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Old January 5 2009, 04:13 AM   #81
Darkwing
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Re: Kirk's status, new timeline- Really so far off? (Contains spoilers

Vigilance wrote: View Post
Starship Polaris wrote: View Post
Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
And again as well...Starfleet is much closer to the current US Navy than to those old systems.
This is true. The folks who created and wrote "Star Trek" drew pretty exclusively on their experience with the modern American military (not talking about the movies, which are much later addendums).
I disagree. I mean, clearly Gene in the original premise drew from his WWII service, but to say Trek models ANY real world military, past or present, especially a modern military, is just laughable.
Not at all. He based the idea of Starfleet's situation on Hornblower's navy, but modeled the actual service on the US Navy of the 60's, going so far as to consult research organisations for information, which is why Kirk was an admiral in TMP - the US Navy had discontinued commodore as a rank, the research company reported that detail, and the script was revised to make him an admiral, rather than a commodore.

Kirk and co. in TOS are shown to be on their own. That right there makes it nothing like our modern military.

Look at Where No Man, or Balance of Terror, where Kirk is dealing with potentially explosive, war-causing, universe-altering situations, on his own, with the nearest voice message weeks away.

A modern military commander would be on the radio to a senior officer or political leader in those situations.
That's the Hornblower influence. Roddenberry wanted to make Trek's universe like Hornblower's in those respects, but used the modern organisation as a way of making it more familiar to viewers.

And of course, Star Fleet as an organization seems to flat-out reward and encourage insubordination, if the fact that Kirk continues to be promoted is any indication.

The description of him in ST VI, as someone who violated the chain of command whenever it suited him, is one of the most accurate things about James T Kirk ever uttered.
creative license.

So to the extent that it models any military organization we've ever seen, I'd go with 19th century Horatio Hornblower/Master and Commander style naval fiction.
Roddenberry explicitly cites Hornblower in The Making of ST. No mention of O'Brian.

But in reality, it's a utopian future, where the way they run things would make any real military man want to tear his hair out.
Only because they don't have a military consultant, and they no longer follow the once-standard practice of vetting scripts through researchers, so the writers make up what they think sounds good, not caring that the viewers are smart enough to notice their stupidity.
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