Someone has finally pointed up some of the biggest failings in a very popular episode in the history of “The Universe” and we certainly can’t miss out on that, can we? Especially when it’s so incisive:
Indeed; you can’t make some trait a defining feature of a character and then throw it out entirely when you get a new idea. Or, if you do, be sure to actually throw it out; maybe then the audience won’t remember the nasty trick you just played on them. Flipping back and forth just doesn’t go.
Admittedly, it’s possible to retcon your way out of a bad spot, as has happened in this case regarding the worst of the black-and-white morality. However, it doesn’t count in some sense: The work is done, it’s finished, and if you wanted to have said something different you’re too late. Especially when it’s obviously a different author writing the later episodes; going from this episode to the bigger-budget episodes in the “Cold War” plot arc is like Stan Lee handing off to Alan Moore or, in some regrettable cases, Frank Miller.
Anyway, the whole thing is worth a read. He doesn’t touch on some of the other absurdities, like how Germany’s anti-Semitic policy just happens to force out enough of the scientists working on the A-bomb miracle weapon (a largely unheralded deus ex machina, something one of the characters even remarked on in-story) so the Americans have it and the Germans never even come close, except for some espionage subplot fodder. All this after building up Germany and Austria as a wonderful place for science and culture, and giving the Germans (largely ineffective) wonder-weapons like the early jets and ballistic missiles. Again, inconsistency just doesn’t go.
(And don’t even get me started on some of the characters. Patton would never be allowed within spitting range of a real tank, let alone be allowed to rise all the way up to umpty-star general so he could gallivant around and fulfill a delusional reincarnation fantasy. It’s like they didn’t even care that the whole Theosophy plot was largely done with decades’ worth of story time before this whole mess began.)