debris, no evidence of radiation, etc. The first time, they just continued on the path they were following, hoping it would lead them somewhere.  But this time, they merely stayed in one place long enough to be sure there was no trace of the (ALLEGED!) freighter.  Note how moments after they reverse course to return to Capella, they get a 2ND distress call. I'm sure Scotty felt justified in determining it was a FAKE.  And sure enough, what turns up?  A Klingon battle cruiser!

It's funny how you never actually saw one until THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT (and that episode only because NBC kept running them out of sequence-- it really should have been ELANN OF TROYIUS first).  Because I had the book THE MAKING OF STAR TREK and the AMT model kit of the Klingon Battle Cruiser, as a kid, I could have SWORN I'd seen the ship on TV before then... but I hadn't!  So when it turned up on THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT, I was already familiar with it.  I'd BUILT one, complete with electric lights!

That was one of the funny things when I re-watched the "upgraded" versions. They backfed the Klingon ship into so many of the older epsiodes that I totally missed whne it's real first appearance was!

"when it's real first appearance was!"

In real life-- I suspect it was THE MAKING OF STAR TREK, then, the AMT model kit.  (No, really!)

In production order (which I now DEFINITELY prefer for many reasons, some of which don't even become obvious until you actually are watching them that way), it's ELANN OF TROYIUS.

On NBC... it's THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT, when we see Romulans using Klingon designs.  (sigh)

Since NBC had the stupidity to run WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE 3rd... and THE CORBOMITE MANEUVER 10th... to me, they (NBC) don't count anymore.

WHO MOURNS FOR ADONAIS? was one of my earliest exposures to Greek mythology, but I'm pretty sure that before this, I'd already seen Ray Harryhausen's JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, and read a children's book version of JASON AND THE GOLDEN FLEECE.  There may have been some influence going on there, as seen when Apollo suddenly grows to a great height in from of the landing party and, in his booming voice, says, "Welcome to Olympus!" It kind of reminds me of Hermes doing a similar thing in front of Jason, while standing at the ruins of Hermes' temple.

I think some fans have compared this story to THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS, and there certainly are some similarities.  Both feature beings with immense powers who are obsessed with Earth and have the emotional stability of a child. Note when someone points out that one minute Apollo is rational, calm, and the next, angry and vengeful.  (They have prescription medication that can control this sort of problem, I've been told.)  Come to think of it, Bill Everett's Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner was a lot like that. As was probably every famous despot or dictator down through history. Compared to Apollo, Trelayne seems like a nice guy who could probably be reasoned with easily.

AMOK TIME remains one of the "great" ones. Christine makes her 4th appearance, and McCoy goes out of his way to embarrass her in the hallway. What a shock when Spock erupts like that, before he realizes both Kirk & McCoy are watching.

The scene halfway thru when Christine returns to Spock's cabin is probably very overlooked when compared to the rest of the story. And yet, I found myself getting very emotional watching it. When Spock tell her it would be illogical to deny their natures, and she says she doesn't know what he means, it speaks volumes.  Obviously she care a great deal for him, and has for some time, and HE knows it, as much as McCoy knows it. He even seems to be acknowledging that it isn't a bad thing, but right this moment, there isn't anything he can do about it. All I know, watching that scene, is that as far as I'm concerned, Spock & Christie would have been perfect for each other.  They're both strong-minded, intelligent, scientists, both in Star Fleet and, hey, both on the same ship. I'd suspect everyone working on this show probably knew it and felt the same way, judging by the slow, but natural, way their relationship developed over the first 2 years.  Yeah, I'd say everybody... except, probably, Fred Freiberger.  He didn't think the show should do comedies, and he probably didn't think they should have any ongoing romances, either.

The camera-work & editing during the Vulcan sequence is astonishing.  Especially during the part where Spock is going into the trance, which almost feels like you're watching a music video, and later, during the combat.  That had to be one of the most exciting and intense fight scenes in the entire run of the show!

And of course, there's Gerald Fried's music.  WOW. there were a few passages reused from CATSPAW, but most of the episode was all-new, and all-fabulous.

I also found myself thinking, near the end, that they really should have had more "real", established science-fiction writers working on the show.  Theodore Sturgeon did such a GREAT job here, and on SHORE LEAVE, it seems a shame he didn't do more.  Ditto for Robert Bloch. I could probably have done without any more Harlan Ellison, but it seems a shame Otto Binder never wrote a script for this show.

Leonard Nimoy really goes thru the wringer here. But it's only at the very END that we get to see him SMILE-- though it's a much bigger smile than we've EVER seen on Spock before!  I feel like, after this, he got the "unemotional" facade of Spock down so pat, that he (and the directors) tended to forget that Spock DOES have emotions, and he apparently knows how to enjoy himself. It would have been nice to see more of that over the rest of the series.

THE SLAVER WEAPON is unique among the 5 seasons of STAR TREK. It's the only one without Captain Kirk in it! OR, The Enterprise!!! (No McCoy, no Scotty, no Nurse Chapel either.)

When I think back, it's lucky I ever saw this at all. For 13 weeks, from BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR to THE AMBERGRIS ELEMENT, they had new stories.  And then, on week 14, they had a RERUN.  (I can't be sure... but something tells me it was THE INFINITE VULCAN, which had aired only 7 weeks earlier!!  The memory of THAT particular episode being shown too often just sticks in my head.)  As a kid, that would normaly be it for me. I'd switch over and watch something else.  But there WAS nothing else worth watching that year.  And this show was GOOD.  It was worth watching again... and in 1973, I was still 6 YEARS away from buying my 1st VCR.

So imagine my delight when the NEXT week, another NEW story turned up.  Not only that... but possibly the BEST one in the entire run!!!  There was nothing silly about this one, or childish, or redundant, or ridiculous.  More, it featured Spock, Sulu and Uhura (the alien, the Asian, and the BLACK woman!) and nobody else!! What was going on here?

Not only that, but this story was so top-heavy with back-story, explanations, expositions, there was enough material for more than a full 50-min. episode of the live-action show, yet they somehow CRAMMED it all into a measly 25!  A look at a mysterious race that once ruled the galaxy, then lost it all in a war of rebellion that wiped out all life so that life as we know it had to evolve again from scratch (what a concept!). A "stasis box" in which time does not pass, holding the only known remnants of those infinitely distant past times.  A brand-new race of cat-creatures who are said to have fought 4 wars against mankind, the last 200 years before (was this before Earth people started exploring or around the same time?). Even little things like a "police web" that you drop on the floor like an electric carpet that generates a force field preventing anyone standing on it from walking away.

And then there's THE WEAPON. Whoa.  The single COOLEST device ever seen perhaps in all of 1970's TV sci-fi. (And this is a cartoon show!!!) It starts out as nothing more than a small globe attached to a handle, with a sliding control that allows it to access several settings.  EACH time the control is moved to another notch, the entire shape and function of the weapon completely changes (with only the handle remaining the same).  How does it DO that???

First, it appears to be a communication device.  Next, a long-distance telescope.  Next, a laser gun.  (The first of 2 minor glitches in the episode occurs when it changes from laser to telescope, instead of the other way... OOPS!) Next, a hand-held rocket-powered transport.  (The 2nd glitch occurs here, when, after we've seen the thing drag one of the cat-like Kzinti thru the air out of control, some dialogue describes it as a "transport, one apparently steps on the foot pedal and balances..."  --but there is NO foot-pedal!! The verbal description makes me think the writer was describing Orion's "Astro-harness" from Jack Kirby's NEW GODS-- perhaps the animators didn't read the script beforehand?) Then-- a power dampener. The thing must be very advanced, since it shut off the "police net", but did not affect the life-support belts!

Having managed to escape because the "net" got shut off, Spock grabs the weapon, but the Kzinti grab Uhura.  Spock & Sulu try to figure the thing out.  Sulu suggests it must have been a weapon used by a "spy", as most of its functions would not be needed for normal soldiers.  This also suggests it was meant to be a secret-- yet nothing so far is that advanced. And why the "null" setting?  (The globe).  Returning it to the globe-shape, Sulu suddenly notices you can rotate the entire top around, and this allows you access to OTHER, previously-hidden settings.  A 2nd gun appears. Redundant?  Perhaps not.  He fires at a distant target... and they're STUNNED to see it's a "total conversion" weapon, capable to turning matter into energy, like an atomic bomb, AT A DISTANCE!  No one in the Federation, the Klingon Empire, etc., has anything like this-- and they know it MUST be kept out of the hands of the Kzinti!  But the force of the diatant explosion arrives and knocks them both out.  When they awaken, they're prisoners again, and the Kzinti have the weapon once more.

The next setting turns out to be a hand-held intelligent computer.  The Kzintin ask it many questions before it tell them how to find the previous setting.  Only... the configuration is totally different.  The Kzinti step outside to test it.  And Spock theorizes.  The weapon was turned off, then turned on again, and it has no idea how much time has passed.  Unknown aliens ask so many questions, and do not know any passwords, they must be enemies.  And when they ask how to access its MOST POWERFUL setting... what does it give them?  A violent EXPLOSION erupts, leaving a vast, gaping hole in the ground oputside, and in at least a third of the Kzinti ship.  Yep-- it was the self-destruct mechanism.

Apparently, the total conversion setting was the ONLY thing "The Slavers" had that the Federation and its enemies don't.  Spock tells Sulu it would never made it to a museum-- someone would have tried to get their hands on it.  So it's probably best gone.

WOW.  Someone at the IMDB pointed out that this was the ONLY time in the cartoon run when anyone got KILLED.  Could be.

I see Larry Niven-- another established science-fiction writer-- only had a very limited TV career.  In fact, aside from this one STAR TREK, and one later OUTER LIMITS, the only other thing he did for TV was 3 episodes of LAND OF THE LOST-- and all from its 1st season!  This included "CIRCLE", the mind-blowing finale (that should have been the SERIES finale, if you ask me).

Niven also wrote ONE story for GREEN LANTERN, during the 2nd run edited by Andy Helfer. I always remember it as being one of the best stories in the entire history of the series.  (Which makes it all the more sad that Helfer left the book in the hands of his assistant a few months later.)

I'll say it again... I wish more "known" sci-fi writers had written STAR TREK episodes.  Can you imagine what Arthur C. Clarke might have come up with?

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