The planet is doused with a poisonous atmosphere. No individual lives outside of the asylum dome without a proper environmental suit.SCOTT: Mister Sulu, what do your sensors show?
SULU: We can't beam anybody down, sir. The force field on the planet is in full operation, and all forms of transport into the asylum dome are blocked off.
SCOTT: We could blast our way through the field, but only at the risk of destroying the Captain, Mister Spock and any other living thing on Elba Two.
MCCOY: How can we be powerful enough to wipe out a planet and still be so helpless?
There's a grand total of 15 inmates on the planet, including the unique female of this forsaken place, plus a number of missing scientists and perhaps guards.
So what kind of life is Scott talking about?
Only that of inside the dome? Because I couldn't really imagine anyone seriously caring for every single little microbe in this terrible world.
Is McCoy directly referencing Scott when talking about wiping an entire planet? Is he thinking about Elba Two?
Are the two of them seriously thinking that in order to blast a hole in that field, and perhaps even in the dome itself, they'd have to unleash a firepower that would... kill an entire planet?
Was Sulu really suggesting that a team would cover, by foot, a whole half circumference of this planet as part of an epic rescue mission???SCOTT: No breakthrough?
UHURA: No, Mister Scott. Still no response from the planet.
SCOTT: Sensor readings?
SULU: The force field is weakest on the far side of the planet. We can send down a shuttlecraft carrying a team in environmental suits.
MCCOY: It won't work, Scotty. They'd have to cover thousands of miles through poisonous atmosphere before they'd ever reach the asylum.
SCOTT: Aye, you're right. Even if they made it, they couldn't carry anything powerful enough to break through the asylum dome. Only the ship herself could do that.
MCCOY: Probably kill Jim and Spock.
SCOTT: Doctor, they may already be dead.
Or was he thinking about using the shuttle for the trip, once slipped underneath the force field? You know, like the Smart Thing To Do (TM).
Then why is McCoy suggesting something as silly as precisely walking that distance???
Why not stop there? No? Because we can't! Buckle up!
Suddenly, that asylum, formerly just a place where a handful loonies were stuck there as part of some psychological and chemical project and technically nothing too fancy really in principle but suddenly the best military outpost ever in practice, gets some of the toughest armour in the entire Federation?
And they couldn't carry one or two bombs, perhaps torps to be detonated manually, inside the rather spacious shuttle? Or that even if they did, they couldn't break through the asylum's dome??
Oh, only that. A breeze!KIRK: Listen to me. This may be our last chance. Garth will destroy all of us unless you help me stop him. And he's using you, you know that, because he wants the power for himself. I brought something that might have cured you, but he destroyed it. If I can get a patrol down, they'd bring more of that medicine and
(Kirk tries to switch off the forcefield and gets hits for his effort. Garth enters.)
GARTH: Well done. Well, Captain, you continue to resist. How stupid of you. Put him in that chair right here. I've arranged a small entertainment. I wouldn't want him to miss any of it. Well, Captain, even you must admit that I'm a genius. What you see here is my latest invention. This is an explosive, the most powerful one in history. If I were to drop this flask, the resulting explosion would vaporise this planet. Now do you see why it is ridiculous to resist me? Well, perhaps you require the demonstration I've arranged. Watch closely.
What kind of super duper equipment do they keep on this "asylum"??
Are we sure that this Extreme McGuyver, who manages to build one of the most seriously haxplosive in the entire history of this show from whatever he found in a freaking asylum, hasn't also used his same super cunning in order to enhance the force field to super dick level?
Wiped out everything? That again? What the hell!(Shutters open to show the planet surface on a screen.)
GARTH: Now, it is true that she is deadly as a poisonous serpent, but she is also a beautiful woman, and you have held her in your arms, Captain. I've ordered my men to drive her out of the protective dome. And, of course, she would choke to death on the outside in minutes.
(On the screen, Marta is struggling against two figures in environment suits.)
GARTH: But I've arranged a more merciful end for her because after all, Captain, she is my consort. One tiny crystal implanted in her necklace, a portion of this explosive no bigger than a grain of sand. I propose to detonate it from here.
(Marta is left alone, choking.)
GARTH: Poor girl. Poor, dear, suffering child. I will help her now.
SULU: There's been an explosion on Elba Two!
SCOTT: Point nine five!
MCCOY: It must've wiped out everything.
Did the explosion cover the entire planet???
But what life praytell?!SCOTT: Immediate probe. Is the force field in place, Mister Sulu?
SULU: Yes, sir. Solidly.
UHURA: (at Spock's station) Life continues to exist on the planet.
Is the audience really told that this grain of sand worth of armageddon nearly managed to scorch the entire planet's surface??
OK.MCCOY: Got to break through it somehow.
SCOTT: Doctor, I told you we couldn't do it without killing everyone in the asylum dome.
MCCOY: I know it, Scotty.
As I suspected, when they say life, they may actually think "stuff under the dome."
Meaning that they were concerned that the explosion would have destroyed the dome.
Since we're supposed to think these guys aren't total idiots, we must presume they'd have thought about shooting at the force field, but not right on top the dome.
And then, does that mean that indeed, even by doing that, if they were to manage to shoot through the field, the indirect destruction would still destroy a dome that only direct fire from a prime starship would actually damage?
This plot is totally nuts.
Damn, they weren't kidding. We're really supposed to believe that even by aiming at the weakest point of that über shield, a hole could only be made by delivering so much firepower that McCoy had to ask if the Impregnable Megadome would survive!! ... on the other side of the planet!!!SCOTT: Well, there's one last thing we might try. Perhaps the ship's phasers can cut through a section of the force field at its weakest point. Where did you say that was located, Mister Sulu?
SULU: On the far side of the planet, Mister Scott.
MCCOY: Will it leave a margin of safety for the people below?
SULU: Yes, sir.
To rain that kind of destruction is almost like pulverizing the entire crust of that world: a silly asylum has some God-level force field which can only be pierced with the equivalent of a non-souped up Death Star shot (refering to the "normal" part of a Death Star shot, before the extra funky big boom effects kick in).
That's not even an outlier, it's beyond that, it redefines stupid, it has passed the final scriptwriting frontier a long time ago and entered a parellal universe entirely made of pot! Weeee!
Oh! Perhaps the best ship in the entire Fudurayshun can't even punch through the weakest part of a force field that may very well be cast from the other side of the planet (there's no reason for a weak spot to exist at all on the opposite side of the planet otherwise).SCOTT: Prepare to change orbital path, Mister Sulu.
SULU: Orbital co-ordinates released, sir.
SCOTT: Break synchronous orbit. Come to course one four mark six eight.
(after a few moments)
SULU: Course one four mark six eight. Synchronous orbit re-established, sir.
SCOTT: Ship's phasers to narrow beam.
SULU: Ship's phasers ready, sir.
SCOTT: Let's punch a hole in it. Full power. Another blast, full power.
SULU: Force field still holding, sir.
Meaning that a stupid asylum with armour nearly made of unobtainium can cast a planetary force field so strong that the equivalent of its anus hole can't even be unsealed by brute force. By a ship that shoots so hard that if it ever were to get in, it would actually destroy all (irrelevant) life and the godly base on the other side of this stinky ball in the process.
The entire setup is literally insane: best armour + best planetary shield ever VS Death Starised Connie, and she still fails despite poking the paper thin corner.
You wish that kind of hardware had been more ubiquitous!
Are we supposed to take that nonsense seriously or what?
Is Q involved?
Script courtesy of Chakoteya.